Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COMING RAPTURE - First Rapture Deception Coming!

Below find an interesting article that my friend Steven posted at his new Rapture Forum. The link to his post is below, as well as the link to the original source. Please check out his Rapture Forum. It is a very interesting place.

I enjoyed reading this article, though I substituted the phrase “Early Tribulation Rapture” whenever the author referred to a “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” since I firmly believe that the seven-year Tribulation has already begun.

What follows is an urgent “foreword” that was written by me, which appears before the article below. I pray that you will share it with everyone that you know:

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Shalom fellow Believers in Yahshua,


Due to various New Age teachings and doctrines of demons that are being promulgated right now, my guess is that the First Rapture will happen before this summer is over and that it will be explained away as a false Rapture by the fallen angels, who will show up as benevolent aliens with a false message of peace and goodwill just after the First Rapture occurs. Meanwhile, the fallen ones will claim to have removed all those people that are supposedly holding humanity back from achieving global peace and prosperity, and the fact is that they may actually remove many world leaders from their positions by killing them secretly so that the Antichrist can easily take control!

Since this may happen at the same time as the First Rapture when Yahshua will come for His Bride, it could convince many haughty, prideful, and carnal Christians and Messianics that the Rapture they are awaiting has not occurred yet or that there will be no Rapture of the saints. As a result, they will fall prey to the lies of the Preterist teachers of Kingdom Now and Dominion Theology fame.

I am writing an article about this and will post it soon. Meanwhile, the man of sin will likely be revealed this autumn when Jerusalem is taken away from the Jews in Israel by the behest of the alien demons or fallen angels who are going to seize control of the world. At that time, I believe that the Two Witnesses will appear in the portion of Jerusalem that will likely be given to the new state of Palestine. I also believe that this Muslim-controlled portion of Jerusalem will become the new headquarters of the United Nations and the home of the Antichrist. This will happen either at the time that the new state of Palestine is formed or shortly thereafter.

You can look for my article about this in a day or two - but only if we are not Raptured out of this world by then. In the meantime, keep looking up! Yahshua is coming soon!

Helena Lehman
Pillar of Enoch Ministry

http://pillar-of-enoch.com

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Steven’s Rapture Forum link:

http://pub39.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=3330765498&frmid=8549&msgid=876613&cmd=show

Article:

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COMING RAPTURE


For Fair Use Discussion and Educational Purposes

http://www.ffruits.org/firstfruits02/ComingRapture.html

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Part 1
Coming Rapture

Lyn Mize


Rev 3:8 (KJV) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

God has promised a special “open door” to the faithful Christians of the Philadelphia church in Revelation. This open door is the promised Pretribulation Rapture that will keep these faithful Christians from the “hour of temptation.”

Rev 3:10 (KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

A few verses later in Revelation 4:1 the Apostle John looks up and sees this open door into heaven.

Rev 4:1 (KJV) After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

This is the Pretribulation Rapture of the church as seen by the great majority of Christians today, but most overlook that this open door was promised only to the faithful Philadelphia Christians. Other Christians such as those in the church of Thyatira are told that they will be cast “into great tribulation” if they do not repent. They do not receive the open door.

Rev 2:22 (KJV) Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

The timing of the Rapture is one of the most controversial issues in the Church today. The student of Bible prophecy should ask himself why so many faithful Christians believe in a Midtribulation Rapture if the Pretribulation Rapture of the entire Church is the correct view. The answer is simply that there are Scriptures that confirm a Midtribulation Rapture. Christians on both sides of the issue fail to consider that the Bible teaches both a Pretribulation Rapture and a Midtribulation Rapture.

It is interesting that the pretribulation rapturists expend great efforts in trying to rebut the Scriptures that confirm a Midtribulation Rapture, and the midtribulation rapturists do the same thing with the Scriptures that confirm a Pretribulation Rapture. An honest and forthright exposition of Scripture reveals teachings for both. The Firstfruits Rapture (i.e., the taking out of faithful, mature, Philadelphia Christians) is pretribulational, and the Main Harvest Rapture (i.e., the final taking out of the remaining Christians who have been refined and purified by the tribulation) is midtribulational. This is confirmed both doctrinally and typologically throughout the Scriptures, as will be seen.

The Pretribulation Rapture is the most popular view held in the Church today, but popularity is not an accurate measure of Scriptural truth. If popularity determines truth, then we should all convert to Islam, since that is the fastest growing religion in the world today. The very popularity of the sole Pretribulation Rapture mitigates against its truth. The fact that pretribulationists refuse to take a close look at the Scriptures on the rapture should also raise a warning flag for sincere seekers of truth from the Word of God.

Perhaps one of the reasons the Pretribulation Rapture is the most popular view is that it requires the least accountability in living the Christian life. It is very comforting for the average Christian to believe that he can sit back and enjoy the pleasures of life and dabble in the things of the world, while all the time believing that he will be miraculously removed before any hard times or persecution sets in during the tribulation. Any teaching that Christians might experience hardship, persecution or maybe even martyrdom is resisted by the majority of Christians today. It is difficult for Christians to understand that our present comfort is not the primary goal of our heavenly Father, in accordance with the following Scripture:

1 Pet 1:7 (KJV) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

God the Father promised to meet all of our physical needs if we seek the Kingdom of God (i.e., the millennial kingdom) (Matt. 6:33), but the Scriptures are replete with examples of faithful followers of Christ suffering the most horrible circumstances imaginable. The first news that Paul received after his conversion was that he was going to have to suffer a great deal for the sake of Jesus Christ. The Church in America today does not really grasp what suffering is all about, and many consider it suffering to drive a used car and live in a modest house.

Prosperity is a difficult test that God has provided for the Church in America, and the great majority of Christians are failing miserably. Pastors are among the casualties. Some are even preaching a gospel of prosperity, which states that financial success is a sign of being a faithful Christian. This false doctrine is so far removed from what the Scriptures teach that no rebuttal is necessary. The primary point to be made is that the Church is not exempt from persecution and hardship. In fact, the Lord even allows the ones He loves the most to go through fiery trials in order to purify them and increase their heavenly rewards.

In the final analysis, Christians will be ever so thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for the three and one-half years of suffering during the tribulation after they see the rewards for faithfulness that will be received at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The tribulation will be a final period of refining and purifying for those Christians who have not allowed themselves to be cleansed and purified during the present time.

The truth is that only a small segment of Christians are preparing themselves for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The majority of the Church is concerned with building large churches with gymnasiums, plush seats, carpets, stained glass windows and numerous other superficial accoutrements designed to impress our fellow Christians and other local churches. This describes the church age called Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-19. In verse 20 Jesus says He stands and knocks at their door, but most Christians do not open their door to Him. Jesus Christ rejects this church at the Firstfruits Rapture. The Philadelphia church, however, is given an “open door” in verse 8, and this is the Firstfruits Rapture. The Sardis church and the church of Thyatira will also be rejected by Jesus Christ at the Firstfruits Rapture.

Faithful Christians can see why the Pretribulation Rapture is so popular, since the largest segment of Christianity today is made up of Christians in churches typified by Sardis, Thyatira, and Laodicea. Sardis is represented in the world today by the Protestant churches, Thyatira is represented by the Catholic churches and offshoots from the Catholic Church, and Laodicea is represented by the charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Philadelphia is represented by the numerous but small and weak home churches. Christians in Sardis, Thyatira and Laodicea are the unwatchful, the doctrinally weak, the backslidden and the lukewarm Christians who are opposed to any suggestion that faithfulness will be the criterion for reward, let alone a special rapture prior to the tribulation. Pointing out the numerous Scriptures that clearly depict a Firstfruits Rapture is not convincing to many lukewarm Christians, since searching the Scriptures to see if these things are true is not a part of their lifestyle. They simply quote the Scriptures that point to a Pretribulation Rapture and glibly say that salvation is by grace and not works. For them, everything good in the Bible is for the saved, and everything bad is for the lost. They even use Revelation 3:10 as a proof text for the Pretribulation Rapture, but they overlook that the promise of being “kept from the hour of trial” is only directed to the faithful Philadelphia Christians (Rev 3:7). The churches of Laodicea, Sardis and Thyatira are often labeled as mere professing Christians, tares, the false church or some other tag that relegates them to the ranks of the lost. The fact that Jesus himself clearly identifies these groups of believers as part of his Church apparently makes little difference.

In consideration of the above, this is not written to the great majority of unteachable Christians who have their minds made up, and are not really interested in searching the Scriptures for the meat of the Word. This is written to Christians who are open to the Word and who are hungry to learn. The reader should study and pray for understanding about what the Scriptures have to say about the rapture of the Church. The Bible is the only test for the truths in this message. Ignorance of the Bible will not be an excuse at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Not a New Idea

Many of the great men of God in the Philadelphia church age of the 18th and 19th centuries understood and taught the doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture. They were men like J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, Dr. A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, John Wilkinson, founder of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, and Joseph A. Seiss, one of the greatest prophecy scholars who ever lived. Dr. Seiss’ book on the apocalypse is the classic on the book of Revelation, and is quoted by virtually every Bible scholar who has written a book on Revelation. Once the doctrine of Firstfruits Rapture has been explained in detail to a person who is truly desirous of knowing what the Scriptures teach, that person is typically converted to a belief in the phased rapture of the Church. The teaching is clear.

The remainder of this article will be presented in three sections with the first section providing an exegesis (i.e., interpretation) of the Scriptures addressing the rapture. The second section will present the argument from a typological standpoint of the Old Testament. The third section will address the criticisms from some of the more famous prophetic scholars of what they call the “partial rapture theory.” The term partial rapture is not appropriate for describing the Firstfruits Rapture, since it implies that only a portion of the Church will be raptured. The term phased rapture is more descriptive, since the entire Church will be raptured in two phases. This section will point out how the opponents of the Firstfruits Rapture use the straw man as a technique in their attempts to refute the phased rapture position.

Section I — Why a Special Rapture?

An excellent starting place for pretribulation rapturists to understand the concept of the Firstfruits Rapture is the variety of resurrections and raptures in the Bible. Enoch and Elijah were both translated into heaven without seeing death. The Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, has already been resurrected and is currently in heaven performing his function as our High Priest (Heb. 3:1-2). These easily understood truths pave the way for a more detailed understanding of the two phases in the rapture of the Church.

The doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture is closely related to the doctrines of Grace and Works. The doctrine of Grace pertains to the salvation of the spirit, and the legal term justification is the most descriptive term of what took place at the moment of salvation. Positional sanctification has also been used to describe the believer’s position in Christ as a saved individual. By contrast, the doctrine of Works is related to the believer’s spiritual growth and maturity, and the most frequently used term for this process is sanctification or progressive sanctification. 1 Peter 1:9 calls this progressive sanctification the “salvation of the soul.”

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “rightly divide” the Word. The difference between Grace and Works is one of the most fundamental divisions in Scripture. By grace our spirits are saved by faith in Christ. We then have positional sanctification. Our souls are being saved by obedience to Christ. We are being progressively sanctified. This progressive sanctification will determine our reward and final standing in the Kingdom of God. The following Scriptures refer to this process of progressive sanctification:

Phil 1:6 (KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 4:19 (KJV) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing as unto a Faithful Creator.

James 1:21 (KJV) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

The biggest question in this process of sanctification is the cooperativeness of the believer. Those Christians who cooperate with the Holy Spirit in their progressive sanctification will receive greater reward. Those Christians who are uncooperative will lose their reward and will suffer great anguish at the Judgment Seat of Christ because of their shame and the contempt of the Lord Jesus Christ. An excellent analogy from Scripture is Peter when he wept bitterly when the Lord Jesus Christ gave him a soul-piercing look of judgment after Peter had denied the Lord three times. It has been stated that everyone’s cup will be full in heaven, but the size of the cups will vary greatly.

The Firstfruits Rapture can probably best be described as a special entrance into heaven before the trials of the tribulation start. It is an exemption from the final exam for those Christians who have already demonstrated their Christian maturity during the course of this life. The following Scriptures describe this exemption:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (KJV) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:36 (KJV) 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.

In the 2 Peter 1:10-11 passage we see again a reference to an “entrance” or door offered to those mature Christians who “give diligence” as characterized by the Philadelphia Church. Luke 21:29-36 is a scripture addressed to the Church. This Scripture is an exhortation for believers to pray that they would be accounted worthy to escape the tribulation. The word “watch” refers specifically to a state of readiness or preparation for the Lord’s return.

Christians today should be watching for the return of the Lord, and they should be praying to be accounted worthy of the Firstfruits Rapture. It is doubtful that many Christians are following this exhortation from the Lord Himself. It is the height of arrogance to assume that one will automatically be accounted as worthy to escape the tribulation. Even Paul said he was “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling” in Philippians 3:14. The following Scripture describes the Firstfruits Rapture of the watchful Christian, but it is often misinterpreted as referring to a saved and an unsaved individual:

Mat 24:40-42 (KJV) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

This Scripture is in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse, and it is a warning to Christians that they need to be in a state of readiness if they are to participate in the Firstfruits Rapture of the Church. This Scripture is not an exhortation to get saved for the rapture. It is a warning to believers to get ready so they will be taken with the Firstfruits. Verse 42 confirms the subjects of the warning. It is absurd to think that this warning is to depraved unbelievers, since it would be an exhortation to watch for someone whom they believe is dead, buried and returned to dust.

The Ten Virgins

The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 is one of the clearest proof texts for the Firstfruits Rapture. The text is as follows:

Mat 25:1-13 (KJV) Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

The ten virgins represent the entire Church. The number ten is the number of ordinal completion, so it represents all of whatever is in question. The term virgin is in reference to the Church rather than Israel, since Israel is pictured as the adulterous wife of God the Father. See the book of Hosea, which pictures the history of the nation of Israel.

Verse 5 above is grossly mistranslated from the original manuscripts. The correct translation is as follows:

Matthew 25:5 (Literal Translation) While the bridegroom tarried, they all beckoned or slept.

The Greek word incorrectly translated “slumbered” is the word nustazo (noos-tad'-zo), and it literally means to nod, beckon, or signal for something to occur. Christians beckon for Jesus to return every time they say “Maranatha”, which means “Come! Lord Jesus.”

The Greek word translated “and” is the word kai (kahee). It is a copulative or coordinating conjunction that can be continuative or adversative. Since the words it connects are adversative (i.e., beckoning or sleeping), the correct translation is “or”. Therefore, verse 5 confirms that the entire Church “beckoned or slept,” and this means that the entire Church was divided between those looking and beckoning for the Return of the Lord, and those who had fallen asleep. The doctrine of the Second Coming was lost to the main body of the Church during the Pergamum church age after 312 A.D., and it was not revived until the Philadelphia church age in the eighteenth century. The end-time Sardis or Protestant church is unwatchful (Rev. 3:3) and is definitely asleep with respect to the Return of the Lord for his bride.

All ten virgins had oil in their lamps, which is a picture of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Unbelievers are not indwelled by the Holy Spirit. All ten virgins trimmed their lamps, and this is a picture of getting sin out of the life through confession and turning from sin (1 John 1:9). All ten virgins had their lamps burning, and this is a picture of the outward confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures could not be any clearer that the ten virgins represent born again, blood-bought, justified Christians, but there is a division between the foolish and the wise.

The only difference between the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins is the extra measure of oil, signifying maturity, which the wise virgins took with them. The abundance of oil represents the overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the five wise virgins. They are Christians who are continually filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. The five wise virgins have matured in the faith, and they have advanced greatly in their progressive sanctification.

It is important to note that in the original Greek the lamps of the five foolish virgins were “going out”—not “gone out”—and the five wise virgins told the foolish virgins to “go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” This clearly teaches that the extra measure of oil is related to works, since it had to be bought. Grace can not be bought. The indwelling Holy Spirit is a free gift of grace, but the filling of the Holy Spirit is clearly a work involving our submission to the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18). The five wise virgins had made preparation for the coming of the Bridegroom, and they were given the open door. The five foolish virgins had not prepared themselves, and they were turned away.

Verse 10 is a clear and concise description of the Firstfruits Rapture of those Christians who had prepared themselves for the coming of the Bridegroom. The Bridegroom came while the foolish virgins were out buying oil. The wise virgins went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.

The reference to “the door” is the same door that is promised to the Philadelphia Christians in Revelation 3:7-8, and that John saw in heaven in Revelation 4:1. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures in Revelation 4:4-6 represent the same group of Christians as the five wise virgins and the Philadelphia church. This is the Pretribulation Rapture of mature, progressively sanctified believers. These are the ones who have “renewed their minds” with the mind of Christ according to Romans 12:2.

Verse 11 confirms that the five foolish virgins came to Jesus later calling Him “Lord, Lord,” and asked Him to open the door to them. Jesus stated that He did not know (i.e., recognize) them. Jesus then summarizes the parable with a warning to “Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” The lesson of this parable is for Christians to be alert and prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus, so they will be able to go into the wedding. The necessary preparation is to be filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit day by day and moment by moment. One of the primary signs of a maturing believer is a daily watching for the return of Jesus Christ. Worldly believers are busy with their own plans and life goals. Mature Christians need to be faithful to the Lord and consciously looking for His return.


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Zechariah 12:3,9:
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

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(IMPORTANT Note from Helena - The reason Yahshua says "I never knew you!" to the ten foolish virgins is because these supposed followers of Christ do not have a personal relationship with Yahshua and they are not communicating their needs to Him in prayer regularly or seeking His counsel in their daily lives via words of knowledge, visions and dreams!!! It is interesting to note that even seasoned believers with much spiritual wisdom such as this author continually seem to miss this point!!!)