Vol. 33, No. 2 February, 2009
CHRIST’S COMING IN THE RAPTURE.
CHRIST’S COMING IN THE REVELATION.
Which is which, and when is when?
By Dr. George Mills
“But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren..” (1Thess. 4:13)
I believe that God wants His own to walk in the full knowledge of His Word. There is much revealed in His Word about the RAPTURE and the REVELATION. These are not the same. To confuse the two is to confuse many.
These are some troublesome times. People are worried today. There is much trouble in the Middle East. Israel is under attack. Terrorism is a world wide threat. I trust the new administration in Washington will continue to stand against the enemies of this nation that seek to destroy us. The economy has many worried today. The economic troubles are not only national, but international. What affects us affects the world. I trust that those who have managed to steal billions of dollars from innocent investors will be forced to
Return every dime they stole before they are ushered off to jail. I continue to be in the dark, so to speak about the massive “bail outs” of banking, mortgage, and brokerage firms, and automobile industry. It seems to me that the “stimulus package” is just like a wheel turning and getting nowhere. Oh well, I’m not an economist.
The economy, the troubles in the Middle East, and the possibility of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, among other things are causing many to say, “Well, this is it, these are the signs of the fulfillment of end time prophecy.”
In past editions of the WILDERNESS we have discussed the return of Christ many times. Certainly this is one of our favorite subjects, and rightly so. We say with the Apostle John; “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” As I said, people are concerned. I still receive questions. I trust that this message will be a source of comfort and assurance. Actually, I am going to include a message about the Antichrist since the two go together.
FIRST, THE RAPTURE. The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. Rapture means, “A state or the experience of being carried away.”
The Rapture concerns the Church only. The New Testament Church is not in the
Old Testament nor is it in the Gospels. This is the “Mystery” that Paul wrote about. Jew and Gentile together in one body called the Church. (Eph. 3:1-6) “I shew you a Mystery, we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.” (1Cor. 15:51). I have always believed in the Biblical teaching concerning the imminent return of Christ. That is, He could return at any moment of any day. Our bright hope is the blessed return of the Lord in the air for His Church. There will be that “catching away” (1Thess 4:17) and “taken out of the way, (2 Thess 2:7). It is my opinion that the “Falling away first” (2Thess 2:3), also speaks of the rapture. All of these terms are used in the same context and all meaning the same thing; Rapture!
The Message of the Rapture will do some wonderful things for the Christian..
1. COMFORT US.
In First Thessalonians 4:13-17 Paul describes the Rapture as Christ coming in the AIR for His church. He does not return to the earth at that time. The Rapture of the church and the return of Christ to the earth are not the same. Christ comes for His Church BEFORE the tribulation period on earth, (1Thess 1:10) (1Thess 5:9). Paul admonishes us to “Comfort one another with these words.” (1Thess 4:18).
2. ASSURE US.
“And now little children abide in him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at His coming.” (1Jn 2:28) We can face the future with boldness and full assurance.
3. ENCOURAGE US.
In First Corinthians 15:51-57, Paul gave the encouraging text on the rapture and ended the text by saying, “Be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” If we keep our eyes on His promised return for us, and NOT on the troubles of the world system down here, we will not become discouraged. Keep on serving Him the best you can.
4. PURIFY US.
“Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him PURIFIETH himself even as He is pure.” (1Jn 3:2-3).
I believe that we are to expect Him to come at any moment.
Personally, I believe that God is getting ready to do something.
(A) JUDGMENT? I do not believe that this nation can continue on the same course we have been on and not have God visit us in some way.
God has been ruled out of every area of our national life. He is not allowed in Government, in Courts, in Schools, and even in most homes across America. We have drifted far off course. As a nation we cannot continue this course.
Sodomy has been accepted as an acceptable alternate lifestyle. Read Romans 1:19-32 to see God’s mind on this subject. As a nation we cannot continue this course.
Abortion. The killing of millions of innocent babies is horrible, and inexcusable. God will not hold us guiltless in this massacre. As a nation we cannot continue this course.
Apostasy. Since the establishment of the Church, apostasy has been growing. One world, “super church” The forsaking of sound doctrine, (2Tim 4:1-5). The mass confusion over the Bible (KJB). All of these things and more only speak loudly that God is about to do something…
(B) RAPTURE? “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
Now, in spite of what some writers and preachers say about the “rapture theory” we DO NOT believe in TWO comings of Christ. At the Rapture, Christ does not come to the earth. He comes in the AIR and calls His Church out. This event is, again, a MYSTERY, not seen in other ages. The Rapture of the Church is…
A. SIGNLESS. All of the signs concerning the coming of Christ are concerning ISRAEL and the nations and not the Church. Daniel 9, Mt. 24:1-51, Luke 21:8-38, Let us stop looking for signs and trying to figure the meaning of each world crisis. “Is this it?” If there is one sign concerning the rapture that we might look for it would be the sign of the ever growing apostasy.
B. SOUNDLESS. Obviously, the coming of Christ when He returns to the earth will be quite noisy. At that time the antichrist and his armies are gathered against Israel, and Armageddon is in full bloom. But the coming of Christ for His own in the rapture will be SILENT.
“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.” Personally, I do not believe that the unsaved world will hear anything at the rapture. They are not tuned to that frequency. They will see the results by the millions of missing people. The rapture is a sudden event, “In the twinkling of an eye.” It is over before the eye can blink.
Now, let us be busy in our Master’s service. Let us get the Pure Word of God to the multitudes while we can. Let us not be worrying about the Antichrist, the tribulation, and Armageddon. Christ was born on time, He died on time, He arose on time, and He will return for the Church in His time
What will happen when Christ returns in the AIR at the rapture? 1Thess 4:13-18…
1. The dead IN CHRIST only will rise from the dead. The Christian dead only. The Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead AFTER the tribulation period, (Daniel 12:1-2).
2. Living Believers are changed immediately. (1Cor 15:51) “In a moment.” Children all over the world who have not reached accountability suddenly changed.
3. Together, ALL believers are caught up to be with Christ.
4. The unsaved dead will be left in their grave for another thousand years.
5. The living unsaved will be left behind. They will believe and follow the lies of the antichrist, (2Thess 2:5-12)
This is the time of separation. This should provoke every one of us to become active soul winners.
When Christ comes in the Revelation it is not without signs, nor is it silent. “Behold He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” (Rev 1:7). Read the text in Matthew 24, and Luke 21, Zechariah 14, Revelation 19:11-21, and so many, many more.
The most important thing now is you and your relationship to Christ. He is coming for His Church. No matter what man has to say about it, he is coming for His church. Are you part of His Church? I do not mean “Do you belong to a church somewhere?” Have you, by faith alone received Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Have you believed with your heart the message about His Death on the cross for your sin, His burial, and His Resurrection from the dead to be your living Saviour. He is there, wherever you are, in the person of the Holy Spirit. He will come in your life and make you a new creature. He will come in at your invitation. He will never knock down the barrier in your heart and come in unbidden. The Bible says, “ask, and ye shall receive. Ask Him in today. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. You can begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
Then, and only then are you ready for eternity. May God bless you.
THINK ABOUT IT…
I just read an article where the writer said that Pretribulation doctrine is “The church’s Trojan horse.” Whatever that means. And he also stated that “pretribulation doctrine is only 150 years old.” That’s probably about how old his bible is. I just read all about it from Paul’s writing dated about 60 AD. (KJB) He got it directly from Christ. That’s good enough for me.
By Pastor George Mills
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Lost along life’s weary road,
The way, I did not know,
The Place to lay my heavy load,
I knew not where to go.
No one else could show the way,
For they were lost, as I,
No one to help in my dismay,
And time was passing by.
Then a message came one day,
“The Lamb of God was slain,
On a Cross He took all sin away,
His Cross makes the way plain.
The Cross upon Mount Calvary,
The Blood poured on the sod,
The Cross, the Blood shed willingly,
Will direct you home to God.”
So quickly, e’re I suffer loss,
Help me in my despair,
If you will get me to that Cross,
I’ll know my way from there.
By Faith alone I saw the Cross,
Where the Saviour died that day,
Where He alone could pay the cost,
And He showed to me THE WAY!
By Pastor George Mills
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (2Thess 2:9).
The subject of the Antichrist takes up much space in the Scriptures. In this brief message we can only “scratch the surface.” I am aware of the many questions that people are asking today. As we see the war in the middle East, the plight of the Jewish people, the oil crisis, the European common market, the financial crisis in our own nation, Russia and China as powerful threats to world peace, and so many new things today provoke many questions. What’s next on the world scene? The Rapture? Armageddon? The Antichrist? I will try to answer just a few questions that come to me.
1. “WHAT IS THE ANTICHRIST?” The Apostle John said that Antichrist system was working in his day, (1Jn. 2:18). Just what is Antichrist?
A system? Communism? Capitalism? A Religion? A computer? Antichrist may use all of these things, and more. But Antichrist is a PERSON. He is known by several different names. He is the “Little horn” of Daniel 7:8. He is known as the “King of fierce countenance” of Daniel 8:23-25. He is known as the “Willful king” of Daniel 11:36-39. He is known as the “King of the north,” Daniel 11:40-45. He is known as “The man of sin.” and “The son of perdition.” 2Thess 2:3. The Antichrist is a PERSON. A real, live person.
2. WHO IS THE ANTICHRIST? I do not know. He will be revealed to the world AFTER the Church has been raptured, or caught up to be with Christ. He cannot be revealed until the “taken out of the way,” (the church), And then shall that wicked one be revealed.” (2Thess 2:5-8). Down through the years men have identified the Antichrist with several world leaders. In World War 2, at the rise of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, along with the Roman Pope, many thought for sure that Antichrist was here. They were thought to be the Beast, the false Prophet, and the Scarlet Woman of Rev. 13, 17. I do not know who the Antichrist is, nor does anyone else know. When he comes on the scene, he will deny Christ, (1Jn 2:22, 4:3). He will exalt himself, (2Thess 2:4, Rev. 13:2-4).
He has a church, (Rev 17:1-6). It is for sure he has a bible (NIV) And he copies a resurrection, (Rev 11:17, 13:3). In some ways he seems so much like the real Christ. This is why he can deceive so many. I am eternally grateful that the indwelling Holy Spirit living in the believer teaches us about the real and warns us about the false.
3. WHEN WILL THE ANTICHRIST RISE TO WORLD LEADER? Please read Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel was told about 70 weeks concerning his people, Israel. The 70 weeks are weeks of years, or, a total of 490 years of prophecy. (70×7=490 years) From the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem in 536 BC, Ezra 1:1-3, until Messiah is “cut off” and the City destroyed again, a period of 69 weeks, (483 years) will pass, leaving one week, (7years) remaining. There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week that has lasted some 2000 years. The Antichrist will sign a seven year covenant, or peace pact with Israel, Dan. 9:27. The signing of that covenant will signal the beginning of the tribulation period. A period or time equally divided into two, 3 ½ years each. The signing of that covenant will start the prophecy clock again. Of course, before the signing of that covenant the Antichrist will have risen to world recognition and power.
4. WHERE WILL THE ANTICHRIST RULE? “ALL the world wondered after the beast” (Antichrist) Rev 13:1-10). He will be the world leader. He is evidently over 10 European nations (Rev 17:12-18) He evidently will have problems with Russia, and China, (Dan. 11:44). (Eze 38-39, Rev 16:12) “He shall enter the glorious land (Israel) and many countries shall be overthrown.” (Dan 11:41-45) When he enters the land of Israel he will enter the Temple and present himself as God and demand to be worshipped as God. This is called “abomination of desolation.” This happens at the middle of the seven year period. From that point, there will be a time of tribulation upon the earth such as never before, or will ever be. Read Matthew 24:1-35.
5. HOW WILL THE ANTICHRIST RISE TO WORLD POWER?
First, he is a deceiver. A Master deceiver. He uses lying wonders, (2Thess 2:9-12. Rev. 13:13-18).
He rises to power by way of the “peace table.” Daniel 8:23-27. He will destroy by peace. Many have tried to conquer the world through war. This one will try through peace.
The world economy will demand a man of superior knowledge. Because of the Rapture, this has left the nations without access to food supplies. The Antichrist has a numbering plan for food rationing, and those who refuse his plan will not be able to buy food, (Rev 13:16-18. In Rev. 6:6, a man will have to work a whole day to earn food for one day. “Hurt not the oil and wind.” These are identified with the wealthy. It seems that during the tribulation, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Sound familiar?
6. WHY WILL THE ANTICHRIST RISE TO WORLD POWER?
Simply because man rejected, and continues to reject the real Christ. Jesus said, “I am come in My Father’s Name and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, HIM YE SHALL RECEIVE.”(Jn 5:43). The world believed not the Truth, but will believe a lie.
Nowhere does God tell the Church to look for the Antichrist. We have looked to the Genuine, the real. We do not look for another.
As a Christian, do not be upset and alarmed at the upsets among nations, the economy. Our Faith is in the Living Lord.
Study your Bible. Ask God to teach you. Men will alarm you. Charlatans will try to deceive you. Know your Bible. (KJB).
Use your time to be a witness for Christ. This is the time in world history to be more active than ever.
Jesus taught us to pray for his coming. Paul said, “For our conversation is in Heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, (the real One) The Lord Jesus Christ.
Wandering through the WILDERNESS…
I trust that each of you had a Joyous Christmas Season, lots of fellowship with family and friends.
May I say HELLO to the many inmates who are regular readers of the WILDERNESS. This Publication is sent, in bulk, to about 30 Prisons, Jails, Correction Facilities in the North Florida area, and in Texas, California, and some other states. At Christmas time, some inmates sent us Christmas Cards, messages, articles, and many nice words about the WILDERNESS. Thanks to each of you. I appreciate each one. If this Publication Ministry has been an encouragement to you, we are so glad about that. Many people, who had to serve time in prison, found that Christ is real and while there, they received Christ as Saviour. While in prison they spent time learning the Bible, (KJB) and found God’s great Plan for their lives, and left prison to become greatly used of God. I trust that you will do the same thing. God has been making lives anew for a long, long time. God can use you. God wants to use you. While you are incarcerated, use that time wisely. Get as much education as you can. Daily Bible study and a meaningful Prayer Life are essential for your Spiritual growth. Remember, YOU CAN!
Also, I ask that each of you remember to pray for this Ministry. We are small, but we have the world in view, and we serve a Great God. Your prayers for this Ministry are needed and appreciated.
May God Bless you, and your family. “Brethren, pray for us.”
The WILDERNESS Ministries include:
WILDERNESS Monthly Publication. Now 33 years young.
WILDERNESS Tracts, Booklets, helps to get new converts started right.
WILDERNESS Internet Ministry. We have several years of this Publication posted on our internet site.
WILDERNESS Prison Ministry. Helping win inmates and encouraging them to serve the Lord faithfully.
WILDERNESS Broadcast Ministry. “The Church In The Wildwood” Broadcast.
WILDERNESS Bibles for Africa. Every week we are able to send some Bibles (KJB) to those who ask for help.
We are trusting that new doors of opportunity will open for us this year.
We have nothing to sell, and we make no solicitation for funds. People who believe in what we are trying to do, from time to time, help us with offerings. Thank you so very much. Without your help, we could not do very much. Together, we can reach many.
Every month, this Ministry reaches places across America, and many foreign lands. Thanks again for your support, your prayers, and encouraging words.
May God find us faithfully “Contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the Saints.” (Jude 2).
ARE YOU SAVED? SAVED FROM THE PENALTY AND POWER OF SIN?
If you are not saved, then why not?
If you are not saved, it is not because there is not a need for you to be saved. “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Ro. 3:23). You need to be saved.
If you are not saved, it is not because there is no way for you to be saved. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” (Jn. 6:37). Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost.” (LK. 19:10) And, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, no man cometh to the father but by me.” (Jn 14:6).
If you are not saved, it is not because you do not have time to get saved. “TODAY if you will hear His voice harden not your heart.” (Heb 3:15).
Christ is there, where you are, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He will, at your invitation, come into your life, and make life worth living. Trust Him today, while you have today. The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Ask Christ to save you just now. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart.
Begin TODAY, to live FOREVER!