Tag Archives: Rapture

A Decade of Expectation and Preparation

2020 ProphecyAs one year winds down and another is on the doorstep, prophetic people often seek God for a fresh word for the coming year. Many diverse prophecies had already been given, so I really hadn’t sought the Lord to hear one myself this year. I was surprised when He did speak to me a couple of weeks ago about the coming decade. Here’s what I heard:

In 2020, we are entering a decade of expectation — expectation of the coming of the King. It will also be a decade of preparation — preparation for His coming.

I remembered Hosea 6:1-3:

Come, and let us return to the LORD: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth.

He is calling us to prepare for His coming by returning wholeheartedly to Him. In Revelation 2:4, 5, Jesus chastised the Ephesian church for leaving her first love. He exhorted her to remember, repent, and do the first works. Revelation 19:7 says, “…The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.”

In Hosea 6:2,  we see that first He will revive us, and then He will resurrect us.  Jesus arose on the third day. We will experience a “third day” resurrection into our glorified bodies as well. (We are now in the third millennium since Jesus returned to heaven. Since “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8), there is a possible correlation between the third millennium since Christ’s resurrection and our “third day” resurrection.)

Finally the Lord said, “Throw the nets out one more time.” The accompanying thought was that this time we will receive a great catch of fish. I believe this is about a last great harvest of souls before Jesus returns. (See Luke 5:4-6.)

I want to clarify that I am not saying Jesus will delay His coming for His bride for another ten years. Nor does He have to return for us by the end of the decade. Jesus made it clear in Luke 12:35-40 that we should always be watching and waiting for Him. He will appear when we aren’t expecting Him to. It could be tomorrow, if the Father so chooses. I believe He will come very soon, and I yearn for Him to do so. But until He does, we are to be in expectation of Him and preparing for Him as a bride readies herself for her wedding day.

In this next decade, let’s eagerly

  • Expect the coming of the Lord Jesus,
  • Prepare our hearts for His coming, and
  • Throw our nets out one more time, to receive that final harvest for His glory.

 

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Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

time, clock, DaliLast time, I wrote about a dream I had concerning the Church. Here is one more, with a different message:

In the dream, I woke up on the day I was supposed to have eye surgery at the hospital on the north side of our city. The surgery appointment time was 7:05. I looked at the clocks in our kitchen, and the one on the wall said 6:15. The microwave clock said 6:30. I panicked, thinking I didn’t have enough time, no matter which clock was right. And I still had to take a shower.

I asked my husband Paul what time it really was, but he didn’t seem to know. My mom changed the clock on the microwave to 7:30, thinking that was the correct time. When I pointed out the error to her, she laughed and said she would change it again. But nobody seemed to know what time it really was.

I became overwhelmed as I realized I might not have enough time for a shower before my appointment. But I was going to try anyway. I now discovered I didn’t have my clothes ready, either. They were stuffed tightly in my purse, and I couldn’t seem to get them out. I poured powdered laundry detergent into the purse, all over the clothes, and then realized I had now made a huge mess of them. The dream ended with my dad trying to help me fix the situation.

Whew! How would you like to have stress like that going on? And what does it all mean?

Here are the main points I understand: A critical event is looming on the horizon, there isn’t much time, and nobody seems to understand what time it really is.

I believe the dream is speaking of the return of Jesus for His Church, and we are not ready.

I had an appointment for eye surgery at the north side hospital. “North” often speaks of heaven, where God is.  At the appointed time, we will see Jesus as He is. We will see clearly.

1 John 3:2, 3“… But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (Note that I desperately wanted to get that shower in!)

1 Corinthians 13:12“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know even as also I am known.”

While nobody in the house seemed to know what time it really was, I was keenly aware that the time available was extremely short — maybe shorter than we thought.  I didn’t know if I had enough time to get ready, but it seemed like I probably did not.

I am not sure if the numbers I saw on the clocks had deeper meanings, but this is what I did understand from them:

7:05 — The appointed time has been set.
6:15 — The time is very short before that appointment.
6:30 — The time is even shorter than we thought.
7:30 — Some people are totally off on the timing, expecting the appointment to take place much later than when it actually will.

My mom mistakenly set the clock for later than the appointment time. Some Christians are putting the time of Jesus’ return off with their prophecies and theology, not realizing that their idea of when Jesus will return is actually after the appointed time God has set.

In the dream, I felt very unprepared and not clean, and I wanted desperately to remedy that, but I was trying to do it in my own strength. I couldn’t lay hold of my clothes. Sprinkling dry laundry detergent over them sounds a lot like our human efforts to spruce ourselves up outwardly, but inwardly we’re still a mess — and our Father in heaven is there, trying to assist us with this, just as my father in the dream tried to help me.

Yet, we do have a part to play in getting ready. Revelation 19:7 comments, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

So, is the dream saying we cannot possibly be ready when Jesus comes? No, it is a warning to wake up and understand what time it is. The appointed time for His coming for His bride is sooner than we may have realized.  We need to make adjustments now.  Jesus is returning for a beautiful bride, who is “without spot or wrinkle … holy, and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). While we can’t clean ourselves up by human effort (Ephesians 5:26 says Jesus sanctifies and cleanses us by the washing of the water of the Word), we do need to cooperate with Him by listening and obeying.

He’s coming sooner  than we think. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Luke 12:40, NIV). We don’t want to end up like the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25.

How do we make sure we are ready? Come to the Lord for cleansing. Each of us knows the areas of compromise in our lives which need to go. We must lay aside whatever distracts us from the Lord. Seek His face, call on His name for a fresh love for Him, and eagerly look for Him. He is coming for those who “love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). “Unto those who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

In the dream, the time of the eye appointment was 7:05. Let me finish with Psalm 70:5: “But I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer. O Lord, make no tarrying.

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dream interpretation

 

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams,
Audio teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

personal prophecy

 

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Is There Still Going to Be a Rapture?

Lately, I’ve been in some discussions and received some questions about whether there is going to be a “Rapture” of the Church, whether the “Great Tribulation” of Revelation has already happened, and whether Jesus is really going to return and physically rule on the earth. 

I am by no means an eschatology expert. There are many scholarly people who know much more than I do.  I will state upfront that I do not have a formal Bible school education.  But I do read my Bible carefully, and ponder what it says.  I believe God meant for His Word to be understandable to the common man, and that we can expect to know truth if we prayerfully seek it out in His Word. 

I am really saddened by the confusion, disappointment, and anxiety that I sometimes hear from people who have long been awaiting Jesus’ return with great eagerness, who have now encountered new teaching that there will be no literal Rapture and that Jesus isn’t coming back for a long time yet.  What I want to say to them is, continue to look for and long for the return of Jesus.  You are on solid ground.  The Apostle Paul mentioned those who “love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).  It is right and godly to want Jesus to return, and to be ready for Him at all times. 

There are so many theories on what the actual sequence will be for the end time events, and it is hard to fit all the Scripture references together correctly.  I think some things we will only understand fully once they have happened.  Before the time of Jesus the Messiah’s birth, there must have been a great deal of confusion about Him.  He was to be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1 — clearer in the Hebrew), Hosea said God would call His Son out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1), and yet Micah 5:2 announced that the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem.  We know today that Jesus fulfilled all three of these prophecies (see Matthew 2), but can you imagine how confusing it must have been at one time? 

So it is with some of the end time prophecies of the Scriptures.  There is a large movement of people, especially in the prophetic circles, who no longer seem to believe in a literal Rapture, in an end-time Great Tribulation, or a literal antichrist.  They tend to say that most of Revelation was fulfilled a long time ago, and they believe much of Revelation is strictly metaphorical, not literal.  This is all part of Dominion Theology (also called Kingdom Now and Reconstruction Theology).  Although there are some extremes that I would not at all agree with in Dominion Theology, much of it is good.  The focus is on bringing the Kingdom of Heaven into the earth now, doing the “greater works” that Jesus said the Church would do (see Matthew 10:1, 8 and John 14:12), and living the power-filled life that Jesus always intended for us to live.  There is nothing wrong with that! 

I believe in the Kingdom of Heaven being established here on the earth according to the Scriptures I just mentioned.  However, I still believe in a literal catching away of the Church (commonly referred to as “the Rapture”).  We need to hold to what the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, particularly v. 17 “then we who 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.”  Whether that will be pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or right at the end of the tribulation, I do not know for sure.  (Neither does anyone else.)   My own leaning is toward a pre-trib Rapture, partly because in Matthew 24:37-41, Jesus likened the devastation of the end times to the days of Noah.  In Noah’s time, the righteous were spared from destruction.  Also, Jesus said, in Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”  Sometimes the accusation against pre-trib believers is that we are escapists.  We aren’t, necessarily.  I believe in “occupying until He comes” (Luke 19:13).  But if Jesus said we should pray that we would be worthy to escape these troubles, then I think it must be OK to want to escape them.  If those of us who favor a pre-trib Rapture are wrong and must go through part or all of the Great Tribulation, we will endure, stand with Jesus, and just plain do it! 

Some prophetic teachers are saying that the “catching away” (Rapture) is not physical and permanent.  They say it is having third heaven experiences, being “caught up” in our spirits into the heavenlies, even corporately so, and then returning to earth and our bodies.  That is not what the Scripture says.  We can have such third heaven experiences.  Paul did, and talked about it in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.  But 1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of something entirely better: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected dead] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”   

Some people in the prophetic movement think that through growing in new revelation about health and healing, the Church will come into greater longevity, and eventually the ability to not die at all.  They feel that the Lord has revealed this to them through current prophetic visions.  But that is not what the Bible teaches.  1 Corinthians 15:24-26 says, “Then comes the end, when he [Jesus] will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; having put down all rule, and all authority and power.  For he must reign, until he has put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”  Jesus will reign physically upon the earth, as is clearly stated throughout the Scriptures — notably in Isaiah and  Zechariah.  Even Job, who is thought to have lived at the time of Jacob or shortly thereafter, was convinced of the physical return of Jesus to the earth: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).   At the end of Jesus’ reign, right before He hands the kingdom over to His Father, death will be destroyed.  

1 Corinthians 15:51-56 is necessary reading if we are going to understand the Rapture as taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  In 1 Corinthians 15:52 we find that both the dead and living Christians, at the last trumpet call, will be changed into our glorified bodies in the twinkling of an eye.  This is not a gradual coming into new revelation about how to live longer and eventually not die.  It is about completely changed, glorified bodies, and it will happen suddenly. 

What about the book of Revelation?  Did most of it happen already?  Throughout the Bible we find that many prophecies are partially fulfilled, as a foreshadowing of what is yet to come.  Yet, the complete fulfillment happens at a later time.  John the Baptist was a partial fulfillment of the coming of Elijah, as mentioned in Malachi 4:5Joel 2:28, 29 was partially fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2).  A more literal fulfillment of both these prophecies will be accomplished in the end times.  There are many examples in the Scriptures of partial fulfillment of prophecy, with the more complete fulfillment coming later.  It does not take a great amount of genius to see that much of Revelation has not yet happened.  There have been some partial fulfillments, yes.  

One argument used to negate Revelation still needing fulfillment is that the language is almost entirely metaphorical, and that we should not expect literal fulfillment.  But that is almost never the way prophecy in the Bible works.  Time after time, the words of the prophets have been literally fulfilled, right down to the last jot and tittle.  Why should Revelation be any different? 

I am of the opinion that we can still anticipate a literal, physical catching up to Jesus in the air to be with Him forever, we can still believe that much of Revelation is yet to be fulfilled literally (even though there are many symbolic themes there), and that we should eagerly look forward to Jesus’ return, however the sequence of events works out.

For those who have become disillusioned and distressed by some of the current “Raptureless” teaching, I would like to encourage you to not let anyone take from you the delight of looking forward to Jesus’ return.  Prepare for coming generations by actively building God’s kingdom here on earth.  This is wisdom.  Realize that it is possible Jesus may not come for His Church in our lifetime — but also realize that it is very possible He will.

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam