The Great Battle For The Rapture
by Joseph Chambers
A great battle for the Rapture is raging. The master of this battle is Satan because he stands to suffer his greatest defeat when the Rapture occurs. Remember, how Satan defiled the first woman in the garden and has attacked the seed of woman every moment since that occasion. The Father God declared this continuing battle in His first Messianic statement. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15).
Womanhood and her purity have been at the center of every great conflict since the Garden of Eden. Our Father had to miraculously deliver Sarah from the Egyptian Pharaoh because of Abraham’s unbelief. If Sarah had been defiled, the godly seed of the coming Christ would have been destroyed. Twice, our Father reached into the Gentile world to redeem a Gentile woman and to purify her that the seed of woman might continue undefiled all the way to Calvary.
The last seed of woman is prophetically pictured in Revelation chapter twelve. There is a great debate over this prophecy but the whole Bible has prepared us to interpret this simple truth. The sun-clothed woman is a visible picture of the church, both First and Second Testament, and the man-child is that final seed of woman, which is caught up to God and His throne. There was a church within the Nation of Israel. Luke wrote about this church in the wilderness. “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (Acts 7:38). The Second Testament church has had its visible form for nearly two thousand years.
In both Testaments there has been nurtured within the visible church an invisible company of the Godly seed. This company of saints does not love this world or its fashions. Whatever the world is doing, this Godly seed is doing the opposite. The world can scorn this man-child, but this godly seed will only shine the brighter and witness the louder. This crowd of saints cannot be bought because they are already purchased. The hatred of Satan for the true seed of woman will never diminish for all eternity. Even after the Rapture, the Antichrist, empowered by Satan, will stand on the earth and blaspheme toward the heavens where the raptured saints have been removed. “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Revelation 13:6). No wonder there is such a battle for the Rapture.
Satan Standing Before the Church
The devil, Lucifer or Satan, has stood before the sun-clothed woman throughout her existence. He hates every expression of godliness and separation. Holiness is the antithesis to the false. The one religious expression that Satan cannot imitate is purity or Biblical Holiness. He will promote his own prayer plan, his own worship, and his own music; but every time the element that is rendered unnecessary will be holiness. Look at the prayers, music, or worship at a religious rock event and the entire picture will be anything but pure and sensible in both action, dress, and beauty. The whole affair has the air of uncontrolled emotion and wild conduct. Unsaved, but moral people can discern this better than our modern church world. The visible sun-clothed woman has been defiled, but she still bears an invisible company ready to be “caught up.”
Let’s view this in Scripture. She is called a ‘wonder’ because of her contradictions. She is visibly defiled, but has within her great body an undefiled people that long to be delivered. I hear this cry almost every day, “My church has gone the way of Hagin, Pensacola, Toronto, the ‘God Chasers,’ etc., but I am going to be faithful to the Holy Word and my Lord.” There is a great remnant that is searching for a true worship and a faithful pastor, but are often disappointed. The sun-clothed woman has broken the hearts of a multitude by her backsliding and compromise. But, soon, very soon, the faithful will be “caught up.”
Now, let’s look at this prophetic picture - “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:1-5).
Let’s Look at Several Aspects of This Text:
Even This Woman is Pained to Be Delivered of Her “Uncomfortable” Child - The “Pensacola and Toronto” crowd have shouted from their pulpits to the resistance within, “Leave, get out, get out of our way, quit resisting this new thing” and have driven thousands out of their own churches. The Hagins, Copelands, Hinns, and the whole New Wave deception have taken over thousands of churches and forced the “Godly people” to flee in mass. The “Willow Creek Model,” the “rock music bands,” and an entire list of strange religious fads have stolen the church from tens of thousands of very dedicated and hungry souls. (The Prayer of Jabez is the latest.) The modern sun-clothed woman hates the Rapture-Ready crowd and is “pained” to be delivered of us. She will soon get her heart’s desire. We will be gone.
Her “Child” Will Be Caught Up - There is no question, but that the “man-child” is the raptured saints. The only alternative that I have ever read or heard is that this “man-child” is an historic intrusion at this point representing Jesus Christ’s ascension. Let’s look at the words used to describe this event. The Word says, “And her child was ‘caught up’ (harpazo) unto God and to His throne.” (Revelation 12:5). The exact word in the original is “harpazo” which was used in I Thessalonians by Apostle Paul for the church. Please hear his words by the Holy Ghost, “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 4:17).
The Scripture never says that Jesus was “caught up,” but that He was “carried up” or “taken up.” The risen Son of God ascended of His own power. We read in Acts, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9). The word used clearly indicates that he ascended of His own authority and power. The Earth had no hold on Him. He is clearly the risen, glorified Son of God and He ascended back to His Father.
The word “caught up” (harpazo) is a powerful Greek word that indicates several wonderful ideas. It means, “to seize, catch (away up), pluck, pull” or “take by force.” The idea of “removing from impending danger” is clearly evident. These words “caught up” cannot apply to Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord in any possible way. The Holy Ghost does not make that kind of mistake in Biblical language.
The picture of our present day church world gives an exact situation for the Lord’s intended message. The “man-child” is a pain to the church, not even considering the world and Satan. If the church hates the “rapture ready” remnant, how much more are they hated by the godless world and the hordes of evil spirits operating under Satan’s command. It is easy to see the indication of our removal from impending danger. We will be suddenly without warning and, while the world thinks to change us or destroy us, “caught up” to His throne and delivered from the “rapture hating” crowds. The Lord Jesus chose the perfect word.
Satan Hates The Rapture Truth - This text portrays Satan as actually standing before the visible church, “to devour her child as soon as he was born.” Why does Satan hate the “man-child” and the birth of this “man-child” so totally? Again, we return to the text in Genesis and the conflict between Satan and the seed of woman. This struggle is approximately six thousand years old. Satan has made life a battle for every victory of woman’s Godly seed. From Adam to Jesus Christ the Godly seed was victorious only by pain and sorrows. From Calvary to the present the “seed of Jesus Christ” has won only by prevail and death to self. Finally, the Godly seed of women is at the moment of Her greatest triumph. This seed has been faithful and victorious in spite of Satan’s continuance fury. Both the dead and the living have won the victory. The whole creation is groaning and travailing for deliverance.
The Holy Ghost has said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:18-23).
The devil will never concede one battle. Every victory we win will be by the triumph of our King of Kings. As this battles reaches its zenith and the devil stands posed to devour, the Holy Ghost reaches into the very jaws of the evil one and the “overcoming saints” are “caught up” to the throne. The victorious ones will have won their greatest victory. Satan is left to blaspheme and rage, but we are forever out of his reach. He can never accuse us again.
This Sun-Clothed Woman Cannot Be the Nation of Israel - The prevailing view among many Bible Expositors is that the sun-clothed woman is Israel. There are several reasons this interpretation fails. Israel will not be saved until the end of the seven years of Great Tribulation. Yet, we have the remnant of this woman that misses the rapture winning every victory against Satan by the blood of Jesus Christ. Look at two verses, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11). “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17). There is no possible way these two verses represent the Nation of Israel during the seven years of the Great Tribulation.
Second, the Jewish nation was never promised to rule the nations with a “rod of iron.” That has been an exclusive promise to the church (overcoming saints) throughout Holy Scripture. This “man-child” is clearly given that promise. “And she brought forth a man-child who was to rule all nations.” (Revelation 12:5). The church is going to judge the nations and be kings and priests for one thousand years. Israel will be her own nation in the Promise Land as promised to Abraham. She will be the most glorious nation on the earth, but will not be Christ’s king and priest of the nations of the earth.
Third, this great prophecy is a future prophecy and cannot be confused with the historic past. When Satan is first seen in verse three, the description of him is clothed in his future role. He has “seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads.” (Revelation 12:3). This is clearly a position of world power and rule over the Antichrist kingdom that the Bible reserves for this last earthly period. The statement to John in the beginning of chapter four establishes the rules for interpretation. The Lord said to John, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1). From Revelation 4:1 to Revelation 22:21 future prophecy is not to be confused with the historic past.
The Remnant Of The Sun-Clothed Woman
Most of today’s church world has adopted a very soft opinion of the Rapture. This was not true in the past. Whether reading writings of Hudson Taylor, Joseph Seiss, G. H. Lang, or many other great saints and writers, their theology demanded holiness and clean living (separated from all compromise and worldliness) for the Rapture saints. According to the past greats, much of the church world was clearly unprepared to be a part of the “Rapture Remnant.” I believe they were right. The saddest day of human history will be the day after the Rapture. Multitudes of lukewarm, indifferent, worldly, and slothful church leaders and members are going to miss the Rapture. They will be this crowd that Satan turns in his fury to persecute and slaughter. With the Rapture victory won by the ready saints and lost by Satan, his anger will be indescribable.
When you view this picture of the remnant of the church world fleeing into a wilderness for three and one-half years, it fits perfectly with the Tribulation Saints seen in several passages. They will be martyred, as seen in the following verses, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:9-11). Do not forget that Revelation chapter 4 and Revelation chapter 12 are the same Rapture event pictured twice. The first picture is from a heavenly view and the second view is from the earth. Each view is followed by a different picture of the same seven years of the Great Tribulation. The great company of Tribulation saints in Revelation seven is the result of those who overcame Satan by the “Blood of the Lamb.” “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11).
Satan Will Lose His Kingdom
Satan has been the “god of this world” for nearly six thousand years. His love to be worshipped and obeyed has been intoxicating. He guards his domain with evil dedication and uses his host of fallen angels (demons) to demand his will. He knows that when the Rapture occurs, it is the beginning of the end. The very “man-child” that he stands over to devour will be the Lord’s kings and priests who will become the rulers of this world. We are going to take over Satan’s previous domain. No wonder there is such a hatred for the Rapture. It is a battle to the end.
Millions of believers have been “caught up” in today’s compromise, religious fads, and false teachings about Post-Millennialism and Kingdom Dominion doctrines. The faithful that have refused the watered down standards, the new fads, and doctrines will soon be gone. It is either to be “caught up” in the false or to be “caught up” to meet Him in the air.
The Bible is a plain book. All anyone needs to do is to take the Bible literally. You cannot take the “Hope of the Rapture” literally if you do not take the “laws of righteousness” literally. The saints of every great revival have been holiness men and women. Whether it was Dwight L. Moody, Hudson Taylor, or any of the fundamental ministers, they preached holiness and godly separation. The compromisers call this standard “legalism.” To a few it may be, but to the pure of heart, it is obedience.
You must decide if you want to be one of the “man-child” remnant “caught up” to meet the Lord or one of the crowd left to flee into the wilderness.
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