For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself will 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.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing .
At an unknown hour and day our Lord Jesus will descend from heaven, while remaining in the air, he will call "Come Up Here" to his Bride, the Church, out from among this sinful world. Christ then takes the Bride to heaven for the 7 year wedding feast. The earthly reason for the removal of the Bride is to make way for 7 year tribulation, the rise of Antichrist and to fulfill Daniel’s final 70th week.
(Mat 25:13), (1 Thes 4:16-18), (1 Cor 15:51-54)
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
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 Corinthians 15:51-54
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
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“The Rapture is So Close!” :: By Matthew L. Rice
Published on: June 24, 2017 by RRadmin7 Category:General Articles, Kit Olsen
I am a Family Physician. Two or three years ago I had a delightful almost-100 year old WW2 veteran as my patient. Physically he was skin and bones but his mental status was untouched by time. His eyes would shine with joy!
During one visit, in the context of our current world situation, he stated with great enthusiasm: “The rapture is so close! It is so close! And just imagine, after it happens, there will be nothing left but Democrats!” I laughed so loudly that my nurse next door almost hit the big red emergency button!
I believe this brave patriot and brother in Christ was spot on. Please entertain a few conjectures with me!
Our Lord stated: “…this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Mt. 24: 34-35 and Lk. 21:32-33 NASB).
Both Matthew and Luke clarify which generation this is. It is the generation that sees the fig tree (Israel–and Luke adds: “and all the trees”—i.e. we Gentiles) put forth their leaves. It is the generation that finds itself at the end of the Braxton Hicks contractions, just as these prodromal (false labor) contractions transition into true labor cramps.
Let’s face it, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions, false prophets, plagues and solar phenomena have occurred throughout the Church Age. These are what Jesus calls “the beginning of birth pangs” (Mt. 24:8). But Jesus stated there will be a “this generation”–a terminal generation, if you will. But how do we determine what identifies the terminal generation?
As Norman Geisler once said: “A text taken out of its context is a pretext.” The context is that Jesus was speaking to Jews living in their homeland. If I might take the freedom to add my thoughts between His words: “This generation [of Jews in the land of Israel] will not pass away until all these things take place.” It could not have been the AD 33 generation because “all these things” didn’t take place then. So it must be the generation of Jews living in Israel that sees the signs of the end times (i.e “Summer”–Luke 21:30) occurring.
Of all the end-times signs Jesus enumerates, the least obvious may be the most profound: The re-founding of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948. If you were a Jew in Israel at the time of Messiah, being scattered to the four corners of the world would probably not have been foremost on your mind. But it happened, just as Jesus predicted it would, in AD 70 (Luke 19:43-44; 21:44).
It seems to me that this singular event started the prophetic clock ticking toward midnight. In it, multiple “last days” prophecies began their fulfillment. “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?” Isaiah 66:8. Yes, Israel May 14, 1948.
“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land” (Ezekial 36:24). “The establishment of the modern state of Israel indicates this has initially begun”[ii][ii]
So, if May 14, 1948 marks the beginning of the final generation, what exactly is the length of a generation? If we look to the Bible it gives us an interesting possibility. “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years” (Psalm 90:10). The World Health Organization states that the average lifespan of an Israeli is 82.5 years[iii][iii], (80.6 years for a male and 84.3 years for a female). It appears that God has blessed the Jews with much strength!
Now for some interesting math: Scripture teaches that Jesus will take his Church home before the seven year period of tribulation. Let’s say the terminal Israeli generation has an 80 year shelf life. AD 1948 + 80 years = AD 2028. AD 2028 minus seven years (the tribulation). Is AD 2021.
There is a danger in date-setting. Jesus was quite clear that no human knows the day or hour of His return for the church (Mark 13:32). He did, however, say that when we see the signs of His soon coming we can be sure that “summer is near” (Mt. 24:32). It would appear that we are on the verge of summer.
This leads to another question: How much of a generation must be living before one can say that that generation had all passed away? Does it mean >50% must be living when He returns or can it mean that He could wait until there was just one person left living from the 1948 generation? It seems to me more likely to be the former than the latter. Which would mean that truly any day now the church could be called home!
It does appear that we are “so close to the rapture!” to quote my WW2 friend above. How certain is it? Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Luke 21:33). In other words, the very ground you are standing on now and the air you are breathing is less dependable than Jesus’ words. He will come just as He said He would. And it appears His coming is soon (Revelation 22:6)! Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Matthew L. Rice
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The Spectacular Pre-Tribulation Rapture :: By Kit R. Olsen
Published on: June 22, 2017 by RRadmin7 Category:General Articles, Kit Olsen
“Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again.” (Isaiah 13:9; 24:19-20 emphasis added)
Scripture assures us through the prophet Isaiah that the “day of the Lord” is in reference to the seven-year Tribulation. Its purpose is to exterminate unrepentant sinners and destroy wickedness out of the earth for good. The judgments of the Tribulation will forever destroy the transgressions of the godless masses—“never to rise again.”
Another major purpose of the day of the Lord is to bring about worldwide revival through the efforts of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, specially anointed and protected by God (Revelation 7:1-4).
Furthermore, another crucially important objective of the Tribulation is to fracture the stubborn will of the Jewish nation—Israel (the holy people) and bring about national regeneration (Daniel 12:5-7). Those who remain rebellious will be eliminated, making it possible for an entirely new nation (which has been regenerated) to enter into the Millennium and be given the Promised Land by Jesus Himself. Once Israel recognizes Jesus as her Messiah, repents and cries out to Him, the Lord will return and the Tribulation will come to an end (Hosea 5:15; 6:1-3).
In the book of Revelation John is caught-up to heaven which is symbolic of the Church being caught-up to heaven before the Tribulation begins:
Revelation 4:1 – “After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, ‘Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.’”
It’s time for the Church to go home: The door in heaven is opened signaling that believers of the Church Age are about to be caught-up to heaven. When a voice of a trumpet says, Come up hither, it is the command for believers to be raptured, as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
The voice of the archangel will shout, Come up hither, and all living believers will be raptured; the dead in Christ will rise first to meet Jesus in the air. The Church is seen here in heaven, represented by the 24 elders and also as the myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands (Rev. 4:4, 10-11; 5:14). Yet, she is not seen again until chapter 19 of Revelation.
The Church is not seen during the Tribulation because she has been taken to heaven. Revelation chapter 4 begins with the statement, After these things—that is, after the Church Age.
Another indicator that the Church is not here during the Tribulation is this important sequence of Scripture: After each of the messages of the seven churches, God says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
But in Revelation 13:9, long after the events of chapter 4, God says, If any man hath an ear, let him hear. He leaves off the words what the Spirit saith to the churches because the Church is no longer on earth, she is with the Lord in heaven.
We also know the Church does not go into the Tribulation because of powerful symbols of her in the Old Testament. Enoch is a symbol of the Church because he was “caught away” just prior to the flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 5:24). Noah is a symbol of the Rapture because he was carried away to safety in the Ark before the flood came.
Another symbol of the Church in the Old Testament is Lot and his family. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit visited Abraham and told him that Sodom would be destroyed. Abraham tried to talk God out of destroying the city and begged that if just ten righteous people could be found in it that it would be spared (Genesis 18:20-33).
God agreed, but only one righteous man—Lot, was found. The Lord sent angels as His emissaries to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family. They acted on His behalf and forcibly took Lot, his wife and their two daughters out of Sodom before destroying Sodom, Gomorrah and the three other cities nearby in the valley of Siddim—Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (Zoar) as cited in Genesis 14:8.
“Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (Genesis 19:24-25)
We hear the words Come up hither again later in Revelation chapter 11; the Two Witnesses are raptured during the Tribulation. But that is the only rapture within the time span of the seven-year Tribulation prior to Christ’s Second Coming.
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, ‘Come up hither. And they went up into heaven in the cloud; and their enemies beheld them.’” (Revelation 11:12).
These are the major positions that exist regarding the Rapture. (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the correct one):
Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church before the start of the Tribulation.
Mid-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
Post-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church at the end of the Tribulation.
Pre-Wrath Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church near the end of the Tribulation just before the pouring out of the wrath of God through the seven bowl plagues (Revelation 16:1).
It is important to note that nowhere in Scripture do we read that the Tribulation is anyone else’s “wrath” other than God Almighty’s and His alone. The prophesied seven-year Tribulation is God’s wrath pouring down upon an out-of-control God-rejecting world.
The terror of the Antichrist fueled by Satan is a by-product of mankind’s rejection of God, and cannot be substantiated with Scripture as Antichrist’s, Satan’s and mankind’s wrath—unless one inserts extra-biblical ideas into the text creating a false doctrine.
And there is another major and obvious problem with any of the Rapture positions outside of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture:
Jesus does not make any appearances in Scripture during the Tribulation until the marriage of the Lamb in chapter 19 which eliminates the idea of the Rapture event taking place anytime other than prior to the Tribulation.
Jesus comes to earth before the Tribulation begins to take His Church off the planet, and He returns at the end of the Tribulation at the Second Coming with His Church (Revelation 19:11-14).
The rapture of Enoch and Elijah are symbolic of the Church being raptured before Daniel’s Seventieth Week (the Tribulation) begins. These biblically recorded events are symbolic of the Church being removed before the God pours out his wrath upon the godless inhabitants of earth—the unsaved masses that remain after the Rapture of the Church.
The rapture of Enoch is not specifically called a rapture but from the following Scripture we can see that he was raptured. The Scripture simply says, “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire in a whirlwind: “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11).
It appears that Elijah boarded the chariot of fire which was then carried up into the sky by a whirlwind—God’s whirlwind. We cannot know exactly what chariots of fire or horses of fire are, but they are cited a number times in Scripture (2 Samuel 22:11; 2 Kings 6:17-18; Psalm 68:17; 104:3; Isaiah 66:15; Jeremiah 4:13; Ezekiel 1:4-28; 10:1-22).
The promise to the church of Philadelphia to be kept from the “hour of trial” is a promise of being raptured before the start of the Tribulation.
“Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10 emphasis added)
Daniel’s Seventieth Week is the “hour of trial” and all believers of the Church Age must be taken out before it begins because that is the time when God pours out His judgments—His wrath.
The promise that “God appointed us not for wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9), is a confirmation that true Christians must be raptured prior to the start of the Tribulation.
Another important point is this: The twenty-four elders seen in chapters four and five of Revelation represent believers of the Church Age—which means that the Rapture must take place by Revelation chapter four—before the Tribulation (the day of the Lord) begins.
Footnote: “Anyone who loves God’s chosen people will want to read Kit’s book, Israel’s Guaranteed Future Glory. The most recent May 2017 edition includes a powerful, updated Presidential Inaugural chapter and additional information of historical value. Kit’s wonderful book highlights the State of Israel showing that God’s prophetic promises have not been broken, and that He still has a plan for mankind.
The history of the Jews proves the validity of His Holy Word; and the geopolitical climate unfolding today falls in line with God’s prophetic messages. Kit has been my dedicated editor/writer for the site since 2012. I am very pleased to share some of her additional work with our readers and feature her new book on the site in our Recommended Resource Section.” –Todd Strandberg