Commentary By: Gordon King
Tis’ the season, and I’m not talking about Christmas or the New Year. It’s the season that all Christians should be aware of, the season we should be watching for before the second coming of Christ!
Jesus Christ told us to be watching and be ready, He gave us the signs to watch for before His second coming, but also for the rapture of the church.
As most of you already know I am a believer in the “pre-Tribulation” rapture of the church. I am not writing this to argue or to condemn anyone with a different view, however, I strongly believe that the scriptures tell us that there will be a rapture of the church and that it will be “pre-Tribulation”. Like I said, I am not here to condemn, but to speak the truth as I know it from scripture.
If we do not hold a pre-Tribulation view then we would not be looking for Jesus Christ but for the Anti-Christ, we would be looking for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, we would be waiting for the abomination of desolation to occur in the Holy of Holies, we would be waiting for the implementation of the Mark of the Beast, and we would be waiting for Armageddon to take place! None of these things must occur before the rapture of the church, none! We are not to be looking for any of these things, but for Jesus Christ!
If the rapture is post-Tribulation, then how is it that we will come back with Christ during His second coming? Revelation 19 speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb before His coming, how would there then be any time for this to occur?
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.“
This chapter also talks about His armies dressed in white linen coming with Him riding on white horses. Who do you think His armies in heaven are? I believe them to be the church, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, as spoken of in Revelation 19:8.
“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.“
The armies of heaven, the church, “in heaven” with Christ, not on the earth and then going to meet Him in the air in clean linens riding on white horses!
We are not appointed to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The seven-year Tribulation period is about the wrath of God upon the world, not upon the church! It’s also a time when He will reconcile a remnant of Jewish believers and restore His covenant that He made with them thousands of years ago.
The prophet Daniel spoke of the end time and of the people written in the book who will be delivered.
“At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.”
Just what are these people found written in the book delivered from? From the time of trouble, the time of Jacob’s trouble, not the churches trouble!
Daniel prophesied the rebuilding of the Jewish temple twenty-five hundred years ago as well as the coming of the Messiah and the Tribulation period.
“Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
The weeks spoken of by the prophet Daniel are not actually weeks at all, but weeks of years. The first sixty-nine weeks are from the time of the command to rebuild the Jewish Temple to the announcement of Christ as Lord, which He officially did when He rode into Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey during the Passover celebration in 32 A.D. . This time period of 69 weeks or weeks of years was fulfilled to the very day (per 360 days of the Jewish calendar)!
Chuck Missler gives a good explanation of this here (Daniels 70 Weeks).
The last week or the seventieth week has yet to be fulfilled, as it will be when the Anti-Christ is revealed and confirms a covenant with the Jews for the last week or seven years (The Time of Jacob’s Trouble).
This seven-year period commences once the Anti-Christ has been revealed and confirms a covenant with the Jews, yet the Anti-Christ cannot be revealed until “He who restrains” is taken out of the way first.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-8
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.“
I truly believe that “He who now restrains” is the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ. We are the ones restraining, the body of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit! When we are taken out of this world there will be a great falling away, of both the true believers and those who are not truly believers. He who now restrains is a person, who else could it possibly be if not the Holy Spirit filled church?! It couldn’t be merely be the Holy Spirit, for He will still be here on earth since God is everywhere at all times, and the 144,000 Jewish believers will also be filled with the Holy Spirit. And God told us that He would never leave us nor forsake us, His Spirit is always with us! If this is true then it must be the church that is removed before the seven-year Tribulation period begins, think about it! Who else could be restraining the Anti-Christ?
The only logical view for the rapture of the church is “pre-Tribulation” according to scripture. We are not to be occupied with looking for the Anti-Christ, but for Jesus Christ! Not for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, but for the building of God’s Holy temples, His children, saving the lost.
There are many signs which the good Lord gave us to be watching for, however, I also believe that there are many other signs not mentioned in scripture which also show us the season that we are now in. For instance, the election of Donald Trump as the President elect of the United States of America. How in the world did Donald Trump even come close to winning the election?! By the hand of God Almighty! He represents what is now standing in the way of the One World Government, and He also represents everything that President Obama is not! I truly believe that the election of Donald Trump is just one sign of the closeness of Christ’s return for His bride! A wake-up call!
The progressive movement in America and the world is all for a One World Government and dictator. The values that they represent are socialist and dictatorial in nature. Most of these people probably are not even aware of just what they are doing in pushing their agenda upon others.
The rise of Islam upon the world is another sign which we should not take lightly! Their hatred of anyone not aligning themselves with Allah is frightening. Their rise to power and terror around the world is a sign that the rapture is close at hand! World leaders and governments have given Islam a pass, they have given them a green light to continue on with their hatred and violence in the world, even going so far as to support them in their efforts to conquer the world!
The increase in the persecution of both Christians and Jews is another sign that the rapture is close and the Tribulation period is close at hand.
The current Pope and his ways of thinking are yet another sign that the end is near. Pope Francis has an agenda to unite all religions of the world. His speeches of tolerance and unity, of peace and security, all focus on the melding of religions, of the formation of a One World Religion as spoken of in the book of Revelation! He has even gone so far as to invite the religious leaders of the world to come to the Vatican and pray together, under the supposition that we all worship the same God!
The push towards a cashless society and the talk of a One World Currency is also a sign that the world is closing in on the end of itself. Along with a One World Government, a One World Religion, there will also be a One World Economy!
All of this leads me to believe that the rapture of the church is near, very near! We must all sit up and take notice. We must be ready at all times! God has given us warning, He has told us to watch and be ready, to know the season.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.“
God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ! Let us not sleep, but let us watch and be sober. Comfort each other! How can we possibly do that if we have to go through the Tribulation period?! However, we can comfort each other knowing that Jesus is coming soon to deliver us from that terrible time!
God bless my friends! Maranatha!