We continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[8] (continued) The 8th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is the ‘two visitation events’ [continued]

So, as we have seen, Jesus firstly returns for His Church IN THE AIR: this is the RAPTURE. This IS NOT the second coming of Christ, [parousia or 2nd advent!] this event lines up with John 14:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

7 years later He returns with His glorious ones TO THE EARTH: this is the 2nd coming or Parousia or 2nd advent. This event lines up with Acts 1:10 and Zechariah 14:4,5

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

It is believed that at the rapture Jesus will personally bring with Himself from heaven [paradise] the spirits and souls of every departed believer so that they can be joined to their respective resurrection bodies and thus become a totally reunited GLORIFIED SPIRIT SOUL AND BODY, and those of us who remain will be caught up with them and we’ll be transformed in an atomic second.

At the Rapture Jesus does not touch the earth, He personally appears in the air [atmosphere]! There He will meet His Church/Saints, and in so doing, He will close the Church age [period of special grace] and therefore setting in motion the stage being set for the appearing of the antichrist and thus setting in motion the time of Jacob’s trouble [“the tribulation period”.] After the 7 year tribulation period comes to a close, the Glorious Christ will return TO THE EARTH with His glorious ones, [His Bride] and His mighty Angels.

So to conclude this point, I believe the time scale is : the rapture when Christ meets His saints IN THE AIR. The antichrist is revealed and the 7 year tribulation period [the time of Jacob’s trouble] commences! At the end of this period Christ returns TO THE EARTH Glorious and Victorious, the King of kings and The Lord of lords with His glorious ones.

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

We continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[8] (continued) The 8th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is the ‘two visitation events’ [continued]

So, as we have seen, Jesus firstly returns for His Church IN THE AIR: this is the RAPTURE. This IS NOT the second coming of Christ, [parousia or 2nd advent!] this event lines up with John 14:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

7 years later He returns with His glorious ones TO THE EARTH: this is the 2nd coming or Parousia or 2nd advent. This event lines up with Acts 1:10 and Zechariah 14:4,5

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

It is believed that at the rapture Jesus will personally bring with Himself from heaven [paradise] the spirits and souls of every departed believer so that they can be joined to their respective resurrection bodies and thus become a totally reunited GLORIFIED SPIRIT SOUL AND BODY, and those of us who remain will be caught up with them and we’ll be transformed in an atomic second.

At the Rapture Jesus does not touch the earth, He personally appears in the air [atmosphere]! There He will meet His Church/Saints, and in so doing, He will close the Church age [period of special grace] and therefore setting in motion the stage being set for the appearing of the antichrist and thus setting in motion the time of Jacob’s trouble [“the tribulation period”.] After the 7 year tribulation period comes to a close, the Glorious Christ will return TO THE EARTH with His glorious ones, [His Bride] and His mighty Angels.

So to conclude this point, I believe the time scale is : the rapture when Christ meets His saints IN THE AIR. The antichrist is revealed and the 7 year tribulation period [the time of Jacob’s trouble] commences! At the end of this period Christ returns TO THE EARTH Glorious and Victorious, the King of kings and The Lord of lords with His glorious ones.

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

I think this one is well worth putting on today!

1 SEP 2014

TODAY’S WORD FOR TODAY

The Time Is Near

‘Know that it is near—at the doors!’

Matthew 24:33

Almost three thousand years ago, God said through the prophet Amos that just before the coming of the Lord, the Jews would return from the four corners of the earth and rebuild the nation of Israel. ‘I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God’ (Amos 9:14-15 NIV). In 1948 the nation of Israel was born. In 1949 they elected their first president, hoisted their own flag, instituted their own constitution and started minting their own money. It’s an amazing fulfilment of prophecy. Now read what Jesus said: ‘Learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!’ (Matthew 24:32-33 NKJV). In Scripture the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. Surrounded and threatened by hostile neighbours, she stands today as a testimony to the accuracy and reliability of God’s prophetic Word. And the same Christ who announced the rebirth of Israel made an even greater promise to those of us living in the end of the age. ‘Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown’ (Revelation 3:11 NKJV). Are you ready? Are you living your life in the light of His soon return?

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

 

We continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[8]  The 8th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is the ‘two visitation events’

   THE RAPTURE [Christ returns in the air FOR His Saints]

1 Thessalonians 4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord!

18 Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.

       THE RETURN  [Christ RETURNS TO THE EARTH with His Saints]                       

Revelation 19:11-16Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 After that I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [appeared]! The One Who was riding it is called Faithful (Trustworthy, Loyal, Incorruptible, Steady) and True, and He passes judgment and wages war in righteousness (holiness, justice, and uprightness). 12 His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand. 13 He is dressed in a robe dyed by [a]dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God. 14 And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (sceptre, rod) of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the All-Ruler (the Almighty, the Omnipotent). 16 And on His garment (robe) and on His thigh He has a name (title) inscribed, king of kings and lord of lords. COMPARE

Acts 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And when He had said this, even as they were looking [at Him], He was caught up, and a cloud received and carried Him away out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing intently into heaven as He went, behold, two men [dressed] in white robes suddenly stood beside them, 11 Who said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was caught away and lifted up from among you into heaven, will return in [just] the same way in which you saw Him go into heaven.

And  Zechariah 14:4Amplified Bible (AMP)

And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from the east to the west by a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south.

And so I see there are 2 events. [1] Christ returns in the air FOR His Church, and [2] Christ returns to the earth WITH His Glorious bride. More of this next time.

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

After a bit of a summer break I will now continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[7]  The 7th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is the implied FLOW AND CHRONOLOGY OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 1-4! In chapter 1 we are given a revelation of the eternal Christ! It’s not just a revelation from Christ to John and thus to the Church, no, it is an unveiling of Christ: eternally past, present and future and how the events of the future are about to unfold because of Him, through Him and by Him! The book of Revelation is ALL ABOUT HIM! However, at the end of chapter 1 we get a revelation of Christ’s bride, His future wife, the 7 lampstands, the ecclesia, His Church, His body! We have to remember that Jesus only made inference in the gospels to the mystery of the Church! He was going to build it, but it would come by a new Covenant through His death on the cross! Jesus and the disciples lived under and through the old Covenant! So God, Jesus and Holy Spirit were still dealing with Jacob, [Israel], the Jews under the Old way! The new way didn’t come until the Cross to Pentecost and that because Jesus died, rose again, ascended to heaven, then sent His Spirit to end the time of Jacob [though only for a season], to cut Jacob off from the blessings temporarily and graft a wild olive branch in to the true Olive tree! That wild branch is the Church predominantly made up of Gentiles after the conversion of Saul as he was sent to take the gospel to the gentile nations.

In Revelation 2-3 we see Jesus dealing with 7 individual, local Churches. However, as I stated in yesterdays post I believe they also represent 7 Church ages and how Jesus deals with individual local Churches and His Church universal through the ages. So, from Jesus saying He will build His Church to the birth of the Church at Pentecost, then the growth and spread of the Church throughout the Roman empire and all the teachings of the Apostles and especially Paul, right up to this moment as Jesus is dealing with issues through probably the last of the initial disciples, suddenly in chapter 4 without any warning or indication, John is snatched up to heaven to see the future unfold and how things will close at the end of the age, then be re-booted so everything is new. In Chapters 2-3 it’s all about the Church on earth, then we are immediately transported [through John the Church representative] in to heaven. Now if that isn’t a picture of the rapture I don’t know what is? And as stated in a previous post. From this point on you will not find Jesus dealing with His Church on earth! From Chapter 4-19 of Revelation we only see Christ’s bride in all her glory and splendour in heaven! She never touches earth again until the parousia [Christ’s second advent] which as we will see next post is not the same as Christ coming in the air. We will see Him coming in the air for His Church; then 7 years later, He will return with them to the earth!

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After a bit of a summer break I will now continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[6]  The 6th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is the geography of the 7 Churches of Revelation 2 & 3! The Apostle John was exiled on the Isle of Patmos located off the south-west coast of [modern-day] Turkey. The letter was addressed to 7 Churches and the messenger delivered the letter/s in a clockwise route from Ephesus through to Laodicea! Now he could’ve gone any route but going clockwise has led many Bible teachers to speculate that this was a sublime act of the Holy Spirit inferring a time scale. I myself believe it’s a possibility!

We believe He is not only showing us 7 Churches but also 7 Church ages. And I have to say that as I have studied this I have been amazed at similarities of certain epochs of the Church age which obviously overlap each other but nevertheless point to a historical pattern in line with the messages to these Churches of Revelation! There wouldn’t be an obvious demarcation line! I will do a study of this on its own but think of this for now.

Ephesus represents the very early Church, Pentecost to 100 AD. It started well but was beginning to lose its first love. Smyrna from the emperor Nero to 300 AD. Smyrna means Myrrh and myrrh speaks of suffering! From Nero through to the Emperor Diocletian the Church suffered 10 severe persecutions in fact until the reign of Constantine.

Anyhoo, I’m not here today to study Church history, but it is fascinating! So, what’s all this got to do with the rapture? Ok, for me the Church of Laodicea has to be the Church of the Tribulation period! It may to lesser degrees over lap with the Philadelphus Church but not by much I personally think! The last Church or Church age is neither hot nor cold and is lukewarm and passionless. There is no way we are in that Church age! I know of a dozen Churches in a 2 mile radius from ours at Gateway which are on fire for Jesus. So my personal belief is that we are in the Philadelphian period still and that the rapture will occur at some point in that Church age and the Church of the tribulation period [lukewarm and passionless] will be made up of the nominal Christians who get left behind and a multitude of other faiths coming together after the shock of the rapture!

NOW THIS IS ONLY MY SPECULATION, BUT MANY MANY BIBLE SCHOLARS BELIEVE THIS TEACHING OF THE 7 CHURCHES! ANYWAY, HAVE A THINK ABOUT IT AND ONCE I HAVE CONCLUDED THIS SPECIFIC STUDY, I’LL LOOK AT THE 7 CHURCHES IN DEPTH 🙂

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

 

THE RAPTURE

I will continue to look at the rapture of the Church, why I believe it’s the next event on God’s timetable and why I believe it’s pre-tribulation and not post-tribulation for the Church.

[5]  The 5th reason I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is regarding the identity of the restrainer 2 Thessalonians 2:7Amplified Bible (AMP)

For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way.

Some believe the One Who restrains the antichrist to be the Holy Spirit, Who lives in all believers and will be removed with them at Christ’s coming; some think it refers to the Roman Empire. Some believe it is the Governments at the time of antichrist’s revealing, and others that it is simply the Church being removed at the rapture!

I personally opt for the last one! Firstly, I don’t believe the Holy Spirit is THE restrainer mentioned here and that He is removed IN US the Church because [1] He works separately from us as well as in us. [2] He needs to be around during the reign of the antichrist and during the tribulation period for souls to be converted to Christ!

Secondly, I don’t believe it refers to the Roman Empire because that collapsed over a millennium ago, and the New Roman government [a United states of Europe] won’t commence until antichrist is revealed!

Thirdly, human governments are not to be able to fully restrain lawlessness now, let alone when antichrist comes on the scene. There are governments during his reign and through the tribulation period and his government will be the worst ever! Even worse than the third Reich! Governments are the worst culprits for corruption and rottenness, so how are they restrainers? They may restrain in part, but not wholly.

So, lastly, I believe the restrainer is the Church which is removed at the rapture! Jesus said of us His followers ‘You are the salt of the earth, You are the light of the world’. Remember, in Jesus’ day salt was used to stop or stem corruption, rottenness, decay and infection. That is what the Church does in the world through our presence, preaching, prayer and our purifying influence! Light dispels darkness, drives it away and restrains it. Jesus said we are light in this world. Now, take away the salt and light and pow!! Full blown release of rottenness and darkness! So, the antichrist, the epitome of lawlessness cannot be revealed until we are removed. The antichrist’s will cannot be done until we are removed and so stop praying ‘your will O God be done on earth as in heaven!’ Believe it or not our authority and dominion as believers in Christ is restraining the antichrist and full blown lawlessness.

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