Disclaimer: It has often
been said that it is not relevant to our salvation when the rapture
occurs . I strongly disagree from what I read in the Bible. I
will continue peaceful attempts to persuade people through the
Scriptures. The need to be ready is the paramount concern
and purpose of this ministry. My position on the timing of
the rapture should not be seen as an act of hostility against
people who believe differently. Again, the purpose of this
ministry is to bring all believers to the state of readiness
commanded by the LORD Jesus. If you believe in a tribulation-ending
rapture or, like I refer to myself, are a "last day resurrectionist,"
then you understand the need to prepare yourself against the
deception that will cause many of the faith to fall away in the
last days. If you hold another view, then out of the love of
Christ I counsel you to study the scriptures about what is coming
upon the earth in the last days. If you do not you could be deceived.
Only those servants who are found watching will be praising God
when he comes.
will the rapture take place, before or after the tribulation?
Neither! The resurrection
will be on the last day of this age. The event of the resurrection
and subsequent wrath of God ends the time of tribulation and
begins the thousand year reign of Christ Jesus.
My answer to this question may surprise many of you considering
the popularity of the Left Behind series and movies. My initial
reply might be that given a choice, I would much rather prefer,
as I suppose most of you would, to be raptured before the times
of trial, known as the great tribulation by modern Christians
or as the desolation in the Bible. Who prefers severe trial over
protection from trials? With that said I begin with this scripture:For
the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them
a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want
to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn
aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure
hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties
of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3-5
My itching ears want
to hear that I will be raptured before the tribulation and my
flesh desires to believe this myth, but in reading scripture
thoroughly and in context, it is impossible to believe in this
myth with a clear conscience.
There are several errors in understanding end-time terms that
need to be cleared up before I conclude what God says on the
At the risk of sounding redundant,
this word doesn't exist in the Bible. Christians understand the
term to describe the experience of being taken up into the air
with all believers to meet Jesus Christ and be with him forever
more. I won't argue with that description because it is scriptural.
to the LORD's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive,
who are left till the coming of the LORD, will certainly not
precede those who have fallen asleep. For the LORD himself will
come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of
an archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead will
rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will
be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD
in the air. And so we will be with the LORD forever. 1 Thessalonians
rapture has become a story that has been stretched to mythical
proportions. I would like to take the opportunity to reintroduce
the word RESURRECTION into Christian teaching.
After all, it is the most essential doctrine of our faith.
if Christ has not been raised your faith is futile; you are still
in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are
lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to
be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised
from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through one man, the resurrection of the
dead comes also through one man. For as in Adam all die, so in
Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ,
the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
Then the end will come . . . 1 Corinthians 15:17-24
understand the true meaning of what takes place at the second
coming of Jesus Christ and the rapture (resurrection) read: APANTESIS
In short, the coming
salvation of Jesus Christ is our resurrection.
2) HOW MANY
as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;
and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but
to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Note: He APPEARS
a SECOND TIME to bring SALVATION to those who are
WAITING for him.
PERIOD (a.k.a. Great Tribulation): This term causes much
confusion. In the NIV translation the word tribulation occurs
only once, in Revelation 7:14. Both Jesus and Daniel refer to
this time as "the desolation."
you see the abomination that causes desolation'
standing where it does not belong - let the reader understand
- then let those who are in Judea flee . . . because those
will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God
created the world, until now - and never to be equaled again.
If the LORD had not cut short those days, no one would survive.
But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened
speaks of the desolation as unequaled in it's distress. He also
mentions the believers, the elect, in this context as being spared
complete annihilation in those days. By understanding that the
tribulation is the desolation spoken of by Daniel then we will
more readily comprehend it's purpose and meaning.
OF THE DESOLATION:
To punish Israel, for the last time, for her waywardness. God
will expend his wrath against Israel through her enemies, to
punish her for her sins, before redeeming her out of the hands
of her enemies when Jesus Christ comes.
warfare and exile you contend with her - with his fierce blast he
drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this,
then, will Jacob's guilt be atoned for, and this will
be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin: When he makes
all the altar stones to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces,
no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. The
fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken
like the desert; there the calves graze, there they lie down;
they strip its branches bare. When its twigs are dry, they are
broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this
is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion
on them, and their Creator shows them no favor. Isaiah 27:8-11"His
[anti-Christ] armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple
fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will
set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery
he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the
people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are
wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by
the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall,
they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere
will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may
be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the
end, for it will still come at the appointed time. The king will
do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every
god and will say unheard of things against the God of gods. He
will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for
what has been determined must take place." Daniel 11:31-36"When
you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that
its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee
to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those
in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of
punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How
dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing
mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath
against this people. They will fall by the sword and be
taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will
be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles
are fulfilled." Luke 21:20-24
In a nutshell: The desolation (tribulation) is the wrath of God
primarily focused against Israel and will be perpetrated by the
anti-Christ and the nations of the world.
LENGTH OF THE DESOLATION (TRIBULATION)?
Three and one half years. The myth that the tribulation will
be for seven years has been completely constructed upon a foundation
of just a half of one verse.
will confirm a covenant with many for one seven."
else do the scriptures specifically mention a seven year period,
and nowhere is it associated as the time span of the tribulation.
What we see in the second part of the verse is the anti-Christ
ending the daily sacrifice and setting up the abomination that
causes DESOLATION! This is a three and one half year period and
is confirmed very literally in the scripture below.
the middle of the seven he [anti-Christ] will put
an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the
temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation,
until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination
that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed
is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."
where do we as believers fit in? The resurrection of the saints
will be on the last day when Jesus makes his second appearance.
. . he [Jesus Christ] will appear a second time, not to
bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting
for him. Hebrews 9:28"As
for you [Daniel], go your own way till the end. You will rest,
and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive
your allotted inheritance." Daniel 12:13
when does Jesus come into the scheme of things? The signs of
the end of the desolation and his coming are clear from scripture.
He says that there will be signs in the sky and his sign will
appear in the clouds. It is then that we are to expect him. We
are resurrected at the time the LORD comes and pours out his
wrath upon the earth! This coming of the LORD marks the last
day of earth the way we know it and marks the beginning of the
millennial reign of Christ on earth.
. . and he [anti-Christ] will set out in a great rage to destroy
and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the
seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his
end, and no one will help him. At that time Michael, the great
prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a
time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning
of nations until then. But at that time your people -
everyone whose name is found written in the book - will
be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the
earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame
and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like
the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 11:44 - 12:3There
will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations
will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing
of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what
is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud
with power and great glory. When these things begin to take
place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption
is drawing near." Luke 21:25-28"Men
will tell you, There he is!' or Here he is!' Do not
go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will
be like lightening, which flashes and lights up the sky from
one end to the other . . . Just as it was in the days of Noah
. . . It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating
and drinking ,buying and selling, planting and building. But
the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from
heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on
the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who
is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go
down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back
for anything. Remember Lots wife! Whoever tries to keep his life
will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I
tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will
be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain
together; one will be taken and the other left."
"Where LORD?" they asked.
He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures
will gather." Luke 17:23-37
last verse above is in reference to:"I
am [God] against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from
the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel .
. . On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your
troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all
kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. Ezekiel 39:1-4
verses and a large volume of others (too numerous to reference
here) show that most of those who are not resurrected will be
killed and become food for the vultures. The coming of Jesus
Christ will be the violent overthrow of Satan's kingdom and the
establishment of his own kingdom.
is by no means an exhaustive work, for that you will have to
go to the Bible.
As you read the scriptures you will encounter numerous confirmations
of what I have told you here. I have tried to deal specifically
with just one question, but I understand the myriad of new questions
that will flood your minds. I will be forever grateful for the
opportunity to minister God's word to you as we search the scriptures