Paul Was Pre-Trib By Jack Kelley This is not meant to be a complete commentary…
The Rapture: The Greatest Upheaval of the Natural World
By Joseph Chambers
No event that has ever occurred will be more spectacular than the Rapture of the saints. On every front it will defy the wildest imagination of men. Most of this world laughs at the idea of the supernatural powers of God and discounts the possibility. The Book of Genesis’ account of creation has mostly been replaced with some form of natural evolution, even by the church world. But this glorious Rapture will occur and it will be shock and awe. The earth’s population at the time of this event will never forget the display of power and the change it will create.
Nature, as it is presently understood, will begin the process of being totally altered. The physical realm between heaven, the earth, and beneath the earth will be completely changed. Presently there is a gulf or separation between these separate entities, but that appears to vanish almost immediately. The many events during the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation will bring God’s world back to a form of openness similar to what we see in the Genesis picture of creation. The Spirit/spirit world, both from above and beneath, will be open on the earth.
Saints in Heaven will be directly involved in events on the earth. Evil spirits will arise out of the deep and do great harm to the wicked population. The evil characters which are portrayed in a growing number of films, books, and games are Satan’s preparation to make you comfortable with his “coming world order.”
Not only is the Rapture an incredible display of Holy Ghost power, it is a picture of nature as we now know it turned on its head. Of course, what really occurs is that even nature is going to be redeemed and the new natural world will be completely transformed to a pure and transcending one. The Rapture is actually the beginning of this exploding process. Isaiah saw this picture and prophesied of it occurring. Look at his words of hope, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)
When you consider that the natural results of sin is death and the complete decay of those dead bodies and then we look at the graves losing all power against the righteous dead, it presents a new day. The dust of decayed dead bodies appears to start singing while the resurrection is occurring. When you understand that our DNA, as now understood by scientists, has proven that each cell of a body has the entire code for that entire body, it is not hard to believe this Scripture.
We now see the earth as capturing the body of the dead and returning it to dust, but Isaiah saw the future when the earth “shall cast out the dead.” The whole earth was created to be a supernatural world, but sin reduced nature to be a slave to death. When that slavery is broken, even the earth will echo the praises of God just as Heaven now is filled with His praises. This prophecy by Isaiah is just a little picture of how all creation is going to become a source of His divine will instead of a cursed place. It begins at the Rapture, but will be completed by the end of the Tribulation Period when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom.
Isaiah’s prophecy shows clearly that the entire picture of sin will be changed during this period. People are able to hide sin for a season and appear to escape its consequences. Blood is often split and some people never get caught but that day ends at the Rapture. I repeat the words, “The earth also shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain.” That’s breathtaking truth, my friends. When the “Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants (the wicked) of the earth,” there will be no more hiding. It is said that even the natural earth will “no more cover her slain.” As earth experiences redemption, it will refuse to be a hiding place for the wicked. It was said concerning the wickedness which Israel faced when conquering the promise land “that the earth vomited out the inhabitants.”
This pure earth will become so delightful that “the reapers will overtake the sowers.” The curse with which our earth is presently defined, is already showing desperate signs of travail. Apostle Paul spoke of this to the Romans. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:21-23)
When you harmonize statesman Isaiah’s prophecy with Apostle Paul’s inspiration, you see an emerging picture of a new world. It is a world where sin is so unwelcome that even nature exposes its rebellion. The Scripture states clearly, “… the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) It also states that nature refuses rain for anyone that does not properly worship the King of Kings. (Zechariah 14:17) This old earth is very soon to be a praise to its Creator.
All Wicked Spirits will be exposed and judged. The world of fallen angels is soon to be utterly opened and revealed for this world to experience and witness as they are judged. The Rapture removes the saints that have been faithful overcomers and Godly in their lifestyle so the world can be exposed to God’s perfect wrath and judgment. The very central events of the seven years of wrath will be against Satan and his horde of wicked spirits. They must become visible for the world to see so their destruction can be plain and known to all.
Hell in the heart of the earth is presently a prison of the wicked, including demons bound for the past millenniums When the gates between the abode of these diabolical creatures and earth are flung wide, no one will doubt the depth in which Satan’s army has fallen. These creatures chose to leave their abode of righteousness and praise to the great God and to follow Satan in his pride and rebellion. There is no bottom to sin and this crowd will represent the worst of the evil one. As they are turned loose on this planet, they will cause the earth to be become a wasteland of immorality and brutality. The Rapture of the saints actually prepares the earth by removing the “Bride in waiting” and the restraining powers of the Holy Ghost. This removal opens the door for the revelation and the manifestation of the wicked one.
Apostle Paul describes this preparation for wickedness. “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” (II Thessalonians 2:2-8)
We must tell the world of these wicked days that cannot be far in the future; in fact, they could begin any day. The only lack of preparation for this horde of evil beings to invade this earth is the “removal of the saints and the resurrection of the righteous dead.” The earth cannot be stripped of the embedded powers of wickedness until the Godly saints that have died are removed out of her grip.
Satan and his fallen angels are a lot more involved in natural phenomena than most people imagine. Nature was created perfect and every act of nature was designed to enhance the lives of mankind. The travail and natural catastrophes of all nature are the results of sin. Satan alone kills, steals, and destroys. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17) After the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the natural earth will see the ultimate acts of a system turned loose to manifest its final throbs of death. “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” (Acts 19:20) This is our God intervening to cleanse and purify the physical systems that were created as part of His earth.
The Antichrist will have such control prior to the Father’s intervention that He causes fire to come down upon the earth. Note the words of John the Revelator, “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And, he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:12-15) It appears that for a brief time Satan will have almost complete control of earth’s natural powers and will use them to try and make himself “god.” He certainly has been cast out of Heaven at this time, but will still have paranormal powers to use nature for his evil design. As great as deception is present, it will be much greater in this final episode.
The Evil Spirits Will Be Loosed for a Season
Revelation chapter nine is a final picture of these diabolical beings turned loose. Please understand that the natural world is presently preserved with a clear limitation imposed on these dark creatures. The entire picture of the “Restrainer” that holds wickedness at bay so that it cannot overrun the earth is a present reality. As dark as Satan’s powers are presently, they are restrained. But, the glorious Rapture changes all of this truth. The “Restrainer” cannot be anyone but the Holy Ghost. This has been one of his offices for all of human existence. Isaiah clearly describes this office. “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19)
When the Restrainer is removed at the Rapture, then nature will experience an upheaval. The enemy has longed for a day in which he can be the god of the world with a free hand. He is already the “god of this world,” but he does not have a free hand. In his end time vision John saw this evil serpent, Satan, as he is cast down to this earth for this short period. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:10-12)
I wish I could paint a picture to show these hordes of spirits arising out of hell on this earth. I’m preaching a sermon on the title, “The Rapture: Turning Hell Loose on This Earth.” Look at this picture as described in Revelation. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Rev. 9:1-6)
These creatures, which are described as “locusts,” are given in the language of types. The locust insect is a type because of the utter destruction they cause. They strip whatever they attack and leave nothing behind. The Scripture states clearly that these spirits from hell are turned loose to attack the Antichrist kingdom. An amazing thing is that Satan’s activities become his own destruction. This has always been true, but now we see it in the final form. There will be servants of God that have washed themselves in the blood of the Lamb and they will have the seal of God in their forehead. While they cannot be attacked by these locust demons, they will certainly be terrorized by a world in which such action is commonplace.
The entire Tribulation Period is so horrible that Jesus Christ warned us to be careful and diligent to escape this dark day. He stated that if not for the shortening of these days no one would escape. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)
Luke recorded his words of warning that we might escape. “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.” (Luke 21:34-36) Listen to the apostate crowd that says going in the Rapture is a piece of cake if you want to be careless but only at your peril.
This old earth is running down. Its depletion is clearly causing travail in nature, weather patterns, and certainly in the dire warning you hear by the environmentalist crowd. It is impossible not to feel the sense of looming crisis and trouble. Nature is still in God’s ultimate control but He is allowing warning to suggest the coming change. It’s the best of times for the saints and the worse of times for the careless and the godless.
Lift up your heads if you are ready and quickly surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ if you are not ready. It is very clear in Scripture that He is coming for the saintly that have forsaken all to follow Him. Apostle Paul said it best. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27) The Bride will be the great company of people who rejected the appeals of the world and were faithful to Him alone.