Sorry for the delay in releasing this – but here it is!
Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard
On Watch at the Door. No 219, June 7, 2016
SUPERNATURAL RESCUES, PAST AND FUTURE
LifeWay Research recently asked 1,000 Protestant senior pastors their views on end-times theology. 36% were Pretribulational, 25% Rapture not to be taken literally, 18% Posttribulational, 4% Midtribulational, 4% Pre-wrath, 1% Preterism and 8% none of these. This means that many millions of Christians are not being prepared, or being prepared incorrectly, for what is coming in the near future.
Some who teach a pretribulational Rapture make comments in their sermons indicating that “now” could be the time of the Rapture. They may come out with a loud “whoosh” in the hope that would be the moment, or say that someone in the audience might be holding the departure up because they could be the person who completes the full number of the Gentiles. (Rom 11:25) Most in these audiences are living in relative comfort and ease, and not personally affected by the lawlessness in the world. Is this really what it will be like at the time of the Rapture?
Jesus, and some other passages in the New Testament, makes it quite clear that the last days will be like what happened in the days of Noah and Lot. Therefore, we need to pay close attention to what exactly happened then and see how it fits in with the things that the Bible tells us are to come.
Lawlessness must reach a certain level and other factors need to be taken into account too before a rescue can take place. Some think judgement should come soon because of the number of abortions alone, nearly 60 million in the US and now half a million in New Zealand. But it is sure to get much worse before there is a rescue. God lets sin run its course as wrath is stored up. (1 Thess 2:16, Rom 2:5, Matt 23:32) In the days of Noah, there was angelic pollution of the human race as well as violence and great wickedness. (Gen 6:1-13) At the time of Lot there was great sexual immorality. (Gen 19) In our time we are seeing a rapid rise in violence, lawlessness, and a spectacular rise in sexual immorality. Whether or not there will come a time of when fallen angels appear on the earth and take human women for themselves remains to be seen. However the human genome is already being defiled as scientists create creatures with a mix of human and animal DNA.
All things must come together at the proper time. God waited patiently until Noah had built the ark. (1 Pet 3:20) God waited until Lot and his daughters had reached the safety of Zoar before He rained down sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen 19:21-22) God is now waiting patiently, not wanting anyone to perish. (2 Pet 3:9)
Believers will know when the Rapture and judgement of the wicked are imminent. God told Noah that the earth was so corrupt He was going to put an end to all the people on earth and instructed Noah to build an ark. (Gen 6:11-14) The two angels warned Lot that Sodom was to be destroyed and that they needed to flee. (Gen 19:12-13) Believers will also know when the Rapture and judgement of the wicked is near. “While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly… But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief… For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:2-9) In Luke 21, Jesus says that celestial and terrestrial signs will warn us that the Rapture is near. These are the same signs as in Revelation 6:12-17, the 6th seal, Joel 2:30-31 and Acts 2:19-20. The wrath of God is poured out after these with the first Trumpet (Rev 8:7)
There will be scoffers. Noah preached to the people but they did not listen. (2 Pet 2:5) When Lot told the men who were pledged to marry his daughters that the city was about to be destroyed, they thought he was joking. (Gen 19:14) Peter, speaking about the last days, says that scoffers will come who will think that everything will continue as it always has. (2 Pet 3:3-7)
A supernatural intervention rescues the people of God. At Noah’s time, God shut the door of the ark. (Gen 7:16) Lot and his family were led out to safety by two angels. (Gen 19:16) The Rapture will also have a supernatural intervention when the Lord Himself will come down to rescue those who are His. (1 Thess 4:16)
Following the rescue, there is no further opportunity for the non-elect to escape the judgement. Once God shut the door of the ark, the flood came and nobody else could be saved. Once Lot and his two daughters were safe, Sodom and the other immoral cities were destroyed. In the future there will be people like the five foolish virgins who were unprepared when the bridegroom came. (Matt 25:1-13) One of the saddest passages in the Bible is when the foolish virgins cried out to be let in to the banquet but the bridegroom said he didn’t know them.
God rescues families. He rescued Noah, his wife, and their three children and their wives. He rescued Lot, his wife and two daughters, but his wife looked back. At the Rapture, God will rescue the believers who comprise His family.
Only a faithful remnant will be rescued. At the time of Noah only eight were saved. Only Lot and his two daughters were saved from Sodom. In Luke 18:8, Jesus says, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
Following the rescue, judgement of the wicked follows rapidly. The rain and flooding came after God shut the door on Noah, his family and the animals. As soon as Lot and his daughters reached a safe city, the Lord rained down sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah. At the end of the age, before God pours out His wrath on the wicked beginning with the first of the Trumpets (Rev 6:16-17; 8:7), those who have been raptured out are seen in heaven. (Rev 7) There is never a delay between rescue and judgement of the wicked.
The only coming rescue in the Bible that completely resembles the rescues of Noah and Lot is the one between the 6th and 7th seals of Revelation which is a Pre-wrath or Intra-seal view. There is not a hint of a rescue at any other time including before the last seven years, the Pretribulation viewpoint. Jesus says it will be like the days of Noah and Lot, so we need to pay close attention to what exactly happened then in order to be better prepared for what is coming and not read in to Scripture things that are not there.
THE GLORY THAT IS TO COME
When I believed in a pretribulational Rapture, I thought that the people mentioned in Revelation 5, from every tribe people and language and nation, were people who had been raptured out before the last 7 years. Now that I have changed my mind on that one and believe in a pre-wrath or intra-seal Rapture (between Seals 6 & 7), I have to rethink Revelation 5. What is happening here!
They are obviously people who have been resurrected, and who are now in glory. The angels, and all creatures, are clearly excited that these sons of God have been revealed. In Romans 8:18-23 Paul explains how the creation is in bondage and groaning waiting for this moment, and we believers are also groaning awaiting this great day. Looking forward to it should make us excited!
There is a translation difficulty in Revelation 5. The King James Bible has the elders including themselves with the redeemed, while the majority of translations refer to the redeemed as “them.” This leads to some seeing the 24 elders as believers and others as angels. It depends on which Greek manuscript is followed.
If we take the viewpoint of the majority of Greek manuscripts and see the elders as angels, Revelation 5 could possibly be a summary statement with the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls slotted in. It is quite common in the Bible for there to be a summary statement followed by more detail.
From Revelation 7 we see that those raptured out get special treatment in heaven for all the suffering they have had to go through during the Antichrist’s reign. They will have suffered much more than many of those resurrected before them. From the fifth Seal in Revelation 6 it is clear that those who die under the Antichrist’s harsh rule will have to wait until the Rapture before they are resurrected too.
In Revelation 5, every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them sing praises to God. But their singing is still very much muted compared with the animated excitement seen in Psalms 96 and 98 as they sing for joy at the coming of Jesus to judge the earth. Rivers clap their hands and trees and mountains sing for joy! We should join in with the creation in praising the Lord for the glory that is to come. Looking to this will help us to keep going in the increasingly difficult times ahead. Out citizenship is in heaven and we should be waiting eagerly to be taken up into our heavenly home.
The Church of Scotland’s general assembly has voted 339 to 215 in favour to allow those in same-sex marriages or partnerships to be eligible for clergy positions in the Church. Churches that wish to maintain the traditional view of marriage may do so, but it will now be possible for individual congregations to opt out of the Church’s official view of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Individuals living in New York City can choose from a minimum of 31 different gender identities, many of which allow them to fluctuate between some version or combination of male or female identities. Businesses that don’t respect and accommodate an individual’s chosen gender identity risk incurring six-figure fines under rules implemented by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.
The Canadian Human Rights Act has added gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The bill will criminalize anti-transgender speech, with violators receiving up to two years in prison. The new bill was introduced on May 17 which was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Churches and synagogues continue to disappear at a fast rate in Europe. In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. Everywhere in Europe the practice of Islam is outstripping Christianity. The main mosque in Dublin is a former Presbyterian church. St Mark’s Cathedral in England is now called the New Peckam Mosque. In Manchester the Mosque of Disbury was once a Methodist church. In Lancashire Saint Peter’s Church in Cobridge has become the Madina Mosque, and so it continues.
China Aid reports that as many as 20,000 people suffered religious persecution by the Communist Party in 2015. This was an 8% increase over 2014. Despite increasing persecution, the number of Christians in China continues to grow.
There is no end to the folly of Pope Francis. In one interview, he likened Jesus Christ to ISIS: “It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest”. He also said that Muslim migrants must breed with Europeans to counter declining birth rates. Muslims have already been told by their leaders to exploit the migrant crisis to breed with Europeans and conquer their countries.
The pope has also met with the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, Sunni Islam’s highest authority, and exchanged kisses and praise. Al-Azhar offers free copies of a book that calls for the slaughter of Christians and other infidels.
In a final note, Francis is calling Catholics to Rome to walk through a door that is opened only once every 25 years and have their sins forgiven.
Paul Weston on the disaster that is coming – Islam
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