As we seek the answers to these two aspects of the Word of God; we first need to know that God designed this earth to be here forever. That doesn’t mean that it has always been like we see it now or, that it is going to stay like we know it rtoday. The rapture and a time of tribulation are simply espects of the end of the age we live in now.
I’d like to point out here something about me, the teacher. I always like to make people aware of the fact that I am not educated as it might relate to the education of men. I’ve never been to college nor have I been trained in any Bible Institution. My education is simply from my own Bible study and, that with help from Sunday Shool teachers and pastors I have known over the years. Even they would be willing to admit that the only true teacher is that which is revealed to us from the Holy Ghost of God.
That, even goes to the teaching you might receive from anything I might say or teach here. That beening said, it’s nothing simple about that education. It takes work on the part of the believer. Each believer must be willing to study God’s word and come to a resolve about what the truth is. All men, such as I, can do is seek to direct you in the places for you to study.
It’s a foolish thing to listen to anyone and believe what that person might say or teach without studying scripture and, making every remark known and, assured by the Spirit of God that lives within the believer. With that being said, how do you know I’m a believer, that I have been born again? It takes the Spirit of God to reveal truth to people and, also to help each person understand and know where they can place their trust.
My commitment is to know truth and, to reveal that truth by using scripture to prove what I say. My desire is to help you see truth. However, it’s entirely up to you whether you see things as I do or not. I would suggest that you allow God’s Spirit to direct you as you seek to study behind me.
Let’s begin by looking at the ( rapture ) and why it would be even a part of the unfolding of time. What makes the rapture revelant to the part of time we live in? As we study God’s word, we must recognize that, over time God the Father has dealt with mankind in different manners, each have a beginning and, an end. One of the times we might be aware of would be ( the Garden of Eden ). God placed Adam and Eve in that garden. He instructed them not to eat the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. After they had bitten the fruit, God placed them outside that garden; ending that ( way of dealing with man ).
I believe there are eight different ways that God dealt with mankind in scripture. I call then ( dispensations of time ). The two that we might be most familiar with would be ( Law and Grace ). Jesus Christ himself lived and died in the dispensation of law. As a matter of fact; he said he came, not to destroy the law but, to fulfil the law. ( Matthew 5:17 )
The ( dispensation of Law ) began when God gave Moses the law and, it ended when Jesus Christ ( gave up the Ghost ) on the Cross of Calvary. ( The Dispensation of Grace ) or ( The Church Age ) started ( Fifty Days ) after the death of Jesus Christ. We could study that out but, for the sake of looking at the reason for the ( Rapture ), we’ll just stick this.
Technically, ( Fifty Days ) after the death of Jesus Christ was the ( Day of Pentecost ). We see that in ( Acts 2 ) That day was the day the ( Church Age ) was born or, began. Just like every other period of time before had a beginning and, an end; so those this age. So, what is ( The Church )? What is it that stands out about the Church?
The Church, by definition is universal. We have local assemblies with leaders and so on but, actually the Church is a group of ( Called out People ) that made a choice to submit themselves to the will of Jesus Christ through and by his Spirit that he placed within each believer once they were born again. It might be thousands of people that are members of local Churches and, are very faithful to that building but, they have never been born again therefore, they are not members of the Universal Church.
If we were to compare ( The Church ) to the ( Nation of Israel ) we could say this. God chose the Nation of Israel to be his people. Within that nation, with all its members, God knew and, knows those that are truly his and those that are not. It’s the same way with the Church. God see the heart of every person, knows them that are truly born again and those that are not.
( The Church ), the members of the body of Christ has a special place to live. It’s a city, fifteen hundred miles square, a cubit. We see that in ( Revelation 21 ). The city is there for the bride of Christ, which is the Church. There are two entities that God recognizes. ( The Nation of Israel ) and ( the Church ). The nation of Israel is an earthly people with earthly promises. God said that they would inherit the earth. Jesus Christ will set up his KIngdom right here on this earth. It will be a new heaven and a new earth but, it will be his kingdom.
The Church is a heavenly people with heavenly promises. This world is not out home. We are ambassadors for Christ here on this earth; pointing people to Christ and, that city of Gold.( 2 Corinthians 5:20 ). The rapture takes place at the end of this age. The Church, only those that are born again will be lifted out of this world. They will go to their new home, a place prepared for them. When the rapture takes place, Jesus Christ, will call us from the clouds to come home. At that time he will not come down to earth. He will call us up to meet him in the air. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ).
I’m going to make a point here. You don’t have to believe this but. I’ll give my reason for making this statement. ( I believe ) on the day of the rapture that the graves of every believer that died ( in Christ ) and was buried will be opened for the world to see. The world will know somsthing spectacular just happened. I say because of this verse: ( Matthew 27:52 ) And the graves were opened; and mant bodies of the saints which slept arose,
That’s just part of the whole statement but, that happened when Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary. That was the end of that age. ( the age of law ). Now, we know God could have raised those people from the grave without any person seeing the evidence of it don’t we? However, he did this that people might be able to see a change was taking place. Where did these people come from? The Old Testament saints that died went to a place called ( Paradice ) . This place was in the center of the earth, just like hell. A great gulf seperated to two place. We see that in: ( Luke 16:26 ) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
When Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary, the perfect lamb now had been sacraficed and, those saints could now stand in the presence of God. ( Ephesians 4:8-9 ) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ( 9 ) ( Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
( I believe ) that when the rapture takes place; the world will be able to see things that they might wonder what has happened. We could say a lot here but the point is that it’s all about this time and, this age. A time when ( whosoever will ) let him come. If you will study ( Romans 9-10-11 ) you will see that God set Israel aside, until the fulness of the Gentiles have come in. You can also read in ( Romans 5:9 ) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Salvation is to and for any people. It has nothing to do with and nation, people, color or creed. However, to become a member of the Church, the body of Christ; ( ye must be born again ). You can compare ( the Church ) to a ship, such as: ( the Arc ). That ship is the vessel that you must be on if you desire to live in the ( city ) prepared for the saints. It is the only vessel that goes to that city. You must see yourself as a sinner, in need of a savior and, you must believe that Jesus Christ is the way to heaven. You must be washed in his blood, the blood of the only begotten of the Father. By faith, you must ask him to be your savior and, to come and abide in your heart.
Simply being a Jew, born of the tribes of Israel will not give you access to that city. Simply being a member of a local Church will not grant you that right, ye must be born into the family of God.
The tribulation has totally to do with the Nation of Israel. It must be an understanding between a Jew, just as an individual and, the Nation he or she is born into. Any Jewish Individual can be born again and become a member of the Church, the body of Christ but, that doesn’t change to promises that God made to Israel as a nation.
There are some things about the end of the Church age and, things that happen in the Tribulation period that can be debated and, will be; I suppose until we actually know the answers for certain. That is, when we are living with Jesus Christ in our new home. I see, and understand that there will be people saved during the tribulation period. But, what relationship will they have with Jesus Christ? The Church, which is ( His Bride ) is completed. It was completed when the rapture took place. I will add this: after the rapture takes place, no person that had an opportunity to be saved before the rapture will be saved. The only people that will be saved during the tribulation period will be those that have never heard the gospel. ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 ) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. ( 11 ) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: ( 12 ) That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This is something to be studied. I have my personal thoughts on the matter but, you can study and see what you can find.
The tribulation period will last around ( seven years ). It is a time that God has determined upon the Nation of Israel because of their disobedience. ( Daniel 9:24 ) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconcilation for iniquity, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. ( 25 ) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. ( 26 ) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. ( 27 ) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consumation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
We see that ( seventy weeks ) are determined. Each week is a period of ( seven years ). ( A score is twenty ) three score would be ( 60 ). You can study this for yourself but, we see that after 69 weeks the ( Messiah was cut off ). That’s when Jesus Christ died on the Cross. The age, in which we live now being ( the Church Age ) has nothing to do with that time frame. The Apostle Paul explains that in ( Roman 9-10-11 ). The Nation of Israel was ( set aside ) until the ( Fulness of the Gentiles ) could come in. When that period is finished being, ( the rapture of theChurch ) then the ( 70 th week ) will begin.
While this world and, the Nation of Israel is facing tribulation, the Church will be with Christ and basically, a wedding will be taking place, in our new home. At the end of that seven years, we will return with Christ, Christ will destroy the armies of the world by the word of his mouth and, he will establish his Kingdom right here on the new earth. ( Revelation 19:15 )
I’d like to make this point. In ( Revelation 1-2-3 ) we see the Church mentioned and talked about. Now, look at the first verse in ( Revelation 4:1 ) After this I looked, and, 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 theee things which must be hereafter.
After this we never see the Church mentioned again until we see the return of Christ when he sets up his Kingdom. Look at this verse: ( 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.
We see there; this phrase. ( ignorant of this mystery ). The Apostle Paul is speaking to the Church at Rome. I appears that, at least in these three chapters his mind and heart turn to his own people ( the Nation of Israel ). However, we can say that he is speaking to all believers and, that we don’t have to be ignorant of this mystery.
I often say or, make note that the Word of God is written purposely so that the world cannot see the things of God. God reveals himself to those that believe and have his Spirit within them. Even with that, we still must overcome the weakness of our flesh and truly seek to see those things that God reveals to his children in scripture.
If you will notice in that verse he also says this: ( lest ye be wise in you own conceits ). These things are not things I learned on my own. I cannot boast of anything special, nor can I give any man credit for learning it. I do realize it’s taken many people, each using the Spirit within them to teach but, in the end, it’s the Spirit of God that deserves all the credit for teaching the mysteries of God.
God does use people to teach people. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if God can use my flesh to teach you something then, what a blessing that I might be used of God the Father. If what you learn then increases your knowledge far beyond mine and, then you become my teacher, that is still a great blessing for me.
This is something else the Apostle Paul said: ( Philippians 3:8-10 ) Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I might win Christ, ( 9 ) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: ( 10 ) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.
I only show these verses to make to point that a price has to be paid to understand and know Christ, to learn scripture. We must be willing to pay that price. I hear people say that they can’t understand the Bible. Well, can’t never could do anything and, never will. We are very impatient people by nature. That is, within our flesh. In the course of our lives, if by chance we are born again at an early age; God has given us a life time to study and learn. What we choose to do with our time is a choice.
Personally, I ask Christ to be my Savior when I was twenty-five. I am now sixty- nine. For forty- six years I’ve sought to ( know Him ). I’ve used pastors, teachers, personal study, even trial and error to find out what the Bible teaches. I know that, through it all, we must seek the guidance of God’s Spirit first and formost.
( Hebrews 11:6 ) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I believe that God is. I believe he stepped out on nothing and spoke this world into existance. I believe that he, God the Father lived in the fleshly body of Jesus Christ and, offered himself up for the sin of this world. I believe he raised from the dead and now, by the power of his own Spirit lives within me and, every other person that trusts in his shed blood. I believe he has the power to teach to the uttermost, even to the most ignorant person and, to the most intelligent if they will simply hear his voice.
Jesus Christ is coming, first, in the clouds to receive the Chuch in the rapture and, then to the Mount of Olives to establish his Kingdom right here on this earth. His desire is to reveal all those things to his people and for every person to have a spiritual understanding of how he will return. No man knows the day nor the hour but, through study we can see with our spiritual eye many aspects of his return. We don’t have to be ignorant of his return and, we can be well prepared for that day by choice.
2 Timothy 2:15-16 ( Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ( 16 ) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
May God add his blessing to the reading and, studying of his word.
2 Timothy 1:7