WHY THE RAPTURE BEFORE THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Nine Powerful Reasons
THIS COULD CONVINCE THE GREATEST DOUBTERS! THE CLIMATE OF OUR WORLD, SPIRITUALLY, POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY ARE ALL SET IN DIRECT ORDER FOR THE GREAT TRIBULATION TO BEGIN! But that Seven year period cannot start until the Son Of God removes HIS Bride. Here are nine powerful and clear Biblical principles for a “CATCHING AWAY” to occur and then, and only then, to open the door for Satan to be cast down to the earth. Satan will be free when Christ’s Bride is removed to reveal his Antichrist. The words “CATCHING AWAY” are perfect words to translate the English word Rapture from the Greek word “HARPOSA”. The word “HARPOSA” has all of the meanings which embodies the “RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS” out of the impending darkness. It is an endearment term with all the love of Christ for His Bride.
1. It Fits Biblical Precedence Of God’s Judgment For The Wicked! David was bold in his proclamation, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25) To suggest that God the Father will deny 6000 years of history and judge the church in the same horrible hour as the wicked doesn’t fit His character. The nature of the tribulation period, the final judgment of man’s wickedness, makes that suggestion even less likely. When the antediluvian world reached its zenith of debauchery and the Father was ready to pour out His wrath, Noah found grace, unmerited favor, in His eyes. Noah’s family was saved while the rest of mankind was completely obliterated. The law of first mention makes this event a powerful factor. Sodom and Gomorrah had descended into the mire of sexual perversion. There is a good possibility that a disease like AIDS was proliferating and God acted to stop the plague. The very geography of the landscape had to be cleansed by fire and destruction.
2. The Church Is To Be Judged Before The Wicked World Is Judged! Rather than positioning the church in the tribulation judgment, the Biblical warning is that judgment begins at the house of God. Privilege is always a factor in determining God’s judgment. He said . . . For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (St. Luke 12:48b) Apostle Peter, clearly distinguishing himself as a New Testament leader, warned, “For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God: (Remember, it was the Jewish nation that was first to be judged in the First Testament) and if it first begin at us (the Second Testament believers) what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (I Peter 4:17) Our judgment is of a different nature from the First Testament but clearly precedes that of both the Judgement of the Jewish and the Gentile world.
3. The Bride Of Christ Is To Be Presented Unto Himself In An Exclusive Ceremony Separate From All Other End-Time Events! Redemption is much, much more than fire insurance. The root and foundation of God’s love for the world and sending His only begotten Son is a desire to have a family. The family unit is the closest thing on earth to the heart of God, His very nature. The invitation to salvation is an invitation to a marriage feast and establishes a family relationship. Worship in its truest sense is a celebration of that family relationship with our spiritual priest; we celebrate His love until we can celebrate His presence. This marriage salvation is a betrothing experience that lives everyday in expectation of the wedding celebration. We are like a young virgin looking at His picture, as we anxiously anticipate His coming for the wedding. Jesus gave a parable that shows this awaiting virgin (St. Matthew 25:11-13). (MY DESCRIPTION! Ten virgins took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five had come under the intoxicating influence of worldliness and had let their lamps go out. Five had brightly glowing lights in their lamps. Those five went to the marriage and the door was shut. Remember, God also shut the door of the ark in Noah’s day.
4. His Absolute Promise To Keep His Faithful Bride From The Hour Of Tribulation! The Holy Scripture deals effectively with His assurance that this awful hour is not designed for His chosen. The prophet Isaiah described the final episodes with minute detail: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21) In the first verse of this quote he identified the Resurrection. Next, he calls for the chosen bride to enter with Him into her chambers (an appropriate nuptial place as she prepares for her presentation to the Groom) to be securely hidden away for a short moment until the wrath or rage of God is finished. The third verse of this text pictures the going forth of God’s righteous judgment to finish sin, disclose hidden life styles, and to give an equal response from God’s holiness to man’s evil actions.
5. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Is The Only Reasonable Explanation Of A Time When Some Are Taken And Some are Left! No sensible explanation can be given of St. Matthew 24 that excludes the warning of a sudden rapture that catches men unprepared. Jesus warned of the suddenness of that day, that only the Father knows the time and that the day was as Noah’s day, where men were eating, drinking, and giving in marriage. Then He said, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” (St. Matthew 24:40-41) He concluded the warning by saying: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (St. Matthew 24:42) To try to rearrange the Lord’s teachings and explain away this great truth borders on arrogance. When we suggest that the one being taken away is the wicked and the believer is left, then where is the wicked taken, and for what is the believer left? Any such explanation will be hard put to fit into the pattern of events. The word for “COMING” as used in this context is the Greek “PAROUSIA” not “APOLALUPSIS”. When “PAROUSIA” is used it means a coming to a specific place at a specific time for a specific meeting. It is personal. When “apokalupsis” is used as in verses 30 and 31 of this same chapter, it means the unveiling of His awesome holiness and glory. It is general rather than personal and relates to His return to fight the battle of Armageddon and to establish His kingdom.
6. Then He Warns Of A Specific Day Coming Unawares Of Which Only Those Watching Shall Escape! These verses are so crucial for establishing this great “Hope of the Church” that we must analyze them closely. “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth? Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:34-36) Christians are so casual today about what constitutes readiness for the Rapture that they make me tremble. Ask a given Sunday-morning crowd: “How many are ready to go?” And you will find it hard to see the un-lifted hands. Many have not been to church in weeks, maybe never tithe, do not read the Bible more than sporadically; and yet, they feel secure and ready. The only explanation is that we are living in the great apostasy. Please note Jesus’ warning: ” . . . take heed to yourselves.” He warned of an overcharged heart, surfeiting (reveling and rioting), drunkenness (giving opportunity to drunkenness), and the cares of this life. He said the day would come as a snare (trap) and catch men unaware. Satan is right now springing his carefully devised trap to keep the bride from her readiness for her Groom. Satan is furious with the thought of you and me in the nuptial chamber with our redeeming Prince.
7. The Law Of The Farmer Demands That The Harvest Be Gathered Before The Winter Begins! No vineyard dresser or tiller of the ground would think of laboring through the spring and summer only to leave the ripened harvest in the field as the winter arrives. A wise proverb of Solomon says, “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.” (Proverb 10:5) It contradicts everything my Father has provided and promised to suggest that He won’t gather His harvest of the world until the winter of divine retribution is in full swing. Isaiah is prolific in describing this harvest out of an impending winter of evil. He prophesied, “The righteous perisheth (escapes), and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away (removed), none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” (Isaiah 57:1) The words taken away literally mean to “collect as in harvest”. The next verse is a perfect picture of this harvest, safely cradled in her haven of rest, as evil spreads itself in defiance of the gathering storm. “He (bride) shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isaiah 57:2) That storm of evil is clearly described in the next three verses. “But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom do ye make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks?” (Isaiah 57:3-5)
8. The Holy Scripture Affirms Emphatically That The Antichrist Cannot Be Revealed Until A Restraining Force Is Removed! The church at Thessalonica received this word from Apostle Paul: “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, 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.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8) The word “withholdeth” in verse six and “letteth” in verse seven are identical and means to restrain or hold back. A picture emerges of this great and overwhelming force of evil that is ever ready to spread across God’s creation but is restrained because of an even greater power. It is like a reservoir of water held in check by a dam. If the dam is suddenly removed, the waters will flood the valley with great destruction. Don’t ever forget that there is an invisible church within the bosom of the visible church that will not bow to the Antichrist. This sanctified company has no other love but the one King. Any one else cannot purchase her, because she has no price. She has found the pearl of great price and forfeited all other wealth. As long as His chosen are here, the Antichrist cannot be revealed. Even the New Agers are saying that their “Age of Aquarius” cannot be realized as long as the defective seed (Christians) are filling the world with negative thought patterns (the gospel of Jesus Christ). They have suggested in their literature that we must be removed to a non-physical plane (their words) before the New Age can arrive. That is one message they got right.
9. Finally: The Lord’s Absolute Promise To Catch Away His Chosen To Meet Him In The Air! Apostle Paul said, “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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) What a climactic finish to an exciting search of Holy Scripture. The Lord isn’t sending Gabriel or Michael. He is coming Himself. You hear people say the word “rapture” is not in our Bible. To begin with, the Bible wasn’t written in English, so the only word from the English language in the Greek Bible is the word Hallelujah. As with many other words, the exact equivalent of Rapture is in the above two verses. The two words “caught up” are derived from a Greek word harpazo, which means “snatched up”. My Webster dictionary gives the meaning for rapture as “transported or to snatch away”. The original Greek goes much further than the simple but powerful meaning “to snatch up”. It means “to steal openly with no thought of hiding”. includes a removal by force in expectation of a hindering power. perfect words to describe the rapture of the church.
Satan is marshalling his forces in heaven (he is the prince of the power of the air) and on earth in his effort to stop the greatest exodus in human history. The exodus from Egypt was a Biblical foreshadow, but it pales in comparison, even as the animal sacrifice fails to rightly compare to Calvary. Jesus actually descends into the atmospheric heaven below the reigning powers of Lucifer. He then leads His resurrected and glorified army back through the evil dominion to the throne of God Himself. The triumph of that event leaves Satan weakened and Michael, with his armies, casting him out and down to earth. He will never leave the earth again until he is judged and cast into the bottomless pit. (Revelation 12)
Conclusion!Those who know and serve Jesus Christ as SAVIOR and LORD will be out of here before all TERROR is UNLEASED on this earth. I contend that the Rapture must transpire before the tribulation can begin. The gathering storm has shaken the faith of many. The fire of expectancy, of watching and waiting, of looking for His appearing, has gone out of many lives. Some are looking to build a kingdom here, while others are looking for great tribulations and planning how not to take the mark. I believe that the bride should look for His appearing, occupy His spiritual and invisible kingdom, and expect to be gone when the great “deceiver” is having one final fling. “Look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Jesus: St. Luke 21:28b)