The Rapture –
We have, in the eyes of most literal commentators of God’s Holy Word, certainly arrived on the last page of the concluding chapter that provides us reference knowledge of the imminence of the Harpazo:
The Harpazo is the catching up of the faithful, commonly understood from a loose Latin translation into English as ‘The Rapture.’
No one can date it or point to a time. Our reference was always to be the injunction from the Christ to look to the signs and to also look for its complete confirmation in Scripture – both the Old Covenant and the New, most specifically through the inspired Apostle, Paul.
Amongst the harbingers that would serve to indicate the imminence of things that would precede our removal is the degree of derisive scoffing that would arise as the World, en masse, rejected Jesus. This is particularly well put by Terry JAMES.
This generation is full of scoffers, mocking the prophesied return of Jesus Christ to Planet Earth. This is as the great Apostle Peter foretold it would be at the end of the age of grace (Church Age): “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4). (Unquote)
Terry goes on to illustrate the biblical credentials and antecedents of the event first revealed by the Apostle Paul and which is in itself validated by the entirety of the Word itself.
“The rapture, the “catching up” (Harpazo) was revealed by Paul the apostle. It is a mystery he gave us through Holy Spirit inspiration, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Rapture was not the concoction of John Darby, who picked up this teaching, and gave it improved order of presentation centuries after the doctrine was believed and taught by the early church fathers (first two centuries AD).
The rapture isn’t built on one or two verses, but on the entire body of Scripture. When viewed in totality, and in context, the doctrine flows with prophetic signals we observe occurring in the world today – i.e., the world isn’t getting better and better as the “kingdom-now” people believe (that the Church will make the world better until Christ can return to set up His throne).
The pre-trib rapture view puts forward that the world will grow worse and worse. The Church will be removed from earth, then God’s judgment will begin to fall on rebellious earth-dwellers!
And as I continued my daily study of the Word, reading from the Letter of James, Chapter Five, I was struck by his take on the end of the Church Age as we, the restrainers (faithful and true believers), along with the Restrainer Himself (whom I believe to be the Holy Spirit), are suddenly, removed.
Although James is not speaking directly of the ‘catching up,’ he has delineated the condition of the times that will bring Jesus The Judge to the door of our totally depraved and fallen World.
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you” (James 5:1-6).
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:7-9).
This World is personified by the gluttony of the affluent and is contrasted by the poverty of those who have nothing. And that gluttony is a self-feeding, loathsome thing that is insatiable. It attempts to sate itself on the plenty it has access to, and still its hungry maw cannot be satisfied.
We don’t need to look further than what currently purports to be entertainment on both Free-to-Air and Pay Television. There are the food shows for instance. They display, ad nauseum, the most disgusting preoccupation with gluttony known to man since probably the depraved feasting of ancient Rome and the Kingdoms of the Middle Ages onwards.
If I see one more presentation of the best way to smoke or barbecue the spareribs of a pig or to see who can cook up and present the largest, most obnoxious hamburger, I shall be violently ill. These concoctions are not food to satisfy the hunger pangs of a famished person, rather, they should (and I am sure they do) repel a hungry human being of normal appetite.
I well remember a trip to Hawaii from Australia about 20 years ago. We had been shopping in a well-known mall. On our way out through the underground car park, a vendor had set up a stand to dispense ‘hot pastrami on rye.’
Now, as an Australian, I had been hearing about these ‘sambos’ (OZ slang for sandwich) for many years and was determined to sample one. The preparer laid out a huge piece of buttered bread and then, with cooking forceps, he delved into a huge, bubbling saucepan and pulled out a huge layer of steaming pastrami. When he had layered it upon the bread, I was suddenly confronted with a layer of meat I swear was three inches high. He then placed another piece of buttered bread on top. I moved forward, even then with some reluctance. I thought, “I’ll never get through this…it’s simply too much!”
But folks…the show wasn’t over, rather just beginning. Into the pot went the forceps again, and out came an equally monstrous grab of hot pastrami. It was finished off with yet another large round of bread.
The thing was, to me, so repulsively a potential exercise in gluttony that the bile rose instantly in my gorge. I was confronted with an end result that must have been six inches or more high. Who eats such things? Who can eat them?
Being 6’5” tall and weighing in around 230 lbs at the time, I prided myself on being a ‘good eater.’ I took a couple of tentative bites, or rather, nibbles as I walked to the bus stop and paused by a garbage tin on a post, ‘and as the sun slowly sank in the West, so we said goodbye to this gastronomic nightmare!’ Had there been a homeless, hungry person in the vicinity, I would gladly have offered it to him or her before I even had the reluctant nibble. However, it was only a group of folks who seemed to have no difficulty consuming a similar sized portion of the same ilk.
Small wonder we suffer such a surfeit of heart disease in Western society.
Food is the tip of the iceberg. Clothing, motor vehicles, electronic gee-gaws that strap on your arms to monitor everything you do (hmm! that could prove embarrassing!), iPhones, iPads, music download and the means to play it, along with high tech games that, in the main, teach us how to murder and maim or sexually/physically abuse.
A multitudinous bag of hedonistic excesses that clearly tell us, that in the timepiece of the LORD of the Host, we have passed our use-by date.
Against this, the backdrop curtain is temporarily hiding what is to come immediately when the Harpazo is complete. The graves will have been opened, and the dead in Christ Jesus will have risen first, followed by we who are still alive, transcended as we rise into new bodies, raised imperishable from the perishable, to be with our LORD forever.
With our sudden departure, ‘all Hell’ literally unfolds. The true Church’s removal (that’s us, folks) removes the last constraint on this rotting corpse we call ‘The World.’ The demonic is fully unleashed (actually, I am convinced they are well on the move now).
Then, the wholesale slaughter commences of those who have now realized where we have gone, having rediscovered our souls and declared for Christ. And this, together with the full implementation of World Government with Satan’s chosen demi-god and his minions in charge, heralds the worst time in the history of mankind since the Flood.
We well see the other geo-physical signs now manifesting themselves all over the World. The mountains and the seas rise against us, the Earth quakes, and the very elements unleash things we have never experienced. And still, literal billions of the unsaved will not listen.
We look to the great institutionalized ‘churches’ in vain. From them, the silence is so deafening as to be a cacophonic crescendo of nothingness. For in them, the rot is now so entrenched that they should not be celebrating the birth of Jesus at all. Rather, they should ‘come out’ and be honest. They should, in honesty, confirm that many denominations and their assorted clerics now pay only lip service to Jesus, the Christ Redeemer.
Having supplanted Him because of His ‘too hard’ message.
Increasingly He is replaced by a ‘religious’ focus on the so-called great social issues of the Day. We are left with a gutted Bible, its contents manipulated and changed, or ignored. And in lieu, replaced with elaborate doctrinal ceremony and colourful panoply of grandeur, together with ‘uplifting’ music to validate what really is their rejection of both the redemptive Christ and His message of Saving Grace.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, take heed! He is coming: first for His own. Of a certainty, He commands our removal so that we are spared the Day of Wrath which is to follow our removal. He will not return until the Day of Wrath has almost run its course, and He then returns as Judge of the nations and the reconciler of His people, Israel.
Shout it out. Tell everyone you know and love. A mind-blowing, beyond the wildest comprehension event is soon to occur!
They will, in the main, utterly reject your message and they (the World around you) will despise you. That also is to us a sign. The greater our rejection, the closer is the Day the Trump of God will sound our removal.
We have both an obligation and clear duty to heed the signs, and in turn, herald them to those who might yet listen and be saved.
If you say then that you are a committed believer, endeavouring in your efforts to understand and gain the wisdom of His Word, you must act.
If anyone of us, at this time, continues to deny Jesus and His promises to the ‘sheep of His pasture’ by our silence (because we do not wish to offend), we are placing ourselves at opposite poles to Jesus and thus, through Him, to God. We, thereby, condemn not only those who are locked within the sin of denial, we condemn ourselves.
We are all now expected to be Watchmen on the Wall. Our task? To warn – so that as many as are still ready at the last, to give themselves in brokenness to Jesus, can also be saved.
To be saved is to be taken into the final Ark. This Ark, unlike that of Noe, is an eternal vessel. And we entreat all who ‘say’ they belong to Christ (particularly those who erroneously believe that their good works presented as ‘church sacraments’ will save them), to pray to God to forgive and receive them through Jesus. Thus they will be taken into this Ark of safety and are to be spared what is soon to come.
Are you praying? And are you praying to Him in the solitude of secrecy? Are you praying directly to God through Jesus? Have you yet understood that no earthly man, woman or earthly institution can save you, nor are they entitled to act as your intermediary?
Brethren, this is a clear, covenant contract of faith between you and God The Father, through His Great High Priest, Christ Jesus. He is the only intermediary through which we can reach God. We know this because Jesus Himself said so, and the Scriptures validate His claim just as the Heavens proclaim it. Even demonic hordes know Him and reel back in fear from His power.
The sacrifice He made of Himself, as a once-only offering, immediately pierced the Veil of the Holy of Holies that separates uncleansed man from God. Thus, we now can enter this chamber of Holiness, but only through the mediator, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Be sure! Death was defeated by the blood sacrifice of this paschal lamb, shed upon the Cross. This is the victory over death attained by the Saved in Christ. Eternal ‘Death,’ living death, is reserved for those lost to Hell for eternity. It is a real place that is separated from God by a chasm that cannot be crossed. No entreaty is heard, no reprieve is possible once sentence has been passed. And so it remains forever for those in denial who have rejected the victory that was offered them, for the taking, as a free offering of saved redemption.
We then, who have gained the victory, Thank God Almighty with the sweet incense of our prayers as they rise, wafting before His Throne within the Holy of Holies. FREE, FREE AT LAST!
(Written in loving memory of Laraine, my beloved Wife, taken Home in Faith, Friday 28th December, 2018.)