5. The Rapture
Article contributed by www.walvoord.comRelated Media
Editor’s Note: This is a lightly edited transcription of the audio message. Thanks goes to Marilyn Fine for the transcription work.
This week, as you know if you have been attending the services, I have been trying to get you excited about the Rapture of the Church. Of course, one of the important elements of that is to persuade you that the Bible teaches that Christ could come very soon. I want to review this just a bit. Then, I want to turn to the Book of Revelation to see what the Rapture has to do with the Second Coming. Finally with the time left we will have some questions and answers.
Review On The Coming Of Christ
Now, what have I been teaching you? First of all, I pointed out that the Rapture, wherever it is located in the Bible in the New Testament, always speaks of it as the next event. There is nothing preceding it. This is quite in contrast to the Second Coming of Christ to the earth where there are all kinds of important and world-shaking events that precede. The Rapture – never. It is always presented that we should be “looking for that blessed hope” (according to Titus) not for some preceding event.
Then, we also examined I Thessalonians 4 and 5 and we found that when the Rapture occurs, the Day of the Lord begins and the Day of Grace, such as we have in our present dispensation, ends. People will still get saved, but this is a time of divine judgment on a world that has rejected Christ and eventually recognizes the antichrist as their god and as their savior. God is going to pour out the terrible judgments that the Bible describes.
Then, we saw also how the false teachers came into Thessalonica and taught them that they were already in the Day of the Lord. Paul had said they would never get into the Day of the Lord because the Rapture was first. Thus this new teaching upset them and Paul wrote II Thessalonians.
What did he tell them? He said you are not in the Day of the Lord. Why not? Because the man of sin, the lawless one, the antichrist, has not appeared. You see, the first major event of the Day of the Lord is the emergence of this man of sin. He said you are not in that day because he has not emerged. Of course, he cannot emerge until the Day of the Lord begins. The Day of the Lord cannot begin until the Rapture occurs. So, in effect he is saying that you cannot have this period of trial and trouble following the Rapture until the Rapture itself occurs. Hence we have an order of events that are necessary—the Rapture first, the Day of the Lord beginning next, and then the antichrist appearing.
Now, when will he be recognized? Obviously, as he moves on toward the end time it becomes more and more evident that he is the antichrist. But I think he is recognized first of all when he conquers three of those 10 countries in the revived Roman Empire. This empire is going to emerge about the same time as the Rapture. When he conquers the three countries, then all ten, it is rather obvious that he is that person.
According to Daniel 9:27, when he gets to that position of power he makes a seven-year covenant with Israel. Get the chronology of this. Seven years before the Second Coming, he makes the covenant. Before he makes the covenant, he has to conquer those ten countries. Before he can conquer those ten countries, he has to appear. He cannot appear until the Day of the Lord begins and the Day of the Lord cannot begin until the Rapture occurs. So we have a Rapture that is more than seven years prior to the Second Coming. That wipes out the post-Tribulational view, it wipes out the mid-Tribulational view, and it wipes out the partial-Rapture view. You see the Rapture occurs more than seven years before the Second Coming. That is what II Thessalonians teaches as we put together all the scriptures.
We also went into the Book of Revelation yesterday and looked at this idea that the Church has to go through the Tribulation. While the post-Tribulationists, before World War II, just said it was all past and that there was no tribulation ahead. Now, they say there is tribulation ahead. Now they have to face the facts that the Bible teaches that we are not subject to wrath.
When you get into the Book of Revelation it is very obvious that the wrath is there. Chapter 6 states that the wrath of God is there. The fourth seal in Chapter 6 wipes out a fourth of the world’s population. If that is not the Great Tribulation I do not know what is! Then, when you get down to the trumpet judgments that follow the seal judgments you find a third of the world destroyed in the sixth trumpet. Then, on top of that you come to Chapter 16 and here they pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the world and there are devastating world-wide judgments. The last one of which in Chapter 16 is an earthquake that levels the cities of the Gentiles (apparently not Israel). On top of that islands disappear, mountains disappear, the whole world is in convulsions. Can you imagine the loss of life, the destruction of property, the tidal waves, all the catastrophes that add up through this end-time scene? Then, on top of that, we are told that the world is peppered with a hail storm, with the hailstones weighing 100 pounds each. I do not need to tell you that that is absolute destruction. If you go to fictional books you could not imagine a more awful time.
Now, the post-Tribulationalists want us to believe that the Church goes through this unscathed! But, that is exactly what the Book of Revelation contradicts. While the 144,000 are preserved (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes), in Revelation Chapter 7 beginning in verse 9 Scripture pictures the scene in Heaven and John sees a great multitude of people from every nation and kindred and tongue. He asks where did they come from? They came out of the Great Tribulation. These are people who were saved after the Rapture – millions of them, perhaps— but now they are facing the awful judgments of the end time. The world ruler is going to try to kill every one of them. Behead them, according to scripture, because they will not worship him. Then, they are also subject to all the catastrophes that overtake the world in pestilence, famine, war. These do not just single out unsaved people. So, there is going to be a great mass of people who got saved after the Rapture that now seal their testimony with their own blood. It does not sound to me like the Church is going to go through this period unscathed. There will be some who escape, but I take it the percentage is small. The evidence seems to pile up that most of those who come to Christ in the Tribulation time will die a sudden, catastrophic death of one kind or another. So, that is what the Bible teaches. So, there is not any room for a post-Tribulational Rapture.
The Book of Revelation
Now, I want to turn to the Book of Revelation. I want you to see that this is not something I foist on the Book. This is what the Bible teaches. It is all related to the Second Coming of Christ. You see, the traditional post-Tribulationist view says that when Christ comes from Heaven in His Second Coming, that the Church rises up to meet Him and then turns around and comes back to earth with Him. The problem is where is that in the Bible? It simply is not there. I want you to see that.
In Chapter 19, first of all, we are introduced to the great glory of Heaven and the announcement is made in verse 7, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory for the marriage [and it should be the marriage feast] of the Lamb has come and his wife hath made herself ready. So, blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
The Greek word is “gammos” in both cases. They did not have a marriage ceremony in Christ’s day like ours. They had a marriage supper. In understanding the traditions of the times there were three stages to this. There was the first stage where the parents of the bridegroom would pay the parents of the bride a dowry. When that dowry was paid, the young people were legally married. Usually, they did not start living together for at least another year. Then, there came the second phase when the bridegroom, as illustrated in the parable of the ten virgins, would claim his bride. That would be phase 2. The third phase was the wedding feast. What do we have here? The wedding feast.
So, it is very clear from Chapter 19 that the Rapture has already occurred. The bridegroom has already claimed his bride. You see, there is no room for a subsequent event like that when they are celebrating the marriage feast. That, of course, is the point of the ten virgins. The ten virgins, of course, assumed that the bridegroom has paid the dowry. He did that when He died for us on the cross. Then, the bridegroom claims his bride, but that is not the point of the parable. The point of the parable is to tell us who is eligible to attend the wedding feast. That is where the ten virgins come in. Of course, as you know, the five virgins were wise and went into the marriage feast and the others, who were not ready because they did not have oil in their lamp, were shut out.
In other words, the issue and the point of the whole parable was not so much to discuss the dowry or the Rapture of the Church because it does not really detail that. But it does teach the people who are going to face the issue to ask “are we ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb?”
There is a lot of debate as to when that occurs but hereafter more than seven years have gone by and it has not occurred yet. So, apparently, it probably is in connection with the first days of the Millennial Kingdom. That is as near as we can get to an affirmation. Now, you bear in mind and you have all seen this picture of this unending table which goes out into infinity. Are millions and millions of people are going to sit down to a wedding feast? Well, I am a literalist, but I find that a little bit hard to understand. I cannot imagine millions of people sitting down to a supper. So I take it that is what it is talking about is that we are all going to enjoy the blessings of Heaven-the bride and the bridegroom are there, of course. Then, all the others that are not part of the Church are also going to share in the blessings of eternity. They are going to be there and enjoy the Millennial Kingdom. That is why I think it is called a marriage supper. It climaxes Christ coming for His Church and taking her to Himself.
Let’s go on to this because in verse 19 and following we have a picture of Jesus Christ coming back in power and glory. In verse 11 and following, and I want you to listen as I read this—(Bear in mind the contrast between this scene of the Second Coming and the scene of the Rapture in I Thessalonians 4. What happened at the Rapture? Well, Christ appeared, oddly in Heaven. He calls Christians who have died to be resurrected; living Christians to be changed. They meet Him in the air and go to Heaven. He never touches the earth. The earth is not affected at all. In fact, there is no clear evidence that anybody in the world knows what is happening because the Rapture is an instantaneous event. Suddenly, every Christian is gone. It is going to be quite a traumatic experience for a person who is not a Christian to be talking to a Christian who suddenly disappears. I take it that the Rapture is going to really jolt some people into finding out what the truth is. I believe many of them will come to Christ as a result. Millions of people will accept Christ after the Rapture. That seems to be what the Bible teaches. Now, many of them, as I pointed out, will be martyred, but they will be saved and will be with Jesus forever.)—Here is the picture of what He saw in verse 11,
“I saw Heaven open and, behold, a white horse. He who sat on it was called faithful and true and in righteousness He judges and makes war.”
This is not a peaceful venture. The white horse, of course, is symbolic of victory. A Roman general when he won a victory would ride through the streets on a white horse and the prisoners of war would follow them in the streets. It says that he in righteousness judges and makes war. It is a time of judgment.
“His eyes are like a flame of fire. On his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called the Word of God. The armies in Heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”
They are part of the victory, you see.
“Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword goes a sharp sword that with it He should strike the nations and He, Himself, will rule them with a rod of iron. He, Himself, treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God and He had on His robe and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
This is an awesome, awesome picture and the scriptures tell us that the whole world is going to see it. Millions of saints and angels accompanying Christ from Heaven to the earth to assist in His Millennial Kingdom, His reign on earth. It is going to be a glorious thing and the heavens are going to be ablaze with the glory of God. I take it there may be a processional that will last for 24 hours because the earth turns. It says the whole world is going to see it. Now, it happened in an instant in one place in the Holy Land and the other side of the world could not see it. It says every eye is going to see it. They are going to know what it is. They are going to know it is the Second Coming of Christ and they are going to know that they are not saved. It is too late. There comes a time when it is too late. It is a time when the glory of Christ appears in Heaven. It’s too late to turn to Christ and be saved.
The verses which follow do not describe any rapture. In fact, I do not think there is a scrap of evidence that there is either a rapture or a resurrection on the day of Christ’s Second Coming. It is commonly held that is when it is going to occur. Try to find it in the Bible. It simply is not there. The resurrection comes a few days later, but there is not any rapture at all. You see, at the Rapture of the Church there are two things: there is a rapture of living people whose bodies were instantly changed,(according to I Corinthians 15, and made suitable for Heaven) and also there is a raising of the dead Christians from the dead and their souls reentering their new body. Those are the two things necessary for a rapture.
There is another resurrection but only one rapture in the Bible. So this is what happens at the Rapture of the Church. But there is no rapture here in Revelation 19 and there is no resurrection. We follow here in verse 17 that the “vultures, the birds in the midst of Heaven are invited to come and gather together for the supper of the great God that ye eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men” and so on. In other words, when Christ uses the sword out of His mouth, these armies which have been fighting it out for power and were brought there by Satan have all turned to try to fight the army from Heaven, but it is all absolutely futile. There is no war. Christ just speaks the word and all these millions of men involved in this final struggle and their horses are instantly killed. The judgment of God is not pretty. It is awful! That is one of the awful judgments here. The vultures are invited to feast and have their supper. This is in contrast to the marriage of the Lamb in the early part of the chapter, you remember, where the wedding feast is for the saved. Now, this is the vultures feeding on those who are lost.
It sums it up in verse 20, with the beast (that is the world ruler) and the false prophet (who worked with them and caused the people to worship him) are both captured alive and cast into the lake of fire. At this point, there is nobody in the lake of fire. To this point when unsaved people die they go to what we call “Hades,” a place of the dead. We have this place Hades described in various passages such as Luke 16 where the rich man and the poor man go to glory and they are separated and the poor man is in torment in Hades. Well, that is where they go now, but here is the first one that is cast into the lake of fire. We learn in Matthew 25 that the lake of fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. That is its primary purpose. That is where they are going to end up. But those who reject Christ are going to share that awful fate as the Bible makes very plain.
Certain things follow the Second Coming. It is amazing to me how Bible scholars mess this up. In Chapter 20, verses 1-3, it pictures the binding of Satan. You know what the Amillennialists try to tell us? That Satan was bound at the first coming of Christ. That is not what my Bible teaches. You remember in I Peter it tells us that the “devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”? If the roaring lion came down that aisle here you would lose interest in my sermon in a hurry, wouldn’t you? A roaring lion is not something you can tamper with. That is what Satan is doing. Do you realize? I do not think many Christians realize it, but if Satan had his way he would kill every Christian. He would ruin every Christian work. He would spoil everything and make it impossible. The only reason why we preachers survive and the only reason why you survive as a Christian with any testimony at all is because God protects you. That has always been true.
Do you remember the Book of Job? He was a godly, righteous man and God called Satan’s attention to him. Satan said, “well, it is because you are so good to him. Let me at him.” You know, God said “all right. You can get at him but you cannot take his life.” The first thing that Satan did was to kill every one of his family and all his herds. They were carried away and he was robbed. He was left with nothing except a wife who told him to curse God and die. The devil left her because he could use her. A sad thing, isn’t it?
Then, Satan said “let me get at HIM” and God said “all right. You can get at his body, but you cannot kill him.” He had terrible sores and we have the long record of how his friends tried to figure out what was happening. Now, this illustrates that Satan can get at us if God permits it. Satan told God “you have built a hedge about him that I cannot get at.” The only reason you have any peace and tranquility at all is because God has marvelously protected you. When you get to Heaven, you are going to discover all sorts of things that were kept out of your life by the power and grace of God that Satan would have loved to have brought in and just wrecked your life in every which way. So, here, we have some cast into the lake of fire where the Devil and his angels are going ultimately.
Now, in Chapter 20 we have Satan bound. I am distinguishing in this passage what John saw and what he heard. He saw an angel come down from heaven with a big chain and He bound Satan and put him in the abyss (that is the home of the demon world) and put a seal on the top and shut him out. That much he could see. What he did not know was the purpose. He heard that. It was revealed to him that what he was seeing is that Satan would be bound for 1,000 years. You cannot “see” those details. That had to be told to him.
Now, I believe that on the one hand we have to interpret what we see, but, on the other hand, when God says “this is what it means” then you are not free to “tamper” with that and say it does not mean what God says it means. The devil was bound here. For the entire 1,000–year reign of Christ, following His Second Coming, Satan and the demon world will be inactive.
People say, “why is there a Millennial Kingdom anyway?” Well, you know God has been trying the human race. He has tried them out in innocency and they sin. He tried them out with conscience—go down through the dispensations, He has tried every means possible! Now, people say, “well, it is the devil that tempted me.” All right. The devil is going to be bound. Are men still wicked? Yes, they are. We read that some, in spite of everything, with Christ visually present in the world, and His glorious nature. Yet they attempt to conquer the city of Jerusalem, the capital city, by force. Of course, there is a tragic end for them because fire comes down from heaven and destroys them. It illustrates that man, even under the best environment, with all the information that he needs to lead a holy life, is still basically wicked. Apart from the grace of God, there will be no salvation, no sanctification, no Heaven, and no grace of God is manifest in their life.
Verses 4 to 6 are especially interesting to me in regard to the Rapture. He said,
“I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness of Jesus and for the Word of God who would not worship the beast or his image, who had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.”
Now, who are these people? These are people who lived in that last three-and-a-half years prior to the Second Coming of Christ. It says here that when this beast, this world ruler was in power, that they refuse to worship him. The result was they were beheaded. They were killed one, two or three years before the Second Coming of Christ. Now it says that they lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years. When were they resurrected? After the Second Coming of Christ. They had just been dead a few years. Now they are resurrected and resurrected from the grave. Do you know what the amillenarians do with that? They say this is simply the conversion of the unsaved. Where in the world is that in that passage? I cannot understand how competent scholars, godly men, can come up with such a strange interpretation. This is not the conversion of unsaved people. This is the resurrection of people who are born again and have died as martyrs and now are being restored. For what purpose? To live and reign with Christ for how many years? 1,000 years. You see, I am a pre-millenarian and I believe that Christ comes first and the Millennium follows. The reason I do is because it is taught in this verse. These people are going to reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
Now, it goes on to say this is the first resurrection. Wait a minute! Is this the Rapture? Well, of course not. What does it mean the first resurrection? You know it is amazing to me how post-Tribulational books land on this and they say this must be the Rapture. It has been explained again and again and again in pre-Tribulational books that that is not what it means. I have yet to read a post-Tribulational book that will acknowledge that they know the other answer. See, the word “first” occurs in different ways. It is not number one resurrection, but it means that something is done first. For instance, the housewife will say “I am going downtown to shop but first I am going to put the supper in the oven.” That is not the first time she did it. What does she mean when she says it is done first? Well, it is done before. There are two events here: going downtown is the second event, but the first event is putting the meal into the oven. Now, here are two events, too. Here is the resurrection of the righteous martyrs who died. That is first. The second resurrection is at the end of this chapter where the wicked dead, 1,000 years later, are raised from the dead and cast into the lake of fire. You see, one, two.
One of the strange things that theologians have tried to perpetuate is the idea there is one great final judgment and one great resurrection. The Bible does not teach that. You have just got to ignore what the Bible teaches in order to arrive at such a strange conclusion. You see, there is another resurrection in the Bible. What is the first one? Christ. Was He raised from the dead? Yes. Then, in Matthew 27 it tells us there was a token resurrection where a few were raised. Why? Because when Christ was raised He was the first fruits, plural, and so there are others raised to illustrate this and they were raised in Matthew 27.
Then, we have the Rapture of the Church. That is resurrection number three. Then, in Revelation 11, we have the two witnesses that witnessed for three-and-a-half years and God allows them to be killed. While the world is gloating over their death, they are lying in the streets of Jerusalem, suddenly they rise from the dead and are sent to Heaven. They are resurrected, too.
Here is the resurrection of the martyred dead—still another resurrection. This is resurrection number five if you want to keep track. Then, in Daniel 12 it mentions the Old Testament saints as being raised into the Tribulation. We are not told specifically what day it is, but that is the next one so there are six. The seventh resurrection, of course, is the resurrection of the wicked dead at the end of this chapter.
I want you to notice something, though, here. When does this resurrection take place? It takes place several days, apparently, after the Second Coming. In order words, there is a resurrection here, but there is no translation. You see, the saints that live on the earth at the time of the Second Coming go into the Millennial Kingdom in their natural bodies. They are not raptured. They still are in their natural bodies and the Bible pictures it that way. You read Isaiah 65. They are going to plant crops, they are going to build houses, they are going to bear children, they are going to live, they are going to die, they are going to sin. You see, they are still in their natural bodies and that is the way they are going to enter the Millennial Kingdom. So, there is no Rapture at that time.
If they have all been raptured at the time of the Second Coming there would be nobody left to populate the millennial earth in its natural way. So, there cannot be a Rapture at this time and there is not any. So, the first resurrection is the resurrection that is first in the sense that it is before the resurrection of the wicked at the end of the 1,000 years. It reminds us again they shall reign with Him 1,000 years. Verse 7 also tells us when the 1,000 years are expired Satan will be released from his prison and he will go out, as I have indicated earlier, and cause people who are not saved to rebel against God even in the Millennial Kingdom. And they are destroyed by a fire from heaven. Then follows the great sad, great White Throne Judgment of the wicked. They are cast into the lake of fire because their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Now, you see there is just no Rapture here. We saw yesterday how in the judgment of the nations that the Gentiles the sheep are still mixed with the unsaved, the goats, after the Second Coming of Christ. There was no Rapture at the Second Coming. There was no separation, but it did occur later when those that were unsaved were taken out because they were not worthy to enter the Millennial Kingdom. But the righteous stay on earth, just the opposite of the Rapture, the righteous stay in and the wicked are taken out and they go into the Millennial Kingdom.
So, as you examine these scriptures there simply is no Rapture. There just isn’t any. Those who say that there is a Rapture at this point have to create it out of whole cloth. They do not have a single verse of the Bible to support their position.
Question and Answer
Now, we are going to have a little question/answer hour, as I promised, and our system is going to be very simple. Raise your hand. and I will ask you to state your question. Then, I will try to repeat it because they are going to try to record this. We will see if we can get a few questions answered this morning. Who will be first? Stand up so I can see you. All right.
Q: The question is where do people go into the Millennial Kingdom?
A: Now, the Bible does not give us much information on this, but it does tell us that when the present earth and Heaven flee away and are destroyed the New Jerusalem descends from God out of Heaven. In contrast to the new heavens and new earth which are said to be created, the New Jerusalem is not said to be created. This has raised the question. Is it in existence during the Millennial Kingdom? It is 1,500 miles square. It obviously would blot out the whole Holy Land if it was on earth. So it cannot be on earth. The theory is that there can be a city like that as a satellite city. The Bible does not tell us this. They are just manufacturing this in trying to figure it out. But there are some that think that resurrection and raptured saints will have their residence in the new Jerusalem.
Just like a person who has his residence in the country and goes into town to his office so we will commute from that to the earth to carry on our functions because we are going to work in the world. There is so little scripture on this that I would rather say I do not know and leave the matter up to God when the time comes.
There is much that God has not seen fit to reveal. Why has He not revealed it? Because we do not need to know. It is amazing how we all want to know the things we do not need to know and the things we ought to know sometimes we neglect. That, unfortunately, is the case in the study of prophecy. There are a lot of things that are not revealed. So, I cannot really answer your question with finality because the Word of God does not answer it. Next question.
Q: The question is, is the Holy Spirit taken out of the world at the Rapture? The resulting question is how can people be born again if the Holy Spirit is taken out?
A: Of course, you cannot take the Holy Spirit out. God is omnipresent. There is no way that that can be changed where He is not present in a part of His universe. So, He is going to be there. According to II Thessalonians 2, they Holy Spirit is going to be taken away in the sense that He removes the restraint. Now, you see in the present age the Church indwelt by the Holy Spirit is God’s principle means of holding down the floodtides of evil. While we are a small minority we, nevertheless, are the fountainhead for morality and rule of life and things that are right and wrong. We still point to the Church. The Church is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now, if the Holy Spirit’s restraint is removed, the only way this could be accomplished is by the Holy Spirit to be taken out with the Church.
You see, before Pentecost the Holy Spirit did not indwell every Christian – now He does. As far as I can tell from scripture, once the Rapture of the Church occurs, the Holy Spirit does not indwell people in the Tribulation time. When you get to the Millennial Kingdom, then, again, the Holy Spirit indwells. So, we have to be very careful how we observe exactly what the scripture says and exactly what it does not say. You cannot remove the Holy Spirit. The fact is, as I brought out, millions of people will be saved after the Rapture. This cannot be accomplished without the Holy Spirit. Of course, the answer is how? Well, how were they saved before Pentecost? You see, the Holy Spirit was in the world there, but He was not in us. So, what changed is the indwelling of the presence of the Holy Spirit and His restraint upon the world of sin as a whole. That is going to be changed in the Great Tribulation. God is going to allow the human race to manifest how terribly sinful it really is. It will be a time of unprecedented lawlessness summed up, of course, ultimately in the worship of Satan and the world rulers. So, I take it the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, but He does not exercise the qualities He is doing now. Next question.
Q: The question is will the pope be able to bring together the various churches?
A: We have the so-called ecumenical movement that came to a head in 1948 when the World Council of Churches was formed and the purpose of this is to unite all Christians under one gigantic organization where the power will be in a hierarchy at the top. It has not worked out very well because it is largely in the hands of liberals, although there are some evangelical Christians involved in it. The world church movement is not prospering.
I take it when the Rapture of the Church occurs and every true Christian is taken out of the world, including out of the world-Church-movement, all who will be left will be apostate teachers. I take it this fulfills what Revelation 17 described as a harlot astride a scarlet colored beast. This is a world Church movement that is utterly wicked and utterly departing from God. In fact, the woman is described as drunk with the blood of the saints. He is going to put to death those who are actually born again.
So, there is a world Church movement in the world today. It is one of the major things I did not get to this week along with the work in the Church, the true Church, the Rapture of the Church, and then the nations of the world, the changes in Europe and the formation eventually of the Roman Empire. Then, we saw in Israel the fact that Israel is in the land—all these things are important and the world church movement is another aspect of that. So, I take it that that is part of the end-time picture. Now, put this together, if you will. In 1946, the United Nations brings the idea of a world government which, of course, characterizes the end. In 1948, Israel is given their 5,000 square miles. Israel is back in the land. In 1948, the World Council of Churches is formed. Here you have the three major areas of God’s prophecies – the Church, the world, and Israel – all affected in a very short time after World War II. It is just as if God is saying that the stage is getting set and the time is drawing near. It could be that the Rapture of the Church is very, very near.
Now, our time is up and we want to conclude this service. Let us bow in a word of prayer.
Our Father, how grateful we are that while there are many things we only know in part and many questions which cannot be finally answered, the things that are important have been answered. We know how to be saved. We know how to look for the Lord’s coming. We know that when He comes He is going to catch us out of the world and take us to Heaven. We know we are going to be in His presence forever. We are the objects of His love and grace and will illustrate through all eternity what the grace of God is. So, help us, Lord, to get excited about this and be looking for this precious hope and then be living in the way that is well pleasing to the Lord as we face this great future. We ask it in Christ’s name. Amen.