THE RAPTURE OF THE BRIDE
Many good and sincere folks out there do not believe in the rapture of the TRUE CHURCH at all, and many believe it is a POST TRIBULATIONAL EVENT, or a PRE-WRATH EVENT, or a MID-TRIB EVENT, but less and less believe in a PRE-TRIB event. I was a pre-wrath believer for some time, but now am totally convinced the Bible actually does teach that the TRUE CHURCH will depart close to, at the start of, or slightly into Daniel’s 70th week. It may also tie directly to the SUDDEN DESTRUCTION, which ties itself directly to “peace and security”.
Because we do not actually KNOW what the year 2017 means, even though we have a major SIGN on Rosh Hashanah, the only way we will know if we are to subtract 1260 days from that event and arrive at 4-11-2014 for the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, is what transpires here on Earth in relationship to a COVENANT WITH MANY. If we see this covenant for “peace and security” come forth to settle the “Middle East Problem”then we will know. If we see Isaiah 17 come into view and occur, THEN WE WILL KNOW. Until then, we watch and we pray.
So I will present my concepts which is called the “blessed hope” of the TRUE CHURCH, also called the BRIDE OF CHRIST. There is a vast difference between “believers” and Christ draws a strong line between the two in His seven letters to the seven Churches. OVERCOMERS are those that are truly born of God in the act of rebirth. They have seen the LOVE OF CHRIST, that is, they have LOOKED UPON IT, and KNOW experientially what it is. The NON-OVERCOMERS HAVE NOT, to wit:
19 And this is the condemnation (only one condemnation), that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The condemnation of the human race is because they LOST DIVINE AGAPE AT THE FALL. Jesus calls the many loves of man EVIL, and classifies the human race as EVIL, AND ONE THAT LIVES IN A PRISON, IS SPIRITUAL DARKNESS, a prisoner of Satan, the prince of Darkness. Hence, Jesus claims that a fallen soul MUST COME TO THE LIGHT OF DIVINE AGAPE to have their deeds reproved. If they do so, then they will, if they accept their LOST STATE, and UNDERSTAND WHY they are lost, and ACCEPT THE LOVE OF CHRIST as their covering (TRUE BIBLICAL REPENTANCE), they will be REBORN AND FOREVER SAVED.
It should be pointed out that if one has actually COME TO THE LIGHT of Divine Love, then ONE WOULD HAVE LOOKED UPON IT, and one would have BEHELD WHAT TYPE OF LOVE IT IS.
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Do you see? THE LIGHT (LOVE OF CHRIST) IS WHAT BRINGS FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND BRINGS THAT BELIEVER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It always, ALWAYS centers upon coming to THE LIGHT OF DIVINE AGAPE. This is why John says what He does:
1 John 3:1-2
3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 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.
Once again we find something of extreme importance here, for how could one BEHOLD (that is to LOOK UPON, PERCEIVE. ETC) UNLESS one had COME TO THE LIGHT to have their deeds reproved?
1. horao (
, NT:3708), with its aorist form eidon, “to see” (in a few places the KJV uses the verb “to behold”), is said (a) of bodily vision, e. g., Mark 6:38; John 1:18,46; (b) of mental perception, e. g., Rom 15:21; Col 2:18; (c) of taking heed, e. g., Matt 8:4; 1 Thess 5:15; (d) of experience, as of death, Luke 2:26; Heb 11:5; life, John 3:36; corruption, Acts 2:27; (e) of caring for, Matt 27:4; Acts 18:15 (here the form opsomai is used). See APPEAR, HEED, LOOK, PERCEIVE, SEE, SHEW.
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
This is an “experiential” viewing of something, of KNOWING WHAT IT IS BECAUSE YOU LOOKED UPON IT. I can personally vouch that this is the real truth of the matter because I was shown the LOVE OF GOD, and I looked upon it with total amazement, as there are no words to describe the LOVE OF GOD has for His Creation and for each soul individually. Those that claim there is no difference between the love of God and the loves of man are foolish, no matter how many degrees that hang after their names. The LOVE OF GOD is a LOVE TYPE TOTALLY UNKNOWN TO THE HUMAN RACE. That is why John says WHAT MANNER OF LOVE – it is so radically different than anything the human race knows about it is beyond words.
When I stood before Jesus Christ and His Love, I knew why I was a lost soul and why I was going to hell and eternal ruin. It is so OBVIOUS when you look upon HIS LOVE that we really are LOST SOULS. When He asked me if I would LOVE, AND I SAID YES, that is when I OPENED THE DOOR OF MY INNER HIDDEN MAN AND RECEIVED CHRIST, to wit:
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This is the LAST and FINAL ADMONITION FROM THE LORD to the Churches. I heard Jesus Christ speak to me and call me BY NAME. I heard His voice, but I cannot tell you if it was with my ears or not. He first said to me “Stewart, do you agree that LOVE RUNS THIS UNIVERSE?” But it was such a POWERFUL but SOFT AND GENTLE VOICE to hear, and directly to the POINT. I had been searching for the truth behind the entire UNIVERSE or CREATION. This question from Him was AFTER He showed me WHAT MANNER OF DIVINE LOVE IS. It was obvious – OF COURSE, DIVINE LOVE UPHOLDS, RUNS AND CONTROLS THE ENTIRE CREATION. It was so simple, so direct, but I was blind to it before this encounter because our minds are veiled to the REAL, SIMPLE AND PROFOUND TRUTH OF GOD.
If scientists want to find the God Particle, here it is – DIVINE LOVE, a SPIRIT FORCE OF IMMENSE POWER. This is so important to understand, because coming to the Light of Christ IS SALVATION. It is fully experiential in all aspects. YOU WILL KNOW FOR SURE when you meet Jesus Christ face to face. Faith and belief are supposed to be the DYNAMIC FORCE that propels you THROUGH THE STRAIT GATE, DOWN THE NARROW WAY TO THE PIT OF DEATH, CALLED THE “LOWEST ROOM”. The belief and faith of modern Christians is a “static” armchair faith that means nothing whatsoever, which is why Jesus said this:
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The Scriptures SAY WHAT THEY MEAN, and MEAN WHAT THEY SAY. The answer is OBVIOUS, there will be NO FAITH on His return for TRUE BIBLICAL FAITH HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A STATIC “I BELIEVE”. True faith is an ACTION VERB, and is an OBEDIENT FAITH, that is ENTER YE IN. It is totally missing today.
Notice that Jesus said THE OVERCOMER ONLY is the one that will sit down with Him in the Heavens. There are no promises whatsoever to the NON-OVERCOMERS. Well, there is one – they will be sent away into eternal ruin.
Why is this so important to a study of the rapture of the TRUE BRIDE? Because they are TOTALLY SET APART FROM ALL OTHERS IN THE WORLD. John tells us that the OVERCOMER is REBORN, not only in the above “what manner” and “now we are Sons of God” but also here:
1 John 5:4-5
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Notice how the OVERCOMER is BORN OF GOD, that is, REBIRTH. What gives us the power to OVERCOME THE WORLD? True biblical ACTION FAITH, that is OBEDIENT FAITH, for remember that Christ told us in Matthew Seven that if we heard His Words and DID THEM (OBEDIENCE), we would OVERCOME THE WORLD. How? By entering in at the STRAIT GATE and walking the NARROW WAY that “leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it!”
Now you can understand why THE REAL BRIDE OF CHRIST is already MARRIED TO HIM, for He has come to them and left his SEED IN THEM, that is, the marriage has in fact already been CONSUMMATED in part, and all that remains is the GREAT WEDDING FEAST a SEVEN DAY (YEAR) AFFAIR AT THE FATHER’S HOUSE.
1 John 3:9-10
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his (Christ’s) seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
The real BRIDE OF CHRIST is MARRIED TO HIM. Jesus PROMISED TO RETURN FOR HIS BRIDE. It is a promise to the TRUE BRIDE OF CHRIST that they would be REMOVED before the SEAL JUDGMENTS ARE OPENED, because Christ will not MAKE WAR upon HIS OWN BRIDE. His true bride are also His true Ambassadors, and you always remove them before the WAR BEGINS.
Now then, because the TRUE BRIDE OF CHRIST are REBORN IN TRUTH, and OVERCOMERS IN TRUTH, and AMBASSADORS IN TRUTH, and because the FIRST SEAL JUDGMENT IS ANTICHRIST AND A FALSE “COVENANT WITH MANY”, then why would the real and true Bride be upon the Earth? Jesus told them they would ESCAPE if they were “worthy” and only those who are BORN AGAIN are “worthy”, not because of any righteousness they have, but rather because Christ Himself IS WORTHY, and they are IN HIM. Do you see?
2 “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
(It is of extreme importance to note that in Revelation Five, the CHURCH AGE IS OVER, and that the REDEEMED OF CHRIST ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN BEFORE THE FIRST SEAL (ANTICHRIST RIDES) IS OPENED. That means that the RAPTURE OF THE TRUE BRIDE, THE REAL REDEEMED HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE EARTH, found in Revelation 4:1 The 24 Elders represent the TRUE CHURCH, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST)
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
More here on whom the ELDERS ARE, again source unknown but accurate:
The 24 Elders in Revelation 4 and 5 are REPRESENTATIVE of a Raptured and glorified Church.
The 24 Elders CANNOT be angels. Angels DON’T WEAR crowns. Angels DON’T sit with God to rule and reign. We MUST define the 24 ELDERS by their SPECIFIC descriptions.
Elders–a term used for Church leadership.
Elders, the Greek “presbuteros.” Church terminology–the “Presbytery.”
The number 24. In 1 Chronicles 24:1-31, King David divided the Priesthood into 24 COURSES because they’d grown so large. When 24 LEADERS of the COURSES met BEFORE David’s throne, the WHOLE PRIESTHOOD was REPRESENTED. The 24 ELDERS represent the ENTIRE CHURCH before God’s throne. This is a picture of the Church as PRIESTS.
The number 24. The Church is composed of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. 12 tribes of Israel. 12 apostles of the Church. A total of 24. (Remember the early Church was primarily Jewish and many from Israel are in fact BORN AGAIN OVERCOMERS).
The Elders SIT. The work of the Church on earth in “the age of God’s Grace” is done.
The Elders sit on THRONES–the Church is seated on THRONES as KINGS.
The Elders wear “SPECIFIC” WHITE RAIMENT. The Church is promised white garments. Revelation 3:4-5. Revelation 3:18. That our garments (and ourselves) are to be washed and spotless are seen in Ephesians 5:26-27, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:14. Jude 1:23 and Revelation 1:5.
The Elders wear CROWNS, which are STEPHANOS, given for OVERCOMING and GAINING A VICTORY (for finishing the race). The same kind of CROWNS are given to the Church. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. 2 Timothy 4:8. James 1:12. 1 Peter 5:4. Revelation 2:10 b. Revelation 3:11.
The Elders wear crowns OF GOLD. Gold shows KINGSHIP. This shows the Church as KINGS.
In Revelation 5:1-14, the Elders sing a NEW SONG of THEIR REDEMPTION (as seen in the King James Version–which is translated from a MORE RELIABLE old manuscript). The Elders sing of being SAVED by the blood of Jesus.
The Elders are saved “out of” (“called-out of”) every kindred, tongue, people and nation on earth. The Church is predominantly Gentile, “called-out of” the world.
In Ezekiel and Daniel we find SIMILAR DESCRIPTIONS of heaven as shown in the Revelation. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. The Old Testament prophets did NOT see 24 Elders! Why? The Church is a MYSTERY which was NOT clearly revealed in the Old Testament.
The point being here that only Christ is WORTHY, and the righteousness of the SAINTS is the robe of Divine Agape that is given to those who have come to the LIGHT OF CHRIST, which is the “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE” that the world has no knowledge of.
But now let’s look at some other points for a PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE of the TRUE BRIDE MORE DEEPLY: Remember the TRUE BRIDE is a BORN AGAIN IN TRUTH BRIDE. First let’s look at the actual wording in Revelation 4:1:
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Now the word “hereafter” is interesting:
Notes: (1) This adverb translates the phrase meta tauta, lit., “after these things,” John 13:7; Rev 1:19, and frequently in the Apocalypse, see 4:1 (twice); 7:9; 9:12; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1; 20:3, (2) For Matt 26:64 and Luke 22:69 (KJV, “hereafter”) see HENCEFORTH; for Mark 11:14 see HENCEFORWARD. (3) In John 14:30, ouk eti is rendered “no more” in the RV (KJV, “Hereafter… not”). (4) In 1 Tim 1:16, “hereafter” translates the verb mello, “to be about to.”
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
Now that means AFTER THESE THINGS. What things? THE CHURCH AGE, the AGE OF GRACE, and after the “TIMES OF THE GENTILES”. Here is what Paul said about it:
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
(Age of Grace is over when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, and then the DOOR IS SHUT).
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
So then that which is to come “hereafter” is Daniel’s 70th week because the times of the gentiles is OVER, and the age of grace is closed, and there is no more REBIRTH. That is why there is no mention of REBIRTH for the tribulation saints. That age is OVER, THE DOOR IS SHUT, and those that were not ready are LEFT BEHIND. Now let’s go to the wedding ceremony itself, and why it takes place in heaven and in the Father’s House:
(This is from an unknown source, but says it far better than I ever could):
1. THE WEDDING CEREMONY AT THE FATHER’S HOUSE.
The WEDDING of Jesus and His Church follows the Jewish model. Remember, Jesus CAME to the Jews, God in the flesh of a man through a JEWISH LINEAGE.
In John 14:1-3 (where the Rapture of the Church is PROMISED), the structure of the Jewish wedding ceremony is HEAVILY IMPLIED. “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” “I GO and PREPARE a place for you.” “I will come again and receive you unto Myself…”
In the Jewish wedding, the groom INITIATES an AGREEMENT to marry a woman with the bride’s father. The groom PAYS A PRICE for his bride (the mohar). Jesus PAID THE PRICE for His Church with His own precious blood.
Once the agreement for the marriage is made and the price is paid, the marriage covenant is established. The young man and woman are considered as husband and wife, even though they have not yet lived together. From the payment of the mohar the bride is DECLARED to be CONSECRATED or SANCTIFIED–(“set apart” for her groom). As a SYMBOL of that CONSECRATION, the groom and bride drink a cup of wine over which the betrothal is announced. The Church is SET APART and SANCTIFIED unto Jesus. IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE PRICE that Jesus paid, the Church drinks the cup of communion wine.
After the marriage covenant is established, the groom leaves his bride at her home. He RETURNS to the HOME of his FATHER, where he will remain for about 12 months. After Jesus paid the price with His blood, HE RETURNED TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE IN HEAVEN. The Church is LEFT AT HER HOME (a temporary place) upon the earth.
The bride has time to PREPARE her wedding trousseau, GETTING READY for married life. The Church remains true to Jesus, PREPARING TO MEET HIM SOMEDAY.
At the home of his father, the groom PREPARES A DWELLING PLACE for himself and his bride. Jesus returned to His Father’s house in heaven at the time of His ascension. He promised His followers that while He’s there, He PREPARES MANSIONS for us to dwell in.
At THE END of the period of separation, the bridegroom WILL RETURN–usually at night–to TAKE his bride TO COME LIVE WITH HIM. The groom, his best man, and other male escorts will leave the father’s house and do a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. The bride DOES NOT KNOW THE TIME of her bridegroom’s coming. As a result, the groom’s arrival is preceded by a shout. The TIME when Jesus will DESCEND into the air, to catch His Bride up to Himself is UNKNOWN. Therefore, the Church is exhorted to BE READY. Someday, the SHOUT which precedes Him will reach our ears and we’ll RISE UP TO MEET HIM.
After the groom receives his bride (together with her bridesmaids), the enlarged group RETURNS to the HOUSE of the GROOM’S FATHER. Jesus and His Church will be united in HEAVEN after the Rapture, at the HOUSE of GOD, THE FATHER.
The bride and groom, shortly after their arrival at the house of the groom’s father, are escorted by other members of the wedding party to THE BRIDAL CHAMBER. The bride wears a veil so her face is not seen. The marriage is (again) consummated. A little later, it’s ANNOUNCED to the wedding guests, AT WHICH TIME the guests have a party for SEVEN DAYS. Once in heaven, Jesus and His Church will have our marriage sealed, and it’s ANNOUNCED in heaven. Then SEVEN DAYS of celebration (corresponding to the SEVEN YEARS of the tribulation) ensues.
While the SEVEN days of the celebration takes place, the bride and groom remain HIDDEN in the bridal chamber, called the “huppah.” AFTER the SEVEN DAYS are finished, the groom comes OUT OF HIDING, bringing his wife with him, and her veil is removed so all can see her. At that time, the marriage is ANNOUNCED TO THE WORLD AT LARGE. When the SEVEN YEARS of the tribulation is finished, Christ and His Bride will LEAVE THEIR CHAMBERS. Jesus will RETURN to the earth in His Second Coming to set His feet on the Mt. of Olives, and His Bride (the Church) will ACCOMPANY Him!At that time, the marriage is ANNOUNCED TO THE WORLD AT LARGE, and people will see the face of the Bride, as she RULES and REIGNS with Jesus.
The MARRIAGE of Christ and the Church is seen in Romans 7:4. “…that you should be married to another–even to Him Who is raised from the dead.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, we, the Church, are “espoused to one husband,” that we may be presented as “a chaste virgin to Christ.”
In James 4:4, the Church is warned about the lusts of the flesh and love of the world which makes us “adulterers and adulteresses”–a people who turn against their wedding vows (by refusing to keep themselves separate from such things).
The Apostle Paul continually reminds the Church of THE HIGH COST of our PURCHASE PRICE, the BLOOD of Jesus. Paul continually teaches of our COVENANT WITH CHRIST, by which we, His Bride, are SET APART and SANCTIFIED.
There is clearly a “coming of Jesus” FOR His “Bride” BEFORE His Second Coming to earth. During the tribulation, His Bride is ALREADY in heaven, and WILL RETURN to earth WITH Him at the Second Coming. Revelation 19:7-10 and Revelation 19:14. Jude 1:14-15.”
What more is there to add to this? But this is ONLY ONE reason why the Bride of Christ is not subject to Daniel’s 70th week.
2. Daniel’s 70th week according to Daniel is for THY PEOPLE and THY HOLY CITY, WHICH PERTAINS TO ISRAEL (THY PEOPLE) AND JERUSALEM, (THY HOLY CITY). The Church is not mentioned here at all. Inasmuch as the entire 70 weeks of Daniel, the Church is not mentioned at all – because the first 69 weeks were all about Israel and the arrival of their Messiah, which they REJECTED, and when they did that, Jesus went about laying the foundation for the CHURCH AGE, which would arrive at Pentecost. Inasmuch as the first 69 weeks was all about Israel and Jerusalem, so will the final 70th week. It is all about the RESTITUTION OF ISRAEL via JACOB’S TROUBLE. Remember that Jesus came TO ISRAEL as their Messiah, AND THEY WOULD NOT HAVE HIM. He warned them of what was to come:
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Israel will not say that until the SECOND ADVENT at the end of Jacob’s Trouble.
All of this is interesting, don’t you think? Any comments are welcome. There are many more reasons why I am convinced of a PRE/AT/SLIGHTLY INTO RAPTURE OF THE TRUE BRIDE. I will get to more of them in the next post.