March 14, 2015 The Rapture of all believers explained from the Old Testament
A very comprehensive explanation of the Rapture.
The Rapture: People Taken from All Nations
By Dan Payne
Take a brief journey with me to discover an amazing truth that I trust will be of the same great comfort to you as it has been to me. Let’s begin by looking at the difference between the people who were chosen as the nation of Israel and the people who are chosen as the true Christian church.
Israel is a people taken from one nation: in Jacob.
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:2).
“For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure” (Psalm 135:4).
The Church is a people taken from all nations, including Israel: in Christ Jesus.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:13, 19).
Now all nations are grafted into the family of God through faith in the blood of Christ Jesus; we are all one in Christ Jesus.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15).
Now let’s keep the knowledge of the identity of God’s faithful servants in this current Church Age—all true believers—as we move on to a different subject.
In times past, before God meted out His judgment upon a group of people, whether they comprised of an entire city like Sodom, or the entire earth as in the Flood, He always provided a way of escape for His faithful servants who lived among them.
- God delivered Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom:
“And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt” (Genesis 19:29).
- God saved His faithful servants from the destruction of Jerusalem:
“And the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’ To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. But do not come near anyone upon whom is the mar’” (Ezekiel 9:4-5, 6b).
- God delivered Noah and his family from world-wide judgment:
“And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth’. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive” (Genesis 6:13, 7:23).
- Just like Noah and his family, God has promised to deliver us, the true church, from the future world-wide judgment:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11).
So in keeping with God’s pattern of removing His faithful servants before His own acts of past judgment, we should also expect that He will remove His faithful servants before He begins any action of future judgment.
Who again are God’s faithful servants of this current Age? They are of course all those who trust in the blood of Christ for their salvation and together they are identified as the true church.
And since the true church consists of peoples from all nations, at the moment God acts to remove His faithful servants before His worldwide judgment of the Tribulation, He will be “taking” His servants from cities and continents from across the entire planet.
At the pretribulation Rapture of the Church, God will be performing the very same action that He has performed numerous times in the past; He will be performing nothing that He has not already done in generations past.
The only difference now is that His faithful servants comprise of many peoples from many nations through the blood of Christ.
The pretribulation Rapture of the true church is entirely consistent with God’s works of the past.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it,’ so will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them al’” (Isaiah 65:8).
Here is an interesting side note: Taken in context with Isaiah 65:8, it is interesting to see how Hosea 2:9 can fit as looking forward to the Rapture. God considers His servants as “the new wine” in Isaiah 65:8, and in Hosea 2:9 He returns to take away His “new wine” in its season. At the very least, it’s an interesting coincidence:
“Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time, and My new wine in its season, and will take back My wool and My linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand” (Hosea 2:9-10).
This section of Hosea is looking forward to the time just before and during the millennial kingdom. We can know this by reading verse 18:
“In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18).
When God ends warfare and makes a covenant with the beasts of the field rendering them harmless, we refer to this time period as the millennial reign of Christ.
The Millennial kingdom is the ultimate time period of redemption for Israel during the Day of the Lord, in contrast to the dreadful dawning of that Day beginning with the worldwide judgment of the Tribulation.
So in keeping with Hosea chapter 2 referring to the future time period of the Day of the Lord, another interesting concept appears. We see a parallel between Jerusalem’s judgment in the sight of her “lovers” in Hosea 2:10 and Babylon’s destruction in the sight of her lovers in Revelation 18:9.
“Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand” (Hosea 2:10).
“The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning” (Revelation 18:9).
Now that’s a very interesting parallel indeed.
Going back to the theme of this article, it brings great comfort to my soul to witness the Lord’s deliverance of His faithful servants of generations past from the destruction of His own judgment upon the wicked.
This gives me great hope that the Lord will rescue those who are His faithful servants today from His wrath to come tomorrow.
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death” (Psalm 33:18-19a).
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).