THE RAPTURE ! ( THE BEGINNING OF TRIBULATION )

In the last segment we look at this verse of scripture: ( 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ) 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.

Do you remember talking about the ( Church ) having a beginning and an end. The Church is the body that will be caught up. I ( personally believe ) that ( the body ) includes every person that has been saved, born again since the actual ( Day of Pentecost ). If you remember; when Jesus died on the cross, ( the graves were opened. Every person that believed before that event went to their ( promised place ) at that time. David said In ( Psalms 16:10 ) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see curruption. Here, he is speaking of that placed called ( paradise ) we spoke of earlier. ( The Church ) is a completely separate entity from any other group of people.

Look at what Jesus said in ( John 14:1-3 ) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. ( 2 ) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ( 3 ) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Do you realize that this is the only gospel that Jesus reveals this fact in? In the ( Gospel of John ) Jesus Christ reveals himself as ( the Son of God ). If you will study the four gospels; you will notice that there are a lot of common things throughout them. However, in the gospel of John, Jesus says things or reveals himself at times in a way that he never does in other gospels. This happens to be one of them.

Here, this statement is being made to ( all those that believe ). There is no way that the Apostles, at this time can completely comprehend what all he is saying but, in time they will!

As I seek to reveal truth, I always try to point out that it has to be ( the spirit of God ) that causes you to see what is truth. I’m just a vessel. My desire is to help you to see truth. I’m going to point out something here that you will have to decide just how you feel about it.

These things take time to understand. However, ( I believe ) that the ( Book of Revelation ) is a continuation of the ( Book of Daniel ). So, let’s seek to prove this. ( Daniel 12:8-11 ) And I heard, but understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? ( 9 ) And he said, Go thy way. Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. ( 10 ) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. ( 11 ) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

I won’t get into all that is being said here, I don’t know that I can but, I believe that what was sealed in ( Daniel ) was opened by ( John the Beloved ) the writer of the Revelation. Now, with that being said; if we look at the first three chapters of Revelation we basically see a picture of seven Churches. Although we can see every one of these Churches as time moves foward from the beginning of the Church, we see a very vivid picture of the ( Church of Laodicia ) we read about in the last part of ( Revelation 3 ) today.

We are living in a time of great apostacy. There might be many that doubt what I say but, I desire for you to recognize the fact that ( just because ) the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned in any Church does not mean they are speaking of ( Jesus Christ ) ( God in flesh ). Notice this verse:

Matthew 7:20-23 )

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. ( 21 ) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. ( 22 ) Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? ( 23 ) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I love speaking to individuals rather than to a Church building. ( The universal Church ) is made up of individuals that have been born again. It’s not made of people that have joined a Church. There is a vast difference and, we must see and recognize that fact. Now, as a Bible student, even I can argue to whom he’s speaking in these verses but., the point I’m making is still valid. Lood at this:

(1 John 4:1 )

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

All I’m asking is that you, as an individual; to look at yourself! Don’t fall into the trap of just being a member of a building and, listening to any man or person. You know, by trying the spirits that you are a member of ( the universal Church ) that will be raptured one day by Jesus Christ himself.

If you will notice; in ( Revelation 4 ), after Jesus has spoken to the seven Churches; we see where a door was opened in heaven. It says ( Come up Hither ). I believe this is a picture of the ( rapture ). Once you see these verses there is no other mention of the Church until the last chapters in Revelation.

Now, let’s look at something here. When Jesus said ( I go to prepare a place for you ) to whom was he speaking? I’m going to say to begin with,; he was speaking to ( the Church ) born again believers. As far as ( the Nation of Israel ) was concerned, hadn’t he already promised them that they would inherit the earth?

As time moves foward from the ( birth of the Church ) on ( the day of Pentecost ), even until this present day ( the Church ) has been growing, it will need a place to live; once it is complete. We can see that ( place that is prepared ) in ( Revelation 21 ). Look at the last verse in that chapter. ( Verse 27 ) But they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

So, whose names are written in that book? Let’s look at a couple of verses: ( Revelation 13:8 ) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.With that verse in mind; who are the people he is speaking of here? In this verse he’s speaking of people ( worshipping Satan ). All the names of people that ( do not have their names written in that book ) will worship Satan. You might ask, will there be people saved during ( Tribulation )? The answer is yes.

Do you remember that I referred you to a verse where ( Jesus Christ ) went and preached to the spirit in prison? ( 1 Peter 3:19 ) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; I made mention of those, just before the flood of Noah. Well, we see after the rapture; the same picture. I made the statement when we spoke of that; that some in Noah’s day might not have got the message of Noah. Look at ( 1 Peter 3:20 ) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the Ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Like I said then ( I believe ) that the ( longsuffering of God ) kept those that didn’t know, even then until,Jesus Christ had paid the price for them. When Jesus went and preached to those ( spirits ), God’s longsuffering hand reached down to them.

We see that same thing in ( 2 Thessalonians 2:11 ) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:( 12 ) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If you will study in ( Revelation 6:9 ) And when he had open the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

You can read it all if you like but, comparing these verses; we see that it is very possible that some, during the Church age didn’t hear the gospel. If that was the case, during Tribulation they could be save but they had to give their lives to be saved. However, if you had heard the gospel during the Church age and, you rejected that then, Gos himself would send you ( strong delusions ) that they might be damned.If you will look in ( Revelation 14:6 ) And I say another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them yhat dwell on the earth, and to ever nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Again, you can read and study that but, we see, because of study that there are those that will be saved during that period. However, It will not be people that rejected Christ during the ( age of Grace ).

So, let’s get back to whom he is talking about when he making statements such as we see here:

( Ephesians 1:2-5 ) Grace be to you,and peace, fro God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. ( 3 ) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: ( 4 ) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: ( 5 ) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, ( 6 ) ) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath us accepted in the beloved.

I shared these verses a while back. The Apostle Paul is speaking of the Church here. We also showed you where it was the Apostle Paul that was given the mystery of the Church. The verses we read in ( Revelation ) is referring to this ( called out group ). Actually, you could say that the born again believers have a bird’s eye view of the destruction going on during the ( seven years ) we speak of. If you’ll study this ( 1500 mile ) cubic we see in ( Revelation 21 ) it appears it is suspended between heaven and earth. Also, I doubt we’ll be concerned about what is going on; on earth because we will be buzy with the details of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

However. as I make that statement; I’m reminded of this verse of scripture: ( Revelation 8:1 ) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

I feel we need to say something here. Exactly, where is heaven? Where does it start and where does it end? The Apostle Paul made this statement: ( 2 Corinthians 12:2 ) I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, ( whether in body, I cannot tell; or whether out of body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; ) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

We see in this verse that ( heaven is in different manners ) we might say. So, can we say, where the birds fly, planes fly is ( one part of heaven )? Where we see the stars, planets ( second part of heaven ) and, beyond that. ( the third heaven )? So, when we say that this city ( 1500 miles ) was suspended between heave and earth, I’m saying it’s between the third heaven and earth.

I personally believe that when we see the verse in ( Revelation 8:1 ) it’s speaking of born again believers within that city; seeing things that cause them to shut up and pay attention to what’s happening on this earth.

The whole point in saying all of this is given to show the difference in ( the Nation of Israel ) and, ( the Church ). As I try and teach this, I always make the point that I’m simply a vessel. One that seeks to understand God’s word. As I seek to reveal and understand truth; it must be God’s Spirit that helps you see truth. I’m just one of many that might try to show things in scripture. However, God’s desire is for you to see what his spirit reveals to you. If I can help in your understanding of these events then ( TO GOD BE THE GLORY ).

( I believe ) it’s more to salvation than just saying ( we believe ) in Jesus Christ! I do not believe that aspect of salvation is being taught in our average local Church today. ( I believe ) there’s a reason for that. Most pastors today are ( educated ) by schools and universities. That’s where they get their knowlege and instruction. When, in reality, it takes ( God’s Spirit ) to be the instructor.

We have become more interested in the quanity of the people we have in our Churches rather than the quality of what we teach them. In the next segment of this study; I’ll try to show you what I see as happening in ( the 1500 mile city ) while the ( last week of tribulation ) is taking place on this earth.

I’ll call it ( PAST TENSE SALVATION ) AND THAT OF THE CHURCH!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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