The Timing Of The Rapture
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place AFTER THIS.''' Revelation 4:1 The Church Conspicuously Missing AFTER Revelation Chapter 4:1 The first three chapters of the Book of Revelation are all about the church, and only the church. Jesus Christ is seen walking among the churches, and sending messages to them. But from chapter 4:2 on, "after those things," the church is not named once throughout the entire account of the Tribulation period. From the moment John is told to "Come up here," during the remainder of the vision he is in the presence of the Lord, looking down on the dreadful events of the Tribulation taking place on the earth. He is seeing it from heaven. It is significant that John is told to "Come up here." The very same words are spoken to the two witnesses before they too are later raptured: "And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up here.' And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them." Revelation 11:12 The "Mystery" Of The Church Age" The Church age began suddenly and unexpectedly on Pentecost. It will also end suddenly and unexpectedly. This is the "mystery" Paul was speaking of, the dispensation of the church age, something not revealed in the Old Testament and something not present when Daniel's "70th week" begins. There are two peoples of God, Israel and the church. Two covenants. Two programs. Two destinies. Two "times." Two dispensations. In the 70th week, God is no longer dealing with the Church. He is dealing with Israel and judging the world. But first: The Resurrection Comes Before The Judgments Isaiah 26 clearly shows that the Rapture will take place BEFORE the judgments begin: First the resurrection: "Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19 Then a hiding away: vs 20: "Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, UNTIL indignation is past." Then the judgments: vs 21: "For behold, the Lord comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain." So, there is a resurrection, a hiding away, then the judgments. Who Is "The Restrainer?” "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
AND THEN the lawless one will be revealed..."
2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8 First, who is NOT "the restrainer?" It is not the Holy Spirit. We know that no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). If the Holy Spirit were taken out of the way, no one would be saved from that point on. We know there will be multitudes of people saved during the Tribulation, so the Holy Spirit is on the earth then. Then who is taken out of the way? Who is hindering the mystery of iniquity? The one restraining wickedness is the Body of Christ on earth. The Body of Christ is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Body of Christ is to OCCUPY (restrain) until Jesus comes. The Body of Christ is hindering the working of iniquity. If the Body of Christ weren't here, the whole world would be gay and killing babies without the slightest restraint, lesbians would marry each other and be pastors of churches with no one to complain no one to resist, and all wickedness would have free reign without any restraint whatsoever. That is exactly how it's going to be when the body of born-again believers is removed from the earth. It is the Church, the Body of Christ, born-again believers who are fighting back against evil, who are testifying to the lost and pleading with them to come to the Lord. And it is the Church who will be taken out of the way when her mission is complete - and THEN the judgments will fall upon the earth. THEN that lawless one will be revealed and will take over, when there isn't a single righteous person to restrain him. In fact, those who are left behind will welcome him. "I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." John 5:43 All the signs are here and are pointing to the time of the New World Order, the time of the Antichrist, the time of the Tribulation. Friends, it's almost upon us. If you are not right with the Lord get that settled now, while there is yet time. The door is about to close. MORE: The Rapture