Timeline: RAPTURE, Pre-Triblulation

Personal Comments:

Please take note that I am stepping away from how I would normally start an article with an portion of Scripture as my basis text.

My reason is this, I am not an authoritive on this subject, for this subject has three sides that can be taken.  Each argument can in some form be taken from portions of Scripture to support the theory, yet, other Scripture would seem to argue against each theory of the rapture.  So, I can only encourage each student of Biblical prophecy to diligently search the Scripture and form your own conclusion.

The Three Theories

  1. Pre – Tribulation
  2. Mid – Triblulation
  3. Post Tribulation

If I could take you in a time machine to my younger self you would here me expound on the first theory of the rapture, pre-tribulation.  This thought is one most evangelicals teach and hold fast to that the Body of Christ will be raptured before the tribulation written in the Book of Revelation.

Here is the anchor for their thesis:

1 Thessalonians 4:  KJV
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I would then take you to the first verse of Revelation 4:1

Revelation 4:1 KJV
1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Those who stand on this train of thought also will use this portion of Scripture and declare that the Body of Christ will escape all the wrath of God.

Luke 21:36 KJV
36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

This was my younger self when teaching on the subject of the rapture.

The debate about the rapture can be quite heated in argument, pastor against pastor, church congregations split over the subject on when it will take place.

As a guest speaker in another pastor’s pulpit I would never try to expound on the rapture.

In past articles I have taught that a thought must be from Genesis to Revelation.

The rapture is a topic that is scarce in Scripture.  In the Old Testament there are only two times that I would suggest could be types of the rapture are Enoch and Elijah.

Genesis 5:24 KJV
24  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

2 Kings 2:1-13 KJV
1  And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
2  And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
3  And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
4  And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
5  And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
6  And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
7  And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
8  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
9  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
10  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
13  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

In the New Testament we have only one account and that is the catching away of Christ on the Mount.

Acts 1:6-11 KJV
6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

When as a pastor it would take me weeks if not months to go in depth on the subject of the rapture.

So, I will take several articles to give outlines of each side of each argument that is presented on the subject of the rapture.

However, the Body of Christ has caused much anxiety over the rapture and where it happens in the timeline of End – Time Prophecy.  It is my personal belief that we need to return to what matters the most, that is just having our garments washed and ready without wrinkle.

Ephesians 5:27 KJV
27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Here is one of the keys that help me unlock some of the timeline of End – Time Prophecy.

Every bride is a women, but, every women is not a bride.

In understanding Bible prophecy one must understand these two principles:

  1. The Church is the Bride of Christ
  2. In End – Time Prophecy the woman speaks of the nation of Israel.

In the Old Testament there are no Scriptures that speak to the Body of Christ and the Church.  All End – Time Prophecy speaks to the judgment of God and the nation of Israel.

The Body of Christ and the Church was birthed after Christ ascended into heaven as stated in the above portion of Scripture in Acts 1.

The terms “The Body of Christ(The Church)” and “Israel” are not interchangeable.

In my personal beliefs I have presented some of the keys to understanding End – Time Prophecy and also the argument presented by those who hold fast to the rapture happening before the tribulation.

I would encourage Bible Students to take and take a deep study on all the sides that people argue when speaking about the rapture and it’s timeline.

Let me finish like I started, I have given you  the first argument, “pre-tribulation” theory. I use to be adamant when discussing this subject.

In the next article I will try to expound on the theory of “mid-tribulation” rapture.

For some you have already taken a stand and have planted your feet on how you belief about the rapture, so, I am not trying to sway you otherwise.  For everyone else, please, study each side of this subject then seek the face of God before you decide on your interpretation of the Scripture on the rapture.

 

 

The Mad Man & God Part 2

Judges 16: MSG
20  Then she said, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He woke up, thinking, “I’ll go out, like always, and shake free.” He didn’t realize that GOD had abandoned him.

Matthew 7:  MSG
22  I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’
23  And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

When I was younger an uncle of mine taught me the game of Chess.  To this very day I like to have a game once in awhile if possible.  It keeps the mind strong in deductive ability.

Children play all types of games growing up, like king of the hill, hide and seek, baseball, etc.,

Then somehow as they reach those teen years and dating they learn new games and some carry over into adult life reaching even into marriage.  There is much that can be written just on this subject alone, but that is not the purpose of this article.

There is a game being played at this moment that could affect millions upon millions of lifes.  The end of this game will only be known when we reach eternity and stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  The game is called “Church”!

Samson was a man chosen while still in his mother’s womb.  She knew that God had something special in mind for this man child.  God spoke to Samson’s mother and told her that his hair was to never be cut for it would be his secret of his mighty strength.

Samson grew into a mighty strong man and there was not one person who could defeat him.  Every enemy that came up against him, Samson was the victor.

Now, for the purpose of this article I am going to use some conjecture and say Samson is a type of the “Church”.  His “hair” a type of the anointing and the Holy Ghost.  Delilah is a type of what we would call the “world”.

I grew up with a strong sense of a move of God in our congregation.  Let me explain, we were “pentecostal”, but “independent”.

I was raised to believe when you are a believer that you were baptized in water, then in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of “speaking in tongues”.  To be honest, I still adhere to this because I find nowhere in Scripture that those days have ended.  What is different today is that what is called “speaking in tongues” is nothing but pure babbel.  In the Book of Acts when they spoke in “tongues” it was a language recognizable by someone listening.

Acts 1:6-8 KJV
6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

If I believe, teach and have preached over my lifetime is true that the true Church of Jesus Christ has a job to do, that there must be one last global reaching revival of souls before the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, then something must have to take place within the churches worldwide.

I sometimes am left with the impression that the gathering together with others of the Body of Christ means very little to most these days.  It is more than just a time of women showing off their latest fashions, or being entertained by some musician or singer.  It is even more than some orator causing us to rise to our feet in a standing ovation because it pleases our ears and appeals to our flesh.

Our gathering should be solemn in remembering the price that was paid on a rugged dogwood tree outside the city of Jerusalem on a hill called Golgotha meaning the place of the skull.

Samson lost his strength when he was duped by Delilah as he laid his head on her lap.  Oh, he caught her deceit the first few tries, but, he fell prey to her deception and gave her the key to his strength, his hair.  And as he fell asleep on her lap of deception men came and shaved Samson of his hair, and stole with it his strength.

To see if what Samson had said was true this time the deceiver Delilah cried out, “Samson, the Philistines are upon thee”!  Poor Samson, he got up not realizing what had happened to him and he shook himself like he had done so many times before but his strength was gone.  The Philistines led him away bound in chains, robbed of his eyesight.  Finally, in one last gesture he convinced the guards to lead him over towards the columns that held up the building.  Samson prayed one last time that God would give him his strength back and Samson brought down the building upon the Philistines and killed more in his death than he did during his lifetime.

The old preachers use to say, “the church has become too worldly, and the world too churchy”!  I am inclined to say it is true.

The church will never win the world by becoming like the world.  

Maybe to the reader I sound like an old fire and brimstone preacher, if that is what it takes to bring revival before the Lord’s return, so be it.

I went to research a certain quote by John Wesley but found it was inaccurate.

This is the correct quote by John Wesley:

“Set yourself on fire with passion & people will come for miles to watch you burn.” John Wesley

I am very concerned on the things I see, read and hear from pulpit across North America and around the world.

You can go to a building every week, sit on some nice cushioned chairs or pews, and hear some great message, and still miss out on Heaven and eternity with Christ the Lord.

I am not sure what it will take to see a spirit of repentance come to the shores of North America, but, I am sure, if it does not happen soon all may be lost for the western hemisphere.  

Yet, God is going to require some to give an answer for what they have done with what was given to them.  

Yes, they played with fire and now the fire is going to play with them.

The mad man are those who are standing behind them screaming, wailing, gnashing at them because they were not told the truth.

You can play the game of “church” if you like, but in the end it will be you, the mad man & God alone.