The Mystery of the Rapture
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
By Amir Tsarfati
The title of this message is “The Mystery of the Rapture”. The rapture is only one of so many future events that are going to happen to people, right here in this world, to both believers and nonbelievers. I need you to understand that God wants his children to know His plan.
Over the last couple of years, I have been invited to America many times. As I walked down the 8th, 7th, 6th, and the 5th Avenue of Manhattan and the one thing, 2nd to Starbucks probably, I saw there were psychic shops. People are so hungry and thirsty to know what will the future bring. There is some built-in desire in mankind to know the future.
God says in Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, (and then He says) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done,” God is not hiding.
You don’t have to go to a little tiny room with this ugly woman, or man, telling you what is going to happen to you when you can just turn to the Word of God, in the daylight, and it is all there. God says, “I declare the end from the beginning”. People prefer to put the free Word of God aside to go and pay money to an ugly person who tells them lies and rubbish. I don’t get it. You want to pay – pay! But take the Word of God at least.
Then He says, “From ancient times things which are not yet done,” God is not just talking about things that have happened, God is talking about things that have not yet been done. He wants you to know what the future is about to bring.
Then He says, “My purpose will be established”. God is not taken off the throne. He is not taken by surprise when things happen. “I will accomplish all my good pleasure”. Our future is in His hands and, “He will establish that purpose that He has for us and accomplish all of His good pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:10)
We must understand that there are a lot of people that live in this world who call themselves prophets. I love it because I come from a nonprofit organization. I want you to understand many people read the Bible and decide that it is time to have their own interpretation. Let me tell you what the Bible says in 2 Peter 1:20-21, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men (holy men of God) moved by the Holy Spirit (those people as they were moved by the Holy Spirit) spoke from God.”
This means you do not dare interpret or have your own interpretation of the Word of God because the Word of God is not subject to any human interpretation. Do you understand that? God did not ask Isaiah, I am about to tell you something and want to know what do you think about it? No! Isaiah had to say “hineni” in Hebrew, “here I am”, הצוחה יתוא חולשל , send me out, that’s all. You need to make yourself available and He will make you able. You are avail-able and He will make you able - and that’s it.
We see that the prophets made themselves available and God spoke. The Holy Spirit spoke through them and they wrote everything down. Many times, they did not even understand everything they wrote. But they were obedient to be a conduit of the Holy Spirit to give all of
us, even today, which was written 2800 years ago which is more accurate than today’s newspaper.
But some people say, yes, Amir but the Old Testament is old. It is the New Testament that counts. Really? So, remind me, when was the last time Jesus preached from the New Testament? When was the last time Paul or Peter ever quoted anything from the New Testament? Every time they spoke about the Word of God, they quoted the Old Testament as that was the Word of God in those days.
Some of you are confused right now. Wait a minute, New Testament, but they are the New Testament. Yes! The Word of God is the old and the new. The only thing that makes the old “old” is the fact that there is a “new”. It doesn’t make it outdated or irrelevant. Oh? No.
In Hebrews 1:1-2 we see the following, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers by the prophets, in many portions and in many ways, in these last days have spoken to us in His son whom He appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the world,” which means Jesus continued that which God began with the prophets.
He didn’t come to abolish. He didn’t come to cancel. Jesus Himself is the one who said to His disciples, all that is written in the law, in the Psalms, and in the prophets, must be fulfilled, not some, maybe, all and must! Jesus is continuing and therefore it is not anything new that cancels the old. He continues in the same way. Then, of course, we understand that what we see written in the New Testament written is a direct continuation of what was foretold already by Daniel, by Ezekiel, by Isaiah, by Jeremiah, and others. We have to hold on to these things.
The interesting thing about the New Testament is that in the New Testament we have a lot of “aha” moments. We finally understand, now, what it meant in the old. This is what we call “mystery”. You see, in the Bible, you either have a secret or mystery. The secret is something that you have never heard of, you did not know, you cannot see or feel, and once you hear about it, that’s it! Now you know.
A mystery, however, is something that is not hidden. It is something that you heard of and you have seen before. But now you understand, in light of Jesus, in light of what He promised, in light of what He did, the true meaning of that which you already saw and you already read about.
This is why it is called the mystery of the rapture. The word mystery in the Greek is “mustérion”. It appears 28 different times in the Greek writings of the New Testament and when I looked across, I found so many different cases.
For example, in Romans chapter 11, the mystery of Israel. The Bible says, “Behold I tell you a mystery blindness in part has happened to Israel.” (Romans 11:25) It is something that we understand as we saw how Israel was blinded and Israel hardened their hearts. We understand that. But now, in light of the New Testament, we understand that God used that blindness, and the hardening of their hearts, and through their fall, in order for to provoke them to jealousy, salvation was given to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:11)
Then there is another mystery: the mystery of the Messiah. In the Old Testament, we see glimpses of the Messiah from Genesis through the Psalms all the way until we come to the New Testament. Jesus comes and the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light and upon those who sat in the valley of the shadow of death, light has dawned. What is that shadow of death? What is that darkness? The Bible says in the Book of Psalms that the darkness was their rebellion against the Word of God, and so, those who were walking in rebellion, upon them, the light had dawned.
They finally understood the true way, the only way to be saved, and they finally understood that obedience is better than sacrifice. You can bring as many rams, goats and sheep to be slaughtered but it won’t save you. You have to do it again next year, and again next year. But He, once and for all, sacrificed Himself and He is seated now at the right hand of the Father. That’s a mystery. They could not see it in the Old Testament. They saw the sacrifice, they saw the forgiveness, but they never truly understood that it is a picture of Christ. It is a mystery.
In Ephesians 5:31-32, the mystery of the church and Christ is like a husband and a wife. You cannot run away from it. You need to love your wife as Christ loves the Church. A lot of men feel very uncomfortable right now. I want you to understand, it is a mystery. Why and how in the world can we, human beings, love our wives the same way as God loves the people? Well, that is what He says. It’s powerful. It’s amazing but it was a mystery.
Even the Gentile Heirs is a mystery. In Ephesians 3:6 and Colossians 1:26, the mystery of how a Gentile, a non-Jew, can be part of the family of God. In the Old Testament, you can see by the way, how Peter reacted to that white sheet that came with the unclean animals. He would not take it. He did not understand how in the world can a Gentile be good enough? But God says they are good enough! Amen!
Then there is the mystery of lawlessness, “Behold the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) The spirit of the antichrist (he is not here yet) but his spirit is already here: the evildoings, the rebellion against God; the thought that actually Satan loves you more than God because he wants you to know everything while God keeps you away from that knowledge. This all started in Genesis 3. So that mystery of lawlessness, of always coming against the law of God and rebelling because you think you know better, it started then. Wow, we see how it evolves.
The same mystery (of the rapture) is in 1 Corinthians 15:51, “Behold, I tell you a mystery not all of us will sleep (which means not all of us will die), but all of us will be changed.” It’s amazing. Now we understand that something is going to happen and we will be transformed from a corrupt to an incorrupt form of human being. It is unbelievable. All of our cells in our bodies will change. They will no longer die. They will no longer produce illness. It will stop, and be reversed, and then we will see that even gravity won’t be affecting us anymore.
In 1 Corinthians 15, “Behold I tell you a mystery (mustérion) we shall not all sleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:51) The Bible doesn’t call it death for us – when we die, we just fall asleep. Isn’t that beautiful? Like a picture of your son or daughter when they fall asleep, you just take them when they are in the living room and move them to the bedroom. That’s all. When we (believers) are dead, we are just asleep and God takes us from where we are now to where He wants us to be next – to our bedroom. Our place, the place that He has been preparing for us for the last 2000 years. Isn’t that amazing!
So, “Behold, we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.” In a moment! In a twinkling of an eye! Now try to imitate that twinkling of an eye. It’s fast! In other words, the rapture is not going to be a slow process where everybody is going to see us going up. No, in a twinkling of an eye! Boom! We are going to be gone! We are going to be changed! It is not like Mary Poppins that you see her going up. No!
The Bible says “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (1 Corinthians 15:52) Isn’t it beautiful, at the last trumpet. God is trying to get the attention of the whole world. He is blowing the trumpet and He is saying that it is going to happen, at the last trumpet. And then He says, “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52) Amen!
So, what is the rapture? People are perplexed about it. Some people say that there is no such thing. How can we just go up to the sky? Well, ask the disciples. They were on the top of the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1 and then they saw Jesus going up. They had never seen anything like that before. They kept looking, and kept looking, and kept looking. The angel that was sitting right there and he finally said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing and gazing into heaven? That same Jesus is about to come back in like manner.” (Acts 1:11) It is not only that you are amazed at how He went up but He is going to come back the same way. Get used to it!
The word rapture is not in your Bible which is exactly why people always think that if it is not there I cannot really teach about the rapture. But let me tell you that there is a word in Greek in the New Testament. You have to understand that rapture comes from the word in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that is translated “caught up”, in the Greek it is “harpazo”, in the Latin it is “rapturo”, and in the English, from the Latin, “rapture”. The word “harpazo” is in the Scriptures more than once and it means to be “caught up”, or snatched, or taken away.
If you read in Acts 8:39, you see the story of how Philip, the evangelist, was reading from Isaiah to the Ethiopian eunuch. Then he says, well, what is there stopping me from being baptized? Philip said, nothing, let’s do it. He baptized the Ethiopian eunuch and the Bible says that when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord “caught” Philip away, the word in the Greek is “harpazo”, the same word. If you can imagine, the Ethiopian eunuch was talking to Philip, thank you - he’s gone! He is looking around, he is gone. Now for someone who was an idol worshipper who just got saved, just got baptized, the fact that Philip is gone is not such a big deal.
God is in the business of the supernatural anyway. He wasn’t going home scratching his head. The Bible says, “He went on his way rejoicing.” He believed! What takes you so long? Why are you so much in disbelief? If the Ethiopian eunuch who was a believer for exactly 3 minutes, believed, we that believe so long, why is it so hard for us? He saw Philip raptured,
not raptured up, but raptured sideways. But he is gone! Taken! As far as he is concerned he doesn’t know where Philip is. Isn’t that amazing!
In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, “I know a man in Christ (Paul said) who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body, I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up (harpazo in the Greek) to the third heaven. And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Ladies and gentlemen, Paul describes a rapture. Now, this is not a rapture to be alive forever. It is for a reason and for a season but yet it is the same word, “harpazo”.
The word for rapture, for our purpose, is 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.”
For the Lord Himself” – I love it. It’s like Jesus says, wait a minute, I am getting this one. I am not sending anyone else. “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven.” I am wondering, I mean think about it. Jesus came down, suffered greatly, finally made it all the way up. If I was him I would have stayed there. But He loves us so much and He says, I left them and I told them that I am going to come and get them. I am going.
Here He is, “Descending from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God (and then it says) the dead in Christ will rise first. (and then it says) Then we who are alive (I want you to say, we who are alive. Are you alive? Then it is you! We that are alive) and remain shall be caught up (together with them, “caught up – harpazo”) with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) Wow.
Wait a minute. Jesus comes all the way to the clouds, the dead will rise first, then we (those that are alive) will join them and we are going to meet Jesus, where? In the air! So, gravity is going to lose any hold over us. We are going to be snatched away and as far as the world is concerned, we are going to disappear. But as far as Jesus is concerned “boom” we will appear right in the clouds – midair.
Wow, and watch this, the Bible says, (this is the most amazing thing) “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Amen! What is the purpose of the rapture? He comes to do what? Take us so He will have us from then on – always with Him.
If you have a problem with the rapture, you probably have a problem with being around Jesus for too long. You see, normally, sinners are staying away from the people of God or from God. The minute sin entered the world Adam and Eve were hiding in the garden. Normally, when you want to stay away from believers, to stay away from the church, that is because they scare you. They freak you out, that’s not you. You cannot cope with it anymore. Every time you allow sin in your life, to take over, the place where you feel less comfortable is the church and the people you will feel less comfortable with are believers. As David wrote in Psalm 139, “Where can I run away from your presence? I go up and you are there. I go down and you are there.” (Psalm 139:7-8) You cannot run away from the presence of God. You can try it.
Then He says this, which is the whole purpose of the rapture that not only will we always be with the Lord, He says, “Therefore comfort one another with these words”.” Isn’t that beautiful? We need to comfort one another with these words: we are not from this world; we are about to be caught up; we are about to be with Him; and He will never, ever, leave us nor forsake us. We will be with Him forever and ever.
By the way, 3 people in history were raptured this way (vertical) not this way (horizontal): Enoch in Genesis 5:24; the prophet, Elijah in 2 Kings 2:12; and of course, Jesus in Acts 1:9. This is an amazing thing.
People are asking me as it is hard to understand, why is the rapture? Why can’t Jesus just come back and that’s it? Well, God loves you so much that He wants you to be taken away before He is going to pour His judgment over this world. That’s why!
So why is the rapture? Because of the words of Jesus, He said in John 14: 3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again (watch these words) and I will receive you to Myself.” Receive: He is not coming down (to the earth); it is not us receiving Him; He is going to receive us unto Himself; and then He says, “that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14: 3) This is your chance to see heaven.
If you are not raptured, then you cannot see heaven. This is the chance for us. He went to prepare a place for us. This is a huge construction site right now in heaven and everything is made of gold and diamonds. It’s amazing. Why would we put up with earthly houses when our mansions in heaven are 10 times better?
No ear has heard, no eye has seen the goodness that God has prepared for His children. It’s amazing. Jesus is so proud as He has prepared a place for us. He will come and will take us to be there, to enjoy that which He has prepared. What is the point of preparing mansions if we are not going to be there and we are not going to spend some time there?
Jesus said I will take you to where I am now. Where is Jesus now? Did you know that some people believe that this is the Millennial Kingdom, right now? If this is the Millennial Kingdom, then I am truly disappointed. I want to tell you that the Bible says that Jesus will reign on earth during the Millennial Kingdom. He, Himself, will be here. Where is He right now? He is up there. He is not here yet. And where is He now? And where are we now? He is there and we are here.
How many of you know that there is a war going on up in the heavenly right now? How many of you understand Ephesians 6:12 where it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are speaking of unbelievable spiritual warfare.
When the Bible talks to us about it, the Bible gives us, not only the information that there is a war, but also the armor and the weapons. This means we ought to be fully aware of the fact there is a war and that we have also been given the way to fight in that war. So, this war is a war that we may not be able to see but we definitely can feel it.
This war has two battlefields. The 1st battlefield is in heaven. Heaven is dominated by God and by God’s choice, by Jesus, of course. Heaven is dominated and there is no chance for Satan to win. He tried.
The 2nd battlefield is the world. The world is dominated by the prince of the world, unfortunately. The Bible says that God looks from heaven, on earth, to see if there is any who does good. The kingdom of the prince of the world and the choice of men are different than the choice of God. God is saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am pleased”, that is the choice of God.
The choice of men is different. When Jesus was presented before the people by Pontius Pilate, who is the person they preferred to be released? Barabas. But very few people know that Barabas’ first name was Jesus. Did you know that? And few people know that Barabas means “the son of the father”, “bar abba, son of the father”. So, there is Jesus, the Son of the Father and there is Jesus, the son of the father. Who do you choose? They, of course, chose the one with whom they felt most comfortable with. The one with whom they could do all their vices, and all their sins, and they would not have to have any consequences. They did not feel comfortable with the one that called them to repent.
This is how the world is dominated by Satan and by man’s choice. They will take Satan incarnated, the antichrist, and they will let him rule the world. I urge you to watch that message on how Europe is actively allowing that evil to rise from its place. It’s scary.
Now, we have to remember that same battle which is in heaven, is moving down to the world, right here. In Revelation 12, we see how Satan is fighting in heaven and how God is, eventually, going to throw him down to earth. After Satan is defeated in heaven and cast down to earth he will be sowing such unbelievably bad things until Revelation chapter 19.
Did you know that some people believe that the Book of Revelation has already been fulfilled? I can tell you that if you read Revelation about the things that are going to happen to this world, the horrible things: all the fish of the sea will die, all of the islands of this world will disappear, the stars and the sun will melt people’s skin. This has never happened.
How can you say and think that this has been fulfilled? The Bible says that unless God shortened those days not even any flesh would survive. Well, we are still here. In other words, those unbelievable bad things are still in the future. Chapter 19 says that Satan is also going to lose on earth, not only in heaven, but that is when God is fighting.
When I was a little boy, my dream was to be an ambassador. I always thought it was the highest calling for someone to travel and represent his country and to make sure people understand. Especially Israel is the most misunderstood nation on planet earth. The whole world thinks they know what is better for us than we do. They do peace conferences, like the one that was held in Paris in May 2017 and we were not even invited! They all met to sign a peace treaty – and we were not even there! Ridiculous, isn’t it?
I always thought it would be amazing to be a diplomat but little did I know that God was going to take me to far more countries around the world, to give far more other things, than just representing a political entity. I want you to understand that there is a code in diplomacy and one of them is that before a war is declared the ambassadors are being called back home. The ambassadors are the representatives of the other country. They don’t want them to be caught up in between and so they are called back home.
This is exactly what God is going to do: call His ambassadors home before declaring war on this world. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God”.
The day you received Christ, your Philipino passport was just on the table, and you received a new one: You are citizens of heaven and you are now the ambassadors of Christ on earth to plead with the people, to implore on Christ’s behalf, to be reconciled to God through Jesus. This is who we are and this is what we are here for. We are the ambassadors and we are going to be called back home before the war is coming. Don’t be too happy. Let us see who is going to be raptured first.
Who is going to be raptured? Did you know that some teach that everyone is saved? Well, let us see what Jesus said. The Bible says in John 11: 25-26, Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection (the rapture is about the resurrection) I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. (And then He asked her) Do you believe this?” Now, what is she going to say, no? Think about it, God just spoke.
Isn’t that interesting that people who lived in the time of Jesus, every time Jesus said something, they should have written it because it is the Word of God. He speaks and they write because whatever He says, God speaks. It is the Word of God! The only person who says no to Him is Peter. Never mind.
But I want you to understand that Martha said, yes, of course, I believe. This is how we need to be. Of course, we believe. I am going to come and I am going to take you, but you have to believe me. You have to believe in me.
It is the same Jesus who told Nicodemus that one must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s the same Jesus whose first words to the whole world was “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” which means unless you repent, or unless you are born again, you will not enter the kingdom. It is very simple.
This is when Jesus said, “Anyone who believes in me will never die. He will live.” So, you have to be born again, you have to repent, and you have to live the new life that you have in order to be raptured. It’s very simple.
Unfortunately, people are going to stay behind. You just saw the movie where the pastor goes to the church, everybody is raptured, and the pastor stayed behind. I want you to know that the rapture is the first time you will really know who is a real believer or not, because only believers will be taken.
Do you know that they say that more than half of those who go to church are not believers? They do not have the Holy Spirit. They never repented. They do not walk in the Spirit. They are not a new creation in Christ Jesus. They live their old life. They may have just said a few words but they never really meant it?
I want to tell you something: try to stand where your car is parked and let us see if you become a car. This is the same: you can come to church but it doesn’t mean you a believer. It doesn’t make you a believer. It is the work of Jesus in you. Jesus said the rapture is for those who believe in me.
When will the rapture take place? Some people believe it is going to be before the tribulation, some believe it is mid, and some believe it is post tribulation. So, some believe you have to be medium well, some believe you have to be well done by the fire of God. Are we crazy? Are we crazy! Do you think that the same God who delivered Noah from the flood and delivered Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah, do you think that He will want you to go through His wrath? It is the same God.
The Bible says that in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, “That our gathering will be into Him” and Revelation 3:10, “I will keep you from” (Greek word is ek, “out of”) the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world.” I will keep you from and in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 it says that Jesus will “deliver us from the wrath to come”. So, if you really want to be well done or medium well, you can stay, if you want. But He said that He wants to take us before. That is what He said. Hello?
What is the point of waiting for all the way until the end and then take us, when in the end He comes back with us? What is it? Bungy? I don’t get it. Taking us and then throwing us back again? Think about it. He prepared for all those years a place for us, mansions. At least let us enjoy it. Seven years is the only time we have there. Then we come back and we reign with him on this earth for 1000 years.
When will the rapture take place? What are the options for it to take place? You know that Jesus came from heaven. So, He started in heaven. He came to earth in His 1st coming. Then He went to heaven again in the ascension. He will come back to earth in His 2nd coming. Then all things will be made new: new heaven; new earth; and the new Jerusalem. The only chance for us to go and be with him is before His 2nd coming because the Bible says that the 2nd coming of the Lord is with us – not for us. Do you understand that?
When is the time frame of the rapture? It is only between His ascension and His 2nd coming. Since His ascension took place 2000 years ago and His 2nd coming did not take place yet – this is it!
What is the order of the rapture? It is very simple: #1. Jesus Christ Himself descends from heaven; #2. then He comes to receive us unto Himself; #3, then He comes in a twinkling of an eye, with a shout and a trumpet and the call of God; #4. He resurrects those believers who have fallen asleep in death; #5. and then those who are alive at the time will be “caught up”, “harpazo”, in the air.
A lot of Christians are mixing the rapture of the church with the 2nd coming of Christ. They just don’t understand, so let me make it very clear, as it is very simple.
The rapture is when Jesus comes back to the church; the 2nd coming is when Jesus comes back with the church. Do you understand that? At the rapture: Jesus’ feet are not on the Mount of Olives; He is not touching the ground; there is no landfall. Jesus comes mid-air, and we go mid-air, and that’s where we meet, and He takes us all the way up. That is the rapture.
The 2nd coming, to this earth, is when the Bible says in Zachariah, “Behold He comes and His saints are coming with Him”. Amen! Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”. Isn’t that beautiful. The grace of God, Jesus, that brings salvation, Yeshua, salvation, Yeshua, salvation, that Jesus, in His name; in His essence, who He is, He brings salvation. He appeared to all men, that’s true. For God so loved the whole world, it is true. But then, what? “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.” (Titus 2:12)
You need to ask yourself every time you do something: Am I living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age? Because if you do, then you are looking for, what? The blessed hope. This is our hope: our hope is that He is coming to take us. I hope it is your hope? We all hope that it is your hope, because if that is not your hope, then what is your hope? Who is your hope?
I remember when I was in Singapore and I was with someone, apparently wealthy when I was with him in the car who said, well God has blessed me so much and my business is doing so well, I started building a beautiful house. I said “ok” and then he said, well it is going to be ready in a year. In fact, I wish that Jesus would not come back yet. That is what he said and I said to myself, now this man is not ready.
It says in Titus that we should be looking forward to 2 things: the blessed hope which is our rapture and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The glorious appearance. What s glorious appearance? In Revelation 1, “Behold; He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:17) This is exactly what is written in Zechariah 12:10, “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pieced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son”.
You see, when we are raptured that is our blessed hope but when we come back with Him - every eye will see Him. Facebook live: every eye will see Him. There will be so much mourning, crying and repentance and that is when all Israel will be saved.
I need you to understand that in our world there are 2 deaths and 2 resurrections. You need to be in the 1st resurrection in order to escape the 2nd death. Do you understand? What are the 2 deaths? It is appointed upon men once to die - most people die so that is not the question if you died in this world.
The question is: when God will resurrect all the people at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, what is your sentence going to be? Eternal death or eternal life? This is the 2nd death that you do not want to be part of. So, there are 2 resurrections and there are 2 deaths. If you are not resurrected in the 1st resurrection, most likely, you will go through the 2nd death also. Do you understand what I am trying to say?
What about them? They are going to resurrect when we are coming back with Jesus and once they resurrect, we are going to kick off that Messianic Kingdom of 1000 years here on planet earth.
You have to understand something. The Bible says that when Jesus resurrected, He was the first fruit from among those who fell asleep. What does it mean? It means that no one could resurrect and live forever before Jesus resurrected. Do you understand that? Wait a minute, so what about Lazarus? Well, Lazarus died again.
What about those people in Matthew 27, remember, when Jesus died on the cross there was an earthquake and many people resurrected? They died also because their resurrection then was for a reason and a season. It was just as a way to show that something amazing just happened but they all died again.
Only after Christ’s resurrection, any one of the believers who died will be resurrected. When? At the rapture. The Bible says, first the dead in Christ will rise, and then we who are alive will be caught up in the air. Wait a minute, what about those who throughout the tribulation are accepting Jesus? The Bible talks about them that at the end of the tribulation they will also resurrect.
You see the 1st resurrection, the one you want to take part in is divided into three parts: #1. First, Jesus; #2. then we, in the rapture; then, #3. then the saints of the tribulation, at the end of the tribulation. Those are the 3 parts. Do you understand that? This is considered the 1st (resurrection) because the 2nd resurrection is after the 1000 years Millennial Kingdom.
The rapture is (#1) The promise of Christ to us. (#2) The rapture is the blessed hope of the believer. (#3) The rapture is our rescue from this evil one. (#4) The rapture is the gathering of the saints. (#5) The rapture is, maybe, I am not sure (on-screen: the last chance for the Gentiles?)
The Bible says that Israel will be saved when the time of the Gentiles is going to come in. The Bible says there is going to come a day when Gentiles won’t any longer be saved. Not because God hates them, it is because they will not want to anymore. There is a good chance, I am not saying that I know it for a fact, but I am saying that there is a good chance that the rapture is the time when God takes the church (the Gentile church) and then deals with Israel. I am wondering, if that is the truth, do you want to take that chance? No! My point is this - we have to be ready.
By the way, I heard, that on September 23rd (2017) the rapture is going to take place. Did you hear that? Oh, yeah, people say, the stars will align right as they were at the time of the birth of Christ (yes, they were there to know) and, therefore, we will be raptured on September 23rd which is the Feast of Trumpets of 2017. Wow.
If you know that, then you are more than Jesus, better than Jesus because the Bible says no one knows the day or the hour - not even the son. What is the purpose of not knowing? The purpose of not knowing is so we will always be ready. That is the purpose.
Because if you know the day and the hour, I promise you we as human beings, have the tendency to push things away. We would just put our iPhone to September 22rd, then we would just go and do whatever we want, anything we want, whatever we like, and then we would come back, oh please forgive me. You will fast for 24 hours, do whatever, and then say, ok I am ready. And then you will see everyone gone and you are left behind.
I would not say that it is on September 23rd because the Bible says, at the last trumpet, which means God is already sounding the trumpet. It is going to be at the last trumpet. That Feast of Trumpets will not be fulfilled on the actual day just as the Feast of Tabernacles is not going to be 8 but 1000 years. Do you understand? The first festivals were fulfilled on the day but the other festivals are having a much broader period to be fulfilled. We need to understand that no one knows the day but I can tell you this.
When I was praying and asking God, Lord I am about to travel to 5 different continents, to 14 different countries, what is the message that you have for your church? The Lord led me to the verse in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirt and the bride say, ‘Come’!” and I was thinking to myself, wow, the Spirit and the bride say come.
When are the without Christ that they need to tell Him to come? Now! Now! Because when He comes, He says, I am not going to leave you anymore which means we don’t need to tell Him to come! The only time that the Spirit and the bride can tell Him “come” is now. Isn’t that interesting that we, the bride, with the Spirit in us, need to tell Him to come? Wait a minute. God knows when to come we don’t need to talk to Him.
But actually, let me tell you something God loves that we ask Him to come. He wants us to. The Bible says in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.” Always look for that rapture, always look for heaven, always think about those things. In Matthew 7 it says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
You have to be active and sometimes even aggressive when it comes to asking God to do things. When Moses, in Exodus 33, went down from Mount Sinai and he saw all those horrible things that the children of Israel did, God said, I am out of the camp. I am not even going to be among them anymore. God said to Moses to move the tent of meeting outside. If you want to see my face then come outside of the camp and see me there.
The Bible says that God would stand and talk to Moses, face to face, as a friend. That was Jesus because no man can see the Father’s face. Did you know that? So, it was Jesus standing there as Jesus is our friend, remember?
It is interesting because when the Lord said, you know what? You can take the children of Israel and go and Moses said, No, Lord. I am not moving from this place until you lead! God is like, all right, let’s do it. Seek. Ask. Knock. Be active.
Now, I have a question for you. I am talking to the girls right now. Assuming you are about to get married and you are the bride. Would you go to the wedding if you are not ready? If you just woke up and your eyes are still full of you know what? And you know some women without makeup? Would you? Would you want to be seen by your bridegroom when you are not prepared? Of course not. This is the time, now, for the bride to get ready. Only people who are not ready are not calling Him to come. People who are ready want Him to come.
The last thing before we are going to finish is this. Two thousand years ago Jesus came to Jerusalem riding a donkey. He saw Jerusalem and He wept. In Luke 19, He said to Jerusalem, “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you... and will level you to the ground, (and then He said, Jerusalem, it’s) because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:43)
You see, the people of Israel did not know that the Messiah had to visit. Visitation means coming for a short time and leaving. If somebody comes to visit you and he stays, he is not a visitor, he is a leach. You have to come and leave in order to be a visitor. Do you understand that? Jesus came in His first coming, to visit, and the same goes vice versa.
Our rapture (visitation) is to visit heaven for 7 years. So, just like if you missed His (1st) visitation back then which was followed by destruction coming upon Jerusalem; if you will miss your visitation (the rapture) up there (heaven), this will be followed by destruction coming upon the earth. I beg you to look into your hearts this morning. You are the bride of Christ. What is your security in this world? What is your hope in this world?
You know, sometimes God is taking people up, and sometimes God is actually allowing people to die. The Bible says in Isaiah 57, “The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil.” (Isaiah 57:1) Amazing. The righteous man is taken away from evil.
If you want to be taken away from this evil world, if your hope is in Him, and if you want to be with Him forever, you do not want to miss your visitation.
The Spirit and the bride should say, “Come”.