Rapture PracticeDecember 11, 2006
John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubed: 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. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
The glorious return of Jesus Christ is the one event that the saints of God are watching and waiting for with joy unspeakable. “So shall we ever be with the Lord” as is declared in I Thessalonians 4:17. We are told to be watching always for the return of Jesus as he returns as a thief in the night. While we see through a glass darkly concerning end time events and many things will most likely remain in obscurity until they happen, there are certain events that we know for certain will transpire. The rapture of the church is one of these things that we know will take place. The term “rapture” doesn’t appear in scripture; it’s simply an abrieviated way of saying “caught up together.”
Revelation 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.”
There’s been a thing on my mind lately concerning this glorious event; both its timing and the delusions that will be used to obscure truth as the time approaches. To be fair to any passer by, it should be known that I subscribe to a post-tribulation rapture doctrine as a result of a number of verses. The following list is a few of them.
Daniel 7:21 Daniel7:25 Daniel 8:24 Matthew 24:22-31 Mark 13:19-27
Revelation 12:11-17 Revelation 13:7 Revelation 14:9-12 Revelation 15:2
Revelation 16:13-16 (The battle of Armageddon is being set up; in verse 16 Jesus interjects “Behold I come as a thief”)
Revelation 20:4-6 (First resurrection follows the tribulation; saints reign with Christ)
I Corinthians 15:51-52 (last trump) I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (the trump of God; this is not a secret event although it does happen suddenly with no warning)
As you may know, there are very few who would agree with this. I used to be a pretribber as I was a “go with the flow” kind of guy in my earlier years. It wasn’t until the spring of 2004 when I saw the problems associated with the pre-tribulation teaching. This is not an attempt to cause division or to question the salvation of any. It is meant to cause any passer by to take it into consideration and prepare now. On a personal note, I can say with all confidence that I have a lot more peace than ever before. The supernatural “joy of the Lord” is much more present in my life than it ever was during the pre-tribber years.
RAPTURE PRACTICE. It was sometime in the mid 1980s when I first saw someone do this. A person will jump up and down in place and proclaim “I’m doing rapture practice.” It’s a lighthearted method of encouraging the saints to be watching and it was funny the first time that I saw it. Here’s the proper way to do real rapture practice. It’s really simple. DON’T DO ANYTHING! If you suspect that the rapture is taking place don’t move a muscle, don’t go to a rendevous with the others, just sit tight and pray. There’s a very important reason for this and the next passages will explain it in full.
Luke 17:23-24 “And they shall say unto you, See here; or see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightening that lighteneth out of one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”
Matthew 24:28-31 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediatly after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Then shall he 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.”
Two very important things here.
( 1 ) There will be delusions which are designed to deceive the very elect, that will cause many to “go somewhere” to see Jesus. It will suggest that he is “in the desert” or “in the village.” He’s “over here” and “over there.” Many will fall for this.
( 2 ) Jesus will send his angels to retrieve his elect; he knows where each one is. Don’t go to him; he will come to you. The concept of Jesus being in a secret place or some other place is emphasized in three gospels; it’s a very real delusion that’s to not be taken lightly by any of us.
A SENARIO TO PONDER. The world situation completly falls apart. (that’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination) The economy collapses; there’s rioting and panic everywhere, and wars are breaking out over a host of issues. This mixed in with the prophesied natural disasters, and you can imagine the utter despair that many will feel. (Read the book of Revelation; this is not make believe) The lukewarm church will be in utter confusion as to why they are still here. All of their leaders had told them that they would be out of here before anything like this took place. These folks will be so out of sorts that they would be thoroughly primed to fall for a “Jesus is over there” kind of delusion.
Mark 13:21-23 “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo here is Christ; or lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
A lukewarm, entertainment-driven, sign seeking christian who fully trusted in a pre-tribulation rapture will be ill-prepared for such a situation. This is why following signs is so dangerous. There are real legitimate miracles as the gifts of the Spirit are still in play. But there will also be false signs and false wonders that only serve to divert ones attention from the truth. Those following afar off will be in serious danger of following a lie. The turmoil of those days will hinder the discernment of many who will seek to save their life in this world. I really pray that you grasp the seriousness of this hour and the closeness of the moment in which these events will all come to pass. I’ve linked to this story before, but I’ll do it again. It involves a dream of the rapture. Is it real? I didn’t have the dream and therefore have no insight as to its authenticity. Nonetheless, it’s a very possible senario. Here it is.
A PSEUDO RAPTURE. Is this possible? That would have to be the mother of all strong delusions; or at least it would rank in the top ten. A delusion custom designed specifically “to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” (If you’re truly born again and watching diligently, take comfort in “if it were possible.” Once again, we see through a glass darkly on such matters, but we should prepare for anything. You prepare for this as you do with anything; fervent prayer from the heart, diligent study of the infalliable word of God, and exercising discernment. Apply the I John Chapter 4 test to everything. (Try the spirits)
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. When things seem to be at their worst, the man of sin will enter into the picture and, restore order. He’ll have all of the answers to all of the problems. He will “enter in peaceably and destroy wonderfully” Arms will stand on his side and he will cause craft to prosper. This man of sin will blaspheme God and anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. The delusions will appeal to reason and will be so strong as to make the christian faith appear totally obsolete. If you don’t have your heart established beforehand, you will be set up for a great fall. Remember; the whole world will wonder after the beast; they wont have to be forced. The conventional wisdom will be “look at how he has brought everyone together. Who could make war with such a peace loving guy? Those christians were just a bunch of narrowminded kooks. See how were all getting along now?” As you write about these things, it becomes all the more real as to just how dangerous these times are and how woefully unprepared most of the saints are to stand in the hour of temptation. In these days you will have to stand on faith and faith alone. Because all of the information coming out of the media, the scientific community, and any other venue of communication, will seem to disqualify the claims of christianity. STABLISH YOUR HEART TODAY!
SCARY STUFF? NOT IF YOU”RE ABIDING IN CHRIST. I know from experience that such talk is very troubling to a new christian or to one who has always believed a pre-tribulation teaching. It causes one to, in a way, place their faith in an event instead of the Lord jesus Christ who has promised to be with us always. (Matthew 28:20) While we await and long for our Lords return, we are not to place our faith in the event. He will never allow us to be tempted above what we are able if we are abiding in him and living for him daily. When you truly learn to trust the Lord and know that he is with you always, you’ll have perfect peace; even if they put an end to your life among the atoms. Have your affections set on things above; in the realm of the everlasting. I need to close for now; although I’ll probably expand on this post when I have more time. Let me close with some verses that are quoted often because they’re fitting to this topic; a topic that may be disturbing to many.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen.”
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Matthew 10:19-20 “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your father which speaketh in you.”
Jude 20-21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of god, looking for the mercy of our Lord jesus Christ unto eternal life.”