Monday, October 15, 2018

Is the Rapture Earned?

More on Michael and the Man Child

So many of us have expressed how very ready we are for our Lord to snatch us away! This too is analogous to pregnancy as many know by experience. Those who have carried a child to full term just want that baby to be born! But do we realize what that means in terms of Eternity? Are we a Bride that is in love with the idea of her extravagant wedding day or in love with her Bridegroom? More on that later.

God has been so gracious to warn the world and to show indicators to those of us who are looking for His Son’s appearing. The timing and naming of Hurricane Michael is no coincidence. In fact, HOW Michael came in so quickly and powerfully stunned many. This is how the enemy will feel on that Day when the mighty Archangel swoops in with the heavenly host and cleanses the Second Heaven of the Prince of the Power of the Air and his fallen ones.

It is also how those in the world will feel:

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. - Luke 21:26 KJV

As I’ve shared before this spiritual activity will manifest in the physical with the appearance of demonic ‘alien’ aircraft in our skies (see Be Expectant). Then, almost simultaneously, will come the Resurrection/Rapture of the Overcoming Church. These spiritual events may cause an EMP-like effect on the world’s electrical grid and the earth will go dark.  I do not know if this will be the cause for certain, but I do believe electricity will be unavailable for a duration of time whatever the cause—the rapture, nuclear war, or cosmic events.

The effects of Hurricane Michael signals this coming darkness for as ABC News reported Hurricane Michael leaves more than 1 million without power—WITHOUT POWER so in the DARK! Also notice that on the screen behind the ABC reporter in this video reads, “Hurricane War Zone”.

The Big Squeeze & Time of Great Trouble

Another prophetic news video was issued by CBS on October 2, 2018--Americans to receive cellphone alert from president in 1st national test—wherein it was reported that this alert system “will let any President issue a warning about a crisis. That could include a missile launched by another country at the U.S. or a tsunami.”

This know also, that in the last days perilous [fierce] times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. . .

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. - 2 Timothy 3:1-2, 5 KJV

Though the corporate birth or Rapture of the Overcoming Church occurs before The Tribulation—before travail or labor begins—we are prophetically experiencing “the big squeeze” much like a baby’s head experiences as the uterus contracts and pushes the baby down the birth canal.

How much trouble we will see prior to Daniel’s 70th Week, no one knows except as the Holy Spirit reveals to us. As a woman of God who happens to live in America, I have been called to be a watchman and to sound any warnings He shows me.

This calling manifested back in the 90’s when my family and I lived in the heart of Shenandoah Valley. The Lord poured into me an intercessory burden for our nation. He did not show me specifics, but I wept and prayed for I knew in my heart a time of great trouble was to rock this land.

Just before leaving that basket of mountains in Virginia, the Spirit of the Lord moved on me to speak to a group of brethren. At first I fought Him for I had already prophesied earlier during the church meeting, but the pastor plunked himself down on a chair near me and announced to the congregation, “I’m not going to speak anymore today. God told me to sit down and be quiet.”

This was my cue, so I stood up and with my body trembling all over due to the Spirit infilling me I prophesied, “A time of great trouble is coming and if you are not close with the Lord you're not going to make it.” The urgency of the Lord pressed on me and I spoke the message a second time adding at the end, “Do not forget this day!”

We moved to a city further south and about eight years later we were led to move yet again. Just before we did, though, the Spirit of the Lord had me speak the same prophecy to that congregation. This time I took up a shekere (a shell-covered gourd instrument) and shook it violently as I announced, “A time of great trouble is coming! Everything that can be shaken will be shaken! Come to Him in your prayer closets faithfully and do not be afraid.”

Israel Agrees to Dividing Jerusalem?

Today I came across a video wherein a sister in Christ shared articles from The Jerusalem Post one of which claims that Israel not only has agreed to a two-state solution, but also to dividing Jerusalem—the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8)! IF THIS IS TRUE, the peace agreement could be announced ANY DAY NOW!

“Why did you not make this the title of your article?” you may very well shout.

The very nearness of our Lord’s appearing plus warnings not just to the unsaved but to the brethren leads me to ask—"Are you and I truly Rapture ready?”

Rapture—Reward or by Grace?

THERE HAS BEEN MUCH DEBATE as to whether “once saved always saved” is true or not. Right up front I want to tell you that I am in the camp that believes once a person has confessed and believed Romans 10:9 from their heart, they are saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (also see Who are the Tribulation Saints? ). But is salvation the only qualification for being worthy to escape The Tribulation?

Some teach, such as Perry Stone (Accounted Worthy to Escape by Perry Stone), that the Rapture is a reward only for those who are faithful. Sandy Armstrong has shared that he does not believe "once saved always saved". Jaco Prinsloo posted a riveting video on October 12 that included Ken Peters’ 2015 prophecy part of which Ken mentions he does not believe “once saved always saved”.  I was both blessed with tears of joy at parts of Ken Peters’ prophetic word AND spurred on to understand whether the Rapture was a reward or given to us as an act of grace.

I believe it comes down to one verse:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV

Paul writes that those who are “in Christ” will be caught up or raptured. Is being “in Christ” something we earned or was it given to us by grace?

The answer can be found in Romans Chapter 8:

And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. - Romans 8:10-11 KJV

It is the Spirit of God within that seals and quickens us the day Jesus comes for His Bride.

Therefore, those who are born again of incorruptible seed are “in Christ”. It is by faith by an act of grace (Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8), not by works. The rapture is NOT an earned reward; it is given to us by grace. We are not worthy to escape by our works, but we are made worthy “in Christ” (again I refer you to Who are the Tribulation Saints? ).

What About the 10 Virgins Parable?

I agree with those who point to the fact that Jesus was addressing Israel when He spoke of the 10 virgins in Matthew Chapter 25.

First, let’s keep in mind that the Holy Spirit could only be upon God’s people before the Acts 2 day of Pentecost. Some teach this segment of Scripture and say that the foolish virgins did have some oil in their lamps to begin with. I am not going to argue one way or the other on this, but if they did have some oil, could this represent the Spirit upon them? Then the wise virgins who, according to these teachers, took extra oil would represent those of Israel who went on to accept Christ as their Lord and were filled with the Holy Spirit.

The foolish virgins outwardly looked righteous—they did bring their lamps after all. This is comparable to those today, whether Jew or Gentile, who attend church services but have never made Christ the Lord of their life!  Only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit will be able to go with the Bridegroom.

ALL WORKS are Judged

Even though I do believe “once saved always saved”, I am not going to be critical of the brethren who are warning born again Christians who are not living a holy lifestyle. Most of us forget that this life reflects on us in eternity! OUR SALVATION WILL NOT BE JUDGED, BUT OUR WORKS WILL BE JUDGED.

We ALL appear before Him at one point or another:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. . .

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. . .

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:10, 14, 15, 20 KJV

To better understand this, I went to a Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET:

receive--His reward of grace proportioned to "the things done," &c. ( 2Cr 9:6-92Jo 1:8 ). Though salvation be of grace purely, independent of works, the saved may have a greater or less reward, according as he lives to, and labors for, Christ more or less. Hence there is scope for the holy "ambition" (see on JF & B for 2Co 5:9Hbr 6:10 ). . . There shall be a searching judgment which shall sever the bad from the good, according to their respective, deeds, the motive of the deeds being taken into account. . .

be ye reconciled to God--English Version here inserts "ye," which is not in the original, and which gives the wrong impression, as if it were emphatic. . .let this reconciliation then have its designed effect. Be reconciled to God, that is, let God reconcile you to Himself2Cr 5:18, 19 ).
[Excerpts from  blb]

We see this separation of what we have done whether good or bad in 1 Corinthians:

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV

It is a person’s works that pass through the fire—not the person themselves. If the works are not of the Holy Spirit, they burn; but the person does not pass through fire:

As a builder whose building, not the foundation, is consumed by fire, escapes, but with the loss of his work [ALFORD] [Excerpt from blb commentary]

The motives of a person, even with the Holy Spirit residing within them, will be a determining factor regarding rewards but not their salvation.

“Not everyone who says Lord, Lord”

What about Matthew 7:21-23?

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. - Matthew 7:21-23 KJV

There will be those who say they did wonderful works in His name. It is possible to perform miracles by your own faith and not through faith in Jesus Christ--Chris Blackeby does an excellent teaching on this.

John Fenn relates that when Jesus replies, “I never knew you”, it means He NEVER knew them [I would add He never knew them experientially or intimately in any relationship]. They were NEVER born again.

I humbly submit this study and welcome any Scriptural correction. My goal was to bless those of you who are earnestly longing for His appearing and awaken those who have not made Christ the Lord of their lives; but ultimately my desire in writing this was to please My God and King!

Even so, come Christ Jesus, come!

2/24/20 NOTE:

Just read an informative article by Gary of related to the subject of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Here's an excerpt for your consideration:

While the question of what the oil in the parable represents is certainly meaningful, it may be a less practical pursuit then who the virgins are.  What we immediately find in Psalm 45 is that the bride and her virgin companions are separate entities.  The bride has already met the bridegroom before her companions do.  This would add weight to the position of the late Jack Kelley, who makes a clear case that the virgins have nothing to do with the rapture and everything to do with the Second Advent—those tasked with being faithful as they await Christ's physical return to earth. [From The Prophetic Pre-Trib Psalm of the Church: Parable of the Virgins]


John Freeman said...

You wrote "Though the corporate birth or Rapture of the Overcoming Church occurs before The Tribulation"

But Matt 24 says the elect are gathered after the tribulation

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Lyn Melvin said...

Thanks for commenting, John. In the Scriptures God refers to Israel and later those who are in Christ as His "elect". Each student of the Bible must study and determine for himself which elect Matthew 24 is referring to here. I have come to the conclusion that it refers to those of Israel who come to believe on the Messiah during The Tribulation. For more information, I recommend this article:

Also the Scriptures indicate that there are 3 types of wrath in the Book of Revelation:
1—The Dragon’s wrath (Revelation 12:12-13)
2—The Wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16)
3—The Winepress of the Wrath of God (Revelation 14:10, 19)

It is my hope and belief that the overcoming Church will escape all three for He has promised we are saved from the wrath to come (Romans 5:9); and a harmony of the Scriptures shows that the wrath of the dragon will be occurring simultaneously with the wrath of the Lamb. I humbly submit this for your consideration, brother.

ozark said...

Hi Lyn Beautiful post...thats the first time i ever heard anyone point out that satans fury and Gods Wrath work simultainiously! (spl. error )...interesting.Thank you for that. also i felt to bring to the table here from Romans: there is no condemnation for those "In Christ". . . . . Shalom sis*