Friday, February 17, 2017
Jesus Christ said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:15–18). [my emphasis added]
This Laodicean condition didn’t just suddenly appear, but was foisted upon the church gradually by Satan’s culture-accommodating lies, confirmation biases and unbelieving progressive values; all while true Godly watchmen have been ordered from her walls and replaced with traditions, worldliness, compromise and warring vestments of this world’s kingdom of the sword.
It’s no wonder the church largely rejects Jesus’ teaching that He gathers His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), for that truth offends the unbelieving biases many have in their relationship with Christ. But the church will pass through the seven-year tribulation to burn the world’s dross from her, “refined in the fire” to be delivered from her Laodicean condition.
God said that, “love…rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Jesus said, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6). Yet, in the church, Jesus’ truth that He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31) is largely disallowed from being taught. But one must ask, does this demonstrate love and unity with Christ? Certainly not.
Confirmation bias and traditions silence whole truth for the end-times and rapture by saying, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36), as if that single verse ends one’s investigation of truth regarding the end-times.
It is true, that, “of that day and hour no one knows”, but we have been given the season. In the parable of the wheat and tares, Jesus said of saints and the wicked, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, [angels] “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matt. 13:30).
Note that, “at the time of harvest” Christ sends His angels to first gather the wicked, those with the mark of the beast, and then the saints. The first resurrection and rapture of saints takes place “at the time of harvest”. Is that claiming to know the “day and hour”? Certainly not. But when one isolates the latter without discerning the former, dangerous unbelief results.
If a farmer has many crops to plant and a neighbor tells the farmer he will help plow the soil at the time of planting, will the farmer know the day or hour his neighbor is coming? Certainly not. But he knows the season in which he comes, for it will be in the spring, at the time of planting.
If that same farmer has crops to harvest and his neighbor says he will help at the time of harvest, would the farmer know the day or hour his neighbor was coming? Certainly not. But, again, he knows the season in which he will come, for it will be the fall of the year, at the time of harvest.
Likewise, Jesus’ parable identifies the season in which the wicked and righteous are gathered. It’s not difficult to believe if one doesn’t have a confirmation bias to zealously hold the pre-trib which is not founded on biblical truth. Thus, rejecting “the truth” that Jesus taught, the pre-trib rapture tradition sets its own snare of unbelief by which many will be swept to perdition.
That Christ gathers saints, “at the time of harvest” (Matt. 13:30) agrees with the Spirit saying “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51–52). [my emphasis added]
Therefore, Christ gathers His elect, “at the last trumpet”, when, “the dead will be raised”, at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6). This agrees with Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares occurring, “at the time of harvest”. The Jewish fall festival of the Feast of Trumpets occurs “at the time of harvest” called Rosh Hashanah, when Christ gathers His elect, “at the last trumpet”.
Therefore, “at the last trumpet”: “the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”” (Rev. 11:15).
That Christ raises the righteous dead and gathers saints, “at the time of harvest” (Matt. 13:30), “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52), agrees with Jesus gathering His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), which occurs in the three fall harvest months of the year.
Therefore, Jesus Words are confirmed, that, “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Thus, the teachings of Christ prove that we can and do know the season in which He gathers believers, for which we must believe, lest we disbelieve, remaining unprepared, with insufficient oil in our lamps to endure to the end.
Every scheme of man, whether it’s the pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath or post-millennial rapture, is Satan’s scheme to mock and discredit Christ. But Jesus did not deliver multiple choice scenarios for the end-times and gathering of His saints – He delivered only one as recorded in the gospel, which is that He gathers His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31).
Before Jesus went to the cross He told His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). The context here was of sending His Holy Spirit who would empower them to not only receive, but believe by faith all He taught. So, when men and their traditions teach contrary to Jesus, they disown the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to believe.
Tradition and confirmation bias for the end-times has resulted in unbelief unto division, with a greater fear of man than of God, resulting in an unprepared heart to endure to the end. But God said, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Prov. 29:25).
Marlin J. Yoder