The Rapture Of The Wicked… Coming Soon??
Posted By: Watchman
Date: Sunday, 22-May-2022 23:48:58
|I guess this is a collection of many thoughts…|
Something found, forgotten, revised and partially reauthored and collected in 1996, but facts are facts and they are still prescient today…. Enjoy…————————————————————-THE RAPTURE OF THE WICKED
Introduction:Most Christians readily profess that they are always eager to hear and learn from their Fathers Word. Seldom do they realize, though, that the first tenant of learning is found in the willingness to alter one’s viewpoint if necessary to incorporate the truths which the Holy Spirit teaches you from your study of God’s Word. You should see the truth in this statement from your own school and life experience, for continued learning is not possible if a particular ideology is valued in spite of vast evidence to the contrary: For example, there was a point when we realized our sinful nature in the knowledge of the world, and we met and returned with Jesus. Just as it is not sufficient for maximum enjoyment of earthly life to get only a grade-school education (particularly these days), it is neither sufficient nor wise to place your belief in the traditions and denominations of man above the Word as written.Like Paul so eloquently wrote in Hebrews 5 verses 12 thru 14, many of today’s Christians are like ‘bottle babies in diapers’, and have no teeth to even chew the ‘meat’ of God’s Word. They are content instead to visit their ‘nursery’ each time the doors are open, and drink the same formula they have been fed all their spiritual lives.This paper is dedicated to raiding the denominational nurseries and just perhaps finding a few who are willing to put on the armor Paul describes in Eph 6:10-18 so that they may STAND in the battle that will shortly come.I– Some Background of Contrasting ViewsThere are two great divisions of thought regarding prophecy: That of the futurist and that of the historicist. Both teach that Christ will return to earth, but the division arises over the MANNER of His coming and it’s timing in relation to “the tribulation”.Some may say “what difference does it make HOW Christ returns, so long as we all believe that He indeed will come?” I personally hope this paper will show you the answer to this question, for one’s viewpoint of the timing and the manner of fulfillment of this prophecy will not only affect our actions in preparation for His return, it will actually allow us to recognize events as they occur; events that are so well described in God’s Word that no one should misunderstand them.First of all, it should be known that neither our eternal destiny nor our salvation will stand or fall based solely upon our acceptance of either viewpoint. However, the issue is important because the doctrine we accept will determine both our actions and our view of world events as they are presently occurring, and will continue to occur.Is there a difference?The historical view holds that the tribulation described in the book of The Revelation is almost complete save for the final downfall of ‘mystery Babylon’. The futurist view is that almost all of the events of Revelation have a yet future fulfillment.Further, the historical viewpoint teaches that ‘the revived Roman Empire’ was prophesied of in the book of Daniel, and that this is (already) fulfilled in Papal Rome. Further, it is taught, ‘the great whore’ presently rides the ‘scarlet colored beast’ (Rev 17:3) of red communism. The futurist viewpoint teaches that the ‘revived Roman Empire’ is yet future, often identifying it with the present-day Common Market of Western Europe.The historicist further notes (correctly) that all thru the centuries the “church” has suffered tribulation and persecution at the hands of this ‘mystery Babylon’ as it has ridden on the various beast empires throughout history. The average American Futurist is confident that he will be spared the same fate by being removed from the earth before such trouble arrives at his own doorstep.In the present century, the historicist notes that communism, the red beast, has murdered untold millions of Christians and other innocent victims. Believe it or not, since 1917 more have been slaughtered in the name of religion than in all of history prior to 1917. Many of the victims were tortured and if spared death, were forced to live a life of deprivation and suffering. From this historical perspective, he reasons that such atrocities does not have to fall on the American ‘church’ before it can be labeled ‘tribulation’.Two questions I have for the historicist is (1) “Since such terrible tribulation has fallen upon untold millions of Christians, how can you claim that God will remove us from the earth before it comes to America? And, (2) Are we just so much more pious and precious to God that He will care for us more than the past Saints?The futurist views the rise of red Bolshevism with strange curiosity. Because he believes that a future ‘antichrist’ will arise as head of the ‘revised Roman Empire’ (i.e., the European Common Market), he cannot identify this red communism with Bible prophecy, at least not directly. It has become common teaching that the antichrist’s empire in the west will elect the antichrist as a defense against red Bolshevism.In general, the historicist will do what he can to oppose red Bolshevism and it’s child, The Socialist World Government. He is also more aware of the nature of the conflict between East and West and between democratic socialist movements such as communism and Christian Republicanism. The futurist, when confronted with the millions who have died agonizing deaths in slave camps and by torture can only say “Well, just wait until the antichrist comes: that will make Communism look like child’s play!”I would like to pose the same two questions as above to the futurist.So, whereas our view of Bible prophecy does not affect our salvation, it definitely affects our thinking, our outlook on world events, and it will also have a great effect upon our preparation for the return of Christ. If we study God’s Word instead of becoming rooted in either of these views, we may see the truth that Jesus warned that there are TWO ‘messiahs’ and TWO ‘tribulations’. As we will later see, the ‘wrong’ messiah is coming first. Are you able to tell the difference?II– The Saints in TribulationFuturists are fond of claiming that the various ‘beasts’ spoken of in the book of Revelation are representative of the ‘antichrist’ or his allies who will rule the world during the future tribulation. Opposing this view, the book of Daniel seems to clearly identify these beasts as representing the various nations and systems of government that were to rise to power from the time of Daniel to the end of this age. In Daniel chapter 7, the four beasts are described as 1) a lion with eagles wings, 2) a bear, 3) a leopard with four heads and four wings, 4) an unidentifiable beast with iron teeth and great strength, and finally, 5) a little horn arising out of the fourth beast.Daniel watched this ‘little horn’ warring against the saints, and prevailing against them (Dan 7:21), until it was time for the saints to take the kingdom from him. Note that there is no hint that anyone escapes to heaven before this ‘little horn’ appears. This is especially clear in Daniel 7:25-27.25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (KJV)This passage is usually either ignored or explained to mean that the saints are the Jews, who unfortunately will be left behind, since all the pious and good Christians have been raptured away. Such teachers ignore the truths in the Word by conveniently disregarding the very plain statement of Jesus in Matt 21:43-45. He says that the Jews were not to inherit the Kingdom of God!43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. (KJV)Note the mention of Jesus in verse 44 of the ‘stone’. He was referring to the ‘Great Stone Kingdom’ of Daniel 2:35,35, which is to smash the image of the beast and break into pieces all of the empires it represented. Jesus said that this stone would grind to powder all on which it should fall. It was to fall on the Jewish Pharisees, and by implication, all who followed their antichrist religion and the traditions of man. Read carefully Matt 23. The whole chapter is devoted to the denominational teachings of these Pharisees. It is also significant that the next subject covered by Jesus is that great treatment of His Second Coming, Matt 24.Thus, it is not possible that the Saints the ‘little horn’ is warring against are the Jews. In fact, if you think about it the Pharisees of Jesus day were the ones responsible for His crucifixion and after that, they were busy persecuting Christians. Remember the story of Steven? How about Paul? The Saints the ‘little horn’ is warring against must, therefore, be Christians.The absurd notion that Christians will not have to face tribulation is totally foreign to God’s Word. I mention just two of the scriptures most prevalent, and both quotations are the direct Words from Jesus’ own mouth.Jn 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJV) And,Jn 17:15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (KJV)”Surely, if a modern ‘rapture-teaching’ preacher had visited Rome 1800 years ago proclaiming to those persecuted Christians meeting in the catacombs that they would escape tribulation, he would have have either been disfellowshipped as as the deceiver he is, or laughed out of the meeting as a fool. In those days it was not safe to even admit being a Christian, for they were being murdered for sport. It happened in Europe during the inquisition. It happened in Russia in 1917. It happened in China in 1945. Don’t think it can’t happen again. Don’t believe you will escape. They didn’t. Is your flesh more precious to our Father than theirs?The NEW WORLD ORDER presently coming into existence is made up of those who follow the Socialist World Government manifesto. This “New World Order” is the modern vehicle on which the ‘great whore’ of mystery Babylon rides. It’s integrated government consists of four separate components.1) Control of the World Economy, by which all nations trade, and by whose currency all peoples receive livelihood. The individual National currencies now in use will be done away with. (This is GATT and NAFTA)2) Political Control including the present UN agreement by which ALL nations yield individual national control of THEIR OWN military forces to control by the UN Security Council. (This is the present system obvious since Desert Storm, but actually begun in the Korean conflict)3) Social Control: (Education, Crime, and Environmental) The NEW WORLD ORDER is to control the internal policies of all nations through the various UN agencies in order to make them conform to a universal model, without any national distinction. (Sept 94 UN conference in Cairo)4) Religious Control: The UN objective is to normalize ALL the world’s religions into one. Religion, you see, is too divisive to the NEW WORLD STATE. Especially those right wing Christians that are so against modern population control methods such as abortion, and so adamant on INSISTING that belief in their Jesus-God is THE ONLY way. Can you imagine such a thing? (Think about this one, carefully)The early Christians could not only imagine it, they lived (or died) it.Our Christian brothers formerly behind the Iron Curtain in Russia certainly do not believe in any “rapture”. In fact they know already what we are soon to find out. They know first hand the hardships of being a Christian while living under socialist rule. This time, however, there will be no place on earth that is not under the control of the NEW WORLD ORDER.How odd it is that Christians living in the West could be so self-centered and blind to suppose that tribulation could not have arrived on earth until it arrives on American soil. What right have we to think God measures tribulation by it’s exclusive effect on American Christians?III — Where is the Kingdom of God?Strange indeed are the phenomena which has recently appeared in the doctrinal position of most of today’s professing Christians. At one moment they speak of going to heaven in the rapture (or when they die), where they will live FOREVER: but then, in the next statement they speak of Christ coming to earth with His saints to rule all nations with a rod of iron. (Rev 2:26,27) The doctrinal diversion is readily apparent to those who teach only one of the views mentioned above, either futurist or historicist. There are, however, literally millions who believe both doctrines are true, in spite of their inherent contradiction.Let us look into the Word to see where the Bible locates God’s Kingdom and where Christ will reign with His saints. Does the Bible promise heaven or earth as the eternal abode of the Christian? If believers were to receive their inheritance in heaven, then the ‘rapture’ would be a logical way of getting them there for their reward. If, however, our inheritance is on the earth, then there would be no need for the rapture, except (as is supposed) to prevent us from undergoing tribulation.We have already seen (II), that the beast-systems were to make war with the saints here on earth. We also saw the Great Stone Kingdom that was to smash the other kingdoms and grind them to powder. This Great Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, “became a great mountain, and filled the whole EARTH” (Dan 2:35). Those who rule with Christ will be on earth as well, for we see in Rev 5:10,”And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (KJV)This statement mirrors the teaching of the Old Testament, for we see in Num 14:21 “But as truly as I live, all the EARTH shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (KJV)” Two other prophets spoke the same. Isa 11:9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the EARTH shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” And in Hab 2:14 “For the EARTH shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”David’s theme, repeated over and over in Psalms 37 was that “the meek shall inherit the EARTH”. Jesus verified this in Matt 5:5; “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the EARTH.”Jesus, our example of one who was persecuted and even murdered for us, viewed the earth with a great deal more respect than many Christians do today. He was after all, the Creator (John 1:3), and it was His voice that pronounced it “very good”. (Gen 1:31).Perhaps when we learn to view the creation with the same love as does it’s Creator, we will not despise God’s good earth. Instead, we will attempt to fulfill the responsibility God gave to mankind; “to subdue and have dominion (authority under God) over the earth” (Gen 1:28). The earth is God’s footstool (Matt 5:35). When Jesus finally sets up His Divine Government it will therefore be on the earth, and when true Christians rule with him in His Kingdom, then we will truly have heaven on this earth.IV– Meeting the Lord in the Air.Perhaps the most well known Bible passage quoted in rapture believing circles is 1 Thess. 4:16-17″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: 17 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.” (KJV)This passage teaches that Christ shall return to earth someday, and that the resurrection of the dead in Christ shall occur before the living believers are caught up to meet Christ in the air, BUT, There is NO mention of anyone being taken to heaven or anywhere else.Thus will we ‘ever be with the Lord on earth or in heaven?” We have previously shown in part III that the eternal abode is on EARTH.The meaning of the Greek verb translated “to meet” in verse 17 is therefore important. It is the Greek word ‘apantesis’. (See your concordance and it’s dictionary). In this form the word is used only three other places in the scripture. In Acts 28:15, the word is used when Paul is met by the Roman Christians and ESCORTED into Rome.(Acts 28:16). The other two uses of the word are in Matt 25:1 and 25:6. This parable of the ‘virgins’ put forth by Jesus should be quite clear to all. The virgins did indeed ‘meet and RETURN with’ the Bridegroom (25:10). Another kindred form of the word is used only one place in the scripture. The word ‘hupantesis’ is translated ‘meet’ in John 12:13:”Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (KJV) This passage should be familiar to all. It is the one most associate with ‘Palm Sunday’, where the inhabitants of Jerusalem met and RETURNED with Jesus to Jerusalem. Jesus did not turn around and go back to Bethany where He was coming from. He went to Jerusalem, and the people escorted Him there, shouting praises.The context of the word is clear: we should see therefore, that just as Paul was escorted to Rome, just as the five wise virgins escorted the Bridegroom to the wedding, and as Jesus was escorted to Jerusalem, we will someday ‘meet AND RETURN with the Lord to THIS earth, because this earth is where Jesus is coming to. He has no need to return to heaven. He is already there. He’s coming HERE.The rapture teachers are fond of claiming that the rapture is ‘secret’, and that only some few with sufficient faith are able to partake of the blessed event. They boldly exclaim that Christ loves them so much more than the common genre of Christians that He has shown them His little secret, so they will not have to worry. But, they add in the next breath, that anyone can be partaker of the blessed secret event, if they but believe in it.Apparently the Holy Spirit foresaw such egotism in us, for a few verses later, in 1 Thess chapter 5, Paul writes further about ‘the Day of the Lord’: 1 Thes 5:1 “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (KJV)Now some of us, while reading this passage, immediately picture Christ coming as a burglar and stealing something of value secretly. However, in old times a “thief in the night” usually meant something entirely different. It was then common for a band of robbers to swoop down on an unsuspecting village in the middle of the night, when people were sleeping and resting for the morrow’s labor. The thieves would storm the town, often from many directions at once, take everything of value, and kill all that resisted.This context must have been in the mind of Paul, for the Word is literally full of the stories of such raids, and their consequences. Jesus taught this same theme quite plainly in Matt 24. Matt 24:50 “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV) This is instructively placed in the Word right after Jesus gives all the signs of His coming in Matt 24, and just before the parable of the 10 virgins in Matt 25. It behooves us to notice. Jesus also gave us the same instruction as Paul is reiterating: We are to be “awake” to His Word, and be His “watchmen on the wall”. We are to warn of the approach of the ‘thief’, who is not Jesus, but is ‘Instead-of-Jesus’, the imposter.Paul clearly continues to say “while the world sleeps in peace and safety”, then will suddenly come destruction (or the destructor) upon the wicked, and they will not escape. He then continues to say that “you brethren, are to come out of the darkness (into the truth?) and to be vigilant. You as a Christian are to know not only the signs, but also who’s up first. Do You?1 Thes 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (KJV)Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (KJV)Eze 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (KJV)Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. (KJV)Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (KJV)Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (KJV)In SPITE of all these warnings God gives in His Word, many who call themselves ‘Christians’ will be caught totally unawares by the ‘Day of the Lord’. By believing man’s latter day lie that they will be raptured away, they will not have prepared themselves spiritually, mentally or physically for the events which may shortly mature from the presently observable specter of the NEW WORLD ORDER which promises ‘peace and safety’ for all the world. Think about it.It should be easily seen that in 1 Thess 4 and 5, Paul is NOT teaching a pre-trib ‘rapture’, but plainly states that WHEN Jesus comes we will welcome Him back to earth where He shall rule with His saints forever, in righteousness over all nations. This agrees totally with all the rest of the Word.V– For His saints and with His SaintsRapture teachers commonly teach it that ‘the Bible teaches TWO separate comings of Christ in the future. The first time FOR His Saints, and the SECOND time WITH His Saints.’ Due to the impact of considerable teaching by people who know God’s Word, which showed without doubt even to the rapture teachers that there is to be ONLY ONE return by Christ to the earth, the original theory has been modified. According to the present modified theory, the first time Jesus comes, He will only ‘swoop close’, and snatch the believers away. Since He does not actually ‘touch earth’, they say, the technical points of the Bible are not contradicted. One of the main arguments of the rapture-teachers in defense of the modified theory is that “It should be obvious that Jesus must come first to get His saints, if He is going to come back to the earth WITH them”.Well, we have been taught that the Word of God will always vomit out the traditions of man. Let us see.With the theory modification, less emphasis is placed on 1 Thess 4, and more now placed on Jude 14 and 15. which reads: Jude 14 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (KJV)Jude here is quoting from both the apocryphal book of Enoch (see Jude verse 14), as well as from Deu 33:2. “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” (KJV). Moses says very plainly here in Deu 33:2, that the Lord CAME from mount Paran with ten thousands of his Saints. Now, as I recall, that was quite some time ago when He revealed His Law to the Children of Israel. It seems He ALREADY had His Saints with Him then. Even the same number mentioned in Jude 14. Why should He need some one else to come with Him in the future? Who were these ‘Saints’ anyway? Paul says in 2 Thes 1:7 ” And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (KJV)They are therefore “His Mighty Angels”, not a bunch of people who refuse to believe His Word.Oh well, because Jude is quoting the book of Enoch, let’s look there and see if Enoch perchance foretold a rapture. Chapter 1 of Enoch 1 reads: 1 The words of the blessings of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous WHO WILL BE LIVING IN THE DAY OF TRIBULATION, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed.2 And he took up his parable and said, Enoch, a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of The Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me… and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come.3 Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,4 And the Eternal God will tread upon the earth, even on Mount Sinai..9 And Behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His Holy Ones to execute judgement upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly, and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.Here we see that even the book of Enoch makes it crystal clear that Christians will be living on earth in the flesh in the day of tribulation. Moses in Deu 33 echoes the above quotes from Enoch, and Jude picks up the theme, applying it to Christ’s return. He already has His saints with Him. He will return with them, just like the WORD says. Thus we see that the doctrine of pre-trib rapture is foreign not only to the canonized KJV, but is vomited out by the apocryphal book of Enoch as well.VI– One shall be taken and the other left.Another favorite passage of the rapture teachers is found in Matt 24:37-42: 37 But as the days of Noe (NOAH) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.38 For as in the days that were before the flood they (THE WICKED) were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,39 And (THE WICKED) knew not until the flood came, and took them (THE WICKED) all away; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.40 Then shall two be in the field; the (WICKED) one shall be taken,(BY THE FLOOD) and the other (THE CHRISTIAN) left. (TO DO CHRIST’S WORK?)41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the (WICKED) one shall be taken,(BY THE FLOOD) and the other (THE CHRISTIAN) left.42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.In other words, it was the FLOOD that took the WICKED in Noah’s day. Noah believed God and prepared. He built an Ark. He worked doing God’s Will. He was confident in God. We know Noah preached to the others. He warned them. The FLOOD TOOK THEM TO DEATH. Do you still want to be the first one taken?This passage is so plainly against a pretrib rapture it is actually not worth too much explanation. If a person cannot understand that the subject and the object which Jesus is speaking about is the time of His return, and the fate of the ones who listened to man instead of God (just like in Noah’s day), then truly the words of Jesus in Matt 13 are most apropos here:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.There is also the obvious fact that God’s elect (Noah) was NOT removed from the earth NOR relieved of ‘tribulation’ BEFORE, DURING, or AFTER the flood. Noah was preserved THROUGH the flood because he followed God’s Word instead of man’s. Paul writes in Heb 13:6;”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”Why do some insist that we must be ‘snatched away’ to be protected? Do you think God is not able to deliver you in the day of trouble?Finally, just in case some say that “You applied your own definition to who those were that were taken”, let us look into Jesus’ other parables to interpret the meaning as to who is taken and who is left.VII– The Cleansing of the KingdomPerhaps this is bad news to the rapture-teachers, but here we will quote a few scriptures of the many which clearly prove that is is the wicked who will be removed from the earth in order that the righteous may inherit the Kingdom. Solomon wrote in ProverbsProv 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. (KJV)Prov 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. (KJV)Prov 2:21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.Prov 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. (KJV)Prov 3:25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. (KJV)Prov 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (KJV)Isaiah says:Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (KJV)Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (KJV)Paul in Hebrews quotes from Haggai 2:6 when he says:Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (KJV)In each case the theme is the same: It is the wicked that God shakes from His earth. He will soon do this in tribulation, throwing down all man-made systems in order to remove the wicked from the earth. This shakedown will be so great in the day of the LORD, that only those things that support God’s Kingdom will remain. The parables of Jesus echo the same thought, as we realize they should. In Matthew 13:34-40, Jesus pictured the Son of Man sowing good seed in His World. One night an enemy (remember the thief in the night?) planted tares among His wheat. As the crop developed, it became apparent that the tares pervaded the crop. The servants asked if they should go and pull the tares up. The Son of Man bid them not to weed the crop, lest the wheat be damaged. Wait, He said, until the harvest. THEN FIRST gather the tares and BURN THEM. THEN gather the wheat into my barn.For someone who knows what this word tares means, the message is quite plain. The tares look just like the wheat when it is growing. It takes someone who is fairly expert to tell the difference between the tares and the wheat in an immature crop. When the crop matures, however, a kernel of wheat is golden and nutritious, while the seeds of the tares are black, bitter and if the combination of nutrients is just right, even poisonous to both humans and animals.This parable was easily understood in Jesus’ day, for farmers carefully removed each black seed before grinding the wheat into meal for their bread.We see that the tares must be removed from the wheat FIRST. The wicked are removed from the earth- not the righteous. We should, therefore, not look for the ‘rapture’ of the “church”, but for the ‘rapture of the wicked’ to instead-of-Jesus.Later in this same chapter Jesus confirmed again that the wicked would be the FIRST to go. This parable begins in Matt 13:47 with a net cast into the sea, bringing up all types of fish. The fish were separated and in accord with the past themes we see in Matt 13:49:So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the WICKED from among the just, (KJV)Again we note that it is the wicked that are severed. The scriptures are constant and consistent in this theme, from Genesis to Revelation.VIII ConclusionEven in ancient times the prophets of God foresaw a protracted and lengthy conflict between two great cities: Jerusalem and Babylon. Jerusalem, we recognize as the city from which God ruled in righteousness. Babylon was the city from which man with their self-made rules controlled all the world’s riches. These cities are set at enmity in God’s Word, not just as physical places, but because they represent opposing philosophies. They have opposing systems of government: Jerusalem represents a theocratic republic, with its laws the laws of God. Babylon is a socialistic democracy, where the rules of law change with man’s majority vote, or the whims of a few leaders. Jerusalem represents a social system based upon “the love of one’s neighbor as his own self”, without regard of relative wealth. Babylon has a social order based upon the love of relative wealth in judgement between social classes. The economic system of Jerusalem is based upon God’s law of a full measure of pay for a full day’s work, and additional pay for additional work. The Babylonian economic system takes the worker’s pay via confiscator taxes and usury (interest) to pay those that though they are able, refuse to work. Finally, the two cities represent opposing religious systems. Both of these ancient cities were physically destroyed, yet the systems that they represent are just now approaching the time of harvest. Much of the blackness of the tares is beginning to become apparent to some few of God’s people.Although some teach that the city of Babylon must be rebuilt to fulfill the Revelation, it is not a physical place that is described as the city of ‘Babylon’ in the book of Revelation. Instead it is “mystery Babylon” that God’s destruction falls on. When God warns us “to come out of Babylon”, what does He mean? When we look at the Strong’s word for Babylon in the Greek dictionary, it sends us right back to the Hebrew dictionary, as it is transliterated directly from Hebrew to Greek to English. It doesn’t change. Neither does it’s meaning. It means CONFUSION:Strong’s # 894 Babel (baw-bel’); from 1101; confusion; Babel (i.e. Babylon), including Babylonia and the Babylonian empire: KJV– Babel, Babylon. (DIC)Just as we see the truth that the name of Babylon is the same in all languages, so are its rules. Shortly, we will all live in a worldwide “Babylon”. We will no longer be merely citizens of the USA. We will be citizens of the BABYLON of THE NEW WORLD ORDER, which is nothing less than the prophesied “rebuilding of the city”. After this happens, ‘peacefully and prosperously’ according to Daniel, we will be forced to adopt a universal worldwide religion, which we see being prepared even today by the “great” (and godless) “World Council of Churches”. This ‘religion’ must not be divisive. No group may say “JESUS is the only way”. No group may say there is only one GOD. It may offend someone.My friends, just as Daniel was taken captive by the king of Babylon, we have been also. Our country is broke. We as individuals owe more usury (interest) than we can pay to the one-world bankers in a normal lifetime. We have no choice but to continue to work to try to pay interest on what we owe while buying our daily bread. Daniel is our example from the Word. He did not fight the king of Babylon. He served him well up to the point that they told him he must worship another god. This he would not do, and neither must we. Just as God delivered them in the times of their tribulation, He will be faithful to remember us. Note with care that Daniel’s faithfulness to God resulted in even the king of Babylon bowing in submission to God. Daniel chapter four is the prayer of a converted Nebuchadnezzar. Read it for yourself.Thus it is when the New World order dictates we must worship their “god”, that Jesus says, COME OUT.Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (KJV)In closing I would like to ask how we can participate in the judgement of the great whore Babylon if we were planning to evacuate the earth during that judgement? Instead let us read with comfort:Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;Maranatha! December, 1996