The Mid-Week Rapture #10
by Karl Kemp 10/14/2011 / Bible Studies
Holy Father, we humble our hearts before you. We want to rightly divide your Word; we want to know the balanced truth of what your Word teaches; we want to live in line with your Word by your sufficient grace, we want to be fully ready to stand before you at the end of this age. We pray in Jesus 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 have been discussing Rev. 12:5 and some very important cross-references that help us rightly interpret this super-important verse. It is very significant that Rev. 12:5, in its context, shows that the resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the saints will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.
I'll read Rev. 12:5 and make several comments before we go back to Mic. 5:3, which is a very important cross-reference for the birth of Rev. 12:5 that we were discussing at the end of the last broadcast. 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 to His throne." "And she [true Israel; heavenly Jerusalem] gave birth to a son." This "son/male child" is a symbol for all the members of God's true Israel who will be converted before the Lord Jesus Christ returns right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. The birth of the male child pictures the birth of this gigantic multitude of believers into the fullness of the eternal life and glory of God's new creation. For the large number of believers who will have died before that time, this will mean resurrection and glorification. For the believers who will be living on the earth at that time, this will mean glorification.
It is very significant that Revelation chapters 11-13, and especially Rev. 12:6, show that the glorious birth of Rev. 12:5 will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. Revelation 12:6 shows that there will be 1,260 days (three and one-half years) to go after the birth of the man child of Rev. 12:5. This fact is confirmed by Rev. 12:14 and 13:5, which also speak of the three and one-half years of the second half of Daniel's 70th week. We'll discuss these verses as we continue with our study of Revelation chapters 11-13.
It is also very significant that there are three verses in the Old Testament that prophesy of this same birth into the fullness of eternal life and glory that will take place at the end of this age. These verses are Isaiah 66:7; Psalm 2:7; and Micah 5:3. We have already discussed Isa. 66:7, 8 and Psalm 2:7 (along with every other verse of that super-important prophetic psalm); and we started to discuss Mic. 5:1-3 in the last broadcast. We'll go back to Mic. 5:3, when we finish this somewhat brief summarizing discussion of Rev. 12:5.
Revelation 12:5 continues with the words, "who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron." It is very significant that the Lord Jesus Christ specifically stated, in Rev. 2:26, 27, that when we reign with Him, we will rule with a rod of iron. And it is quite significant that the words about ruling with a rod of iron come from Psalm 2. This rule with a rod of iron will start at the time we are born into the fullness of eternal life and glory that will take place when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. This scenario agrees perfectly with Psalm 2.
Revelation 12:5 continues with the words, "and her child was caught up to God and to His throne." These words refer to, or at least include, the rapture spoken of by the apostle Paul in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. Rev. 12:5 and 1 Thess. 4:17 even use the same Greek verb for our being caught up, the verb "harpazo." Being caught up and being raptured mean the same thing. Paul prophesied that we "will be caught up...in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" at the time the Lord Jesus Christ returns with the sounding of the trumpet of God. As we have discussed, it is important to see that the trumpet of 1 Thess. 4:16 is to be equated with the seventh and last trumpet of Rev. 11:15; the last trumpet of 1 Cor. 15:52; and the trumpet of Matt. 24:31. All four passages speak of the one coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of this age to save and to judge, but Rev. 11:15, in its context with Revelation chapters 11-13, is the only verse of the four that shows that the last trumpet will sound, and the Lord will return, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. The book of Revelation is literally packed with details that hadn't been revealed before that all-important revelation was given.
The fact that we will be caught up to God and to His throne fits perfectly with the idea that we will begin to rule with a rod of iron at the time of our birth into the fullness of eternal life and glory.
Now we'll turn back to Mic. 5:3. We have already discussed Mic. 5:1, 2, and we started to discuss Mic. 5:3 in the last broadcast. I'll reread the first paragraph of the chapter of my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture," that deals with the interpretation of Mic. 4:9-5:6. 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 esurrection/glorification 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. (See under these verses in this book.) Micah 5:3 also prophesies of the conversion of the end-time elect remnant of Israel, which will start at the time of the resurrection/glorification and rapture of the Christian church.
Now I'll read Mic. 5:3, then we'll get into the important details, "Therefore, He will give them up [These words speak, in context, of the Lord's temporarily giving up Judah/Israel.] until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder [or, remnant] of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel."
"Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child." The pronoun "He" here refers to the Ruler that God the Father prophesied about in verse 2, saying, for one thing, that He would be born in Bethlehem. The Ruler is God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As this verse continues it mentions "His brethren," referring to the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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 articles. 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 32:36-30; Isa. 10:20-22; Zech. 12:10-13:6, 8; 14:1, 2; Rev. 11:13). They must be ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ before they will see Him, as Matt. 23:37-39, for example, show. I'll read Matthew 23:37-39, "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. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 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!' "
God's temporarily giving up of Judah/Israel in some ways will change when the end-time remnant of Israel repents and receives their Savior (see, for example, Zech. 12:4-13:6; 14:3-5; Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25-27; Rev. 11:13, 19; 12:6, 13-17). They will submit to the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns, but not in time to be taken in the rapture. It is clear that God has not given up Judah/Israel in every sense, as some teach. He is involved with them now, and every covenant promise He made with Israel will be fulfilled, including the promise that a large remnant of the people of Israel will be saved in the last days. As the apostle Paul said, all Israel will be saved. Jerusalem is the city of the Great King.
I'll read what I said under the words, "When she who is in labor has borne a child" of Mic. 5:3, I somewhat prefer a translation like, "when she who gives birth has given birth." (I have an endnote discussing this translation in my book, which I won't read here. The endnotes, by the way, unlike footnotes, are located at the end of the chapters.) The one who gives birth is probably best understood as true Israel (spiritual Zion; heavenly Jerusalem), as in Isa. 66:7 and Rev. 12:5. This birth is the birth into the fullness of eternal life (the resurrection/glorification) that will take place at the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Psalm 2:7; Isa. 66:7; and Rev. 12:5.
Many Christians think Mic. 5:3 prophesies of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He was born in Bethlehem. That birth was very significant to the salvation of Judah/Israel, of course, but it is very clear (from our present perspective) that the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ (His First Advent) did not bring about the salvation of Judah/Israel that is spoken of throughout Micah chapter 5, for example. It will be different at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, which will coincide with the glorious birth spoken of in Rev. 12:5; Isa. 66:7; Psalm 2:7; and here in Mic. 5:3. The second half of Mic. 5:3 and the rest of chapter 5; Isa. 66:8; Romans chapter 11; the book of Revelation; and many other prophetic passages confirm that the remnant of Judah/Israel will be saved at the end of this age.
Now we'll discuss the second half of Mic. 5:3, "Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel." "His brethren" means the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'll read what I said under the words, "the remainder of His brethren." I would translate "the remnant of His brethren," with the King James Version and the New King James Version, instead of "the remainder of His brethren." The Hebrew noun is "yether." This is the Hebrew noun used in Zech. 14:2, for example, for the end-time elect remnant of Judah that will be left in Jerusalem at the time of the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I mentioned under Zech. 14:2, the BDB Hebrew Lexicon lists Mic. 5:3 and Zech. 14:2 (and other verses, including Zeph. 2:9) under the "rescued remnant of Israel (Judah)."
Here in Mic. 5:3, "the remnant of His brethren" speaks of "the remnant" of the "brethren" of the Lord Jesus Christ that will remain at the time when she who is to give birth has given birth. Since the Lord Jesus Christ was of the tribe of Judah (so far as physical descent was concerned), "the remnant of His brethren" refers to "the remnant" of Judah. Here in Mic. 5:3, "the remnant of His brethren" is distinguished from "the sons of Israel." "The sons of Israel" here in Mic. 5:3 speaks of the end-time remnant of the northern kingdom. Judah was the southern kingdom. The kingdom of Israel split into two kingdoms after the death of King Solomon. The northern kingdom was sometimes called Israel, and the southern kingdom was sometimes called Judah.
We need to discuss these words "will return to the sons of Israel" at the end of Mic. 5:3. I'll read what I said in my book under these words. I believe we need to improve this translation. For one thing, if one of the two kingdoms were to return to the other, we would expect the northern kingdom to return to the southern kingdom (Judah). The "sons of Israel" were the first to go into apostasy and exile, and their apostasy was on a deeper, more pervasive level. The people of the northern kingdom were carried into exile by the Assyrians, and they never returned from exile. Some hundred years later (starting in 605 BC) the people of the southern kingdom (Judah) were carried into exile by the Babylonians, but, as God has prophesied through Jeremiah, that captivity only lasted seventy years. At the end of the seventy years, God raised up Cyrus, the King of the Medes and Persians, to overthrow the Babylonians and allow the Jews to return to their land to rebuild the temple, etc.
I would translate "Then the remnant of His brethren Will return together with [or "will return with"] the sons of Israel." I discuss this translation in an endnote; I won't quote that endnote, but I'll mention several important details. It is clear that the Hebrew preposition that I would translate "together with" or "with" can be translated that way. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon translates this Hebrew preposition "together with" or "with" quite often; they translate it "with" here in Mic. 5:3. I'll quote Jer. 3:18 (from the New American Standard Bible), which is an important cross-reference, "In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance." The Hebrew preposition that is translated "with" in Jer. 3:18 is the same preposition used here in Mic. 5:3, "In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel." There are many passages in the Old Testament that prophesy of the eventual salvation and reuniting of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
The remnant of His brethren (that is, the remnant of Judah) and the remnant of the sons of Israel will return to God, and they will return to the land that God gave them. See Ezekiel chapter 37, for example. I have an endnote for this returning to God. I'll read part of that endnote, The Hebrew verb shub, translated "will return" here is frequently used of returning to God (see, for example, Deut. 4:30; 30:2; Isa. 10:20-22). This returning to God will be the greatest need for the remnants of Judah and Israel (see, for example, Zech. 12:10-13:6; Matt. 23:37-39). C. F. Keil (a Bible commentator) rightly understands these words to say that the remnant of Judah is to return to God (to be converted) together with those that are left of the northern kingdom.
I also have an endnote dealing with their return to the land that God gave them. I'll quote that short endnote. See, for example, Micah 2:12, 13 and 4:6-8, 10. This same Hebrew verb (shub) is frequently used for returning to the land of Israel (see, for example, Isa. 35:10; 51:11; Jer. 23:3; 30:10).
In my book I quoted the next three verses of Micah chapter 5 (verses 4-6) and commented on these verses. Here I'll just quote the first sentence I have under these verses. The Lord Jesus Christ will begin to shepherd the end-time elect remnant of Judah/Israel once they have repented and received Him, starting at the time of the birth of the saints into the fullness of eternal life and glory at the time of His mid-week return (see, for example, Jer. 23:5, 6; Ezek. 34:23, 24; 37:24, 25; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 9:8-10:12; 12:1-13:6; 14:3-15; Matt. 23:37-39; Rev. 11:13, 19; 12:6, 13-17). The end-time elect remnant of Judah/Israel will still be living in their natural bodies at that time, throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week.
I'll read Mic. 5:3 with a few comments; then we'll turn back to Rev. 12:5. "Therefore, He [the Ruler; the Lord Jesus Christ] will give them up [that is, He will give up Judah to humbling defeats, etc.] until the time When she who gives birth has given birth [It is significant that this is the same birth of the saints into the fullness of eternal life and glory that will take place at the end of this age that is prophesied about in Isa. 66:7; Psalm 2:7; and Rev. 12:5. The prophet Isaiah was a contemporary of the prophet Micah, by the way.]. Then the remnant of His brethren will return together with the sons of Israel" That is, the remnants of Judah and Israel will return to God, and they will return to their land. This is a very important prophecy!
Now I'll read Rev. 12:5 with no comment, and we'll go on to Rev. 12:6. "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." Revelation 12:6, "Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days." It is very important to see that, after giving birth to the male child, the woman still has the one thousand two hundred and sixty days of the second half of Daniel's 70th week to go through. And it is significant that this important fact is confirmed by Rev. 12:14 and Rev. 13:5, in that both verses mention the equivalent of three and one-half years.
Revelation chapters 12 and 13 (and many other prophetic passages) show that the devil and his right hand man, Antichrist, will be attacking the woman throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. Revelation 13:7, for example, says that it will be given to Antichrist "to make war with the saints and to overcome them," and Rev. 13:5 shows that his super-evil reign will last for forty two months, which equals three and one-half years. Those days will be quite difficult for God's people (the Christians; the members of God's true Israel who will be living on the earth at that time), and there will be many martyrs, but this verse (verse 6) and verses 14-16 also show that they will experience much of God's protective care and provision during those very difficult days. As I mentioned under Rev. 12:1-5, the woman is a symbol for God's true Israel, embracing all the believers from Old Testament days and all true Christians, including those converted before the rapture and those converted after the rapture. Now that the woman has given birth to the male child (in verse 5), the only members of God's true Israel who will be living on the earth will be the Christians who are converted after the rapture. As we have discussed in some detail, the end-time elect remnant of the nation Israel will repent and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, starting at the time of His mid-week return, but not in time to be taken in the rapture.
The Christians living on the earth throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week will center in the end-time elect remnant of the nation Israel. Revelation 12:17 shows that the attacks against the woman throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week are attacks coming against Christians, those who "keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." Apparently many Gentiles will also become true Christians after the rapture; they too will become part of God's true Israel, even as we Gentiles who become Christians throughout this age are grafted into, and become part of, God's true Israel. Now let's go on to Rev. 12:7-9. First I'll read the first words of Rev. 12:4, words that speak of the same judgment of Satan and his angels that we read about in verses 7-9, "And his tail [the dragon's tail] swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth." Revelation 12:7-9, "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, (8) and they [the devil and his angels] were not strong enough; and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. (9) And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old [see Genesis chapter 3] who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown with him." This warfare, which will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, won't last long, perhaps a few hours, at the most. The devil rebelled against God long ago, and he (and the third of the angels who followed him) lost their right relationship with God, but he still has access to heavenly places, and he will not be cast down to the earth until the middle of Daniel's 70th week.
I'll read much of what I said in my book under these verses. As we will discuss, this warfare will apparently take place immediately before the male child is born and raptured, as pictured in Rev. 12:5. It would also be reasonable to say that the devil and his angels will be cast down at essentially the same time that the male child is born and raptured. Matthew 24:29-31 (see Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28) are an important cross-reference (also see Rev. 6:13-17; Isa. 13:13; 24:21, 22; 27:1; and 34:4).
Let's look at Matt. 24:29, a verse we have discussed already in these articles, "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Matthew 24:29 brings us to the middle of Daniel's 70th week, immediately after the short "great tribulation" of Matt. 24:21, 22. The great tribulation of Matt. 24:21, 22 will be over before the last trumpet sounds and the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. We have already discussed the darkening of the sun and moon in some detail. Most of the light coming from the sun and moon will be blocked out by the large amounts of smoke and dust generated during the intense warfare of the short great tribulation. The darkening of the sun and moon (with the moon becoming like blood) are portents (signs) of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of the Day of the LORD. His coming with the clouds, the great trumpet, and the rapture are all mentioned in Matt. 24:30 and 31.
"And the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (of Matt. 24:29). As I pointed out under Rev. 12:4, stars sometimes symbolize angels. In Rev. 12:4 a third of the stars (the third of God's angels that rebelled against Him and followed the devil in his rebellion) are thrown to the earth; in Rev. 12:7-9 Satan and his angels are thrown down to the earth. The stars falling in Matt. 24:29 speaks of the same reality as Rev. 12:4 and 7-9. The words, "the powers of the of the heavens will be shaken" of Matt. 24:29 speak of the great shaking of Satan's kingdom that will take place at the time he and his angels are cast down to the earth. The power of Satan will be overpowered by the power of God at the time of the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus Christ (see, for example, Matt. 24:30; Rev. 11:17; and 12:10). God is in control. He could have cast the devil down to the earth, etc. earlier if He had wanted to.
From the time that Satan is cast down to the earth, he will no longer be able to exercise authority in the heavenly places, as he does now. In Eph. 6:12, for example, the apostle Paul informs us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, [and] against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places; in Eph. 2:2 the devil is called "the prince of the power of the air"; and Rev. 12:10 speaks of him being "the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them before God day and night." Satan will, however, be permitted to exercise significant authority on the earth for the next three and one-half years (see Rev. 12:12-13:18). At the end of Daniel's 70th week, he will be cast into the abyss and kept there until the end of the millennium. Then he will be released for a short period, and finally he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire (see Revelation chapter 20).
On Michael, the archangel who is mentioned in Rev. 12 7, see Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1 (Daniel 12:1 is a very important verse dealing with end-time prophecy that we have discussed already.); and Jude 1:9. Jude 1:9 mentions "Michael the archangel." It is interesting that the only other use of the word archangel in the New Testament is in 1 Thess. 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." Apparently we see Michael in 1 Thess. 4:16, and the voice of the archangel here could at least include his voice as he is involved with the warfare of Rev. 12:7-9. This would be the appropriate time for this warfare, just before the rapture spoken of in 1 Thess. 4:17.
I'll read 1 Thess. 4:17, 18. "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. [Yes, and reigning with Him too!] (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words." Yes, I guess so! What a destiny! What a salvation plan! What a Savior! It's almost time to stop, but I'll read Rev. 12:10 before we stop. We'll discuss this glorious verse in the next article. "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, 'Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night." We look forward to that day. Thank you Father! We pray in Jesus' mighty name. Amen.
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.