Most serious believers agree we are entering the time of the end. I certainly do. What concerns me is that no one is telling the truth that we see in Revelation. I’ve studied all that Perry Stone has to say and I agree with most of it. I listen to Jack Van Impe, and most of what he says is excellent. But none of it touches my heart the way the Lord did many years ago when he said to me,
“No one has it figured out. No one understands. Jesus surprised everyone. Why do you think you have the coming of the king figured out?”
Only Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, Anna, and Simeon were told who Jesus was. Only Mary was told her child would be a king, but even she didn’t mention the kingship in the Magnificat. The wise men from the East understood that a king had been born in Bethlehem, but they split quickly. The shepherds were only told a Savior had been born. It seems clear that Judas was looking for a king. Everyone was looking for a king, but it wasn’t time for a king.
When Jesus died as the suffering servant spoken of in Isaiah—especially Isaiah 53—no one understood. There’s no mention of a king in Isaiah 53. Jesus had told them specifically what He was there to do. But no one understood until after He rose from the dead. The church was a surprise.
The king is coming!
We all believe that. What a glorious thing it is. But between now and then—what do we know? I’m convinced that the rapture will take place, but when, how, and who will notice? I am convinced that this time the King is indeed coming.
But, God will fool everyone again
I spent a lot of time in the 19080s and early ’90s studying about the rapture. I didn’t know if it was biblical. God convinced me it was. But one of the main scriptures about the rapture is never mentioned by the leading teachers of prophecy. That verse is Isaiah 57:1
The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. [NKJV]
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. [NIV]
No person takes it to heart and no one understands… There’s a sobering thought. What we need to do is look more carefully at the timeline in Revelation.
The door opens in heaven
The seven churches are in place. Then the door in heaven opens. Rev 4:1
- The four horsemen come. Several of them have, I think—more on that later.
- The great earthquake comes.
- The 144,000 are sealed
- The Tribulation saints appear in heaven.
The righteous perish. They die. The devout are taken away. I am convinced they leave their bodies behind—dead! The world does not understand. The church does not understand. How many righteous are there, really? If the criteria is that we know Jesus (see Matthew 7:21-23), there aren’t that many of us. Increasingly the organized church hates us as bad as the rest of the world does. So, if all of us died, who would notice?
That seems pretty straight forward to me. I’ll talk next week about the four horsemen…