The Rapture Is Coming!
A Lesson in Bible Prophecy from Matthew chapter 24
I'm not looking for the undertaker, I'm looking for the uppertaker!
by David J. Stewart
The entire chapter of Matthew 24 follows. I am going to comment on this chapter as you read it. The Bible is often MIS-interpreted because it is NOT in chronological order. To "rightly divide the Word of Truth" (2nd Timothy 2:15), the diligent Bible student MUST cross-reference the Bible. Every Scripture MUST be deciphered and interpreted within the agreeing framework of the rest of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is our Guide (John 16:13). Many false doctrines are started by people who interpret the Bible without God.
M't:24:1: And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
M't:24:2: And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Above -Jesus was referring to the Roman invasion of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by Titus. The city was annihilated. Jesus liked to strike up conversations (as a tool) to teach His disciples. Here Jesus uses the coming destruction of Jerusalem as a platform to prophecy concerning the end of the world as we know it.
Below - We learn that people back in the Bible were no different than people today...we are all very curious about the future. The Bible is history written in advance, an amazing truth indeed. Jesus warned that MANY imposters such as Sun Myung Moon (Moonies) and Elijah Muhammad (Black Muslims) would come, claiming to be Christ. There are thousands of such imposters in the world today. Many people have already been deceived.
M't:24:3: And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
M't:24:4: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
M't:24:5: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
M't:24:6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
M't:24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
M't:24:8: All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Above -Jesus prophesied that there would be wars and news of wars. Well, we've had more wars over the past two centuries than we know what to do with. Even now, what the U.S. has done to the Iraqi people is nothing less than horrific. The hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions is resulting in massive deaths, mutations and suffering in Iraq. Many of our own soldiers are coming back sterile. There will always be war because mankind is prone to wrath (Ephesians 2:3). The implication made by Jesus in this Scripture is that the intensity of man's hostility will increase. There will be a noticeable increase in wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, et cetera. These events will just be the tip of the iceberg for the horrors that will lie ahead for humanity.
Famines and pestilences? Did you know that the evil company Monsanto (manufacturer of aspartame), also is heavily involved in the developing and manufacturing of GM foods (Genetically Modified Foods)? I prefer to call them Frankenfoods. Monsanto controls 100% of the GM soybean supply. This is indeed frightening. When you tamper with God's creation, you are asking for serious trouble. Monsanto is just one of hundreds of companies tampering with life. God never intended for Potatoes to be genetically combined with silk worm moth DNA. Folks, these potatoes are already on the market, producing their own internal pesticides to kill bugs. Thank God, McDonalds turned them down. One day, I foresee a genetic nightmare on planet earth. Scientists are trying to create crops that are completely resistant to all weeds, diseases, et cetera. What happens when life creates the invincible weed or disease in response to their mutated crops?
If you have never heard of HAARP, you will now. HAARP stand for "High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program" Began in 1993, the HAARP Program is jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US Navy, and is based in Gakona, Alaska. It is designed to "understand, simulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of communication and surveillance systems." The HAARP system intends to beam 3.6 Gigawatts of effective radiated power of high frequency radio energy into the ionosphere.
Though the military denies the allegations, scientific evidence shows that HAARP can cause earthquakes (and other devastations). Russia and the U.S. have already signed treaties agreeing not to use the weather as weaponry against each other. This stuff is real folks. I believe mankind is going to cause much of the woes which Jesus warned us about. We are going to destroy the earth (and each other) if the Lord doesn't return.
M't:24:9: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
M't:24:10: And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Above - Recently, Michael Marcavage ( www.repentamerica.com) stood up in a local public council meeting to object to a homosexual being accepted into the city's town council. Michael Marcavage announced that he was going to read from the Bible concerning homosexuality and was told publicly that he could not read "hate speech" in the meeting. Marcavage was arrested and then assaulted by the local police chief in an elevator. Also, in a recent homosexual pride parade in New York, a Sodomite group known as the "Pink Angels" surrounded to protesting Christians with pink Styrofoam boards. Ultimately, dozens of believers were arrested. Twelve of them face up to 47 years in prison.
Listen friend, the rapture can't be far away. The Scriptures that we are reading in Matthew 24:1-31 are speaking of the tribulation period. We know this is the case because the "Abomination of Desolation" mentioned in verse 15 will occur in the middle of the tribulation period. This event is when the antichrist will exalt himself as god and demand the worship of everyone on earth. The last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation will be so horrible that men will seek death and not be able to find it. This will be the time of "great tribulation."
Also, notice that the tribulation period will be a time of great betrayal and hatred. Many people have conjured up false doctrines by failing to cross-reference the Bible. To be honest, there have been earthquakes, wars, famines, and pestilence throughout history... so why did Jesus say that these things would occur in the last days? I believe that Jesus simply meant we would see a significant increase in these horrible things. The Seventh-Day Adventists falsely claim that these prophecies were fulfilled in the 1800's. No, they haven't happened yet. Verse 21 clearly says that great the tribulation period will be so intolerable that it will be unprecedented throughout history.
I haven't seen anything like this happen yet. We deal with disasters every day in the real world. According to Matthew 24:22, the tribulation period will be so horrific that all humanity will perish if God doesn't bring it to an early end. So you clearly see that we are NOT living in Matthew 24 yet, but the storm clouds are gathering. The dots are in place, waiting for the lines to be drawn. The rapture of the saints must occur BEFORE the antichrist can be fully revealed. All born-again believers will be removed (caught away) from the earth, just as Enoch in the Old Testament was caught away.
There will be people who accept Christ during the tribulation period. Of course, Fox News and other useless mainstream news media sources will quickly disperse and discredit the disappearance of all the Christians. Jesus clearly stated in Luke 18:8 that He was concerned if He would find any faith when He returned to the earth. Point being, I sincerely don't believe that there will be many Christians upon the earth when the Lord returns at the rapture for His own. A couple hundred thousand people may vanish, but it will be no more tragic than the 170,000 people who perished in the 2004 Tsunami. The heathen world will be glad we're gone and will rejoice in our absence.
M't:24:11: And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Above- There will be more Benny Hinns, Kenneth Copelands, Sun Myung Moons, Elijah Muhammads, et cetera.
Below - The word "iniquity" means INJUSTICE, not sin. "Injustice" is unpunished sin. This is ENRON! This is what the Bush administration did by invading Iraq. Iniquity is what makes people cry out in anger to God, "Why do you allow this to happen God?" Even now, we see great injustices in America. People (in general) are becoming numb, cold-hearted, and indifferent because of all the license, corruption and pardoning of slimy criminals. Slime balls like John Poindexter and Phillip Winn (do a web search).
M't:24:12: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
M't:24:13: But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Above- This has nothing to do with salvation. This is just referring to those who physically survive the tribulation period. No unsaved person will ever be admitted into heaven. John 14:6 clearly warns us that ONLY through Jesus Christ can anyone come to the Heavenly Father (be saved). It's Jesus or hell, turn or burn! If you die in your sins, then you will burn in hell fire (John 8:24). If you die in the Lord, then you will go to heaven to be with the Lord (Revelation 14:13).
Below - The 144,000 mentioned in Revelation will be soul winners during the tribulation time. A remnant of Israel will repent and turn to the Lord for forgiveness and salvation. The gospel will be preached during the tribulation and many lost sinners will come to Christ.
M't:24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
M't:24:15: When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
M't:24:16: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
M't:24:17: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
M't:24:18: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
M't:24:19: And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
M't:24:20: But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
M't:24:21: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
M't:24:22: And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Above- Satan has a trinity that counters the Godhead. Satan counters God the Father. The antichrist counters God's Son, Jesus Christ. The false prophet counters God's Holy Spirit. The antichrist will lead the world's political systems (a confederate of nations). The false prophet will lead the world's religious system (the ecumenical movement). And of course, old smut-face himself...Satan...will continue to inspire his children (the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience), Ephesians 2:2. In case you don't already know, ALL of the world's top movers and shakers are members of occult organizations (such as Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, Freemasonry). Satan wants to be worshipped. Ultimately, he will demand worship midway through the tribulation. After this event, the most horrendous tragedies since the beginning of mankind will begin to occur. People will seek refuge in the mountains and underground.
I will speculate here that the Antichrist is going to have the ultimate police state. Martial law will be imposed upon the population. Even today, world figures have discussed a reduction of the earth's population to no more than 500,000,000 people, that's a reduction by approximately 80%. This is a fact. Read the Global 2000 Report which Henry Kissinger's committee worked on for one year, and then presented to Jimmy Carter. Even now, our Bill of Rights is being eviscerated. Citizens are being called "civilians" and are being abused left and right by police thugs.
Now the police have tasers to shoot bolts of extremely high voltage at you. Many people have already died because of such weapons. The scary thing is that police officers have hardly any reservation to use them because the weapons are advertised not to kill. Military size units have already been manufactured to use against peaceful U.S. protesters, projecting an ionized wave of charged particles at the innocent crowd, who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
The Bible is being labeled as "hate speech." The Constitution is not being upheld. Our rights and privacies are being violated. The National ID Card is being implemented. The RFID chips will eventually be mandatory in the cards. DNA will be collected on EVERY American citizen. Cameras with facial recognition will be everywhere. We will be slaves, dehumanized like cattle, forced to show our papers (National ID Cards) in order to travel. I believe this system will be at it's climax during the Tribulation period. The Bible clearly teaches that the church will be raptured out of the world before this happens. Though some Christians are being murdered today for their beliefs and zeal, the murders will occur on a grand scale after the antichrist claims to be god.
Satan will seek to murder every God-fearing Christian on the planet, and he will have a global-military police state to carry it out. Matthew 24:9 says that Christians WILL be killed during the tribulation. Who do you think is going to kill them? That's right, the government. Even now, people Like Bill Maher of HBO have said that Christians are a major threat to America because we're ALL "neurotic." The evils mentioned in Matthew 24 are already on the horizon...IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!
Many people picture the tribulation time as God raging His anger against mankind; however, I believe that many of the woes of the tribulation will be caused by mankind himself. Yes, God is going to cause MUCH frightening and horrific disasters during the tribulation, but the genetic tampering by mankind and Satan's New World Order are also going to play a major role in the events of the tribulation. I believe the reason that Christians will need to flee civilization is to escape the police Nazi-style thugs which will rape, torture, dehumanize, and kill their innocent victims.
Jesus said that pregnant woman would especially be at risk. Do you know what the Japanese did to the Chinese pregnant women they captured in WWII? They sewed their legs together to see what would happen at delivery time. The Japanese in their merciless Unit 731 committed unthinkable atrocities against the innocent Chinese people. War is a free-for-all for soldiers to perform every evil imagination in their heart. Today, we hear continuous reports of torture, rape, and killings by the military. What do you think will happen when the church is gone?
Below - Satan can perform miracles. The only true way to test anyone is by their doctrine (their fruit). We must use the Word of God as our measuring stick. Anyone who denies that Jesus is Almighty God is a false prophet. Also, When the Lord returns at the second coming, it will be obvious to everyone. The Scriptures below speak of the tribulation period. We know this is true because verse 22 speaks of the tribulation period. Even today we see many false prophets and miracle workers...but not to the prevalent extent that people will encounter them in the tribulation (when the church is gone). Remember that the church will be "caught up" (raptured) out of this world before the tribulation.
M't:24:23: Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
M't:24:24: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
M't:24:25: Behold, I have told you before.
M't:24:26: Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
M't:24:27: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Below- These Scriptures are foretelling the end of the tribulation, and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ WITH the saints from heaven. The Battle of Armageddon then occurs in Megiddo, the valley of Hinnom in Israel. Notice carefully that all the tribes of the earth will see the Lord's return and mourn. They will mourn because they're not saved and judgment time has come. In contrast, the Lord returns at the rapture only FOR His own. I just don't see how anyone could possibly believe in anything other than a pre-tribulation rapture.
Only the Saints being raptured will see the Lord at the rapture. Whereas, seven years later when Jesus returns WITH His own to clean house and set up Christ's earthly kingdom, the whole world will see Jesus in His glory and power. This is quite a contrast from the rapture. Also, the Lord does not return to the earth at the rapture, but rather...we are caught up to meet with Christ in the air (1st Thessalonians 4:17). At the second coming, the Lord will return to the earth WITH the saints. Jesus returns FOR His saints at the rapture, but WITH His saints at the second coming. The rapture is not the second coming, they are seven years apart.
M't:24:28: For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
M't:24:29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
M't:24:30: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
M't:24:31: And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
M't:24:32: Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
M't:24:33: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
M't:24:34: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Above- Again, this clearly speaks of the tribulation period. What are "these things" referring to? To the things we just read in verse 29. The people in the rapture who do become born-again Christians will know when the tribulation is going to end. We know Biblical that the rapture will last for seven years. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out on what day the rapture occurred, once you're already in the tribulation period. Of course, the Rapture has not occurred yet. No one knows when the Rapture will occur. Only God knows. I do believe it will be soon, but I cannot say that with complete certainty... no one can. BEWARE of date setters! Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, made a complete fool of himself by setting dates and making predictions (which never happened by the way).
Harold Camping has also made numerous false predictions concerning Christ's return, making millions of dollars in the process, which no doubt is why he does it as a greedy false prophet.
The same holds true for the doctrinally wayward minister, William Miller, unofficial founder of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) heresy religion. The SDA's actually teach that the falling stars, earthquakes, and moon turning to blood all occurred in the 1800's. Of course, that is nonsense. Mathew 24:22 clearly tells us that the horrifying events occurring during the Tribulation period will wipe-out the entire population if the Lord doesn't bring it to a premature end. Literally, billions of people will perish from the atrocities. Humanity will not have experienced such calamity since the flood of Noah's time.
Below- Even the angels don't know when the Lord will return for His own at the rapture. I believe that Jesus does know now that He has resumed His throne in heaven. Jesus is Almighty God. Luke 1:52 tells us that Jesus grew in stature and favor with God and man. Jesus walked this earth as 100% man, and 100% God. Jesus forgave sin as only God can do. Jesus accepted worship that ONLY God is entitled to. Yet, Jesus humbled Himself (Hebrews 5:8) as a man, living in submission to His heavenly Father. Notice that Jesus is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). Jesus is the Living Word, and the Bible is the Written Word. Jesus and the Bible are One (John 1:1). The Bible is the very essence, character and heart of God. When you abide (live) in the Word of God...you are living in God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. It cannot be stressed enough, the importance for God's children to live in the Bible... It is our spiritual food.
M't:24:35: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
M't:24:36: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Below- Now here's where you have to RIGHTLY DIVIDE the Word of Truth. The Scriptures below are not in chronological order, we are jumping back seven years. The Scriptures below speak of the RAPTURE, not the second coming of Christ. Verse 41 speaks of two women grinding at a mill, one is taken and the other left. This is the rapture, just as Enoch in the Old testament was caught up into heaven. Though the term "rapture" is NOT found in the Bible, the term "falling away" most certainly is in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3. Many theologians debate the meaning of this Scripture. The NIV crowd usually interprets this to means "anarchy" (or break down of social order). I firmly believe that this Scripture speaks of the time when all believers will be "caught away" from the earth at the rapture.
But even without such a Scripture as 2nd Thessalonians 2:3, the plain teachings of Matthew 24 should be more than adequate to convince us of a pre-tribulation rapture. The Bible makes a very clear distinction between the rapture and the second coming...they simply CANNOT be one and the same event. The rapture is without signs, it can occur at any time. The second coming will be preceded by many signs, occurring seven years AFTER the rapture. To believe the rapture occurs after the tribulation discredits all of the Scriptures we just read. 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 clearly teaches a pre-tribulation rapture.
M't:24:37: But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
M't:24:38: For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
M't:24:39: And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
M't:24:40: Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
M't:24:41: Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
M't:24:42: Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
M't:24:43: But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
M't:24:44: Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
M't:24:45: Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
M't:24:46: Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
M't:24:47: Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
M't:24:48: But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
M't:24:49: And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
M't:24:50: 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,
M't:24:51: And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Oh listen my friend, if you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Saviour, if you have asked Jesus to forgive you of all your sins, then you will be CAUGHT UP at the rapture to meet the Lord in the air if he returns before your pass into glory. I honestly believe that I will live to see the rapture if the Lord permits me to live a normal length lifespan. The Apostle Paul sincerely believed that the Lord would return in his day. With the world fast moving towards a New World Order, I can't help but believe that the rapture may be near. The beast system is being set up for the appearing of the antichrist. We will be raptured before the antichrist can appear (2nd Thessalonians 2:3). If the stage is being set (and it couldn't be any more obvious to the discerning Christian that it is), then the rapture cannot be far away. Howbeit, we simply do NOT know when Jesus is going to return. Jesus wants us to WATCH (mark 13:37).
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 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 prevent them which 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." -1st Thessalonians 4:13-18
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