TYPES OF THE RAPTURE
There are people today denying there is a Rapture. There won’t be a Rapture so they tell us. Look at some of the reasons why they are saying this but more importantly, understand the things in the Word of God that teach us about it and what it will be like. In order to do this we have to employ certain hermeneutical devices; ways of looking at Scripture. We begin with the basic things the Bible says, but then we look at the things which typify or illustrate it; the other raptures in the Bible that have already taken place, the things that teach about the Resurrection.
In Scripture we use the term rapture which is simply a Latinization of the Greek term “caught up”. The Greek term is episynagògò, our gathering with Him where you get the word synagogue. We don’t make a distinction between the Resurrection and the Rapture. They are the same event, but first of all let us go to the Lord in prayer.
Turn with me please to the Gospel of St. Matthew 16, beginning in verse 13 through 18.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Now he is asking not one person but he is asking the apostles collectively, and the Greek is very emphatic.
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
This occurred at a place called Caesarea Philippi. Most people will tell you the Transfiguration of Jesus took place on Mount Tabor because that is basically what the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church decided, but it didn’t. We have to understand the Transfiguration and how it teaches about the Rapture to come in light of Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi is important for two things. If you go there today, and we lead study tours to Israel, it was a centre of idolatry. Today, you can still see the carvings of Pan on the face of a cliff where the temple was. Pan was a Greek god who appeared in human form, god pretending to be a man. But it was also a place where there was a statue of Caesar Augustus, the first of the Roman emperors to be worshipped, to be deified in his lifetime. Emperor worship is one of the main things in the Bible that teach about the anti-Christ. He reigns over the known world. When Jesus came the first time, when he was born, you notice the emperors numbered people’s heads. Why? To gain financial control of the world, to be able to maintain control, to them what was the economy of the world, they numbered the people’s heads. The census that took place when Jesus came the first time at the behest of an emperor was worship. This was a type or a shadow of what the anti-Christ will do when He comes the second time and His first coming always teaches us many things about His return. There were many false prophets and false messiahs before He came the first time and so there will be false prophets and false messiahs before He comes again. But this element of emperor worship is replayed before Jesus comes back. The prophet Daniel tells us that the fourth beast of Daniel comes into play again. We will see some kind of a reconsideration of the countries that were in the Roman Empire and ultimately, through this system, the anti-Christ will come. But here in Caesarea Philippi, you see the centre of Greco/Roman false religion; a god supposedly who pretends to be a man then the worship of the emperor - a political figure.
Jesus is challenging the gods of this world on their own turf. He comes to Caesarea Philippi, a place today we call Banias in Israel. He’s the King who will be worshipped, not Caesar. More than that, Pan was no god at all pretending to be man. Jesus of course was God and He was truly Man both fully human and fully divine, so you have this contrast taking place. Now with that background in view, understand this: Banias is a waterfall like at Caesarea Philippi, where this temple to Pan was and where the stature of Caesar was. This waterfall comes out of the slope of Mount Hermon. We call it in Hebrew Har Hermon. It’s the tallest mountain in Israel today - above the Golan Heights in the area where Israel, Lebanon and Syria all converge. Basically its cap is snow-covered about eight months of the year.
So let us look now at Chapter 17:1-9
And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shine like the son, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him. And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone. And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
Then he begins talking about Elijah and John the Baptist. Notice how it connects the Resurrection with the Transfiguration. Don’t tell anybody about the Transfiguration. Don’t tell anybody about the Transfiguration until the Resurrection. Why? Elijah and Moses are the two prophets of Israel most associated with the Messiah in the New Testament and also in Jewish thought. Moses was a man who died faithful to God. Jesus was God who became a man. Elijah was someone who never died but was raptured. So you have the Lord Jesus, you have someone who was raptured and never died and someone who died. They all looked exactly the same. They were all transfigured. We shall be as He is. It doesn’t matter if you are raptured or if you die faithful to God, we shall meet Him in the air. It was on Mount Hermon, a white-covered mountain like most of the year. Where do we meet Him? Up in the sky above the gods of this world. Somebody who never died, somebody who died, and Jesus Himself, they all looked the same. Where did they meet Him - in the sky. Do you understand the typology? Now there is more. When we read the Apocrypha, we get the background to what the Epistle of Jude tells us in the New Testament about the nephilim, the fallen angels, the demonoids who came down and procreated with human women. It is said that they came down at this very mountain. So you have the conflict between Jesus, the political powers of the world the Hellenistic or religions of the world which are demonic - we are told by Paul in Corinthians, demonoids, but also with the actual casting out of Satan. It all happens in the same geographical location.
In the Bible, in Midrash, in the Jewish way of interpreting scripture, where you see things happening in the same geographical location, that is an indication that there is a theological and a spiritual relationship between those events even though there might not appear to be. For instance, Elisha, Elijah and John the Baptist all had the same sprit. Where did the ministry of Elisha take the mantle of authority from Elijah? On the Plain of Jericho, the same place where John the Baptist was baptising and they had the same spirit. You will frequently find this. We have to look at what else happened in a given location to understand the full dimension of its spiritual and theological significance. Those who died in Christ or, as it were, faithful to God under the Law of Moses, somebody who was raptured and the Lord Himself, all looked the same. Moses wanted to enter the Promised Land but he was unable to for a variety of reasons. One reason is because Moses represented the Law. It was Joshua who could bring the people into the Promised Land. Jesus’ name in Hebrew, YESHUA, is simply the way they said Joshua “Y’HOSHUAH” after the captivity. Joshua becomes a picture of Jesus while Moses in this sense becomes the picture of the Law. The Law cannot lead us into heaven, only Jesus can, hence Moses could not enter the Promised Land. But once the Messiah comes, he could. God told Moses “you can’t go in”, but then God does eventually answer Moses’ prayer. He does walk in the land, only when the Messiah comes.
Now, that is a pretty good basis but let us begin considering further. Let’s look at some of the people who were raptured and some who were resurrected.
Turn with me please to the Book of Genesis 5:3
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image and named him Seth.
Imagio David. Man is made in God’s image and likeness and God is creative and so he makes us procreative and our offspring come in our own image and likeness - genetic transfer. Before Noah, God deals with people as individuals. We read in verses 21-27:
And Enoch lived sixty-five years and became the father of Methuselah, (Methuselah the root of whose name has to do with death actually). Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him. And Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years and became the father of Lamech. Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years and he died.
People going on living and living and living. After the rapture that’s the way it becomes. The first person we have who was raptured was Enoch. Every rapture and every resurrection teaches something about ours. Let’s look at 2 Kings 2:11-12.
Then it came about as they were going along and talking, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirl-wind to heaven. And Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them to pieces.
Elijah gets raptured. Some people would argue that it is Elijah and Enoch who come back as the two witnesses. Others would argue that it is Moses and Elijah because they were the ones transfigured. Let’s look at 2 Cor.12:1 and 4.
Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I do not know, or out of body I do not know, God knows - such a man was caught up to the third heaven.
(If you were to translate that in the Vulgate you have the same Latin word from where we get rapture).
And I know how such a man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
Much the same happened to John in Revelation, things that he could not humanly describe. “On behalf of such a man will I boast but on my own behalf I will not boast except in regards to my weakness”. Now the context pretty well tells us it is Paul himself who had this rapture experience. He was caught up and he then was sent back. If Elijah is to come back, if it is literally to be Elijah, that would be the Old Testament precedent but it of course begins with Jesus. He came down from heaven. He is always prolific. He is sent and He comes back again. What happens to Jesus begins to happen to his disciples. It’s prolific. He is the first of a kind. Our experience of ascending and coming back teaches something about His.
Let me go back to our first text.
Peter wanted to build three booths. Why did he want to build three booths, three tabernacles? The Feast of Tabernacles was the Jewish Feast that is the last one of the year. Jews commemorate God’s provision for their ancestors in the Wilderness but it is the Thanksgiving for the autumn harvest. We see it in a millennial context in Ezek. 47. In John Chapter 7 it is being celebrated when Jesus talks about living water. They would take water from the pool of Shiloach and pour it out on the Temple Mount.
Why these booths and why do the Jews associate it with the millennia? Turn with me please to the Book of Zech. 12:10.
And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.
The Jews are back in Israel. Jerusalem becomes the point of controversy for all the nations. This chapter tells us “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people round about”. Today in Israel even left-wing Jews are willing to talk about land for peace. They will talk about Judea, Samaria. They will talk about a Palestinian state in Gaza. They will talk about negotiating over the Golan but when you touch Jerusalem, you are touching the heart of a Jew.
Jerusalem will be the centre of world conflict when Jesus comes. It is where Satan received his biggest defeat and where he will receive his final defeat.
I can’t go into it now, but don’t let anyone tell you that these current events you see in the Middle East are not of prophetic significance. These people are deceived and they are trying to deceive others. The Jews are back in Israel for the great tribulation for a terrible deception, when the anti-Christ will come and make himself appear to be the Messiah. Nonetheless, let us look. The Jews see Jesus come in Zech. 12:10. Then it goes on talking about what happens when He comes. In Zech. 14:4
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
There is a cleft in the Mount of Olives where the High Priest had to stand on the Day of Atonement and look through the East Gate into the Holy of Holies. It is through this cleft that Jesus would have come on Palm Sunday from Bethany and Bethsaida across the Kidron Valley. There is a fissure, that is, a fault lying right through the cleft of the Mount of Olives. The last time there was an earthquake was 1927. So there is a seismological fissure there already. A fault and an earthquake is not only likely but eventually, where we have that kind of a fissure, inevitable at some point. Nonetheless, it goes on speaking - Zech. 14:16:
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year, to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to celebrate the feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
Then it says in verse 18 once again the nations will go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. In verse 19 they will go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths, Tabernacles. Hence when Jesus in transfigured, here is Moses back from the dead, here is Elijah who was raptured, with the Messiah on the earth, let’s have the millennia; let’s build the booths. Do you understand? They understood the Feast of Booths was about the millennial kingdom, the establishment of the Messiah.
Each of the Jewish holidays, in their sequence, teaches something about Jesus. He fulfils the spring holidays like Passover - He is the Lamb who was slain, first fruits, He is the Resurrection. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit is given in His first coming. He fulfils the autumn holidays in His second corning. I am dealing only now with the Feast of Booths and the Feast of First Fruits because they teach about the Rapture. Hence Peter wanted to build three booths. Moses, somebody who died comes back, Jesus the Messiah and somebody who is raptured is back. Let’s build the booths and set up the millennia. Do you understand how it teaches about the future; but He said don’t tell anybody about it until after I am raised from the dead. They didn’t understand that he had to come first and die for their sin. It’s in His second coming when he sets up His millennial kingdom. His first coming is to deal with sin. Paul’s the same. He goes up and he comes back. Let’s look at the Lord Jesus Himself. His resurrection is like our resurrection, but His ascension is like our ascension. In Acts Chapter 1 what happens? Verse 9:
“And after he said these things. He was lifted up while they were looking on and a cloud received Him out of their sight and as they were gazing intently into the sky, while He was departing, behold two men in white clothing stood next to them and said ’Men of Galilee why do you stand looking into the sky, this Yeshua who has been taken up from you into heaven will come the same way as you have seen Him go’.
Again, in Dan. 7: 13 the Son of Man comes down. Zech.12:10, Ezek. 43:1, it is all prophesied - He goes up, He comes back. Elijah went up, came back. Moses comes back. Paul went up, Paul came back; different, but the same people. Whenever people come back, they are always identifiable. Peter and James and John never saw Moses and never saw Elijah, but they knew who they were didn’t they? When we go to be with Jesus, we will know Him and be known by Him. You’ll know who Isaiah is, Isaiah will know who you are. You will know who Elijah is, Elijah will know you. The minute he sees you, he’ll know who you are and you will know who he is, without any introduction.
In resurrection, in rapture, it doesn’t matter; we know and we are known, because of Jesus. Because we are known to Jesus and known by Jesus, we likewise are known by those and known to those who know Him. They immediately knew who Moses was and who Elijah was because they knew who Jesus was.
Let’s look at the terrible sin of King Saul. When Samuel came back and it actually was Samuel in 1 Sam. 28:11-14 (The Witch of Endor).
Then the woman said: ”Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said: ”Bring up Samuel for me”. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice and the woman spoke to Saul saying: “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul”. And the king said to her: “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?”. And the woman said: “I see a divine being coming out of the earth”. And he said to her: “What is his form?” And she said: “An old man is coming up and he is wrapped with a robe”.
And Saul knew that it was Samuel and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage. Notice she calls him “divine being”. We shall be as He is. We are all priests but Jesus is the High Priest. We are all kings but He is the King of kings. He will always have pre-eminence as the First Born. Be careful of over-realised eschatology, Kingdom Now. It is not we shall be as He is, we are as He is. “You are a god”, the Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin stuff. This is Gnostic, it is not Christian. We shall be as He is, not yet. We’re being changed from glory to glory. Kingdom Now theology and its adjuncts that man is god and you can speak by faith into being and create things the way that God did; this is absolutely heretical - it is not true. We shall be as He is - people will be recognizable. But let’s look further. We have looked at some people who have been raptured and they teach certain things about our rapture. Now let’s look at resurrections because people who are resurrected, teach about ours. Remember, Jesus ascension teaches about ours, in other words the word prolific means it is the same event only He was the first chronologically for it to happen to.
So it is with the Resurrection. Our resurrection is His. When we go under the water of baptism we die with Christ. His death is ours and His resurrection is ours. It’s prolific and it’s the same event, only chronologically it happens to Him first.
Let’s look at 1 Cor. 15: 20
but now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
Then let us skip to verse 23
But each in his own order; Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.
You see it is prolific, the same event but He is the first in the order. Then comes the end when He delivers up the Kingdom to God the Father, each in its own order - the Messiah and after that those who are His at His coming. Then comes the end when He delivers up the Kingdom to God the Father when He has abolished all rule, authority and power.
This again points to the millennial reign. He must put His rule in place of the rule of man and then turn it over to the Father. He must reign until he has put all enemies under His feet.
Now let us understand what this is trying to tell us. The Kidron Valley lies between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The first day of the week, the Jewish Feast of First Fruits is the first Sunday, the Sunday after Passover. We call this week the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Precisely at sunrise, the Cohen Hagadol, the High Priest would have to go into the Kidron Valley between the Mount of Olives and the Temple and ceremonially harvest the first bit of grain coming out of the earth which is called the first fruit and bring it into the Temple. All four gospels tell us that Jesus rose at about dawn, don’t they? The rising of the sun is always a metaphor for the rising of the Son, even in the Old Testament - “rise and shine for Your Light has come” always alludes to the resurrection but all four gospels say, He rose around dawn when it was still dark when the sun had risen around that time.
The very hour when the High Priest had gone into the Kidron Valley to bring the first fruit into the Temple, Jesus was the First Fruit of the resurrection. Understand, the very hour he was doing it, Christ was rising from the dead. Now let’s continue. V29 Otherwise what will those do who are baptised for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptised for them?
What the Mormons try to tell you, I only mention this because it is in the text, Paul is referring to a pagan practice, not a Christian one. Even the Greeks had a sense of afterlife. Don’t let the Mormons try to tell you that is a Christian practice, it isn’t. He was simply saying that even the pagans knew that there was an afterlife. You had pagan rituals of baptism as well as Jewish. The Jewish ritual was called Mikvah, but the pagans had their own baptism rituals.
Now, what are we like - “Be sober-minded as you are and stop sinning” in verse 34. We think about the last days and the return of Christ and the resurrection. We should be sober and not drunk but also we should be inclined to holiness. “I speak this to your disgrace. Some will say how were the dead raised and with what kind of body do they come?” (V35). V36 “You fool”. Now here the fool you have, the term rach - it is not that kind of fool. The Bible says “call no man a fool because the fool says in his heart there is no God”. This is a different word for fool, it is not that word.
That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies. Now let us just stop this for one second. That which you sow - you do not sow the body - which is to be, but a bare grain perhaps of wheat or something else.
Turn with me please to John 12 and understand how Paul is explaining what Jesus meant; V24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” V25 “He who loves his life loses it and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to live eternal”. You have the shell of the seed, inside is the germ where the DNA is. When you plant a seed in the earth, the outer shell undergoes a biological process of catabolism and dies; so the seed inside turns into something completely different, a new creation. Something dies and something is born. In order for something to be born, something must die. So it is with us - the old creation and the new creation.
Our physical bodies die so something metabolically can happen and become a new creation. However, it is the same seed. It is not a spiritual resurrection. A physical biological process happens and so it is in our resurrection. This shell dies but what comes out of it is literal and physical. It is a literal, physical resurrection. We have to understand salvation - we misunderstand it. Salvation is past , present and future. I’ve been saved, I’m being saved, I’m going to be saved. I’ve been saved. When Jesus died on the cross, I died with Him by faith. He took my sin and gave me His Righteousness. I died with Him. I am a new creation and I rose up with Him as a new creation. I’ve been saved. Past, justified. I’ve been saved, I’ve been justified. Even through I am corrupt, He gave me His righteousness and took my sin. Therefore, I am justified. I’ve been save. I’m being saved - sanctified, sanctification.
Been saved - justification. Being saved - sanctification. Take up your cross daily. I am being crucified with Him every day and resurrected every day. ‘He who endures to the end, shall be saved. Lift up your head, your redemption draws nigh’. I’ve been saved and justified, you’re being saved, you’re being sanctified. You’re going to be saved, you shall be redeemed. He is going to come back and pick up the package He paid for. In each case; the natural creation must fall to the earth and die so the new creation can come out. It happened when you were first saved. When you were first saved, you old nature died by faith with Jesus, but every day we are supposed to put to death the will of the flesh, sanctification - being made holy to God. Someday, unless Jesus comes first, you are going to be planted in the earth but what comes out to the earth is going to be very different to what goes in. How different is wheat from the seed. How different is a flower from the seedling you planted in your garden. Very different isn’t it. So too your resurrected body is going to be quite different to what you put in. What teaches us about it? The resurrection is prolific. Look at Jesus” body. He could walk through walls couldn’t he?! You see crazy people today like the Kansas City Prophets who say we are going to walk through walls before He comes. That’s nuts. Maybe some people can give an instance of maybe God’s will, I don’t know. God can do what He wants and I can conceive how God can make something like that possible. But all of us, no. But what happened to His body, is going to be like ours. His body that went into the earth and came out was totally different. He could disguise Himself and people who he knew didn’t know it was Him until He chose to reveal Himself to them. Our body will be something like that, yet they still knew who He was. There was some mystery - they couldn’t touch Him because he hasn’t ascended to His Father. Yet in the case of Thomas, He said ‘go ahead and touch Me’. There is some mystery surrounding this which I don’t fully understand.
Yet, what Jesus was like after His resurrection teaches us about what we are going to be like after ours. A glorified body with what we today consider, superhuman capability, that does not get old, totally different what comes out of the earth to what you put into it. Totally different, but it is the same body.
Be careful again of the lies of groups like the Moonies and the Jehovah Witnesses who spiritualise the resurrection.
What did Jesus do when He rose? He did it at Emmaus. He manifested His identity to His followers in the breaking of bread didn’t He which is a type of opening the Bible to the Scriptures. He ate with the disciples in Jerusalem. He physically ate.
Let us look at what happens when He raises Lazarus from the dead. Every time you see somebody raised from the dead in the Bible, it teaches something about ours. What does Lazarus do in John 11 when Jesus raises him? He comes out of the tomb. ‘Unbind him and let him go’, but then in the next chapter Jesus left. So they made Him a supper there and Martha was serving, but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him! Lazarus physically ate.
When Jesus wakes the little girl from the death, what does He say? ‘give her something to eat’.
Whenever you find the resurrection, Jesus always said give them something to eat. You always see the people, anybody He rose from the dead, were eating in some way.
Why? Because eating was a way to illustrate, among other things, it was a literal, physical resurrection. He Himself ate, so all the others ate when he rose them up, so He eats to show that His resurrection was absolutely literal. This is what Paul was talking about in 1Cor.15. If it was not a literal actual resurrection, we are stupid people. If it is not a literal actual resurrection, if your physical body is not going to be resurrected into something better than it is now, but the same body, we may as well laugh, get drunk, have a good time with the world because that’s all there is. If Jesus did not raise from the dead, the NEW TESTAMENT actually teaches we should live wicked lives because that is all there is - if He is not risen. BUT HE IS RISEN and you are going to rise.
The resurrection of Lazarus teaches something about our resurrection. We talked about this earlier on ‘Roll away the stone, Lazarus come forth and unbind him let him go’. When you witness to an unsaved person and they get saved, that in itself teaches something about the resurrection. Remember, I’ve been saved, you’re dead and resurrected already by faith aren’t you? You have been justified. Look at John 5; V24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life”. In other words, when somebody is born again, their resurrection has already begun. We are already living our eternal life. Understand, we are already living our eternal life. Our resurrection has already begun, it is prolific. His resurrection is ours. It is something already under way, we have already passed from death to life. So Jesus tells the people ‘Roll away the stone’.
When you witness to an unsaved person, all you are doing is rolling away the stone. You are making it possible for the dead to hear the voice of Christ. We can witness, witness and witness, but until they hear His voice and not ours, they are not going to be saved. We can put it here (mouth), we can roll away the stone, we can put it here (ear) but it is a distance from here (ear) to hear (head) and a bigger distance from here (head) to here (heart). All we can do when we evangelise is roll away the stone. Then He says ‘Lazarus come forth’. This connects with what you read in John 10. There are no chapter divisions in the Greek text. ‘My sheep will hear My voice’. Lazarus come forth’. Only the Son of Man can call that which is dead unto life. He saves them. Then when he comes to life, he comes out of the tomb; you unbind him and let him go. When people are saved they come bound, emotionally and spiritually. They need baptism, they need counselling sometimes and they need discipleship. You unbind him. We can roll away the stone, only Jesus can call them from death to life and then we unbind them. The resurrection and the rapture will simply be the completion of the process. We’ll truly hear His voice even more clearly than we hear it now. We shall see Him as He is but then we shall be totally unbound. Whenever somebody gets saved, that in itself teaches something about the rapture and resurrection. Our rapture and our resurrection has already begun. But let us continue.
Now we have to begin to get more complicated. Jesus was put into the earth and came out of it. We were in the earth and came out of it totally different. But now let us begin understanding the things that teach about the rapture. Let’s begin with the first story.
The first incident of the rapture in the Bible excluding Enoch’s personal rapture; the first collective or corporate rapture. Until now, we look at things taught about personal rapture and resurrection. Now let us look at the things that teach about the corporate or collective.
Turn with me first of all to Matt. 24: 37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah”. V38 “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. V39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
Now we will come back to this. Peter also tells us about the days of Noah. However, in his Epistle, Peter says the last days will be like the days of Noah - the same as Jesus did - but he says the days of Noah will be as Noah tried to warn people to repent and they didn’t listen till it was too late. That’s the way it is going to be in the last days. The faithful church will be warning people to repent and they won’t listen until it is too late, that’s what Peter says. That’s how he says the days of Noah are like the last days. He talks about people doing things that are bad. However, Jesus doesn’t talk about people who are doing things that are bad. He talks about people doing things that are natural - drinking, eating and getting married. Peter’s message about the days of Noah and how the days of Noah teaches about the last days, is for the unsaved. Jesus’ is a warning to us. There is nothing wrong with drinking or eating or getting married, but when the things which are for here become central to our focus and become the things we are here for, we are in trouble.
You begin hoping and trusting in their business, their marriage, more important to them than being with Jesus; things that are not wrong in themselves, but become idols. One of the things which can become an idol in the last days ‘let he who is in the field not go back to get his cloak’. Again the mantle of authority. Ministry becomes an idol. The work of the Lord becomes more important to people than the Lord of the work. They call it ministry, but they are not building the Kingdom of God, they are building personal empires and putting God’s name on it. What’s the test? Jesus told the apostles, particularly Peter ‘I’ll make you fishers of men’. Peter was fishing, another thing that teaches about the rapture and resurrection when Jesus calls Peter. Fishing is always a picture of evangelism isn’t it? The apostles fished and fished and fished but caught nothing until Jesus told them where to cast their nets.
We can have an evangelistic program, an evangelistic crusade and missions program at the mission’s crusade all we want, but until He directs out evangelism and tells us where to cast our nets, we are not going to catch too many fish either. So Peter is fishing; in figure, he is doing what Jesus called him to do, midrashically, but as soon as the call comes up “It is the Lord”’ he puts on his garment and dives overboard. Jesus was more important than fishing. Understand, the ministry was not an idol. Why does he put on his garment - because the garment is the wedding garment, the garment of salvation in Isaiah. Normally, you would take off your shirt and dive in the water. He puts it on. This is a picture of the wedding garment. He immediately leaves the ministry as it were, his fishing and dives overboard to be with Jesus. The work of the Lord was not more important than the Lord of the work.
Now if ministry can become an idol, what can’t? Marriage, career, business. Are you willing to walk out the door the minute the call comes ‘It is the Lord’. If you look back, you are like Lot’s wife, which we will come to in a few minutes.
We need to tell unsaved people that the judgement of God is coming as in the days of Noah, but we need to earn ourselves that things are for here, are not the things that we are here for.
This morning I was talking to and praying with some Christians who have gone through some terrible things. There was a great-grandmother, a grandmother and a little baby with cerebral palsy. The mother died in labour, the little baby girl, Rebekka (Rickah) is a spastic.
Now she has got a grandmother and a great-grandmother and she is a handicapped little girl. The family is bereaved. Another woman had an amputation of her leg; her daughter was killed. A lot of people are hurting like this. What do you tell these people? Now first of all when we read the book of Job, we understand the people tend to blame the wrong god. Satan told Jesus these are the kingdoms of the earth in Matt.4 ‘and they have been given into my hand’. It is true. Jesus never questioned Satan’s authority. God gave domination to man and man gave it to Satan. He will take it back when He comes. The Lord of Glory will trample Satan under our feet when He comes back. That will happen. In the meantime we live in a fallen world. Jesus never questioned Satan’s authority. How could God let this happen? Why did God do this? You are blaming the wrong god. On the other hand, Satan can only do what God allows him to. There’s a number of reasons God lets these terrible things happen to Christians, one of which is He doesn’t want us to trust in this stinking world.
Laodicea is the back-sliding church with a lot of religion and blind to it’s true spiritual state because it is materialistically well-off. It doesn’t know it’s real state. ‘Those whom I love, I correct’.
I have, perhaps my best friend, as Jewish guy in New York. His wife is Jewish and they are believers in Jesus. I baptised them. He is heir to a considerable amount of money, yet their daughter has cerebral palsy. They would give every cent to have their little daughter, Sarah, a teenager now, normal. Why? There are people who just have a good life in this world without a cross, you begin to trust in this life. He doesn’t want us to trust in this life. This world is under a sentence of death. That’s this world. No matter how affluent your business seems, you are buying stock in a bankrupt company. He doesn’t want us to trust it. The world uses people to get things, the world uses people to get money. God uses money to get people. God uses things to get people. The only good thing about money is you can use it for God’s work. The rest of it doesn’t matter - its all going down the tubes. The hopelessness of this world.
The days of Noah teach about the rapture and resurrection. Peter says the unsaved people won’t understand until it is too late, but Jesus is warning Christians’ don’t trust in this world’ where you will not be ready for His coming.
Now let us understand more about the days of Noah. This may seem strange to people. I assure you maybe I am crazy, but not when it comes to the Word of God - I hope!
I have a friend in New York who is an evangelist. He has done quite a study on the subject. Anytime man thought he could become God and establish himself as divine and master of his own destiny, God intervenes to prevent sinful man from living eternally. Adam and Eve could not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in sin. God intervened directly and prevented it. With the Tower of Babel when man tried to reach God and become God, God intervened.
Today, with Biogenetic engineering, super computers and particle physics, we are approaching the same kind of things that happened in the Garden and with the Tower of Babel. Man thinks he can become his own god. It has even got into the Church. You have people like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and Ray McCauley teaching you don’t have God, you are one. Ray McCauley in your country, this is not gossip, you can read the Rustenburg declaration for yourself. Ray McCauley teaches that buildings the Tower of Babel is God’s model for Christian unity.
He teaches that. Now if that is in the so-called Church, what do expect from the world. It is no secret. There is no problem with science and technology, but there is a problem with fallen man. Science is neutral - it can be used for good or evil but because man is evil - fallen - it will be used for some ungodly purpose. We are reaching the kind of point that happened with the Tower of Babel and in the Garden - man trying to become his own god. You get people teaching it like Yoggi Cho ‘you can speak it into being’. This is not biblical. It comes from Shamanism and Buddhism. He admits that in his book “The Fourth Dimension”. Buddhists and Hindus have known this for centuries. Now Jesus has shown it to him says Yoggi Cho. This is not a fact. It is only in his book.
We are reaching a point where God will be personally forced to intervene to stop us from setting up our own kingdom. Again, be careful of Kingdom Now theology and Dominionism, it is a pack of lies. Unbiblical on one extreme as is a bunker mentality on the other. Neither is balanced. But now let us understand this: Jesus said ‘So as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man comes’. Well what happened in the days of Noah when you read the book of Gen. Chapter 7. You had demonic beings come to earth and procreate with humans and create demonoids on the earth - monsters - demonic monsters. Again, when I was a kid in University and studied physiology, medical physiology, genetics, there were things that when I was in University - I am not that old yet. I am talking about 20 something years ago, that have seemed like science fiction but of today, biomedical reality. Cloning, taking a competence DNA from one specie, genetically engineering it to be injected into another, symphasizing enzymes. Proteins are very long molecules. Today, they can find out the structural formula of a protein sometimes in practically no time with super computers. It says in Daniel, knowledge will increase. Biogenetic engineering, organic micro-chips, super computers that can analyse things with an integrated system the way the human brain works. These things are becoming reality. Again, I have no problem with science or technology. I have a science background myself. I am simply saying there is a problem with man. It is not difficult to understand the nephilim, the fallen ones who came down from the sky, demonoids on the earth. In the 1970’s the American President Jimmy Carter, declassified something called the Blue Report. He didn’t declassify all of it, but some of it. It was for instance the research done by the American government, the US Airforce the Central Intelligence Agency and the National and Aeronautical Space Administration, into extraterrestrial phenomena - UFO’s. These documents said with exobiology there was no evidence of extraterrestrial life whatsoever. The American government was afraid the Soviets where developing space-type weapons using unidentified flying objects which Stealth technology. Already back in the sixties the United States was beginning to work with this idea of Stealth technology, bombers and fighters you could not trace by radar and they were afraid the Soviets were ahead of them, so they began to investigate UFO’s to see if this was perhaps the Soviet Union.
These things were declassified - some by Carter and some later under the American Freedom and Information Act. These are US documents. They found cults in America, Massachusetts, American government psychologists talking to occult mediums who could conjure these things and make them appear. Documented cases of American jet fighters chasing these things in more than one case. Again, no evidence with science, only with parapsychology with occult activity.
The Bible does not say there are not men on other planets, it doesn’t say there is, but it does say the cosmos needs to be cleansed. Look how many people believe there is life on other planets. We live in a world where the following is happening. In the enlightenment, rationalism, science was divorced from the occult. Let’s begin with astrology and astronomy. The Greeks made no distinction between astrology and astronomy. With western rationalism what was genuinely scientific, was taken out of the occult superstition.
Astronomy became a science, astrology became occult. Alchemy, medieval alchemists, the magicians made no distinct between chemistry and witchcraft. The science of chemistry and pharmacology, those sciences came out of alchemy; magic went one way, qualitative physics and chemistry went the other. Pharmacology and chemistry comes out of it. You have the separation between the occult and the scientific. Medicine the same. What had a genuine physiological basis comes out of the medieval healing arts. Today, you have a re-integration. You certainly have it with holistic medicine, the remarriage of occult and science. You certainly have it beginning now in particle physics. You have the remarriage of science and the occult. The same kind of things that happened in the days of Noah.
The Greek word for drugs or sorcery is pharmacopoeia using drugs to obtain metaphysical and spiritual experiences.
When I was a teenager, before I was saved, in the University in the States, we used to take LSD, not just for kicks - we used to take it as a way to investigate the occult and to enter into the spiritual realm through pharmacopoeia, through drugs. You have metaphysical experiences through mind-altering drugs. I was shocked when I got saved and I learnt that the Greek word for sorceries is drugs - pharmacopoeia. Make no mistake, with psychedelic drugs you enter the spiritual realm through a door other than Jesus. Talk to people saved out of LSD backgrounds and stuff like that.
Nonetheless, lets look what happened in the days of Noah. These beings came down from the sky, procreated with human women and we are told in the Apocrypha it happened on Mount Hermon, where Jesus was transfigured.
I personally am becoming more and more convinced things like Spielberg movies, ET, things like David Bowie records, scary monsters, Ziggy Stardust - now to me they are only entertainment and don’t mean anything in themselves, but the genuine type people are being set up with some kind of deception and I personally am quite convinced that this remarriage of science and the occult with a strong possibility, if not probability, of extraterrestrial activity, will have something to do with that deception as in the days of Noah. It seems like science fiction, it isn’t. These demons were personified on the earth. You had demonoids, you had monsters. They actually existed and so it was in the days of Noah and so it will be again. Something like that will happen again. It is not difficult - suppose someone was to take the DNA of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler and clone it - a mixture of science and the occult - it is easy to see the possibility between organic micro-chips, genetic cloning, the remarriage of science and the occult - how the anti-Christ can counterfeit the resurrection in Relevation. It is not difficult to see how these deceptions will happen. What happened in the days of Noah - demons on earth.
You look at these people claiming UFO abductions. How many of these stories had some kind of a sexual aspect to them. There is a reason for that. People like Jurie Geller, the spoon-bender, psychic mediums, people from outer space are trying to contact him he says, but many of them say this looking for some kind of a Messiah figure. Seems frightening - it’s reality because people have gone away from a biblical premise for their beliefs - unsaved people are being set up. So it was in the days of Noah.
Those who got on the Ark, however, were saved and it was only a small group of people.
Noah’s Ark is the first major type of the Church in the Bible after Eve. She also typifies Israel and the Church, but the Ark is the first one after that. Even it’s dimensions - we will talk about this when we look at Judges 7 in a few days. It was 50 cubits x 30 cubits x 300 cubits. 300 Is the number of the elite, like Gideon’s Army. 50 Cubits id the number of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost, but 30 cubits is the number of spiritual maturity. Jesus begins His public ministry when He is 30, David begins to reign as king when he is 30. It’s a type of the Church. ‘What I open, no man closes and what I close no man opens’. That door is going to be closed. Those on the Ark will be saved.
The judgement is pictured in the flood. Everybody went through the water but only God’s people came out. That is why baptism is compared by Peter with the story of Noah.
Everybody goes through the water, we all die, but only God’s people come out. You’re under the water, you die, God’s people come out. As we’ll see in a moment, Pharoah’s army went through the water too but they didn’t came out, only God’s people came out. Now let’s continue the story of Noah.
Let’s look at exodus first. Those judgement in the Book of Exodus, we call in Hebrew they are still in the Passover Haggadah, the liturgy for Pesach Hoschech (darkness etc.).
Those judgements you read about in the Book of Exodus are replayed in the Book of Revelation aren’t they? The same judgement. The way that Pharaoh’s magicians counterfeited the miracles of Moses and Aaron, is the way the anti-Christ and false prophets will counterfeit the miracles of Jesus and His witnesses. Exodus happens again.
Now at this point, I have to explain to you something about prophecy understood from a Jewish perspective as opposed to a western perspective. Some of you already know this from our videos.
With our western minds, our grammatical, historical exegesis, we think of biblical prophecy, eschatological prophecy, Messianic prophecy, prophecy about the last days and the coming of the Messiah, as a prediction and a fulfilment. That’s the western Hellenistic mind. The Bible, however, is not a western book - it is an eastern book and its a Hebraic book, a Jewish book, not a Greek one. Our wisdom comes from Greco/Roman civilisation. We have to understand the Jewish concept of prophecy.
In the time of Jesus, prophecy was not a prediction and a fulfillment, but a pattern. Every OLD TESTAMENT prophet prophesied for three times - for his own time, for the first coming of the Messiah and for the second of the Messiah, sometimes all in the same breath.
Now let’s begin with this idea of the exodus and the rapture. Abraham id the father of all who believe. He’s the archetype. In a famine, he goes into Egypt with his family. God’s judgement comes on Pharaoh and Abraham comes out of Egypt with the wealth of Egypt. Pharaoh gives him donkeys and servants and gold etc. What happens to him, happens to his physical descendants the Jews, the Hebrews. In a famine the sons of Jacob go into Egypt. They come out of Egypt, God judges Pharaoh and they take the wealth of Egypt with them don’t they, but they bring Joseph’s bones with them when they came out don’t they? So they have the wealth of Egypt and the bones of Joseph when these judgements happen. 1 Cor. Chapter 10 We come out of Egypt when we get saved. Egypt is a figure of the world, Pharaoh is a figure of Satan, the god of the world, also a type of the anti-Christ.
As Moses went to a mountain and made a covenant with blood and sprinkled it on the people, so Jesus makes a covenant with blood and covers us. He gives a covenant the way Jesus did. As Moses led them out of Egypt through the water into the Promised Land, Jesus leads us out of the world through baptism into heaven.
Jesus Himself comes out of Egypt, Matt. Chapter 2 “Out of Egypt, I called My Son”. It quotes Hosea Chapter 11 v1 apparently out of context. With our western mind, it is out of context. Look at Hosea Chapter 11 v1 “When Israel was a youth, I loved him and out of Egypt I called My Son”. Now Hosea is talking about the exodus with Moses isn’t he in its context, but in Matt. Chapter 2, Matthew tells us its about Jesus - Matt Chapter 2 v15 - when Herod dies, “out of Egypt, I call My Son”. Why? Once again, God judges a wicked king, Jesus comes out of Egypt, the same as Abraham, the same as the sons of Jacob and their descendants. Pattern - when you see verses like Israel My Glory, Israel My Firstborn, they’re a midrashic illustration or allusion to the Messiah. He is the personification of Israel, Jesus. He is the Seed of Abraham. So Abraham comes out and God judges the wicked king. Abraham’s descendants come out and exodus when God judges the wicked king, the Messiah comes out of Egypt and God judges the wicked king and we come out of Egypt. A pattern, but the ultimate coming out of Egypt is the rapture and the resurrection. Why do they bring the wealth of Egypt out with them, why did Abraham get riches, why did the sons of Jacob and their descendants, bring the bones with them out of Egypt - ‘the dead in Christ will rise first’. It’s a picture of the rapture and resurrection - pattern. There is a lot more I can say about this. You will have to get the tapes. I give other examples how to understand the abomination of desolation as pattern and so on and we are dealing with it insofar as it pertains to this subject this evening.
We come out together. Now let us understand another one. Let’s turn to Luke Chapter 21, Luke’s vision of the Olivet Discourse. Jesus is talking about the last days and again I cannot explain all the typology of the Olivet Discourse. I am only doing to deal with that aspect teaching about the rapture here.
V20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognise that her desolation is at hand”. V21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains and let those who are in the midst of the city depart and let not those who are in the country enter the city;
V22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
V23 “Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people.
V24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all the nations and Jerusalem will be trampled under the feet of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”.
The times of the gentiles would come to an end and the Jews will be back in Jerusalem. Forget these people like Rick Godwin who are telling you to be against Israel. Guys like Rick Godwin who teach the Jews get nothing, the Jews have no right to be in the Land, Israel is nothing but wasted money. Be careful of people like him, he is a false teacher of the very kind Jesus warned would come in the last days to deceive the elect. He is a Kingdom Now Reconstructionalist. These people believe there is no rapture. They say Matt.24 and Luke 21 are not about the last days. They say these events totally happened in 70 AD. Now we’ve looked at Luke’s version of Jerusalem being surrounded. Let’s look at the big version of the Olivet Discourse in Matt. Chapters 24 and 25, once again the days of Noah.
V40 “Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. V41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill ; one will be taken and one will be left. V42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
These people say that Matt. 24 was totally fulfilled in 70 AD. The problem is the Olivet Discourse is not just Matt. 24, it is also Matt. 25. Look at Matt. 25, it’s the same discourse. Did Jesus come to separate the sheep from goats in Matt. 25? Did that happen in 70 AD? Did He give people their eternal reward based on how they used their talents in 70 AD? No. You see the absurdity of it. Prophecy is not a prediction and a fulfilment. It is a pattern.
What happened in 70 AD partially fulfils what happens at the end when the Temple is destroyed, the Temple being a figure of the Church. I can’t go into this now ‘where the eagle is gathered, the body will be also’. Understand the following:
What happened in 70 AD is a major type of the rapture. It was predicted by the apostles, by Jesus and by the prophet Daniel 9. You get Eusebius, you get Josephus in “The Wars of the Jews” and you read how these predictions were literally fulfilled in 70 AD, the Temple was destroyed. When the apostle James was martyred, a cousin of Jesus became the senior pastor as it were of the church in Jerusalem. His name was Simeon.
The believers remembered what Jesus said ‘when you see Jerusalem surrounded, flee’. They fled from Jerusalem and were saved, to the mountains to a place called Pella, not Petra. You know in Revelation when it says ‘fallen, fallen is Babylon’, that is straight out of Isaiah and Jeremiah isn’t it? So just before this, Rome burns under Nero. The early Christians identify Rome with Babylon. Peter writes his epistle from Rome ‘she who is in Babylon, greets you’. The same mystery religions that began in Babylon find their way through Asia Minor, particularly the city of Pergamum into Greco/Roman civilisation and Rome becomes identified with Babylon and thinking of the early Christians, Peter writes ‘she who is in Babylon, greets you’ - the city on seven hills in revelation and so on. So fallen in Babylon.
Nero comes along, he murders Peter and Paul, Rome burns, ‘fallen in Babylon’, Mount Versuvius blows up, volcanic ash goes into the atmosphere, all the way to the ionosphere and the sun and the moon don’t give their light. Jerusalem is surrounded by an army of gentiles, the Temple is destroyed. They thought it was the rapture and Jesus was coming and they fled. they were not completely wrong, remember Hebrew prophecy is pattern. It was a partial fulfilment, but Jesus didn’t come; but it still teaches about the ultimate one you understand. The same as the exodus teaches about the rapture, the same as the salvation experience we have, teaches something about the rapture and the resurrection, so too these events, 70 AD, teach something about it, the flight from Jerusalem. All this stuff happened that Jesus predicted. They saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies, they saw armies approaching in the sky, the East Gate of Jerusalem, known for 24 people to open it, opened by itself. A comet, the shape of a sword, stood over the Temple Mount. These signs in the sky happened.
Now with that in view, let’s go back and look at Gen Chapters 18 and 19. You always find the same pattern. What Abraham saying? V28 ‘Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will Thou destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” V29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there”? And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty”.
V30 Then he said “Oh may the Lord not be angry and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there? And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there”. V31 And he said, “ Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty”. V32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten”.
God says destruction comes, I am only going to rescue those in it who are mine.
That teaches about the rapture. There’s a false prophet and a false teacher in America who teaches that people can be two-thirds right and still be considered true prophets. Now there is a witch in New Jersey in America, before I immigrated to Israel, who used to read my tarot cards. She was about three-quarters right. But this guy in America his name is Mike Bickle, from Kansas City, teaches a prophet can still be wrong one third of the time and be considered a true prophet. Deuteronomy Chapter 18 says if you predict something in the name of the Lord that fails to happen you are a false prophet and you’ve got theses guys defining false prophets like the Kansas City Prophets of Rick Joyner.
All these guys make predictions that don’t happen. They’re saying they are true prophets. The Bible says they are false prophets. Jesus warned they would come in the last days. When you see people predicting things that don’t happen, Jesus said look out for them.
And they do it. But this Mike Bickle, says you can be wrong one-third of the time and still be a true prophet even though the Bible says you can’t. Witches are right two-thirds of the time. Fortune-tellers are right more than two-thirds of the time. He says this is all a lie, it’s the raggedy remnant. It’s not going to be like the days of Noah. He says there won’t be a faithful remnant. No there will. Jesus said it will be like the days of Noah, a remnant. God gave up in the days of Noah and He gave up on Sodom and Gomorra. Now understand, when Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed, they thought it was the end of the world didn’t they. They actually began having marital relations with members of their own family to begin the human race again, because they thought it was the end of the world. They thought that was it.
So what happens; God says enough is enough. Now two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said “Now behold my lords please turn aside unto your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet so that you may rise early and go on your way”. They said, however, “No but we shall spend the night in the square”. Yet he urged them strongly so they turned aside to him and entered his house and he prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread and they ate.
Before they laid down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom surrounded the house, both young and old and all the people from every quarter and they called to Lot and said to him “Where are the men who came with you tonight? Bring them out so that we may have relations with them - homosexual gang rape. But Lot went out of the doorway and shut the door behind him and said, “Please my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold I have two daughters who have not had relations with a man; please let me bring them out to you and do to them anything you like; only do nothing to these men inasmuch as they come under the shelter of my roof”. But they said “stand aside”. Furthermore, they said “this one come in as alien and see already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them. So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck the men who where at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great so they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.
There’s two things which bear the symbol of Satan. There is a principle of opposites you find like a witch’s coven, they have the black mass - they have the actual Christian ritual in reverse. They hang crosses upside down and things like this. God in His design of human sexuality, was to give and receive pleasure and to procreate of course. Instead of giving and receiving pleasure in a heterosexual relationship, today the two biggest phenomena growing, are sadomasochism and homosexuality, so instead of giving and receiving pleasure, it becomes giving and receiving pain; instead of heterosexual relationships, it becomes homosexual relationships. This happened in the days of Sodom and it is happening again today - homosexuals on the rampage. God’s judgement will come because of this. It will absolutely come. They are teaching children in schools that homosexuality is normative. It will be in your country in a few years. In San Francisco, they teach six-year old children to read books like “Danny’s Two Daddies” and “Maria’s Two Mommies” and it’s the State curriculum. This is going to bring God’s judgement as well as abortion will bring God’s judgement.
When you see things like abortion, divorce, homosexuality, etc., this is exactly Satan trying to destroy God’s original purpose for man, which was to reproduce His image and likeness; making us in His image and likeness, becomes something perverted and it’s going to get worse. Ultimately, what you see with the rise of homosexuality, its going to bring us back to a Sodom scenario, when God will personally intervene.
Lot was a weak believer you might say. We know from the general account of him, he was a weak believer and it teaches a lot what the Church and most Christians are going to be like when Jesus comes. The Church is generally not going to be in good shape when Jesus comes. Will the Son of Man find faith on earth? he’ll find the faithful remnant but they will only be saved by the skin of their teeth. Lot lived in a wicked place. He was not party to the wickedness himself, but he was obviously not like Abraham.
Abraham is pleading and somehow represents Jesus in His High Priestly role, it would appear in figure, but then the judgement comes. Bring them out. Notice what they say about Lot. You are like an alien and you are trying to judges us. Christians are going to be like aliens before Jesus comes. We have been overly identified with our culture and our civilisations too long, particularly in the Protestant world, where you have so much biblical influence in our models of economy, government and culture. Eratianism, the state church, all this kind of stuff. It has deluded us. Sprinkle the babies, believe they’re Christians.
Christianised society has deluded us. Hostility against God’s people will rise in the last days when they will consider us to be aliens, which is exactly what we are supposed to be anyway. Persecution may come from the devil, but God will have a purpose in it. He always has. Now, what else happens?
They struck the men who were at the doorway, V12 Then the men said to Lot ‘Whom else have you here?’ They struck the men at the doorway with blindness and they’re still trying to find the doorway. Amazing, men would not repent. Whom else do you have; a son-in-law and your sons and your daughters and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place.
Notice the family gets divided. ‘For we are about to destroy this place because their outcry has become so great before the lord, the Lord, the Lord has sent us to destroy it’. And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters and said ‘Up, get out of this place for the Lord will destroy this city’. But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. Notice these were the believers. Some believers understood it was real; other so-called believers ‘oh, you are crazy, destruction, judgement, God’s going to take us out of here and the place is going to get wiped out’. Today it is the same. The very passages of Scripture the lord Jesus and God gave us in His Word, so you and I and your family and my family would be unprepared for His return and so we would not be deceived in the last days, Satan has raised up false teachers in the Church to say these things are not about the last days.
You’ve got people teaching there is no rapture, like Gerald Coats, that rapture is a fantasy and a myth, Rick Godwin, these people teaching the very passages that Matt. 24 is not about the last days. The very things God gave us so you and your family would not be deceived and unprepared, they are teaching are not about the last days. If possible the elect will be deceived. Satan already has the world deceived, he is trying to deceive us.
You get three kinds of people in the Bible; Jews, gentiles and believers who could be either Jew or gentile. Satan has the nations - the Hebrew word for nations and gentiles is the same word ‘goyim’.
They are already deceived. The Jews will be deceived by the anti-Christ to think he is the messiah in the time of Jacob’s trouble.
That leaves us. He is trying to deceive us. The kind of things you see happening in the Church now when a leading Pentecostal preacher in this country will say the building of the Tower of Babel is God’s model for unity. When somebody from the Rhema Church on television in SA said we should be like Balaam and when Desmond Tutu, the leading Christian clergyman in this country, two and-a-half months ago, said we should ordain lesbian priestesses and you are not to believe in the resurrection. Practically every single black African Anglican bishop on this continent is a Christian except for him and his successor.
I see things like the doctrines of Copeland, Hagin and Rodney Brown and the laughing phenomena dividing families do you understand. This kind of division is beginning to happen already. Remember, when Jesus said many will fall away and betray one another. Do you know who is going to fall away and betray you tomorrow, the same ones who are following the money preachers today because they are hoping in this world. Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world. They are reaching Kingdom Now. Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world. They are preaching God wants you rich. Jesus says ‘seek death to self’. You see there is a heretic in America named Robert Schuller. He said that Jesus went to the cross to magnify his ego and that the biggest error the Church has ever taught is death to self. Jesus said unless a man first denies himself he cannot be a Christian.
So you see, it is already coming into the Church. Division will come to the House of God as it happened with Lot’s family. What happens in Gen Chapter 19. Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, they said they didn’t believe him. When morning dawned and again what does dawn have to do with the Bible in figure, resurrection. The angles heard Lot say take up your wife and daughters who are here lets you be swept away with the punishment of the city. But he hesitated, so the men seized his hands, the hands of his wife and the hands of his daughters and so the compassion of the Lord was upon him. You see if it wasn’t for God’s compassion, we could all be dead. To save the elect, those days would be shortened. If it wasn’t for God’s compassion and the prayers of Abraham corresponding in figure to the prayer of Jesus, the intercession of Christ as our High Priest nobody would get out; we wouldn’t even get out of here.
Go outside the city, escape with your life, don’t look back, don’t stay anywhere in the valley, escape to the mountains - just like 70 AD, right. What did Jesus say. The house is surrounded, right? You’ll seen Jerusalem surrounded, the house is surrounded. Escape, but Lot said ‘Oh no my Lord. Now behold your servants has found favour in your sight and you have magnified your loving-kindness which you have shown me by saving my life but I cannot escape to the mountains lest this disaster overtake me and I die. Now behold this town is near enough to flee to and its small. Please let me escape so that my life may be saved’. And he said to him ‘Behold I grant you this request also not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there for I cannot do anything until you arrive there’.
Therefore, the town was called Soar in Hebrew, which in a way means small. The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Soar. Then Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorra fire and brimstone and overthrew those cities etc. The wife looked back and what does Jesus say ‘that he who is in the house, must not go back for his possessions; he who is in the field must not go back for his coat’. Don’t look back, just get out of here. Hoping in this world, Kingdom Now. His Kingdom is not of this world. Get out of here, or rather cool it on the Titanic. We are sailing on the Titanic. You want a luxury suite on the Titanic or do you want to get in the lifeboat? Understand the lies Kingdom Now teaches. They tell you in Luke’s gospel where it says ‘The Kingdom is going forth slothfully’ , then take it by violent force.
They say that is Kingdom Now, we will establish the kingdom with violent men. When you read it synoptically, however, it says save yourself from this perverse generation. What does it mean? It means you are sailing on a boat that is sinking and people begin fighting to get into the lifeboats. It doesn’t mean that you are to take the Kingdom by force. Press into it in order to escape, that is what the Greek word means, but because of the levels of biblical education and the knowledge of Hebrew and Greek is so low in Pentecostal and charismatic ministers, they don’t understand what it means.
Again, I am a Pentecostal minister myself. Some of them can’t even read English let alone Greek. Building the Tower of Babel is God’s model for unity? If half these guys were not Pentecostal ministers, you know what they would be saying for a living “you want fries with this?”. The Pentecostal ministry has become a dumping ground for the incompetent - I am serious. These men are dangerous.
Lot’s wife looked back. The city gets surrounded she looks back - bang - that is a type of the rapture. They think it’s the end of the world don’t they, thus both the daughters of Lot were by child by their father. They begin to have incestuous relationships because they think it is the end of the world, a major type of the rapture. Now, let’s begin to understand the trumpets. I can’t go into all of this. You will have to get the tapes on the Jewish Feast of Trumpets. But turn with me please to 1 Thess Chapter 4 v13-v18. This connects with the Jewish Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Yom Kippur, when the last trumpet was blown but also it connects with the Year of Jubilee. I am only giving you some of the background. You’ll have to get the other tapes. V13 But we do not want to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. V14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. V15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we are alive and remain until the coming of the lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. Again, they bring Joseph’s bones with them out of Egypt, that’s the figure. V16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first. V17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord. V18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Rev Chapter 20 v4 Very briefly. ‘I saw the thrones and they sat upon them and judgement was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received the mark upon the forehead and upon their and they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years’. Then, there is another resurrection at the end.
Where people begin to go wrong, is they confuse two events and they make a hermeneutic mistake. But first of all, it talks about sleep. When the little girl was dead and Jesus was going to raise her up, Jesus said she is asleep. They said ‘what are you talking about?’ She is asleep He said. ‘Lazarus is asleep’, Jesus told the apostles in John Chapter 11. Paul says the brethren who sleep. Unsaved people die, Christians go to sleep. The Bible never uses death for the biological cessation of a Christian, a believer. Unsaved people die. If you are here tonight and you’re not born again, you’re going to die; in fact spiritually you are dead already. Your biological cessation is simply perfunctory, we said this morning. You are dead already. Christians go to sleep and wake up again. The little girl is asleep, Lazarus is asleep, the brethren who are asleep.
Let’s look at it again. The Lord Himself will descend with a trump. This has to do with the Jewish feasts as a paradigm of “heilgeschichte” - salvation history. You have to get the video. I only mention it in passing.
Now in 1 Corinthians Chapter 4, we see the Lord Himself descending with the shout of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 again. V51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, V52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed. The perishable puts on the imperishable, the mortal the immortal etc. You’ve got it in Thessalonians, you’ve got it in Corinthians. In the Bible, we read scripture through the prism of the Epistles. Let me explain, Jesus established apostolic authority. If you want to know what Jesus meant, look how the apostles understood it and taught it. If you want to understand the rest of the Bible, read the Epistles. Liviticus, what is the Book of Liviticus about? If you read Hebrews, you will find out. The Epistles are inspired commentary, not a commentary you get in a bookshop - inspired commentary - they’re God’s commentary. We look at the rest of scripture through the prism of the Epistles. The Epistles do not contain hidden speech.
The rest of the Bible, Hebrew poetry, apocalyptic narrative - there’s deeper meanings. There’s midrash, there are types as allegories, but the Epistle explains the rest of the Bible. If the Epistles use typology and allegory, it explains what it means, like Galations Chapter 4, the two women Sarah and Hagar. It explains the typology; Jude’s Epistle, it tells you what the typology means. The Epistles don’t use symbolic language without explaining clearly what it means, the way Jesus did with the parables.
We read the rest of the Bible through the prism of the apostles’ teaching. You might say this is the gospel, this is the OLD TESTAMENT. How do I understand it? These glasses are the Epistles, how did the apostles interpret it, apply it and tell us to understand it. You begin with what is plainly stated. You understand the complicated things in light of the simple clear things. That’s how you begin. Now you go deeper after that, but you begin with what is simple. You don’t begin with calculus, you don’t do calculus until you can do algebra and you don’t do algebra until you can do arithmetic. You begin with what is simple. You are not going to figure out a logarithm if you don’t know how to count. It doesn’t work that way. We have it in Colossians, we have it in Thessalonians. Then we begin to look at what Jesus taught about the rapture and resurrection, through what the apostles said. We always interpret the complex in light of the simple and the ambiguous in light of the clear. Let me give you an example to explain what I mean. You have two kinds of passages in the Bible that talk about baptism. You have the ones which clearly supports believer’s baptism and you have the ones which are ambiguous, that you read into it maybe babies or whatever. Now what we should do is interpret the ambiguous passages about baptism, in light of the clearly stated ones. However, people who want to sprinkle babies will do the opposite. They will interpret the clear passages in light of the ambiguous ones, they put the boots on the wrong feet. This morning I was talking to three women and boy were they messed up. They were going to a church with husbands who are religious and even though the church was somehow evangelical, with a statement of faith, their husbands were not born again - they were not saved and they kept ‘yes we are, we were baptised when we were babies and we’re members of the church’. You begin telling people they are Christians when they are not and hence the devil gets them into hell with religion. Instead of the Church being the ecclesia, the called out ones, it becomes a social mechanism for religiosity. How do they do this? Instead of taking the clear passages of the Bible and interpreting the ambiguous ones in the light of what is clearly stated, you do the opposite.
The people who are teaching you annihilations today, like people who run The March for Jesus, Roger Foster and Graham Kenrick, these people say we can’t be sure there is a literal hell. When unsaved people are judged, they might simply be annihilated until destruction and will not have a literal eternal hell. There will be no literal conscious judgement of the unsaved. These people in The March for Jesus, tell you when you die and you don’t get born again and accept Jesus and repent, you will be judged and you won’t exist anymore. that’s what unsaved people believe anyway. That’s what’s back of the March for Jesus when you look at the people who run it.
Now the Greek phrase for the torment of the unsaved - ‘the smoke of their torment will go on forever and ever’, is the same phrase used for the High Priesthood of Jesus for the Glory of God and our salvation. Hence, if we can’t be sure that the torment of the unsaved is an eternal conscious one - how can we be sure that our salvation has an eternal conscious salvation. You know what I am saying. They have to use eisegesis, read things into the Bible it doesn’t say, instead of interpreting the unclear passages, the ambiguous ones, in light of what is clearly started, they do the opposite. They cast out what is clearly stated by over-amplifying the ambiguous portions.
Well this is what they do with the rapture. You’ve got the clearly started passages supporting it and you have other passages which are ambiguous. What do they do? They take the ambiguous and use the ambiguous to cast out what is clearly stated. That’s their first mistake.
The second mistake is they are confusing the return of Christ with the rapture and resurrection. If you wanted to use the term ‘third coming’, that wouldn’t exactly be accurate, but it would somehow describe it. First the Lord comes for His Church, then He comes with it and establish His Messianic Kingdom.
Now we have a tape for “One Messiah, Two Comings”, where we explain from a Jewish perspective, why there must be a millennia. If there is no millennia, Jesus can’t be the Jewish Messiah and if He is not the Messiah of the Jews, neither is He the Christ of the Church.
Again, who is pushing this stuff that there is no rapture, there is no resurrection, - the Kingdom Now people, Dominionists, Triumphalists.
But let’s look, let me explain it to you this way. We are going to look at Revelation very briefly in conclusion, midrashically.
Turn to Revelation 8. V1 And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. So there is silence. You have got the seven seals, but out of the seven seals, there is a seventh seal and from the seventh seal, comes seven trumpets. So you have silence, then you have seven, but the seventh has a numerical sub-set of seven. Then they blow the last trumpet. When they blow the last trumpet in Chapter 11 what happens?
The kingdom of this world, has become the Kingdom of Our Lord and His Messiah. But before this you have two olive trees, the two lampstands that stand before the Lord who are the two witnesses from the Book of Zechariah. So you have silence, seven sevens but the seventh seven has a subset of seven. Then you have these two witnesses, then the last trumpet is blown and it says the kingdom of the world, has become the Kingdom of our God and His Messiah. This is a midrashic relay of the story of Josua. They march around Jericho seven days, but the seventh day they do it seven times. So you have a subset of seven coming out of the seventh of the initial seven and when the Levites are leading the people around, God tells them you must be totally silent. So you have got the silence. Somehow those two spies that Joshua sends into the city to rescue Rahab, the gentile woman, is a type of the rapture of the Church. Those two spies (M’rag’lim in Hebrew) are types of these two witnesses in revelation. They blow the last trumpet in Jericho, the walls come tumbling down and they say in Jericho this city has been given to us by the Lord’. You’ve blown the last trumpet in Revelation - what happens? - the kingdom of this world, becomes the Kingdom of our God and His Messiah. One replays the other. The same as the exodus.
The rapture and resurrection occur between the sixth and seventh seals after the sealing of the 144,000. He sees them in heaven. That’s where it happens during the second half of the 70th week of Daniel, to the best of my understanding. You can not prove the great tribulation is the last seven years. You can only prove the second half is the great tribulation - 2x1 and a half = 1260 days. It’s broken into two halves both in Daniel and Revelation. You can only prove the second half is the great tribulation. You can’t prove the whole thing is the great tribulation.
You say you are pre-trib, that does not necessarily mean the beginning of the seven years. He is coming sometime during. The second-half is much worse than the first. In fact, in the beginning it seems the anti-Christ counterfeits the millennia and things get better or appear to get better at least initially, but not for the Church.
There are a number of people who typify these two witnesses. Those two angels who came and rescued Lot’s family. Somehow they teach about those two witnesses. Obviously Elijah and Enoch and Moses, teach about those witnesses. The two spies teach about those witnesses. Zechariah Chapter 5, again it’s the olive trees. Who does he see? One of priestly descent and one of regal or kindly descent in the Book of Zechariah and he sees these people.
Chapter 3 He showed me Joshua the High Priest standing before the angel of the Lord and Satan at his right and Joshua was clothed with filthy garments etc-- and Joshua is there and is before the throne with Satan. But the other person who co-ministers with Joshua, when you read Zechariah, Haggi, Ezra and Nehemiah, all at the same time, they cast light on each other. The other is Zerubbabel. Joshua and Zerubbabel somehow also teach about these two witnesses. You understand its pattern?
What do these two angels do in Sodom? They get God’s people out there . What did those two spies do in the Book of Joshua? They got God’s people, Rahab - a type of the gentile church - out of there. You have two Greek words for time, Kyros is one and the other is Chronos. How you apply time to eternity, I don’t know. It sounds like every half-hour.
There is a lot I don’t understand, but the pattern is clear. There will be a rapture and the Bible tells us an awful lot about it. It tells us what kind of people are going to be in it, what kind are not, who is going to be ready and who won’t.
Now I have just scratched the surface. I am going to give you just one more passage, a lesson in midrash. Matthew 25 - the wise and foolish virgins. The wise ones had oil in their lamps. ‘Thy word id a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path’, the illumination of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of scripture. In the last days understanding and faithfulness became closely associated. When God shows Daniel about the end times, about the last days, about what is going to come to Israel, He tells of this. He tells the Prophet Daniel in Chapter 11 V33-35, that those who have insight among the people, will give understanding to the many. But then he says in Chapter 12 ‘many will be purged, purified and refined but the wicked will act wickedly’. Just like Revelation, yet men did not repent of their deeds. None of the wicked will understand but those who have insight will understand.
In Tessalonians, it says the Lord Himself will send a delusion upon them that they may believe what is false because they are taking pleasure in wickedness. Those who do not love a knowledge of the truth, fits Daniel like a glove. When people do not love the truth, it means they don’t love Jesus. If they don’t care about right biblical doctrine which is the teaching of Jesus, it means they don’t care about Him. The Word becomes flesh. The Bible is Jesus in print. If they don’t love the truth, they don’t love Jesus. They are taking pleasure in wickedness.
The stuff you see happening, these deceptions of the Church - building the Tower of babel, is God’s model of unity, look at your country. Look what has happened to your country in the last three years. Pornography on television, what used to be political violence is now just crime, worse than it has ever been. You’ve got witchdoctors on platforms with your national leaders, you’ve got a new constitution coming which could severely curtail your freedom to preach the Gospel. On top of all the crime, on top of what is happening to your schools, abortion has been legalised in SA. On top of all that something else has happened. Militant Islam claims it can stop the crime and restore a moral righteousness to your country because Christianity and Judaism have failed. That’s your country. As it stands now, your children will have no future in this country and men in your country are telling you to roll on the floor and laugh, God is doing something. Which god?
The Lord Himself will send a delusion that they may believe what is false - those who took pleasure in wickedness and did not love the truth. They don’t want to know right doctrine. I’m a Pentecostal myself, I am a Full Gospel Minister, I lecture in a Full Gospel theological college, but I am a biblical Pentecostal. These people are not.
The Song of Solomon is what is read in the synagogues at Passover time. Matt. 25 is Jesus speaking at Passover time. He took what was being read in the synagogues at Passover and He said this is what the last days will be like.
The Song of Solomon is built on two dreams Chapter 3 and 5. We know from the gender and number in Hebrew what the bride is singing - it was a type of the Church in Israel - what the bridegroom is singing - a type of Jesus - represented by Solomon and what the witnesses are singing. In Chapter 3 look at the Song of Solomon. It’s her best dream, Shulamite is ready for her beloved to come, ‘On my bed night after night I saw him. I found him whom my soul loves and brought into my mother’s house’. Chapter 3 is her best dream. Chapter 5 is her worst nightmare. ‘I was asleep but my heart was awake, my beloved was knocking open to me my darling’. He’s gone, she misses him.
That’s what is being read in the synagogues at Passover, to this day when Jesus explained Matt 25. It will be your best dream or your worst nightmare.
WE NEED OIL IN OUR LAMPS, THE ILLUMINATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S WORD. WHEN JESUS COMES, IT WILL BE OUR BEST DREAM OR OUR WORST NIGHTMARE. THE TIME TO GET THE OIL IS NOW.
GOD BLESS YOU.