There are some subjects that are just too big for one article. They can’t be summed up neatly or concisely. The Rapture is one of those subjects. In "Dividing the Word" part two, I said what I wanted to say about the Rapture. However, there is plenty more that could be said.
The Last Day
I saw an interesting point raised by someone adhering to a Post-Tribulation view of the Rapture. This person claimed that it was obvious that the Rapture takes place after the Tribulation because of the following verses of Scripture:
John 6:39-40: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:54: “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
In order to be complete, there’s another verse in John where Jesus mentions “the last day.”
John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
The “last day” from the preceding verse is not the same “last day” as the one from those other verses. Sounds crazy, I know, but here is what you must understand: There are several “last days.” Later on, I will show you what that “last day” from John 12:48 was referring to.
There are Post-Tribbers who point to these verses in John as evidence that the Rapture occurs at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which would place the Rapture after the Tribulation. Their reasoning is this: Because Jesus said He would raise up all who believed on Him “at the last day”, then this must be the same day that Jesus Christ returns to the earth. What these Post-Tribbers are doing is basing a belief on a complete assumption. Jesus did not say what “last day” He was referring to, so Post-Tribbers have taken it upon themselves to define that “last day” for the rest of us, albeit wrongly. This is one of those arguments that is very dangerous, because it almost sounds valid. If you don’t go to the trouble of actually thinking, you can be persuaded into believing things that, on the surface, may seem to make sense. We don’t do that here though. Here, we actually examine these teachings to see if they line up with Scripture and make actual sense.
Instead of just accepting this idea as proof of a Post-Tribulation Rapture, let’s actually think this through. First of all, if “the last day” must refer to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then that phrase would seem to suggest that time as we know it ceases to exist once Jesus returns. If there is a definite last day, then there would be no more days afterwards. No more months. No more years. No more time. Seems feasible, right? God created time, but eventually, time will no longer be necessary. When eternity sets in, what would be the purpose of time? So Jesus Christ returns to the earth, and time is done away with. Correct? Well, there is a problem here.
Revelation 20:1-4: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
During the Tribulation, believers on Jesus Christ will face serious persecution. Some will be beheaded for their faith in Jesus. When Jesus Christ returns, these martyred believers will be raised from the dead, and they will then reign with Jesus for one thousand years. Does time end at the Second Coming? No. Time is still intact. This is proven by the fact that God measures out one thousand years for Satan’s initial imprisonment and the first stage of Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom. Yes, folks, years are still in existence during this future time. Can you guess what these years will be made up of? They will be made up of days, just as they are now. This means that there are more days to come after the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. So when Jesus mentioned the “the last day” in those verses from the book of John, can we just assume that He was referring to the day of His return? No. That will be the last day that this earth is not under the rule of Jesus, but does that automatically make it “the last day” that Jesus was speaking of? No, and believing otherwise is just an assumption.
If you recall from “Dividing the Word” part one, we looked at how the book of Matthew focuses on the fact that Jesus Christ dealt exclusively with the Jews in His earthly ministry. In fact, Jesus presented Himself only to the Jews, as the King they were to be expecting. The book of John has a different purpose, which is stated towards the end of the book.
John 20:30-31: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
The book of John was written so that people would believe on Jesus Christ and be given everlasting life. That is why the book of John gives examples of Jesus teaching that belief on Him would result in eternal salvation, a teaching that Jesus did not elaborate on in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 6:47: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
John 7:38-39: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
In the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus spoke of His Second Coming and gave descriptions of the last days leading up to this event. The book of John is void of these teachings. Do you know why? The book of John had a unique purpose: To show that Jesus gave foreshadowing of eternal salvation by faith in Him. When Jesus spoke of raising up those who believed on Him at “the last day”, is it safe to assume that Jesus was speaking about the end of the Tribulation and His Second Coming? No. Had Jesus been speaking of such things in the book of John? No. Jesus said much about belief in Him in the book of John, and how this belief would result in everlasting life. These teachings were not understood by those who heard Jesus at the time, and they were a foreshadowing of the age of grace. When Jesus referred to “the last day”, He never defined what this particular day was. There are several last days coming. Here are three important ones, given in chronological order:
1. The last day of the age of grace, which ends at the Rapture.
2. The last day that the earth is not under the rule of Jesus Christ, which is the same day as the Second Coming.
3. The last day of the 1,000 year earthly reign of Jesus Christ, before the literal kingdom comes down from Heaven and is set up on earth.
In order to understand what “the last day” was that Jesus spoke of in the book of John, we must look at the context. Assuming that “the last day” is the end of the Tribulation is a stretch of the imagination, considering that Jesus did not speak of the Tribulation in the book of John. What had Jesus been speaking of in the book of John? He had given many illustrations on how belief in Him would result in eternal salvation. In Matthew, Jesus said that a person must endure to the end to be saved (Matthew 24:13). This was a picture of the Tribulation. In John, Jesus said that a person who believes in Him will be saved (John 3:16). This was a picture of the age of grace. With this in mind, in the book of John, when Jesus mentions “the last day”, a day which Jesus said would see all believers on Him being raised up, we can conclude what this day is. This day must have been referring to a day corresponding to the age of grace, since the age of grace is the period of time when simple belief in Jesus Christ saves, the concept Jesus spoke of throughout the book of John. Do you recall what happens at the Rapture?
1st Corinthians 15:52: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead(deceased believers on Jesus Christ)shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1st Thessalonians 4:16-17: “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: 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.”
Deceased believers, and those believers still alive, will be raised at the Rapture. As we have already learned in “Dividing the Word” part two, the Rapture concludes the age of grace. Jesus spoke of the coming age of grace in the book of John, where He also spoke of a “last day” when believers would be raised. This “last day” is not the last day of the Tribulation. After careful examination, we see that “the last day” Jesus spoke of in the book of John is the last day of the age of grace. This age ends when Jesus descends from Heaven and calls out everyone who has believed on Him up until that point. Assuming that “the last day” is the final day of the Tribulation is simply an uneducated guess. Using context, and as always, dividing the word, we see that this “last day” would most likely be the last day of the age of grace, which is followed by more last days.
Now, do you want to know something interesting? Do you remember those three “last days” I listed? Each of those last days has a resurrection that goes along with it.
1. The last day of the age of grace, which ends at the Rapture. Deceased believers on Jesus Christ are resurrected (1st Thessalonians 4:16).
2. The last day that the earth is not under the rule of Jesus Christ, which is the same day as the Second Coming. Believers who were killed for their faith during the Tribulation are resurrected (Revelation 20:4-6).
3. The last day of the 1,000 year earthly reign of Jesus Christ, before the literal kingdom comes down from Heaven and is set up on earth. Unbelievers from every age are resurrected in order to be judged (Revelation 20:5, 7-15). This is the “last day” that John 12:48 was referring to. It is not the same as the last day of the age of grace.
The Marriage Revisited
In “Dividing the Word” part two, we found out that believers on Jesus Christ are “the bride of Christ.” Take a moment to review the following bits of Scripture:
Ephesians 5:28-32: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church (believers on Jesus Christ): For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
2nd Corinthians 11:2: “For I (Paul) am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
In the book of Revelation, directly preceding a description of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we find that there is a “marriage” that takes place in Heaven.
Revelation 19:7-8: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him (God): for the marriage of the Lamb(Jesus) is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
Believers will be taken to Heaven in the Rapture, which will close out the age of grace. Believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, where they will receive or lose rewards based on what they did or did not do for Christ while they were on earth (Romans 14:10-12, 2nd Corinthians 5:10, 1st Corinthians 3:10-15). The Tribulation will be occurring on earth, while in Heaven, believers will be preparing for the marriage. What follows a marriage? The honeymoon, a time of celebration for a newly married couple. What follows the marriage between believers and Jesus Christ? The Second Coming, which is when Jesus Christ returns to earth with His bride to shut down the reign of Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet.
Now, if this marriage is going to take place in Heaven, and it is going to precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then believers must already be in Heaven. We established this in “Dividing the Word” part two. So why is this topic being brought up again? Because I want to show you a verse of Scripture that further proves that the Rapture occurs before the Second Coming. In Luke chapter 12, Jesus was speaking to His disciples, along with a large crowd of Jews and Pharisees. Jesus gave some warnings about His Second Coming, and I have underlined sections that should look familiar to you.
Luke 12:35-48: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
Recall the following verse:
Matthew 24:13: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
We previously learned how Jesus Christ taught that there will be “wise” servants who will watch for His Second Coming, and “foolish” servants who will not watch or remain faithful. At the return of Jesus Christ, the foolish servants will be “cut asunder,” or removed. Jesus Christ will return as a thief, suddenly and unexpectedly. These concepts were taught in Matthew 24, and they are repeated in this passage from Luke. I am telling you all of this in order to be perfectly clear that this passage from Luke is describing the Second Coming. Why is this so important? Because of a verse that was included in the passage.
Luke 12:36: “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”
Jesus Christ had some advice for people who will be on earth during the Tribulation. These people should wait for Jesus to return so that they will be ready when it happens. Did you notice what Jesus Christ will be returning from? He will “return from the wedding”. That’s right, folks. The wedding, or the marriage of Jesus Christ to His bride, those who believed on Him during the age of grace, must occur before the Second Coming. That can only mean one thing: Believers will have already been taken off of the earth well in advance of the return of Jesus Christ, which places the Rapture before the Second Coming.
Rapture or Abduction?
There surely must be skeptics out there who would ask me the following:
“You’re saying that at the Rapture, all of the Christians in the world will suddenly vanish? How will this be explained away? Billions of people will be left on earth. What will they believe concerning the disappearance of scores of people?”
These are great questions. First of all, yes, everyone who has truly been saved and is alive at the occurrence of the Rapture will vanish. It will be instantaneous, “in the twinkling of an eye” (1st Corinthians 15:52). It will be a “Now you see me, now you don’t” moment.
There are over 7 billion people in the world. How many of them are saved? I don’t know, but it’s only a fraction of that number. Mark my words, there are many, many people who think they are going to make it to Heaven, and they are wrong. Whether they are trusting in a good lifestyle, their works, their baptism, etc., they have not believed on Jesus Christ as their sole means of salvation. Nevertheless, there is going to be a noticeable number of people who will disappear without warning one day. In times of crises, people want answers. People are going to turn to the media for an official explanation of where all these missing people have gone. Let me tell you who I believe the media is going to name as the culprit of this mysterious evacuation. If I were a gambler, I’d bet all my money on someone you have been seeing a lot of in recent years:
That’s right, folks. Aliens. Did you think that all of the media programming dedicated to aliens was just a coincidence? Do you think it’s all harmless entertainment?
Note the following taken from The Atlantean Conspiracy (from my links page):
“The word ‘media’ comes from Media, an ancient place in the middle east near Libya.
The Medes were an ancient cult involved in the same activities practiced today by the modern media:
‘In Media were the sorcerers and astrologers, not necessarily negative people but a tribe, a very adept cult from the ancient world who specialized in the use of talismans, amulets, mantras and sorcery. And the kings of the world knew that if battle hadn’t worked, or if legal means hadn’t worked to get rid of an enemy, or you didn’t want it known that you were getting rid of your enemy, you simply called on the Medes.
And you bring the representative of the Media into your court and he will take care of the problem because he is going to put the spell on your enemy, the hex, because they know how to do it.
And that’s where we get the word Mediterranean, Mediation Meditation, and Medication, the Medics.
Study this alone and a whole interesting subject will open itself up, because we still have the sorcerers and the voodoo and the witch doctor, we still have it today only now it’s the Techno Shamanism, it’s the Silicon Sorcerers, it’s the Ivory Tower Witchdoctors and they’re still very busy at what they’re doing up at Madison Avenue and behind the other great corporate giants who are only too happy to tell you what to think.’
- Michael Tsarion, ‘The Subversive Use of Sacred Symbolism in the Media’ Lecture at Conspiracy Con
These Median sorcerers and other wizards of old often carried magical wands as well, wooden staffs from which to cast their spells.
These were always made of just one certain kind of wood: holly. Hollywood.
‘Merlin and the old magicians of Celtic England always used their magic wands and these magic wands were always made out of holly wood. And that's why today we still have Hollywood, working its ‘magic’ on us - showing us in movies how to view things, what we should think, or just offering us a big box office diversion.’
–Jordan Maxwell, ‘Matrix of Power’
‘So we still find that those magi in the movie business are putting their ‘spells’ on us. The makers of cinema know all about the libido, sexuality, desires and drives of the human beings that they are trying to pacify and control. The fact that ‘programs’ are called ‘programs’ is fascinating in itself. Programs are what one puts in a computer. They see the human mind as a computer and have been putting in their programs every day for decades.’
-Michael Tsarion, ‘Astrotheology and Sidereal Mythology’” Hollywood, named after
holly wood. Media, named after the Medes. What do we get from Hollywood and the
media? Ever heard of television programming? We also get movie and music
programming. We are being programmed to believe and feel whatever is desired of
us. Why do you think aliens are such a popular part of our programming? Hollywood
takes every chance it gets to mock Jesus Christ, because Hollywood does not
want anyone to believe on Jesus. Hollywood takes every chance it gets to
promote aliens, because Hollywood wants everyone to believe in aliens.
Kids are indoctrinated with alien propaganda also.
Satan's little helper, Katy Perry, performing her song about aliens.
Satan is “the god of this world” (2nd Corinthians 4:4), and he is also known
as “the prince of the power of the air”
(Ephesians 2:2). Let me take it a step further and say that Satan is also the
prince of the airwaves as well. Satan knows that the Rapture is coming, and through
the use of Hollywood, Satan has an explanation for the Rapture that will
effectively remove Jesus Christ from the equation. The world is going to be
told that aliens abducted a select group of people. People will believe this
because they have already been conditioned to do so.
The following quotes were taken from spiritandflesh.com. I have underlined sections you must take special note of.
“Channeler Thelma Terrell, who goes by her spiritual name, “Tuella,” wrote a book called Project World Evacuation (1), these are some quotes from that book.
“Our rescue ships will be able to come in close enough in the twinkling of an eye to set the lifting beams in operation in a moment. And all over the globe where events warrant it, this will be the method of evacuation. mankind will be lifted, levitated shall we say, by the beams from our smaller ships. These smaller craft will in turn taxi the persons to the larger ships overhead, higher in the atmosphere, where there is ample space and quarters and supplies for millions of people.”
(Did you notice that the preceding quote copies the exact wording from 1st Corinthians 15:52? The Rapture and this alien evacuation both occur “in the twinkling of an eye”. Come on, people! You just got a big clue as to what’s happening here. Satan is creating his own version of the Rapture, and he was so bold as to copy wording straight out of Scripture.)
“The Great Evacuation will come upon the world very suddenly. The flash of emergency events will be as a lightning that flashes in the sky. So suddenly and so quick in its happening that it is over almost before you are aware of its presence...”
“Do not be concerned nor unduly upset if you do not participate in this first temporary lift-up of souls who serve with us. This merely means that your action in the plan is elsewhere, and you will be taken for your instructions or will receive them in some other manner. Do not take any personal affront if you are not alerted or are not a participant in this first phase of our plan. Your time will come later, and these instructions are not necessary for you at this time...”
Barbara Marciniak is a very famous New Age author and channeler. In her book she documents what she claims extraterrestrials from the star system of the Pleiades have told her. In her book, Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians (5), she also mentions the removal of a great number of souls,
“The people who leave the planet during the time of Earth changes do not fit in here any longer, and they are stopping the harmony of Earth. When the time comes that perhaps 20 million people leave the planet at one time there will be a tremendous shift in consciousness for those who are remaining.”
Johanna Michaelson is an ex-New Ager who is now a Christian. She writes in one of her books, Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (6), about famous New Age intellectual and promoter John Randolph Price, whose spirit guide says that the number of human beings taken will be significantly higher,
“...Asher, the spirit guide of John Randolph Price, a moving force behind the New Agers' 'World Instant of Cooperation' (on December 31, 1986, in which thousands of meditators worldwide simultaneously concentrated on world peace hoping to cause a critical mass launching into the New Age) told him that two billion people who didn't go along with the New Age would be wiped off the face of the Earth during the coming cleansing.”
Marciniak, in Bringers of the Dawn, gives us a final warning,
“If human beings do not change -- if they do not make the shift in values and realize that without Earth they could not be here -- then Earth, in its love for its own initiation, is reaching for a higher frequency, will bring about a cleansing that will balance it once again. There is the potential for many people to leave the planet in an afternoon.” The preceding
quotes describe a sudden evacuation of people from the earth, which will be
over before people even knew it was occurring. It was said that people will be “lifted,”
or “levitated” off of the earth. Well that sounds strangely similar to the
Rapture, when believers on Jesus Christ will meet Jesus in the air (1st
quote was made by Sananda, an ascended master and false Christ figure who is
channeled by his followers, and was taken from spirit-web.org:
to the second wave. I cannot give you dates as it is not permitted and I
would not like to evoke mass panic on the planet Earth - it will be in a time
of years rather than centuries - but the second wave is the beginning of the
evacuation. The changes that will occur on this planet will be so great and so
cataclysmic that it would not be right for any of you to be on her surface when
this occurs. This is what the Ascension Plan is designed for. It is a plan of
awareness, heightened sensitivity and temporary evacuation.”
Why can’t Sananda give dates? Let me tell you the real reason. Sananda is a
phony, most likely a demonic spirit working for Satan. Satan does not know
the date of the Rapture. He only knows that it’s coming soon, and he has
prepared a false explanation for where all those people will have gone. Demonic
spirits are giving channeled messages to their followers about an upcoming
evacuation, and this event sounds quite similar to the Rapture. Meanwhile,
Hollywood is bombarding people with aliens in order to familiarize people with
aliens so much that people will be conditioned to accept the idea that aliens
performed a mass evacuation of earth once it occurs. Get the picture? Now you know
why aliens are so popular. Oh, and also, causing people to believe that they
may have been created by aliens removes the potential faith people may have had
in Jesus Christ. That’s an added bonus for Satan and his production company,
known as Hollywood.
Below is Satan's version of the Rapture, made by Satan's very own Hollywood.
I have one more thought to leave you with: The fact that Satan has prepared a false explanation for the Rapture further proves that the Rapture does not occur at the end of the world. Why would Satan need to explain away the Rapture if it occurred at the end of the world? Jesus Christ will have arrived and there will be no room for fairy tales at that point, because everyone on earth will see Jesus returning at the end of the Tribulation. The Rapture will happen before the Tribulation, which is why Satan has a fake story to feed the masses and keep them from believing on Jesus.
The Rapture: More Than Meets the Eye
One of the reasons that many “Christians” reject the idea of the Rapture, or at least the idea of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, is because they do not fully understand the Rapture. Many people wrongfully view the Rapture as merely an event where believers on Jesus Christ will be quickly taken to Heaven. The people looking forward to it are happy they will be taken out of the world. The people who believe the Rapture won’t happen, or won’t be Pre-Tribulation, think that Christians looking forward to it are delusional, wishful thinkers. This latter group sees the Rapture as being a phony “get out of jail free” card, an easy out for Christians too scared to go through the Tribulation. Both of these groups of people are missing the bigger picture. Let me tell you three facts about the Rapture:
1. The Rapture will happen.
2. The Rapture will be Pre-Tribulation.
3. The Rapture serves a much bigger purpose than most people give it credit for.
It is true that the Rapture is going to cause the sudden disappearance of Christians all over the world. But is that the main purpose of this event? No, not at all. God plans in a big way. The Rapture has three purposes:
1. To call out the Holy Spirit from the earth.
2. To call out believers from the earth.
3. To end the age of grace and begin the Tribulation.
At the risk of repeating what I have written in previous material, let’s go over this again. 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 is part of a letter written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica. This passage describes the sequence of events that must play out leading up to and going into the Tribulation. Before the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation, two significant events must occur.
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4: “Now we beseech (plead with) you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (the Rapture), 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 (the return of Jesus 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(the Rapture), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition(the antichrist); 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.”
(The phrase “a falling away” above was translated from the Greek word “apostasia,” which means “a departure.” In light of the context of this passage, as Paul mentioned “our gathering together” unto Jesus, this departure can only be viewed as referring to the Rapture, the departure of believers from the earth.)
The above Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ cannot return until after the antichrist is revealed. The antichrist cannot be revealed until after the Rapture has occurred. But why? What exactly is holding back the antichrist from revealing himself?
2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he (the antichrist) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth(hinders)will let(hinder), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”
The “he” that is holding back the antichrist from his moment of glory is the Holy Spirit. Why and when did the Holy Spirit come to earth?
The age of law had passed (Luke 16:16), and the Gospel of the Kingdom was presented to the Jews by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the disciples (Matthew 9:35, 3:2, 4:17, 10:5-7, Mark 1:14-15). This Gospel was exclusively for the Jews (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24). The Jews rejected this Gospel, and instead, they crucified their King (Jesus). After Jesus Christ resurrected and returned to Heaven, the Holy Spirit came down to earth to usher in the age of grace (Acts 1:8, 2:1-4). The Holy Spirit leads believers into truth (John 16:13), and the Holy Spirit also seals believers (Ephesians 1:13). This seal makes eternal salvation secure (Ephesians 4:30), and this seal is placed inside of everyone who believes on Jesus Christ in the age of grace. This age came with its own Gospel, as the Gospel of the Kingdom was put on hold due to the rejection of the Jews. The Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16) is the Gospel for the age of grace, it is directed at the Gentiles (non Jews) (Acts 13:46-47, Galatians 2:2, Ephesians 2:11-13), and it was given its own apostle in the form of Paul (Romans 11:13, Galatians 2:7-8, Ephesians 3:1-8). You could call this Gospel the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24). The age of grace must continue until God’s chosen number of Gentiles to be saved during this age is reached (Romans 11:25). When the age of grace comes to an end, the final period of time before the return of Jesus Christ can begin: The Tribulation.
During the Tribulation, simple belief on Jesus Christ will not save the soul of the believer. People who do not want to be cast into Hell will have to endure for Jesus Christ to the end, either of their lives or until the return of Jesus (Matthew 24:13). There will be many false prophets who will deceive people (Matthew 24:11). The antichrist will be worshipped because of his false prophet, who will work miracles, demand people to worship the image of the antichrist, and force people to take a mark in their foreheads or right hands (Revelation 13:14-17). People will have to see through all of these deceptions and choose not to follow after lies. Many of these people will be murdered (Revelation 20:4), but because of this, they will not be cast into Hell.
But why was this change made? Why can people no longer be saved by simple faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation like they were during the age of grace? The answer is this: The Holy Spirit will not be on earth anymore, and so there will be no seal here to secure the souls of believers. The Holy Spirit was sent down to earth to begin the age of grace, which operates according to the Gospel of Christ. When the Holy Spirit is called back to Heaven (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-7), the Gospel of Christ is going along with it. The Gospel of the Kingdom will return for the Tribulation (Matthew 24:14), and it must be preached to the whole world. The Jews rejected this Gospel before, and this will be their last chance to accept it.
A new age cannot begin until the previous age has ended. There must always be an event that signals the end of one age and the beginning of the next. The age of law ended when John the Baptist began his ministry (Luke 16:16). John taught the Jews to believe on Jesus (Acts 19:4), the King they were supposed to anticipate. Jesus and the disciples took this message to the Jews also. This age ended with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ushered in the age of grace. This period of time will continue until the full number of Gentiles to be saved has been reached. At that time, an event will be necessary to effectively end the age of grace and commence the Tribulation. Do you know what this event is yet? It is the Rapture. The Rapture will happen in an instant. Blink and you will miss it. Jesus Christ will descend partway out of Heaven, and He will call out the Holy Spirit. Because all believers saved during the age of grace were sealed with the Holy Spirit, all of these believers are going to Heaven along with the Holy Spirit. This event is very briefly described in 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1st Corinthians 15:51-53. When the Holy Spirit is taken off of the earth, the antichrist will have nothing holding him back from his revealing.
2nd Thessalonians 2:6-14: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he(the antichrist)might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth(hinders)will let(hinder), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Did you notice how Paul abruptly cut short his description of what will happen during the Tribulation? Do you know why Paul did not feel the need to discuss this topic anymore? Because Paul was the apostle to believers in the age of grace, and believers in the age of grace will not be on earth during the Tribulation. They will be gone before the antichrist is revealed.
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3: “Now we beseech (plead with) you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (the Rapture), 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 (the return of Jesus) is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first(the Rapture), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
If you want to learn details about the Tribulation, study the book of Revelation. Paul did not write this book, because this book was not directed at believers in the age of grace, as it concerns a future time when God will focus on the Jews and give them one last chance to accept the Gospel of the Kingdom. Being the apostle of the age of grace (and of the Gentiles), it was not Paul’s place to dwell on the Tribulation, a period of time directed at the unbelieving Jews. God used signs in the Old Testament to reach the Jews, because the Jews require a sign to believe that something is from God (1st Corinthians 1:22). The Old Testament, under the age of law, was characterized by signs which God gave unto the Jews. The New Testament, under the age of grace, does not find God using signs. Why not? The key component of the age of grace is faith.
Romans 3:24-27: “Being justified freely by his(God’s)grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”
Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
If God performed signs during the age of grace, people would believe on God because they could see the proof of His existence. This would diminish the need for faith, which God requires during the age of grace.
Hebrews 11:1: “Nowfaith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
God cannot be seen. Signs would be evidence of God’s existence. During the age of grace, people are blessed when they believe without seeing (John 20:29, 2nd Corinthians 5:7). Faith, not signs, is the evidence God uses to prove His existence to the world. There is another reason why God doesn’t use signs during the age of grace. Signs were God’s way of communicating with the Jews, and the age of grace is directed primarily at the Gentiles (Romans 11:25, Acts 28:28). Remember how I claimed that the Tribulation will be directed at the Jews? God will bring back the use of signs during this time (Matthew 24:29-30, Luke 21:11, 25). Prophets were also used by God to reach the Jews (Hebrews 1:1), and this ended when the age of law came to a close (Luke 16:16). The use of prophets will return during the Tribulation (Revelation 11:3-7). Do you want another connection between the Tribulation and the Jews? Towards the end of the Tribulation, God will pour out His wrath upon the earth (Revelation 16:1). God’s wrath is not meant for believers in the age of grace (Romans 5:9, 1st Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9). However, God’s wrath does have a connection to the Jews.
1st Thessalonians 2:14-16: “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
As of this writing, we are in the age of grace. Someday, without warning, the Rapture will occur. Everyone saved during the age of grace will accompany the Holy Spirit to Heaven, and God will remove His grace from the earth. The Tribulation will begin. The antichrist will be revealed. The Gospel of the Kingdom will return, along with signs and prophets, all methods that God used to reach the Jews. Finally, God’s wrath will be unleashed.
Do you understand why the Rapture is so important? The Rapture is not just God’s act of sparing believers the horrors of the Tribulation. That would be quite nice of Him, but believe me when I say that God has a much bigger purpose for the Rapture. Let me say it again: Every age must end with a specific event. As the age of grace set in and the apostles died off, it seemed that God went away. God has been quiet with mankind for 2,000 years, patiently waiting as the number of saved Gentiles climbs to the amount that God desires. One of these days soon, God is going to shake things up again. God is going to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to end the age of grace with the Rapture. Then God is going to look down from Heaven and say “Hey, all you Jews. Remember me?” I’m tired of “Christians” who don’t believe in the Rapture, as well as those who place this event at the wrong time in the future. Don’t you underestimate the Rapture. Open up your eyes and your understanding through the use of Scripture, and take a look at the bigger picture. God is the master planner, and the Rapture is one of His key moves.
The Tribulation and the Jews
I’m having a hard time letting this one go. There is more that needs to be said here, so we are going to keep chasing this rabbit. I have said repeatedly that the Tribulation is a time when God will focus on the Jews. Let’s find more proof of this. Stay with me. I am going to be throwing a lot of thoughts your way, some on topic, and some off.
In the Old Testament, Jacob was a very important person. Jacob was given the name Israel (Genesis 32:28), and the Jewish nation started with the twelve sons of Jacob (Genesis 35:22-26). This is why the Jews were referred to as “the children of Israel” and such throughout the Bible. Once the Jews came onto the scene and going forward, the Old Testament focused on the relationship between God and the Jews. Consider the following:
Amos 3:1-2: “Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
God had a special relationship with the Jews. This is something that is not fully understood by many “Christians” these days. These people make many mistakes by trying to apply Old Testament Scripture to believers in the age of grace. The Old Testament has passed. Scripture that was directed at the Jews is not directed at believers in the age of grace. When you read Old Testament Scripture, don’t assume that the Scripture is speaking to you. The bulk of this Scripture details God’s past dealings with the Jews. There is also prophecy concerning God’s future dealings with the Jews, which will occur during the Tribulation.
Romans 15:4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Old Testament Scripture is very valuable to believers in the age of grace. It is our only learning tool to understand history and the character of God. If all we had was the written material pertaining to the age of grace, we would have many questions about the past and the future. Instead, God has provided us with the most accurate history book ever written.
Tangent time: I am sick of people who ignore the Bible’s importance and say “The Bible was written by a bunch of men.” Give me a break. Have you taken a serious look at this book? A book like the Bible does not come together over the course of several thousand years without some divine help. Take Scripture’s ability to foretell future events, such as all of the prophecies that told of the coming of Jesus Christ and His death. So all of these different authors were making up stories, huh? They all crafted intricate books and letters, written hundreds, sometimes thousands of years apart from each other, that all fit together and formed one interlocking story? People in Bible times based their lives around these stories and teachings. People died for the sake of God and the Scriptures. These people held strongly to their beliefs because they saw proof of God. God doesn’t provide signs during this age, but He certainly did in the Old Testament, and that is why people took it so seriously. Let me tell you something: You have to be completely ignorant to mock the Bible. This book is not a hodgepodge of ramblings written by men. All of it was inspired by God (2nd Timothy 3:16), and that is why it fits together so perfectly and why it has lasted all this time. End of Tangent
So we have looked at how the twelve Jewish tribes started with the sons of Jacob, and then Old Testament Scripture was directed their way. Things shifted when Jesus Christ died on the cross and paved the way for the Gospel of Christ. The focus shifted from Jew to Gentile.
Ephesians 2:11-13: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
What happened? The Jews had always enjoyed a special relationship with God. How and why were Gentiles now being allowed at the dinner table? God had a purpose, and that purpose was mercy.
Romans 11:1-14: “I say then, Hath God cast away his people (the Jews)? God forbid. For I (Paul) also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”
Romans 11:25: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Romans 11:30-32: “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their (the Jews’) unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”
The Jews did not believe on Jesus Christ, and instead, they clung to Old Testament laws. Jesus Christ claimed to be “the truth” (John 14:6), and the Jews chose religion over truth.
Romans 9:30-32: “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;”
Romans 10:1-4: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Please read the following again:
Romans 11:5-7: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”
The Jews sought righteousness “not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” Eternal salvation is offered by God through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation relies on God’s grace, meaning that it is “no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.” The Jews failed to understand this, and even to this day, many of them choose religion over truth. They choose to be justified by their religious works rather than by faith in Jesus Christ. The age of grace focuses on the Gentiles, but has God turned His back on the Jews? Absolutely not. Scripture says “at this present time also there is a remnant (of Jews) according to the election of grace.” We are in the age of grace, and even though this age is focused on the Gentiles (Acts 28:28), there has always been a certain number of Jews to be saved during this age. They will be saved just like the Gentiles, by believing on Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). A remnant of Jews has been reserved for God during the age of grace, and there will be a remnant of Jews reserved during the Tribulation as well. Stay tuned for more on that.
Now, let’s jump forward in time. What happens when this age is over? As I have said many times, God will return His focus toward the Jews. Signs, prophets, and the Gospel of the Kingdom will return for the Tribulation, as God speaks to the Jews again. Let’s locate some Old Testament Scripture that connects the Tribulation to the Jews.
Jeremiah 30:7: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
The end of the Tribulation is referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. Remember that Jacob fathered the entire Jewish nation. This reference to Jacob tells us that the Tribulation has a strong connection to the Jews.
Joel 3:14-16: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
The phrase “the children of Israel” refers directly to Jews.
Joel 2:30-32: “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”
God will use signs to reach the Jews, because Jews require signs (1st Corinthians 1:22), and God has a remnant of Jews reserved to be saved during the Tribulation.
Micah 2:12: “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.”
Micah 4:6-7: “In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”
There were twelve original tribes that made up the Jewish nation. In the Tribulation, 12,000 Jews from each tribe will be sealed for God, creating a Jewish remnant of 144,000.
Revelation 7:4-8: “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”
God is not the only one interested in the Jews during the Tribulation. Satan will take a special interest as well. I think it is safe to say that it is a little-known fact amongst many people that Satan is not currently residing in Hell. Satan’s rightful place is still in Heaven, and he will be cast out during the Tribulation.
Revelation 12:7-12: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ), and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
For your consideration, here are two more verses that prove Satan’s easy access to Heaven:
Job 1:6-7: “Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
Job 2:1-2: “Again there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
We have this mental image of Satan being an angry red guy with horns and a pitchfork hanging out in the depths of Hell, but you can thank Hollywood for that image. Satan is not in Hell yet, and there is no Scriptural support for the idea that Satan is red. However, did you know that God Himself may be the one who is red?
Revelation 4:2-3: “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”
John was taken to Heaven in a dream, in order to be given a glimpse of what will occur during the Tribulation. That is not all John got to see. John saw God, and John wrote that it was like looking upon “a jasper and a sardine stone”. Folks, these are gemstones, and they just happen to be red in color.
Let’s think about this. Satan hates God, and God is red. Satan controls Hollywood, and Hollywood has bombarded us with the image of a red devil in movies and TV shows for many decades. I know this is not the point of this particular article, but I’m going there anyway. Do you think that perhaps, as a sly form of mockery against God, Satan has deliberately painted us a fake picture by pounding it into our collective subconscious that Satan is red? Do you understand what this ultimately equates to? Satan is saying that God is the devil. It’s all a joke, people. Think outside of the box. It’s time to stop letting Hollywood fill your head with its deceptive imagery. The true answers are in the Bible. Satan is not red, and if anything, he has a connection to the color green (The serpent in the Garden of Eden. The color of money. “Green with envy.” “Go green.” Aliens, who are actually fallen angels, are often pictured as being green.). And, as I said before, Satan is not in Hell. Scripture suggests that Satan goes back and forth between Heaven and earth as he pleases. As a further sidenote, why does Hollywood enjoy mocking and misrepresenting Jesus Christ in many of its films and television shows?
Hollywood is run by Jews. Do you remember who crucified Jesus? Do you think that all the mockery of Jesus Christ is just a coincidence? Media programming is just that: Programming. Someone wants to program the minds of the masses. The Jews didn’t believe on Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, and most of them still don’t in this present day and age. The unbelieving Jews that run Hollywood would like to turn the rest of the world’s population into unbelievers as well. How better to do that than by years and years of contrived character assassination against Jesus Christ forced onto the public through clever TV shows and big-time Hollywood productions?
Now let’s get back to where we were. So what will happen when Satan is thrown out of Heaven? Satan will be on earth, and he is going to wage war against the Jewish remnant sealed by God.
Revelation 12:13-17: “And when the dragon (Satan) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (the nation of Israel) which brought forth the man child (Jesus Christ). And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Satan is angry with the nation of Israel because Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Juda (Revelation 5:5). Remember that the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and crucified Him. During the age of grace, a remnant of Jews was/is to be saved for their belief on Jesus Christ. During the Tribulation, 144,000 Jews will be sealed for God. They “keep the commandments of God”, which seems to suggest that Moses’ law, which was written for the Jews, will play a part once again during the Tribulation. These 144,000 Jews also “have the testimony of Jesus Christ”, meaning that they have believed on Jesus. Satan will “make war with the remnant (the 144,000) of her (Israel’s) seed”.
Scripture repeatedly tells us that the Tribulation has a purpose for the Jews. Yes, God will deal with all unbelievers, but the Jews are the main focal point of this period of time. God is going to test His Jewish remnant by putting them through the greatest trial the world has ever seen. Think of this as tough love. God will prepare for Himself a worthy people who will have gone through the fire for Him. Recall how God allowed Satan to persecute Job in order to test Job.
Job 2:3-7: “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.”
When Satan is cast down from Heaven to the earth, think of it like God giving the Jews one final test. The Jewish remnant will be put through the fire for God, while the rest of the Jews will have a choice to make: Believe on Jesus Christ and refuse the antichrist, or choose to worship the beast. It’s a pass or fail test.
Thoughts on the Rapture and the Tribulation
I have a few more thoughts that I would like to share with you concerning the Rapture and the Tribulation. Nothing too deep, but points worth considering.
1. Not only do most people claiming to be Christians have a faulty or incomplete idea of what the Rapture and Tribulation are all about, so does the world at large. I looked at some critic reviews of “Left Behind” (the 2014 film), because I was curious to see what film critics had to say about the idea of the Rapture. Here is one quote I found interesting:
“And then there are those among Christian believers who feel that rapture, or, more accurately, ‘the rapture,’ is when all believers in Jesus will rise into Heaven to avoid the End Times and God’s seven-year period of passing judgment on the world to punish the corrupt evil-doers.” - screenit.com’s review of Left Behind
The general public doesn’t get it. They don’t understand the Rapture or the Tribulation either. Thanks a lot, Hollywood. I expected no better from you. People are missing the purpose of the Tribulation, which is to test the Jews. And no, it’s not simply “corrupt evil-doers” that God will be punishing, but rather those who did not believe on Jesus Christ. You see, there are details that people ignore.
2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9: “And to you (believers) who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (at the end of the Tribulation), In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
At the end of the Tribulation, unbelievers will be in big trouble. Not only did they refuse to believe on Jesus Christ, but they also fell for the lies of the antichrist and joined him. Let me show you how this plays out:
The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth.”
John 16:13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Believers in the age of grace are sealed with this Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit will be taken off of the earth just prior to the beginning of the Tribulation at the Rapture (2nd Thessalonians 2:7). Without the Spirit of truth on earth, what happens next?
2nd Thessalonians 2:8-12: “And then shall that Wicked (the antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders (the antichrist will use signs to copy God’s methods), And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth (Jesus Christ claimed to be “the truth” in John 14:6, and Paul’s Gospel was also called “truth” in verses such as Colossians 1:5), that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion (God sent the Holy Spirit to lead believers into truth, but during the Tribulation, God sends strong delusion), that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Revelation 16:13-15: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the beast (the antichrist), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (the antichrist’s version of the Holy Spirit, as Satan copies God’s methods again). For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I (Jesus Christ) come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Revelation 19:19-21: “And I saw the beast (the antichrist), and the kings of the earth, and their armies (the unbelievers on Jesus Christ who instead believed the strong delusion), gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (Jesus Christ), and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant (the unbelievers) were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
Christians, fake Christians, and unbelievers alike fail to understand that the Tribulation is not just God raining fire down on people because they are evil. It’s much deeper than that, so stop selling God short. A lot of these people also have an unclear idea of the Rapture. They don’t know who the Rapture is meant for. No, it’s not just for the “good” Christians, or for people who are living righteously. All true believers on Jesus Christ will be taken in the Rapture, believers who have placed their faith in Jesus plus nothing. Then the Tribulation begins, a period of time designed to test the Jews and perfect the faith of the Jewish remnant that will be sealed for God. This period of time ends with the destruction of all who rejected the truth of Jesus Christ.
Here is an argument that some
“Christians” use to prove that the Rapture cannot be Pre-Tribulation:
“Christians must still be on the
earth during the Tribulation. Who is going to be getting people saved if the
Christians are gone? Who will be spreading the Gospel?”
This is a weak argument made by
people who just haven’t taken the time to understand the Tribulation. First of
all, there is no such thing as “getting saved” during the Tribulation. Getting
saved is something you can do in the age of grace because simple belief on
Jesus Christ seals believers with the Holy Spirit. During the Tribulation,
there is no such thing as secure salvation (other than the 144,000 Jews that
God seals). People will have to endure in their faith to the end to be saved
(Matthew 24:13). Secondly, the Gospel that saves people in the age of grace (the
Gospel of Christ, Romans 1:16) is not the Gospel that will be in effect during
the Tribulation. Christians in the age of grace wouldn’t be able to spread
their Gospel during the Tribulation, because that Gospel will no longer work.
The Gospel of the Kingdom will be the correct Gospel (Matthew 24:14), and that
Gospel was never intended for believers in the age of grace, so they will not
be used to spread that Gospel. Who will spread the Gospel of the Kingdom during
the Tribulation? I think it’s a safe bet that this will start with the two
prophets who begin their ministries at the very beginning of the Tribulation
(Revelation 11:3-7). The
Gospel of the Kingdom began with John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2), and it will
return for the Tribulation when it is presented by the two prophets.They will have three and a half years to convince the
world to believe on Jesus Christ rather than the antichrist, and the miracles
they perform will surely help. After the three and a half years, the two
prophets will be killed. Perhaps the Gospel will have reached the entire world
at that point. If not, perhaps the Gospel will continue by way of the people
who came to believe on it during the time when the two prophets were still
alive. Either way, believers saved in the age of grace have no place in any of
this. They belong to a different age with a different Gospel, and they will be
in Heaven during the Tribulation.
I have talked about the
difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom versus the Gospel of Christ. Let
me show you an example of someone who believed on the Gospel of the Kingdom in
Luke 23:39-43: “And one of the malefactors which were hanged
railed on him (Jesus Christ), saying,
If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering
rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same
condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due
reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And
he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in
Jesus was not yet finished with
His mission, which was to die on the cross and present Himself as a sacrifice
for the sins of the world (Hebrews 10:12), having fulfilled the requirements of
the law (Matthew 5:17). The Gospel of Christ was not yet available. The Gospel
of the Kingdom was still the current Gospel in effect. This Gospel called for
Jews to believe that Jesus was the promised King of the Jews, the King who
would preside over the kingdom that was to be set up for the Jews. Jesus
Christ, John the Baptist, and the disciples delivered this Gospel of the
Kingdom to the Jews. The Gospel of Christ calls for people to believe in the
death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1st Corinthians
15:1-4). The apostle Paul mentions the Gospel of Christ here:
Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
Jesus Christ died for the sins of
the world and was raised again for the justification of believers (Romans
4:25). This is the Gospel of Christ. This Gospel makes no mention of a king or
a kingdom. What did the Gospel of the Kingdom always mention?
Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to
say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Look again at what the thief on
the cross next to Jesus said:
“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
This man believed that Jesus was
going to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. He believed the correct Gospel for the
time he lived in. This was the Gospel of the Kingdom. And what did Jesus say to
“Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
It’s important to understand that
there are different Gospels for different ages. Too many “Christians” create a
false gospel by trying to repeat the message that Jesus Christ took to the
Jews. The Gospel of the Kingdom called for repentance (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). This
repentance was a change of mind, and this change of mind was to believe on
Jesus (Acts 19:4), not as Savior, but rather as King. The Jews were supposed to
be anticipating their King, and the Gospel of the Kingdom was exclusively for
them (Matthew 10:5-7). When the thief on the cross said “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom”, he placed his
faith in the correct Gospel for that age, and Jesus Christ saved the man.
Some people insist that the
Holy Spirit will still be on earth during the Tribulation. The following is
“The answer is that during
the Tribulation the Holy Spirit is not removed from the earth, otherwise no
one else can be saved. The Bible tells us He will continue His salvation
work by initially sealing the 144,000 Jews to be evangelists
(firstfruits-Revelation 7 and 14:4).”
This does not make any sense. Here’s why:
A. The Holy Spirit seals believers in the age of grace
(Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). This is what makes salvation permanent for the
believer. Jesus Christ said that people must endure to the end to be saved during
the Tribulation (Matthew 24:13, Mark 13:13). There is no event that saves a
person in the Tribulation. Salvation will be dependant on works, or remaining
faithful to Jesus Christ. Therefore, you don’t just “get saved.” You have to
earn your salvation, and you won’t have it until you die for Jesus or Jesus
finds you faithful upon His return. The Holy Spirit does not play a part in
salvation during the Tribulation. Works are the key, not grace by faith.
B. The Holy Spirit does not seal the 144,000 Jews.
Revelation 7:1-4: “And after these things I saw four
angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of
the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on
any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four
angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying,
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the
servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the
number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty
and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
what is this seal?
Revelation 22:3-4: “And there shall be no more curse: but the
throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And
they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
The Holy Spirit is not the
seal, or the one doing the sealing. The angels seal the 144,000 Jews,
and this seal is the name of God written in theirforeheads.
So what, no one can follow after
God unless the Holy Spirit prompts them to? What do you think happened
throughout the Old Testament? People managed to follow after God without the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God used prophets to reach people, and God will
do the same during the Tribulation. This is why you have to test the answers
that you are given by people claiming to be teachers of the Bible. In this
case, the answer from letusreason.org is based on ridiculous claims that are as
easy to see through as a window.
As a sidenote, some people claim
that the Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament. While there are many
mentions of the Spirit of God coming into people, this Spirit did not come into
all of God’s people (the Jews in the Old Testament). The Spirit of God came
into certain people, namely God’s messengers, people such as David (1st
Samuel 16:13), Zechariah (2nd Chronicles 24:20), and Gideon (Judges
6:34). Now jump ahead to the New Testament. Before His crucifixion, Jesus
Christ hinted about the coming of the Holy Spirit.
John 7:37-39: “In the last day, that great day of the
feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me,
and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this
spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet
The Holy Spirit came down on the
day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4), and the Holy Spirit performs several function for
believers on Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit seals believers (Ephesians 1:13,
4:30), leads believers into truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13), and prays to God
on behalf of believers (Romans 8:26-27). The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, is uniquely
given to believers in the age of grace, and He will return to Heaven with
everyone He has sealed at the Rapture.