THE TRUTH ABOUT THE RAPTURE


Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Luke 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Luke 17:35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

The above passage is frequently quoted to support a "secret" rapture, that neither the saved or the lost will be aware of what is happening at the time. Supposedly, millions of Christians will be "taken" and simply disappear mysteriously, leaving the world wondering where they went. Just what does this passage really intend to teach? Well, first let's look at a parallel passage in Matthew:

Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
...
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Note that in verse 39, the wicked who perished in the flood are described as being taken away. The wicked are taken first, not the righteous. Next, it tells us that it shall be exactly the same at the second coming of the Lord. Clearly in in days of Noah, those taken first perished, and so it will be again at the second coming. The Greek word translated as "took" in verse 39 is:

142. airo, ah'ee-ro; a prim. verb; to lift; by impl. to take up or away; fig. to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); spec. to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Heb. [comp. H5375] to expiate sin:--away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).

Note that the word means to remove or to take away, as in to dispose of. Now notice that in Luke 17:37, a question is asked: "Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together". This answer given by Jesus refers to the vultures gathering over the bodies of the wicked, those taken first and disposed of in Mat 24:39, which are all slain at the second coming (See also Rev 19:20-21). This is in harmony with the sense that being "taken" means in the following verses:

Josh 8:8 And it shall be, when ye have taken the city, that ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall ye do. See, I have commanded you.

Josh 8:21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.

Judg 1:8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

1 Ki 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.

1 Ki 16:18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died,

Jer 38:23 So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.

In the above verses, to be taken is to be captured, defeated and destroyed. That is what Mat 24:39 is saying:

Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Now, however, there is a different word translated "taken" in the following verses, giving a change in meaning not apparent in the English translation:

Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Here is the definition of the word:

3880. paralambano, par-al-am-ban'-o; from G3844 and G2983; to receive near, i.e. associate with oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by anal. to assume an office; fig. to learn:--receive, take (unto, with).

This word has the positive connotation of being taken with, as in to be received or accepted. So this is the resulting meaning of the passage:

Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took [disposed of] them [the wicked] all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken [with, received or accepted], and the other left [slain on earth].
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken [with, received or accepted], and the other left [slain on earth].

The same Greek word, paralambano, is used in the following passage, describing the exact same event, the second coming:

John 14:2 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.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive [paralambano] you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The Lesson of Noah and the flood, and Lot and Sodom

The 17th chapter of Luke, which we began this study with, again makes it plain that the wicked will all perish at the return of Christ:

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

The lesson is clear. Sudden destruction comes upon the wicked at the second coming, they will all perish as in the days of Noah:

Gen 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
Gen 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
Gen 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

So in Luke 17 and Matt 24, Jesus was not teaching a mysterious, silent, or secret rapture of the righteous away from the world. He was making it clear, that at His second coming, all the wicked will be taken and slain first, leaving only the righteous alive, who will then accompany Jesus to heaven. This utter destruction of the wicked at Jesus' return is completely ignored by those teaching the secret rapture.

The Second Coming Described

The following verses all show that with respect to the second coming, Jesus will indeed come quickly-

Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

And the following verses refer to the second coming of Jesus as being like a thief for the wicked-

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

1 Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

It should be quite clear that all the above verses are indeed referring to the second coming of Jesus. He will come quickly, like lightning, as a thief upon the unsuspecting wicked of the world. But is it a secret, silent event?

2 Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Pet 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2 Pet 3:12 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?

1 Th 4:16 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:

It will be the noisiest, most climactic event in history, not a silent, mysterious secret.

The Parable of the Tares of the Field.

Now, in the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable about the end of the world, which is intended to explain some end time events of the second coming:

Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Jesus then explains the parable in detail to His disciples:

Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Note the timing of events Jesus describes, and how it compares with those taken first in Matthew 24:39-42. At the end of the world, when the time for the harvest of humanity has come, it is not the righteous who are gathered first, it is the wicked! The wicked are taken and dealt with first, while the people of God are still among them. Advocates of the popular pre-tribulation rapture propose that all righteous Christians will first be taken up by Jesus secretly, in an instant, leaving behind a totally non-Christian world in startled ignorance of why a significant portion of the population has simply disappeared off the face of the earth. The secret rapture theory is the reverse sequence of the parable as told by Jesus, and so can be dismissed on this point alone! Jesus in the book of Matthew again confirms that the wicked will be taken out from among the righteous:

Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The Seven Last Plagues.

Now let me point out an interesting fact. Revelation 16 relates the last seven plagues being poured out on the unrepentant wicked of the earth. Through verse 12 the first six of the plagues are poured out, and THEN in verse 15-

Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Clearly Jesus HAS NOT COME YET AT THE TIME OF THE SIXTH PLAGUE! Now, note the counsel given to the church of Laodicea:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

The counsel addressed the church of Laodicea, the final church, is given to that church in Rev 16:15 - after the sixth plague has fallen, so obviously the church has gone through the preceding plagues! Note that the seventh plague then falls in verse 17-

Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Jesus at the time of the seventh plague is announcing that time for earth has come to an end, and the second coming follows immediately. So Jesus does not come back to earth until after all seven plagues have been poured out on the wicked. The faithful church was NOT removed at any point prior to these plagues, they have endured them without fear of being affected by them:

Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Psa 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

So the wicked will suffer the 7 last plagues, while the people of God are still present with them on this earth.

Does the Second Coming Happen Secretly?

There are two verses where Jesus himself described exactly how he would come back to this earth. These words were spoken to the high priest of the Jews - Caiaphas:

Mat 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Jesus says that Caiaphas will be alive (resurrected) to see him return in his full glory, in the clouds of heaven. This is a significant key to his return. It is a direct link to -

Rev 1:7 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. Even so, Amen.

So as the above study shows:


(1).  AFTER THE 7 PLAGUES OF REV 16 FALL ON THE WICKED, AND NOT BEFORE, JESUS COMES IN THE CLOUDS.


(2).  EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIS COMING.


The return of Jesus (in the clouds) will be witnessed by every living person on this earth at the time. In addition, those who had a part in the crucifixion of Jesus (pierced him) will be resurrected to witness this glorious event as well, to include Caiaphas.

Jesus coming in the clouds is mentioned in the following texts as well. It is an important discriminator between the genuine coming of Jesus and the impersonation of Jesus by Satan-

Psa 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

Psa 104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

Jer 4:13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Mat 16:27 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.

Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.


(3).  HE COMES IN HIS FULL POWER AND GLORY, TO THEN REWARD EVERY MAN.


If, as we have established in point (3), every eye will see him coming in all his glory, what is the fate of the then living wicked who behold him?

Exo 33:20 And he (God/Jesus) said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Deu 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deu 5:25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
Deu 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?

Deu 9:3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.

Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Psa 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

Psa 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
Psa 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Psa 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Psa 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

Psa 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
Psa 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Psa 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
Psa 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psa 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

Psa 110:5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
Psa 110:6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

Prov 2:21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
Prov 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Prov 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Prov 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
Prov 10:29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Prov 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Jer 25:33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

2 Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2 Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

2 Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished....

The wicked who see Jesus at the second coming will be cut off, they will perish, because sinful man cannot look upon the face of God in His full glory and live. Just as the parable of the wheat and tares declares (Matt 13:24-43), the wicked will all perish first, before the righteous are gathered.


(4).  THE WICKED WILL ALL BE SLAIN AT JESUS' SECOND COMING BY THE FIRE OF HIS RIGHTEOUS GLORY, TO BE RESURRECTED AFTER THE 1000 YEARS.


But doesn't Isaiah 65:19-25 describe a picture of idyllic conditions during the millennial reign of Jesus on earth? No. It is true this has to be describing conditions here on earth because it states death will still occur in verse 20. So what is this passage dealing with? It is describing how the Jews would be living today, now - if they had accepted the Messiah. They would be truly blessed of God, infant mortality would be unknown, people would die no sooner than the age of 100, etc. The reason that this did not happen is evident at the cross, the unbelief of Israel.


(5).  HE COMES WITH ALL THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN.


But what of Zec 14:4, 5 and Jude 14. They both state that Jesus will come with saints. Doesn't this prove the saints are in heaven before the second coming? No, these are references to the third coming of Jesus, when he does come with all the saints in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2), but that is AFTER the 1000 years, for the great white throne judgment of all the resurrected wicked (Rev 20:11).

Matthew 24 gives us the timing of the gathering or rapture of the saints - after the tribulation and after the second coming. Verse 27 says He will come like lightning, the seven last plagues are the tribulation of verse 29. Verse 30 is the second coming, with the angels of God gathering the righteous in verse 31. Now notice verse 33-

Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

So clearly Matt 24 is relating events that would be happening shortly prior to the second coming of Jesus and the gathering of the righteous, so-


(6).  ALL THE RIGHTEOUS ARE GATHERED TOGETHER AFTER THE COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF JESUS (THE SECOND COMING), THAT EVERY EYE WILL SEE - NOT BEFORE.


And in what form will Jesus return, in spirit, or in the flesh?

Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


(7).  HE WAS TAKEN TO HEAVEN IN THE FLESH, HE WILL RETURN IN THE FLESH.


What will He bring with Him when He returns?

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

1 Th 4:15 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 [precede] them which are asleep.
1 Th 4:16 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:
1 Th 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.

1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor 15:52 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.
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.


(8).  THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD ARE RAISED FIRST, THEN THE RIGHTEOUS LIVING ARE TRANSFORMED, THEIR REWARD IS ETERNAL LIFE, RECEIVED AT THE SECOND COMING.


In the Old Testament, the story of Israel's bondage in Egypt is an example of the what will happen in the end times.

The Plagues on Egypt

1. Exo 7:17- Water to blood
2. Exo 8:2- Frogs
3. Exo 8:16- Lice
4. Exo 8:21- Flies
5. Exo 9:3 - Egyptian cattle died
6. Exo 9:9- Boils
7. Exo 9:18- Burning hail
8. Exo 10:4- Locusts
9. Exo 10:21- Darkness
10. Exo 12:12- Judgment to be executed
..... Exo 12:13- First born of Israel saved by the blood of the lamb.
....................... (the blood of the lamb represents the blood of Jesus)
..... Exo 12:29- First born of Egypt slain

GOD'S PEOPLE ARE SET FREE FROM EGYPTIAN BONDAGE


Just as the plagues fell on Egypt, the last seven plagues will fall on the wicked before the second coming. Note that the last plague, immediately prior to the release of God's people, was the firstborn of Egypt being slain? This is symbolic of the destruction of the wicked (tares) at the second coming, prior to the gathering of the righteous (wheat) when God's people are set free from sin, as described in Matthew 13.

2 Tim 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Note that judgment has been decided BEFORE the second coming, Jesus comes with his reward for every man. The judgment is carried out, the separation of sheep and goats, wheat and tares, happens once at the second coming. Matthew 25 also supports the second advent rapture. Those who are not ready at the appointed time will be shut-out. There is no second chance.


(9).  JUDGMENT IS EXECUTED AT THE SECOND COMING. THERE WILL BE NO SECOND CHANCES TO BE SAVED IN THE MILLENNIUM.


Did the plagues of Egypt affect or harm the Jews?

Exo 9:6 And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.

Exo 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

So how are the plagues on Egypt significant? How do they relate to the second coming?

1 Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them (the Jews) for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

They are an example for us to use to understand exactly what will happen in the end times. Again see Psalms 91:5-11. The plagues on Egypt demonstrate that God's people will live through the period of the last 7 plagues and be unaffected by them, by the power of God's protection.


(10).  YOU CAN ONLY BE SAVED BY YOUR FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO COVER YOUR SINS, AND BY THIS FAITH YOU WILL ENDURE HIS PLAGUES UNTOUCHED.


Are there any other types of this kind, where God's people are protected untouched? Yes-

The flood of Noah - Gen 7
The fiery furnace of Babylon - Dan 3
The lion's den of Babylon - Dan 6

Jesus Himself established this principle beyond question, note His words:

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

The righteous of the end times need not be removed from this earth to be kept safe from the plagues that Jesus Himself pours out. The testimony of Jesus makes that clear.

But isn't Rev 4:1, when John is called up into heaven, a type of the rapture, proving the rest of Revelation does not apply to the church? No. As Rev 4:2 explains, John was in the spirit. He was seeing visions of the future but he did not actually enter heaven. This was the second time that John was in the spirit, the first is Rev 1:10. He was also in the spirit in Rev 17:3 and Rev 21:10. To point to Rev 4:1 and claim it is the rapture, as some prominent pre-trib people do, can not be supported. As Rev 16:15 shows, Jesus has still not yet come between the sixth and seventh plagues (vials/bowls). The church is still on earth living through the plagues.

But what of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19)?

How does this apply? Doesn't this contradict the second advent rapture principle being established here? Didn't Lot have to leave the city to be saved? Wouldn't he have suffered the fate of the wicked if he had stayed? Yes, he would have. Aha! Pre-tribulation rapture proved!!! No, not exactly. What are Sodom and Gomorrah types (examples) of in the end times? At what point MUST you be removed (from something) so as to not feel the wrath of God in the end times? Does the Bible tell us?

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Sodom and Gomorrah are a type of spiritual Babylon (apostate religion) in the end times.

2 Pet 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

There is another type of spiritual Babylon in the Old Testament in Joshua 6:20,21 after the seven trumpets have been blown seven times and the walls of Jericho fell. The inhabitants of Jericho were all slain with the exception of Rahab the harlot and her family, in a story remarkably similar to the Passover. The seven trumpets are types of the trumpets of Revelation. Jericho represents Babylon in Revelation 18 and Rahab and her family represent those called out of harlot Babylon, before it and everyone in it, is utterly destroyed, yet Rahab did not need to physically leave Jericho in order to be saved.


(11).  IF TODAY YOU ARE IN SPIRITUAL BABYLON YOU MUST LEAVE IT OR YOU WILL RECEIVE THE PLAGUES OF GOD IN THE END TIMES.


Now look at the last 7 plagues -

THE SEVEN FINAL PLAGUES
(number = Egyptian counterpart)


1. Rev 16:2- Terrible sores (6)
2. Rev 16:3- The sea to blood (1)
3. Rev 16:4- The fresh water to blood (1)
4. Rev 16:8- Scorched by the sun
5. Rev 16:10- Darkness on spiritual Babylon (9)
6. Rev 16:10- Loss of support for spiritual Babylon
......................Frog like plague of unclean spirits (2)
7. Rev 16:17- Great earthquake and large hail (7)
......................Spiritual Babylon (Apostates) judged

GOD'S PEOPLE SET FREE FROM SIN AT THE SECOND COMING


A review of points established about the second coming "rapture":


(1).  AFTER THE 7 PLAGUES OF REV 16 FALL ON THE WICKED, AND NOT BEFORE, JESUS COMES IN THE CLOUDS.

(2).  EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIS COMING.

(3).  HE COMES IN HIS FULL POWER AND GLORY, TO THEN REWARD EVERY MAN.

(4).  THE WICKED WILL ALL BE SLAIN AT HIS SECOND COMING BY THE FIRE OF HIS RIGHTEOUS GLORY, TO BE RESURRECTED AFTER THE 1000 YEARS.

(5).  HE COMES WITH ALL THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN.

(6).  ALL THE RIGHTEOUS ARE GATHERED TOGETHER AFTER THE COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF JESUS (THE SECOND COMING), THAT EVERY EYE WILL SEE - NOT BEFORE.

(7).  HE WAS TAKEN TO HEAVEN IN THE FLESH, HE WILL RETURN IN THE FLESH.

(8).  THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD ARE RAISED FIRST, THEN THE RIGHTEOUS LIVING ARE TRANSFORMED, THEIR REWARD IS ETERNAL LIFE, RECEIVED AT THE SECOND COMING.

(9).  JUDGMENT IS EXECUTED AT THE SECOND COMING. THERE WILL BE NO SECOND CHANCES TO BE SAVED IN THE MILLENNIUM.

(10).  YOU CAN ONLY BE SAVED BY YOUR FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO COVER YOUR SINS, AND BY THIS FAITH YOU WILL ENDURE HIS PLAGUES UNTOUCHED.

(11).  IF TODAY YOU ARE IN SPIRITUAL BABYLON YOU MUST LEAVE IT OR YOU WILL RECEIVE THE PLAGUES OF GOD IN THE END TIMES.


I think the above 11 points are clearly derived by allowing the Bible to explain itself. Note that the pre-tribulation rapture advocates generally all say:

1. None of the seals have been opened.
2. None of the trumpets have sounded.
3. The Antichrist has not yet been revealed.
4. The form of the mark of the beast is not yet completely known.
5. The Seal of God is not yet clear.
6. The False Prophet is still unidentified.
7. The church will leave in the rapture prior to the antichrist, plagues and mark of the beast.
8. If you miss the rapture, you will get a second chance during the millennium, when God will rule on this earth for the 1000 years.
9. God is dealing differently with the Jews today, when compared to the Gentiles.

In each case, scriptural evidence can be presented which proves each of their points to be incorrect. Here I have dealt mostly with point #7, but do you notice there is a trend of ignorance and lack of concern advocated by pre-tribbers? They say that since the righteous will leave this earth before most of the events of the end times, you need not be concerned with any of it. Interesting stuff they say, but not really relevant to today's believer. Besides, according to them, what you do now does not matter anyway, you will get a second chance in the millennium. Nothing could be farther from the truth - it is a satanic lie. If your church advocates the pre-tribulation rapture, I submit that you are being misled and need to study the matter closely for yourself, and perhaps find a new church that teaches the truth.

Please note it is not my intention to offend anyone. I do not question the integrity or sincerity of those who believe in a secret rapture, but they ARE deceived - in no uncertain terms. I have tried to offer the foundation built on the true rock of the testimony of Jesus as found in the Bible. A knowledge of the truth is my only goal.



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