The God Who Sees

Wegraping – Vrae en Antwoorde


Wegraping – Vrae en Antwoorde

Voordat ons begin lees : ‘n paar Vrae :1. Pre-Trib Rapture – Dit is dat Jesus sy bruid kom haal voor die Tribulation : Ja of Nee
2. Post-Trib Rapture – Dit is dat Jesus sy bruid kom haal na die Tribulation : Ja of Nee

My vraag : Die Bybel sê dat Jesus Sy Bruid [VROU DAN] SAAMBRING met Hom by sy 2de Koms. Vraag is : As Hy dan Sy Bruid [VROU DAN] SAAMBRING, wanneer het Hy hulle dan kom haal?? Voor of na die Tribulation?? Baie Belangrik as u klaar gelees het kyk na die “Two phases” laer af op hierdie blad.

1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

The first phase, in which the Lord Jesus Christ will return privately to catch away His bride, is referred to as parousia. This term indicates His physical presence.

The second phase of Christ’s coming is known as His apokalipse or faneros – that is His public appearing or becoming visible.

Sit nou vir 5 min stil en dink hieroor. Bid en vra dat die Here jou oë, ore sal open sodat jy kan sien en hoor wat die Gees spreek, vergeet van alles wat jy gelees het of bestudeer het van ander mense, en lees verder.

Kyk ook na die Hebreeuse neem van ‘n vrou, heel onder aan die blad. [Rooi kolomme]

Rapture – Answer

Abstract: The next major prophetic event is the rapture when the heavenly Bridegroom will come at an unexpected hour to snatch away His bride. This promise is the good news in an otherwise dark scenario of end-time events. Are you ready for your appointment with Jesus Christ?

The promise of the rapture

The teachings about the rapture, the end-time restoration of the nation of Israel and the millennial kingdom have, through various phases of church history, been spiritualised and pushed aside by theologians. Faith in these promises has, however, been revived time and again to become a strong motivating power in the lives of believers.

We are living in a time which sees the fulfilment of many biblical prophecies. This is an indication of the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. When people accept the prophetic word and study it, they achieve greater clarity regarding future events. They see the unfolding of a world scene which is, on the one hand, very dark indeed and leads to awful judgements, while on the other hand, a joyous hope blazes in the hearts of believers.

This hope comes from the knowledge that they will escape the coming judgements if they are truly born again. The promise of escape is the good news element in the prophecies. It is the ‘blessed hope’ of Christ’s return to which every believer should cling in these dark days (Tit. 2:13).

Two phases

In order to properly understand the second coming of Christ, we have to clearly discern it’s two phases, i.e. the return of Christ for his saints and His coming with His saints. During the first phase the coming of the heavenly Bridegroom will be unexpected, like a thief in the night. He will meet His bride in the air and quickly take her away to heavenly places (1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Thes. 5:2; Jn. 14:2-3).

During the second phase, His appearance will be public and every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7). He will be accompanied by His bride, as well as a heavenly army, and will set foot upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4-5; Rev. 19:11-15).

The two phases of the second coming can also be discerned from the respective Greek terms which are used in the original language. The first phase, in which the Lord Jesus Christ will return privately to catch away His bride, is referred to as parousia. This term indicates His physical presence. After His parousia He will never again be separated from His bride, the church. On that occasion He will appear to all those who eagerly awaited Him for salvation (Heb. 9: 28). Thereafter, they will abide with Him forever.

The second phase of Christ’s coming is known as His apokalipse or faneros – that is His public appearing or becoming visible. This time, He will not come secretly to appear only to His bride. He will then be publicly revealed as King and Judge of the world. That is “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thes. 3:13). Christ and His saints will be revealed to the world in glory at the same time:

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. (Col. 3:4)

It is quite obvious that Christians could not accompany the Lord Jesus and be revealed in their glorified bodies unless they had already been united with Him at an earlier stage. The whole creation is awaiting this revelation, because harmony and ideal conditions will prevail on earth during the reign of Christ and His saints (Rom. 8:19).

The Bridegroom comes to fetch His bride

During His parousia, which will of necessity precede the visible coming, the heavenly Bridegroom comes only to fetch His bride. On this occasion He will not show Himself to the millions of other people on earth at all.

In biblical times the Jewish bridegroom used to depart for a lengthy period after his engagement, in order to prepare for his bride and himself an apartment in the house of his father. After this, he came to fetch her at night, secretly, without even the members of her own household being aware of this event at the time, and took her with him to the house of his father. Jesus used this custom as an analogy to explain His ascension to His disciples:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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” (Jn. 14:2-3).

Christ’s coming at His parousia will be the fulfilment of that promise, also of the promise which was made to His followers at the time of His ascension:

“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” (Acts 1:11).

After His resurrection, Jesus was seen only by believers. At His ascension He was separated from them, and with the rapture He will be re-united with them. The rest of mankind will be left on earth because, by their own neglect, they will not be members of the group that belongs to Jesus and with whom He has a special appointment:

“I tell you, in that night there shall be two… in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Lk. 17: 34-35).

Glorification

The glorification of Christians will begin at the moment when the trumpet is sounded, the deceased saints raised from the dead, and the living saints transformed in an instant to receive their glorified bodies:

“Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on in corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51-53).

When Christ raises the dead and changes the living, we will be clothed with heavenly bodies in an instant:

“For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Phil. 3:20-21).

Caught up

Immediately after the deceased and living saints have been clothed with glorified bodies, they will be taken up to heaven to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus for ever:

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and  remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not [go before those who] are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and  remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4:14-17).

Note that the above-mentioned meeting will take place in the air and involves only born-again Christians. The Lord Jesus does not set foot on the Mount of Olives and reveal Himself to the world at this stage, but returns immediately with His bride to His Father’s house in heaven.

The word caught up, that is used in 1Thessalonians 4:17 (harpazo in Greek), clearly means to be raptured or snatched away rapidly. This word is also used to describe the action by which an eagle snatches and rapidly flies off with its prey.

There is, therefore, no truth to the allegation by some critics that the word rapture does not appear in the Bible. The word harpazo can be translated as:

catch up;
rapture; or
snatch away swiftly

In his internationally acclaimed Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, K.S. Wuest says:

“HARPAZO. This is a Greek word that has various meanings. It is not translated by one uniform English word. The meanings are as follows:

to seize;
to carry off by force;
to claim for one’s self eagerly;
to snatch out or away.

It was used proverbially in the sense of to rescue from the danger of destruction. It was used also of divine power transferring a person marvellously and swiftly from one place to another.

“The word is used in Mt. 11:12, 13:19; Jn. 6:15, 10:12, 28, 29; Acts 8:39, 23:10; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4; 1 Thes. 4:17, Jude v. 23; Rev. 12:15. The procedure in Greek exegesis when a word has a number of meanings, is to use only those meanings which are in accord with the context. For instance, in the case of harpazo in its use in connection with the wolf (Jn. 10:12), it would not do to interpret it in the sense of rescuing from the danger of destruction. It would mean here to seize and carry off by force, to claim for one’s self eagerly. Study these places where the word occurs, using as many meanings as agree with the context. Pay special attention to 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and see how much new truth you obtain regarding the Rapture of the Church.”

The following are a few examples of Scripture verses in which the term harpazo is used. Please note the basic meaning of being removed swiftly and purposefully from one place to another:

“Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more” (Acts 8:39).
“And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle” (Acts 23:10).
“I knew a man in Christ [more than] fourteen years ago… such a one was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2).
“We who are alive… shall be caught up… to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thes. 4:17).
“And she brought forth a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne” (Rev. 12:5).

The first resurrection

A concept which is closely related to the rapture, is that of the first resurrection. On this occasion the Lord Jesus will only come to fetch the righteous; this is why Paul says that “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thes. 4:16).

Nothing whatsoever is said here about the resurrection of the ungodly. Seeing that a first resurrection also implies a second, and because we know that the righteous as well as the unrighteous will be raised, it becomes clear that the ungodly will be raised at a later resurrection.

Revelation 20 says that at least a thousand years will separate the two resurrections. John refers to the Christian martyrs who will be raised in the first resurrection to reign as kings with Christ during the millennium:

“…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4-6).

Those who share in the first resurrection are declared blessed; therefore, to be declared part of this resurrection signifies a very privileged position.

Various other parts of Scripture offer irrefutable evidence that the saints will be resurrected first. Paul refers to a chronological order of resurrections:

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who slept. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” (1 Cor. 15:20-24).

Between the resurrection of Christ as first fruits and the resurrection of those who belong to Him at His coming, a period of about 2000 years will elapse. It is clear from Revelation 20 that a further 1000 years will elapse between the first resurrection and the end when the rest of mankind will be raised from the dead to face the final judgement at the great white throne.

Note also the following conditions attached to sharing in the first resurrection:

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ… That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phil. 3:8, 10-11).

What does Paul mean by his hope of attaining to the resurrection? Surely everybody will be raised from the dead. What, then, is this resurrection which Paul strives to attain? It cannot be the general resurrection in which he will in any case share. It must refer to a very special resurrection in which only those will share who knew Christ and the power of His resurrection and who were conformed to His death. One cannot interpret this passage without admitting that a resurrection of the righteous will occur before the resurrection of the unrighteous.

In Luke 20 we find a statement which is clear evidence of a special resurrection. The Sadducees stated a problem with regard to the relationship between men and women in the life to come, to which Jesus replied:

“But those who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Lk. 20:35-36).

It is clear that a special standard is required for this resurrection. The children of the resurrection are specifically qualified as children of God. A promise to these people is also found in Luke 14:

“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed: for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Lk. 14:13-14).

If there were only one resurrection, it would have been unnecessary to say “in the resurrection of the just.

The following are expressions which refer to the first resurrection only:

The first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).
The resurrection of the children of God (Lk. 20:36).
The resurrection of those who have died in Christ (1Thes. 4:16).
The resurrection of the just (Lk. 14:13-14).
A better resurrection (Heb. 11:35).
The resurrection to life (Jn. 5:29).
The resurrection from the dead through Jesus (Acts 4:2).

When referring to the resurrection of Christians from the dead, as well as when referring to Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the term ek nekroon is used in Greek. This means from the dead and is only used with regard to a resurrection where there are other dead who are left behind. This expression, which is used 49 times in the New Testament, of which 34 times are used in regard to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not used once for the second resurrection. The second resurrection is referred to as toon nekroon, or resurrection of the dead.

When the rapture takes place, ‘the just’ will be raised from among the rest of the dead with glorified bodies and will meet Christ in the air together with those who are still alive.

Escape

In the light of the circumstances which will prevail on earth, the rapture will offer Christians an escape from the threatening judgements. It will be a dark time of massive spiritual deception. The fundamental, evangelical Christians will be declared unchristian, unloving and judgmental, and will be despised. They will be regarded as prophets of doom because they will proclaim the imminent judgements of God which will fall upon the world during the great tribulation. They will also be regarded as disloyal to the ‘Christian’ cause because of their unwillingness to join the ecumenical movement and to accept the unitary reforms of the New Age Movement.

As the time for the revelation of the Antichrist approaches, true Christians will be subjected to immense pressure, intimidation and threats. If they remain faithful and true to the end, the Lord will take them away so that they can escape the tribulation period:

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Lk. 21:36; emphasis added).

Advocates of the false peace of the humanistically inspired and antichristian new world order will, however, not escape the great tribulation:

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thes. 5:3; emphasis added).

In the first of these two scriptures reference is made to a group that will escape the coming judgements, and in the second case a group that will be caught unawares and that will certainly not escape. The first group watch and pray, and the second group trust in their own peace programmes.

The word escape (ekfeugo in the Greek) definitely means to be outside the tribulation and, in the case of Luke 21:36, to be in the presence of the Son of man. The prefix ek in Greek always means outside. New versions of the Bible that were translated from the ‘Vaticanus’ manuscript, like the Good News Bible, are totally mistaken when they render this word as go through the tribulation. It is a complete contradiction of the promise that we will escape the tribulation if we are spiritually worthy. We will not be here!

I would like to quote an authoritative Greek dictionary in this regard, i.e. A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature, by W.F. Arndt and F.W. Gingrich. The root meaning of ekfeugo is translated as:

escape to safety;
escape; and
avoid or evade.

The meaning of ekfeugo in Luke 21:36 is in this dictionary specifically indicated as escape tribulations.

A dramatic rescue operation

Apart from the heavenly glory for which the bride is taken away to enjoy, the rapture also constitutes a dramatic rescue operation in which true believers will be removed from the scene of divine judgement. Although the rapture is a unique occurrence, there are examples in the Bible of times when God poured out His wrath, but provided an escape route for true believers as they were not the objects of His wrath.

In the days of Noah, God announced His judgements upon a wicked and depraved generation:

“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark…” (Gen. 6:13-14).

Shortly before the outpouring of God’s judgements eight believers escaped the disaster area by entering the ark. God Himself closed the door behind them before He judged the wicked (Gen. 7:11-23).

In the time of Lot another rescue operation occurred. The night before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Lot and his family received an urgent command to depart from the area marked out for judgement. The two angels also said that they could do nothing while Lot and his family were still in Sodom. Shortly after their departure, fire and brimstone rained down on the ungodly (Gen. 19:13-25).

The Lord Jesus says that there is a clear correlation between these historic events and God’s end-time dealing with believers and unbelievers:

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man: They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Lk. 17:26-30; also read Gen. chaps. 6, 7 & 19).

The following correlation between the ancient and end-time situations can be made:

In the time of Noah and Lot anarchy prevailed as people in these lawless and promiscuous societies did just as they pleased. Violence was the most common means to resolve conflicts. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot widespread moral depravity occurred. People became so corrupt that they were “wicked in every intent of their thoughts.” So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot people were excessively materialistic and adopted permissive life-styles that led to all sorts of licentiousness, including sodomy (derived from the name Sodom). So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot people scoffed at the believers and took no heed of the prophetic warnings of forthcoming judgements. They regarded it as far-fetched speculation and continued with their reckless lives. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot God gave the degenerate sinners reasonable time to repent from their evil ways. They refused to repent and thereby sealed their own fate. They had only themselves to blame for their downfall and affliction. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot God offered a way of escape to the believers at the critical moment before He turned in wrath to punish the wicked. The order of events was: First the prophetic warnings about the impending judgements, then the safeguarding of the believers who took heed of the appeal to repent, and ultimately the outpouring of wrath upon the wicked. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot there was no security for nominal believers whose hearts were still devoted to the things of this world. Lot’s wife was a type of those believers who only have an outward form of godliness, but are still spiritually dead. This false pretence cost her her life at the last moment. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot an awful disaster struck this world soon after the evacuation of the believers. Death and destruction occurred as never before in history. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah and Lot the wicked did not realize how many privileges and blessings they enjoyed because of the presence of a few believers in their midst. God was prepared to pardon a whole city if there were only ten believers in it. When these believers, who shone like lights in a wicked and perverted generation, were taken out of the way, complete spiritual darkness characterized the godless, and provoked the anger of God. So will it be again…
In the time of Noah people scoffed at the builders of the ark “and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Mt. 24:39).

The minds of the enemies of God are darkened and they continue in pride and rebellion until they suddenly stumble and fall without a saviour. If this describes your condition, will you not rather come over to God’s side today and be reconciled to Him through His Son’s death on the cross? He alone can make you worthy to escape the approaching tribulation, which is God’s judgement on a sinful world. You can be with Jesus in the safety and joy of His Father’s house when tribulation comes upon the world.

Withholders

Noah and Lot had to remonstrate with the ungodly people of their time with persistent warnings. The Christians of the New Testament have an even greater responsibility to fulfill their role as the salt of a corrupt earth and the light of a dark world. They have been given the explicit command to act as ‘opposers’ against the advance of the Antichrist:

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now [restrains] will do so, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thes. 2:6-9).

The coming day of the Lord will not commence before the rapture of the believers and the subsequent revelation of the Antichrist. The terrible day of judgement will be preceded by a great falling away (2 Thes. 2:3). This term in Greek (apostasia) literally means to depart. When the truth departs, the lie prevails. When Christians depart at the rapture, spiritual darkness will prevail on earth.

While Christians are here, they are supposed to take a bold stand for the truth and restrain the building up of antichristian forces on earth. After they have left, the Antichrist will have the opportunity of taking over the world without resistance. The spirit of delusion will then get the upper hand, and the man of sin (2 Thes. 2:3) will personally show an example of an utterly immoral and unholy way of living.

The Antichrist cannot be revealed until the one who restrains him has been taken out of the way. This role is fulfilled by the church as the body of Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Do not attach any credibility to the theory that the rapture will occur in the middle of the tribulation period of seven years. After 3½ years the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel, desecrate the temple and declare himself to be God (Dan. 9:27, 11:36-37; Mt. 24:15-21; 2Thes. 2:4). Then Israel will have to flee to the wilderness for survival (Mt. 24:16; Rev. 12:14). This flight to the wilderness in the middle of the tribulation is not to be confused with the rapture. It is something quite different.

The unscriptural teaching of a mid-tribulation or a post-tribulation rapture leads to a warped perspective and wrong priorities. Instead of awaiting the coming of Christ, people are awaiting the Antichrist. In this way they compromise their commitment to Christ. Instead of striving for sanctification in expectation of the imminent coming of the heavenly Bridegroom, they start planning an earthly survival strategy for the tribulation period. Activities of this nature are irrelevant due to a distorted prophetic vision of coming events.

The command to us is not to prepare for the coming of the Antichrist, but for the coming of Jesus Christ! We should remain engaged in His work until He comes. If we are constantly occupied with the work assigned to us by Christ, we won’t be around when the Antichrist is revealed.

People who think that they can calculate the time of the rapture by waiting for the Antichrist to come and then add another 3½ years until the Lord comes, are missing the point and a very important aspect of the prophecies.

The judgement seat of Christ

The rapture should never be viewed in isolation, but as a means to an end. It describes the way in which all true believers will be swiftly removed from earth to heaven where they must appear before the judgement seat of Christ (this is the subject of a separate booklet). To be ready for the rapture, therefore, implies readiness to give account of your life and stewardship before Christ’s judgement seat:

“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2Cor. 5:10; see also Rom. 14:10).

After having received crowns as reward for faithful service, the glorified believers will gather around the throne of the Lamb where they will praise the Lord for His righteousness (Rev. 4:10-11) and join with Him in judging the world during the tribulation period (1 Cor. 6:2). They will also look forward to the time when they will return to the earth with Christ to reign with Him as kings during the millennium:

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10; see also Rev. 19:11-15, Zech. 14:4-5).

Chronology of Revelation

The rapture of the church to heaven before the coming tribulation period is also clearly evident from the chronology of the events of Revelation. In these events, the true church mysteriously vanishes from the earth before the start of the tribulation period, only to appear again when Christ comes back after the seven years. The believers of the tribulation period do not constitute the church. The main events in the book of Revelation occur in the following order:

The glorified Christ after His ascension (ch. 1).
The dispensation of the church on earth (ch. 2-3).
The heavenly vision, including the glorified church after the rapture (ch. 4-5).
The seven years of the tribulation period (ch. 6-18).
The second coming of Christ, in which He is joined by the glorified church (ch. 19).
The millennial reign of Christ and His church (ch. 20:1-6).
The final judgement before the great white throne (ch. 20:7-15).
The new heaven and the new earth (ch. 21-22).

After describing the church on earth in Revelation 2-3, it is subsequently shown in its glorified state in heaven in Revelation 4-5. Chapter 4 opens with the words, After this (Greek meta tauta) which clearly indicate the chronological order of events. This expression often occurs in the book of Revelation, thereby confirming its general chronological ordering of events.

During the dispensation of the church (ch. 2-3) the following words are repeated seven times: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). The believers of the tribulation period, who are saved after the rapture, do not represent the church. To them it is merely said: “If any man have an ear, let him hear” (Rev. 13:9). In Rev. 19:7-14 we again read about the church as the wife of the Lamb, who will return with Him to earth after the seven years of the tribulation.

Getting ready

The next important event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture. Before the Antichrist can be revealed and the tribulation begin, the meeting between the true church and the heavenly Bridegroom has to take place. As members of the true church of Christ we have to be ready, hence the many exhortations in the Bible to expect the second coming and to be watchful and vigilant at all times.

Are you a sanctified member of the bridal church? Are you ready for the coming of the Bridegroom? It is impossible to be ready unless we are in Christ:

”There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

With regard to the rapture, the emphasis is on accepting the Lord Jesus not only for salvation but for sanctification as well. After the initial cleansing from sins, an experience of sanctification, or filling with the Holy Spirit, must occur in order for Christians to live holy and fruitful lives:

“Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

John says that everyone who has the hope of the return of Christ “purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:3). The Christian endeavours, therefore, to be like Jesus and to abide in Him:

“And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 Jn. 2:28).

Paul says that the grace of God teaches us that:

“…denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:12-13).

The Thessalonian church had a strong expectation of the second coming. Paul encourages this attitude:

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing… Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying… Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (1Thes. 5: 16-24).

Peter adds to the perspective of a holy life the warning that Christians should not be blinded by the material things of this world:

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in holy [conduct] and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God… Therefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found by Him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2Pet. 3:11-14).

You should be on the alert lest you be influenced by the world and your spiritual standard be lowered resulting in your being distracted from the work of the Lord. One of the signs of the times is a spirit of backsliding and lukewarm commitment among believers. Many people, instead of being inspired to renewed holiness by the growing unrighteousness in the world, lose their motivation and give up:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall [grow] cold” (Mt. 24:12).

Amid the general falling away, our attitude and motivation should be in the diametrically opposite direction:

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every one according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:11-12).

The requirement for the rapture is clearly stated in Luke:

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Lk. 21:36).

Are you worthy to escape this great judgement? If not, you should start watching and praying. Start with the sinner’s prayer in which you confess your sins and receive the Lord Jesus as your Saviour. Thereafter, prayer should remain the most important activity in your spiritual life. If you lead a secret life of prayer in your inner room, God will reward you in public by upholding you in a godless world and by using you in His service (Mt. 6:6).

Furthermore, you need to be constantly on the alert against the attacks of the enemy, especially when he appears as an ‘angel of light’ with nice sounding but unscriptural suggestions. You must also guard against spiritual passivity resulting from a lack of involvement with the things of the Lord. The devil often encourages people to hide behind full programmes and exhaustion as excuses to keep them from prayer. In the garden of Gethsemane the disciples were unable, in a time of spiritual crisis, to watch and pray for even one hour with the Lord Jesus. His command was:

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41).

He gave us a similar command regarding the rapture:

“Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mk. 13:33-37).

Remain in union with Christ, stay alert and keep looking for the “bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16) that will soon appear above a dark horizon. In the twinkling of an eye the battle on earth will be over and we will stand amazed at what the Lord has prepared for us (1Cor. 2:9). Our biggest joy will be at the sight of the heavenly Bridegroom “when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all those who believe in that day” (2Thes. 1:10).

Signs of the times

The rapture definitely has a strong element of surprise to it as no one knows when it will occur. Nevertheless, there are certain signs that clearly point to the time of the end. As will be shown in the last section of this booklet, many of the signs that were popularly regarded as referring to the end of the church age, really only apply to the tribulation period. Among these are the enormous natural disasters, wars, starvation and pestilence predicted in the Bible. An example of signs given to indicate the nearness of the second coming of Christ (the appearing, not the rapture) is the following:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear and [the expectation of] those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:25-28).

The signs that point to the end of the church age prior to the tribulation period, relate to the consummation of the present dispensation, the moral, spiritual and social deterioration, the restoration of Israel, and preparations for Antichrist’s appearance and rule on earth. Although these signs are very evident, they cannot be fitted into a rigid time frame. They may unfold faster or slower, and there is always the possibility of more developments before the time is finally ripe to lower the curtain on this dispensation.

On page 24, two sets of signs are given which indicate the end of the church age. The one set is related to the end of the existing order, and the second set indicates the restoration of Israel and the rise of a new world order in anticipation of the coming of the Antichrist. He can only appear after the stage has been properly set.

We are now witnessing the decay and collapse of the existing world order. The signs of decay cover a broad spectrum and include all walks of life:

Economic decay is evident in collapsing economies, poverty, unemployment, and rampant inflation.
Political decay is seen in the acceptance of humanistic constitutions, anarchy, chaos, and violence.
Social decay leads to disintegrating social structures and the breakdown of marriages and the family.
Religious decay is responsible for the increased darkening of peoples’ minds, immorality and spiritual confusion.

From the ashes of the old order, the global structures of a new world order will arise. They will constitute the framework for the global society, global economy, global religion, and global government of the Antichrist:

A centralized global economy will be established in which PIN numbers for electronic funds transfer will be issued.
Political unity in the form of a world government and a global peace-keeping force will emerge.
Social unity among the internationalized planetary citizens will give further expression to the ideology of globalism.
Religious unity will be based on the deceptive idea that all religions worship the same God.

Another form of build-up that must occur towards the end of the church dispensation is the re-establishment of the people of Israel in their own land, and their increase to the point where they are the largest single Jewish community of all countries in the world. At present there are still more Jews in America than in Israel. Only when the Israelis become the leading group (although still a minority with regard to the total world population of Jews) will they be able to take decisions and sign covenants on behalf of all Jews. After the rapture they should be in a demographic position which will enable them to take a decision on the leadership position of the Messiah. The Bible says that their decision will be tragically wrong (Jn. 5:43).

Characteristics of the Last Days of the Church Dispensation

In the last days perilous times will come on earth and people will only have a form of godliness (2Tim. 3:1, 5). Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold (Matt. 24:12). In the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1Tim. 4:1).

Deconstruction of the old order

Build-up to a new world order

The old order is deconstructed and boundaries removed.

Establishing of a new world order of international unity.

Moral depravity, violence and break-down of family life occurs.

Humanistic freedom within a new charter of human rights.

Christian values and moral norms are rejected.

A multi-religious orientation is promoted in all countries.

Excessive democratization promotes anarchy.

Nations lose their power and are ruled by a world government.

Individuals become free, permissive and unruly.

Mixed Babylonian societies emerge everywhere.

Corruption and the abuse of power become general trends.

Military power is used to enforce the new world order.

Crime and normlessness become a way of life.

Crime is contained by force without instilling strong values.

Decline in biblical teaching on Satanism and occult practices.

Rejection of the Bible and an openness to occult practices.

The nations undermine their sense of cultural identity.

National cultures become submerged in a world culture.

Gender differences are denied in many areas of public life.

Gender equality enforced through radical feminism.

Israel is criticized and anti-Semitism allowed to flair up.

Wars in the Middle East to enforce the new world order.

The

Rapture

The seven year long absence of the bride of Christ after the rapture. Spiritual darkness will then prevail on earth.

The Second

Coming

The Coming Tribulation Period of Seven Years After the Rapture

 First 3½ years

Second 3½ years

Directly after the rapture the Antichrist will be revealed and the first 3½ years of his reign on earth will commence.

The Antichrist changes his image in the last 3½ years to become a military dictator who will enslave humanity.

The institution of a new world order according to the Plan of the New Age Movement. World unity is established.

Strict economic control is exercised through a cashless economy by computerized 666-related codes.

The temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and an alliance of world religions recognize the Antichrist as their messiah.

The temple is desecrated by the Antichrist when he declares himself as God in the Holy of holies.

An international campaign is waged against the Messianic Jews and Christians who refuse to accept the Antichrist.

The summary execution of all people who refuse to worship the Antichrist and to accept his number.

A deceptive world peace is based upon an agreement between the Antichrist and a false world religion.

The multi-national forces of the Antichrist are mobilized for the final world war of Armageddon in Israel.

A deceived international community will praise and worship the Antichrist and proclaim his unprecedented powers.

Jesus Christ will come to destroy the Antichrist and make an end to his deception and tyranny.

Authoritative book on the rapture

In 1995, an authoritative book on the pre-tribulation rapture (When the trumpet sounds, edited by Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy) was published by Harvest House Publishers in Eugene, Oregon. Contributions were made by 23 leading experts in this field. They include names such as Prof. Paul Feinberg, Dr. Elliot Johnson, Dr. Tim LaHaye, Prof. Dwight Pentecost, Dr. Randall Price, Prof. Robert Thomas, Prof. Charles Ryrie, and Prof. John Walvoord.

In the Introduction, the editors say:

“The New Testament clearly teaches that each believer has a hope, a blessed hope, which is a grand and glorious destiny. This hope is both personal and a Person. First, it is given to each individual believer and, second, our hope is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible portrays this hope as pictured in ancient Jewish marriage customs. In biblical times a betrothed maiden would eagerly await the any-moment coming of her groom to take her to his father’s house in marriage celebration.

“During this time of waiting and watching expectantly, the bride’s loyalty to the groom was tested. In a similar way, the rapture provides for the church this same sense of expectation and anticipation. The rapture expectation provides believers with a similar daily motivation for a pure and godly life until He comes. Just as the betrothed maiden eagerly waited because of her love for the groom, so also do we await our Lord’s any-moment coming. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him (1 Pet. 1:8). Such motives are not escapism but, rather, flow from the love and devotion of a sincere believer to our Lord.

“Christ’s rapture of His bride holds a central place in the New Testament, and it assumes the same in the thought and life of the Christian. The study and implications of God’s Word are always important… The rapture is the central future prophetic event for the Christian, and its study is therefore vital in the lives of Christians…”

Co-author Thomas Ice (p. 23) says: “Another point to remember is that just as there was a transition in the early church away from God dealing with Israel as a nation, so it appears that there will be a transition at the end of the church age as God sets the stage to resume His unfinished plan with Israel after the rapture. The church age clearly began on Pentecost, but about 40 years later in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, a specific prophecy relating to God’s plan for Israel was historically fulfilled. This was the final fulfillment relating to the transition from Israel to the church. During the last 100 years we have seen events occur which are setting the stage for the players to be in place when the rapture brings the church age to an end and God resumes His plan for Israel during the tribulation.”

An end-time strategy

Christians should have specific strategies, or plans of action, through which they give practical expression to their general objectives to live holy lives, to do the work of the Lord, and to be ready for His coming. The promise of the rapture is a very important motivating force in determining our objectives and the strategies emanating from them. The main guiding principles of this promise are the following:

Good news

The rapture is the good news element in a dark scenario of end-time prophecies. Without this promise Christians would be left only with the bad news about the coming of the Antichrist and the tribulation period which they would have to face before Jesus comes. Their chances of surviving all the apocalyptic disasters of the great tribulation and the battle of Armageddon would be slim indeed. A situation like that can be equated to the Flood without the ark, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah without any provision for the escape of the believers from the scene of God’s wrath.

Such a situation would be highly demoralizing and contradict a clear biblical principle that true believers are never the objects of God’s wrath. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation…” (1Thes. 5:9).

People who are cynical about the promise of the rapture and do not heed the exhortation to be prepared to escape the coming tribulation period reveal a very irresponsible attitude. What do you think would have happened to the believers [and the entire human race] if Noah argued as follows: “God is a God of love and I do not really believe that He will send a flood to judge all people; therefore, I am not going to build an ark to escape this so-called judgement.” Or what would have happened to Lot and his family if he took the following stand: “I think the prophesied judgement upon Sodom and Gomorrah should be interpreted symbolically. I do not have to escape for my life. Even if the disaster does occur I believe that God will protect us from His wrath here in this place.

The coming judgements during the tribulation period are irrefutable biblical facts. Jesus said there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world (Mt. 24:21), and that we should be ready to escape it. The rapture is part of the good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. He came to this sin-drenched world to pay the price for the salvation of sinners. He returned to heaven to prepare a place for us. He will come back to take us away to our heavenly abode. If we abide in Him we will be worthy to escape the horrors of the coming tribulation on earth by way of the rapture. We do not have to despair at the knowledge of what is coming upon the world since there is a wonderful element of good news in the prophetic word.

A correct future expectation

To believe in the pre-tribulation rapture gives us the assurance that we have a truly biblical future expectation. It does not in any way contradict other biblical truths. This end-time perspective honours the Lord Jesus and recognizes Him as the critical factor in the eschatology, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). Christians should remain focused on Him and wait for His sudden appearance – not for the Antichrist’s. Those who deny Him will all remain behind after the rapture. The only reason they will have to endure the dictatorship of the Antichrist is because they rejected the redemption offered to them by the true Christ. What they will experience on earth will be a direct result of the seals broken by the Lamb in heaven. Never deny Jesus Christ His central position in biblical prophecies. To expect His imminent return, and to order your life accordingly, is a command which is meant to be a strong, positive motivation to all Christians of all ages.

A strong motivation for steadfastness

The coming of the heavenly Bridegroom will occur during a time of religious compromise and worldliness. There will be a great falling away from the truth of God’s Word. A relatively small group of evangelical Christians will shine like lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15). As in the times of Noah and Lot, the earth will be filled with violence, materialism, and sexual perversion. Unfortunately, the spirit of unrighteousness and immorality will also take its toll among Christians. They will relax their vigilance and make downward adjustments to their spiritual standards: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will [grow] cold” (Mt. 24:12). Some of the Christians will keep such a low profile that they ultimately become uncommitted and uninvolved in the work of the Lord.

Inactive Christians are obviously not strongly dedicated to the Lord and they have a tendency to grow cold in their love towards Him. The process of growing cold manifests itself in two ways: firstly, they develop a love for the world and worldly parties where they eat and drink to excess; secondly, anxiety and depression take root in their minds and also pull them down spiritually. Against this kind of waywardness the Lord Jesus warned His disciples and again offered the rapture as a positive motivating force to remain steadfast to the end:

“Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Lk. 21:34-36).

Correctly determining and prioritizing works

To expect the coming of the Lord Jesus before the tribulation period, guides your actions in the right direction. You prepare for His coming and not for the coming of the Antichrist. The concept of the rapture explicitly confronts you with your responsibility to give account of yourself before the judgement seat of Christ immediately after being caught up to heavenly places (2Cor. 5:10). The following crowns will be awarded to the faithful:

The crown of rejoicing for soul-winners (1 Thes. 2:19).
The incorruptible crown for a holy life (1 Cor. 9:24-25).
The crown of life for Christian martyrs (Rev. 2:10).
The crown of glory for faithful shepherds (1 Pet. 5:2-4).
The crown of righteousness for those who loved the appearing of the Lord (2 Tim. 4:8).

The fact that our works will be judged after the rapture, and that only those with eternal value will be rewarded, is of great significance in helping us to devote ourselves to objectives that are higher than the material things of this perishable world. Paul says that after the foundation of salvation has been laid in our lives we must bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit and not revert to useless, materialistic works:

“…let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon… Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire” (1 Cor. 3:10-13).

Will you be found a worthy servant or will you stand empty-handed before the judgement seat of Christ on that day, saved as by fire? If you lose sight of the possibility of the Lord’s imminent return you may lapse into complacency, spiritual inactivity, and even into sin:

“…if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to [beat] his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites” (Mt. 24:48-51).

The faithful and wise servant keeps himself busy with the work of the Lord, always realising that the time to work for his Master is running out. The Lord Jesus Himself said: “I must [do] the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4). The night of God’s judgements is fast approaching.

Motivation for holiness

One of the strongest motivations that the promise of the rapture instils into a Christian is that of holiness. As members of the bridal church we should commit ourselves to the challenge of being presented to the heavenly Bridegroom as chaste virgins. That implies the responsibility to be vigilant by not allowing the Wicked One to pervert or corrupt our minds and lives (2 Cor. 11:2-3). Jesus Christ gave Himself to sanctify and cleanse the church that He might present it to Himself holy and without spot or blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). We have a distinct responsibility to use the means of grace at our disposal to walk in the ways of the Lord and to become holy in all our conduct (1Pet. 1:15). “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord” (2Cor. 7:1).

Hope during trials and afflictions

Under the dark shadow of trials, testing and affliction, when the prospects of life on earth are bleak, the belief in the rapture is always the light at the end of the tunnel. Through countless sorrows and suffering, millions of people have clung desperately to the promise of the resurrection and our union with the Lord. It gave them strength to persevere, counting the things of this world, and even their own lives, as nothing that they may win eternity with Christ. So, be encouraged, lift up your afflicted spirit, expect the Lord, and know that your future is safe and sure in His hands.

A sense of destiny

Like Abraham, we should regard ourselves as strangers and sojourners in this dark world that lies in the sway of the Evil One. Our future is not here, and for that reason we must always have the vision of the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb.11:10). In our pilgrimage through the world, we should be people with a strong sense of destiny. When the Lord comes, He will take us to our eternal home in that heavenly city (1Cor. 2:9; Jn. 14:2).We should not identify ourselves with this world and become one with it in its materialism and spiritual and moral depravity. That does not mean that we are poorly motivated and people without a mission while we are here. To the contrary! We realize that we must proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Many people still walk in darkness; that is why we are in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we must shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15).While we are fulfilling our duty as the witnesses of Christ, we should always keep sight of the morning star that shines above the dark horizon of a troubled world. The message of the morning star is that the night is far spent, and that the day is at hand. Before Jesus appears as the Sun of Righteousness when every eye shall see Him, we will meet Him in the air as “the bright and morning star”!

Also read this

She is well-known by many post-tribulationists and unknown by most pre-tribulationists.

I have visited just about every web site there is which is anti-rapture in nature. One common arguing point nearly every one of these sites uses to oppose the pre-tribulation doctrine is the claim that the rapture theory was started by a Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald. Many critics of the rapture declare that MacDonald received her vision from demonic origins, which she then passed on to infect the Church. Being a staunch pre-tribulationist, I’m at a loss to explain the missing connection between Margaret MacDonald and my beliefs in the rapture. I cannot recall every hearing pre-trib prophetic speakers say, “I believe in the rapture because Margaret MacDonald told me so.”

After reading and listening to a number of web sites, books, and radio programs that promote the idea that Margaret MacDonald started pre-tribulationism, I decided to look into the matter.

To be certain that there was no oversight on my part, I searched through my library of prophecy books looking for references that cited Margaret MacDonald as the founder of the rapture teaching. My hunt for a pre-tribulation accreditation to MacDonald turned out to be a vain one. It was like looking for the cartoon character “Where’s Waldo.” Only in this case, there was no Waldo to be found.

If MacDonald was the founder of the pre-tribulation rapture, as most anti-rapture proponents say she is, then someone needs to explain why rapturists have failed to given her credit. You would expect to find dozens of books that expounded upon her every word. From reading the writings of anti-rapture authors, one would think we pre-tribbers should be reverencing MacDonald the same way Catholics reverence Mary, when clearly we don’t. You do not hear pre-tribbers going around reciting, “Hail Margaret full of grace, blessed art thou among visionaries, pray of us sinners at the time of the rapture.” The lack of recognition being paid to MacDonald by rapture believers is like a situation where the modern Mormon church failed to recognized Joseph Smith as their founder or today’s Jehovah’s witnesses neglecting to identify Charles Russell as their originator. Poor Margaret MacDonald, she gets all of the blame, but none of the credit.

After having examined the claims of those critical of the rapture, I have found holes in their so-called evidence that you could drive a dump truck through:
The first problem with the MacDonald origin is the fact that she wasn’t the one that widely taught the doctrine of the pre-trib rapture. A man named John Darby is believed by many to be the one who started the modern interest in the rapture. The question here is how did Darby come to hear of MacDonald’s vision? Proponents like Dave MacPherson and John L. Bray have never been able to prove that Darby ever heard of MacDonald or her vision.

Darby himself claims the revelation of the rapture came to him when he realized the distinction between Israel and the church.

Darby reported that he discovered the rapture teaching in 1827 – three years before MacDonald had her vision.

When one closely examines MacDonald’s vision, It becomes clear that her vision could not have been a pre-tribulation one. MacDonald looked for a “fiery trial which is to try us,” and she foresaw the Church being purged by the Antichrist. Any pre-tribulation rapturist can tell you the Church will be removed before the advent of the Antichrist. John Bray, an anti-rapturist, said himself that Margaret MacDonald was teaching a single coming of our Lord Jesus. This contradicts current rapture doctrine that teaches a two staged event – Christ first coming for His Church and then seven years later His return to earth. With so many contradictions between MacDonald’s vision and today’s pre-tribulationism, I find it very difficult to see any linkage here.

By far the biggest mistake post-tribulationists have made in their attack on the rapture is their claim that the pre-tribulation rapture was never taught before 1830. In fact, John L. Bray, a Southern Baptist Evangelist, offered $500 to anyone who could prove that someone taught the rapture doctrine prior to MacDonald’s 1830 vision. John L. Bray was first proven wrong when in a newsletter. Bray wrote, “Then my own research indicated that it was Emmanuel Lacunza, a Jesuit Catholic priest, who in the 1812 book “The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty,” first taught this theory.” Bray stuck his neck out again when he made another $500 offered to anyone who could provide a documented statement earlier than Lacunza’s 1812 writings. Well, apparently he had to cough up the 500 bucks. I quote him again, “I offered $500.00 to anyone who would give a documented statement earlier than Lacunza’s time which taught a two-stage coming of Christ separated by a stated period of time. No one ever rightfully claimed that $500.00 offer until someone found writings that forced Bray to write the following: “Now I have the Photostat copies of a book published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1788 but written in 1742-1744 in England, which taught the pre-tribulation rapture before Lacunza.” Lately, a number of other sources have been location that teach the pre-tribulation rapture – some written as early as the second century. Now where does this leave Margaret MacDonald?

In my life here on earth, I’ve made a number of observations that I regard as undeniable truths. One of these is the fact that the truth will suffer attacks with no one defending it, while a lie will be allowed to proliferate with no one challenging it. This is what seems to have taken place in the rapture’s case. For years-on-end, anti-rapturists have been allowed to freely attack pre-tribulationism. One assailant called the rapture the mark of the beast while another remarked that when Jesus returns at the battle of Armageddon, He will fight against those who believe in the rapture. The men that should have been contending for the rapture, for the most part, just sat there saying, “That may be your opinion.” Finally, it appears that those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture are starting to counter these ridiculous charges. A number of books have been published that cite several pre-MacDonald sources that describe a raptured Church. The author Grant Jeffrey deserves a good deal of the praises for his work in discovering many these pre-MacDonald sources.

As far as being able to find the pre-tribulation rapture in the Bible, I do not think everyone needs to be a rocket scientist to discover it. I am unable to vouch for everyone else, but for me, locating the rapture doctrine in the Bible was as simple as finding evidence that Jesus Christ is Messiah.

The evidence that Christians believed in the rapture long before MacDonald does not seem to have sunk into the minds of those opposed to the rapture. They still teach that she is the founder of pre-tribulationism. When someone is presented with overwhelming proof that what they believed to be the truth is in fact wrong, and they refuse to except that truth, then you certainly have to conclude that they are in spiritual darkness.

I would like to end by saying that there is no evidence whatsoever pointing to MacDonald as the source of pre-tribulationism. Every major prophetic author alive today claims the word of God as their foundation for believing in the rapture. Both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul together made statements that clearly establish the rapture doctrine. Jesus said in (Matthew 25:13) Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh,” and Paul in (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

and This

[Notice that the prophecies mentioned are only a small portion of what is available, if you want to do further studies, go to http://prophecy.org]

Rapture

From : Susan van Heerden [Dit is my suster]

Love in Jesus Christ of Nazareth – God bless you always

BIBLE / PROPHECY COMPARISON

(PROPHETIC TRUTH)

RAPTURE = DIFFERENT SUBJECT AND NOT INCLUDED – HOUR ALSO NOT KNOWN

THE FOLLOWING DO NOT INCLUDE THE HOUR OF DISASTERS OR OTHER WARNINGS

e.g. WHEN ICE WILL RAM AND WATER COVER CONTINENTS AS IN #33

NO ONE KNOWS THE HOUR (RETURN OF JESUS) & AT SAME TIME FALSE PROPHET & ANTI-CHRIST THROWN IN LAKE OF FIRE (ALIVE)

(NOTE : DEVIL WILL BE BOUND FOR 1 000 YEARS AFTER WHICH HE WILL JOIN FALSE PROPHET AND ANTI-CHRIST)

BIBLE VERSES – EXAMPLES

(Please read whole chapter of Matthew 24)

Matthew 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
Matthew 24:39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 25:1 At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Matthew 25:2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
Matthew 25:3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
Matthew 25:4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
Matthew 25:5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
Matthew 25:6 At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Matthew 25:7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
Matthew 25:8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
Matthew 25:9 ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
Matthew 25:10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Matthew 25:11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
Matthew 25:12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
Matthew 25:13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Genesis 6:13  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 7:19  And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
Genesis 7:20  Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
Genesis 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
Genesis 22  All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
Genesis 23  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Hebrews 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

1 Peter 3:20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
2 Peter 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly

Romans 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Matthew 16:3  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
Luke 12:56  Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

1 Thessalonians 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
2 Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Revelation 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Revelation 16:15  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

PROPHECIES – TOO MANY – VARIOUS EXAMPLES

10. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 6 December 1990 in Spanish and non-understandable tongues.

I have to make a Pit. I have to make a Pit, and the Hour is going to come. The Hour is going to come in the middle of the night. For No One knows, the Hour. No One knows the Hour, but Me. I am the only One, the Father, the Father of the Light, the Father of the Light, the Father of the Light. For I know everything, I know the right manner. I know the right manner. I know the right manner.

For the Date, the Date, no one knows, but I. I know the Date, but with the match, with the match, with the match that the devil used in the House of the Priests, in the Church he killed them all. With that same match, I am going to start the Pit, the Pit, the flame of the Pit. Why? Why? For the devil is going to die with the same match, with the same match.

44. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 4 May 1992 at 7:29 AM. in tongues, English, Spanish, and Non-Understandable Tongues.

Your Saviour Jesus Christ is going to bring the Army of Heaven, at a time and hour that you do not expect. And you will know that I am the Father of everything. I am going to set everything straight for things have gone long enough. I have set the hour and the day, and you, and My People have no excuse. You Christians, you non-Christians, you people of Baal, all you people will know, that the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and no one but no one, will escape the Sword of My Wrath.

49. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 12 May 1992, Tuesday at 9:13 AM. in tongues, English.

The Hour is almost here. The day and the hour has been picked. The day of Mecca, the day of Deliverance, the day of Glory, the day that the Universe has been waiting for, is rapidly approaching. Tell your friends, tell your brothers, tell your sisters, tell your neighbours. Stand on the mountain tops and scream it with every breath that you have, as loud as you can. For it will come like the day, in Noah’s time. Suddenly without warning, like a thief in the night, but it will be Wondrous. It will be Glorious for the saints, for the saints of Christ, like I told you earlier. The players have their roles, the stage has been set, the hour has been appointed.

The Star is on its way. It’s moving at speeds that you cannot comprehend, but it’s on its way. Look at the clouds, look at the sky, look for Jesus, look for Jesus. The day of Satan is finished because the hour and the day has been appointed. The Angels of Heaven have been impatiently waiting for hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years, their battle uniforms are ready. Some are already at War. Some are fighting this very second, though you cannot see them. The Battle has been going on fearlessly, since DEC. 2, DEC. 2, 1990.

50. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 15 May 1992 Friday at 1:20 PM. in tongues, English.

I am moving. I am moving closer and closer. I am moving closer, and closer to the end times My Children. The time and the hour has been chosen and nothing in the Universe can change it. The Star, the Star of David will appear at the appointed time.

The Heavenly Hosts are prepared, are armed, are waiting for My Word. There is Excitement, there is Jubilation beyond comprehension. For the Angels of Heaven have been waiting for this time since the Great Rebellion. Everything has to happen in an orderly fashion, in an orderly manner, and it will not come until My Order has been complete. And then the Army of Heaven will put an end to the Rebellion once and for all. The time is here, the time is here for the awareness of My Saints; be Careful; be Strong; be Wise for the Battle in the Heavens has started and is raging on. December 2, 1990 marked the beginning. From that date on, started the beginning of the end. No one knows the end, but Me, Jehovah. I tell you these things before, because I want you to know before they start.

53. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 17 May 1992, Sunday at 1:19 AM. in Tongues, English.

(This will also be handled as separate subjects – Rapture, Russia, etc – same as in #55)

Russia will eat the hog. The internal organization will eat the hog.  For the Power and the Glory is Jesus Christ; For the Power and the Glory is Jehovah; For the Power and the Glory is the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Trinity, is the God of all. The hog will be eaten by the Russians. The day between the hog, the Lamb, and the coming of the Ritual will light up the sky.

For the Ritual will be Blasphemous to your Holy Father, to your King of Kings, Lord of Lords. For the Ritual will be an abomination to all the Heavenly things that are Pure and Good, and Righteous, but it must happen. I must allow it, to bring a close, to bring to end, what must be, what must be, for ??? the scenario of the War will be complete. And the Prince of Peace and the Heavenly Angels will finally be in the place that I chose in the hour, and in the place that I chose thousands of years ago. For the coming of the end will be exactly as I said it would be. Everything will be done in the order and in the manner that I so Destined it.

The parrot and the sword will come to an end on that day. For the parrot is a blasphemous thing that I will not allow. Watch for the parrot, the parrot that repeats and repeats the blasphemy. The parrot will be the end of the end. Watch for the parrot. So I said it, so it will be done, for Russia is the hog, for Russia is the hog. Come to Heaven My Saints. Come to Heaven where there is Peace, Tranquillity forever. So saith, Jehovah. So saith Jehovah, for it will be complete when My Son slays the dragon, once and for all.

55. Prophecy and Visions given to Raymond Aguilera on 18 May 1992 in tongues, English, Spanish, and Non-understandable tongues.

Prophecy:
The vessel with the flower will fall first, the vessel with the vinegar will triumph over the vessel that will come in the middle of the War. For what is up is down, and what is down is up. And the Wolf and the Fox ran for their lives. For the hour of Penance came swiftly to the Owl.

The Scissors that will cut the Ribbon, will cut the Hand who strung the Ribbon. And the Ribbon is Red, but the blood of the Hand with the Scissors will be unaffected by the cut. For the strength of the Hand is mightier than the blood of the People.

For the Peace of the procession of the War will arrive at the Gate of Sheol on the morning that was stated, in the Prophecy of Jeremiah. For the weeping Prophet could see the outcome of the decision of the enemy and the slaughter of innocent blood without the remorse of the Sword. For what was seen, will be done at the hour when the moon is up and  fully seen by both Parties; In the valley with the tree that was used to hang the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

For the Lamb will conquer the Goats, for the hour of day and night will be completely covered with blood. For the blood of Abel will be spilled to the end of the time, of the sword in the Valley. For why, for why, for why is the coming of the hog upsetting the Multitude of Christians. For the star will land at the valley, where the Deer and the Goats partake in the Peace Treaty. (Non-understandable tongues?)

Spanish:
Why? The love. (Non-understandable tongues?)

56. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 19 May 1992 at 1:15 PM Tuesday in tongues, English, Non-understandable tongues.

There is going to be a three-piece army, which will invade the Holy Land from the East, from the North, and from the South. The invasion will take place in the time of the wolf, for the wolf is a cunning animal. Arm yourselves, arm yourselves: Be prepared, for the wolf and the Lamb will meet at the appointed time.

When and how, only I know, for Jehovah knows all, for Jehovah will warn before the sound of the Bugle Blasts on Heaven, on Earth. For you are My Children and I love you.

Beware of the three-piece army. Each piece can sting like a scorpion, each piece can devour like a lion, each piece can destroy with such destruction that the world has never known. Be strong, be faithful, reach for Jesus, for He’s invincible, for at any time, for at any place, He will be at the Place and the Hour that I chose, for the refuge that you have begun looking for in Christ Jesus

71. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 1 June 1992 at 1:22 AM. in English

The existence of Gehenna will be established for the new inhabitants that took the mark of the beast at the allowed time. For their help in rebellion, in following Lucifer in his plans to defile My Name and what I Created. This is your God Jehovah, the First, and the Last, and the Beginning of the New Heaven will begin when My Son Jesus Christ binds and destroys the last evil thing on the planet.

I know My Saints have been waiting and waiting and waiting, but like I mentioned through My Prophets, the time and the hour will arrive and We are approaching that time. I will not give you the date or the time. It will never be given until it exactly happens. So look to your Father Jehovah, to your King of Kings, your Lord of Lords Jesus Christ, and through the Power of the Holy Spirit you’ll find Heaven and Us in the new established Kingdom. That will begin at the appointed time.

79. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 7 June 1992 at 12:54 AM Sunday in tongues English and in non-understandable tongues.

So Listen, pay attention for the signs that are being given to you are not to be dismissed lightly, they are signs of the events that will come to pass. When the Battle of the valley will come to a close, for the armies of Good and Evil will confront each other. For your Heavenly Father so mentioned it many years before it happened, the time, the day, the hour of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When you see the Horse, with the Rider, with the Bow and Arrow stretched out and pointing to the left, that will be the time, the moment of the destruction of the antichrist. For he Blasphemes against the Father and everything that is Holy. And the Father will not allow this type of Sin to occur without Judgment upon all parties involved.

82. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 8 June 1992 at 7:34 PM. Monday in tongues English.

For My Spoken Word will never be broken, but the hour has come that was stated in the Bible thousands of years ago, for the coming of Christ on the cloud is close at hand. I cannot tell you when.

117. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 26 June 1992 at 4:02 PM. in English.

The King of the world is going to arrive at the Valley, the Bloody Valley that was stated in the Bible. For His Angels will clean up, bind, and deposit everything that is not clean in Gehenna.

Then will begin the final cleansing of the Saints that survived the Great Battle with the devil. For what was stated in the Bible will come to a conclusion at the time and the place that the enemy was bound.

For he will be sent to Gehenna for his Rebellion against the Almighty God, Jehovah, with the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the disruption of the Harmony and the Unity in Heaven, and on the Earth, his final destination will be the abyss for his followers, and I am sorry to say, his saints that made him god. For they chose him over Jehovah, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, of all that is and of all that will be. For your God, Jehovah, is bringing to a close all the Evil that the Rebellion produced since it began, for the hour and the day is almost here.

121. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 29 June 1992 at 3:50 PM. Monday in Spanish and English.

Note : New beginning – here it is said that day, hour, minute known by Father Jehovah, with Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Holy Spirit

I promised you I would warn you, because My Love for you is Great. My Love for you is Infinite. So My Lambs, My Sheep, prepare, make ready for the New World. For as the clock strikes twelve, which means the beginning of the new day, that will be the beginning, of the beginning, of the beginning of a New World as the clock strikes twelve. That’s how it will be when the date approaches and the time will be upon you without notice. For the day, the hour, the minute, is only known by Me, Jehovah with My Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the Holy Spirit.

144. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 7 July 1992 at 12:51 PM. in Spanish, English, and Non-understandable tongues.

Ring the Bell of Liberty. Ring the Bell of Liberty, for the hour has come to Ring the Bell of Liberty for your Heavenly Host is on his way. So Ring the Bell of Liberty for Jehovah keeps His Word. Ring the Bell of Liberty for the Christ is on His way, be brave, be strong, for the hour is at Hand. Come thee O Faithful People. Come thee O Faithful People for the new beginning is almost here, be strong, be brave for Christ is on his way. The hour, the day will be here, when you least expect it.

243. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 4 December 1992 at 10:33 PM. in English and Non-understandable tongues.

My Beloved. My Light will light up the World in an instant, at the twinkling of an eye. The power of Satan is nothing. Look to Jehovah. Look to Jesus Christ. Look to the Holy Spirit. For if you focus on anything else you will live in the abyss forever. Your umbrella, your protection is your Almighty God, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The Light of My Son will light up the Universe.

Every single person alive will know My Son when He appears. Some of you will hide. Some of you will be terrified. Some of you will be Praising the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For when that day comes, the World will shake. The World will tremble. For the Power and Glory of My Son, no one in the Universe can stop. For We Three are One – Now, Tomorrow, Forever.

Turn to Jesus Christ of Nazareth TODAY! NOW! Don’t make any excuses. “Now, this minute!” For you will see the end in your lifetime, so saith Jehovah, with the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “Like a thief in the night!” “Like a thief in the night!” You poor Sheep, you poor Lambs just make an effort, and We will guide you, and We will show you. “The Faith of a musterd seed, remember that in the Bible. The Faith of a musterd Seed!” That’s all you need.

Part 1 The Messiah and the Jewish Wedding
Erusin or Kiddushin – Betrothal or Engagement

1. Once a bride and bridegroom enter into this initial phase of marriage they are considered married. This period lasts from one to two years. In Jewish custom, it was binding. It was so binding that it could not be broken without a orthodox divorce.

The Arrangement:

The groom’s father [God/YHVH] made and approved choice of the bride. In traditional Jewish customs, marriages were arranged by their fathers.

The Groom’s Promise: Tenaim – Conditions:

The Groom makes a covenant or contract promise. The Ketubah is a document that is used for the purpose of assuring a bride will be provided for. Once this document was signed and witnessed by two people then it was binding and the couple was considered married. Drink the cup of wine to seal the covenant. Kiddush Groom pays a price to show he is serious.; today the wedding ring is used for this purpose.
Groom’s speech of promise to his bride that he would come to claim her soon, this is the Engagement Promise.

A Covenant Relationship –

God made a New Covenant with Israel and Judah to replace one He made with Moses. Yeshua drank cup of redemption at Passover. Yeshua paid the bride price of redemption for us on the cross.
Jeremiah 31:31
Matthew 26:27-29,
1 Corinthians 6:20 John 14:2-3
3. Groom Prepares a Place for His Bride: Chuppah

Groom prepares a bridal chamber where they stay for seven days. He works on it until it pleases his father. Then he may go after his bride. The Chuppah canopy is derived from this type of a bridal chamber. Yeshua tells us that He does not know when He will come; only His Father knows. We must be alert and ready! For, He is preparing our place now. Be alert: Be ready: Do all He asks while you’re here. Develop an active prayer life. Offer yourself in ministry opportunity. Keep ourselves from doubt and failure.
John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
[Yeshua is in Heaven preparing a place for His bride] [Also have a look at the numbers – God/YHVH is PERFECT. Plus Minus 2 years/2000 years. Then He will come to fetch His bride]
4. Waiting for up to two years –for the bridegroom to come for the bride.

As John the Baptist was filled with joy when he saw Yeshua, so we too shall be filled when we join Yeshua in the heavenly bridal chamber. Some liken those 7 days in the chamber to the 7 year tribulation period which we will spend not in agony on earth, but in bliss in heaven. Then we will return as the wife, not the Bride.

[According to this Yeshua will come to fetch His Bride BEFORE the Tribulation and they will be in the Heavenly Bridal Chamber for 7 days/7 years. The Bride will not [R] not be part of the Tribulation at all. Then only will Yeshua come back AFTER the 7 days, with his WIFE, and then will He clean this earth WITH His wife.]

Part 2 Nisuin or Chuppah – Ceremony or Nuptials

The word Nisuin means “to lift up” or “carry” [Rapture]. Lifting up the bride is an ancient wedding custom of carrying the bride to the ceremony in a carriage lifted by poles. Although seldom done today, the ceremony bears the name. The Chuppah is not only related to the bridal chamber, it is also “lifted” by poles like the ancient carriage. The custom of lifting the bride and now the groom in chairs is rooted in this processional. Due to the expense of having two ceremonies.

5. The Mikvah – Ritual Immersion –

Today, the Jewish Bride and event the Groom are immersed in a ritual pool of Mayim Chaim, Living Water, known as a Mikvah. The Mikvah is a pool of water that has a source and exit stream. A river, lake, or sea is a natural mikvah. A man made pool could work as well if there is a constant inflow and exit drain. In the Torah, women were immersed for various reasons such as their monthly menstrual cycle. The immersion is a requirement for Gentile converts to Judaism. The Mikvah was not a ritual started by John the Baptist. This is an ancient Jewish practice dating back to the time of Moses.
Remember John, the Baptist…. He was Jewish. The act of Baptism or immersion did not begin as a Christian concept. It is rooted in the Jewish cleansing rituals from the Torah. It had been a practice of the priests to wash or immerse themselves. John’s baptism itself is probably best understood as an adaptation of Jewish ritual washings, with some influence from Qumran in particular.
John’s baptism was primarily a baptism of repentance (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3; Acts 13:24; 19:4).

6. The Bride Waits:

While the groom builds the new home, the bride waits and wears a veil. This shows she belongs only to the groom. She prepares for her wedding by making blankets, etc. She also shows gratitude to her family for raising her and she mends hurt relationships. No matter what, she had to be ready because he would come at night. We must do His will in our daily lives. We must be committed to our ministries at home and Body of Believers. We must heal wounded relationships and express our agape love to each other.
We must exhort! Yeshua tells us that He will come like a thief. So, we must be living “His Love” at all times. The Body of Believers, too, is veiled. The world is not sure who the Body of Believers is. When we go, it will know. 2 Corinthians 11:2 Luke 19:13 1 Corinthians 13:1 Luke 12:40

7. Kittel – The Wedding Garment:

The Kittel is a white robe, it looks somewhat like a bathrobe. It is a garment worn at Passover. It is also warn by the Groom at a wedding. The word Kittel is rooted in the Hebrew word Katal – To Slay. A garment worn by priests during certain sacrifices such as Passover or Yom Kippur Sacrifice. In Biblical times the kittel was warn by all the men attending the wedding.

The Parable of the Wedding FeastMatthew 22:11-12 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’

8. The Bridesmaids:

Unmarried friends who attend the to bride and provide light for the groom who comes at night. This is a traditional custom for friends to light havdalah candles in the processional or during the veiling ceremony. Light is a symbol of God’s presence, the Shekinah Glory.

We prepare the bride in our ministry to each other. We groom her. We must be ready in our service and not run out of power or conviction as the bridesmaids did. Parable of the Ten Virgins – Matthew 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”

9. The Bridegroom Comes:

The groomsmen would run ahead of the groom sound the Shofar, and shout that he was coming. While the father’s head was turned, the groom would steal the bride. The wedding party then went back to the groom’s house to meet the guests. The angel, Gabriel, will blow the trumpet of God, and Yeshua will come like a thief to snatch away His Bride. When we arrive in Heaven, a host of people will be waiting for us.
John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.

10. The Bridal Chamber – Chuppah

The bride and groom enter the bridal chamber where the marriage is consummated. The party waits outside until the groom tells the best man that it is consummated. Then, the guests rejoice for 7 days. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the Shofar, trumpet of God. And the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

11. The Kiddush-

The shared cup of wine is a simcha, joy, at a Jewish Wedding. When the bride drinks from the cup after the bridegroom it is a sign that she is accepting the covenant he has signed during the Ketubah signing.

Blessing of the Cup:

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha-Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Amen.
Yeshua’s first miracle was turning water into wine at a Jewish wedding. – John 2
Matthew 26:27-29 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

The Seven Wedding Blessings

1. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has created everything for His glory.
2. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has created mankind.
3. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has made mankind in thy image, in the image of thy likeness and prepared for him – from himself – a building for eternity.
4. Blessed are You, O Lord, who fashioned the mankind.
Bring intense joy and exultation to the barren one through the ingathering of her children amidst her in gladness. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who makes Zion joyful through her children. Gladded the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creature in the Garden of Eden. Blessed art thou O Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride rejoice.
5. Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who created joy and gladness, groom and bride, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, brotherhood, peace and companionship. O Lord, our God, let there soon be heard in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the groom’s jubilance from their canopies and of youths from their song-filled feasts.
6. Blessed are You, Who gladden the groom with the bride.
7. Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

13. Breaking of the Glass – A symbol of the destruction of the Temple.

Also a sign that the covenant broken can not be put back together.
The Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D.
A Traditional end to a Jewish wedding serves as a reminder of the fragility of life, even during the most joyous of celebrations. Life is fragile. We break this glass as a symbol of our past. In the theater that say go break a leg. In a Jewish wedding we break a glass. Forgiveness is an end to a shattered past. As the Groom smashes the glass everyone will shout Mazel Tov! Which means Good Fortune, may your lives here on out not be shattered, but full of fortune and joy.

14. Married Life Begins:

New couple goes to the father’s home to begin married life.
We too, will go to the Father’s house for the Marriage Feast of The Lamb, then go with The Messiah in His reign in His kingdom here on earth for 1,000 years.

15. Yichud –

Seclusion- After the Wedding Ceremony the Bride and Groom now retreat to a private room to enjoy one another. This is a time of togetherness before the great feast that awaits them.

Revelation 19:5 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!’

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