You-a True Believer?


 

 

 Who is A True Believer?


Note:  I wanted to get a better handle on just who will qualify to become a “raptured saint”.  As I was digging into my computer library for that answer I found the excerpts which I placed into my word processor. I thought that they may be of interest to others of you that I hope to reach with new information. I have not organized these excerpts, only copied them for my use.  I hope this blesses you as it has me.—Bob Speed


Excerpts from Finis Dakes’
“Revelation Expounded”

       How many real “born again” Christians are there of these professed followers of Christ? If true facts were known, the percentage would be small, for “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,” Mt. 7:21. One must be “born again” and made a “new creature” in Christ and live a consistent life of holiness before he can call himself a true follower of Christ, or a “Christian,” Jn. 3:1-8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 12:1; Heb. 12:14; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 3:8-10.—Revelation Expounded Ch 42-18C
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Matt 7:
21 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. 22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


 Notes for 7:21
Some self-professed athletes can "talk" a great game, but that tells you nothing about their athletic skills. And not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God's kingdom. Jesus is more concerned about our walk than our talk. He wants us to do right, not just say the right words. Your house (which represents your life, Mat 7:24) will withstand the storms of life only if you do what is right instead of just talking about it. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.
 
7:21-23 Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with him. On "that day" (the day of judgment), only our relationship with Christ — our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him — will matter. Many people think that if they are "good" people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life. In reality, faith in Christ is what will count at the judgment.
Notes for 7:22
"That day" is the final day of reckoning when God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith.
—Life Application Bible Notes

Purpose of the Rapture

The purpose of the rapture is to take all the saints out of the world before the tribulation comes and to resurrect the just who are dead, in order that they may have fulfilled in them, the purpose for which God has saved them. Jesus told the disciples that some would escape the terrible things that were to transpire on the earth in the last days. He said, “Pray that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things (of Mt. 24-25; Lk. 21:1-19, 25-28) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man,” Lk. 21:34-36. This passage is practically the same in essence as Jn. 14:1-3.


These two passages are the only ones in the Gospels that are clear concerning the rapture. Jesus did not reveal this mystery. It was revealed by Paul many years later, 1 Cor. 15:51. The disciples did not have the slightest idea as to how they were to escape, unless they thought that Christ would deliver them from these things through His power. The “how” was not revealed or even mentioned before Paul explained how they were to escape. Now in the light of the mystery revealed we can see that the rapture is what Christ had in mind when He spoke of some being worthy to escape these things. The Thessalonians were taught that they could expect the living to be taken out of the world, but some were confused as to whether the dead believers would have a part in the rapture, so Paul explained in his first epistle that both the living and the dead would be caught up to meet Christ in the air, 1 Thess. 4:13-18. In this passage we have the purpose of the rapture expressed “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” It is to enable the saints to escape the tribulation days and serve God in all eternity in whatsoever capacity He chooses.


This rapture is the first of a series of raptures that will take place during the first resurrection. Besides this rapture there will be the rapture of the manchild (Rev. 7:1-3; 12:5; 14:1-5), the rapture of the great multitude of tribulation saints (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 15:2-4; 20:4), and the rapture of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-13). The teaching of more than one rapture is not only required and stated in the above passages, but necessary to make clear what Paul meant when he said, “every man in his own order,” 1 Cor. 15:20-23. The Greek for “order” is tagma and occurs only here. It is used in the Septuagint of a body of soldiers and an army, Num. 2:2; 2 Sam. 23:13. It means a company or body of individuals. In order for every man to be raptured “in his own order” or company there must be different companies of redeemed people saved and raptured at different periods. (See point three, Chapter Nine for the four different redeemed companies).
—Revelation Expounded

The purpose of the rapture may be summed up as follows:


1.   To receive the saints to Himself, Jn. 14:1-3; Eph. 5:27; 2 Thess 2:1.
2.   To resurrect the dead “in Christ” from among the wicked dead, 1 Cor. 15:21-23, 51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; Phil. 3:11, 20-21; Rev. 20:4-6.
3.   To take the saints to heaven where they will receive judgment for works done in the body; receive their rewards; and partake of the marriage supper, Jn. 14:1-3; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19:1-11.
4.   To change the bodies of saints to immortality, 1 Cor. 15:21-23, 51-58; Phil. 3:20-21.
5.   To present the saints before God the Father, to be forever with Him, 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:13-17.
6.   To make the saints “whole” in body, soul, and spirit, 1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23. The Greek word translated “unto” in 1 Thess. 5:23 should have been translated “at” to make the passage clear, as it is translated in 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13.
7.   To receive the fruit of the early and latter rain, Jas. 5:7.
8.   To cause the saints to escape the tribulation and “all these things,” and stand before the Son of man, Lk. 21:34-36; 2 Thess. 2:7-8; Rev. 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:9.
9.   To remove the hinderer of lawlessness, 2 Thess. 2:1-8.
10.  To permit the revelation of the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:1-8.


III.  Qualifications for Partakers in the Rapture


The qualifications for partakers in the rapture are also revealed in the above Scriptures. The one and only necessary requirement, whether dead or alive, is to be “in Christ,” 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 15:23. This qualification is expressed in a ninefold way in Scriptures; one must


1.   Be “Christ's,” 1 Cor. 15:23; Gal. 5:24.
2.   Be “in Christ,” 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:17.
3.   Be “blessed and holy,” Rev. 20:4-6.
4.   “Have done good,” Jn. 5:28-29.
5.   Be in “the way, the truth, and the life,” Jn. 14:1-6.
6.   Be “worthy,” Lk. 21:34-36.
7.   Be in “the church” or “body of Christ,” Eph. 5:27; 1 Cor. 12:13. The body of Christ and the Church are the same, Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24.
8.   Purify “himself, even as he is pure,” 1 Jn. 3:2-3; 2 Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:16-24; Heb. 12:14.
9.   Be without “spot or wrinkle . . . and without blemish,” Eph. 5:27.


If one has met these scriptural qualifications, what could he do more? This implies that a person going up in the rapture is walking “in the light as he is in the light,” 1 Jn. 1:7; 2:6, 9-11; 3:8-10; 5:4, 18. Being “in Christ” means that one is a “new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,” 2 Cor. 5:17-18. Again, “They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh (of Gal. 5:19-21) with the affections and lusts,” Gal. 5:24. What more qualification could God require? It will be noticed that these nine points on qualifications are quoted from Scriptures definitely dealing with the rapture of the Church. If there were other, or more definite and important qualifications, they would have been stated in the passages on the rapture in the place of these that are given. We conclude that it is not receiving other experiences, whatever they may be, or however scriptural they may be, that qualifies one to go up in the rapture, but it is the maintenance of a holy walk in “Christ” at the time of the rapture or at the time of death as the case may be.
      Why should some be protected and others have to go through the tribulation and be martyred? This is easily answered when we consider that at the rapture every one in Christ is taken up and there are no real Christians left. Those who are martyred in the tribulation are those who have refused to walk in the light and live “in Christ” and are not ready to go at the time of the rapture, else they would go as well as all others in Christ. They are saved after the rapture, having realized by then their mistake of not heeding the many warnings to be ready at any time. They will become determined to be faithful even unto death, which will be their only prospect of having a part in the first resurrection. Those who are not martyred but are taken through the tribulation and are on earth at the second coming of Christ will be permitted to enter the Millennium as an earthly people, who will make part of the subjects of Christ's kingdom over whom the raptured saints will reign forever.

Rapture


Never are the words “church” or “churches” mentioned in the book after Rev. 3:22 except in the conclusion after the revelation of the “things which must be after the churches,” Rev. 22:6-21. If the Church were to be on earth during the Week, it surely would have been mentioned in some connection. The words are used nineteen times in Rev. 1-3. Why the continued use in these chapters and not once afterwards if the Church is to be still on the earth?


The enthroned elders are representative of the raptured saints and they are always seen in heaven after Rev. 4:1


The 144,000 of Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5 are Jewish.


The tribulation will primarily concern Israel, and, as it will last throughout Rev. 6-19, Israel is the one dealt with in these chapters.


The “great multitude” of Rev. 7:9-17; 15:2-4 and the 144,000 of Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5 are the only companies of redeemed seen on earth during the whole of Rev. 6-19. It is clear that they are not the Church, and, since the Church is not seen except as represented by the elders in heaven, it is sure to be raptured before the fulfillment of these chapters.


The woman and the manchild are Jewish, as will be proven in chapters 16-18.
The remnant (Rev. 12:17) is Jewish.


The Battle of Armageddon and the second advent (Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21) are not for the deliverance of the Church but of Israel, as seen in Chapter Thirty-Nine.
There is no other place in Revelation for the rapture of the Church and the Old Testament saints than in Rev. 4:1. The manchild is the only company of saints raptured from the beginning to the middle of the Week, and that company is not the Church, as we shall see. The only other company of saints which is to be caught up during the Week is that of the great multitude which will be martyred during the Week. That could never be the Church. Therefore, the Church is either caught up in Rev. 4:1 or is never seen in the Revelation as to its rapture. If it were to be caught up during the Week surely it would have been mentioned in some connection in chapters 6-19 which deal with this Week.


In Lk. 21:34-36 we have the promise of Jesus that some will be “accounted worthy to escape all these things (pictured in Mt. 24:4-26; Lk. 21:5-19) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Who can be these worthy ones referred to, if not the living saints who are on earth just before these things are about to come to pass? The 144,000 Jews and the great multitude cannot be the ones referred to, for they are saved and raptured after the rapture of the Church, as proven later. If the living believers who are on earth just before these things transpire are to go through them and undergo the judgments of the Seventieth Week this is a false hope.


In 2 Thess. 2:6-8 we have conclusive proof that the Church will be raptured preceding the Week and before the revelation of the Antichrist at the beginning of the Week. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time . . . only he who now letteth (hindereth, Isa. 43:13; Rom. 1:13), will let (hinder) until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that wicked be revealed” and not before.


What besides governments, the Church, and the Holy Spirit is hindering the powers of darkness from having full sway, thus preventing the revelation of the Antichrist? There is nothing, so this hindrance must be one of these. Governments will be more in evidence during the coming strict reign of Antichrist than now, yet it will not hinder the revelation of Antichrist. The Spirit will not be withdrawn during the tribulation and after the rapture as is shown in Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21; Zech. 12:10; Jn. 14:16; Rev. 7:9-17; etc. (Note the tribulation setting and context of these passages.) Rev. 7:9-17 proves that multitudes will be saved during the tribulation, and we maintain that no man ever has been or will be saved except through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. John 3:5-8; 16:7-11; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 2:18; 1 Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:5; etc. Acts 2:16-21 proves an outpouring of the Spirit during the tribulation. Since governments and the Holy Spirit remain here during the tribulation, it follows by the logic of elimination that the Church is the hindrance referred to. That hindrance will be withdrawn for the simple reason that the Church, including every person born of the Spirit, is raptured. Then the Antichrist will be revealed.


The tribulation on earth will not affect the Spirit, so why should He go and leave the saints here who will be in desperate need of Him? How could they withstand these things and how could others be saved? After the rapture of all true believers, the Spirit who remains will save multitudes but He will not hinder the powers of darkness from carrying out their purpose in the fulfillment of prophecy. The pronoun “he” in this passage can refer to the Church as well as the Spirit, for the Church is spoken of as a “man” in Eph. 2:15; 4:13. The Church can be called a “man” because it is the body of Christ, who is a man, 1 Cor. 12:12-13, 27; Eph. 1:20-23; 2:14-22; 4:12-16; Col. 1:18-24; etc. Therefore, in view of the fact that the Holy Spirit is not taken out of the world, that the Church is called a “man” and can be referred to in the masculine gender, and since it has been proven that the Church will be raptured or taken out of the world, we conclude that “he who hindereth” and “is taken out of the way” is the Church and not the Holy Spirit.
It is clear from this passage that the Antichrist cannot possibly be revealed until after the Church is taken out of the way. Now comes the question of whether the Antichrist will be revealed at the beginning or at the middle of the Week. If it can be proven that he will be revealed at the beginning instead of the middle of the Week, then it can also be proven that the Church is raptured before the beginning and not in the middle of the Week as the manchild. The following points prove that he is revealed at the beginning of the Week:


(1) In Dan. 9:27 we have one indisputable argument that he is revealed at the beginning of the Week, for he makes a covenant for seven years with Israel and not for three and one-half years. The breaking of the covenant in the middle of the Week is not a revelation of him on the scene of action, but an unfolding of what he is to do in the middle of the Week, three and one-half years after his revelation. This passage gives the only scriptural marks by which we may know who the Antichrist is and when he is revealed.
(2) The white horse rider of Rev. 6:1-2; the “little horn” of Dan. 7:8-11, 20-26; 8:23-25; and the wilful “king” of Dan. 11:35-45 are identical and show the rise of the Antichrist out of the ten kingdoms of Revised Rome at the beginning of the Week and before the seals and trumpets of the first three and one-half years of the Week. He will conquer three of these ten kings and gain the others in the middle of the Week when he is seen under the seventh trumpet coming out of the sea with the ten kings under his control, Rev. 13:1-8. Since the Church escapes the seals, trumpets, and vials and is taken before the revelation of the Antichrist, and as he is revealed at the beginning of the Week, the Church must be raptured before the beginning of the Week.
—Revelation Expounded

 


 

 



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