When Will the Rapture Happen?

August 12, 2016   |   Category: Transcripts   |   Tags:

When Will the Rapture Happen?

Purchase When Will the Rapture Happen by Irvin Baxter

When Will the Rapture Happen?

Part A

OUR SUBJECT TODAY, WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE HAPPEN? EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW, IS THE RAPTURE GOING TO BE BEFORE THE TRIBULATION, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIBULATION OR AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION.

 

THIS IS ACTUALLY THE QUESTION THAT WE RECEIVE MOST HERE AT ENDTIME MINISTRIES. I GUESS ONE OF THE REASONS WE RECEIVE THIS QUESTION IS BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW THAT I BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH WILL BE ON THE EARTH DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION. NOW, FIRST OF ALL, BELIEVING IN A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE OR A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE IS NOT A SALVATION ISSUE. ANY OF US COULD BE SNATCHED OUT INTO ETERNITY WITHOUT A MOMENT’S NOTICE TODAY. THEREFORE, THIS QUESTIONS SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO BECOME A CAUSE FOR DIVISION AMONG CHRISTIANS. AND THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT.

 

I PUBLISHED ENDTIME MAGAZINE FOR 21 YEARS, AND EVEN THOUGH I BELIEVE IN A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE, I’VE NEVER PUT THAT IN OUR MAGAZINE BECAUSE I WANTED ENDTIME MAGAZINE TO BE A SOUL-WINNING TOOL, NOT A DEBATING FORUM. SO THEN, THE QUESTION RISES, SO WHY ADDRESS IT NOW, AFTER ALL THIS TIME? WELL, THERE’S A REASON? ALL THE PROPHETIC FULFILLMENTS ARE CONVERGING TOGETHER TO INDICATE THAT WE’RE VERY CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THAT FINAL SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD CALLED DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK. SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THE ENTIRE SEVEN YEARS IS THE GREAT TRIBULATION, OTHERS SAY NO, THE GREAT TRIBULATION IS THE LAST HALF, THREE AND A HALF YEARS. REGARDLESS, IT LOOKS LIKE WE’RE REAL CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THAT TIME. CONSEQUENTLY, IT’S STARTING TO AFFECT EVERYTHING WE DO.

 

NUMBER ONE, IT AFFECTS THE MINDSET OF THE CHURCH. SHOULD WE BE PREPARING TO DISAPPEAR SUDDENLY IN A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE? OR, SHOULD WE BE GEARING UP FOR THE GREATEST EVANGELISTIC THRUST THE CHURCH HAS EVER KNOWN AS THESE PROPHETIC EVENTS PROGRESS. WE SHOULD BE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THEM, SHOWING PEOPLE LOOK, WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD RIGHT NOW IS PROPHESIED IN THE BIBLE.

 

NOW, THE SECOND THING THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT IS THE DANGER OF INCORRECT BELIEFS. LET’S SAY THAT YOU’RE PRE-TRIBULATIONAND IT’S NOT TRUE. SOME PEOPLE ARE SO ADAMANTLY PRE-TRIB THAT IF THE MARK OF THE BEAST SHOWED UP TODAY, THEY WOULD TAKE IT. THEY WOULD SAY, “WELL, THIS CAN’T BE THE REAL MARK OF THE BEAST BECAUSE I WON’T BE HERE AT THAT TIME. THIS MUST SIMPLY BE A PRECURSOR. CONSEQUENTLY, IF THEY HOLD TO THAT DOCTRINE TOO STRONG AND IT’S INCORRECT, THEY COULD INADVERTENTLY TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST. NOW, THIS WOULD RESULT IN THEM BEING FOREVER DAMNED, OBVIOUSLY. SO, THAT’S ANOTHER REASON WHY. SO, IT’S IMPORTANT AS WE ENTER TIMES IMMEDIATELY AHEAD THAT WE REALLY KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS. SO, LET’S LOOK AT WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY SAYS ABOUT WHEN THE RAPTURE WILL TAKE PLACE.

 

LET’S SET ASIDE PRECONCEIVED IDEAS. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE COMMENTARIES SAY OR ANYONE SAYS, IT MATTERS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, AND THE BIBLE’S REAL CLEAR ON THIS POINT. SO, THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TODAY. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT.

 

NOW, BEING PRIVILEGED TO BE BORN INTO A WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN HOME, I WAS TOLD THAT THE RAPTURE WOULD TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE TRIBULATION, AND THEN THERE WOULD BE SEVEN YEARS OF GREAT TRIBULATION. SO, I GREW UP BELIEVING IN A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I WAS TOLD WAS TRUE. BUT WHEN I BEGAN TO TRAVEL AS AN EVANGELIST HOLDING REVIVAL MEETINGS, I WOULD OFTEN PREACH THAT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH COULD OCCUR AT ANY MOMENT. HOWEVER, THERE WERE SOME SCRIPTURES THAT BOTHERED ME ABOUT THAT STATEMENT. SO, I BEGAN TO STUDY.

 

THE FIRST PLACE I WENT WAS TO THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, AND THAT’S THE BEST PLACE, OF COURSE, TO GO. THE MOST FAMOUS PROPHECY CHAPTER OF THE ENTIRE BIBLE, MATTHEW CHAPTER 24, WHEN DID JESUS SAY THE RAPTURE WOULD OCCUR? HERE IS IT MATTHEW 24, VERSE 29 THROUGH 31, LISTEN TO JESUS.

 

“IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS SHALL THE SUN BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, AND THE STARS SHALL FALL FROM HEAVEN, AND THE POWERS OF THE HEAVENS SHALL BE SHAKEN. AND THEN SHALL APPEAR THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN: AND THEN SHALL ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH MOURN, AND THEY SHALL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY. AND HE SHALL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH A GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET, AND THEY SHALL GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER.”

 

OKAY, JESUS SAID, “IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS SHALL THE LORD SEND HIS ANGELS WITH THE GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET, AND THEY SHALL GATHER THEM TOGETHER. THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO ANOTHER.”

 

I SAID TO MY DAD, “DAD, IT SAYS RIGHT HERE, ‘IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION.'”

 

WELL, DAD WAS NOT A PROPHECY SCHOLAR, HE COULDN’T ANSWER ME. AND SO, EVERY TIME A MINISTER WOULD COME THROUGH HE WOULD SAY, “ASK HIM.”

 

SO, I WOULD — WE HAD ALL KINDS OF INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS AROUND OUR HOME OVER THIS ISSUE BECAUSE I FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO KNOW. WELL, THE MOST FAMOUS ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS BEING THE RAPTURE IS THEY SAY, “BUT HE’S GOING TO GATHER THE ELECT, THE ELECT IS THE JEWS.”

 

BUT IS IT? WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THAT? I LOOKED UP THE WORD ELECT IN MY CONCORDANCE. IT’S 13 TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. AND TO MY AMAZEMENT IT NEVER REFERRED TO THE JEWS ONE TIME. IT ALWAYS REFERRED TO THE CHURCH, A COUPLE OF TIMES IT REFERRED TO ANGELS. BUT LET ME GIVE YOU SOME SAMPLE SCRIPTURES.

 

COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 3, VERSE 12, PAUL WROTE AND SAID, “PUT ON THEREFORE, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING.”

 

WHO IS HE TALKING TO HERE? HE’S TALKING TO THE COLOSSIAN CHURCH. SO THEN, HE CALLS THEM THE ELECT. AND THEN HE WRITES TO THE CHURCH IN ROME IN ROMANS 8:33, AND HE SAYS, “WHO SHALL LAY ANYTHING TO THE CHARGE OF GOD’S ELECT? IT IS GOD THAT JUSTIFIETH.”

 

SO, HE AGAIN IS SPEAKING TO THE CHURCH CALLING THEM THE ELECT. THEN FINALLY, IN ROMANS CHAPTER NUMBER 11, VERSE 7, THIS IS REALLY CLEAR. “WHAT THEN? ISRAEL HATH NOT OBTAINED THAT WHICH HE SEEKETH FOR; BUT THE ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, AND THE REST WERE BLINDED.”

 

SO, IT PLAINLY SAYS HERE, “ISRAEL HAS NOT OBTAINED IT, BUT THE ELECTION HAS,” WHICH DISPROVES COMPLETELY THAT ISRAEL IS NOT THE ELECT, THE ELECT IS THE CHURCH. WHEN HE GATHERS HIS ELECT, HE’S COMING TO GATHER HIS CHURCH.

 

NOW, FURTHER ON IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW THERE’S COMMENTARY ABOUT THIS SAME COMING. I MEAN, THE COMING HERE IS IN VERSE 31, BUT IN VERSE 36 IT SAYS, “BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NO, NOT THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, BUT MY FATHER ONLY. BUT AS THE DAYS OF NOAH WERE, SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

 

NOW, THESE ARE SCRIPTURES THAT PEOPLE USE TO PREACH A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE. BUT THIS IS COMMENTARY ABOUT THE GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM THAT’S MENTIONED IN VERSE NUMBER 31. THIS IS SIMPLY A CONTINUATION OF THE NARRATIVE HERE.

 

HE GOES ON TO SAY IN VERSE 38, “FOR AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH THAT WERE BEFORE THE FLOOD THEY WERE EATING AND DRINKING, MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE, UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOE ENTERED INTO THE ARK, AND KNEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME, AND TOOK THEM ALL AWAY; SO SHALL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

 

WHICH COMING? THE COMING I JUST MENTIONED IN VERSE NUMBER 31. SO, ALL OF THESE PASSAGES POINT RIGHT BACK TO THE COMING OF THE LORD THAT HAPPENS, “IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS.”

 

IT GOES ON TO SAY IN VERSE NUMBER 40 OF MATTHEW 24, “THEN SHALL TWO BE IN THE FIELD; THE ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT. TWO WOMEN SHALL BE GRINDING AT THE MILL,” ALL OF THE SUDDEN, “ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT. WATCH THEREFORE: FOR YE KNOW NOT WHAT HOUR YOUR LORD DOTH COME.”

 

ALL OF THIS I HAD HEARD ALL OF MY LIFE USED TO PREACH A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE. BUT WHEN I SAW IT IN THE BIBLE, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY COMMENTARY ABOUT THE RAPTURE THAT TAKES PLACE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS IN MATTHEW 24, VERSE NUMBER 29 THROUGH 31. WELL, I HAD SERIOUS QUESTIONS NOW, AND I WAS TRYING TO FIND THE ANSWERS TO IT. THEN, I WENT BACK BEFORE VERSE 29 THROUGH 31, AND I BEGAN TO LOOK AT WHAT JESUS WAS SAYING TO THEM THAT WOULD HAPPEN DURING THE TRIBULATION.

 

NOW, THE TRIBULATION BEGINS AT VERSE 15 AT THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. VERSE 21 SAYS, “FOR THEN SHALL BE GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS NEVER HAS BEEN BEFORE, NO, NOR AGAIN SHALL BE.”

 

IN VERSE 23, JESUS TALKING TO HIS CHURCH, HIS DISCIPLES, SAID TO THEM, “THEN IF ANY MAN SHALL SAY UNTO YOU, LO, HERE IS CHRIST, OR THERE,” NOW, THIS IS DURING THE TRIBULATION, “BELIEVE IT NOT. FOR THERE SHALL ARISE FALSE CHRISTS, AND FALSE PROPHETS, AND SHALL SHEW GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS; INSOMUCH THAT, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT.”

 

JESUS SAID, “DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF DECEPTION.”

 

VERSE 25, “BEHOLD, I HAVE TOLD YOU BEFORE. WHEREFORE IF THEY SHALL SAY UNTO YOU, BEHOLD, HE IS IN THE DESERT,”

 

MESSIAH’S OUT IN THE DESERT, HE SHOWED UP, THE SECOND COMING IS HAPPENING, HE’S OUT THERE DOING MIRACLES.

 

WHEN THEY SAY, “HE IS IN THE DESERT, DON’T GO FORTH,” OR THEY SAY, “BEHOLD, HE IS IN THE SECRET CHAMBERS; DON’T BELIEVE IT,” VERSE 27.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU NOT BELIEVE THOSE REPORTS? BECAUSE THE MESSIAH’S NOT COMING BACK THAT WAY. WHEN I COME BACK, VERSE 27 SAYS, “AS THE LIGHTNING COMEST OUT OF THE EAST, AND SHINETH EVEN UNTO THE WEST; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

 

I’M NOT GOING TO BE BORN IN A STABLE AND LAIN IN A MANAGER THIS TIME, I’M NOT GOING TO SLIP IN THE BACK DOOR OF THE WORLD. WHEN I’M COMING NEXT TIME, I’M COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. I’M COMING WITH THE SOUND OF A GREAT TRUMPET AND EVERY EYE SHALL BEHOLD ME. SO, AS THE LIGHTNING FLASHES OUT OF THE EAST, EVEN UNTO THE WEST, “SO SHALL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

 

THIS IS COMMENTARY, HE’S TALKING TO THEM ABOUT DURING THE TRIBULATION. NOW, IF WE’RE ALREADY RAPTURED BY THEN, WE’RE NOT EVEN GOING TO BE HERE? WHY IS HE WARNING US NOT TO BELIEVE THESE FALSE REPORTS ABOUT THE APPEARING OF THE MESSIAH? OBVIOUSLY JESUS KNEW THE CHURCH WOULD BE HERE DURING THAT TIME.

 

NOW, LET’S LOOK AT ANOTHER ANGLE FROM WILL THE CHURCH BE HERE DURING THE TRIBULATION? IN REVELATION CHAPTER NUMBER 20, VERSE NUMBER 4, THERE’S SOME COMMENTARY ABOUT THE FIRST RESURRECTION. LISTEN TO IT.

 

AND JOHN SAID, “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.”

 

NOW, HE’S TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE THAT HAD NOT TAKEN THE MARK, THEY HAD NOT WORSHIPPED THE BEAST. AND IT GOES ON TO SAY THAT THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS. “BUT THE REST OF THE DEAD LIVED NOT AGAIN UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS WERE FINISHED. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION.”

 

I SAID, “WAIT A MINUTE.”

 

NOW, I WAS STILL PRE-TRIB AT THIS TIME, WHEN I SAW THIS PASSAGE. AND THE PEOPLE THAT DID NOT TAKE THE MARK, THAT DID NOT WORSHIP THE BEAST DURING THE TRIBULATION. IT SAYS THAT THEY’RE RESURRECTED. AND WHEN THEY ARE, THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. AND I REMEMBER THINKING, IF THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION, WHEN’S MY RESURRECTION THAT I’VE BEEN PREACHING HAPPENED SEVEN YEARS BEFORE THIS? I UNDERSTOOD RIGHT THEN THAT ALL MY QUESTIONS ABOUT MATTHEW 24 WERE VALID QUESTIONS. HE GOES ON TO SAY HERE IN VERSE NUMBER 6 OF REVELATION 20, “BLESSED AND HOLY IS HE THAT HATH PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION: ON SUCH THE SECOND DEATH HATH NO POWER, BUT THEY SHALL BE PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST, AND SHALL REIGN WITH HIM A THOUSAND YEARS.”

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IF THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION, THERE WASN’T A RESURRECTION SEVEN YEARS PRIOR TO THIS BECAUSE THIS WOULD NOT BE THE FIRST ONE, THIS ONE THAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS. WELL, I KEPT STUDYING BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE SURE. I WENT TO II THESSALONIANS CHAPTER NUMBER 2, VERSE NUMBER 1. THE APOSTLE PAUL WAS RESPONDING TO A TEACHING THAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE THESSALONICA CHURCH. THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE TEACHING THAT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST WAS IMMINENT. IT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. WELL, THE APOSTLE PAUL KNEW THAT WAS NOT TRUE, THERE WAS GOING TO BE A BIG LETDOWN, SO HE WROTE TO THE THESSALONICA CHURCH TO CORRECT THIS INCORRECT TEACHING.

 

NOTICE HERE IN II THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2, VERSE 1, PAUL SAID, “NOW WE BESEECH YOU, BRETHREN, BY THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND BY OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM, THAT YE BE NOT SOON SHAKEN IN MIND, OR BE TROUBLED, NEITHER BY SPIRIT, NOR BY WORD, NOR BY LETTER AS FROM US, AS THAT THE DAY OF CHRIST IS AT HAND,” OR IS IMMINENT. “LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS: FOR THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, EXCEPT,” TWO THINGS HAPPEN, “THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, AND THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, THE SON OF PERDITION,” REFERRING TO THE ANTICHRIST.

 

NOW, NOTICE IN VERSE NUMBER 1, WHAT’S THE SUBJECT? “I BESEECH BY THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM,” WHICH TAKES PLACE AT HIS COMING. SO, THE SUBJECT IS “OUR,” THE CHURCH’S, “GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM.” THEN HE SAID, “THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME,” VERSE 3, “EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST.” NOW, I BELIEVE THE FALLING AWAY IS THE DARK AGES. REMEMBER THIS IS THE APOSTLE PAUL SPEAKING IN THE FIRST CENTURY. WE HAVE THIS PERIOD OF TIME FROM ABOUT 500 A.D. UNTIL ABOUT 1500 A.D., PEOPLE COULDN’T EVEN HAVE BIBLES. IT WAS AGAINST THE LAW TO HAVE A BIBLE. THE PRIEST DIDN’T WANT PEOPLE READING THEIR BIBLES, THEY FELT LIKE THE PEOPLE WOULD GET SO CONFUSED. WELL, THEY WOULD BECAUSE WHAT WAS BEING TAUGHT IN THE CHURCH BY THAT TIME WAS NOT THE SAME THING AS WAS BEING TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE. SO, THEY DIDN’T EVEN WANT THEM TO HAVE THEIR BIBLES. SO, IT WAS A TIME OF DARKNESS, PLUS MOST PEOPLE COULDN’T READ OR WRITE ANYWAY AT THE TIME IN ORDER TO READ THEIR BIBLES. PLUS, THEY WERE TOO EXPENSIVE BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL HAND PRODUCED AND NO ONE COULD AFFORD THEM. CONSEQUENTLY IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THAT THERE WAS A GREAT FALLING AWAY. HISTORY CALLS IT THE DARK AGES. I BELIEVE THAT’S WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL FORESAW HERE. HE SAID, “THAT DAY WILL NOT COME EXCEPT THERE WILL COME THIS FALLING AWAY FIRST, AND THEN THE MAN OF SIN, THE ANTICHRIST, WILL BE REVEALED. SO, UNTIL THE ANTICHRIST IS REVEALED, OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM WILL NOT TAKE PLACE. NOW, THINK ABOUT THAT. THIS IS WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL IS TEACHING US.

 

NOW, LET’S LOOK AT THE TWO MOST FAMOUS ACCOUNTS OF THE RAPTURE IN THE BIBLE. IN I THESSALONIANS 4, VERSE 16 THROUGH 17, THE 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.”

 

NOW, HERE’S A RESURRECTION BECAUSE THE DEAD IN CHRIST ARE GOING TO RAISE FROM THE DEAD FIRST, THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN WILL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. SO, THIS IS THE RESURRECTION. IF THE FIRST RESURRECTION HAPPENS AFTER THE TRIBULATION, THEN THIS HAS TO HAPPEN AFTER THE TRIBULATION, WHICH I BELIEVE IT DOES. SO, NOTICE HERE, THE DEAD IN CHRIST RISE FIRST, THEN CHRISTIANS THAT ARE STILL ALIVE ON THE EARTH WILL BE CHANGED FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY AND BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM, ALL TOGETHER, TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. THE OTHER MOST FAMOUS PASSAGE IS I CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15, VERSE 51. PAUL AGAIN WRITING, “BEHOLD, I SHEW 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.” NOTICE THERE WAS A TRUMPET IN I THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4, HERE IT IS AGAIN. NOTICE THERE’S A TRUMPET IN MATTHEW CHAPTER NUMBER 24, VERSE 29 THROUGH 31. EVERY TIME THERE’S A TRUMPET. “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.”

 

WELL, THAT BRINGS UP A QUESTION. IT SAYS THIS RAPTURE IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT THE LAST TRUMP. WHEN IS THE LAST TRUMP? WELL, THE LAST TRUMP IS TAUGHT IN REVELATION CHAPTER NUMBER 11 AND VERSE NUMBER 15. LISTEN TO THIS. YOU KNOW THERE ARE SEVEN TRUMPETS THAT SOUND IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION, THE SEVENTH ONE, THE LAST ONE SOUNDS, LISTEN TO REVELATION 11:15, “AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED; AND THERE WERE GREAT VOICES IN HEAVEN, SAYING, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER.” NOW, IT’S AT THE LAST TRUMP WHEN JESUS COMES, PUTS DOWN THE THRONES OF MEN, AND IS CROWNED THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. SO, THIS IS THE ACCOUNT OF HIM SETTING UP HIS KINGDOM. NOW, IF THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AT THE SAME TIME, THEN THIS ALL FITS BECAUSE THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AT THE LAST TRUMP. AND THAT’S ALSO WHEN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD WILL BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST. SO, ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES AGREE. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION HE’S COMING, THE FIRST RESURRECTION HAPPENS AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HERE WE SEE IT AGAIN, THE LAST TRUMPET HAPPENS AFTER THE TRIBULATION WHEN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND HIS CHRIST. HE GOES ON TO SAY HERE IN REVELATION CHAPTER NUMBER 11, VERSE 18 AND 19, “AND THE NATIONS WERE ANGRY,” THIS IS AT THE LAST TRUMP, “AND THY WRATH IS COME, AND THE TIME OF THE DEAD, THAT THEY SHALL BE JUDGED, AND THAT THOU SHOULDEST GIVE REWARD UNTO THY SERVANTS THE PROPHETS, AND TO THE SAINTS,” YOU MEAN THAT HAPPENS AT THE LAST TRUMP WHEN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST? THAT’S WHAT IT SAYS RIGHT HERE. “AND THEM THAT FEAR THY NAME, SMALL AND GREAT; AND SHOULDEST DESTROY THEM WHICH DESTROY THE EARTH. AND THE TEMPLE OF GOD WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN, AND THERE WAS SEEN IN HIS TEMPLE THE ARK OF HIS TESTAMENT: AND THERE WERE LIGHTNINGS, AND VOICES, AND THUNDERINGS, AND AN EARTHQUAKES, AND GREAT HAIL.”

 

YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THAT MANY TIMES AT THE TIME OF THE RAPTURE, OVER AND OVER AGAIN. SO, IT’S AT THE LAST TRUMP WHEN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND HIS CHRIST. SO, LET’S THINK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW. ALL RIGHT, WE’VE LOOKED AT MATTHEW CHAPTER NUMBER 24 WHEN JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF SAID, “THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS SHALL THE SUN BE DARKENED, THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT. THEN SHALL APPEAR THE SIGN OF THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN, AND HE WILL GATHER HIS ELECT.”

 

WE SHOWED YOU THE ELECT IS THE CHURCH. AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THAT, IMMEDIATELY WE GO INTO

 

Part B

WE’RE CONTINUING OUR STUDY, WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE HAPPEN? LET’S QUICKLY REVIEW WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR FIRST SEGMENT.

 

ONE, JESUS TAUGHT THE RAPTURE WOULD OCCUR IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION, MATTHEW 24: 29 THROUGH 31.

 

TWO, WHEN THOSE KILLED DURING THE TRIBULATION ARE RESURRECTED, THE BIBLE SAYS, “THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION,” REVELATION 20, VERSE 4 THROUGH 6.

 

NUMBER THREE, OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM CANNOT HAPPEN UNTIL THE ANTICHRIST IS REVEALED. THAT’S II THESSALONIANS 2, VERSE 1 THROUGH 3.

 

AND NUMBER FOUR, THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AT THE “LAST TRUMP” WHEN THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD AND HIS CHRIST. THAT’S I CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15 AND REVELATION CHAPTER NUMBER 11, VERSE 15 THROUGH 19.

 

NOW, TODAY WE’RE GOING TO LOOK, OR AT LEAST IN THIS SEGMENT WE’RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS. THIS IS SUCH AN INTERESTING PASSAGE, AGAIN, SPOKEN BY JESUS HIMSELF, MATTHEW CHAPTER 13, VERSE NUMBER 24. LISTEN TO IT, “ANOTHER PARABLE PUT HE FORTH UNTO THEM, SAYING, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKENED UNTO A MAN WHICH SOWED GOOD SEED IN HIS FIELD: BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT, HIS ENEMY CAME AND SOWED TARES AMONG THE WHEAT, AND WENT HIS WAY.UT WHEN THE BLADE WAS SPRUNG UP, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, THEN APPEARED THE TARES ALSO. SO THE SERVANTS OF THE HOUSEHOLDER CAME AND SAID UNTO HIM, SIR, DIDST NOT THOU SOW GOOD SEED IN THY FIELD? FROM WHENCE THEN HATH IT TARES? HE SAID UNTO THEM, AN ENEMY HATH DONE THIS. THE SERVANTS SAID UNTO HIM. WILT THOU THEN THAT WE GO AND GATHER THEM UP?” PULL THE TARES OUT? “HE SAID, NAY; LEST WHILE YE GATHER UP THE TARES, YE ROOT UP ALSO THE WHEAT WITH THEM. LET BOTH GROW TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST: AND IN THE TIME OF HARVEST I WILL SAY TO THE REAPERS, GATHER YE TOGETHER FIRST THE TARES, AND BIND THEM IN BUNDLES TO BURN THEM: BUT GATHER THE WHEAT INTO MY BARN.”

 

NOW, THIS IS THE STORY OF THE TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS. THEY BOTH HAPPEN AT THE SAME TIME, HARVEST OF THE WHEAT AND THE HARVEST OF THE TARES. JESUS WENT ON IN VERSE 36 THROUGH 43 TO EXPLAIN EVERY DETAIL OF THE PARABLE. HE SAID THE GOOD SEED IS THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, THE TARES ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE. THE ENEMY THAT SOWED THE TARES IS THE DEVIL. THE HARVEST IS THE END OF THE WORLD, OR THE END OF THE AGE. AND THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS. SO, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THE WHEAT AND THE TARES WERE BOTH HARVESTED AT THE SAME TIME.

 

NOW, THERE’S ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THESE TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION CHAPTER NUMBER 14, VERSE NUMBER 14. “AND I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE CLOUD, AND UPON THE CLOUD ONE SAT LIKE UNTO THE SON OF MAN, HAVING ON HIS HEAD A GOLDEN CROWN, AND IN HIS HAND A SHARP SICKLE. AND ANOTHER ANGEL CAME OUT OF THE TEMPLE, CRYING WITH A LOUD VOICE TO HIM THAT SAT ON THE CLOUD, THRUST IN THY SICKLE AND REAP: FOR THE TIME IS COME FOR THEE TO REAP; FOR THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH IS RIPE. AND HE THAT SAT ON THE CLOUD THRUST IN HIS SICKLE ON THE EARTH; AND THE EARTH WAS REAPED. NOW, THIS IS THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH, THIS IS THE HARVEST OF THE WHEAT, THIS IS THE RAPTURE. NOW, AFTER VERSE 16, IN VERSE 17 WE SEE THE HARVEST OF THE TARES. HERE IT IS, “AND ANOTHER ANGEL CAME OUT OF THE TEMPLE WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, HE ALSO HAVING A SHARP SICKLE. AND ANOTHER ANGEL CAME OUT FROM THE ALTAR, WHICH HAD POWER OVER FIRE; AND CRIED WITH A LOUD CRY TO HIM THAT HAD THE SHARP SICKLE, SAYING, THRUST IN THY SHARP SICKLE, AND GATHER THE CLUSTERS OF THE VINE OF THE EARTH,” NOT THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH, “THE VINE OF THE EARTH; FOR HER GRAPES ARE FULLY RIPE. AND THE ANGEL THRUST IN HIS SICKLE INTO THE EARTH, AND GATHERED THE VINE OF THE EARTH, AND CAST IT INTO THE GREAT WINEPRESS OF THE WRATH OF GOD. AND THE WINEPRESS WAS TRODDEN WITHOUT THE CITY, AND BLOOD CAME OUT OF THE WINEPRESS, EVEN UNTO THE HORSE BRIDLES, BY THE SPACE OF A THOUSAND AND SIX HUNDRED FURLONGS.”

 

SO, HE GATHERS THE VINE OF THE EARTH, THROWS IT INTO THE WINEPRESS OF THE WRATH OF GOD. THIS IS SPEAKING OF THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. AND THE WINEPRESS WAS TRODDEN WITHOUT THE CITY, SPEAKING OF JERUSALEM. THAT’S WHERE THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON WILL END UP. AND WHEN JESUS COMES, HE IS GOING TO GO THROUGH THE KIDRON VALLEY, JUST OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE MOUNT, AND HE WILL TREAD DOWN THE ENEMIES OF GOD’S PEOPLE, AND THAT IS THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. THE BIBLE SAYS, “THE BLOOD WILL FLOW TO THE HORSE BRIDES BY THE SPACE OF A THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED FURLONGS.”THAT’S 160 MILES.

 

THERE’S ACTUALLY 160 MILES FROM THE PLANE OF MEGIDDO TO THE NORTH, OVER THE JORDAN VALLEY, DOWN THE JORDAN VALLEY, AND THEN INTO THE ENTRANCE OF JERUSALEM. SO, THIS IS A PROPHECY OF THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. SO, IN VERSE NUMBER 14 THROUGH 16, WE HAVE THE HARVEST OF THE WHEAT, VERSE 17 THROUGH VERSE NUMBER 20 HAVE THE HARVEST OF THE VINE OF THE EARTH, OF THE TARES AND THEY’RE CAST INTO THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON.

 

AGAIN, TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS. NOW, LET’S PAUSE A MOMENT TO LOOK AT THE LAST MINUTE WARNING. I LOVE THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE. IT’S REVELATION 16, AND IT HAPPENS UNDER THE SIXTH VIAL. AS YOU KNOW THERE ARE SEVEN SEALS, SEVEN TRUMPETS, SEVEN VIALS. AND UNDER THE SIXTH VIAL GOD SAID THAT THE VIAL WAS POURED OUT UPON THE EUPHRATES RIVER, THE EUPHRATES RIVER WOULD BE DRIED UP TO MAKE WAY FOR THE KINGS OF THE EAST TO COME DOWN AGAINST ISRAEL AT THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. IT ALSO STATES DURING THIS TIME THAT THREE SPIRITS LIKE FROGS COME OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE DRAGON, THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET. THE PURPOSE OF THESE SPIRITS IS TO GATHER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TO GATHER UNTO THE GREAT BATTLE OF GOD ALMIGHTY. SO, THAT’S RECORDED IN VERSE 12 THROUGH 14. WATCH WHAT HAPPENS IN VERSE 15. LISTEN TO IT, “BEHOLD, I COME AS A THIEF. BLESSED IS HE THAT WATCHETH, AND KEEPETH HIS GARMENTS, LEST HE WALK NAKED, AND THEY SEE HIS SHAME.”

 

SO, I CALL THIS THE LAST MINUTE WARNING BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST ARMAGEDDON TIME. THE ARMIES ARE ALREADY GATHERING, THE EUPHRATES RIVER IS BEING DRIED UP, AND THEN AFTER HE GIVES HIS LAST MINUTE WARNING, “BEHOLD, I COME AS A THIEF, MAKE SURE YOU’RE READY, KEEP YOUR GARMENTS.”

 

THEN HE SAYS IN VERSE 16, “HE GATHERED THEM TOGETHER INTO A PLACE CALLED IN THE HEBREW TONGUE ARMAGEDDON.”

 

ONCE AGAIN THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AT THE TIME OF ARMAGEDDON. NOW, THAT’S NOT ALL THAT HAPPENS HERE, BECAUSE THIS IS SO INTERESTING. IMMEDIATELY IN VERSE 17 WE MOVE INTO THE SEVENTH VIAL. LISTEN TO THE EVENTS OF THE SEVENTH VIAL. “AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL POURED OUT HIS VIAL INTO THE AIR; AND THERE CAME A GREAT VOICE OUT OF THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, FROM THE THRONE, SAYING, IT IS DONE.”

 

WOW, IT IS DONE.

 

“AND THERE WERE VOICES, AND THUNDERS AND LIGHTNINGS; AND THERE WAS A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE MEN WERE UPON THE EARTH, SO MIGHTY AN EARTHQUAKE, AND SO GREAT. AND THE GREAT CITY WAS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS, AND THE CITY OF THE NATIONS FELL: AND GREAT BABYLON CAME IN REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD, TO GIVE UNTO HER THE CUP OF THE WINE OF THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH.”

 

NOW, IT’S THE SAME THING. ARMAGEDDON IS REFERRED TO AS THE WINEPRESS, THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH OF GOD. HERE WE ARE AGAIN, TWO CHAPTERS LATER, GOD IS TALKING ABOUT IT ALL OVER AGAIN. SO, LET’S LOOK AT THE EVENTS OF THE SEVENTH VIAL. NUMBER ONE, HISTORY’S GREATEST EARTHQUAKE SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE MEN WERE UPON THE EARTH. AND THIS EARTHQUAKE IS GOING TO DIVIDE THE CITY OF JERUSALEM INTO THREE PARTS. THE BIBLE SAYS THE MOUNT OF OLIVES WILL CLEAVE INTO TWO, PART TOWARD THE NORTH, PART TOWARD THE SOUTH. THE BIBLE ALSO SAYS IN CHAPTER NUMBER 11 OF REVELATION THAT 7000 WILL DIE IN JERUSALEM IN THIS EARTHQUAKE. IT ALSO STATES HERE THAT GREAT BABYLON CAME UP IN REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD. SO, GOD’S WRATH IS GOING TO BE POURED OUT UPON GREAT BABYLON, WHICH IN OTHER PLACES IS REFERRED TO AS MYSTERY BABYLON, WHICH IS ROME. AND SO, ROME IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY DESTROYED BY THIS EARTHQUAKE. AND IT ALSO STATES UNDER THE SEVENTH VIAL THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE A GREAT HAIL, EACH STONE WEIGHING ABOUT A TALENT. I CAN’T TELL YOU FOR SURE HOW HEAVY A TALENT IS. ONE TABLE I SAW SAID A TALENT WAS 125 POUNDS. CAN YOU IMAGINE GOD RAINING HAILSTONES DOWN UPON THE PEOPLE TRYING TO INVADE ISRAEL AT ARMAGEDDON, HAILSTONES THAT WEIGH 125 POUNDS. THE BIBLE SAYS THAT MEN BLASPHEMED GOD BECAUSE OF THE HAIL.

 

OKAY, NOW THAT’S THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH VIAL. NOW, LET’S LOOK AT THE NEXT TWO CHAPTERS BECAUSE HE TALKS ABOUT THE JUDGMENT OF GREAT BABYLON. THE TIME’S COME TO JUDGE BABYLON. HE STOPS AND DEVOTES TWO CHAPTERS, TWO ENTIRE CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION. THERE’S ONLY 22 CHAPTERS TOTAL. HE TAKES TWO OF THE 22 TO TALK ABOUT THE JUDGMENT OF MYSTERY BABYLON, THE FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM. GOD MUST REALLY HATE THIS FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM. WHY SHOULDN’T HE? THIS FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM’S GOING TO DECEIVE PEOPLE INTO THINKING THEY’RE SAVED WHEN THEY’RE NOT. THEY’RE GOING TO CAUSE MANY, MANY PEOPLE TO BE LOST. AND GOD SAID, “I AM GOING TO POUR OUT MY JUDGMENT UPON THAT FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM.”

 

NOW, WHEN THIS HAPPENS YOU’RE GOING TO NOTICE THAT THE PEOPLE IN HEAVEN ARE PRAISING GOD FOR THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT WHORE. LISTEN TO IT, VERSE NUMBER 1 OF CHAPTER – FIRST OF ALL CHAPTER 17 AND 18, YOU CAN READ IT FOR YOURSELF LATER, THE WHOLE THING’S DEVOTED TO THE JUDGMENT OF BABYLON, BUT WHEN YOU GET TO CHAPTER 19, VERSE 1 THROUGH 3 REITERATES THIS. “AND AFTER THESE THINGS I HEARD A GREAT VOICE OF MUCH PEOPLE IN HEAVEN, SAYING, ALLELUIA; SALVATION, AND GLORY, AND HONOUR, AND POWER, UNTO THE LORD OUR GOD. FOR TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ARE HIS JUDGMENTS: FOR HE HATH JUDGED THE GREAT WHORE, WHICH DID CORRUPT THE EARTH,” SHE CORRUPTED THE EARTH, “WITH HER FORNICATION,” BOTH SPIRITUAL FORNICATION AND PHYSICAL FORNICATION. “AND HATH AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS SERVANTS AT HER HAND.”

 

SHE’S KILLED MANY CHRISTIANS, BUT GOD HAS NOW AVENGED THEIR BLOOD AT HER HAND. AND AGAIN THEY SAID, “ALLELUIA AND HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOR EVER AND FOR EVER.”

 

SO, GOD JUDGES THE HARLOT CHURCH IN VERSES 1 THROUGH 3, AND WE’RE GOING TO FIND OUT IN VERSES 6 THROUGH 8 HE THEN MARRIES THE VIRGIN CHURCH. SO, HE JUDGES THE FALSE CHURCH THAT’S MASQUERADING UNDER HIS NAME. HE JUDGES THE FALSE CHURCH IN VERSE 1 THROUGH 3, AND THEN TURNS AROUND AND MARRIES THE VIRGIN CHURCH THAT’S BEEN FAITHFUL TO HIS WORD IN VERSE 6 THROUGH 9. LET’S TAKE A LOOK NOW AT THE MARRIAGE. HERE WE ARE IN CHAPTER 19, AND THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB IS GETTING READY TO TAKE PLACE. VERSE 6, “AND I HEARD AS IT WERE THE VOICE OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, AND AS THE VOICE OF MANY WATERS, AND AS THE VOICE OF MIGHTY THUNDERINGS, SAYING, ALLELUIA: FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH. LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE, AND GIVE HONOUR TO HIM: FOR THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB IS COME,” WE’RE JUST NOW GETTING READY FOR THE RAPTURE, FOR THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB.

 

“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 THE SAINTS. AND HE SAITH UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB.”

 

SO, HERE’S THE MARRIAGE SUPPER. WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS HERE BECAUSE IMMEDIATELY IN VERSE 11 THROUGH 15 WE SEE THE DESCRIPTION AGAIN OF THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. SO, WE HAVE THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB TO HIS BRIDE, HIS VIRGIN BRIDE, TO THE CHURCH IN VERSE 6 THROUGH 9. IN VERSE 11 THROUGH 15 AGAIN WE SEE THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. LET’S LOOK AT IT.

 

“AND I SAW HEAVEN OPENED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE HORSE; AND HE THAT SAT UPON HIM WAS CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS HE DOTH JUDGE AND MAKE WAR. HIS EYES WERE AS A FLAME OF FIRE, AND ON HIS HEAD WERE MANY CROWNS; AND HE HAD A NAME WRITTEN THAT NO MAN KNEW BUT HE HIMSELF. AND HE WAS CLOTHED WITH A VESTURE DIPPED IN BLOOD: AND HIS NAME IS CALLED THE WORD OF GOD.”

 

NOW, WE KNOW WHO THAT IS, BECAUSE JOHN CHAPTER 1 SAYS, “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.” AND VERSE 14 OF CHAPTER 1 IT STATES, “AND THE WORD OF GOD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US.”

 

HE’S SPEAKING OF JESUS CHRIST. SO, THIS IS JESUS CHRIST, HIS NAME IS CALLED THE WORD OF GOD. “AND THE ARMIES WHICH WERE IN HEAVEN FOLLOWED HIM UPON WHITE HORSES, CLOTHED IN FINE LINEN, WHITE AND CLEAN. AND OUT OF HIS MOUTH GOETH A SHARP SWORD, THAT WITH IT HE SHOULD SMITE THE NATIONS: AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON: AND HE TREADETH THE WINEPRESS OF THE FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD. SO, WE SEE THE WINEPRESS IN CHAPTER 14, WE SEE THE WINEPRESS IN CHAPTER 16, AND WE SEE THE WINEPRESS AGAIN IN CHAPTER 19. IT’S THE SAME EVENT BEING TOLD FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES TO US. SO, TWO SIMULTANEOUS HARVESTS, THE HARVEST OF THE WHEAT, THE BRIDE HERE IN CHAPTER NUMBER 19, VERSE 6 THROUGH 9. AND NOW, THE HARVEST OF THE TARES THROWN IN TO THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, VERSE NUMBER 11 THROUGH NUMBER 15. OKAY, YOU SAY, WELL, I’M SORT OF CONFUSED HERE. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON HERE. THERE IS. THERE ARE SEVERAL ACCOUNTS OF THE RAPTURE IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION, SO LET’S LOOK AT EACH OF THEM NOW. THE FIRST ACCOUNT IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS CHAPTER NUMBER 6, VERSE 12 THROUGH 17. THIS IS THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEAL.

 

NOW, LET’S JUST READ IT. “AND I BEHELD WHEN HE HAD OPENED THE SIXTH SEAL, AND, LO, THERE WAS A GREAT EARTHQUAKE; AND THE SUN BECAME BLACK AS SACKCLOTH OF HAIR, AND THE MOON BECAME AS BLOOD; AND THE STARS OF HEAVEN FELL UNTO THE EARTH,” WE’VE READ THAT BEFORE IN OTHER PLACES, HAVEN’T WE?

 

“EVEN AS A FIG TREE CASTETH HER UNTIMELY FIGS, WHEN SHE IS SHAKEN OF A MIGHTY WIND. ND THE HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL WHEN IT IS ROLLED TOGETHER; AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED OUT OF THEIR PLACES.”

 

THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED. THIS IS THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST, VERSE 15, “AND THE KINGS OF THE EARTH, AND THE GREAT MEN, AND THE RICH MEN, AND THE CHIEF CAPTAINS, AND THE MIGHTY MEN, AND EVERY BONDMAN, AND EVERY FREE MAN, HID THEMSELVES IN THE DENS AND IN THE ROCKS OF THE MOUNTAINS.”

 

IT GOES ON TO SAY IN VERSE 16, “AND SAID TO THE MOUNTAINS AND ROCKS, FALL ON US, AND HIDE US FROM THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB: FOR THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME; AND WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND?”

 

THERE HE IS, HIDE US FROM HIS FACE. HEAVENS DEPART, JESUS APPEARS. THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH HAS COME. WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND? IT’S ARMAGEDDON TIME. WELL, THEN IMMEDIATELY WE GO INTO THE SEVENTH SEAL, AND THE SEVENTH SEAL, WHAT HAPPENS THERE IS, THERE IS 30 MINUTES OF SILENCE IN HEAVEN. THERE IS A LOT OF SPECULATION ABOUT WHAT THE 30 MINUTES OF SILENCE REALLY IS. I HAVE AN OPINION. I BELIEVE THAT THE 30 MINUTES OF SILENCE IN HEAVEN IS WHEN ALL OF HEAVEN IS IN AWE, WATCHING THE MARRIAGE TAKE PLACE. JESUS LEAVES HEAVEN, COMES TO THE EARTH, HIS BRIDE IS CAUGHT UP TO MEET HIM IN THE AIR AND THEY HAVE THAT MARVELOUS MARRIAGE SUPPER IN THE SKY. AND ALL HEAVEN IS WATCHING IN AWE. THE BIBLE SAYS THERE WILL BE 30 MINUTES OF SILENCE IN HEAVEN. AND THAT’S RIGHT AT THE TIME OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB. THAT’S RIGHT AT THE TIME OF THE RAPTURE AS JESUS PREPARES TO GO DOWN FOR THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. NOW, WE SEE ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THIS RAPTURE IN REVELATION 11:15 THROUGH 19. WE’VE ALREADY LOOKED AT IT BRIEFLY. BUT LET’S GO THROUGH IT. VERSE 15.

 

“AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED,” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE LAST TRUMPET NOW, “AND THERE WERE GREAT VOICES IN HEAVEN, SAYING, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. AND THE NATIONS WERE ANGRY, AND THY WRATH IS COME, AND THE TIME OF THE DEAD, THAT THEY SHOULD BE JUDGED, AND THAT THOU SHOULDEST GIVE REWARD UNTO THY SERVANTS THE PROPHETS, AND TO THE SAINTS, AND THEM THAT FEAR THY NAME, SMALL AND GREAT; AND SHOULDEST DESTROY THEM WHICH DESTROY THE EARTH. AND THE TEMPLE OF GOD WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN, AND THERE WAS SEEN IN HIS TEMPLE THE ARK OF THE TESTAMENT: AND THERE WERE LIGHTNINGS, AND VOICES, AND THUNDERINGS, AND AN EARTHQUAKE, AND GREAT HAIL.”

 

HEY, WE SAW THE EARTHQUAKE AND GREAT HAIL BACK THERE UNDER THE 16TH CHAPTER OF REVELATION AND THE SIXTH VIAL. NOW, HERE, WE SEE THE SAME THING IN REVELATION 11, BECAUSE IT IS THE SAME THING. THESE ARE DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS OF THE RAPTURE. ONCE AGAIN WE SEE IT IN REVELATION 14. AGAIN WE WERE JUST HERE, BUT LET’S LOOK AT IT ONE MORE TIME. “AND I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE CLOUD, AND UPON THE CLOUD ONE SAT LIKE UNTO THE SON OF MAN, HAVING ON HIS HEAD A GOLDEN CROWN, AND IN HIS HAND A SHARP SICKLE. AND ANOTHER ANGEL CAME OUT OF THE TEMPLE, CRYING WITH A LOUD VOICE TO HIM THAT SAT ON THE CLOUD, THRUST IN THY SICKLE, AND REAP: FOR THE TIME IS COME FOR THEE TO REAP; FOR THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH IS RIPE. AND HE THAT SAT ON THE CLOUD THRUST IN HIS SICKLE ON THE EARTH; AND THE EARTH WAS REAPED.”

 

SO, THERE WE HAVE AGAIN, WE’VE GOT RAPTURE IN CHAPTER NUMBER 6, RAPTURE CHAPTER NUMBER 11 AT THE LAST TRUMP. NOW WE’VE GOT THIS RAPTURE HERE IN REVELATION 14, AND THEN WE GET BACK OVER TO REVELATION 16, VERSE NUMBER 15. “BEHOLD, I COME AS A THIEF. BLESSED IS HE THAT WATCHETH, AND KEEPETH HIS GARMENTS, LEST HE WALK NAKED, AND THEY SEE HIS SHAME. AND HE GATHERED THEM TOGETHER INTO A PLACE CALLED IN THE HEBREW TONGUE ARMAGEDDON.”

 

AGAIN, THE LAST MINUTE WARNING. THIS IS UNDER THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH VIAL. LET’S SEE WHAT FINALLY HAPPENS. WE NOW GO TO REVELATION 19, VERSE 7 THROUGH 11. THIS IS THE PICTURE OF THE RAPTURE, ACTUALLY THE WARNING WAS REVELATION CHAPTER 16. NOW, IN REVELATION 19, AFTER THE TWO CHAPTERS GIVEN TO THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT HARLOT, NOW IN CHAPTER 19, HERE WE HAVE THE RAPTURE. “LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE, AND GIVE HONOUR TO HIM: FOR THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB 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. AND HE SAITH UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. AND I SAW HEAVEN OPENED,”

 

THERE WE HAVE IT AGAIN, IT’S OPENED IN CHAPTER NUMBER 6, EVERY PLACE. “AND I SAW HEAVEN OPENED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE HORSE; AND HE THAT SAT UPON HIM WAS CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS HE DOTH JUDGE AND MAKE WAR.”

 

SO, HERE WE HAVE THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH AGAIN, THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. SO, LET’S PUT SOME ORDER TO THIS. THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS A DRAMATIZATION OF THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST. THE FIRST VERSE ACTUALLY STATES IN CHAPTER 1, “THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST,” OR THE REVEALING OF JESUS CHRIST. SO, THE WHOLE BOOK OF REVELATION IS DEVOTED TO THE REVEALING, TO THE SECOND COMING, AND IT’S TOLD OVER AND OVER AGAIN, LIKE WE HAVE MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN TELLING THE ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST. WELL, THE SECOND COMING IS SO IMPORTANT THAT GOD TAKES AN ENTIRE BOOK, THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION TO TALK ABOUT THIS CROWNING EVENT, THIS CAPSTONE OF THE PLAN OF GOD SINCE THE BEGINNING. AND HE TELLS THE STORY IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION. NOW, THERE ARE THREE CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION IN REVELATION. CHAPTER 1, VERSE 19 TELLS US, “WRITE THE THINGS THOU HAS SEEN, AND THE THINGS WHICH ARE, AND THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER.”

 

THOSE ARE THE THREE CATEGORIES OF REVELATION, THE THINGS THOU HAST SEEN, THE THINGS WHICH ARE IN REVELATION CHAPTER 1, 2 AND 3. THAT’S THE MESSAGES TO THE CHURCHES THAT EXISTED ON THE EARTH AT THE TIME, OVER WHICH JOHN LATER BECAME THE OVERSEER AFTER HE WAS RELEASED FROM EXILE. THEN IN CHAPTER NUMBER 4, VERSE NUMBER 1, WE MOVE INTO THE PROPHETIC PORTION OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION, LISTEN TO IT. “AFTER THIS I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD, A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: AND THE FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING WITH ME; WHICH SAID, COME UP HITHER, AND I WILL SHEW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER.”

 

SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT’S THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, BUT IT’S NOT. IT’S SIMPLY HE’S LEAVING THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN AND THE THINGS WHICH ARE AND MOVING INTO THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER.

 

“COME UP HITHER, JOHN, I WILL SHOW YOU THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER.”

 

SO, THERE ARE THREE SEVENS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION, SEVEN SEALS, SEVEN TRUMPETS, SEVEN VIALS, EACH ONE ENDS WITH THE SECOND COMING. SO, THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEAL, SECOND COMING. THE SEVENTH TRUMPET, SECOND COMING. THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH VIAL, SECOND COMING. ALL END AT THE RAPTURE AND ALL END AT THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON. NOW, HERE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS BE READY, BE READY FOR ANY OF US COULD DIE TODAY. THAT’S CRITICAL WHETHER YOU BELIEVE PRE-TRIB OR POST-TRIB. YOU MUST BE READY. NOW, IN THE LAST TWO SEGMENTS I’VE TAUGHT WHY I WAS FORCED TO CHANGE MY MIND FROM BELIEVING IN A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE TO BELIEVING IN A POST- TRIBULATION RAPTURE. I KNOW THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS THAT STILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED. SO, IN THE NEXT SEGMENT WE’RE GOING TO TAKE TIME TO ANSWER SOME OF THE COMMON OBJECTIONS TO THE POST-TRIBULATION VIEW. IN THE MEANTIME, DON’T FORGET, DON’T LET THIS BE A POINT OF DIVISION WITH YOU, WITH YOUR PASTOR, WITH YOUR CHURCH BECAUSE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE OUGHT TO REMEMBER IS, BE YE READY. THAT’S WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

 

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