Commentary By: Gordon King
I recently wrote a post:
I wrote that the Leftist agenda is leading to the rapture of the church, and that when we see the increased push for this Progressive agenda then we know that the rapture of the church is close at hand. I will not go into details of the post, you can read it for yourself and you may agree or disagree, that’s fine by me.
At the end of the post I wrote that the rapture of the church is not only leading to the day of the Lord (The Tribulation Period and the One Thousand year reign of Christ), but that it will be a marker for it. In other words, when the rapture of the church happens then the Tribulation period will shortly follow. How do I know this? Is this just my opinion or is it actually from the word of God? Well, lets see for sure.
The apostle Peter says that it shall come as a thief in the night, this is how it begins, but the apostle Peter also speaks of how it ends.
2 Peter 3:10
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.“
The apostle Peter says that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, the apostle Paul said the same things.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
“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.“
In Matthew 24:36-44 Jesus speaks of the rapture of the church and refers to it as being an hour that the master did not know when the thief would come. Once again as a thief in the night.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.“
The day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night, just as the rapture of the church preceeding it is. It’s coming quickly at a time when people are not expecting it, in fact the people of the world will welcome in the Antichrist as their savior. They have no idea what this time actually represents, the beginning of God’s wrath upon an unbelieving world!
The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the rapture of the church will not take place until the “falling away” or “apostacia” (Greek) comes first, then the son of perdition/the lawless one will be revealed.
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.“
It may sound a little confusing at first, but the scripture interprets itself. The apostle Paul is speaking about the rapture of the church, that is quite obvious. He says that there must be a falling away first meaning the apostasy of the church. Some people believe that he means the rapture of the church, but this makes no sense whatsoever (the rapture of the church will not happen until the rapture of the church first takes place?).
The second and very important thing to note is the revealing of the Antichrist (the son of perdition / the lawless one). At first verse 3 sounds like the rapture will not take place until after the son of perdition is revealed, however, we must read on further to get a better explanation of what the apostle Paul is telling us.
Verses 7-8 give us an explanation of what he means in the preceding verses. The lawless one (Antichrist) will not be revealed until He who now restrains is taken out of the way. Who is He who now restrains? The Holy Spirit filled church, how do I know this? That’s what these verses are all about, the rapture of the church is the Holy Spirit filled church being taken from the earth, that is what is restraining the darkness, and when He is removed from the earth then the Antichrist will be revealed, then and only then! God is the only one who can restrain the evil from the earth, no one or nothing else, and it is God in the form of the Holy Spirit within the church that will be removed, not God Himself, for He is at all places at all times.
The apostle Paul is telling us that the apostasy will take place first and the revealing of the Antichrist will happen after that, but it doesn’t mean that it will happen before the rapture. Another example of this is in the same text giving further proof of what I am talking about.
“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.”
The Paul says then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, this doesn’t mean that the Lord will do it as soon as he is revealed, but it’s just an explanation of who the lawless one is. Just as in verse 3 explaining that the son of perdition will not be revealed until the apostasy happens first, however that does not mean before the rapture of the church as explained in verses 7-8.
The old testament prophet Joel speaks about how terrible the day of the Lord (Tribulation period) will be, who can endure it?
“Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.
3 A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.
4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.
5 With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.
7 They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.
8 They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.
9 They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.
11 The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?“
Jesus said in Matthew 24 that unless those days be shortened no flesh would be saved.
“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.“
Granted, He is speaking about the Great Tribulation period, the second half of the Tribulation, however, the entire seven years will be horrible as God pours out His wrath upon the world, not only the second half, it’s all going to be very, very bad!
Revelation 4:1-2 represents the rapture of the church at the end of the church age.
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.”
The preceding chapters are dedicated to the introduction of Jesus Christ and to the church, chapters 4-6 are about the church in the throne room of heaven and the only One worthy to open the scrolls, however, the church is not mentioned from chapters 6-18 in the book of Revelation and this begins God’s judgments on the world, the church is not mentioned again until chapter 19 when Christ returns to earth riding on a white horse and the saints riding with Him.
“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.“
The armies of heaven clothed in fine linen are the saints, this is the church! The book of Revelation teaches us that the church is raptured before the Tribulation period begins, and the church does not return until Jesus Christ returns the second time, we come with Him!
God tells us that we as born-again believers are not destined for wrath but for salvation through Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
“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.“
We are to comfort and encourage one another knowing that we will not go through God’s wrath upon the world, this is what we are told in scripture. How are we then to comfort and encourage one another if we have to then go through God’s wrath upon the world?! What comfort would it be knowing that we as believers must be put through the wrath of our loving God before we go to heaven? And why would God who is betrothed to the church then beat her up before the wedding and supper celebration? It makes no sense whatsoever! Would you beat up your fiance and put her through hell just before marrying her? I don’t think that God would and it would sure be of no comfort or encouragement, in fact just the opposite!
The bible teaches us that the return of Jesus Christ for His bride is imminent, meaning that it could happen at any time. We are to always be watching and waiting for His return for us. That’s why the apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the church of the Thessalonians, they were deceived into believing that the rapture had already occurred and that they were living in the Tribulation period at that time. He explained to them that this will not happen until there is a great falling away from the faith first, and then the son of perdition (Antichrist) would be revealed. Then he told them to comfort one another because we as believers are not destined for God’s wrath. In other words, don’t worry or be afraid, because Jesus has not come yet, and when He does He will come to take you with Him where He is!
We are told to always be ready and watching for Christ’s return for the church, because we do not know the day or the hour, it will be like a thief in the night! What other rapture view other than pre-tribulation teaches a doctrine of imminence? None! Only the pre-tribulation view represents an imminent return of Jesus Christ for His bride, it’s the only one! All other views will not happen until other things must happen first, pre-tribulation is the only one that teaches that nothing else has to happen for Christ to return!
Jesus said that He would come again and take us with Him, that He has prepared a place for us. He said that to be a comfort to us, that He wouldn’t leave us here in order for Him to then pour out judgment and wrath upon us! We must have faith that God is who He says that He is, that He loves us and wants the best for us, that He does things for our good, and going through His judgment and wrath is not for our good my friends, it’s just not! We are told by God that He has forgotten our sins and remembers them no more, that He has removed them from us as far as the East is from the West. Do we believe these things or are they merely words on paper? Do we actually trust God and His word or do they have any meaning at all? And if we don’t trust God then why in the world do we call ourselves Christians?
I stand firm in these beliefs, because they are God’s words, I haven’t twisted them or taken them out of context. If you don’t want to believe them then don’t, I’m not twisting anything here! I’m not here to please man but to please God, and in the end what is more important? We must know the truth, too many believers don’t study or understand bible prophecy, too many pastors don’t teach it, and many if not most Christians choose not too! It’s a crying shame my friends, a crying shame! Close to one third of the bible is prophecy, and we are told to study all of it not just parts of it.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.“
How can we say that we are complete if we don’t study the entirety of God’s word? The bible is all God’s word, and if we ignore parts of it then we are ignoring God Himself! God want’s us to know bible prophecy because when we see these things happen then it glorifies God! And if we do not know or understand bible prophecy correctly than we can easily be deceived. By knowing prophecy and seeing it come to pass then it strengthens our faith, gives us comfort, and encourages us in knowing that God is who He says that He is and will accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven! Amen.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!