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From Hal Lindsey’s There’s A New World Coming Comic Book; Illustrator: Al Hartley

Watch out! Don’t let anyone fool you! For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. …At that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me. At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, many false prophets will appear and fool many people;  ~ Matthew 24:4-5, 9-11, CJB

There can be no doubt that the apostles Paul, John, and Peter all received the supernatural gifts of prophecy and spiritual discernment from God, which made them able to foresee and shrewdly illustrate why genuine born again, saved (justified), and progressively sanctified full of the Holy Spirit pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture believers would be hated, in the last days, by fake Christians. No doubt this last days’ hatred is the reason why God also inspires these abovementioned apostles to use their spiritual gifts of foreknowledge and preternatural acumen to explain accurately why in the last days the authentic ekklesia in their day would become the institutional “church” of the 21st century. This institutional “church” would be so corrupt that it not only would be opposing what God’s truly called, anointed, appointed, equipped, and sent men and women have been preaching and teaching from the divinely inspired unadulterated Word of God and in Christ Jesus’ name, but also they (these fake Christians in their local “churches”) would be opposing what Christ Jesus Himself taught, while simultaneously insisting that they are faithful to the Lord (cf. Matthew 24:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:2-5).

Because of the above-stated reasons, these aforesaid apostles are warning even today’s true believers that they diligently must watch out for those fake Christians who would be attempting to transform a sacrilegious world into what they believe is the Kingdom of God on Earth. For example, what these apostles specifically predicted was that modern day fake Christians, after commandeering the institutional “church,” not only would reject the biblical Truth about the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture but also, as earlier stated, they would hate the true believers who unequivocally have the God kind of faith in the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture to boldly practice their faith in the last days by unashamedly preaching and teaching that the Resurrection-Rapture will take place just before prophet Daniel’s 70th Week begins. In other words, these faithful believers would be preaching and teaching about the forthcoming Resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ Jesus and the imminent Rapture or catching up of the living, real Bride of Christ (see Matthew 24:40-42; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Now the Divine Truth is, logically speaking, that the last days of this current institutional “church” Age only can be brought to an end by the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture! Why? Well, because only the pre-tribulation unanticipated and unexplained disappearance of countless believers could produce an environment most fitting for the prophesied Antichrist’s rise to power and his created global economic chaos and fear, which happen primarily during the Great Tribulation Period. The apostle Paul supports this last statement about when the Resurrection-Rapture and Tribulation Period are likely to take place, for he writes:

But you have no need to have anything written to you, brothers, about the times and dates when this will happen; because you yourselves well know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. …But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that the Day should take you by surprise like a thief; for you are all people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness, so let’s not be asleep, like the rest are; on the contrary, let us stay alert and sober. People who sleep, sleep at night; and people who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us stay sober, putting on trust and love as a breastplate and the hope of being delivered as a helmet. For God has not intended that we should experience his fury, but that we should gain deliverance through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who died on our behalf so that whether we are alive or dead, we may live along with him. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 4-10, CJB

From Hal Lindsey’s There’s A New World Coming Comic Book; Illustrator: Al Hartley

Certainly, since most of the people in this present world don’t believe in any kind of Rapture, including many of today’s “churchgoers,” this is the main reason why the next-to-happen prophetic event will be an unanticipated and unexplained disappearance of the true Bride of Christ. More important, as suggested earlier, the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture is going to be both the resurrection of every never seen on Earth again dead in Christ believer, whose eternal spirit and soul are united with his or her decayed body that has been resurrected and glorified, AND the removal of the still living, never has seen physical death true Bride of Christ.

Right here is where a very relevant point about the “elect” should be made. It is important to know that the Holy Bible differentiates between those pre-tribulation resurrected-raptured saints and those left-behind saints who are called the “elect.” Because the Scriptures refer to both of these saints as Christ Jesus’ “elect,” this is the main reason why the New Testament Bride of Christ’s saints or the “elect” Body of Christ, which is both resurrected and raptured, is not resurrected nor raptured mid-tribulation or post-tribulation.

First, where the mid-tribulation Rapture beliefs about the “Church” are concerned, the only prophesied resurrections and raptures in the Holy Bible that pertain to Christ Jesus’ “elect” or saints being resurrected and/or raptured at or near mid-tribulation, as well as sometime after the start of the second half of the seven-year Tribulation Period, are as follows: 1. the raptured 144,000 sealed with the Holy Spirit Messianic Jewish evangelists, who never experience a physical death (see Revelation 14:3b-5); 2. the resurrected and raptured two witnesses/prophets who are seen alive again on Earth after they died a physical death and remained dead for 3½ days. These dead saints receive life again in their expired physical bodies, after which they are raptured off of this Earth alive (see Revelation 11:7-12); and 3. the resurrected, martyred Tribulation saints, who are beheaded for refusing to accept the Mark of the Beast (see Revelation 7:13-14 and Revelation 20:4-5). Please notice that the “Church” or Bride of Christ is not included in these resurrections and raptures!

Secondly, concerning the post-tribulation Rapture beliefs about the “Church,” based for example on Matthew 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27, the word “elect” specifically refers to those Tribulation survivors who are gathered (as translated from the Greek word, epistrpho) at the end of the Great Tribulation by the Lord’s angels. This “elect” clearly is not the same “elect,” which also is known as the Body of Christ/Bride of Christ, who is resurrected AND raptured/caught up (as translated from the Greek word, harpazo) to meet Christ Jesus in the air.

Put differently, at the time of the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture, Christ Jesus comes alone on a cloud, and He is unseen by any earthly humans. This supernaturally hidden by the clouds Christ Jesus calls out to the dead in Christ and to His living Bride for them to come up and meet Him in the air.

In contrast, at the end of the Great Tribulation, all of the people living on the Earth will see Christ Jesus coming on a cloud and displaying all His power and great glory, which will be such an impressive wonder to see that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn” when they see Him (cf. Matthew 24:30; see also Revelation 1:7). After the Lord returns to Earth with His armies of resurrected and raptured saints and defeats the Antichrist and his armies of apostates and infidels, Christ Jesus then will command His angels to gather all of the Tribulation survivors. It is from these gathered alleged sheep and/or supposed wheat that the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats, and His angels will separate the wheat from the tares (see Matthew 13:38-43; Matthew 24:31; Matthew 25:31-32; Mark 13:27).

There can be no doubt, therefore, that the “elect” mentioned in Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:27 only refers to those AFTER the pre-tribulation Resurrection-Rapture individuals who are those left behind deceived apostates and those lifelong infidels. The former represents those left behinders who have been snatched from the fire just in time to become believers in Christ Jesus once again (cf. Jude v.23), and the latter represents those left behinders who become born again and saved at the 11th hour, as it were (cf. Matthew 20:6). Both of these believers make up the Great Harvest of the Lord’s Harvest, which takes place at end of the Age of Grace. By the way, the Age of Grace began with the death of the innocent and perfect Sacrifice—Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God.  

For the above stated reasons, there can be no doubt that these tribulation survivors are those sheep that have been separated from the goats, and those wheat that have been separated from the tares. In other words, these end-times believers are those tribulation “elect” or saints who will have their natural physical bodies. These tribulation survivors are the ones who will repopulate this Earth during Christ Jesus’ millennial reign.

Be that as it may, additional proof that the living Bride of Christ is raptured before the mid- and post-tribulation is the fact that John the Revelator foresees twenty-four elders, who represent both the dead in Christ Old and New Testaments’ resurrected saints (“elect”) AND the alive in Christ New Testament’s saints (“elect”), who have been clothed, crowned, and enthroned before the first judgment ever is sent upon the Earth (see Revelation 4:4).  Then too, there is the fact that the word “church” never is mentioned during any of the seal, trumpet and/or bowl judgments, and that is because these judgments are mainly meant for spiritually blind Israel—the country and her people!

Now, the apostle Paul is not the only one who describes a time when Resurrection-Rapture believers will be hated. So do Christ Jesus and the apostles John and Peter.

As alluded to earlier, Christ Jesus predicts that, in the last days, His disciples (not just His Jewish followers but also His Gentile followers) will be hated, which is why they must be careful not to give anybody the opportunity to deceive them. In the below passages from His Olivet Discourse, the Lord makes His prediction, and He gives very clear commands. Christ Jesus says:

Watch out! Don’t let anyone fool you! For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. …At that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me. At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, many false prophets will appear and fool many people;  ~ Matthew 24:4-5, 9-11, CJB

Just as the Lord predicts that there will people in the last days who will hate His disciples, the apostle John teaches this same truth to the believers he is discipling. John cites the Lord as being the One who says this divine Truth: “If you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. But because you do not belong to the world — on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world — therefore the world hates you” ~ John 15:19, CJB.

In another passage written by the apostle John, he once again quotes Christ Jesus, but this time on how true believers who have received and correctly understood God’s Word, even the Word that pertains to the Resurrection-Rapture, are hated by those individuals who are not real believers. John writes:

I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world — just as I myself do not belong to the world. I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth — your word is truth. ~ John 17:14-17, CJB

For the record, fake believers are people who publicly profess that they are Christians, but they act like they really are infidels. In other words, they act the same way as those lost souls who still are in the world!

Lastly, the apostle Peter also teaches about apostates’ desire to hate and ridicule genuine believers who have faith in God’s divine Truths, including His divine Truths about last-days Rapture and end-times judgment. The apostle writes:

For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water. ~ 1 Peter 3:18-20, CJB

~ AND ~

First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires and asking, ‘Where is this promised ‘coming’ of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But, wanting so much to be right about this, they overlook the fact that it was by God’s Word that long ago there were heavens, and there was land which arose out of water and existed between the waters, and that by means of these things the world of that time was flooded with water and destroyed. It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. ~ 2 Peter 3:3-7, CJB

The hatred for born again, saved (justified), and progressively sanctified full of the Holy Spirit Resurrection-Rapture believers is ever so evident these days. There are so many mass and social media contributors, and even Christian pulpit preachers and classroom teachers who not only are denying the concept of a Resurrection-Rapture but also these deniers are bashing those true believers who have given their total trust (faith) to God and, as a result, earnestly do believe that the Resurrection-Rapture is indeed imminent. With so many people vehemently criticizing and scoffing at the Resurrection-Rapture, and its believers, it is almost fruitless to try to explain or defend said biblical doctrine to the unsaved as well as many of the saved children of God.

Yet, regardless of the number of Resurrection-Rapture detractors, the Great Commission’s commands are still applicable today. So then, born again, saved (justified), and progressively sanctified full of the Holy Spirit 21st-century believers even now must go into all the world, lead the lost world to the Lord through the preached Gospel of Christ Jesus, and make disciples of everyone the Lord saves and the Holy Spirit indwells and infills (see Matthew 28:19-20a). Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to pray to God, asking Him not only to prepare the unsaved but also the saved hearers’ hearts so that the sown Seed will fall in “fertile” ground and so that the hearers will understand the Word of God and produce spiritual fruit that yields “…hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23, CJB). Amen.