Kingdom Alert Update #274
IN THIS ISSUE
-BELIEVERS WHO WILL BE RAPTURED BEFORE THE TRIBULATION:
THE VERY GOOD AND THE VERY BAD – BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LUKEWARM?
-I WILL BE PREACHING AT FAITH BAPTIST OF CHATTANOOGA THIS WEEK.
BELIEVERS WHO WILL BE RAPTURED BEFORE THE TRIBULATION:
THE VERY GOOD AND THE VERY BAD – BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LUKEWARM?
“A wise man by investigation sometimes changes his opinion, but a fool, never.”
In my book “The Rod: Will God Spare It?,” I deal only with the warnings to believers in relation to the Millennial Kingdom. The subjects of the rapture, and the Tribulation Period are only briefly touched upon. In this article I put forth some views that I have been pondering in the Scriptures in relation to the rapture. The various views of the rapture are:
1. Pretrib-total (all believers, faithful and unfaithful, are caught up before the Tribulation).
2. Pretrib-partial (only faithful believers are caught up before the Tribulation).
3. Mid-trib (also pre-wrath).
4. Post-trib (all believers are caught up at the end of the Tribulation).
I suggest in this article a combination of views 1 and 2. I suggest the possibility that both the faithful overcomers, AND the unfaithful believers (those who commit things worthy of death and have pleasure in them that do them) will be caught up before the Tribulation Period. The faithful will be rewarded and crowned to reign in the Millennial Kingdom, with varying degrees of authority based on their service to their Lord. The unfaithful believers, who have lived in open rebellion to the Lord, will be also caught up to the Judgment Seat of Christ with the faithful saints. Yet, they will be chastised and barred from reigning in the Millennial Kingdom. This leaves only one group of believers to be temporarily left behind: the lukewarm, who are neither hot nor cold.
To follow after every wind of doctrine is a sin. But it is also a sin to remain stagnant due to laziness, and refuse to search the Scriptures in our own days. The man of God is to be apt to teach. And Paul commanded Timothy to give attendance to reading. We are called to “study” to show ourselves approved unto God, as “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Early men of God were called every name imaginable for teaching simple premillennialism (this was considered new light in the 17th century, even though it was the oldest view). Diligent, literal Bible scholars of the next generation were also ridiculed by other men (even some otherwise good men) for teaching a literal, future Tribulation Period (considered new light at the time). Many of the conservative men of the day felt that it was a trick by Roman Catholics to take the attention off of Rome being the Great Whore of Revelation 17; yet most of the futurists were strongly anti-Catholic, and saw Revelation 17 as the future rise of Rome over the world.
I gratefully welcome any comments or questions upon this article, as I prayerfully, with fear and trembling, study the Scriptures in these last days.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE RAPTURE DOCTRINE
I have shown in detail in other articles on the rapture, that in the 17th and 18th centuries, premillennialists began to make a distinction between two major stages of the Lord’s coming. These premillennialists were historicists. They were literal in regard to the Millennium, but they were not literal in regard to the Tribulation Period. They did not see the Antichrist as one man; and the various numbers in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation (1260 days, etc.), were interpreted as prophetic years. However, they had begun to lay the foundation in their studies of Scripture for two stages of the Second Coming.
In the first part of the 19th century, this new understanding of the two parts of the Second Coming shined brighter. Before long many began to understand that the Book of Revelation (chapters 6-22) was a prophecy of events still future. They understood the inconsistency of interpreting the 1000 years as a literal number (i.e. Revelation 20), while interpreting the other numbers (i.e. 1260 days) in a “prophetic” sense. Robert Govett soon published his commentary, “The Apocalypse: Literal and Future.” And many Christians began to wed the two stages of the Lord’s coming with the literal, future Tribulation Period.
For many decades, the majority of these early men held that being “caught up” in the first stage of the Lord’s coming (before the Tribulation) was not an unconditional promise for every believer. Hundreds of premillennial, dispensational, futurist prophecy teachers understood what became known as the “partial rapture.” Many of these same men also understood the truth of the partial reign (conditional entrance in the Millennium). They proclaimed that missing the pretribulational rapture would be God’s merciful warning to many (in the last generation of saints) that He had not found their works perfect before God; if they responded to the discipline of the Tribulation Period, and repented, they could still be found worthy of entrance into the 1000-year Kingdom. Men in the 19th century such as Robert Govett, George N.H. Peters (author of “The Theocratic Kingdom”), G.H. Pember, W. Fuller Gooch, G.D. Hooper (the two latter men signed the doctrinal confession with Spurgeon during the Downgrade Controversy), D.N. Lord, Bickersteth, H.W. Fry, R.C. Chapman, J.A. Seiss, Hudson Taylor, John Wilkinson (author of “Israel My Glory”), and many, many others began to warn the believers of their day that the pretribulational rapture will be a gracious “reward,” and that lukewarmness in their walk could cause them to be “left behind” to suffer tribulation (just as some fruit needs extra sunshine to ripen it).
There is something in the flesh of every believer that naturally recoils from accountability. We see this in Jeremiah 7:4 when many were using the fact that they had the privileges of the temple as an objection to Jeremiah’s warning about being cast out of the land. They certainly already had God’s clear statements that possession of the land had some conditional elements to it. Yet, over the years, they had grown to ignore these written warnings. Samuel Wilkinson (the son of John Wilkinson, the famed author of “Israel My Glory”), later in life confessed that it had been his pride that had caused him to reject his father’s teaching on the conditional rapture.
Along this same line, James R. Graves, the famous leader of the Southern Baptists (who was largely responsible for the dispensational leanings of many Baptists in later times), later received and confessed the partial rapture and partial reign teaching. After being bedridden for a time, he had much time to slow down, and study the Scriptures. In “Dispensational Expositions of the Parables and Prophecies of Christ” (1887), J.R. Graves writes:
“These expositions are eminently providential. Had this author not been stricken down by a severe and protracted affliction, they doubtless would never had been written….He can truly say these years were spent in Beulah, in almost unalloyed spiritual enjoyment…The author, after more than three years of patient study of the prophetic Scriptures since writing ‘The Seven Dispensations,’ has modified his views set forth in that work…It has been said, ‘A wise man by investigation sometimes changes his opinion, but a fool, never.’”
What are some of the changes that Graves made? He writes:
“I call [these] Eschatological parables, because they find their interpretations in events connected with the last times of this dispensation, and the Second Coming of Christ, which grand event will prepare the way for, and introduce the Millennium…only those servants will receive the chief honors and highest rewards who are ready, watchful, and in earnest, prayerful expectancy of His coming: OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE LEFT TO LIVE ON AND SUFFER THE TERRIBLE ILLS AND TRIBULATIONS THAT AWAIT ALL WHO REMAIN ON THE EARTH until the close of this dispensation…
How few ministers can brook the least persecution for the truth’s sake! WILL SUCH EVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OR WEAR A CROWN?…All Christians are loved by Christ, and will be saved and rewarded according to what they have done and suffered for Him, but all will not…be enthroned and crowned to reign with Him. Not to all Christians can He say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants, etc….the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is NOT NOW, and never has been, but it is only at some future time, to be likened unto ten virgins….I cannot believe [the ready virgins] found sweet pleasures in the ballroom, the opera, and the theater….those Christians who are ‘left’ because accounted unworthy to escape the chastening trials and sufferings of the ‘great tribulation’ will pass through them…and will finally come safely out…some receiving a few and other many stripes, and still others saved yet so as by fire…”
BIBLE VERSES WHICH TEACH A PARTIAL RAPTURE
The following Bible verses were understood by these great men to teach a partial rapture before the Tribulation Period. There are many ways to squeeze out from under Bible verses. But we should realize that the PRE-TRIB rapture teaching was re-birthed in modern times, primarily on the basis of the Scriptures which reveal a time element. Scriptures such as 1 Thessalonians 4:17, etc., have no time element. They are equally claimed by pre-tribbers and post-tribbers. But the following Scriptures reveal timing. This is why the majority of early pre-tribbers believed in a partial rapture:
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
In Luke 21, the disciples are addressed. They are commanded to watch and pray to be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things that shall come to pass. This implies a possible escape (like Enoch) for those who live and preach like Enoch:
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Many who believe that the pretribulatonal rapture is entirely unconditional are unable to teach their churches to watch and pray to escape the Tribulation Period explained by the Lord in Luke 21.
Notice another Bible verse:
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Notice this church had already won the crown, and they were called to hold it fast. If the coming of the Lord had occurred in their day, they would have been caught up like Enoch. They would have been kept from the hour of temptation (the Tribulation Period). All who live like the Philadelphian church will escape the Tribulation Period. Looking at it from the other direction, notice the closing words in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things IN THE CHURCHES. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
18 For I testify unto EVERY MAN that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If ANY MAN shall ADD unto these things, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK:
The Philadelphia church kept the Word, and they are promised an escape from the plagues written in the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 22:18, Jesus warns “every man” and “any man” that if they add to the words of God, they will receive the Tribulation Plagues. They have to be in the Tribulation Period to receive them!
Other Scriptures include Hebrews 9:28 (which conditions the rapture on those who LOOK for Him), as well as 2 Thessalonians 2:7:
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed…
The “he that now letteth [i.e. he that resists evil in the world]” refers to any Christian who is living as salt, exposing the darkness, and keeping himself separated from the world by the Holy Spirit (Paul speaks like this elsewhere: Gal.6:8). These saints will be taken out of the way before the Antichrist is revealed.
There are other Scriptures, but these should suffice to demonstrate the ground upon which so many skilled and holy men received and taught the doctrine of the partial rapture. They answered the Scriptures “so shall we ever be with the Lord” and “God hath not appointed us to wrath” by pointing out that these Scriptures are addressed to the holy Thessalonians. Secondly, they simply describe God’s will and design for every believer. Their purpose is meant to comfort saints who are already shining their light and suffering persecution patiently. They do not grant all saints a right to ignore conditions and warnings written elsewhere. The promise that the Lord had appointed the Jews the Promised Land and would “give” it to them did not mean that He would not slay almost a whole generation in the wilderness for rebellion! The promise that, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” does not mean that we do not have to take heed to the conditions mentioned elsewhere (Mark 11:24, 1 John 3:22).
TAKING THE TRUTH ON BOTH SIDES
We must not forget that there were some holy men of God who were skilled in the Scriptures who embraced the post-trib position. Men such as B.W. Newton and George Muller (the great man of prayer) adopted the post-trib position. The partial rapture position takes the truth on both sides of the rapture question. The doctrine of Kingdom-Exclusion does the same thing in the Arminian/Calvinist debate concerning other warning passages, such as Hebrews 6, 10, etc. In fact, the doctrine of Kingdom Exclusion actually opens up another door of mediation between the pre-trib total position and the pre-trib partial position. In other words, the partial rapture may not be as partial as some older partial rapturists have maintained. The doctrine of Kingdom exclusion allows us to see the imminent coming of Christ (before the Trib) as not only a reward for faithful believers, but also as an IMMEDIATE, fiery danger for the extremely unfaithful believers. This leaves only the moderately unfaithful behind to go through the Tribulation Period to ripen to maturity, or be excluded at the final stage of the coming of the Lord.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE IMMINENT COMING
Pretribbers have long taught that the doctrine of the imminent return is a key to understanding their position. If the Lord can come at any moment, like a thief, then it follows that there are no intermediate signs or prophecies that must come to pass before He can appear to believers. This doctrine of the imminent, any moment coming of the Lord appears in the inspired Scriptures, as well as in the earliest post-apostolic writings.
in 1904, I.M. Haldeman (the fiery, premillennial pastor of First Baptist of New York city) writes:
“This teaching [of the imminent coming] is a part of the faith ‘once delivered to the saints.’ It WAS delivered by our Lord to his disciples before the crucifixion….He taught that after he had ascended they were to wait and watch, and be ready for his return in an ‘unknown’ hour. Listen to his own words in Mark 13:32-37:
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch…
What he says in Mark he emphasizes in Matthew…He warns them that the servant who teaches that the Lord for any cause delayeth ‘his Coming’ is an ‘evil’ servant; not because he smites his fellow-servants in ‘authority’ and drinks with the drunken…but because he FIRST says that the Lord is not at hand…He warns that kind of teachers that they shall be ‘cut off.’ If this language was not an exhortation to those living disciples to be ready and watching for the Lord in their day, then language is a juggle…”
(“The Imminent Coming of Christ”)
COMING LIKE A THIEF!
Haldeman (in the above excerpt, and elsewhere) was able to understand that the “any moment” coming of the Lord in the rapture involves more than just rewarding the faithful believers! It also involves rewarding the unfaithful, who are eating and drinking with the drunken, smiting their fellow servants, etc. This understanding reveals that many pre-tribbers (who deny any chastisement at the Judgment Seat) will have trouble reconciling their doctrine of the imminent coming with the actual Scriptures which reveal it. If the Lord is not describing His imminent coming to His disciples, then language means nothing. However, the imminent coming that Christ describes is said to be as a THIEF:
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I WILL COME ON THEE AS A THIEF, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If the church of Sardis does not watch, they are in danger of the Lord coming upon them as a thief. This is meant to be WARNING, not a comforting promise! What do thieves do, if you are not watching for them?:
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
There will be some believers who will have the Lord come upon them at the pretrib rapture like a thief! It is a warning that they will be chastised with great afflictions at the Judgment Seat of Christ when they are caught up alive:
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh AS A THIEF in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU AS A THIEF.
Verse 1 shows that these Thessalonians had no need (like other churches). They were not asleep (like some believers and churches). If they stayed awake and ready, the Lord would not meet them in the rapture as a thief. When they are caught up to the Judgment Seat of Christ, they will not meet with destruction, for they will not be meeting the Lord in the air as a thief. But what about other believers? What about other churches who are in darkness? What about the churches who have preachers who are teaching “peace and safety,” even in the midst of rebellion and sin! What about those Christian leaders who are teaching their churches that at the coming of Christ they will be praised and blessed regardless of how they are walking as believers? The day of the Lord’s coming will overtake them as a thief! The Lord will come upon them like a thief:
Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the THIEF would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
If the believer will not watch for Jesus to come at any moment in the rapture, and be ready for this coming in holiness, he will begin to walk in sin, and he will be caught up to meet Jesus as a THIEF:
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch THE THIEF would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant SHALL COME in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And SHALL CUT HIM ASUNDER, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Do we not plainly see that the imminent coming of the Lord in the rapture will not be a picnic for some believers who are drunken in this world and asleep? The faithful and wise servant is called to feed the household. Preachers are called to awaken the churches and get them ready for the rapture in FEAR and trembling. The rapture will be a comfort to many; but many more will find it a time of shock and destruction:
James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for THE COMING of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest YE BE CONDEMNED: behold, THE JUDGE STANDETH BEFORE THE DOOR.
The Lord can come at any moment to rapture His people. Those who are living like the evil servant who thought His Lord will delay His coming, and will smite his brothers and sisters, and as James says, GRUDGE against them, WILL BE CONDEMNED when they are caught up to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ at the pre-trib rapture. They meet there the TERROR OF THE LORD (2 Corinthians 5:9-11). They will find that the Lord has come upon them as a thief, and He will cut them asunder. The same Lord that often chastises His children with death in this age of His patience (see 1 Corinthians 11:30), can certainly chastise His servants at the rapture, when He comes upon them and punishes them for their failure to watch and ready themselves:
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, and WILL FIGHT against them with the sword of my mouth.
Revelation 2:16 is addressed to the church. The coming must be the “any moment” coming at the pretribulational rapture. The church is to be ready at any moment for the Lord to appear. But notice, that unlike many modern teachers of the pretribulational rapture, the Lord teaches that at the rapture He may come upon them with HIS SWORD (a sword of fire). This is not a nice, figurative expression. It implies that eternally secure believers can, nevertheless, meet with great destruction and terror at the Judgment Seat, when they are raptured to stand before His throne!
REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!
Lot’s wife made it out of Sodom, however she was then judged in the Lord’s anger:
Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Many who will be raptured will, like Lot’s wife, go out, only to be judged by the terror of the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Every detail of types is not meant to apply to future prophecy (otherwise we would have to teach that only FOUR people will be raptured!). However, there are some main themes that do apply. I think that when the Lord tells us to remember Lot’s wife, we better remember the history. I do not think it is safe to say, “That does not apply to us.” Lot’s wife was “raptured out of Sodom” (so to speak), yet she was soon slain for her rebellion. He that hath an ear, let him hear.
THE LUKEWARM LEFT BEHIND AT THE RAPTURE
Thus far, we have only dealt with two classes of Christians. We have seen the good and faithful servant, and then the evil servant. Both of these types of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation Period. One class will be ready and waiting, and they will be caught up to the Judgment Seat to be praised and rewarded with Kingdom entrance and authority (to be enjoyed when the Lord comes to earth to reign at the end of the Tribulation Period). The second class will meet the Lord in the air, and sudden destruction will come upon them! Just as the flood came and shocked many, so will the Lord’s coming be a shock to many believers who are caught up to the clouds, to immediately meet with His sword of judgment.
However, at the pretribulational rapture, the Lord only mentions two classes of believers. He refers to the extremely faithful and to the extremely disobedient. But there is another class who are made up of believers who are neither cold nor hot. The coming of the Lord will be a shock to them, but not in the same manner that it will shock the extremely unfaithful saint. The lukewarm will find that they have been left behind. They are not rotten; yet nor have they ripened early. They are still green. They are left behind to either ripen to holiness by the Lord’s chastisements, or to be further hardened by the Tribulation afflictions:
Matthew 24:40 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.
This implies that some disciples (the context) will be left behind. Yet, our Lord goes on to say that the disciples who are “taken” (raptured) will be in two classes. There will be the good servant, who is praised and rewarded, and there will be the evil servant who is cut asunder. The third class of servants is left behind. They are not accounted worthy of immediate destruction and banishment at the rapture. Yet, they are also not worthy of escaping “all these things that shall come to pass” (Luke 21:36). Their hearts have been overcharged with cares and surfeiting, and they have lost the gravity of holiness.
Notice another Scripture:
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I HAVE SOMEWHAT AGAINST THEE, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; OR ELSE I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, and will REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK out of his place, except thou repent.
These words are directed to the angel (i.e. messenger) or pastor of the Church of Ephesus. This pastor has not been a rebel. He has taken a strong, fundamental stand against false doctrine. He has not allowed railings, insults, and troubles to get him down or tempt him to water-down the truth. Nevertheless, he has some charges against him. The fervency of his devotion has cooled. His spirit has been quenched. His obedience is not as diligent as it used to be. He has become lukewarm.
But do not miss the warning to this pastor:
Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK out of his place, except thou repent.
The candlestick is the church that this man leads:
Revelation 1:20 …and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Many have realized that this preacher is threatened with losing his church. However, if we begin to interpret the Lord’s warnings concerning His coming as only a “providential coming” (and not His coming at the rapture), we will open the door for amillennialism, postmillennialism, pretersim and the whole bag of figurative interpretation:
Revelation 2:5 …I will COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, and will remove thy candlestick…
Therefore, the coming MUST be the Second Coming. It is imminent. It must be the rapture. However, the warning is that this pastor will be left behind, while his church is taken. The taking of his church may refer to the fact that they will not be held to as high a standard as this pastor:
James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
They may be accounted worthy to escape, while he will remain behind, losing his church to the rapture, and having to endure the Tribulation Period. Or, it may mean that his lukewarm example has caused many in the church to flirt with sin in such a way that they will surely be taken out of the way in judgment when the Lord comes upon them as a thief. Regardless, it would appear strange for this warning to mean much to a pastor who will also be raptured with his church. This man is neither very good nor very evil. It therefore appears that he is left behind for the way he handled his ministry.
OLD TESTAMENT TYPES
The Lord often uses the imagery of a thief, or a carcass surrounded by carnivorous eagles, etc. to describe His coming. These pictures do not mean that the Lord is evil or in any way sinful. They are only pictures. I believe that Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of the Antichrist. However, some of the details surrounding the manner of his coming into the land of Israel provides a type for the coming of the Lord. There were three main classes of Israelites at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s coming to judge the land:
Jeremiah 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
First, there were people who were ready for him. They had believed Jeremiah, and in the will of God, they submitted to his authority. These were preserved from his wrath, and many of these made up a special class of advisors (such as Daniel and his three friends). These were represented in the parable of the figs:
Jeremiah 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, VERY GOOD; and the evil, VERY EVIL, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
Notice these two classes. There were the VERY GOOD and the VERY EVIL. The very good people obeyed the Lord and they went forth out of the land (a type of rapture). They were preserved and protected. They are allowed to return to the land (a picture of those who are raptured returning to reign on earth during the Millennium):
Jeremiah 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
The “very evil” class (a picture of the evil servant who says his Lord will delay His coming), will be destroyed by the king:
Jeremiah 24:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD…
10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
Yet, there was still one more class that was not made up of open rebels. And these were left behind. They were not taken as special jewels for the king’s cabinet of counselors. Yet, neither were they punished, like Zedekiah, who lost his eyes and was bound “with fetters of brass.” They were simply left behind in the land of tribulation:
Jeremiah 39:10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard LEFT of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
Many of the lukewarm, who will be found spiritually poor at the coming of the Lord, will likewise be left behind They are not accounted worthy to escape. They are mercifully left behind to suffer further chastisements in the Tribulation Period. They will not be kept from the hour of temptation. They will have “added unto them” the plagues of the Book of Revelation. Yet, to the degree they are faithful, they may find the Lord’s protection, even in the midst of temptations, and by the Blood of the Lamb they can wash their garments white, as they love not their lives to the death.
Scriptures such as Hebrews 9:28, 11:5; Revelation 3:10, 22:18; Luke 21:36, Matthew 24:40, etc. have not been adequately explained by most modern pretribbers. By not applying many of them to believers in this age, they ignore some of the strongest proof-texts for the pretribulational escape. This has, in turn, hindered the truth of the position.
With this view, the only major question between the pretrib total position, and the pretrib partial position that I have advocated herein, is whether or not Jesus Christ will mercifully allow the Tribulation Period to serve as a warning to a class of Christians that are not open rebels, but yet do need an awakening if they will reign with the Lord in high honors. I believe the fact that many of the “lukewarm” in these last days will be left behind is a warning. This warning is seen in the Lord’s words to Laodicea:
Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Let us get ready for the Lord’s coming at any moment. Let us not teach that it will be delayed. We know the stage of His coming to set up His Kingdom on earth will not arrive before the Antichrist is revealed and is destroyed (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3). However, the stage of His coming to judge His people (“judgment must begin at the house of God”) maybe today. It can occur at any moment. Let us take His warnings concerning His coming, and the judgments He has promised if we are unfaithful, very seriously. Let no man deceive you by any means:
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I WILL COME unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant SHALL COME in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder…
I WILL BE PREACHING AT FAITH BAPTIST OF CHATTANOOGA
I will be preaching at Faith Baptist on Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct.11-12th). For a schedule of other speakers, or for directions, visit: http://www.fbcchatt.org
Or call: (423) 344-9712
Faith Baptist, Pastor T. Daniels
8834 North Hickory Valley Road
Chattanooga, Tenn. 37412
THE ROD: WILL GOD SPARE IT
More books have been printed. If you would like to order a copy of this book, visit:
http://www.fundamentalbooks.com or call: 469-658-6046
KINGDOM BAPTIST CHURCH
All articles are by Joey Faust unless otherwise stated. The Kingdom Alert Update is a ministry of Kingdom Baptist Church. Please tell your friends about this newsletter, and please pray that the Lord would use it for His glory.
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Pastor Joey Faust
Kingdom Baptist Church
700 Cordes Dr., Venus, Texas, 76084