Mid-Trib and Post-Trib View Must Be Called Apostasy
Any time you leave established and clear truth and move away from it that is called apostasy.
Apostasy is departure from plain doctrines of the Bible. The Bride of Christ is the center of the Book of Revelation. Of course our position is secondary to Christ Jesus but we are His pride and joy. Our position in Revelation is so beautiful from the first chapter. To try to leave the Bride of Christ on Earth all the way to the sounding of the trumpet is shear foolishness. It just cannot be true in any wild imagination.
1. In Chapter One He walked in our midst.
2. In Chapter Two and Three He speaks only to us.
3. In Chapter Four we sit on lesser thrones around His throne.
4. In Chapter Five we worship as He takes the Seven Sealed Book to open.
5. In Chapter Six we participate as He starts the Seven Year Tribulation Period.
6. In Chapters Four to Eighteen we are called His elders.
7. In Chapters 12 He promises we are going to reign on Earth.
8. In Chapters Thirteen through Eighteen we will be with Him as He judges the Antichrist and his haters.
9. In Chapter Nineteen we see the final moments of our Wedding Celebration.
10. In Chapters Twenty to Twenty-Two the saints move toward and into the Holy City, New Jerusalem and prepare to be His Bride forever.
The Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ was written out of His love for His future bride. It is a love story composed of many breathtaking revelations and actions that have one primary conclusion: New Jerusalem, full of His beloved, surrounded by a multitude of angels and saints. All of this beauty will be enjoyed forever on a New Earth situated within a New Heaven, where God the Father and God the Son are the light and center of it all. The Father that gave His Son in redemption will enjoy this family for eternity, and we will worship and enjoy Him.
Following the presence of the saints of God in this Book of Revelation is a great story of this masterpiece of literature. The redeemed are not obscure or unnecessary to this book; it was revealed and written for them. We are the purpose of the book. One of the unique truths about the entire Bible and all of our God’s revelations and miracles is that they always have a deep meaning for our lives. Our God does nothing as a show. Every revelation has meaning and purpose for His creation. Satan and his false religions will dazzle you with their display without any meaning or benefit except to capture your attention. The most important truth in discernment can be discovered in the presence or absence of genuine benefit and meaning. Our Father and His Son have revealed themselves and their revelations to inspire and fill your life with beauty, purpose, and purity.
The saints of God are given five different titles or positions of authority in this Book of Revelation. These titles reveal the progression of the story that the Lord is revealing to us. You can determine when the Rapture occurs by the change in the title and position held by the saints of God. When we cease to be called the church, we know that the church has moved up higher and must fulfill a different role in God’s revelation. Later, we become His army to fight and defeat the Antichrist and his horde of the Beast’s tattooed army that is determined to destroy everything contrary to him. These different titles are themselves a masterful tool to communicate the End Time message and order of events. His saints are central to His plan for the redemption of His universe.
This book begins with a blessing promised to the saints if they read, hear, and keep the great truths that are contained in this revelation. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3) Then it ends with an even more wonderful and supernatural setting. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3) From the beginning of this Book to its ending, we are His love and passion. Every promise, every action of judgment, and every revelation of coming glory was all planned, ordained, and will be fulfilled so that His saints can enjoy Him for all eternity. What a day that will be!
Let me begin with a chart that clearly shows the progression of our titles and positions as the book unfolds. Please view the chart carefully. The Bible calls us saints throughout the sixty-five books, from Genesis to Jude. But the titles change in Revelation, because this book reflects the activities assigned to us as we serve Him in fulfilling prophecy. The Kingdom of God is never void of His saints. “For we are labourers together with God…” (I Corinthians 3:9) He has given to us the words of redemption. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:19) It is His promise that we are going to judge the world and angels. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (I Corinthians 6:2) “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (I Corinthians 6:3) Our positions in the coming redemption of all things are spectacular. We are at the center of this great Book of Revelation given to us by Jesus Christ Himself. He received it from the Father and dictated it by angels and John, and commanded it to be written down and given to the church. How plain must He be to get our attention?
The Saints Called “The Church”
The first title given to the saints is located in the first three chapters. The very title “church” constitutes a “called-out assembly, set in authority to conduct His Redemptive business in the world.” His very language to His church in those three chapters denotes responsibility and a calling to service. The church is not a hiding place, but a serving place. The church is not where you go to be blessed, but where you go to bless others. For a group of people to claim to be His church is to accept the responsibility to obey His every command and challenge. The seven letters to the sevenfold church are absolute instructions and directions to model the church life. Any church that does not model its doctrines and lifestyle after these letters is not His church, but its own club.
The church is a kingdom business. Our duty is to model the Gospel after Christ and literally seek to win the world. We must win them and then make disciples out of them so that they take up the business of the kingdom themselves. It is not just our duty to preach the Gospel and win the lost; it is also our duty to cast out devils, heal the sick, and set the captive free. We are never told to just pray for the sick. We are told to pray for them and to heal them by His authority, but never in our own authority. The church must be the church acting in total surrender and doing His business on earth in the exact model of His ministry. A Bible church is a Book of Acts church.
The Elders Seated On Thrones
The saints are no longer called the church after John was caught up before the Throne of God. Immediately he saw the saints seated on lesser thrones before the Great Throne of the Father. The number of these elders is twenty-four, the perfect combination of First Testament and Second Testament saints. They are glorified because they sit in His presence without being smitten on their faces. As they celebrate their glorious victory, there can be no doubt of the Rapture that has removed these Saints from the earth to the presence of His throne set in the heavens. The number twenty-four is a symbolic number because the same group is a multitude in chapter five. “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.” (Revelation 5:11)
The Biblical description guarantees their transformation from the church to the reigning elders joining the Father and the Lamb in the judicial processes of redemption and judgment. “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:4) They are in authority, sitted on thrones, clothed in white raiment, glorified, wearing crowns of gold, and rewarded. The great hope of the church is the Rapture and this scene is absolute certainty that the Rapture has occurred at this point in this great story.
From chapter four all the way to chapter nineteen, verse fourteen, the saints are called elders. This covers the entire seven years of the Great Tribulation. At the end of these seven years of judgment and redemption, Jesus Christ prepares to return to the earth to set up the Millennial Kingdom. Upon returning, He must first defeat the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet, plus the devil’s army gathered from the nations of the world. They have gathered in Megiddo and this great battle has been prophesied for millenniums. The elders have shared the seven years of judicial activities with Christ, while also celebrating the Marriage Supper. They are ready to take on another role as His army descending with Him back to earth.
His Army Riding White Horses
The saints were His church, and they became His elders at the Rapture. Now, it’s time for His Second Coming and they become His army. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:11,14) The saints are going to constitute an invincible army with the King of kings riding as the triumphant Word of God. This is the long awaited Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to end the reign of terror by Satan and all evil. Jesus described this day perfectly. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)
Malachi prophesied that the Saints of God would be removed to a safe place during the coming darkness that Jesus called the Great Tribulation. He concluded his promise with a beautiful addition that we would come back to earth with Him. “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” (Malachi 3:18) “Then shall ye return” clearly ties the First Testament saints with the Second Testament saints to fulfill the twenty-four elders in chapter four and also shows these saints as returning together as His army to conquer and take control of the earth. The saints of all the ages will be one company, first as His elders; but, now, His army to capture and rule a world that has been out of control.
His Kings and Priests
Mostly, wicked men and women have ruled the world, but by prophecy the saints have known that the day would come when righteousness and righteous people would rule the earth. The one thousand years called the Millennium is not just a time for Jesus Christ to rule, but also for His saints to rule with Him. In the first chapter of this book He promised that such a day would finish this prophecy. His very purpose of this revelation was to set our hearts on the future. Hope is to live in joyous expectation. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 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. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-7) His great purpose in His church is to prepare a people to be his “kings and priests on earth” and to rule with Him.
Now, this great prophetic revelation sets the time and date for this to be fulfilled. His army has conquered the earth. The evil army of Lucifer and his fallen host are vanquished and judged and His saints are ready. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6) The doctrine being promoted today called Kingdom Dominion is a lie of Lucifer. This doctrine arises from Replacement Theology, which takes Israel’s promises and superimposes them on the church. The Millennial promises are beautifully represented in the First Testament and this Revelation’s chronology puts their fulfillment in its exact place. The church and Israel will enjoy the Millennium together. Israel will rule the complete geographical area promised to Abraham and it will be the garden center of the earth. The church will rule the Gentile world and it will also become a garden. The Jews and the Gentiles will equally enjoy the promises of prosperity all together as the family and followers of our Christ and Lord.
Isaiah spoke vividly of this Millennium Day for the First Testament saints. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” “Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” “Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.” “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:1-3,5,15,21) This earth is on track for her day of the greatest glory with God’s redeemed saints reigning as kings and priests with Jesus Christ as Lord of all. The one thousand years of righteousness will allow the earth’s population to expand and set the minds of the natural world toward the hope of eternity. After a short period of temptation from Satan and the utter desolation of his ill-conceived efforts to attack the saints, the world will be ready to forever turn only to the Creator’s glorious kingdom. It is time for time to be no more.
The Bride of Christ and His New World Order
Everything is going to be recreated in holiness. The marvelous city of New Jerusalem will descend out of God’s Heavenly City, and the earth and heavens will be utterly renewed in perfection without the smallest flaw. The title of His chosen saints will forever be “The Bride of Jesus Christ.” We carried the burden of our natural life for His church, waiting each hour for Him to come as He promised. We served as His elders during the dark tribulation years. We mounted our white horses and rode like warriors to vanquish the armies of Lucifer. And, we ruled honorably over His Millennium kingdom. Now, it’s time to enter into our greatest glory, take our residence in the city of His Bride, and serve as pillars in the temple of our God. His mark or character will be written on our brow, and we will enjoy a spotless eternity.
The city of New Jerusalem is beyond description. Yet, its glory will not be comparable to our Beloved Father and His Beloved Son. The light and glory of eternity will be our Sovereign God and all that represents His eternal person. Everything about God, from His holiness to His love for all creation, will be fully enjoyed and manifest. The city is a literal city with mansions beyond description, flowers of matchless beauty that never fade, and every possible creation of God without the curse of sin. It’s all the best of life without the least amount of anything caused by the curse. Life will be as the Creator intended before the fall of Lucifer and the fall of Adam.
The saints are truly the delight of our Creator. This masterpiece of literature has revealed the real life drama of His jewels in the End Time. Each revelation of their titles reflects the chronological progression of both this book and its fulfillment. You cannot alter one event, change its timeframe, or eliminate the results. In divine wisdom, the Son of God has given to us the blueprint and it’s up to us to preach and teach this truth exactly as the Master has revealed. The story is ours to tell.
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