Rapture? Or No Rapture – Part 3 [Two shall be… one shall be taken]

Then shall two be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other left, Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left

(Matthew 24:40-42)

 

Last time, God in His mercy, opened up 1 Thessalonians 4:17 for us to understand and draw encouragement from. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is the passage that talks about being caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And now we understand what it truly means and how we should prepare to be part of it.

 

As the Lord helped us to understand that passage, so we trust Him to mercifully open Matthew 24:40-42 to us:

 

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” [Matthew 24:40-42, KJV]

 

Many of us are quite familiar with this verse, especially because of Rapture.

But does this passage actually refer to Rapture?

Truthfully, IT DOES NOT, and we can tell from Luke 17:37

 

34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.

36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left. 37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”” [NKJV]

 

Now this answer “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” does not sound like Rapture. Rather, it is a great separation¾a great separation of the eagles in these last days. But to understand this separation we should ask three questions:

  1. Who are the eagle?
  2. What is the body?
  3. Where is the body?

 

WHO ARE THE EAGLES?

 

Isaiah 40:31 says: “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” [NKJV]. Such are the people symbolized as eagles. They are believers who faithfully maintain a healthy relationship with our Lord Jesus, and by so doing, are able to remain strong spiritually. They are the ones gathered to where the body is because their spiritual ears are open to hear what the Holy Spirit says to the church.

 

WHAT IS THE BODY?

 

The body is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the bread of life. In John 6:51 He said:

 

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world… 53 … Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” [NKJV]

 

This is what these eagle believers are gathered to do: to eat the flesh of our Lord Jesus and drink His blood so that they can have life. But how do they eat His flesh and drink His blood to gain eternal life? Our Lord Jesus explains in John 5:24 saying:

 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” [NKJV]

 

And in Luke 11:28 He said:

 

“… blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” [NKJV]

 

So we see that the eagle believers eat of our Lord Jesus’ body [to gain eternal life] by hearing His words, doing them and using them to grow in faith in God. Moreover, when we remember that our Lord Jesus is the Word of God, we can understand that eating His body simply means feeding on the Word of God.

 

Knowing these [that the body which the eagles feed on is the body of our Lord Jesus and that they feed on Him by hearing His Word, believing it and doing it] we can move to the next question:

 

WHERE IS THE BODY?

 

With what we have learnt from the previous question, this question can be rephrased as: where is the Word of God? Or: where can we feed on the body of our Lord Jesus? And our Lord Jesus has already answered it. In Matthew 18:20 He said:

 

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 

This means that our Lord Jesus is spiritually present to feed His eagles with His word wherever and whenever they are gathered together in fellowship.

 

We can therefore understand that the prophecy of “… two shall be … one shall be taken …” is pointing to a time when God will gather His true believers out from wherever they may be to where they can truly feed on the word of God. Or to be more specific, it is pointing to a time when God will move His true people out from the backslidden church system and lead them into simple fellowships that operate in Spirit and in Truth, just as it was with the early church [gathered out from the backslidden organized Jewish religious system]. This is so that He can finally have a church that is truly without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish [not incorporated under any person, group of persons, or government, but fully owned and headed by the Lord Jesus Himself]. This is a very significant event in these last days, to get the bride of Christ ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb, but only the eagles will have ears to hear the call of the Holy Spirit¾a call made through the different messages He is sending among His people in these days.

 

This gathering of the eagle believers is so important that it is prophesied again in Revelation 12:14. There it is compared to the exodus of Israelites from Egypt to the wilderness. It reads:

 

“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” [Revelation 12:14, NKJV]

 

In this passage, the woman represents the true bride of Christ. This woman is made up of the eagle believers who are gathered to where they can feed and be nourished with the true word of God. The great eagle represents the people God will use to carry out this gathering. They are symbolized as a great eagle because their ministry is similar to that of Moses. In Exodus 19:4 God also symbolized Moses’ ministry as eagle’s wings. It reads:

 

“And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” {NKJV]

 

The eagles’ wings by which God brought the Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness refers to the ministry of Moses. And God used a similar symbol to represent the people He will use to lead the exodus of His eagles out from “Egypt” into “the wilderness”.

 

We can thus understand that what our Lord Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:40-42 and Luke 17:34-37 is actually A GREAT EXODUS OF EAGLE BELIEVERS FROM “EGYPT” TO “THE WILDERNESS” [where the body is], through the ministry of people who are already mature eagles. We are then faced with two questions:

  1. What is the Egypt the eagles are gathered out from?
  2. What is the wilderness they are gathered to for nourishment?

 

When we understand these two things, we will appreciate how important it is in these last days, and why we must be among those eagles that are gathered, if we want to be part of the marriage supper of the Lamb.

 

THE EGYPT AND THE WILDERNESS

 

This Egypt is mentioned in Revelation 11:8. It reads:

 

“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” [NKJV]

 

Our focus is on the great city which is also spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. This great city is the Egypt that God’s eagles are being gathered out from in these last days. But what is this great city? Revelation 17:18 gives us a clue. It reads:

 

“And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” [NKJV]

 

But who is this woman? Verses 1-6 of the same chapter reads:

 

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup of full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”

 

From this passage, we see that this woman [this great city Egypt] is also symbolized as a great harlot [a great whore]. But why is she called a great harlot? If we read Jeremiah chapter 3, we will see that God called the Israelites a harlot [a whore] when they backslid from Him to worship idols. It reads:

 

1 “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s, May he return to her again? Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me,” says the LORD … 6 The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. 7 And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to me.’ But she did not return… 8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. 9 So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees… 11 Then the LORD said to me, Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous that treacherous Judah… 14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; ‘for I am married to you… 20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says the LORD… 22 “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.”…” [NKJV]

 

From this passage, we see that God called the Israelites a harlot [a whore] because they backslid and committed spiritual adultery by turning away from Him [their Husband] and going to worship idols of stone and trees. But this was the Old Testament. In the New Testament, however, the church is the bride of Christ; and so a whore used as a symbol in the New Testament represents a church that is backslidden and commits spiritual adultery. This is what the great harlot in Revelation 17 represents. This is what the great city represents. This is what “the Egypt” represent. This is what God’s eagles are gathered out from. A backslidden church system. In the days of our Lord Jesus, this great city was expressed as the backslidden Jewish religious system of the priests, the pharisees, the sadducees and the scribes. But it is has evolved to be expressed as the backslidden church system. Beginning with the Roman Catholic Church [the whore riding on the beast [the Roman Empire]], down to her harlot daughters, many of whom are Pentecostal, Evangelical and Charismatic churches. The entirety of this backslidden church system [mother and daughters] is what God’s eagles are gathered out from. And since this backslidden church system is symbolized as Egypt, we can understand that this gathering is A GREAT EXODUS, with the pharaohs being the false prophets and leaders in the backslidden church system, the Israelites being the eagles, and the Moses being the great eagle. This is what is about to happen, and we must pray to get out of Egypt quickly because God has said in Revelation 18:4:

 

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” [NKJV]

 

The wilderness, on the other hand, represents simple fellowship gatherings without a “city-structure” [not incorporated or registered as an organization], where Jesus Christ is truly the Head, they worship in Spirit and in Truth, operating in oneness as a body [as described in Ephesians 4:1-13], according to the pattern God set for His New Testament church, as can be learnt from the early church in scriptures.

 

It is those who are part of the eagles [collectively shown as the true bride in Revelation 12:14] that will be nourished and prepared for marriage to our Lord Jesus. They are the ones later described in Revelation 19:7:

 

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine lined, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”” [NKJV]

 

Indeed, only those who are gathered as eagles out of the backslidden church system will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is particularly true in these last days, because all those who remain in the backslidden church system will be taken over by the gentiles and be made to accept the mark of the beast.

 

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” [Revelation 3:22, NKJV]

 

Amen.

 

For more information, you may contact us at: lightintheeveningtime@gmail.com. God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Rapture? Or No Rapture -Part 2

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

(1 Thessalonians 4:16)

 

Last time, by God’s grace, we focused on verse 17 of First Thessalonians chapter 4. We learnt that the clouds represents the presence of God and the air represents the spiritual realm of the earth. We understood that to be part of those who are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, we need to always remain in the clouds, in God’s presence, and allow Him to put His laws into our hearts and write them in our minds.

 

Now, we will focus on verse 16 to learn something very interesting. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 reads:

 

“16 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]

 

Verse 16 tells us that our Lord will descend from heaven. Meaning, His journey begins from heaven. Then verse 17 says that we will meet Him in the air. Meaning, His journey concludes in the air. But the fact is that it’s not just a journey. It’s a progressive take-over. It’s like the coming of the sun in the morning. As the sun approaches the darkness begins to fade away because of the sun’s light until the sun’s light completely takes over. So also, as our Lord is descending from heaven to the air, He is actually progressively taking over from the powers of darkness. But this will make more sense when we realize that the heaven and the air are different spiritual realms. There are three spiritual realms from heaven to the air. The heaven our Lord is coming from is the third and highest spiritual realm [as Paul calls it] because there the Kingdom of God is fully established and His glory is fully shown. But as He descends, He takes-over the other two spiritual realms¾the air being the final one He will take-over. We will now proceed to discuss these three spiritual realms, and we trust God to help us. Amen.

 

The Three Spiritual Realms – from heaven to the air

 

We should know that there are actually three spiritual realms, counting from heaven to the air. The highest of these three spiritual realms is heaven, and it is also known as the third heaven, or paradise. We can find this in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 which reads:

 

“1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows, such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” [NKJV]

 

In this passage, Paul referred to heaven as the third heaven to show that it is the highest spiritual realm. Highest in the sense that it is the most glorious spiritual realm: the realm where the Kingdom of God is fully established, the will of God is perfectly done, and the glory of the King is greatly shown. Now, because he called it the third heaven, we know that there are two lower spiritual realms. These two spiritual realms came into existence when God created the heaven and earth of this world. We should keep in mind that when God created this world, He created both a physical and spiritual world. Our physical bodies exist in the physical world, while our spirits exist in the spiritual world. Just as the physical world has a heaven and an earth, so also the spiritual world has an upper and a lower realm. The “upper” in spiritual context simply means a realm of higher authority. So the upper realm in the spiritual world is the position of spiritual authority over the lower realm, and this lower realm is the air. It is called the air because it is the spiritual equivalent of the physical space filled with air: the space below the clouds. Physically speaking, this space filled with air is where all general human activity takes place. Similarly, the lower spiritual realm, the air, is where all human spirits exist [except those who are seated with Christ in the third heaven].

 

We can learn more about the upper and lower realms of this world from Genesis 1:6-7. It reads:

 

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. [7] And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” [KJV]

 

From this passage, the upper realm of this world is the one above the firmament, while the lower realm is the one below the firmament. The firmament is essentially made up of the clouds. As such, the upper realm, physically speaking, is the one above the clouds, while the lower realm is the one below the clouds; and as we know, it is this lower realm [below the clouds] that is filled with air.

 

But our main desire is to learn about the spiritual upper and lower levels of this world. Romans 1:20 tells us that we can use the visible things that God has created to understand the invisible things [the spiritual things]. So, to understand the spiritual realms of this world, we can look at how God set the physical realms. Genesis 1:16-18 says:

“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.” [KJV]

 

From this passage we see that God set the sun, moon and stars in the upper realm of this world. And the reason He put them there is so that they can rule over the lower realm and influence it with their light. This therefore gives us a clue to understand that just as the physical upper realm is the place of authority and influence over the physical realm, so also the spiritual upper realm is the place of spiritual authority over the spiritual lower realm. This spiritual upper realm is the spiritual heaven of this world. And we can also call it the spiritual second heaven, since the third heaven is of greater authority than it. As for the spiritual lower realm of this world, it is the spiritual realm Paul referred to as the air, and we may also call it the spiritual first heaven. These are the three spiritual realms from heaven [the third heaven] to the air [the first heaven]. The Kingdom of God is already fully established in heaven [the third heaven]. But the plan is not for the Kingdom to only be established in heaven. Our Lord Jesus taught us to pray saying:

 

“… Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. 10 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:9-10, KJV]

 

Notice that He said “… in earth…” not “… on earth…”. This is a spiritual statement. The heaven and earth referred to here are spiritual not physical. It is in the spiritual heaven [the spiritual third heaven] that the will of God is perfectly done. But the plan is that the will of God will also be perfectly done in the spiritual earth. The spiritual earth refers to the realm where all human activity takes place, which is the realm of the air. As such, our Lord’s prayer is that just as the will of God is perfectly done in heaven [the third heaven], so also the will of God will be perfectly done in the realm of the air [the first heaven]. But as we discussed, the place of authority to influence the air is the spiritual second heaven [the spiritual heaven over this world]. As such, for the will of God to be perfectly done in the air [the first heaven], then His will must also be done in the heaven over this world [the second heaven]. We can therefore understand that our Lord’s prayer which says “… Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven …” is a prayer that God’s Kingdom will expand beyond the third heaven to take-over the second heaven [the spiritual heaven over this world] and the first heaven [spiritual the realm of the air where the spirits of human beings exist]. It is this progressive take-over of all three spiritual realms that is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 as our Lord descending from heaven to the air. And as we said before, He is coming as a Sun, as a shining light, to recover this world [its spiritual upper realm and its spiritual lower realm] from the powers of darkness that took over when Adam and Eve fell. That’s why our Lord Jesus is also referred to as the Last Adam. But just as it was the fall of both Adam and Eve that gave satan and his angels access to heaven of this world to exercise authority over the air and become the prince of the power of the air, so also it takes the rise of both the Last Adam and His bride to completely cast satan and his angels down from this heaven [the second heaven] and out from the air [the first heaven] into the bottomless pit [the spiritual dungeon, the spiritual prison]. That’s where we come in. That’s why in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 we are told that our Lord will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God. In other words, our Lord’s progressive take-over of the upper and lower spiritual realms of this world [the second heaven and the air] will be through the ministry of the archangel; and this archangel is a symbol for a symbol for a group of people who are part of the Bride of Christ. We should now proceed to consider the archangel. We trust our faithful Father to help our understanding. Amen.

 

The Archangel

 

Now, we should note that this archangel is the same angel that sounds the seventh trumpet in Revelation chapter 11. This angel is not referring to the spirit angels like Michael or Gabriel. At least, in this context, it is not. Rather, this angel refers to a body of people who serve as God’s messengers to declare His word to His people and the world. They are like Isaiah whom God instructed in Isaiah 58:1 saying:

 

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [KJV]

 

They are called archangel because, of all the ministries that God has anointed to serve as His messengers, they are the greatest. They are like John the Baptist whom our Lord Jesus described as the greatest ministry. Why? Because he was the one whose ministry went ahead to prepare the way for our Lord’s first coming. Similarly, these people referred to as the archangel are the ministry God will empower to announce and prepare the way for our Lord’s second coming. They are the ones our Lord Jesus referred to as “the clouds of heaven” and “his angels” in Matthew 24:30. From verse 29 it reads:

 

“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: 30 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. 31 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.” [KJV]

 

In this passage, the clouds of heaven and the angels refer to the same people: the people referred to as the archangel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Hebrews 12:1 and Jude 1:12 show us that clouds are used as a symbol to represent people. But these people are not just clouds. They are clouds of heaven: clouds of the third heaven. And it is through their ministry of sounding the truth of God’s Kingdom that God will prepare His Church and progressively take-over the second heaven and the air.

 

The effect of their ministry is just like that of the seventy disciples our Lord Jesus empowered and sent to preach the gospel in Luke chapter 10. Luke 10:17-20 says:

 

“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. 18 And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” [KJV]

 

In this passage, after the disciples came back and reported the success of their ministry, our Lord Jesus told them of the vision He had while they were ministering. He told them that He beheld satan falling down from heaven as lightning from heaven. This means, satan was losing that position of spiritual authority over the cities where the disciples preached. Similarly, the people that collectively make up the archangel, or the clouds of heaven, will have such an effect on the powers of darkness. The only difference is that they will not just be preaching to some cities. God will spread them into all cities to preach the gospel of the Kingdom in all the world for a witness unto all nations. As such, the effect of their ministry is that satan and his angels will be completely cast down from the heaven of this world [the second heaven], not just in some cities, but in all cities of the world. It is this event of satan and his angels being permanently and completely cast down from the heaven of this world that is described in Matthew 24:29 as:

 

“… the sun shall 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:” [KJV]

 

Revelation 6:12-14 also takes about the same thing. It says:

 

“And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together;…” [KJV]

 

In these two passages, the sun, the moon and the stars refer to persons that make up satan’s spiritual government of darkness operating from the heaven of this world [the spiritual second heaven]. The sun [the principal star] is the head of government and that refers to satan. The stars refer to satan’s fellow fallen angels, the ones he appointed to operate as spiritual principals and powers over different regions and people. The moon refers to satan’s human allies. Persons that have made league with satan to rule and influence this world in a path of darkness. They are the ones that will have a bloody experience since they are human. These symbols, the sun, the moon and the stars, were also used in Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9. Joseph dreamt that the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bow down before him. When his father interpreted it, he said the sun was himself, Joseph’s Father, the head of the family, the stars were Joseph’s brothers who are also of the male gender and their father [the sun], and the moon was Joseph’s mother [who was of another gender different from the stars]. Keeping these in mind, we can understand why the sun refers to satan, the head of the spiritual government of darkness that was over the world. We can understand why the stars refer to satan’s fellow angels since they are of the same spiritual nature. And we can understand why the moon refers to humans, since they are of another nature [human nature] which is different from the sun and the stars [who are spirits].

But at least we can understand that satan and his angels will be cast down from the second heaven [the heaven over this world] through the ministry of the portion of the Bride of Christ that makes up “the clouds of heaven”: the messengers of God collectively symbolized as the archangel. This is what is shown as the war in heaven in Revelation 12:7-9. It is as they faithfully carry out their ministry under the spiritual Headship of our Lord Jesus, that there is war in the heaven of this world and the territory of our Lord’s Kingdom is expanded beyond the third heaven to the second heaven and finally to the air. Then at this point, the rest of the Bride of Christ who are not part of the archangel will be called into glory to join our Lord Jesus and their brethren to rule the world spiritually. At that time, the third heaven, the second heaven and the air will become one heaven. It will no longer just be the third heaven that is a paradise of God. The third heaven, the second heaven and the air will become one great spiritual paradise of God. And what is the paradise of God? It is a field beaming with life, full of fruitful trees¾trees that are full of sap. These trees are people. Isaiah 61:3 tells us that we are to be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He will be glorified.

 

By calling the third heaven paradise in Second Corinthians 12:1-4 Paul was saying that the third heaven is full of persons who are like fruitful trees of God. These persons in the third heaven are mentioned in Hebrews 12:23-24. They are the innumerable company of angels; the members of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ¾not just all who go to church, but those whose names are truly written in heaven. 1 Timothy 2:19 says: “… The Lord knows those who are His. And, Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”¾it is those who truly belong to God that are part of the trees of the Paradise of God. Other trees include the spirits of just men made perfect. And the principal tree, the one in the center of the Paradise of God, is our Lord Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant. When therefore the second heaven is taken over, it will no longer be a field of thorny and dead trees, which is what satan and his angels and their human occult partners where. Rather it will now be occupied with the trees of God, the trees of righteousness who are now trees of life like our Lord Jesus. The air will be worked on because that is where the spirits of the rest of humanity are. During the thousand years, with satan and his angels bound up in prison [the bottomless pit], the humans will be cultured in the path of righteousness so that they could also be trees in God’s Kingdom. But not all will submit. Some will rebel and will be sent to the lake of fire, which is the second death.

 

But central to the flow of this plan is that we be faithful and make ourselves available to carry out the ministry God is empowering us His people to carry out. But those who will be empowered are those who make up the clouds of heaven. Those who live as trees of righteousness in the Paradise of God. Those who live like heavenly people and not earthy. May the Lord help us to leave in this way.

 

Amen.

 

Rapture? Or No Rapture – Part 1 [Caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air] – 1 Thessalonians 4:17

 

 

“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.” [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV]

 

Many of us are familiar with this verse, and many of us desire to be caught up into the air.

But how many of us actually know what that means?

 

Keep in mind that Paul who wrote this verse [1 Thessalonians 4:17] is the same one who wrote Ephesians 2:2:

 

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” [KJV]

 

Obviously, the power of the air in this verse does not refer to the physical air. And similarly, “caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” also does not refer to the physical air. Meaning, to think, or believe, that we will fly into the physical air IS WRONG. But there is a sweet truth hidden in that verse which we all as children of God deserve to know. We trust God, in His mercy, to open this truth to us as we read on. Amen.

 

Let us now take a careful look at what verse 17 says to pick out three main points.

  • First, it tells us that we who are alive, and remain in faith, at the coming of Christ, will be caught up.
  • The next point to note is that this caught up experience will take place in the clouds. As such, it is only people in the clouds that will be caught up.
  • Then finally, it tells us that those caught up in the clouds will go to meet the Lord in the air. Meaning, the caught up experience will move us from the clouds to the air, and we shall remain in the air with the Lord forever.

 

When we sit back to consider these, we may begin to suspect that it is not the physical clouds and air that is being referred to. If it were physical, then it means this verse is saying that we and the Lord are going to be floating in the physical air forever. But that doesn’t sound quite right. It is therefore, again, not correct to think that the clouds and air in this verse are literal as the popular doctrine of Rapture preaches.

 

We may then ask: if the clouds and air are not literal, then what do they represent? Well, we thank God for mercifully granting us some insight into what they mean. We will begin with the clouds, after which we will discuss the air.

 

The Clouds

 

To understand what the clouds represents, or to understand what it means to be in the clouds, we can look for another passage in the bible where we are told of someone entering into the clouds.

 

One passage we can consider is Exodus 24:12-18. It reads:

 

12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. 15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” [KJV]

 

From this passage, we see that the cloud was formed at the top of the mountain, and it was a visible show of God’s presence. We also see that in order to enter this cloud, Moses had to climb up the mountain. It was as he climbed the mountain that he entered into the cloud, into God’s presence. God’s instruction to him, in verse 12, was that he should come up and remain there, so that he will receive His law. Moses faithfully remained there, at the top of the mountain, in the clouds, in the presence of God, until he received the law of God written on stone tables. This is a good example of how we should live¾faithful and obedient.

 

Unlike Moses who received the law on stone tables, we receive the law in our hearts and minds. Hebrews 10:16 says:

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” [KJV]

 

Just as Moses had to remain in the clouds to receive God’s law on stone tables, so also we must remain “in the clouds” [in God’s presence] to receive God’s law in our hearts and in our minds. God was quite deliberate in His instruction to Moses about remaining in His presence. In Exodus 24:12, He said: “… Come up to Me into the mount, and be there … ”.

 

As He was deliberate with Moses in the Old Testament, so He is deliberate with us in the New Testament. He requires us to remain in His presence; whether during our quiet time, or as we go about our daily activities, no matter what or where, He wants us to always be in His presence; this is so that He can put His laws in our hearts, and write it in our minds. Putting His laws in our hearts means that His laws become our conscience, and writing them in our minds means that His laws become the foundation of all our reasoning. It is people that remain in His presence, in the clouds, and allow Him to do this to them, that will be caught up to meet Him in the air.

 

Just as Moses had to climb up the mount Sinai in order to enter into the clouds, so also we have to climb a mountain in order to enter the clouds. However, we are not going to climb a physical mountain like Moses did. Our climbing is a symbolic process. The way we do this symbolic climbing is by drawing away from the noise of our daily activities so that we can fellowship with God. For example, if we think of Moses, we’ll observe that as he was climbing the mountain, he was going farther and farther away from the noise of the people’s activities, and was drawing closer to God, until he was alone with God at the top of the mount. So also, we can climb upwards to God by drawing away from the cares of this world, and focusing our attention on God until we are alone with Him in our hearts – at this point of being alone with God in our hearts, all wandering thoughts, and desires, are silenced. God wants us to remain in this condition at all times. In Exodus 24:12, He told Moses: “… Come up to Me into the mount, and be there …”. So also, He wants us to remain alone with Him in our hearts, even in during our daily activities.

 

Paul is an example of someone who symbolically climbed up to God. In Philippians 3:14 he said:

 

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [NKJV]

 

As such, we see that God is calling us upwards to obtain a prize. And we also see that this upward calling is in Christ Jesus. Meaning, God is calling us to follow the path of our Lord Jesus till we become like Him. As we follow this path, we are to drop our earthly lifestyle and move up to live a heavenly lifestyle. Colossians 3:2 says:

 

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” [KJV]

 

This means that, even though we are in this world, and we have to go to work, go to school, and do other necessary things, we must not love those things more than God. Our true desire should always be for the hope [the prize] that God has promised us; and we should always create time to read about this hope, meditate on it, and share it with people, because it is real. And beyond just knowing and talking about it, we should live a life of preparedness so that we can receive this hope.

 

Rather than rigorously pursue a career here, like the people of the world will do, or seek after fulfilment by doing earthly things, we should seek fulfillment by doing the will of God. God is faithful; if He sees that we desire Him more than other things, He will bless us with those other things. In Matthew 6:31-33 He said:

 

31 … do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ 32 For after these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (NKJV)

 

Also, Psalm 37:4-5 says:

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” (NKJV)

 

And finally, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says:

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” [KJV]

 

So we see that God prefers us to set our affection and devotion on Him and His business, putting Him first in all things. As for our needs, He is faithful; He will provide for us, and bless the work of our hands so that we do not lack any good thing. Such is the type of life lived by people who are climbing upwards to God [people who want to remain always in His cloud]. A life of total dependence on God for daily guidance and instruction. A life of receiving God’s laws, not just as head knowledge, but as practical life experiences engraved into our nature. A life that is not distracted with the cares of this world, nor the pride of life, nor the deceitfulness of riches, but is focused on God at all times, just as Moses was when He was on the mountain [in the clouds].

 

Remember, as Paul said, there is a prize for those who will agree to come up to God by living this kind of God-centered life. This prize is putting on the divine glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and joining Him to rule the world spiritually. Isaiah 57:15 says:

 

“For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [KJV]

 

This prize is to dwell in a high and holy level of life and divinity with God, and from this level rule this world [and all creation] spiritually. It is this prize that is symbolized as being caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

 

We will now move on by God’s grace to consider what the air represents so we can better appreciate the hope in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

 

 

The Air

 

To understand what the air represents, we can begin by noting that air in motion is called wind. This is an important thing to note because in the scriptures wind is usually used to represent the move/activities of spirits over people: it may be the move of the Holy Spirit, or it could be the move of unclean spirits.

 

For example, in regards to the Holy Spirit, John 3:8 says:

 

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [NKJV]

 

This passage is telling us that when you observe a person on whom the Holy Spirit has laboured, that person will be as unpredictable as the wind, because the Holy Spirit will be the one leading him where he should go, and telling him what he should do at all times. We therefore see that the wind, in this case, is used to refer to the move of the Holy Spirit on a person.

 

An example of a scripture where the wind refers to the move of unclean spirits is Daniel 7:2. It reads:

 

“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” [KJV]

 

In this passage, the sea refers to all humanity that has no relationship with God; in other words, the world. Isaiah 57:20 says: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”; and Revelation 17:15 says: “Then he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”. The four winds, on the other hand, refer to the activities of unclean spirits over all the world, and we know this because we are told that four beasts came up from the sea after these winds blew over them, and these four beasts represent four kingdoms all of which were pagan.

 

We have therefore seen that the wind can be used to represent the activity of spirits, whether the Holy Spirit, or unclean spirits. But just for the sake of reasoning, we may still wonder why wind is used to represent the move, or activity, of a spirit. The reason is that wind is invisible to the eyes, but has the ability to visibly move things around. Its activity can only be known by observing the things it is moving. That is essentially how a spirit operates. We cannot see a spirit with our physical eyes, but we can discern the spirit’s activity by observing the person the spirit is influencing.

 

Now that we have some understanding of how wind is used symbolically, we can begin to understand how air is used symbolically. Remember that we noted that when air is moving it is called wind. Therefore, if wind represents the move of a spirit, then air should represent either a spirit, or the spiritual realm. As it turns out, air actually represents the spiritual realm, where spirits operate in. But not just any spiritual realm. It particularly refers to the spiritual realm over the earth, not including other spiritual realms like paradise. This is because, physically speaking, air is only present around the earth. But beyond the clouds, in space, there is no air. So we know that the air [when used symbolically] only refers to the spiritual realm of the earth, and it is from this spiritual realm that spirits can influence the world.

 

Ephesians 2:2 is an example of a scripture where air is used symbolically to refer to the spiritual realm of the earth. From verse 1, it reads:

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” [NKJV]

 

In this passage, Paul refers to satan as the prince of the power of the air. The word prince means chief, or first in rank, while power of the air refers to the principalities and powers that influence the world from “the air”. It is these principalities and powers in the air that are mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 which reads:

 

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” [NKJV]

 

These are the spirits that operate in the air, the spiritual realm over the earth, and as such, they are collectively referred to as the power of the air, with satan as the chief over these spirits. That’s why Paul calls him the prince of the power of the air. Although we should note that God never gave satan this position. Rather, he stole it from Adam to whom God appointed power over all living things in Genesis 1:28. That is to say, the original prince of the power of the air was Adam and his wife Eve.

 

Now that we have some understanding of what the air represents, and we have seen an example of how it is used symbolically, we can return to consider what Paul was saying in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It reads:

 

“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]

 

With everything we have discussed so far, we understand that the cloud represents the presence of God that we are supposed to remain in daily in order to receive the laws of God in our hearts and in our minds. We have also understood that the air represents the spiritual realm over the earth – the realm from which the world can be influenced spiritually. And we have seen that currently, there are principalities and powers of darkness operating in this realm, with an agenda of turning this world into satan’s kingdom, by promoting wickedness, immorality and rebellion against God through various means.

 

Knowing these, when Paul says we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, he means that we will join the Lord in this spiritual realm over the earth [after these principalities and powers have been cast out – Revelation 12:7-9]. While there, we will not be idle. Instead, He will organize us into a government under His Kingship, and assign us as godly principals over different cities, with a mission to turn this world into God’s kingdom by promoting righteousness, peace and joy among men. Then, our Lord Jesus shall not be alone as the Holy Spirit. His wind over all humanity will then be also propagated through us, his brethren, whom the Father will establish as holy spirits. Isaiah 32:1 has said it:

 

“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” [KJV]

 

The King is our Lord Jesus. The princes are we His brethren who shall be caught up to meet Him in the air. And this will be God’s government over the world beginning from the 1000 years till eternity, with a mission to accomplish our Lord’s prayer:

 

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven …” [Matthew 6:9-10, KJV]

 

But in other for us to join the Lord in doing this, Paul says that our catching up will take place in the clouds. This means that for us to be caught up, we must remain in the clouds [in God’s presence] at all times, and while in His presence, we must allow Him to put His laws in our hearts, and carve it permanently in our minds – just as Moses remained in the clouds and received God’s law on stone tables. Only those who allow Him to do this to them will join Him in the air to rule the world spiritually.

 

Finally, we should mention that at the instance when we are being caught up, we will change from our current natural bodies and put on a spiritual body. As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:44:

 

“… There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (KJV)

 

It is this spiritual body that we will put on when we are caught up. It is a heavenly body, and it is immortal, meaning, it cannot die. It is with this body that we will join the Lord in the air to rule the world spiritually. Because as Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:50 “… flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God …”. Meaning, we cannot with this natural body join the Lord in the spiritual realm to rule the world spiritually. We will therefore change, by the mercies of our God, from this natural body to the immortal spiritual body at that instance we are caught up.

 

But remember that it is those who remain in the clouds and receive the laws of God worked into their nature that will take part in this “caught up” experience. May the Lord strengthen us to faithfully and obediently remain in His cloud daily.

 

Amen.

 

If we have any questions, we may kindly forward them to lightintheeveningtime@gmail.com, and, by God’s grace, a timely response will be sent back to us.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

The Lord shall descend from heaven [Part 2]

“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:” [1 Thessalonians 4:1, KJV]

The are three realms of heaven, and our Lord’s descent is a take-over process of all spiritual realms till there is no longer any spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, but spiritual righteousness, new principals who rule the world in light – the sons of God.

The Lord shall descend from heaven [Part 1]

“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:” [1 Thessalonians 4:1, KJV]

The are three realms of heaven, and our Lord’s descent is a take-over process of all spiritual realms till there is no longer any spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, but spiritual righteousness, new principals who rule the world in light – the sons of God.

Understanding Stage 5 [Part 2]

This is a continuation of the discussion on Stage 5. As we have discussed, God has a seven-stage agenda to take-over this world. It began after our Lord Jesus ascended and it ends with His return. Currently, the world is in Stage 4, and we are rapidly entering into Stage 5. God, in His wisdom and mercy, wants us to be prepared for Stage 5. Kindly listen and consider.