The antiChrist is vicious against the Rapture of the Saints
Without question Satan hates everything about our Eternal God and, certainly, he hates the great truths of Holy Scripture.
But, Satan is a scheming enemy that has limited knowledge of the times and seasons and he especially battles against those prophetic truths that have come of age and are ready to be fulfilled. It is very apparent that he has chosen to draw a line in the sand (sinking sand, I may add) against the historic hope of the church, “our escape to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
Jesus Christ the Lord gave the early disciples this hope as He prepared them for His suffering, death, and ascension. The Lord Jesus had become extremely close to His disciples. They were dependent on Him because then they were really young in the faith, almost like babes. In St. John thirteen Jesus deals with their weakness, even warns Peter that he will deny his Lord, but quickly moves to fill them with hope. The hope was that He would indeed be gone shortly, but that He was going to prepare a Heavenly place where He might receive them to Himself. His promise is extremely definite. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
There can be no doubt that this hope of His “coming again for them” became a rallying cry of the early church. Their greeting to each other after His ascension was “Maranatha” or “ The Lord Cometh.” The message of the two angels that appeared just a few days after His resurrection and at His ascension was essentially the same words as the Lord Himself had spoken. “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
Jesus Said, “Do Not Be Discouraged, I Will Be Back.”
The most satisfying thought when someone you love is leaving is the certainty that they will be right back. The disciples immediately developed that mindset and it literally fills the New Testament model. They even had a little rumor going around that John was going to live to see Him alive when He came. But, then at Pentecost, the “Vicar” of Jesus Christ literally baptized them in the living presence of this resurrected Lord and their consciousness of Him was overwhelming. They could wait for His personal return, because now His Spirit effecting presence was their satisfying joy. In such a spiritual state they went out of the upper room to change the world and change it they did.
The New Testament writers constantly reminded the church that Jesus would be back. They spoke of His coming in general to set up His kingdom, but they spoke of this Rapture in particular to gather the saints unto Himself. Paul stated to the church at Ephesus, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him.” (Ephesians 1:10)
The same apostle uses similar words to open a discussion about the coming Antichrist by saying, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1) In this same chapter Apostle Paul ties the gathering to the removal of the restrainer to allow unhindered wickedness for its final onslaught. The early church was looking for Jesus to return and gather them to Himself.
A Warning About Losing This Hope
The Apostle Peter warned of men that would deny Him coming to gather the saints and called them scoffers, “worldly scoffers” walking after their own lust. Notice how this apostle approaches the subject. He states that this second epistle is to warn them of this denial. “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:1-9)
Peter spoke in verse nine of Jesus’ promise, which I believe is specifically His promise as stated in St. John chapter fourteen. He also says clearly that the holy prophets had spoken of this same subject that he was addressing. I will give two such documentations from the books of Isaiah and Psalms. Apostle Peter ended this Second Book of Peter by warning them of being “led away with the error of the wicked.” Notice the context. “And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2 Peter 3:15-17)
The subject is clearly a loss of hope and the steadfastness of that hope. Men are preserved by this life changing expectancy of the Lord’s coming. When you are charged with this hope as He ordained, it purifies your conscience to obedience and readiness.
Peter stated that the promise of the Lord’s coming was spoken of by the holy prophets, which specifically dated back to the First (Old) Testament. Many of my friends deny that the First Testament writers even addressed the rapture, but I believe they are wrong and these words of Peter express proof of that. Isaiah put the Rapture and the wrath or indignation of God in a beautiful order. “Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)
You have the gathering of the saints in verse nineteen and their entrance into His presence and a safe place (the chamber or location of the Marriage Supper) in verse twenty and the Wrath or Great Tribulation in verse twenty-one. The order is perfect and the fact of the resurrection in verse nineteen forbids this event to occur at any other time.
The man after God’s own heart also spoke of this location of the gathered saints. Look at this statement by King David. “Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Kings’ daughters [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.” “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he [is] thy Lord; and worship thou him.” “The king’s daughter [is] all glorious within: her clothing [is] of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.” (Psalm 45:6-9, 11, 13-14)
This is clearly prophetic after the death of Christ and shows His Bride or wife gathered unto Him in His Ivory Palace and utterly glorious in her wedding attire. The hope of His return to gather the saints to Himself is a glorious theme in Holy Scripture and Satan hates this grand finale that is about to occur.
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