Two mysteries are solved in this book, one in the Old Testament, and one in the New Testament.   The prophet Daniel was told that knowledge would be increased at the time of the end.  Most scholars believe the increase of knowledge relates to the advancing of modern technology.  It’s true that technology has increased, especially in the 21st century.  It’s also true that technology will play a large role at the time of the end, however; Daniel’s prophecy has nothing to do with modern technology.  This ancient mystery has now been solved, which has led to groundbreaking revelations that actually relate to the resurrection/rapture.
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The rapture has become a very controversial subject, even among Christians, and some don’t even believe it will happen.  The apostle Paul called it a profound mystery.  Christ’ disciples asked Him for the sign of His coming and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3).  Today many scholars don’t believe that Matthew 24 has anything to do with the rapture, but only the second coming.  Many other scholars believe it relates to both, the rapture and the second coming.  But what if both of those beliefs are incorrect?  Suppose that the sign of the Son of man in Matthew 24, when Christ sends His angels to gather His elect is only the rapture, and not His physical second coming to the earth.  That would change everything, right?  But wait, there’s more!
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The sign of the Son of man in Matthew 24 is only half of the problem.  The truth is that Matthew 24 is only half of Jesus’ answer to His disciples question concerning the sign of His coming and the end of the age.  In fact, the conclusion of His answer doesn’t come until the end of Matthew chapter 25.  You can easily verify this if you have a red letter edition Bible, but if not; Matthew 26:1 explicitly states that He had finished answering these things.  You see, the trouble is that most scholars have concluded their study at the end of Matthew 24, because they don’t want to get tangled up in Jesus’ parables.  So they simply ignore the second half of His answer, and this has been happening for almost 2000 years now.  No wonder the rapture has become so controversial and confusing for so many!  This is like throwing the baby out with the bath-water, because most of the clues He gave us are hidden in these parables.  So wouldn’t it be logical to allow these parables to settle the question of whether we are dealing with the rapture or the second coming?  Let’s do a quick overview of these parables.
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First we see the sign of the Son of man appear in heaven.  He is coming in the clouds, and then He sends His angels with a great sound of a trumpet to gather His elect.  The first clue He gave us is the parable of the fig tree, so that we may know which generation will see His coming, but then He said that we won’t know when He is coming.  So He warned that we must be ready, because His coming will be like it was in the days of Noah.  And from this point it starts to get very interesting, as He added something new into this picture.  “Then two will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken and the other left.”  And then He commanded us to watch, for we do not know what hour our Lord will come.  He then finished chapter 24 by telling a parable about the faithful and unfaithful servants.  This is only a brief thumb-nail outline, so I’ll leave the interpretations for the book.
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Modern translators have divided up God’s Word into chapters and numbered the verses of scripture in order to make the Bible easier to study.  But we should take care and understand that Christ was not yet finished answering His disciples question about the sign of His coming and the end of the age.  His answer continued through chapter 25 with two more parables.  Before I discuss chapter 25, though, let’s briefly summarize the end of chapter 24.  At the end of chapter 24 it appeared that only half of His servants would be ready when the Son of man appears.  One will be taken, the other left…a faithful servant, and an unfaithful servant.  Now we continue reading His answer in chapter 25 as we come to the parable of ten virgins.  Five of them were wise and five were foolish, which also seems to confirm that only half of His servants will be ready.  Finally, He tells them the parable of talents, where He returns to reward His faithful servants.  All of these parables relate to the rapture, not the second coming, which doesn’t even come into view until the end of this final parable.
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The Bible says that history repeats and that God will call the past to account (Eccl. 1:9, 3:15).  Pardon my French, but this kind of seems like deja vu in a way, because the Jews were not ready when Christ came in the first century, and very few were able to recognize and receive Him.  And now we know He is coming again, and He has warned His followers to be ready next time.  Most believers today believe they are ready because they have received Christ as their Savior, but we’re not going to be rewarded for what Christ did on the cross.  We are going to be judged for the works we’ve done since we received Him (2 Cor. 5:10).  I believe many are headed for a rude awakening and don’t even know it.  Many are being taught that they will be out of harm’s way before anything bad happens, like they can just ignore the signs of His coming.  But Christ did not give us these signs so we wouldn’t know, but rather, so we would know when His coming is near, right at the door.
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I’m sure I’ll have my fair share of critics, but scripture carries a lot more weight than mere assumptions and misconceptions, and my book contains over 200 passages of scripture to back what I’m saying.  So be warned, there will be no secret rapture before the tribulation; and Christ did not fail to mention the rapture in His answer.   He laid it all out so beautifully and nothing was hidden, except for the clues He left for us in His parables.  We can plainly see both the rapture and second coming if we simply read His entire answer, instead of just the first half.  You can easily verify this as well.  Verse (31) is the key verse in both chapters.  Matthew 24:31 is the sign of His coming (rapture); and Matthew 25:31 is the second coming at the end of the age, when He will return to judge the nations (Armageddon).  However, according to (1 Pet. 4:17-18), He cannot judge the nations until He first judges the House of God.  In fact, Revelation 11:18 provides a glimpse of all of these judgments, but they won’t happen on the same day.  Those who are ready will attend the wedding supper (Luke 12:35-48), while those who are not ready will enter into the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10).  And just as He said, those days of tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the elect, otherwise no flesh would be saved (rescued, rapture).
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1 Peter 4:17-18 (KJV) – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
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Revelation 11:18 (KJV) –  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
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Notice that those who destroy the earth are judged last.  These are the goats from the nations, including the beast and false prophet, the kings and their armies that gather against Jerusalem, and everyone that takes the mark of the beast.  But before He judges the nations (sheep & goats), He must first judge His servants great and small.  And this is precisely what we see, beginning with the gathering of His elect, and continuing through all of the parables that precede the judgment of the nations.  The gathering of the elect and the second coming are two separate events, and God will withhold His wrath until the last martyr is killed (Rev. 6:9-11).
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2 Timothy 4:1 (KJV) – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom(emphasis added)
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His appearing is the rapture, and His kingdom is the judgment of nations at the second coming.  Get ready, He’s bringing our reward with Him when He comes!   Those who are ready will escape the hour of trial or temptation (Rev. 3:10-11).  Believers who are not ready will either be killed by the beast (Rev. 13:7) if they have enough faith; or they will have to try to survive until the second coming (sheep).  Those who are ready, along with the martyrs who were not, are the saints that will return with Christ in glorified bodies to rule over the sheep who survive, which will remain in their mortal bodies in the millennial kingdom.
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Revelation 22:12 (KJV) – And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
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All of this confusion is kind of funny in a way.  Some believers think they will be raptured, some think they will be martyred, and still others believe they will be protected until the second coming.  The question is: which of these scenarios is correct?
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Answer: All of the above, depending on the believer’s reward when the Lord returns.
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One final note: for those who may think this is just another salvation by works message.  Please get it right and understand.  This is not about salvation by works, but rather, reward by works, which lines up perfectly with the scriptures.  Not to mention that all three types of believer I discussed here are saved, so salvation is not the issue.  Even though the works (reward) of some will be burned up, they will still be saved, yet only like one running through the flames (1 Cor. 3:15).  Salvation begins when we first accept Christ, but our rewards will be given when He returns.  There are three different types of reward for believers.
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2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV) – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
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Many assume or have been taught that the entire Church will be raptured and then judged in the clouds, but I would not bank on that assumption.  If that were true, then no believer would have to be left, not to mention that it would also nullify the need for God to wait on the last martyr to be killed.  Remember, God’s ways are much higher than ours.  In this world, men are required to go to court to make an appearance before a man who will render his judgment; but that will not be necessary for the Supreme Judge of all creation.  He is already seated on His throne, and nothing we say or do on this earth is hidden from Him (Heb. 4:13; Rev. 2:2, 9, 13, 19; Rev. 3:1, 8, 15).  He already has all of the facts recorded in the books, and will not waste time listening to excuses or lies and no deals will be made.  If He said He is coming quickly, and that our reward is with Him, that settles the matter for me.  It’s an open and shut case, or at least it will be when He appears!  Now, are you ready to understand what Jesus really meant, when He warned that we must be ready in His parables?

 


Robert Hunt’s book is published through Tate Publishing, a mainline publishing house dedicated to working with aspiring authors and giving their book its best chance in the marketplace.  If you’ve ever thought about publishing a book, you should visit Tate Publishing.