(Note: Every believer in Christ, esp. those who are living in their ‘golden years’ should pay special attention to this message from the Bible. The Rapture is our Blessed Hope! Tit2:13 states ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’.)
The Rapture- Breaking the Adamic Curse of Death
The Legacy of Death
What is the legacy of death? It is the curse of death which Adam passed on to all living beings. But as we approach the last days of mankind, the legacy of death will accelerate signifying that many people, young and old, will experience catastrophic and premature death regardless of age. When asked regarding the end of the world Mt24:3, Jesus said ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ Mt24:6. All these terrible events will bring a significant increase of horrible, widespread and sudden Death never experienced before in the history of mankind.
This is how the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse is described: ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with Death, and with the beasts of the earth’ Re6:8. Suffice to say that Death by cataclysmic destruction- by wars, famines, natural disasters, and diseases, is a major theme found in the book of Revelation. But God has also made an Escape from Death for us through Jesus Christ called the Rapture, which is explained in this paper.
Death- the Adamic Curse
Because of Adam’s original sin in disobeying God, Satan placed a curse upon Adam and on all mankind. This curse is the death penalty for every living person, not unlike any criminal who is sentenced to death for a heinous crime that he had committed. Everyone that ever lived is under this death penalty and will eventually die. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘..the wages of sin is Death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23. Paul explained ‘Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and Death by sin; and so Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12.
When Adam broke God’s only law in the Garden of Eden, the death penalty was placed upon Adam and on all of us. We will also see below that Death is the work of Satan, the devil, and how God in the person of Jesus Christ came to ‘..destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. Paul wrote ‘..as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, also (Jesus) himself likewise took part of the same; that through (his) Death he might destroy him that had the power of Death, that is, the devil’ Heb2:14.
Death is an inevitability for everyone! There is no escaping physical and eventual spiritual death except through Jesus Christ. Heb9:27 states ‘..as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’. This means after death, there is a final judgment in the so called after-life.
The Adamic Curse- Physical and Spiritual Death
The Bible speaks of two types of death. It is one thing to experience physical death, but the Bible also speaks of a spiritual death– eternal damnation Mk3:29. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not Perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16. Jesus continued ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ Jn3:17,18.
Jesus said anyone not believing on Him and what He did for us on the cross is condemned already to eternal damnation. To be saved means our soul would have everlasting life one day in heaven. To perish means to be condemned to eternal punishment and torment in hell forever. Jesus asked ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mt16:26. All the riches and glory of the entire world cannot compare with losing one’s soul in hell. Spiritual death is eternal damnation! But Paul wrote ‘..Christ died for our sins’ 1Co15:3, to save us from spiritual death.
The Garden Scene/the Garden Sin and the Tree of Death
Ge1:1 states God is the creator of all things. God put all the trees and animals, then Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Every tree the LORD God planted was pleasant to sight and good for food Ge2:9. There were two very significant trees in the Garden- the tree of Life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In the the Garden 6000 years ago, the LORD God had only ONE LAW. He commanded Adam ‘..Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ Ge2:16,17. Since God only planted the good trees, how did this beautiful but deadly tree get into the Garden Ge3:6?
Did God allow Satan the serpent, the Devil to plant this evil tree of Death? Re12:9 states ‘the old serpent is the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’. Mt13:25,39 state ‘the enemy, the devil is the sower of tares, or the planter of the bad seed’. Like God’s good trees, Satan’s evil tree was also beautiful, but deadly for food Ge3:6. Satan deceptively used the evil tree to introduce Death into the world.
A&E lived in the Garden for a while before one day succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, asexual with no children, and in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no lack, no strife, no bondage, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They ate only fruits until they partook of the Tree of Death. They were healthy and would have lived forever. They were also beautifully clothed with glory, but became naked and cursed upon sinning Ge3:7,17.
Satan, the Author of Death- the Destroyer and Murderer
The Bible states that the serpent (the devil) was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a man. The serpent may have encountered A&E many times. One day, he laid a trap for them, even as he does for all of us. Paul warned us to beware ‘of the snare of the devil’ 2Ti2:26. Jesus said ‘the devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies’ Jn8:44. The devil, the liar, seeks ‘to steal, and to kill and to destroy us’ Jn10:10.
A&E believed the serpent’s lie about becoming wise as gods; disobeyed and broke God’s only law. A&E became wise, knowing good and evil, and also very perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened; they lost their glory clothing, became naked and corrupt Ge3:5-7.
Thus by Adam, sin and death entered into the world and were passed on to every man ever since. The apostle John wrote ‘He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he (Jesus) might destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. By dying on the cross ‘Jesus might destroy the devil that had the power of death Heb2:14. Satan, the devil, is the author of death and has the power of death. Satan is a killer, ‘a murderer from the beginning’.
The Adamic Curse of Death- A Lifetime Bondage
David wrote ‘What man is he that liveth, and shall not see Death? shall (God) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?’ Ps89:48. Paul stated ‘Through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ Heb2:15. Whether a person lives to 80, 90, 100 or more, Death is often a fearful preoccupation. A common saying is ‘Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die’. But if a person knows his Bible, he should have a better outlook in this matter. Curiously, the Bible speaks of a second death. Re20:14 states ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH’.
The Bible also speaks of a coming generation of people living that will not experience physical death. It speaks of an Escape from this cursed lifetime bondage, when Jesus will return, to bodily translate His own alive back into heaven Jn14:3, 1Th4:17. This Escape is known as the Rapture of the Saints, much like how Enoch and Elijah were taken bodily alive into heaven.
Enoch and Elijah- Two Who Broke the Adamic Curse
The Bible states Enoch and Elijah were the only two living that escaped physical Death. Enoch, ‘the seventh from Adam’ Jude14, ‘..walked with God: and he was not; for God took him’ Ge5:24. ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see Death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he PLEASED God’ Heb11:5. Enoch was 365 years old when God took him bodily into heaven.
Likewise, God also took Elijah, the prophet, directly to heaven in a chariot of fire. 2Ki2:11 states ‘And it came to pass.. behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven’. Both Enoch and Elijah were the only two people living before that never died, but were translated or Raptured into heaven.
By His Death, Jesus Defeated Death for Us
Jesus is the only person in history who said He would die and come back alive. Neither Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, or anyone else made this claim, and did return from the dead except for Jesus Christ! The first instance of Jesus telling his disciples of his impending death and resurrection was in Mt16:21: ‘From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day’.
Throughout the four Gospels, Jesus repeatedly spoke of his death and resurrection, though no one believed Him. (See Mt17:22-23,20:17-19, Mk8:31,9:31,10:34, Lk9:22,18:33,24:7,46, Jn2:19). Jesus made this claim, and came back alive for 40 days after his brutal death on the cross Ac1:3. Jesus was seen alive by over 500 people at once, by many of his disciples, adversaries, and contemporaries of his days 1Co15:6, and He was then physically taken up alive into heaven Ac1:9.
Jesus came to earth to defeat death. Heb2:9 states ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man’. By one man Adam, sin and death entered into this world, and by one man Jesus Christ, tasted death for all of us. John the Baptist said ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’; ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him’ Jn1:29,3:36.
The Acts of the Apostles is replete with accounts of the apostles preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! The apostle Paul went all over Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and Spain Ro15:24, proclaiming the incredible story of Jesus’ crucifixion by the Romans and of His Resurrection; that Jesus was alive, and that everyone must believe in Him in order to be saved from sin, Satan, and Hell, for He died for our sins!
Jesus Christ Declared Himself as the Resurrection and the Life
The Resurrection is not only a historical event, but also a person- Jesus Christ. The Bible revealed that Jesus Christ is God Himself. In his own words Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25-26. Jesus declared himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus claimed to have power over Death and over Life. Jn1:4 states ‘In him (Jesus, the Word of God) was Life; and the Life was the light of men’.
Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:6,7. Know Jesus, know the Father! See Jesus, see the Father! Jesus said ‘I and my Father are One’ Jn10:30! Jesus is the only way to God the Father, and to Heaven!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Dead- 1 Corinthians Chapter 15
Paul declared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul said ‘For I delivered unto you first of all.. how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once..’ 1Co15:3-6.
Paul said ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.. And if Christ be not raised, your Faith Is Vain; ye are yet in your sins’ 1Co15:14,17. Paul continued, ‘For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the Dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive’ 1Co15:21,22.
Here the apostle Paul spoke of a future Resurrection of the Dead and then of the Living, when Jesus will return to take us back to heaven. Paul desiring to attain to this Resurrection wrote ‘That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the Dead’ Php3:10,11. But we look forward to the Resurrection of the Living, our escape from death via the Rapture.
The Coming Rapture- Our Only Escape From the Adamic Curse
Jesus told us how to escape Death one day: ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.
Then Paul added ‘How shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord..’ Heb2:3. Here both Jesus and Paul warned of a need to Escape the terrible things coming to pass upon the earth. The Rapture is our only Escape from physical Death. The Rapture represents ‘the Redemption of our Body’ as spoken of in Ro8:23.
Jesus promised that one day He will return to take us bodily into heaven in the Rapture. Jesus told his disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. 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’ Jn14:1-3.
Paul then confirmed what Jesus said: ‘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 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’ 1Th4:15-18. Paul wanted us to remember this promise of Jesus, and to comfort us with these words of the coming Rapture!
The Rapture- the Adamic Curse of Death Finally Broken
Death is an enemy of mankind. Death is our enemy. Paul said ‘THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE DESTROYED IS DEATH’ 1Co15:26. David wrote ‘This shall be written for the generation to come’; God will ‘..loose those that are appointed to death’ Ps102:18,20. Jesus holds ‘the keys of hell and of Death’ Re1:18. The Bible speaks of a generation of people who will not experience physical death because Jesus will loose them that were appointed to die. Jesus promised ‘AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE..’ Jn11:26.
Here Jesus was referring to a future RAPTURE, where a generation of believers living would be loosed from physical death. As Enoch and Elijah who pleased God were taken bodily alive into heaven, ‘.. so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. But we must be IN CHRIST to be taken in the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17. John the beloved wrote ‘And now, little children, ABIDE IN HIM; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming’ 1Jn2:28. If not, many will be left behind like the 5 foolish virgins Mt25:11,12.
Paul spoke of the Rapture again stating ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (Die), 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. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? ..But Thanks Be To God, Which Giveth Us The Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co15:51-57.
Our natural body will then be changed into a supernatural, spiritual, and glorious body like Jesus Christ 1Jn3:1-3. The Rapture will be our Reward, our Redemption, our Salvation and Resurrection. Finally, the Rapture will be our only Escape from the Adamic Curse of Death which will finally be broken; we shall never die, but live forever! Praise The Lord! Amen!
In The Coming Great Worldwide Tribulation Part I, it was discussed ‘What is Tribulation‘, How long is ‘the Tribulation‘, and what is the ‘Great Tribulation‘? It was also mentioned that ‘the Tribulation‘ will be worldwide and is synonymous with the term ‘Great Tribulation‘. It will not be 7 years long as many believe (See Part I), but only 3½ years as revealed in the Holy Bible, particularly in the book of Revelation.
Revelation chapters 6 through 16 reveal that there will be 21 specific judgments to affect the whole world which will be the wrath of God ‘poured’ upon the earth on a sinful and rebellious people. The judgments will include the world’s greatest war, drought, famine, persecution, storm, disaster, pestilence, epidemic, scorching, plague, and earthquake to come; all never ever experienced before in intensity and in magnitude. It will be the most fearful and demoralizing time to be living on the earth. Lk21:26-28 state
Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Redemption mentioned here is the Rapture of the Saints, that God has provided as an escape for faithful believers, for all those that are In Christ. This is now discussed here in Part II.
THE COMING RAPTURE of the SAINTS before the GREAT Worldwide TRIBULATION Part II
The concepts of the coming Rapture and Great Tribulation are intimately connected, with the Rapture occurring before the Great Tribulation takes place! The Bible bears this truth out in many places. The word Rapture is a commonly used term to describe an escape from the coming Great Tribulation. It comes from the Latin word ‘rapiemur’, which means to be ‘snatched up’, ‘caught up’, ‘raised up’, ‘to be seized’, or ‘to be translated‘ into heaven such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in the past! Paul wrote:
‘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’ 1Th4:16-18. Also, ‘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’ 1Co15:52.
Jesus has provided an escape when He will secretly come only for those ready for Him in the Rapture. Only faithful believers In Christ, who are watching and praying, looking for His return, obeying His Word, and readying themselves by being pure and holy, will escape the coming wrath of God in the Rapture, and not go through the Great Tribulation. Here are some Tribulation and Rapture scriptures that substantiate this point:
Ro1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..
1Th5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Re3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
1Th1:10 ..wait for his Son from heaven.. even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Lk21:28 ..when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Lk21:36 Watch ye.. and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Heb2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..
1Co10:13 ..God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape..
Ep1:13 ..after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation.. ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise..
Ep4:30 ..grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Jn14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.. I go to prepare a place for you. 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.
2Co6:17 ..come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
1Jn2:28 ..abide in him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn3:2 ..now are we the sons of God..we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Mt16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Re22:12 ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according to his works shall be.
Tit2:13 ‘..Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..’
(In the King James Version (KJV) Bible, there are key words or phrases that are repetitive, which often help in giving revelation and deeper understanding of the scripture verses. For example the words WRATH, SALVATION, REDEMPTION, ESCAPE, SEALED, RECEIVE, and REWARD are repeated in several of the scriptures above. Likewise there are phrases such as ‘COME TO PASS‘, and ‘WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR‘ that are also repeated. Often times, these repeated words and phrases are related in meaning, and when searching for them, the Bible gives a clearer picture of what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us. Jesus said ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me‘ Jn5:39.)
Here are the explanations of the scriptures above: The Bible states that the WRATH OF GOD is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness Ro1:18. There is a coming WRATH OF GOD upon all mankind (GREAT TRIBULATION), but not upon faithful believers 1Th5:9. The GREAT TRIBULATION is also called the HOUR OF TEMPTATION which will try all that dwell on the earth; but we are to wait patiently for Jesus Re3:10, who shall delivered us from the WRATH to come 1Th1:10. Jesus then said when these things begin to COME TO PASS (before the GREAT TRIBULATION), look up, lift up your heads for your REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE) draws near Lk21:28. Jesus then said to watch and pray that we may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these thing that shall COME TO PASS (the GREAT TRIBULATION), and stand before Him (the RAPTURE) at His coming Lk21:36.
Lk21:36 and Heb2:3 both describe the RAPTURE as our great ESCAPE and great SALVATION. Ep1:13 and Ep4:30 both state that believers are ‘SEALED with the Holy Spirit of Promise (the RAPTURE)’, unto ‘The Day Of REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE)’. The Promise of the RAPTURE was also given by Jesus when He said ‘I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and RECEIVE you unto myself (the RAPTURE); that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:2,3. Paul also wrote that if we separate ourselves and be holy, God will RECEIVE us (the RAPTURE) 2Co6:17. The apostle John said to abide in Jesus; that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, we may have Confidence, and not be ASHAMED Before Him At His Coming (the RAPTURE) 1Jn2:28. This verse also suggests that some people will be ASHAMED before Him at His Coming; they were NOT READY! Also WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR (the RAPTURE), we shall be like Jesus for we shall see Him as He is 1Jn3:2!
Finally, Jesus will REWARD us at His coming, according to our works Mt16:27, Re22:12. Thus, the RAPTURE is our ESCAPE and our REWARD– to be saved from the coming GREAT TRIBULATION! The RAPTURE is also our REDEMPTION and SALVATION, and our BLESSED HOPE. Paul told us to look for that BLESSED HOPE (the RAPTURE), and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of our Great God and Saviour, the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Tit2:13!
In conclusion, there is a GREAT TRIBULATION coming soon upon the earth as prophesied by Jesus in Mt24:21 and in the book of Revelation! Presently, the earth is going through tremendous convulsions with nations rising against nations. There are wars and rumors of war, great earthquakes, droughts, famines, and great natural disasters. Add to this the great economic woes and the slowing down of the world’s economies especially in America and Europe, both in near collapse due to extreme indebtedness. The GREAT TRIBULATION of 3½ years may be sooner than later, and perhaps right around the corner. The recent destabilization of the Middle East and the further isolation of Israel by the United Nations in granting Palestine non-member status by a vote of 138 to 9, are also sure signs of a great war coming in the last days.
But all this is necessary, for all Bible prophecies must be fulfilled before the establishment of the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth. The AntiChrist will arise up during the GREAT TRIBULATION, and ‘destroy wonderfully’ Da8:24. He will put the entire world under his diabolic rule in a NEW WORLD ORDER- a One World Gov’t, One World Economy, and a One World Religion. Then the people of the world must either worship the AntiChrist as their god, or be beheaded. Re20:4 tells ‘..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..’ (A word of caution- if anyone worships the Beast or his image, or accepts his mark 666 Re13:16-18, he will be doomed and tormented in fire and brimstone forever Re14:9-11).
Surely you will never read about this in the NEW YORK TIMES, but there is a coming GREAT TRIBULATION to try every living soul on the earth! Thus, we must be watching and praying, be pure and holy, and be ready to escape in the RAPTURE! The RAPTURE is an ELECTIVE EVENT, meaning only you can decide to be TAKEN by making yourself READY. Otherwise, you will be LEFT BEHIND; ‘For many are called, but few are chosen‘ Mt22:14! Paul admonished us ‘..work out your OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling’ Php2:12. Amen!
Jesus said ‘For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be’ Mt24:21.
What is Tribulation; How Long is ‘the Tribulation’; What is ‘the Great Tribulation’? Tribulation is a general term that describes great difficulties, afflictions, suffering, hardships, and distresses. In this world, tribulations are quite common in many places at any given time, caused by greed, persecutions, war, droughts, famine, pestilence, and natural disasters. There has never been a period in history without tribulation of some kind in the world. During the great World Wars I and II, tribulation was widespread, ubiquitous, consuming, and affected major parts, if not the entire world. Countries in all major continents have experienced great tribulation during times of wars. Thus, even the phrase ‘great tribulation’ is a very relative term often used only by those in the midst of their suffering. While there may be great tribulation in Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, or Spain, for the other parts of the world, things may not be so bad, or might even be good. So the use of the word(s) tribulation or great tribulation is a relative word, and should always be viewed in the context of what really happened! Jesus also said ‘..in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ Jn16:33. As long as we are in this world, we will suffer some kind of tribulation!
Superstorm Sandy– a ‘Great Tribulation’? The recent Superstorm Sandy that struck the great northeast corridor of America’s population was a great tribulation, but certainly not ‘the Tribulation’, or ‘the Great Tribulation’. How would those whose homes were damaged by waves or washed out to sea, burned down by natural gas fire, or blown apart by strong winds describe what happened to them in terms of the word ‘tribulation’? Many suffered long periods without food and water, in the cold without electricity and heat, were trapped in high-rise buildings without elevator service; unable to leave or get to their homes, work or schools due to high-water, damaged roadways, shut-down public transportation, lack of gasoline, or damaged cars! How long will it take for things to return to normal, if ever? Who will help those with little or no money? How will the individuals, businesses, the counties or states recover their financial losses? The people living there have experienced and suffered tribulation or even great tribulation as never before. This example is given so that we can better understand the term ‘the Tribulation’ or ‘the Great Tribulation’, as Jesus spoke of. In Mt24:21, Jesus foretold that things in the end will get even worse worldwide.
Will ‘the Tribulation’ Prophesied By Jesus Really Be 7 Years Long? Here we will examine a specific period called ‘the Tribulation’ that many Bible students are seeking to understand in order to gauge when the Rapture will take place. While the Bible mentions the word ‘tribulation(s)’ 26 times (4 in the Old Testament, and 22 in the New Testament), the term ‘the Tribulation’ is only mentioned once (Mt24:29), and ‘that Tribulation’, only once also (Mk13:24)- both referring to the same specific period Jesus spoke of, but recorded by two Gospel writers, Matthew and Mark. The term ‘the Tribulation’ is not found anywhere in the book of Daniel, but most Bible scholars have inferred that ‘the Tribulation’ will be 7 years long from reading Da9:27, which states ‘..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 consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate’ (a week being 7 years). But in this verse, the first part of this 7-year covenant appears to be a rather peaceful time than a time of tribulation. Also does this verse really say that there will be a world-wide desolation, or just to the Jews? Da9:24 states ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city..’ clearly referring to the Jews and the city of Jerusalem. The peace accord will be for 7 years, but will ‘the Tribulation’ be during this entire period or just in the latter 3½ years?
In Da9:27, it is commonly accepted that the ‘he’ mentioned 3 times is the AntiChrist who will confirm a ‘peace covenant’ with the Jews for one week, (being interpreted as ‘7 years’), and in the middle of this period 3½ years will break the ‘covenant’ and destroy the Jewish people! But nowhere is the term ‘the Tribulation’ mentioned in the book of Daniel, or that the beginning of the peace treaty will begin ‘the Tribulation’! However to be fair, Da12:7 does mention‘a time, times, and an half’, basically, 3½ years; ‘a time of trouble’ v1 for the Jewish people living in ‘the time of the end’ v9! Ezekiel chapters 38/39 also speak of a great war coming to the Middle East, with armies from the North countries attacking Israel Ez38:15. It states that God will supernaturally intervene on behalf of Israel to defeat the enemy and it would then take 7 years to burn the weapons of war Ez39:9,10. But again, this does not mean that ‘the Tribulation’ would be 7 years long.
The Great Tribulation– the Worst Time Ever to Be Living The term Great Tribulation is mentioned only three times in the Bible, and only in the New Testament. Jesus said ‘For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be’ Mt24:21. In Re7:14, it states ‘.. These are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’. The 3rd reference, Re2:22 ‘Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds’, appears to refer to something else. In context, both Mt24:21 and Re7:14 refer to the same Great Tribulation that will be absolutely horrible. Here the Tribulation Saints, will be martyred and beheaded for their faith in Jesus Christ Re20:4. In Re7:9, it describes these saints as a great multitude that came out of the Great Tribulation from all ‘.. nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues’ from all over the world, not just the 144,000 Jews earlier mentioned from the 12 tribes of Israel.
The Great Tribulation – When Will It Begin and How Long Will It Last? When will this Great Tribulation begin and how many years will it last? The Bible does not state when it will happen, but it appears that it will be at ‘the end of the world’ Mt24:3. Jesus said ‘And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened’ Mt24:22; the elect, meaning the Jews. But the Bible does make reference to a time period of ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’ Re11:3,12:6, ‘forty and two months’ Re11:2, 13:5, and ‘a time, times, and an half’ Re12:14, basically 3½ years! The Greek calendar treats a year as 360 days, so 1260 days would equal 3½ years. While the Bible does not specifically state that the Great Tribulation will be 3½ years, the use of the above terms suggests that it will be 3½ years long, concluding with the war of Armageddon Re16:16, the return of Jesus Christ to defeat the Beast and the False Prophet Re19:20, and to establish His kingdom on earth!
In Revelation chapter 6, the Great Tribulation begins with the opening of the 7 seals. In Re6:9-11, they state ‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled’. Those slain for the Word of God and given white robes are very similar to those mentioned in Re7:14 ‘these are they which came out of Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’. However before then, faithful believers in Christ will already be ‘taken out’ in a pre-tribulation Rapture. Re4:1 states a voice said ‘Come up hither’, which signifies the Rapture! In Re11:12, the phrase ‘Come up hither’ is also used, when two witnesses of God who had prophesied for 1260 days are killed, but after 3½ days, brought back to life and ‘ascended up to heaven in a cloud’.
End of Part I. To Be Continued Soon….
Jesus Is Coming Again- the Rapture, and the 2nd Coming
In previous posts, I wrote of the Signs of the Coming Antichrist- the Dark Knight Rising, and Why Jesus Came. In this post, we will also be looking at Why Jesus Is Coming Again and what He will accomplish as the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD of LORDS Re19:16.
As the whole world degenerates into increasing corruption, immorality, and sin, Jesus will deliver us from God’s wrath to come 1Th1:10. Jesus will take us to heaven in the Rapture as He promised in Jn14:3, even as He was also bodily taken up Ac1:11. This scene will soon be played out along with the economic collapse of all nations when God will pour out His anger on a reprobate world as in terrible scenes found in the book of Revelation.
There will be 42 months of great tribulation upon the earth under the tyrannical rule of the Antichrist. This period prior to Jesus’ return to earth will be a most brutal, horrific, and cataclysmic time in the history of mankind. Jesus said ‘For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved..’ Mt24:21,22. The world will be in Great Tribulation with millions upon millions of people slaughtered in wars and death due to thirst, starvation, pestilence, disease, and by great earthquakes and natural disaster. It would be the time of the world domination of the Antichrist and the False Prophet for 42 months Re13:5; an absolute dictatorial system of rule and religion, subjecting people to forced worship of the Antichrist, in an economic system unsurvivable unless one takes his 666 mark Re13:17. The resources of the earth will be greatly diminished and will be rationed! This is already beginning to happen. All forms of freedom will be taken from them, and all will suffer great deprivation, fear and oppression!
Jesus will then return the 2nd time to earth to battle the Antichrist and the False Prophet Re19:11-20 and cast both of them into a lake of fire. He will then have Satan bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years Re20:1,2, and will establish His glorious kingdom on earth Re20:4. Jesus said ‘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’ Mt24:30. He said ‘..Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory’ Lk21:25-27. Re 1:6 tells ‘Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him’. We will now look at scriptures of the soon coming of Jesus Christ!
Jesus Will Come to Deliver Us From the Wrath to Come
- Lk21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
- Lk21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
- Heb2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..
- 1Th1:10 ..wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
- 1Th5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Re3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Jesus Will Come For Us In the Rapture- Our Blessed Hope
- Jn6:41 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
- Jn14:2,3 ..I go to prepare a place for you. 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.
- 1Th4:16,17 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.
- Tit2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Jesus Will Come to Judge and Bring Judgment to the World
- Ps96:13 ..for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
- Mal3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?
- Jn5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
- Ro14:10 ..for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
- 2Co5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; ..according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
- Jn9:39 ..For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
- 2Pe3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
- Re11:18 ..the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged..
Jesus Will Come Again to Battle the Antichrist, the False Prophet, the Kings of the Earth, and their Armies
- Is13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger..
- Zec12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
- Zec14:1-3 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh.. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken ..Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations..
- Jude14 Enoch also, the 7th from Adam, prophesied.. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.
- Re19:11 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.
- Re19:19 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet .. both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
In this 2nd and final coming, Jesus Christ will fulfill all that is written of Him in the Bible; to establish God’s kingdom on earth, in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost Ro14:17. All those who are called, and chosen, and faithful Re17:14, those who had part in the first resurrection, the Rapture 1Th4:16,17, the overcomers Re2:26,27 will then reign with Jesus for a thousand years Re20:6!
Please stay tuned! My next post will be JESUS, THE GREATEST PERSON THAT EVER LIVED! Thank you!
The Reasons For Jesus Coming to Earth
Knowing why Jesus came to earth is of utmost importance to our lives now and hereafter. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, and it all depends upon what we do with this person Jesus that will determine where we will end up. We will look at scriptures on why Jesus came and why He is coming again to earth. It is all about God’s 7000-year plan for mankind as revealed in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The reason and purpose for Jesus Christ coming to earth are myriad, revelational, and eternal. The Bible states ‘..by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men’ Ro5:12. Jesus was sent by God to save us, by dying on the cross for our sins. Jn3:16,17 state ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved’. This is the main reason why Jesus came to earth, but there are other reasons also.
Jesus came to reveal God to us, to heal the sick and to deliver us from the clutches of Satan, the devil, and to destroy his works. Jesus came to prepare the way so that He could then send the Holy Spirit to empower us to live and serve Him. Jesus will soon return secretly in the Rapture only for those faithful and ready in Christ, to receive them unto Himself in heaven. After that Jesus will return the 2nd time, to judge the world and to establish His kingdom on earth for a 1000 years!
Jesus Came to Save Sinners- Jesus Saves
- Mt1:21 ..call his name Jesus-for he shall save his people from their sins.
- Mt9:13 ..I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Also Mk2:17.
- Lk9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
- Lk19:10 .. Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Also Mt 18:11.
- Jn12:47 I come not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Jesus Came to Reveal and Do the Father’s Will
- Jn1:18 ..the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
- Jn4:34 My meat is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.
- Jn5:43 I am come in my Father’s name..
- Jn6:38 I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.
- Jn17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Jesus Came To Free Us By Bringing Us Truth, and To Give Us An Abundant and Eternal Life
- Jn1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
- Jn8:32 ..ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. v36 if the Son therefore make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
- Jn14:6 ..I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me.
- Jn10:10 ..I am come that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly.
- Mt20:28 ..the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
- Ro6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus Came To Destroy the Works of the Devil
- Mk1:34 he healed many that were sick…and cast out many devils. Mk16:17 ..In my name ye shall cast out devils..
- Col2:15 having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
- 1Jn3:8 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested; that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus Came to Preach, Reveal, Unveil and Announce the Gospel of the Kingdom of God
- Mt4:23 and 9:35 Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching.. preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease of the people.
- Mt6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
- Mk1:15 ..the time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel.
- Ac1:3 Jesus ..being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
- Ro14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Other Reasons For Jesus Coming
- Mt5:17 ..I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it.
- Mt 10:34 I came not to send peace, but a sword.
- Lk 3:16 Jesus ..shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
- Ac1:5 ..ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost..
- Lk12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth..v51 not peace on earth..but division.
- Jn9:39 For judgment I am come into this world..
- Lk4:18,19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Jesus fulfilled all of the above that God sent Him to do at His 1st coming. Jesus did exactly the will of God before He was taken back into heaven and is now sitting on the right hand of God in glory and power Mk16:19, Ac1:11. He paid the price for all of our sins by dying on the cross for us. He was resurrected to life, remained 40 days more on earth, and then was taken to heaven. Ten days later on the day of Pentecost, Jesus baptized 120 disciples with the Holy Spirit Ac2:1-4, as He had promised and also for those now living today Jn16:7, Ac1:5,8. By receiving the Holy Spirit, we then have power to witness Jesus and to take the Great Commission of the Gospel into all the world Ac1:8, Mk16:15. Before his crucifixion & ascension into heaven Ac1:9, Jesus had promised that He would return (secretly) one day in the Rapture, only for those who made themselves ready Ti2:13,14. Jesus said ‘.. I will come again, & receive you unto myself; that where I am (in heaven), there ye may be also’ Jn14:3. We will next look at scriptures regarding the Rapture, & the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ to earth.
End of Part I… To be continued!
Be Rapture Ready or Be Left Behind
A few years ago, Angelica Zambrano, a young Ecuadorean girl in her early twenties, posted her riveting account of seeing heaven and hell, and of the Rapture. It has been visited by millions of people worldwide (See BLOGROLL on right side bar below). It can also be found at http://spiritlessons.com/documents/Prepare_to_meet_your_God/index.htm . Angela said ‘Jesus is only coming back for a holy people, and many of God’s children will not be ready on that day, and will be left behind in a world that will fall apart‘.
How can we be Rapture Ready and not be Left Behind? The Bible, through Jesus Christ, is our roadmap to the Father. Jesus said ‘I am the way the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Jn14:6.. ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ Heb13:5. Jesus said ‘.. the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life’ Jn6:63. By following Jesus words, we will find eternal life.
How to Be ‘Rapture Ready’ and to Prepare for the Lord’s coming. Here are some guidelines:
Love God and His Word, Abide In Jesus– Be Filled, Be Led, and Be Sealed by the Holy Spirit.
We must love the Lord thy God Mt22:37,Lk10:27; love one another Jn13:34,35. Abide in Jesus and His Word in us Jn15:7. We must be ‘filled with the Spirit’ Ep5:18. We must be led by the Holy Spirit: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God’ Ro8:14. We must be sealed by the Holy Spirit: ‘.. grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption’ Ep4:30. We must depend on the Spirit of Truth to teach and guide us Jn14:26,16:13. We must have fresh revelation from the Holy Spirit Jn16:13; to know what God is doing in these last days; ‘meat in due season’ Mt24:45. Paul wrote ‘But if the Spirit of (God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, (God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you’ Ro8:11. It is the Holy Spirit who will raise us to meet Jesus in the air 1Th4:17.
Watch and Pray
Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come’ Mt24:42. ‘Pray without ceasing’ 1Th5:17. Pray ‘in the Spirit’ Ep6:18. Pray in the Holy Ghost Jude20. ‘The Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’ Ro8:26. ‘And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’ Ac2:4. Jesus said ‘..they shall speak with new tongues’ Mk16:17. Paul said ‘I speak with tongues more than ye all’1Co14:18. Ask God for wisdom on how to be ready for His coming Jas1:5. Look for Jesus coming Ti2:13.
Know the Word of God- Have Faith in God
Faith is needed to please God He11:6. We must have faith in God Mk11:22. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God Ro10:17. Believe God and doubt not Mk11:23. We must know the Word to increase our faith Lk17:5. We must study the Word to be approved unto God. We must be able to rightly divide the Word of truth 2Ti2:15. We must live by ‘every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ Mt4:4. We must be sanctified by thy Word Jn17:17; be ‘sanctified and cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word’ Ep5:26. We must hide His Word in our hearts so as not to sin against God Ps119:11.
Know the many promises of God for protection, provisions and blessings Php4:19,Ps84:11. Know Psalm 91– the Psalm of protection from the devil- terror by night, arrow by day, pestilence, destruction and plagues; for long life and for salvation. Know Jesus, the Blessed Hope 1Tit2:13, and the power of his resurrection Php 3:10. Know who the Blessed are in the Beatitudes– the poor in spirit; they that mourn; the meek; they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; the peacemakers; the persecuted and those persecuted for Jesus’ sake Mt5:3-16.
Repent- Be Pure and Holy
Repent and believe the gospel Mk1:15. ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord’ Ac3:19. Ask God to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness 1Jn1:9. Forgive one another Mt6:12. Confess our faults Jas5:16. Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God Mi6:8. We must be ‘.. in Christ, a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ 2Co5:17. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus; lose our lives for His sake Mt16:24,25.
‘Purify ourselves’ 1Jn3:3. Only the pure in heart shall see God Mt5:8, and be like Jesus 1Jn3:2. Ti2:13,14 tell us ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’. ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’ 1Pe1:16. Paul wrote ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ Heb12:14. God has called us unto holiness 1Th4:7. We must have clean hands and a pure heart Ps24:4; to walk up-rightly and work righteousness, and speak the truth Ps15:2.
Rejoice in the Lord Always and Praise the Lord
The joy of the Lord is our strength Ne8:10. Rejoice in the Lord always Php4:4. In God’s presence there is fulness of joy Ps16:11. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.. Serve the Lord with gladness Ps100:1,2. Give thanks unto the Lord Ps92:1. Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good Ps135:3,Ps150. In everything give thanks 1Th5:18. Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually.. the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name Heb13:15. There is power and personal deliverance when we praise the Lord!
Know Your Spiritual Authority Over the Devil
The enemy of our souls is Satan Re12:9, but we can have spiritual authority over him. Paul wrote we ‘.. wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ Ep6:12. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ 1Pe5:8. Know the ‘weapons of our warfare’ 2Co10:4; the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony Re12:11; the name of the Jesus Christ Mk16:17, Co3:17; the Word of God 1Jn2:14; even our faith 1Jn5:4; ‘
‘Finally ..be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might’ Ep6:10. ‘Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’ Ep6:11; Praying.. in the Spirit Ep6:18. Know our power over the enemy. Binding and loosening Mt16:19,18:18. Use the name of Jesus to cast out devils Mk16:17. Stand on the Word of God for ‘..greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’ 1Jn4:4. God has given us the Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind 2Ti1:7. Jesus has given us power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy Lk10:19.
The Rapture Will Be An Elective One- Only You Alone Can Decide to be Taken Up
Who determines whether you will be taken in the Rapture or not? Like in accepting Jesus Christ to be saved, you alone must decide to be taken by making yourself ready as Jesus told us to do so! If you love the Lord’s appearing 2Ti4:8, are looking for that Blessed Hope Ti2:13, and for your redemption Lk21:28; if you are watching and praying to be accounted worthy to escape the coming evil Lk21:36; want to please God Heb11:5, have clean hands and a pure heart Ps24:4, are led by the Holy Spirit Ro8:14, seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness Mt6:33, are pure and holy Mt5:8,1Pe1:16, then Jesus will return to take you to heaven with Him Jn14:3.
If you want to participate in the Rapture, then you must prepare for it yourself! You must learn what the Bible says about the Rapture and how to be ready. If you do not want to be left behind, then you must make yourself ready. Thus the Rapture will be a very selective one! Only you alone can and will decide to be taken up in the Rapture or not!
Be Rapture Ready or Be Left Behind
Back in 1995, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins co-authored a New York Times best-seller book titled Left Behind, a Novel of the Earth’s Last Days, based upon their study of the Holy Bible and its references to the Rapture of ready believers, and of those Left Behind. The widely popular book then became a series of 16 books, known as the Left Behind Series relating to the subject of the Rapture. The last book in the series was Kingdom Come: the Final Victory published in 2007. All told, nearly 50 million books were purchased, and likely read by millions more.
As world events are heating up in the world- countries and governments are growing broke under huge unrepayable debts, worldwide economic instabilities, recent severe droughts in the US where nearly 50% of exports of the corn, wheat, and soybeans to the rest of the world come from, tension and a probable war looming in the Mideast with the threats of nuclear bombs being employed, and the likelihood of resulting sharply rising gasoline prices , an Armageddon syndrome pervades the minds of many people all over the world, and many are wondering if the end is near!
From the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus warned us that there will great tribulation such as the world never experienced, neither will it ever Mt24:21. Jesus said ‘.. be ye also ready; for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of man cometh’ Mt24:44, and ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. In both verses, Jesus was speaking of the Rapture!
The Case for Being Rapture Ready
We must be ready because Jesus is coming quickly, as ‘a thief in the night’ 1Th5:2. Jesus is coming only for those who are ready for Him; for a Church without spot or wrinkle Ep5:27; for a pure and holy people. Paul wrote God ‘shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co1:8. Jesus said ‘.. behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. Heb9:28 tells ‘..unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation’. After the Rapture, Great Judgment and Tribulation will fall upon the earth Mt24:21.
Great anxiety, perplexities and suffering shall affect every living soul. Paul wrote before the Lord’s return, there will be a falling away of many church members into apostasy 2Th2:3-12. Jesus said ‘.. except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:5; ‘.. except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved’ Mt24:22. ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Jesus will deliver us from the ‘wrath to come‘ 1Th1:10.
Without Jesus, there is no hope. Not to be ready, is to suffer in the forthcoming Great Tribulation. Those who left their first love, the fornicators and the lukewarm in Re2 and Re3 will not be ready, and will be Left Behind. While it is not certain when the Rapture will take place, we are told to watch for the signs and be ready for His coming.
In 1Th4:15-18, Paul wrote about the Rapture of both the dead and of the living. He 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ This is the Rapture of the saints at the time of Christ’s coming.
Jesus himself shall descend from heaven and cause the dead and the alive in Christ to arise, to be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, to ever be with Him. We are told to comfort one another with these words. All of this sounds very simple and clear. Jesus will return for His own, to take them to be with Him. Jesus said ‘.. 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’ Jn14:3. Jesus prayed ‘Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, BE WITH ME WHERE I AM..’ Jn17:24. Where is Jesus today? With the Father in heaven Ac1:11, Mk16:19!
Instead of comforting one another with these words, many pastors and leaders are not warning their congregation about the soon coming of the Lord and of the Rapture; not warning them to be ready. They give no comfort as they were told to do so. There is presently also a great denial that we are living in the last days and in the endtimes. Thus, many believers are duped and unprepared for the return of Jesus. We need to be ‘Rapture Ready’ or we will be ‘Left Behind’ when Jesus returns for his own as He had promised 2000 years ago.
The Rapture, Our Only Escape
God said ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee’ Hos4:6. Unless we have knowledge of the endtimes and are preparing for Jesus’ coming, we will be Left Behind in a very perverted Antichrist and anti-God system that is now subtly engulfing the world. Unless pastors and leaders prepare people for Jesus’ coming, many believers will be Left Behind including themselves. God is seeking a pure and holy people Tit2:13,14 to take them with Him to heaven in the Rapture.
Jesus said ‘..I will come again, and receive you unto myself’ Jn14:3. We must be ‘Rapture Ready’ in order to escape the wrath of God coming upon the earth 1Th1:10. Like the people in Noah’s days that perished in the flood, and the 5 foolish virgins who were not ready in Mt25:11, many believers will be left behind and perish because they were not prepared to escape, ‘the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience’ Co3:6.
The Rapture in itself is an Escape from the Great Tribulation coming upon the earth. Referring to the Rapture, Paul wrote ‘.. how shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation..’ Heb2:3. Paul also wrote ‘.. work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’ Php2:12b. Jesus said ‘when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28! Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. The Rapture is our only Escape from the terrible Great Tribulation coming upon the earth.
Signs of Jesus’ Coming
There are many signs written in the Bible heralding the soon coming of Jesus Christ to earth. They are found throughout the Bible, especially in Mt24, Mk13, and Lk21. Here are some important signs: 1. The rebirth of the nation Israel Is66:8, 2. The worldwide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to all nations Mt 24:14, 3. Great earthquakes in divers places; famines, and pestilences; fearful sights and great signs from heaven Lk21:11, 4. Increasing immorality, corruption, and violence 2Pe2:6, 5. Many false prophets deceiving many believers Mt24:11; 6. Great apostasy in the churches 2Ti3:5, and a falling away of believers 2Th2:2-12, 7. Wars and rumors of war Mk13:7, 8. Distress of nations with perplexity Lk21:25, 9. The rise of the Antichrist in a New World Order– a one world gov’t, religion, society, economic and monetary system Re13:1-18, 10. Great tribulation such as the world has never known Mt24:21.
The first sign, Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948, has already past, and the remaining signs are either in progress or will soon be fulfilled. Other signs describe people in the last days as being very greedy, immoral, wicked, proud and arrogant; hedonists, homosexuals, and false worshippers 2Ti3:5. The book of Revelation gives many more endtime signs before Jesus returns. It speaks of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse– of war, famine, death and destruction Re6:1-8, of worldwide pestilence and desolation. One third of the earth will be affected, and many killed Re8 and Re9. Today there are over 10 nations with nuclear weapons, so a nuclear war seems imminent.
Jesus said ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved’ Mt24:13. We must endure till the end to be to be saved from the terrible things coming upon the earth; to escape death and to take part in the Rapture of the saints. To be ‘Rapture Ready’ requires revelation on what God is doing, what is happening today, an understanding that we are near the end, and to be prepared and ready for the Lord’s coming.
Another Sign of the End- Worldwide Economic Collapse
Today we live in a global economy. What happens in Europe and America will affect the rest of the world. The whole world is built upon a mountain of debt ready to collapse. The present debt crises in the PIIGS countries, namely, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain, are a grave danger that will soon topple the rest of the world. Also Japan’s debt is huge, nearly 2.5 times its annual productivity (GDP). But America is in the worst debt crisis than all these countries combined. In 2005, our national debt was $8 trillion.
Today, like an unstoppable runaway train, it is about $19 trillion (2016) equivalent to over $60,000 for every man, woman and child. Our leaders are powerless and not interested in reducing or to pay off the debt. The only recourse is for the US Federal Reserve Bank to print more money. Because the US$ has been the world’s reserve currency since WWII, the demise of the US$ due to excessive debts will eventually destroy the present world’s economic system. An economic collapse due to bank failures, terrorism, war, famine or any national calamity or disaster will bring America to ‘her knees’ in an economic depression worse than that of the 1930s.
When America collapses, all nations will suffer along with her. Jesus spoke of a time when ‘Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth..’ Lk21:26. Many heart attacks will occur when the markets of the world crash. So how do we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? What must we know and what must we do to be ready?
End of Part I… Please see Part II- https://drgoldsite.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/be-rapture-ready-or-be-left-behind-part-ii-conclusion/
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden- The SONSHIP Message
God’s Great Love For Us- the Gift of His Glory
1Jn4:8 tells us ‘.. God is love’. God is the personification of Love. God’s love is perfect. Love is conveyed through words and actions. We express our love by giving to others- our families, friends, and those in need. Even more so with God! The measure of God’s great love for us is proven by His dying on the cross for us in the person of Jesus Christ Jn3:16!
Here is a also another very important aspect of God’s love: Because God is love, He wants to share all of His riches and glory with us Ep1:18. But because God is also Holy and Just, He is constrained to give His glory only to those who He deemed are worthy; only to those who are pure and holy, who have been tested and proven. Peter wrote ‘..the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ’ 1Pe1:7.
Paul wrote ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ Ro8:16-18. Jesus expressly prayed the Father saying ‘And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them..’ Jn17:22. 1Th2:12 states ‘That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory’. Paul wrote ‘Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ 2Th 2:14’.
God gave us His Spirit to change us from glory to glory into the same image as Jesus Christ 2Co3:18. God’s desire is that we become like Jesus, so He can give us all things. Re21:7 states ‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’. In short, this is the SONSHIP message- God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. But SONSHIP is only for those who know of this great plan that God has for us. It would require faith and a desire to be like Jesus on your part for it to be fulfilled in you. Without these virtues, faith and desire, SONSHIP will be unattainable to you!
The SONSHIP Message- God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus
Jesus came to earth so that God could have more sons and daughters like Him. By His coming, Jesus left us an example to follow. Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it’ Mt16:24-25. He2:10 states ‘it became God.. in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’.
1Jn3:1-3 declare ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the SONS of GOD.. when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’. Ro8:29-30 state ‘for whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, that Jesus might be the firstborn of many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified’.
Php3:21 states God will ‘change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body‘. Paul wrote ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ Php3:10-14. Paul’s goal and our goal should be the same- to become like Jesus Christ. This is what the SONSHIP message is all about! God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ so that He can give them all that He has- EVERYTHING that He has Re21:7.
The Paramount Reason Why God Created Man- For SONSHIP
In conclusion, the paramount reason why God created man is to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ (SONSHIP), in order to share His glory with them! This is the same glory that Lucifer wanted to extort from God and was cast out of heaven; the glory that belonged only to Jesus and reserved for those later that will become sons of God. Lucifer’s desires can be found in his 5 ‘I wills’- ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High’ Is14:13-14. Lucifer was defeated in his rebellion against God, and was cast down to earth Eze28:17,18, Lk10:18, Re12:9.
After Lucifer fell, some untold years later God jump started His great SONSHIP plan for mankind, when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden which was 6000 years ago. God allowed Satan and the tree of offense, the no-no tree, also to be there. Adam and Eve partook off the fruit of that evil tree, thereby sin and death came into the world. Because of Adam and Eve sin, we needed a Savior; Jesus had to come to die for our sins. And because of Jesus, we now have the Bible, and we can now know of God’s great love and plan for us, and of His inheritance that He intends to give us.
God sent Jesus Christ to be the perfect example for us to follow. Ep4:13 states ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’. We are nearing the time of perfection when the Rapture will soon occur. 1Jn3:2 states ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Ro8:14 tells ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 2Co3:18 states we ‘are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’.
Ro8:19 tells ‘For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS of GOD’. This is the ‘eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Ep3:11 and the paramount reason why God created us- for SONSHIP, to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ in order to share all His riches and glory with us for all eternity. And it all began in the Garden of Eden!
This concludes What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden! Amen!