rapture2

 

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

 

I remember the day pretty vividly when I realized that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. For a 6 year old boy, going on seven, my world was rocked when the truth about my early childhood belief system came crashing down like the virtual myth it turned out to be. I was about as surprised there was no Santa as men were stunned watching The Crying Game. It all seemed like a great big a lie – and it was.

As I grew older, and understood more about my faith, the word of God, traditions and Bible truth, I began to come to a greater understanding, a realization that sometimes men, even good men, can teach things which on the surface might seem true, but the reality is it’s false. Not because it’s evil and demonic, but because men, desiring to keep to a particular belief system, would rather believe a teaching which is founded on comfort rather than truth. That teaching is called a Pre-tribulation rapture.

I was raised traditional Pentecostal holiness. I was raised with the teaching that said Jesus would return (secretly) to gather his saints in what is known as “the rapture”, then all hell will break loose upon the earth, and of course I believed it because every pastor I’ve ever known taught this eschatological point of view, so it had to be right. Who was I to disagree with these men? But over time, as I began to search the scripture myself, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me in my understanding of the word, things began to change, not just in long held dogmas, church tradition, but also when it came to the common teaching called “The Rapture”.

One particular day I was praying intently about some things, when my spirit began to direct me to ask the Lord a question. With tears in my eyes and an earnest question in my heart, I approached the throne room of God and boldly asked the question, “What is the right answer when it comes to the rapture, traditional teaching and such?” I firmly believe that God answers honest as well as sincere prayers – and he did with me that very evening.

I will never forget how the Holy Spirit quickened me and then began to reveal to me the answer which I sought about this issue, not to be “right”, not to prove others wrong in a judgmental spirit, but so that I know the truth as well as lead others to the same truth. The Lord spoke to me to go to the word and turn to Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  The Lord then said this into my spirit, “If the church is removed, who will preach the gospel? Who will prophesy? Who will declare the glory of the Lord to sinners?” That’s when the light bulb went off in my head, that’s when everything was settled in my spirit over this issue of the church being “raptured” out of this world like some cheap magic trick. God was revealing himself in such a way with me that the answer was being settled into my spirit. Yet so many still refuse to accept this fact – because of traditions.

It must be understood once and for all that the Bible is always right and theories are always wrong. And for nearly 100+ years mainline Denominational leaders have been teaching and preaching a pre-tribulation simply because of one man – John Nelson Darby. Because of Darby and his close associations with Irving and Scofield, we have today what is called the “pretribulation” rapture theory.

But let me make my points in what I believe is true based not on the past writings of a few preachers living in the early 20th century, but on the Bible. They are:

  • Truth ALWAYS trumps THEORY – ALWAYS
  • The Antichrist must come before the Rapture
  • The Tribulation must come before the Rapture
  • The Sun and Moon Must be Darkened before the Rapture
  • The Lord Must descend from Heaven with a Shout before the Rapture
  • Jesus Must Return before the Rapture
  • The Resurrection must happen just before the Rapture (or, at the same time)
  • There is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people
  • God promised that Christians would suffer

 

Paul reached out to the church in Thessalonica because they were thrown into turmoil over the idea of the Rapture. It appears that someone was telling them that they had missed it. Here is what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

The Antichrist MUST come before the Rapture. There is no other way that you can interpret this verse. None.

When Jesus spoke of the Last Days, the coming of the Antichrist and the Tribulation, He made zero mention of a pre-tribulation rapture. None. Zero. Nada.

You would think – if there WAS a pre-trib rapture – that Jesus would have mentioned it here. But, He didn’t. However, He DID say this:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. – Matthew 24:29-31.  So what gives? Why would Jesus tell us that immediately after the tribulation, the son of man would come? Again, it’s because men, desiring to be seen as spiritual, created their own belief system and then used intellectualism, scholarly insight and puffed up knowledge to create another gospel – escapism. It ain’t so.

Some argue that why should the church be cleansed in a tribulation 7 year period if the cross already did the cleansing work? Because we do not advocate that. That’s another clever way some try to change the argument to suite their position. The fact is this, the “great” tribulation where God’s wrath is poured out upon mankind is NOT a full 7 years, it is actually 3 1/2 years. Again, not seven. The first 3 and half years is not God’s wrath, but Satan’s upon this world, that is the tribulation John saw, not the great tribulation where God’s wrath is poured out upon the world.

Jesus made it clear in his own words that those who are called by his name, will suffer persecution, tribulation and great sorrow. John 15:20 “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. – 2 Timothy 3:12

…and:

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.Acts 14:21-22

The fact is, the church is going to see many things before its eventual removal, from the great falling away, to the rebuilding of the third temple, to a great deception which will come upon the earth, to finally the rise of a great evil empire (10 kings) and ultimately the beast himself. Great deception the church will face, but Jesus gave us comfort in this one promise, “I will never leave nor forsake you.” That alone is worth every fear the events in the world could ever bring.

Some say I am wrong – so be it. That’s their opinion. But let me ask you this, what if I’m not? What if what I and others are saying are not just right, but absolute truth? Are you prepared? Is your heart prepared? It’s easy to believe in a vast escape without worry, without scars, without contention, without persecution. But that’s not the promise of the believer, if anyone promises you a life in Christ without trial, without persecution, without tribulation, then you are believing a lie already!

I’m affirmed in my spirit the church is about to face its greatest test known in its less than 2,000 year history, and one I fear many are not prepared for spiritually, because they continue to preach all is well, all is right in the world and there is nothing to worry about, because the rapture of the church is at any moment. You can believe that all you want, but I will stick to the word of God, the words of Jesus and contend, for the night is coming and no man will be able to work when it does.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    awesome word Christopher!

  2. robhar says:

    Keep preaching it! YHVH knows we need to continue with the truth, especially in light of all this “Left Behind” propaganda. It was just less than two years ago that my eyes were opened. He didn’t force them open… He never has. But He did as He always does with me…drives me to passionate pursuit of the Truth! MAJOR paradigm shift. But since those days of “rediscovery” everything has changed. I hear His whispers so easily now since coming into Torah. All my grown children are experiencing awakenings and revivals like I’ve never seen! He is faithful…

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  4. Annette says:

    I have never felt comfortable with the pre-trib rapture idea and always wondered about children (those under the age of understanding) dissapearing the world over and the intellectually disabled as well. There would be a kafuffle of unimaginable parental distress..it just seemed too ‘magic’ and not really a clear teaching. Thanks for sorting that out for me 😊

  5. toddott says:

    PreTrib “logic:”

    1) The supposed “rapture of John in Rev 4 happens AFTER the supposed Laodicean “Age,” which pretribbers believe to be the so-called “tribulation saints.
    2) If the Day of the Lord begins the “tribulation, and Elijah must come BEFORE the Day of the Lord, and he is one of the two witnesses who prophesy for 1260 days, then the Seventh Trumpet, the kingdoms of the world becoming the kingdom of our Lord, the judging of the dead, and the rewarding of the saints, happens in the MIDDLE of the “tribulation.”
    3) Isaiah 26 refers to the rapture? Isaiah is speaking in this passage about his people, Israel. Come, my people…the Lord cometh of His place.” How can the Lord be in the Wedding Chamber with His Bride if He has come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth?
    4) If the Church is not on earth during the “tribulation” because the word “church” is not used, then the Church does not return with Christ at His second coming. The “armies of heaven dressed in white linen, clean and bright,” cannot be the Church because they are not called the Church. They are not in Heaven either.
    5) Matthew 24 is not written about or to the Church…except one verse in the middle of the passage which speaks about an unknown day and a thief.
    6) John 14:3 is written to and about the Church, but Mathew 24 is not, even though they are addressing the same disciples who would become the foundation of the Church.
    7) The Bride, the New Jerusalem, which Hebrews 12 says in the Church, comes down from Heaven PREPARED as a Bride, AFTER the Second Coming, and AFTER the new heavens and new earth are created, not seven years before these events.
    etc., etc., etc.,

  6. Jesse says:

    Bro you are correct, I’ve studied always come to the same conclusion that we will be here for 3 1/2 yrs and will go through all that you have mentioned. Some dear friends I know who are believers, don’t believe me, but it’s very clear in the word. I hope, that are able to stand in the evil day, and not think they were left behind, and give up hope. The teaching is dangerous, that they will be taken away before. I see how many will give into the lie and fall for the deception that is to come. Thank you bro for your work and teaching.

  7. ajc says:

    I don’t believe in a 3rd temple. The temple and old covenant was destroyed in 70 AD as Christ had warned about. The temple is now our bodies. 70 AD happened in that generation. He was talking to the people of that day. The spirit of the anti Christ had already started. The man of perdition was either one of the rulers who referred to himself as god on earth or maybe a pope. rev. 1 to his servants of things that soon to come rev. 1:3 the time is close at hand I think the saying the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light is a jewish saying that is also used in old testament when something catastrophic is about to happen If you read it in the old testament you will see it is not something that physically happened but means a big something is coming.

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