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So shalom from the top of the Mount of Olives.
The city of Jerusalem is right behind me,
and we are on top of one of the most
important mountains on planet Earth.
This is the place
were so many things happened.
This is the place where Jewish people from
Galilee used to encamp right here
every festival, as they made it to Jerusalem
from the east, making their way up
from the eastern part from Jericho as their
last major stop and right here for the first time,
they would be able to see right
where the dome of the rock is standing today
was the temple, the great temple.
Whether it's the first temple built
by Solomon, roughly 1,000 B.C.
and destroyed in 586 B.C., or it's
the second temple that was rebuilt
by those who returned back
from Babylon, but it had to go through
three different phases. One
when they built it, another one when the
Hasmoneans restored it in the second
Century B.C., and, of course, the time
that Herod the Great gave a great
facelift to this mountain and created
something adorned with marble and gold.
And they say that he who did not see
Jerusalem in those days knows not what
beauty is. And some others said that if
ten cubits of beauty were given to the world
in those days, nine were taken by Jerusalem
at the time. Jerusalem was amazing.
Jerusalem was definitely the center
of the world's attention even then, not
to mention now. But the message
that we want to talk about from
the top of the Mount of Olives right
here as we look at the Temple Mount,
as we know that the City of David
is right down below,
this is a contested place today.
This is a place where UNESCO
is actually saying it's not even having
any Jewish heritage, where we know
that not only that it has, if there is any
heritage to this place, it is Jewish.
We know that we found remains that's
going back to more than 3,000 years ago.
And just recently we found a 2,700-year-old
piece of scroll that is sort of like an invoice
for someone who was shipping wine
to Jerusalem. And so all I'm trying to say,
there is no doubt we're standing and looking
at a place that God himself said in Second
Chronicles 6:6, this is where I am going
to put my name
upon this place.
Not only that, he said also, I'm going to give
it to David to rule over my people Israel.
So, God says I will be here, and God says
it is meant to be for David to rule over
my people Israel. And we all know
that somebody has to come from
the house of David.
Somebody has to be from the line of Judah
or from the line of Judah, from the tribe
of Judah, and he will restore once again
the fallen tabernacle of David right here.
Now the topic of the rapture of the church
is often something that either is being
controversial, which means people don't
exactly know how to take it and they have
so many different opinions about it, or often
being completely neglected by thousands
of thousands of churches all around the world.
It's something that I believe is the
work of the enemy. To neglect most likely
the most important thing that can be promised
to the believers in Jesus is definitely to steal
from them their only hope, their blessed hope.
The main hope for every believer. And the title
of the message is the mystery of the rapture.
And it's not for nothing. It is a mystery.
In fact, I want you to know that mystery
is not secret. Secret is secret, and mystery
is a mystery. And when the Bible wants
to talk about mystery, the Bible talks
about mystery. When the Bible wants
to say secret, the Bible says secret.
Mystery and secret are two different
things. Mystery is something that is not
hidden but transformed from shadow
to substance, something that at a certain
point we saw it, but we didn't understand
and then in light of new revelations, now
we understand what it was all about.
Yet secret is something that is hidden
and that we cannot see nor feel.
So, when God reveals secrets,
it's something we never heard of.
When God reveals a mystery,
we are going to say, “Aha!”
"Now I understand it." And it's interesting
because for the entire Bible we find
thirty-three times the word mystery, and we find
it once in the Old Testament in the Book
of Daniel. The mystery that we're talking
about that dream that Nebuchadnezzar
had and that mystery eventually was solved
by God, the God of Israel, who revealed
the true meaning of that dream to Daniel,
for him to share with the king.
And that mystery was all about things
that existed and will come to pass
and then Daniel just interpreted it.
He received an understanding
of something that existed.
Thus, it's a mystery.
Yet we find that word mystery also
in Romans and Corinthians and Ephesians
and Colossians and Second Thessalonians
and First Timothy and in the Book of Revelation.
And in the Book of Daniel, the mystery
was all about the true God.
The mystery revealed who the real God is.
When all the other people tried to give
their own interpretation, it is the Lord God
of Israel that gave the true one.
But then as we move in Romans 11,
there is the mystery
about Israel and God's
plan for Israel,
plan for Israel, which means Israel
which means Israel
has been there. They are going through things,
but there is a mystery about their role
even in the future, that God in Romans 11,
in light of Jesus and in light of New Testament,
is indeed revealing to all people.
So, that's Romans 11.
So, that's Romans 11. In Colossians chapter 2,
In Colossians chapter 2,
the mystery of
  the true Messiah.
Colossians 2:2 talks about behold I tell you
a mystery about Christ, and if that's not enough
in Ephesians 5 verses 31 and 32, the mystery
of the relationship the between the church
and Christ. It is a mystery. It's a mystery
just like a husband and a wife.
It's a mystery because we've heard about
it before when God described his relationship
with Israel while in the desert.
Remember we read about it in Jeremiah
chapter 2, and now we see that that same
mystery is also between the church and Christ.
A husband and a wife. It is a mystery.
I think it's even a mystery to married
couples still. And then in First Corinthians
15:51, the mystery of the soon rapture.
The Bible says behold I tell you a mystery
about how we are going to change.
In Ephesians 3 verse 6 and Colossians 1:26,
the mystery of the Gentile heirs
of the kingdom, how a Gentile can be an heir
of the kingdom. It's a mystery, which none
could understand before, but now in light
of the New Testament, in light of Christ,
we understand. God never meant only Israel
to be the heirs. He had also kept a remnant
that did not worship the Baal even from among
the heathens.
And then Second Thessalonians 2:7,
the mystery of lawlessness, which is already at work.
This is something different and that's
when we teach about the antichrist and the spirit
of the antichrist. So, we see that there
are several mysteries, even in mystery Babylon
in Revelation. But I would like to dwell
with all of you this morning from the top
of the Mount of Olives on First Corinthians 15
verses 51 and 52. "Behold I tell you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep," which is the Bible way
to say not all of us will die. And this
is the way to tell the believer
because nonbelievers will die.
Believers just fall asleep. We fall asleep,
and then we wake up and we are
somewhere else. Almost as if we fell asleep
in the living room, and the father takes us
and puts us in bed, and we wake up and we're
in bed where we need to be in our room.
A room that belongs to us, and we wake up
and here we are. We just fall asleep, that's all.
So not all of us will sleep, but we shall
all be changed.
Just like Paul says in First
Thessalonians 4, that "Behold, the dead in Christ
will rise first, and we that are alive will be caught
up in the air." We can clearly see that Paul
talks to the Corinthians and tells them
the same exact thing.
And he says, "In a moment,
in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet,
for the trumpet will sound and the dead
will be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed." Isn't that interesting that
on one hand, he speaks of a sudden event.
On the other hand, he speaks of a process.
The sudden event that takes less than a second,
twinkling of an eye. It's our bodies changing
and leaving this place. Within a twinkling
of an eye, we're going to be gone.
It's not something that the world is going
to sit and watch and look at all of us like
Mary Poppins going all the way up there.
No. The world will just understand
that we're gone. We will be gone instantly.
However, he said at the last trumpet,
which means that there has been a process
that had begun already, yet nobody pays
attention if it's not the believers.
We need to pay attention.
We need to look for that which I believe
God is trying to get the attention
of the world with, the trumpets.
And I've always said that Israel
and the church are the two trumpets
that God has been using ever since 1948.
This is the first time in history of Israel
is a nation back in the land and the church
coexisting. All before that, Israel was dispersed
all around the world. They were not a nation
back in their land, or when they were
in the land before the church did not exist.
So, you see in the Book of Isaiah, God
says about Israel you're my witnesses.
In the Book of Acts, you talk about the church,
you are my witnesses. These are the two
witnesses. These are the two silver trumpets,
I believe, that Moses was commanded to make
to direct the movement of the camp and to direct
the attention of the people. And God, ever since
1948, is trying to get the attention of the whole
world that he's about to do something big.
And it's a set of blowing of the trumpet.
It's not one because we know that at the last
trumpet, which means they started already
blowing. They started already sounding
their voice. And it's interesting because
I believe in 1948 when the Jews returned
to the land, that was the first one, and then
you have 1967 and you have the return of the Jews
back to Jerusalem. And you see a set of events
that takes place around the world and in the land
of Israel, a set of events that eventually will bring
about the last trumpet.
See people are writing and asking me,
"Isn't that making sense
that just as Jesus fulfilled the literal
holidays of the spring, on the very day, isn't that
that the same case with the fall holidays that
the rapture will take place on the day of the feast
of trumpets?" And I always tell them,
"If you tell me that there is a date
for the rapture, you know when
the rapture is, then you're probably better
than Jesus,
because the Bible says not even
the son knows that day and the hour."
See, you must understand, when it comes
to trumpets, it's not on that day.
When it comes to trumpets, it's a season.
And that's why we talk about you know the times
and the seasons. It's a season of trumpeting,
and at the last trumpet we are going to be
out of here. You understand that?
So, we now talk about the fact that there
will be certain events around the world,
and there will be the last trumpet,
and we don't know the day and we
don't of the hour, but we understand
the times and the seasons. And so
right now, we are awaiting the last
trumpet, and at the last trumpet, we are
going to be changed.
Now why am I saying that?
Because yes, we may not know the day
or the hour, but it's our, I believe, duty
to understand the times and the seasons.
So, what is the rapture?
It's interesting because the Greek word
from which this term rapture is derived, appears
in First Thessalonians 4:17, translated
caught up." And the Latin translation
of this verse used to be "rapturo".
The Greek word translated is "harpaso",
which means "to snatch" or "take away",
"to snatch" and "take away".
And by the way, that same Greek word,
"harpaso" appears in more places in the Bible.
In fact, in Acts 8:39, "Now when they came
out to the water", when Philip was
on that chariot with the Ethiopian eunuch,
the Bible says, "the spirit of the Lord caught
Philip away", snatched him. Right after
they came out of the water, Phillip was gone,
was snatched, was taken away, was caught up,
was "harpaso", "rapturo",
and so that the eunuch saw him no more,
and he went on his way rejoicing.
"Can you imagine? Now that was not
a rapture from earth to heaven.
That was a rapture from one place on earth
to another location on earth. And the eunuch
was not alarmed. The eunuch was going
his way rejoicing. Second Corinthians
12:2 and 4.
That word "caught up", twice appears
in that story in Second Corinthians,
the same "harpaso", "rapturo", "caught up",
and this is a way to describe actually
from earth to heaven, talking about
the third heaven. It's not something
that was foreign to people.
It's something that Paul used several
times. So, in First Thessalonians 4
verses 16 and 18, "For the Lord himself
will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of an archangel,
and with the trumpet of God.
So, you see, when Jesus comes
all the way back, there is a great shout
and voice and trumpet blowing.
Where? In heaven. You see, on earth,
people will be all about their own business.
They'll get married, and they'll rejoice
just like in the days of Noah.
They don't care. They don't listen
to, and we know that there is so much
commotion going on in heaven,
right now! And all of that happens,
and then "the dead in Christ will rise first
and we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them
in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,
and thus we shall always be with the Lord."
And then he says, "Therefore, comfort one
another with these words."
So, the rapture a) is us going up,
being caught up,
"rapturo", "harpaso". We're going to be caught up.
The dead in Christ will go first, and we will
meet them in the air and meet him in the air.
The Bible is very clear about where.
It's not just anywhere. It's in the air,
in the clouds. And then the Bible says,
"And thus we shall always be with the Lord."
I want you to say the word always please.
Always. Let's say it again: always.
And why is it so important? Because when
Jesus himself promised to the church
that he's now about to leave, he gave us
a promise. He says I now have to leave.
If I am not leaving, I cannot send the Holy
Spirit. Now I'm leaving and I'm sending you
the Holy Spirit, but hey, don't worry.
He will comfort you and be with you,
and guide you, and I will not leave you
as orphans, but I am planning on coming
back. So, where I am so you will be.
You see, the rapture of the church
is the moment we will be with the Lord
forever, which means from that moment on,
we will never leave his sight.
From that moment on, we will never
be out of his sight. We will never be away
from him physically, spiritually, mentally.
We will be there with him.
So you see, what is it that the enemy
is trying to tell the whole world?
It's not going to happen. It has been fulfilled.
It's not a real, real thing.
You see, if there is one promise,
if there is one hope, if there is one longing,
if there is one expectation of every believer,
if he knows the Bible, is that the day
is going to come and that evil world,
that pagan world, that heathen world,
that anti-Christian world, that antichrist
world, that sinful world is not going
to be our home anymore. And we who
are already not citizens of this world
will go to where we belong.
We will go to our real home,
to where our citizenship is from.
And now I want you to understand
that this is not a new thing.
You know,
in the Bible in Genesis 5:24,
Enoch was taken without dying.
It is not a New Testament term.
And what about Elijah, the prophet,
in Second Kings 2:12?
Elijah was taken up without seeing
corruption, without dying,
and of course Jesus in Acts 1 verse 9,
Jesus himself was taken up.
So here we are on the top
the of Mount of Olives, where the Lord Jesus
himself according to Acts chapter
1 verse 9 ascended to heaven from.
And this is exactly where, according
to the prophet Zechariah, this is where
he is coming back to. He went up
after he gave himself, and he will come back
after he will restore all things and will establish
his kingdom, millennial kingdom.
So why is the rapture? We understand
what the rapture is all about.
Why is the rapture? Why do we have
the rapture? Because of the words of Jesus.
You see, Jesus in John 14:3, "And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come
again and receive you." The Greek word
"receive you" means he is going to do like
that with his hand and receive us.
"Receive you to myself." What a personal
expression! "I will receive you to myself."
And then, "and that where I am, there
you may be also." So, when we talk
about being always with him, where he is,
we will be. Now, let me make it very clear.
A lot of Christians don't know that,
but the only time we will all, we will ever
spend time in heaven is when the rapture
takes place, because then we come back
with him, and then we establish the
millennial kingdom with him here,
in this Jerusalem. And for a thousand
years, we will be with him here, in this
world, on this earth. And after the thousand
years, actually he's going to make all things
new, new heaven, new earth, which means
the heavens that are there right now,
the only time we have to spend time there
is during the rapture, when we are gone.
When we are snatched, when we are caught
up, when we are "harpaso", "rapturo", when
we are taken away from this evil,
when he receives us unto himself.
So if Jesus says I'm going to take you
so where I am you will be, where is Jesus
now? See, that's the question.
You see that's where so many people
are stumbling into error in their teaching.
You see, where is Jesus now?
Where are we now and what are the options?
See, Jesus now is in heaven.
We know that. The Bible says he is sitting
at the right hand of the father interceding
for us, so he is in heaven. Where are we?
On earth. So, what are the options?
For him to receive us unto himself,
to take us to where he is. Hello?
Not too many options.
See, I am thinking about the options.
The option is heaven, but he is in heaven.
We are not. Earth in his first coming. Nice,
but that's not the rapture because that's
his first coming. And then heaven.
The Ascension or right after the Ascension.
And then earth in his second coming.
Yeah, but in his second coming,
how can we be raptured when we have
to come back with him?
And then of course in the New
Jerusalem, makes no sense, because
the New Jerusalem is already after he
makes all things new.
So, the only thing that makes sense,
the only thing that can be real,
is that after his Ascension, when he's gone
and he sends the Holy Spirit, right
in between the Ascension of Christ
and his returning back on earth,
that event will take place.
Do you know how many people believe
there is a new thing called 70 A.D. theory.
People truly believe that once the temple
was destroyed in 70 A.D., that is the end
of all Bible prophecy. They truly teach
that that's it. Now all men can be saved.
All men have salvation, that now, all
has been restored, only thing you need
to do is just say, "Hi, Jesus." And I'll tell
you something. This is not what the Bible
said. This is not what Daniel said
speaking of the 70 weeks.
And certainly it's not what Jesus
himself said, because as far
as I'm concerned, the last time
I checked my Bible, the rapture
didn't take place yet.
So how can everything be fulfilled
if no one has been caught up
in the air yet? Now you must
understand that there is a war
that we can feel but not see.
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12,
So, there is a war that is going on
we cannot see, but we can surely feel.
But I want to tell you that war that
we cannot see is a battlefield, which
is right now in heaven and eventually
will move down to earth.
Heaven is dominated by God
and by God's choice. Christ is there.
But unfortunately the world is dominated
by the Prince of the world, Satan,
by man's choice, and it will be
dominated by his man incarnated,
Satan incarnated, which is the
antichrist himself. Not only that
the spirit of antichrist is already here
and the mystery of lawlessness
is already at work, but he will show
up, and he will have the ultimate
rule over this world. And so that
which is in heaven will move to the world.
Now, the war is there. See the antichrist
is not yet here. The Dragon and all of that,
now the famous war which is in Revelation 12
is going on in the air, but then the Bible
said it's going to move down. He will be cast
down and then while he is down,
the tribulation will take place.
Revelation 12 war, Satan lost in heaven
and moved down to earth.
Quite amazing.
And then in Revelation 19, the war that
Satan loses on earth.
He lost it in heaven in chapter 12,
moved down to earth, reigns until
Revelation 19, and then he is defeated
even on earth. And that war will be waged
on earth when we are gone, on some people.
The Bible talks about the woman that gave
birth to the sun, and the Bible talks about
her descendants, which is the nation of Israel,
giving birth to the Lord Jesus and her
descendants. Jews worldwide will
be persecuted by the antichrist himself.
And it's very interesting because the Bible
says something about our status
in this world. Now behind me right now,
you can clearly hear, maybe vaguely or
pretty clearly. I can hear it clearly,
the sound of the prayer of the Muslims
from almost 1,500 mosques all around.
But I can tell you one thing. Yes, right now
it's the kingdom of darkness ruling here
in this place. And I can tell you that
according to the rules of diplomacy,
before a war is waged, the ambassadors
are called back home. You can check
throughout history. You can see how
ambassadors were always called back.
And I want you to understand the reason
why I mentioned that is because in Second
Corinthians 5:20, "Now then, we
are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God were pleading through us:
we implore you on Christ's behalf,
be reconciled to God." We are ambassadors.
We have the title. We have the status.
We have the letter of appointment.
We became ambassadors the moment
we accepted him, and ambassadors
are going to be called home before a war
is waged on this earth. So when
is the rapture? We understand
what the rapture is. We understand
why the rapture, what the rapture.
But when is the rapture?
The church is promised that the coming
of the Lord will result in her being gathered
together. In the Greek "episynagrogus",
from where "synagogue" comes from,
"gathering"... into him. To gather together
into him. Second Thessalonians 2:1,
it is this promise of the rapture,
not the wrath, that is in the view
in Revelation 3:10 as Jesus said,
"I will keep you from" — the Greek, "ek",
is "out of"— "the hour of trial that is going
to come upon the whole world."
Notice that the church is not
being kept from and not through,
but the hour of tribulation.
Again, the church will be kept
from and not through the hour
of tribulation.
So, we are not there to go through
the tribulation because the Bible says
in First Thessalonians 1 that he will deliver us
from the wrath of
the one that comes,
and in First Thessalonians
chapter 5, he says that we are not
destined to the wrath of God.
And then he says so
therefore comfort
each other as you do already.
How can I comfort anyone by saying, "Hey,
just you know, isn't that cool we're going
to go through tribulation and we are going
to be beheaded? Aren't you game for that?"
I mean, can you imagine what is it that
we can encourage one another with?
What is it that we should support one
another with, help one another with?
What is the hope? How can you call
it a hope if it's so doom and gloom?
See, Bible prophecy is not about doom
and gloom. We know what this world is going
to go to, and we know what this world
is directing everybody towards.
But we know our future, our hope,
our destination, and we can never
fall into the doom and gloom
because we know our blessed hope,
and our blessed hope is not to be going
through this terrible tribulation.
But he will keep us from this hour of trial.
We will be caught up.
We will be taken just as he removed Noah
before the flood.
Just as he removed Lot before the destruction
of Sodom, he will remove the righteous
before he judges the unrighteous.
This is God, and this is the God I serve
and the God I know. And it's interesting.
So, we understand what is the rapture,
why is the rapture, when is the rapture,
but who is going to be raptured?
People must understand there
is an order of the rapture.
First, Jesus Christ himself descends
from heaven. John 14:1
through 3 and First Thessalonians 4:16,
jot that down, he himself.
Why is it that both John and Paul
mentioned the word "himself".
So, there will be no one that will
ever think that it is an allegoric thing,
figuratively speaking, that this
is something that maybe, could be,
should be, he himself will come.
No one else.
So, Christ himself will descend
from heaven. Now the last time
I checked, descending means
coming down. So, he is up there
in heaven as we know, and he will leave
and descend from heaven.
Step number two, he comes to receive us
unto himself as John 14:13,
receive us. So, he is coming down
in this position.
Take a look at me.
Hands, to receive. That's how he comes.
He is not coming riding on a horse.
He's not coming with a sword in his hand.
He's not coming to consume.
He's not coming to destroy.
He is coming to receive us unto himself.
You see, that's why you cannot mix it
with the second coming of Jesus
riding a horse, ready to destroy
all of his enemies. He is coming,
and he is coming down, and he is coming
to receive us unto himself. And number
three, he comes in the twinkling of an eye
with a shout of the trumpet call of God.
First Corinthians 15:52 and First
Thessalonians 4:16, twinkling of an eye.
It's going to be rapid.
It's going to be amazing.
It's going to be sudden.
It's going to be swift.
It's going to be quick.
It's going to be amazing, but they will hardly
notice that we're gone because there's no
process here. It's twinkling of an eye. Bang.
We're out of here. So, he will come down,
and he will come down to the clouds,
and we will be snatched from earth
and meet him in the cloud.
There is no verse that talks about
the rapture just like Jesus' Ascension.
Because Jesus' Ascension was seen
by the disciples. The Bible talks about
in the Book of Acts, that the men
of Galilee were standing and looking at him
going up, and they were just gazing
into heaven and the Angel says,
men of Galilee, what are you doing?
You know, I've been waiting here
for an hour. This same Jesus, he said,
the angel, same Jesus, say that: same Jesus
will come back likewise. Same thing.
So, he will come back with his feet
on the Mount of Olives, but we or the world
will not see us going up just as the disciples
saw him going up. It's going to be swift.
And then number four, he will resurrect
those believers who have fallen asleep
in death first. So, we cannot say that only
those who are alive will have hope.
Any believer, at any given moment since
the time Jesus ascended to heaven, any believer
had that hope and should have that hope
and should live with that hope that he even
though he's asleep, he will be actually out
of his grave first before we are caught up.
and then number five, those who are alive
will be caught up in the air, raptured.
Here we are. He needs to come back,
he needs to receive us. It has to be swift.
The dead will rise first, and we will come up.
The rapture and the second coming, the same.
This is a very common mistake people are doing
and making. Ladies and gentlemen, the rapture
is Jesus comes back to the church, whereas
the second coming Jesus comes back
with the church. Big difference.
Titus 2 verses 11 to 13
And then he said, "and".
He could have said, "which is the glorious
appearance of Jesus." He is not saying that.
He says, "and the glorious appearance."
So, the blessed hope is not the glorious
appearance. The blessed hope is our rapture,
and the glorious appearance is when he comes
back, and every eye will see and every knee
shall bow that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Revelation 1:7, "Behold He is coming
with the clouds, and every eye will see Him,
and even they who pierced Him, and all
the tribes of the earth will mourn because
of him. Even so, Amen." So, the second coming
with him coming and us with him every eye will
see. But the rapture, the world will not see him.
He is coming only to the air, and we
will be snatched out of here. So, in Titus
when it says the blessed hope, it's the rapture,
and the glorious appearance, it's the second
coming. And remember, the rapture
will bring us to be with him, and we will never
leave him. We will be always with him, which
means from that moment on, wherever Jesus
is, we will be. So, he's coming back.
We come back with him. He's reigning.
We will reign with him.
He's making all things new. We will be there.
New Jerusalem, we belong there.
That's it. Enough is enough.
Zechariah 12 verse 10, "And I will pour
in the house of David on the inhabitants
of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication
and when we come back with him, then
they will look at me whom they pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns
for his only son and grieve for him
as one grieves for his first born."And that's
the glorious appearance.
That's the second coming.
That's not the rapture.
What about the saints of the Old Testament?
Interesting, isn't it? See, the resurrection
of the Old Testament saints will take place
following the second coming, in preparation
for the messianic kingdom.
You understand?
The Bible says in the Old Testament,
saints are to be the friends of the bridegroom
at the marriage. You understand that?
And the marriage feast.
But the marriage feast will only take place
on earth as an inauguration of the messianic
kingdom. It is the wedding ceremony
that takes place in heaven before the second
coming. But the wedding feast itself
will take place on earth and will kick off
the messianic kingdom.
The thousand years millennial kingdom
on earth.
So first, it's only the dead in Christ and we
that are alive. Then the Old Testament saints
will be resurrected once we come back
to usher the messianic kingdom.
Christ reigning here in the world.
What about the saints of the New Testament?
The resurrection of the saints at the time
of the Messiah, who died then,
was not the resurrection of the Old Testament
saints to immortality, but merely restoration
back to natural life, and these people died
again later. You see, when Jesus was crucified,
what happened? People resurrected.
Remember? But those same people died
again later. You understand that?
Why couldn't it be that they lasted forever?
Because no one could live forever before
the resurrection of Jesus took place.
You understand that? It's important.
So, since no one could be raised
into immortality until after Messiah's
own resurrection and since these saints
were raised from the dead the moment
Messiah died, not resurrected,
that would show that they were merely
restored back to natural life and not raised
to immortality.
So, those people
who resurrected in Jerusalem
right here in this cemetery died eventually.
Just like Lazarus.
Lazarus was resurrected, but he died,
This is why I always tell people
when Jesus said here I am leaving you.
I am sending you the Holy Spirit
and you will do greater things than I did.
I often time was thinking, you know,
how could we do something better than Jesus?
And then the Lord showed me. Of course.
Jesus may have resurrected people
from the dead or opened their eyes
who were blind or restored their walking
if they were paralyzed, but all of them
eventually died. You, when you lead someone
to the Lord, you save him from the second death.
You see, the question is not if you walk again,
see again or even resurrected from the dead
here now, the question is, what about the second
death? Will you escape that one?
And that's why leading someone to Christ today,
is ten times more powerful than opening
the eyes of the blind right now.
Opening the eyes of the spiritual blind
is more important than those in the natural.
You see, the man who was paralyzed for 38
years in the pools of Bethesda, according
to John chapter 5, I don't think we're going to see
him in heaven. Why? Because all he did, he never
repented. He ratted on Jesus. So, yes,
he has been physically restored but not
mentally or spiritually. So, I want to encourage
you all. If there is a time for us as church
to go out and to preach and to minister
and to lead people to Christ,
so they will escape the second death,
this is the time, just before we are gone,
because then that's it.
So, the rapture is what? The promise
of Christ to us. The rapture is the blessed
hope for the believers.
The rapture is our rescue from this evil world
and the evil one. The rapture is the gathering
of the saints.
Did you know that only the rapture will show
you all the believers in the world. It's the first
conference where all saints from all over
the world will gather for the first time.
You will finally know who your brothers
and sisters are. And then of course,
the rapture is the last chance for many
people, because once the world will turn
so blind and so diabolically deceived,
there is very low chances for so many
to accept him. And if you read Revelation 16
and you see that they are not only blinded,
but they are so deceived that when they know,
when they know that God has the power
to stop all of these plagues, yet they did not
repent nor give him glory, but they blasphemed
the name of God. That is total, total
blindness and deception. So, I cannot tell
anyone today, "Hey, by the way, if you're
not raptured, you've got another chance.
Don't worry." No. That might be your
only chance. You have to be ready.
So this is why the rapture of the church
is so controversial, because Satan doesn't
want people to know it's their last chance,
because Satan doesn't want believers
to live with any hope, because Satan wants
to take that which is our only hope
in this evil world. And I pray that all of us
will understand the schemes of the devil
and will never forsake our blessed hope
that Jesus himself had promised,
that indeed he is coming to restore all things.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Amen.