FREE CHRISTIAN REPRINT ARTICLES
Christian Articles for All of your Publishing Needs!
Word Count: 4631
|Send Article To Friend||Print/Use Article|
The Mid-Week Rapture #9
by Karl Kemp
10/14/2011 / Bible Studies
Holy Father, we trust you, and we admit that we are totally dependent on your grace. We want to understand your Word. We want to live in line with your Word. We want to be fully ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray in His mighty name. Amen.
We are in the middle of a verse-by-verse study of Revelation chapters 11-13, which are some of the most important chapters in the Bible dealing with end-time prophecy. We discussed Rev. 12:5 quite a bit in the last broadcast, but we didn't finish our study of this super-important verse. As I mentioned, this verse shows that the resurrection, glorification, and rapture will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, at the time of the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet.
I'll read Rev. 12:5 from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition. "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne." "And she gave birth to a son, a male child." The woman of Revelation chapter 12, who gives birth to the male child, is a symbol for God's true Israel. The woman embraces all the believers from Old Testament days and all true Christians, including the Christians converted before the rapture and those converted after the rapture. Romans chapter 11 shows that all true Christians are grafted into, and become part of, God's true Israel. We become part of God's heavenly Jerusalem: See Heb. 12:22, for example, and Gal. 4:26 says, "Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother."
As we discussed in some detail, the birth of the male child prophesies of our being born into the fullness of the eternal life and glory of God's new creation at the time of Christ's return. We are born again when we become true Christians, but we will not be born into the fullness of eternal life and glory until the end of this age. The male child embraces all the believers who will be converted before the time of Christ's return, including all the believers from Old Testament days and all true Christians. For the multitude of believers who will have died before Christ returns, this will mean resurrection and glorification. For the believers who will still be living on the earth when He returns, this will mean glorification. As we have discussed, the New Testament teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is the "first born from the dead" and the "firstborn among many brethren." We will follow Him in this birth when we are born into the fullness of the eternal life and glory of God's new creation. At that time we will begin to reign with Him in a never-ending reign.
It is quite significant that Isa. 66:7, which we discussed in some detail in the last broadcast, also prophesies of the woman's (true Israel's) giving birth to the male child. Revelation 12:5 and Isa. 66:7 help interpret one another. And it is quite significant that there are at least two other Old Testament verses that prophesy of this same birth: Psalm 2:7 and Mic. 5:3. We will discuss these verses, in their contexts, later in this article. As I have mentioned, Revelation chapters 11-13 are discussed verse-by-verse in chapters 20-22 of my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture"; Isa. 66:1-8 are discussed in chapter 16; Mic. 4:9-5:6 in chapter 17; and Psalm 2 in chapter 18.
Revelation 12:5. "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up to God and His throne." It is very significant that the book of Revelation specifically says that the glorified saints will rule with a rod of iron, when they reign with the Lord Jesus Christ. See Rev. 2:26, 27. (I'll quote these verses and briefly discuss them later in this article.) It is also significant that these words about ruling with a rod of iron were taken from Psalm 2:9. Psalm 2 is a very important prophetic psalm. We have discussed this psalm quite a bit already, and we will further discuss this psalm in this article. Psalm 2:7 even prophesies of our birth into the fullness of eternal life and glory that will take place at the end of this age. Our rule with a rod of iron will begin at the time of that birth, when we begin to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I'll read 1 Thess. 4:16-18 and make a few comments. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God [This is the same trumpet as the trumpet of Matt. 24:31; the last trumpet of 1 Cor. 15:52; and the seventh and last trumpet of Rev. 11:15.], and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words."
The catching up to God's throne of Rev. 12:5 speaks of (or at least includes) the catching up of 1 Thess.4:17. It is worthy of note that the same Greek verb (the verb "harpazo") is used in both verses. From the time we are "caught up to God and to His throne," we will begin to rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26, 27). I'll read Rev. 3:21, Jesus is the Speaker, "He who overcomes [and we must all be overcomers], I will grant to him to sit down with Me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."
Now we'll turn to Psalm 2. We have already discussed Psalm 2:1-6 in an previous article, but since Psalm 2 is so important, I'll reread those verses and make several comments before we go to Psalm 2:7. "Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? [The KJV has, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" There is widespread agreement that the words at the beginning of Rev. 11:18 build on the words at the beginning of Psalm 2:1. I'll read the words at the beginning of Rev. 11:18, "And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came." The primary fulfillment of these words at the beginning of Psalm 2:1 and Rev. 11:18 will come to pass when the nations strongly rebel when God forces the issue and sends His Son to begin to rule with a rod of iron and to judge the world, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. This rage of the nations will be led by Antichrist, who will begin his super-evil three and one-half year reign right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, at the time the devil, who was just cast down to the earth, gives Antichrist his power and his throne and great authority (see Revelation chapters 12 and 13).
Why will God permit Antichrist and his multitude of followers to rage against Him throughout the second half of the seven-year period? For one thing, God will give unrepentant rebels an opportunity to manifest what is in their hearts before He fully deals with them. For another thing, that will be a time of great testing (see Rev. 3:10); many will repent and find salvation in those days, and they will be refined during those difficult days (see, for example, Dan. 12:10; Zech 13:9). God will use Antichrist in His end-time judgment of the world, including the fact that He will judge and remove Babylon the great harlot through Antichrist and his ten associates. God's judgment and removal of Babylon the great harlot is so important that He devoted some three chapters of the book of Revelation to that judgment. (See Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:1-19:6; and probably Rev. 14:14-16.)
Revelation 11:18 goes on to speak of God's wrath coming (at least in part) because of the rage of the nations against the end-time reign of His Son. And Psalm 2 goes on to warn the nations that He is not about to recall or uninstall His King. The peoples are devising a vain thing when they rebel and rage against God and His Son. God doesn't lose. I'll read Psalm 2:1 again and then go on to verse 2, 3, "Why are the nations in a uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? (2) The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD [Yahweh] and against His Anointed, saying (3), 'Let us tear their fetters apart And cast their cords from us!' "
It is clear that "His Anointed" in verse 2 includes the Lord Jesus Christ. The very name "Christ" from the Greek means the anointed One; so too for the word "Messiah" from the Hebrew. But it is important to see that the glorified, raptured saints are included too. Many verses, very much including Rev. 2:26, 27; 3:21; and 12:5 speak of the saints ruling with the Lord Jesus Christ. And, as Rev. 12:5 and Psalm 2:7-9 show, the glorified saints will begin to rule with a rod of iron at the very time they are born into the fullness of eternal life and glory, at the end of this age.
Now I'll read Psalm 2:4-6, verses that speak of God's response to the rebellion and rage of His enemies. "He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. (5) Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying (6), 'But as for Me I have installed My King upon Zion My holy mountain.' " As I mentioned God is not about to uninstall His King. In line with what I said above, God's King here includes the Lord Jesus Christ and His people with Him, who will also rule with a rod of iron. "Zion" here refers to (or at least includes) the temple mount and Jerusalem. (We will also be reigning from spiritual, heavenly Zion from the time that we are caught up to God and His throne.) The Lord Jesus Christ (and the glorified, raptured saints with Him), will come to Jerusalem in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, right after the rapture.
On page 70 of my book, I have a section titled, "The Lord Jesus Christ Will Claim Jerusalem as His City." I'll quote most of what I said in that section. This is important information. "It is clear that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem during the days of the millennial kingdom (see, for example, Isa. 2:2-4; Rev. 20:4-9). I believe He will claim Jerusalem as His city at the time of His mid-week return. (See Dan. 11:45; Psalm 2:6; 110:2; Zech. 12:1-13:6; 14:3-5; Rev. 11:2, 13; and compare Joel 2:32-3:17. Essentially all of these passages are discussed in my book.)
The Lord Jesus Christ will come to the Mount of Olives (at Jerusalem) at the time of His mid-week return, right after the rapture (see Acts 1:9-12; Zech. 14:3-5). Apparently He will claim Jerusalem as His city at that time, and from that time the converted repentant end-time elect remnant of Israel (who will still be living in their natural bodies) will control Jerusalem (see Zech. 12:1-13:9, for example). Revelation 11:2 infers that Jerusalem will not be trodden under foot by the nations during the second half of the seven-year period. Antichrist will certainly want to control Jerusalem throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week, but apparently God will not permit him to. I believe Dan. 11:45 confirms this viewpoint, in that it shows that Antichrist's headquarters will be set up near Jerusalem, not at Jerusalem (see pages 143, 144 of my book for the details). Psalms 2 and 110 both picture the Lord Jesus Christ beginning to reign from Jerusalem. (Psalm 110, which is a very important prophetic psalm, is discussed in some detail in chapter 19 of my book.)
I don't mean to infer that the Lord Jesus Christ will be visibly present in Jerusalem throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. He probably won't be, at least not most of the time, but it will be understood that He has taken Jerusalem as His city and that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are His people. (For one thing, if He were visibly present it would detract from God's plans to use Antichrist throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week.) When Antichrist and his followers assemble to make war against the Lord Jesus Christ (see Rev. 19:19), they will assemble at Armageddon, in Israel (see Rev. 16:12-16)."
Now I'll read Psalm 2:7, "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD [Yahweh]; He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.' " The New Testament shows that these prophetic words include the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He left death behind and was born into the fullness of eternal life and glorified. See Acts 13:33; Heb. 5:5 and 1:5; these verses all demonstrate that these prophetic words "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You" include the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the "firstborn from the dead," and the "firstborn among many brethren," as we discussed in the last article.
It is very important to see that these prophetic words of Psalm 2:7 also include our birth into the fullness of eternal life and glory that will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. In fact, there is some emphasis on our birth into the fullness of eternal life and glory in this psalm, in that the reign of God's Anointed King that is spoken of throughout Psalm 2, begins at the very time our birth takes place. The fact that Rev. 12:5; Isa. 66:7; and Mic. 5:3 prophesy of this same birth at the end of this age strongly supports this viewpoint, and there are many other prophetic verses that speak of our being glorified and beginning to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of this age.
True Christians are literally united with the Lord Jesus Christ: We are united with Him in His death, in His burial, in His resurrection, and in His reigning on the earth when He returns. The Lord Jesus Christ must receive all the glory (He is God the Son and a worthy Savior indeed), but God the Father has chosen to give us a very full salvation in union with His beloved Son. The Lord Jesus Christ even spoke (in John 17:23) of God the Father's loving those who believe in God the Son even as He loves God the Son. What a salvation plan! What a Savior!
I'll read 1 Cor. 15:20-23 and make a few comments; these verses will help us understand the birth of Psalm 2:7. "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. [[The words "those who are asleep" refer to the Christians who have died already. For the resurrected Christ to be called "the first fruits of those who are asleep" here is comparable in meaning with His being called "the first-born from the dead" in Col. 1:18 and Rev. 1:5. The Lord Jesus was the first "man" (though He was much more that just a man) who was harvested into God's new creation. Through Him we will be harvested into the fullness of God's new creation at the end of this age. During this present age, we are born again and experience something of God's new creation life, but it is clear that most of the glory is reserved for the future, when we will be harvested into (and born into) the fullness of God's eternal life and glory.]] (21) For since by a man came death [referring to Adam], by a man [the Lord Jesus Christ] also came the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (23) But each in His own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming." We will be harvested (and born) into the fullness of the glory of God's new creation at the time of Christ's coming, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.
I'll read Psalm 2:7 one more time, then we'll go on to verse 8, "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD [Yahweh]: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. (8) Ask of Me, And I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.' "
I'll read the short paragraph that I have under this verse in my book, The Scriptures make it very clear that Christians will inherit the earth and reign as joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ (see, for example, Matt. 5:5; Rom. 4:13; 8:17-39; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3, 9-11; Gal. 3:15-4:7; 5:21; Heb. 2:5-18; James 2:5; Rev. 2:26, 27; 3:21). I'll read Matthew 5:5, Jesus said, "Blessed are the gentle [or humble, or meek] for they shall inherit the earth."
Psalm 2:9. "You shall break [or, You shall rule] them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.' " This verse fits the overall pattern of Psalm 2 in that the rage and rebellion have not yet been judged and subdued. It shows that God's King/Son will have more than enough power to subdue all who persist in rebellion. They will be shattered as easily as earthenware vessels are shattered by a rod of iron.
It is significant that this verse (or part of this verse) is quoted three times in the book of Revelation. In Rev. 19:15 the first half of this verse is quoted. It is applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in a setting where He is on His way to destroy Antichrist and His followers, who have gathered to Armageddon. Revelation chapter 19 makes it quite clear that the glorified, raptured saints are reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ at that time. And it is very significant that the other two quotations (in Rev. 2:27; 12:5) apply these words to the people of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will be reigning with Him. This serves as a strong confirmation of the point that I made under Psalm 2:6, 7 that the words 'King' and 'Son' include the glorified, raptured saints, who will be reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ from the time that they are born into the fullness of eternal life and glory.
I'll read Rev. 2:26, 27 and make a few comments; the Lord Jesus Christ is the Speaker here, "He who overcomes, and He who keeps My deeds [or works] until the end [In other words, we stay faithful, by His grace, and continue to live as He requires us to live, doing the works He requires us to do, to the end of our lives, or until He returns.] TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; (27) AND HE [referring to each overcoming Christian] SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I [the Lord Jesus Christ] also have received authority from My Father." Jesus' words here in Rev. 2:26, 27 clearly confirm that we will rule with a rod of iron, and they enable us to rightly interpret Psalm 2. And, it is very significant that these verses enable us to rightly interpret Rev. 12:5, which also speaks of our ruling with a rod of iron, and shows that this reign will begin at the very time we are born into the fullness of eternal life and glory, when the Lord comes right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.
Now I'll read the last three verses of Psalm 2 and make a few comments, "(10) Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. [These words are aimed at the kings and rulers spoken of in the first five verses of this psalm. They are warned to quickly stop their rage and rebellion against God's having installed His King on the earth.] (11) Worship the LORD [Yahweh] with reverence And rejoice with trembling. [I believe Yahweh here refers to God the Father, as it does in verses 2 and 7. God the Father is the One who installs His Son as King, and rebelling against God's King is rebellion against God the Father.] (12) Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way. ["He" here apparently refers to God the Father.] For His wrath may soon be kindled [apparently referring to the wrath of God the Father. Remember that Rev. 11:18 starts with the words, "And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came [God the Father's wrath]." His wrath must come because they will not repent.] How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! "Him" apparently refers to God the Father.
That concludes our study of Psalm 2. Now we'll turn to Mic. 5:1-3. As I mentioned, Mic. 5:3 is another verse that prophesies of the same spectacular birth of the saints that will take place when the Lord Jesus returns to save and to judge. Micah 5:2 is the verse that prophesied that the ultimate King of Israel would be born in Bethlehem (see Matt. 2:1-6). The many prophecies that have been fulfilled already, including Mic. 5:2, strongly confirm that the Bible is the Word of God, and strongly confirm that the rest of the prophecies will also be fulfilled, at the right time, mostly at the end of this age. There is no other book like the Bible.
Chapter 17 of my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture," deals with the interpretation of Mic. 4:9-5:6. I'll read the first paragraph of that chapter, "In this study of Mic. 4:9-5:6, we are especially interested in Mic. 5:3. This verse speaks of Zion (true Israel) giving birth to a child. I believe this birth refers to the resurrection/transformation of the saints, which will take place at the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the same birth as the one spoken of in Isa. 66:7; Rev. 12:5; and Psalm 2:7. Micah 5:3 also prophesies of the conversion of the end-time elect remnant of Israel, which will start at the time of the birth of the (male) child. The conversion of the repentant end-time elect remnant of Israel (when they submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and become Christians) is a major feature in God's plans for the end of this age."
I'll read Mic. 5:1, "Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek." This verse speaks of the humbling defeat of Judah before the Babylonians, and we can probably see here all their subsequent humbling defeats. The judge (the rulers) of Judah/Israel will not be able to save her. As we keep reading, we see that things will be different when the Lord Jesus Christ comes at the end of this age to save and to judge.
Micah 5:2, "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me [God said] to be ruler in Israel. His [the Ruler's] goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." I'll read part of what I said under this verse, In contrast with the situation presented in Mic. 5:1, Mic. 5:2 and the following verses prophesy that a Ruler will come to Judah/Israel who will be able to save the repentant remnant of Judah/Israel. Ephrathah is an ancient name for Bethlehem (see Gen. 35:19 and Ruth 1:2).
I'll read what I said under the words, "From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler [Ruler] in Israel." Bethlehem (the city of David) was chosen by God to be the birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ruler, the greater Son of King David (see. for example, Matt. 2:1-6; Luke 2:1-7; John 7:42). (Also see Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1-10; Jer. 23:5, 6; 31:21; 33:15-17; Ezek. 34:23, 24; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 6:12, 13; 9:9; 14:9.) The Lord Jesus Christ will not begin to reign in Israel, or on the earth, until the time of His mid-week return; however, THE KING IS COMING!"
I'll read what I said under the words, "His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity." From our new-covenant perspective we can understand these words: This ruler is God the Son, who has always existed with God the Father, and through whom all things were created (see, for example, John 1:1-18; 17:5; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-7; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2, 3; Rev. 1:9-18; 5:12-14; 21:22, 23; and 22:13).
Micah 5:3. "Therefore He [the Ruler of verse 2; God the Son; the Lord Jesus Christ] will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel." The last part of that translation can be greatly improved. We'll get into the details as we continue. If we aren't interested in details, we will never understand the Word of God very well. If we don't make finding the balanced truth of what God's Word teaches a top priority, we won't find it. The world, the flesh, and the devil wage intense warfare against our finding the truth and our living the truth, which includes our living in the righteousness and holiness of God.
"Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child." I'll read part of what I said under these words in my book. (I often modify what I said in the book for these radio broadcasts.) It is the plan of God that Judah/Israel be given up (given up in the sense of Mic. 5:1 and 4:9, 10) until the time when this glorious birth has taken place. Judah/Israel must be reduced to the repentant remnant (see, for example, Mic. 4:6, 7; 2:12, 13; Deut. 31:14-32:43, especially 32:36-39; Isa. 10:20-22; Zech. 12:10-13:6; 13:8; 14:1, 2; Rev. 11:13).
They must be ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ before they will see Him, as Matthew 23:37-39 show. I'll read Matthew 23:37-39. Jesus is speaking, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. (38) Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! (39) For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' " Judah/Israel will not be ready to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ until after Antichrist's abomination of desolation and the subsequent short great tribulation. As we have discussed, the great tribulation will be over before the seventh and last trumpet sounds and the Lord returns right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. We'll come back to this very important verse, Mic. 5:3, in the next article. God bless you!
Copyright by Karl Kemp
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Karl Kemp
Like reading Christian Articles? Check out some more options. Read articles in Main Site Articles, Most Read Articles or our highly acclaimed Challenge Articles. Read Great New Release Christian Books for FREE in our Free Reads for Reviews Program. Or enter a keyword for a topic in the search box to search our articles.
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.