“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”
When John sat alone in prison on the Isle of Patmos for his testimony of Jesus Christ, he was visited by Jesus Himself and was told to write down those things which he had seen in the past; those things which he was seeing and living in currently; and those things in the future which Christ would reveal to him. He told John to write down all those things so we would be blessed with the knowledge Jesus wanted His Believers to have so we would be “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3) Hence the revealing title of the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. Interestingly, the Book of Revelation is the ONLY book in the entire Bible which tells us we will be Blessed if we read it!
Recently, I was studying the first few chapters of Revelation and saw something I had not picked up on before. As I am sure you have already seen or heard, John was told to write to the 7 churches in Asia Minor where he had previously ministered before being imprisoned on Patmos. In Revelation chapters 2 & 3 he proceeds to write to the 7 churches what Jesus told him to write. What he wrote, in essence, was what was good and what was bad about each of the 7 churches. Jesus commended the actions of most, but He also condemned the actions of most. Many Bible scholars believe the comments were significant to each church at that time but also believe it prophesied the chronological history of the church age to come. A study of history over the past 2,000 years has basically confirmed this to be true. If you want to learn more read, Have You Ever Attended a Laodicean Church? Hopefully, you never will!!
Amazingly, the only church (Philadelphia) to receive only praise from Jesus was the 6th church. The only church (Laodicea) to receive only condemnation from Jesus was the 7th church, the last church. Why does this matter to those in the 6th church? Apparently, the 6th church was doing exactly what Jesus wanted them to do (evangelize) and the next church, the 7th church, did nothing Jesus wanted them to do. They were neither “hot nor cold” but rather were “lukewarm” and because of that, He would spew (spit) them out of His mouth! Is it coincidence during the time of the 6th church the ONLY Bible in use was the King James Version and after that time numerous other Bible “versions” appeared? So, the church doing what Jesus commanded them to do used only the KJV but the 7th church which He condemned used a multitude of other Bibles? To learn more, you may want to read one of my past posts Don’t Let Your Bible Deceive You!
What caught me off guard was right after Jesus commended the church of Philadelphia (#6) and right before he condemned the church of Laodicea (#7), He promised His Believers in the 6th church the following:
“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.”
The exact placement of this prophecy appears literally to suggest the true church, which received only praise from Jesus, will be kept from the coming Tribulation of God’s Wrath. Yes, I believe this is a prophetic fulfillment of the coming pre-Tribulation Rapture of Jesus’s TRUE Believers as indicated just a few verses later.
“After this I looked, and behold a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew these things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.”
From that moment the “church” is not mentioned again until Chapter 19 AFTER God’s Wrath has already been unleashed on the earth. Obviously, the church wasn’t here to suffer God’s Wrath! Jesus has told John about the good churches and then finally ends with the worst comments to the last church which has given up on their love of Jesus, His Law and their acts of evangelism. Does this sound like the majority of churches and denominations today? Think about this. Pew Research in 2020 discovered approximately 64% of Americans label themselves as Christian and yet according to a 2021 Probe Ministries survey 60% of “Christians” believe Jesus is an equal to Muhammed, Buddha, et.al. and that HE probably was a sinner! Kind of sounds like the Laodicean church is prevalent in the world today! But to those who believe He has promised us in a number of places we will not have to experience God’s Wrath if we only accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and ask Him to forgive us of our sins!
“Then shall two be in the field; the 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.”
“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.”
“And to wait for his Son FROM HEAVEN (capitals mine), whom he (God) raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us (the Rapture) FROM THE WRATH TO COME (capitals mine).”
1 Thessalonians 1:10,
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath (the Tribulation), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9
“For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD (capitals mine), that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord (at the Rapture) shall not prevent them which are asleep (dead). 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
“Behold, I shew you a mystery (the Rapture); We shall not all sleep (die) but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP (capitals mine): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Did you know there have been other instances in the Bible where living, righteous men were “raptured”? The Bible clearly states Enoch and Elijah were both taken to heaven by God while they were still alive.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan.”
2 Kings 2:11-13
Since Elijah never died and the Bible says it is for all men to die once (and hopefully never experience the second death of hell), many Biblical scholars believe Elijah will be one of the two witnesses God will send to the earth during the 7-year Tribulation to evangelize mankind. At that time, the two will die at the hands of the anti-christ, their bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days while the world ENTIRE watches and then miraculously, they will be brought back to life by God and will ascend to Heaven. While the world watches! That theory is strengthened by the following verse:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
After the Rapture is shown to John in Revelation 4:1 and the Wrath of God has begun to be poured out on the earth, John gives us a clearer picture of who will be in Heaven DURING the Tribulation of God’s Wrath on the earth. Here John describes it won’t only be “angels” praising God but a “multitude” from throughout the world who have their white robes on and are standing in front of the throne of God and before the “Lamb” (Jesus).
“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, OF ALL NATIONS, AND KINDREDS, AND PEOPLE, AND TONGUES (capital mine), stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands;” and “And all the ANGELS (capitals mine) stood about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,”
Yes, this view is also known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (versus the mid and post Tribulation theory now taught by many, many churches). If you read, study and believe in the Bible, it clearly tells you we will NOT go through the Wrath of God! Not to be self-serving, I have previously written about these differences (When will the Rapture Occur – Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation). When will all this happen? So, we are not caught off guard, Jesus told us directly.
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
We are firsthand witnessing the end of the Church of Philadelphia (#6) and the predominate growth of the Church of Laodicea (#7). While there are still many who support evangelizing the world with God’s Words, there are a growing number of churches more interested in their wealth, music, acceptance of sin which is an abomination to God, etc. etc. If we recognize this, we should all take immense comfort in knowing our generation is the ONE who will witness Jesus Returning for His Bride in the clouds. If we believe in Him who died for our sins and only through Him are we deemed acceptable to God, we will one day SOON be with Jesus forever in Heaven! We don’t have much time! Please do today what we have all been instructed to do by Jesus and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” You can do it by liking and sharing this with your friends and family. Do it today because the time is running short.
May God Bless you as we anxiously and eagerly wait for Jesus to Return!