Categories: The Rapture of the Church Date: May 26, 2008 Title: The Rapture of the Church, fact or fiction? #6This article is the sixth one in the series, dealing with the Biblical Truth, the Rapture of the Church - written by Pekka Sartola in his recent work, "Millennium".
The secrets of the Apostle Paul.
In his different letters, the Apostle mentions in many passages the secrets, meaning by them things, which were not revealed before and which he now and here brings to the public and clarifies what they are all about. In Romans 11:25 he writes about a secret related to Israel – blindness in part, which has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. In the passage 16:25 in the same letter the Apostle writes the revelation of the mystery of Christ, mentioning it was kept secret since the world began. By this he means, that the mankind will receive salvation in Christ. The stewards of the mysteries of God are mentioned in 1.Cor 4:1 and the already previously mentioned secret deals with the Rapture of the Church; of it he wrote in 1.Cor. 15:51.
To the Ephesians the Apostle Paul mentions about many a secret: in verse 1:9 he writes about the mystery of God's will, according to His good pleasure. In verse 3:2-3 is yet again described the secret of God's dispensation of the grace, as well as in verse 3:9. In verses 5:31-32 the secret is Christ and the church and it is compared to marriage. To the Colossians, in verses 1:26-27, the Apostle Paul reminds again about the mystery of Christ - Christ in you, the hope of glory. In verse 2:2 the Apostle again refers to Christ as the mystery of God. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, 2:7, he in turn tells about the mystery of iniquity, which influence will begin, only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. To Timothy, verse 1.Tim. 3:9, Paul writes about the mystery of the faith and in verse 3:16 in turn, of the mystery of godliness.
For the Jews of the Old Covenant it was utterly impossible to understand the fact, that God thus is such merciful, that saves a certain group of people only on the ground of faith to God - without offerings, circumcision, without Moses and the Law. Furthermore, the group in question was neither Jewish by origin nor converted. The salvation in Christ was made ready from the beginning of the world, but it was preserved a secret and revealed to the Apostles and Prophets only after the New Covenant entering in. Additionally it was a secret, that for the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God, a nation had yet been chosen, that was not a nation during the Old Covenant, not in the same relationship to God as the Jews were.
Even more amazing secret was that, that for Israel, God's peculiar people, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Only after this period has ended, Israel as a nation will be saved. Till then, God's will shall be manifested by non-Jewish nation, and after they have accomplished the mission in revealing the secret of God, this nation, the Church, will be caught up into Heavenlies, not seeing how God nurtures and restores His relationship with Israel and how His wrath will come across the godless world. This secret was specifically revealed to the Apostle John, by Jesus Himself, Rev. 10:7 and the Angel, as the messenger of God, thus in the same event revealed to the Apostle of the events of the coming wrath another hidden secret: the one that deals with the Beast and the woman carried by him, verse 17:7.
Also to the evangelists were given the chance of hearing and knowing these things from Jesus. Matth. 13:11 tells about the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven and Luke 8:10 in turn about the mysteries of the kingdom of God. In both of these, the one and the same thing is in question. Jesus has cited, that these secrets were hidden from others, i.e. the Jews of that time, and to them they had to be given only in parables. The disciples however got authentic and instant teaching of them, but seemingly, finally did not learn almost anything, until they were endued with power from on high, which happened in Pentecost, as we well remember.
The Mark of Noah.
What is this mark and where should we place such a thing, for the subtext mentioned by Jesus refers to events thousands of years before, to Noah and the flood? Once again we have to consider, to whom Jesus is addressing and to what time period it sets.
Matth. 24:37-39 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Gen. 7:4 "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth."
If the above-mentioned passages are tried and fit and apply to the Church, its catching up and the Tribulation, we are off the track and far. First of all, to Noah was given from God a clear revelation, that after seven days major events would occur. He had been building the Ark with his family for decades already, but the very climax of the events, the Flood, the destroying of the Earth and all living was at the doorstep, even the world of that day, after the seventh day. So Noah knew that beforehand, for he was obedient to God's revelation.
Exactly the same way, in another parable of Jesus, 5 wise virgins (not the Bride, but the bridesmaids) knew, how much they should reserve oil in their lamps and as allowance too, waiting for the Bridegroom to come. Thus they were obedient to God's revelation, but in turn the foolish virgins were not interested of it, as was not the unbelieving mankind during Noah's time, which was only interested in their own well-being and the this' and thats of everyday life. Of these bridesmaids some are teaching, that they represent the Church and state the conclusion, that only half of the believers will be saved.
Further, I have heard the claim, that the described oil here would be the Holy Spirit. Fit in the context, it is somewhat impossible an idea. When at midnight there will be a cry made: Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him, then at that moment there's no time for morning doings and discuss and trade with the friends, and no believer can give the Holy Spirit to another, who by the way happens to be an unbeliever. The Rapture is an event happening in a twinkling of an eye; it simply does not fit at all to any description of the bridesmaids in Matthew chapter 25. This passage is directed both to Jews in the post-Rapture era and also the people in the seven year Tribulation, and is taking place at the very end of the Great Tribulation.
To whom was the parable of Noah from Jesus then directed? We give the answer, that to the mankind of the post-Rapture era, to which so belong Jews and all the other nations of the world. Two significant things back this claim up. Firstly, Noah knew the timing of the end of the world of his time, seven days, and likewise those 5 wise virgins knew when the Bridegroom – Jesus Messiah would come, only now after seven years, not days. Also the 70th year-week of Daniel, seven days, seven years, fits in the subtext very well. Further, Jesus said that it is not for the Church to know the times or the seasons of His coming for it, i.e. the date of the Rapture, but the events from that occasion forward, cannot be unclear to anyone studying the Bible carefully. The most significant events of the world history will be opened out to the mankind of that day, only if somebody would take them as truth and believe the revelation of God.
The same Bible, God's revelation, is still fully valid. The Lord's visible return to the Mount of Olives, Armageddon and the thousand-year kingdom, Millennium, are waiting there, after seven Old Testamental years. The disappearing of the Church from the Earth, the seven-year peace covenant between Israel and the Islamic world, made by the president of the European United States, the Third Temple to be build up in Jerusalem and the Old Testamental offering about to be started there, the giant march of the Jewish evangelists, false feeling of peace and security, banning of religions and the persecutions of the new believers and the Jewish evangelists - they are all such signs one cannot bypass shrugging. The last year-week of Daniel with the events announced in the Book of Revelation make part of the mankind convinced of the return of the Lord and the thousand-year kingdom of peace. Seven days for Noah, seven days of Daniel for Israel and the mankind. The ones that will become believers at that time, take the Bible and thus the revelation of God as truth, and they will know for sure the timing of the visible return of the Lord, and know to reserve enough oil for their lamps.
... to be continued ...