Articles – By A. Edwin Wilson

Article 12

Go Ye Out To Meet Him

TWO BEARS AND FORTY-TWO CHILDREN “And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them” (II Kings 2:23, 24).Because of the destruction of these forty-two children by the two she bears as a result of the curse pronounced by Elisha, many accuse God of inhumane injustice. The Hebrew word NA-h-AR which here is translated little children leaves the impression that they were toddling babes who were unaccountable and irresponsible. A study of any comprehensive concordance will reveal that this Hebrew word N A -h – AR is used of young men who have attained their majority. For instance, II Chronicles 13:7b: “. . . when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.” Here Rehoboam was called young (NA-h-AR). I Kings 14:21: “… Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign. . ,” This NA-h-AR was forty-one years old. Consider Joseph in Gen. 41:12: “And there was there with us a young man (NA-h-AR), an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.” And in the 46th verse of this same chapter we read that Joseph, the NA-h-AR, was thirty years old at this time.

Next consider Isaac in Gen. 22:5b: “. . . and I and the lad will go younder and worship. . .” This lad (NA-h-AR) was tv{enty-eight years old at the time Abraham offered him as a burnt offering. The word NA-h-AR translated lit- tle children in II Kings 2:23, 24 is never used anywhere in the Bible except of a young man or young men; and the three examples given above show three of them between the ages of twenty-eight and forty, so that the forty-two little children (that is, young men) were accountable, responsible and knew exactly what they were doing when they ridiculed and mocked Elisha, shouting after him, “Go up, thou bald head, go up, thou bald head.” They were ridiculing the message of Elisha concerning the literal, physical, bodily, visible ascension of Elijah into heaven.

Increasingly today accountable and responsible so-called Christian teachers mock and ridicule the literal, physical, bodily, visible ascension, presence in heaven and return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Along with that, they fail not to mock and ridicule any and all preaching pertaining to the literal, physical, bodily, visible resurrection and translation of the Christians at the first stage of our Lord’s second coming.

Let the fate of the forty-two young men who so blasphemously ridiculed Elisha and his ministry be a warning to all who do not justly appreciate the rapture of the saints.


II Kings 2:11-25. After Elisha had witnessed Elijah’s going up into heaven in a whirlwind, attended by a chariot of fire and horses, he had a new concept of heaven, life and death. Since he had seen a man go into heaven in his body of flesh and bones, heaven became a real place to him. From then on his ministry centered around the physical, literal, bodily presence of a man-Elijah-in heaven.

Then as now, that teaching infuriated most of the hearers. So that when Elisha went into the city of Beth-el there was a large group of young men who ran out to meet him, crying, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” This was a most contemptuous greeting. First of all, they were challenging him to go up into heaven like he was preaching that Elijah had done. And secondly, they were calling him “bald head.”

There was a despicable expression of contempt used in those days, “You are a son of a bald head.” In Lev. 13:42-46 we learn that a bald head is a symptom of leprosy; and growing out of that loathsome disease and symptom came this expression. There was not anything worse or lower they could call this prophet of God whom they despised than to call him a “bald head.”

Contempt for one of God’s servants is always perilous-“Touch not Mine anointed.” One of the tragedies of today is that fact of so many Christian workers contemptuously talk about and point out failures and shortcomings of servants of God upon whom they have sat in judgment.

In Rom. 14:4 the Spirit of God in no uncertain terms says, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” It is generally supposed that the one who judges, that is, who condemns the servants of the Lord is a stronger believer and a better Christian than the one he condemns. But such is not the case. We read in verse 3 that it is the weak Christian who condemns the strong one and thereby thinks he is bringing the strong one down to his level or elevating himself to the strong one’s height, from which the weaker one would topple him.

It is the weak Christian who condemns the strong; the strong Christian despises the weak Christian because of his weakness. The weak Christian condemns the strong Christian as if he were not a believer or, a believer sinning against God. In this the Christian who does the condemning is very much to blame-he has assumed the prerogative of GOD, who ALONE is the judge of His own servants.

Many Christians suffer today because of the weakness of their faith as manifested in spending most of their time condemning stronger Christians, who in turn suffer because they spend so much of their time despising their weaker brethren. When these young men in Beth-el treated God’s servant Elisha so contemptuously, God showed His disapproval by tearing some forty-two of them by means of two bears.

I believe one of the most poignant verses of Scripture in connection with the present article is James 1:26: “If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”


Recently I encountered what appears to be a most vicious heresy being proclaimed by presumably recognized, fundamental teachers and preachers, namely, that after the rapture of the saints, all who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ prior to that moment shall have, during the time of the Tribulation, other opportunities to be saved.

One such minister stated it in this fashion: As he was giving an invitation to the lost to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and no one responded, he urged upon them the possibility of being saved after the Christians are caught out. He said to the lost who were present, “When you see friends and loved ones being caught up to be with the Lord and you realize then that you are lost, receive the Lord as your Saviour and you too shall soon be caught up to be with the Lord.”

I want to state categorically that I have not been able to find a single passage of Scripture that will warrant anyone to believe that, having heard the story of salvation by grace and rejected it in this dispensation of grace, he will have an opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation. This is what is called or what constitutes a “second chance” of salvation. On the other hand, the Word of God tells us directly and explicitly that anyone who has heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in this dispensation and has rejected it can never be saved in a dispensation to come.

In II Thess. 2:8-12 we learn that after the rapture of the saints and the manifestation of the son of perdition-the man of sin, the Antichrist- there is absolutely no opportunity for one to be saved who has rejected Christ prior to that time. In fact, God is going to send strong delusion upon everyone who rejected Christ so that it will be impossible for them to be saved; whereas, such delusion will cause them to believe The Lie instead, that all who believed not the truth might be damned.

I have a very dear friend who is trying to train and educate a hundred and forty-four thousand Jewish evangelists to do the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom during the Tribulation. But according to the Word of God, every Jew that has heard the story of Jesus and rejected it cannot be saved during the Tribulation. The vast, innumerable host of people to be saved during the Tribulation will be from among the approximately two billion people now living who have never heard the gospel of the grace of God. Every individual, Jew or Gentile, who dies without accepting Christ as Saviour is forever damned to eternal retribution in the lake of fire.

Today is the day of salvation and if today you hear His voice, harden not your heart, for there will be no second chance for salvation for ANY who, having heard of Christ’s redeeming love, refused to accept it.


During a recent conference tour in the west we encountered many perversions of premillennial truth. Among the most common were those which we shall refer to, for lack of better names, as the split rapture, mid-tribulation rapture, post-tribulation rapture, no literal kingdom of Christ on the earth, and the usual post-millennial and a-millennial heresies. May we say in the beginning that these heresies stem from either or both of two misconceptions:

(1) A disbelief in the literal, physical, visible, corporeal resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, and

(2) A misconception pertaining to God’s plans and purposes in regard to the nation of Israel.

There are those who hold to the false teaching that Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom, to rule and reign on David’s throne in the city of Jerusalem for one thousand years, but say that He came to establish a spiritual kingdom only. This is because THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST ROSE PHYSICALLY FROM THE DEAD AND IS NOW PRESENT IN HEAVEN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER IN HIS BODY OF FLESH AND BONES. The Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul proves once and for all in I Cor. 15 that if Jesus Christ did not physically, literally and in His body of flesh and bones arise from the dead, then there is nothing at all to what we refer to as Christianity and the hope of salvation. We shall not dwell at this time on these presumptuous errors because they are so foreign to the Word of God.

Another common heresy which is gaining in favor with those who try to obliterate the God-given distinction between Israel and the Church is that which is named at the heading of this article: the split rapture. This system teaches that when the Lord appears in the air for His own, a particular group by virtue of their consecration, separation, sanctification, etc., will be caught up to meet the Lord, and that other Christians who have grown carnal, careless and indifferent will be left behind to go through the great tribulation.

There is a slight variance from this on the part of the post-tribulationists who teach that all Christians must go through the great tribulation and then be raptured. There is one Scripture more than any other which has contributed to this misunderstanding, and that is Hebrews 9:28 where it speaks of the Lord’s appearapce and says, “. . . and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The fact of the matter is, all Christians are looking for the Lord; some before the millennium; some in the middle of the tribulation; some after the millennium, and some are looking for Him to return in His body while others are expecting Him to return without His body of flesh. But the fact remains that all are looking for His return. The verse quoted above does not in itself distinguish at all between the various groups of Christians. The one passage of Scripture which sets forth the rapture more clearly than any other is I Thess. 4:13-18. Here we have clearly, chronologically and conclusively the order about which there can be no doubt.

1. The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. In this connection, we call your attention to Acts 1:11, “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.” Note in particular that the same Jesus is coming back in the same manner in which He went to heaven. It was a physical (flesh and bones), literal, visible ascent, and the heavenly messengers said it would be the same with His return.

2. The dead in Christ shall rise first. The dead in Christ are those who departed this life by way of death and at the time of their departure believed on the Name of the only begotten Son of God. There is no place in this passage of Scripture for the raising of the unfaithful dead in Christ to go through the tribulation. There is no place in this passage of Scripture for the unfaithful Christians to remain in their graves until after the tribulation. The Scripture simply says, “the dead in Christ shall rise first,” and that means that ALL the dead in Christ shall rise first.

3. Then we which are alive and remain. . . Notice in the thirteenth verse of this passage that these remarks are addressed to the brethren. The word brethren as used in the New Testament is a very inclusive term and has for its object all who have believed and shall yet believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

The Apostle Paul, the human writer of this portion, identifies himself with this group when he says, “we which are alive and remain.” This passage of Scripture divides all Christians into two classes-those who have died and those who are alive.

4. The dead in Christ and all Christians who are alive at the time of the rapture shall be caught up together in one body to meet the Lord in the air.

There is absolutely no place for the false teaching which has been referred to as the split rapture.


A major Bible study which is confusing many today is the relationship of the Church to the Great Tribulation. This discussion resolves itself into the question, “Will the Church or any part of it go through the Great Tribulation?” I think one of the difficulties many people encounter in studying the relationship of the Church to the Great Tribulation is failure to distinguish between the Jew, Gentile and the Church, according to I Cor. 10:32. The Jew is an earthly people with earthly blessings and earthly curses. The Gentile also is an earthly people with earthly blessings and earthly curses, whereas the Church is neither Jew nor Gentile but a new creation of God (II Cor. 5:17). In this new creation there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Eph. 2:14-18; Gal. 3:28). God’s dealings with each of the three divisions of mankind seem to be separate. His laws, rules and regulations for each are different. Their origins are different, their purposes are different, and their destinies likewise are separate and distinct.

God set aside the human race as a whole and called out Abram as the forebearer of Isaac and Jacob to head a new race of people through whom He would bless the world. Because of Israel’s failure, God temporarily set them aside and called out the Church, and during this dispensation His blessings flow through the Church to all mankind. Romans 11:25 specifically states that God will not again deal with Israel until the Church has been completed.

The rapture of the Church, so-called, is our Lord’s appearing in the air and calling His own to meet Him up there (see I Cor. 15:20-25 and I Thess. 4:13-18). The Church, being a heavenly people, is called into heavenly places where she will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, at which time the just recompense of reward will separate the faithful from the unfaithful Christians, manifesting a difference in rewards and positions but having no effect upon their eternal security. Christians are urged to wait for, to look for, to expect the Lord Himself and not the antichrist or the Great Tribulation, neither any other person or event. (See Rom. 8:23; I Cor. 1:7; Gal. 5:5; Phil. 3:20; I Thess. 1:10; Heb. 9:28.) When the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, the children of Israel waited expectantly on the outside for the high priest. They did not look for, expect or wait for any other person or event. They simply waited for the return of the high priest. I Cor. 10: 11 tells us that all of these things which happened to Israel are types for us. Therefore, the experience of the high priest entering into the Holy of Holies and Israel waiting typifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entering into the Holy of Holies as our great High Priest. Luke 12:35-37 speaks of waiting for the Lord. John 14:1-3 tells us “. . . 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.” Acts 1:11 tells us that the same Jesus which was taken up into heaven shall come back in exactly the same manner.

I want to call your attention now to some other types in the Old Testament which happened to Israel and are for our admonition. First, Enoch, typifying the Church, was taken up into heaven before the flood came-which plainly teaches (in the light of I Cor. 10:11) the rapture of the Church before the Great Tribulation comes on the earth. Second, Lot and his family, typifying the Church, were forcibly removed from Sodom and Gomorrah before destruction fell. In the light of I Cor. 10:11, the Church will be forcibly removed from the earth before the destruction of the Great Tribulation. Third, Noah and his family were safe within the ark before a drop of rain fell. Again, in the light of I Cor. 10:11, the Church will be safe with the Lord before one judgment of the Great Tribulation affects the earth.

Fourth, all of the first-born of the children of Israel were safe before the death angel came through the land. Fifth, the spies who went into Jericho were safely removed before the city fell. Both of these latter two instances teach that God makes provision for His own before He brings judgment upon those with whom they have been associated.

In the sixth place, Joseph, who is a type of Christ (Psm. 81:5) married Asenath, who is a type of the Bride of Christ. But when Joseph revealed himself unto his brethren the second time and dealt with them harshly because of their treatment of him, his bride was not with him. Neither will the Bride of Christ be associated with Jesus as His wrath is poured out upon those who mistreated Him.

Seventh, Moses, who is a type of Christ (Deut. 18:15-19), married Zipporah, who is a type of the Bride of Christ; but when Moses returned to Egypt the second time to deliver his brethren, Zipporah was not with him. She had no part whatsoever in any of Moses’ dealings with Israel or the Egyptians. Neither will the Bride of Christ have any part in Christ’s dealings with Israel and the Gentiles.

There are those students of the Word who want the Church to go through the Great Tribulation as a process of purification whereby they will be made fit to rule and reign with the Lord. However, the Word is very explicit in the statement that all Christians, regardless of status quo, will be raptured at the same time (I Cor. 15:23b; I Thess. 4:16, 17). The judgment of the individual Christian’s works will take place in the heavens at the judgment seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 3:11-15). In the next place, Scripture again is very clear in its statement that Christians are not to experience the wrath of God (I Thess. 5:9, 10; Rev. 3:10). In the next place, the wrath of God is reserved for earth dwellers, which is God’s designation for those who remain on the earth after the rapture (see Rev. 3:10; 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6; 17:8). These earth dwellers are the ones who go through the Great Tribulation, but we do not find them so designated until after the Church has been raptured.

In conclusion I want to say that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own will usher in the blessed hope which Christians await (Titus 2:13). This hope centers around occupying a position with Christ in the coming Kingdom. There is no blessed hope for me to sit and wait for the appearance of the antichrist and his Kingdom with all the suffering that he will occasion. There is no blessed hope in my sitting and waiting for the Great Tribulation with its untold agony and indescribable horrors. The blessed hope is associated with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who will first appear in the air and call us to meet Him up there before one single blade of grass or one single leaf on a tree shall be disturbed by the wind betokening the approach of the Great Tribulation.

Rejoice, ye saints of God. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh and we who name the Name of Christ shall be delivered from this sin-cursed world before the judgments of God shall break in all their fury.


When the midnight cry rings out with the announcement, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” the question arises, how can I prepare to meet the Bridegroom other than by having confessed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Meeting the Bridegroom involves preparation for the wedding, which is set forth in very descriptive terms in Naomi’s advice to Ruth. In the 3rd chapter of Ruth, verse 3, Naomi tells Ruth, “Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee…” We also call to mind that Rebeka – journeying with Eliezer to the home of Isaac – on seeing Isaac approaching, alighted from her camel and put her veil over herself. Rev. 19:7, 8 also tells of preparation for the meeting of the Bridegroom, and Matthew 22:11-14 tells of what happens to the saved who are unprepared for the wedding. Let us take Naomi’s advice to Ruth and consider that in a little more detail. First, Ruth is commanded to wash herself. That type is drawn from the use of the brazen laver used by the priests to cleanse themselves of the defilement accumulated on the hands and feet after they had offered the sacrifice for atonement on the brazen altar. The New Testament way of cleansing is the washing of water by the Word, which is very clearly expressed in I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Ruth, washing herself, typifies the Christian cleansing himself of unforgiven sins. And as we who are Christians anticipate the soon coming of the Bridegroom, the first thing we are to do is to cleanse ourselves of all known sin and unrighteousness. This is done by a confession of our sins.

In the second place, Ruth, having washed, is then to anoint herself. This anointing was with oils, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. It is not sufficient to wash. One must be anointed with the perfumed oils, etc., in completion of preparation for the meeting of the Bridegroom. We who are Christians need not only the Spirit indwelling us – which we have from the time of our salvation – but we also need a special out-pouring of the Spirit of God for service and power. This we receive after we have washed. The Holy Spirit is given in power to those who obey the Lord. Such an individual has already received the indwelling Spirit when he believed (John 7:37-39). This anointing on the part of a Christian is typified by the extra vessels of oil which the wise virgins took but which the foolish virgins neglected.

In the third place, Ruth, having washed and anointed herself, is to put on her raiment; that is, her wedding garment. Again referring to Rev. 19-7, 8 and also Matt. 22:1-14, we learn that the wedding garment is made of the good deeds, righteous acts resulting from the life of obedience. There are Christians today looking for, waiting for, longing for the coming of the Lord but because of ignorance have not washed themselves, nor anointed themselves, neither have they prepared a wedding garment.

Perhaps the most pressing need of Christians is to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom by washing, anointing, and putting on the wedding garment.