Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Revised Standard (NASB), 1960, 1962, 1963, 1971, 1973 by the Lockman Foundation, are used by permission. Into Thin Air – The Rapture Untamed ISBN: In application process Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2012 by Dr. Stephen R. Phinney IOM America P.O. Box 71 Sterling, Kansas 67579 (602) 292-2985 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Phinney, Stephen Ray Into Thin Air - The Rapture Untamed /by Dr. Stephen R. Phinney. In application process. 2012 IOM America Publishing Transformational Biblical Worldview & Exchanged Life Development Sterling Kansas
into The Rapture Untamed
STEPHEN R. PHINNEY
TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: Then and Now
CHAPTER 2: Our Hope
CHAPTER 3: The Shroud of Secrecy
CHAPTER 4: Twinkle, Twinkle
CHAPTER 5: Complete Disappearance
CHAPTER 6: Looking Into the Future of Those Left Behind
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, ÂŠ Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Chapter One The Rapture: Then and Now Turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” This will be the darkest hour of humanity and most likely for the history of the entire world – that is, if you are not saved. The Word tells the true indwelt Christians that this hour will be our finest hour, that of the Second Coming of our Husband, Jesus Christ. As all true believers understand, Jesus came the first time to bring peace and to reveal the graceful demeanor of our living God. He also came the first time to prove Himself to be the Son of God – which is the first order of belief in order to be saved. He did this by healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, restoring the sight to the blind, giving hearing to the deaf, and demonstrating many other acts of God that permanently placed Him in continuous history. Why? So that in His Second Coming, we would not resist Christ delivering the most horrid day to all unbelievers. He clearly left a sinful world who hated Him, in order to return to deal with the hatred that remains for Him. In His Second Coming, even many true Christians are going to be a bit surprised – for it will be much different from His first coming. Before He can unleash the Father’s wrath upon all those who have insulted or harmed His Son’s Bride, He must remove the Bride. In Hebrew law and custom, women were (and still are) banded from seeing the wrath of their husbands. Thus, women of old would turn their heads from observing the anger displayed by their men. So it will be in the Day of Wrath. Christ must come to remove His Bride before He displays the wrath of His Father. This one single Hebrew custom, ordained by God, is the living proof of the reality of the Rapture. Paul said: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven.” All who are in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and for certain, be with the Lord forever – once and for all. Paul said that we will be “caught up in the clouds,” to join the Lord, who will be in the air. This is the truest definition of the word Rapture. Rapture comes from the root word “rape” - to rip away. When Christ comes to Rapture us, He is ripping us away from this earth in a sudden moment. The remaining ones left behind will be left to their own vices. The reason why the world is doing as well as it is today is because of the Bride of Christ (Christians) being on this earth. The world lives off of our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). These qualities are a result of 2
the Holy Spirit living within us. Once we are raptured away from this earth, these qualities found in the earth today will be gone. Not only does He take His Bride away from seeing this horrid day, but the Holy Spirit parts with us. What is left? Nothing but fruit unto death (Romans 7:5)! One of the biggest controversies bouncing around in the heads of emergent theologians is, “The Bible doesn’t use the term Rapture.” Before some of my readers get their dander up, I will say this – they are right. The term Rapture did not come into play until the Latin language was developed. Before Latin, the term used was “caught up.” John 14:3 says: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” So if you get all bunched up over the Latin word Rapture, in the end, it won’t make a bit of difference. I have been insulted for the entire 40 years of my Salvation by people who fight the truth about the Rapture because they can’t find the word in the Bible. I won’t bore you with the hundreds of words Christians use in our modern language that aren’t found in the Holy Bible, but still commit themselves to believe in the principle connected to their words of choice. The fact remains that the Scriptures support many of the words we have become fond of in defining principles of the Word. An example is one of my favorites – the Exchanged Life. The Truth of a particular doctrine can be brought forward throughout the Scriptures and yet some weak-minded people, blinded by traditions and dictionaries of men, will come along and say it is not in the Bible. How foolish is that? Many people demand that all proclamations must be outlined and defined by words found in human dictionaries, rather than focusing on what the Scriptures are saying consistently throughout the Word. Some of you know my beliefs on quoting men and books like they are some kind of source that can be trusted because they gives reference and backing to our Biblical claims. Isn’t that a bit backwards? Should we not use the Bible as our reference point and review works of man for what they are – works of man? Even in the words that I am writing now, you should only review them as my words, hopefully backed by the Word of God. So how do you know if what I am saying is right and true? Read your Bible! There are presently 3,200 different Christian denominations in the world today and millions of ministries proclaiming the Word of Truth, each having their own “bent” on what Jesus told us to go and do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:19). What this means for most of the ministries I work with is much different than that of the ministry I represent – Grace Fellowship International. Some get people saved through a prayer and others by way of discipling them unto Salvation. Which ministry is doing it the right way? It is not for us to determine – it is only Christ Jesus who can make this judgment. Just as the body has many members and parts, so does 3
the Body of Christ. God will use a donkey if He pleases. Each true ministry/church of Jesus Christ is to accomplish the same mission (hopefully) commanded by the Head, Jesus. What does all this have to do with the Rapture? God gave us the Word to give us the Way, Truth, and Life unto Salvation - ultimately to be with Him in glory. The Rapture is the final act of Christ Jesus for us. The doctrines of the Rapture are certainly taught in the Bible for this very reason. If the Lord told Paul, and others, that we will be “caught up” with Him in the “twinkle of an eye,” then who am I to question it? I am not fond of being trapped by words of man in order to believe the Words of the Father. I hope the same for you as well. The Lord gave us several events connected to the principle of the Rapture. First of all, the Lord Himself descends from Heaven. He is the key player in this biblical scene. Any bride yearns for the day to be caught up in the arms of her husband. So is the case with the Bride of Christ. This is our day of longing. The full Bride will be pulled together as one unit for one single purpose – the Wedding Feast. Yes, that means we will see Him face-to-face, in person, in real skin, and in real time. Next, all the dead in Christ Jesus will be raised. Let’s look at verse 16 of our passage: “The dead in Christ will rise first.” Can you imagine this? It is almost too much for my little brain to comprehend. This is not a “maybe” or “might” but rather a WILL, an affirmative action of the great Theologian Himself – God. This sets us up for the second resurrection; the first being that of Christ Jesus. All of those who are truly born-again, have been crucified, buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom. 6:3-7) at the time of the first resurrection. The Rapture will be an outward demonstration of our co-resurrection. All who have died in Christ Jesus will be caught up with Him and the first resurrection. As you read the Word, keep in mind that there are conditionally two resurrections – one by those in Christ Jesus and the second taking place after the Rapture and the thousand year reign. “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:5-6). Confusing? Not really! The Word makes it clear that there will be a generation of Christians who will go to heaven without dying an earthly death. It’s true. Yes, Christians during this hour will be taken up right out of their shoes. If you remember, God gave us two examples of this type of Rapture in the Old Testament; one being Elijah and the other being Enoch. Enoch walked with God 365 years before God took him – right out of his robe. He experienced no death - at least at that time. Elijah was a 4
Tishbite in ministry to the Lord and he, too, was taken in the blink of an eye – caught up into the heavens. How did he depart? He stepped into that flaming chariot and the rest is continuous history. These two men must experience earthly death as all humans must – even Jesus. These two prophets come back in the end-times and become the two final prophets who will lie dead in the street for 3 ½ days. What we can gain from these Old Testament stories is God is capable of conducting Rapture! One of the questions I get asked most frequently is: What will the conditions be when this Rapture happens? Before this great event, the world will be so filled with hatred for the Bride of Christ (Christians) that persecution will be running wild. At the peak of this horrid persecution is what releases Christ to come. After He comes and gathers up His Bride, the world will be left to its own hatred - with no Christian to take it out on. This is why the world turns on itself. Did you know that after most mammals finish devouring the food around them, and find no more to feed on, that they will feed on each other? This is exactly what is going to happen after the Rapture. The Word literally says that two shall be in one bed, one shall be taken and the other left (Luke 17:34). Husbands will be without wives, wives without husbands, children without parents and parents standing alone without their children. It really doesn’t seem fair does it? Well, God didn’t promise to be fair, but He did promise a way of escape for all those who become indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Promise. All those who snooze, WILL lose. Only those who have been washed in the blood that dripped from the Cross will be taken up. The others will remain by the blood of their own hands. My dear reader, if you’re not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you’re NOT saved. I wish I could say it in a nicer way, but I can’t. If you’re not sure of your Salvation, you might want to meet with your pastor and get those “tough” questions answered – for we do not know the day, nor the hour, this great event is going to happen. I can tell you this - most of us who study the doctrines of the end-times know that the end for those of us that are indwelt Christians is near.
Chapter Two Our Hope According to most Christians, thinking about the Rapture is one of the most avoided topics in the Word of God. Why? My guess is, it puts them in the position of having to think about everything that has to come before the rapture; you know – pain, suffering, persecution, and distresses. In reality, this startling event and dispensation is to be the most hopeful day in Church history. Whether we like it or not, this IS the next major event in Church continuous history. All the end-times’ spooks and alarmists have damaged the reputation of this event by predicting the year, month, and even the day of the Rapture. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). God has clearly stated that no man knows the day or the hour. I have heard some of these alarmists say that God didn’t say anything about the year. Did you know there are a group of “Christians” who are now saying 2012 is the last and final year for humanity? It’s true. Most are not surprised at such a prediction, but few understand the ramifications of these continuous predictions. One of the enemy’s tactics is to call forward spooks and alarmists to continue making such predictions, in order to callous the minds of the people. Like in most matters of the mind, after hearing warnings over and over again, the mind begins to shut them out. One good example of that are car alarms. People spend thousands of dollars on fancy car alarms that go off at the drop of their keys. After a while, you and I stop turning around to see if someone’s car is being broken into. The same thing has occurred with the Rapture and the Day of Judgment of our Lord. Satan has used so many alarmists to sound off the end-times, that when the Antichrist breaks in to steal, kill, and destroy – people won’t give it another thought. The conclusion: no one can tell when this day will come upon us! What we can say is that this day is near. God gives us enough in His Word to measure the “birth pangs” of this final hour. He doesn’t do this in order for us to make predictions – it is for preparing the body of Christ for the harsh persecution that our children’s children are sure to endure. "For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Mark 13:8). 6
Just in 2011, there were more droughts, earthquakes, famines, and nations fighting against one another than we have seen in the history of mankind. These are the mere birth pangs of the return of our Lord. Birth pangs are the warning signs that something, or somebody, is about to be born. Christians are to look at the evening news through the eyes of prophetic warnings, not to make predictions like the alarmists, but to ready the woman (Bride) for the day of her Husband’s return. Too many self-proclaimed Christians are more interested in Christ’s return for His Bride to avoid further pain, than they are of being excited that He is coming. There are three events within this one event that we need to examine. The first is that the Lord, our Husband, must descend from heaven. Secondly, the dead in Christ (Christians) shall be resurrected. The third event is those of us who are indwelt, bornagain, and living at the time of His coming, will be raptured and caught up without having to die physically. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). I always assume the world is going to laugh at the talk of the Rapture – spiritually dead people know not the mind of Christ. But, I do not expect the children of God to blow it off like it is some kind of conspiracy from the dark ages. These are not only the people I feel badly for, but I fear for their lives. The doctrines of the Second Coming of our Husband are not to be treated lightly. Outside of our exchange on the Cross of cocrucifixion, it is the most significant event of the Bride of Christ – at least on this side of heaven. Did you know that one in twenty verses in the New Testament refers to Christ’s Second Coming? Did you know there are 318 references to the Second Coming in the New Testament? Did you know that almost every book in the entire Bible has a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? It is all true. I think this event is a rather significant one to our Husband and Abba Father. These statistical facts alone give reason why the Rapture is the day of our blessed hope. Now that we know we are given a Spirit of Hope, let us examine the benefits and attitudes we should adopt toward the Second Coming. “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13). Even though we have concluded that we do NOT know the day of His coming, we can conclude that His return is imminent. Since this is true, we need to be proactive in two things – waiting and watching.
“So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Hebrews 9:28). If we focus on being ready instead of watching, we might place our emphasis on performance. If you are watching – you are ready. We are called to watch for the “birth pangs” along with casting our eyes upon the eastern sky. If you and I get caught up in progressive sanctification, we might want to put our emphasis on the “getting ready” process. BUT, if we are functioning in the Exchanged Life, we will be functioning in Sanctification by faith – we are already ready. The living out of the Exchanged Life is critical in living out the “end-times” in a manner honorable to the Lord. It is Christ in us, who does the living through us, in order to prepare us for the day of the Lord. Either we are married to Christ, or we are not! Christ doesn’t believe in divorce; so therefore, we have no worries that He will divorce us. "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously" (Malachi 2:16). We have the assurance that Christ, our Husband, will do the doing through us. We have no ability in and of ourselves to live the Christian life – thus, having no ability to “ready ourselves” for the Second Coming of our Lord. He does it! “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). This is the principle of truth filmmakers love making movies about. This passage reveals to us that those who are alive during the time of the Rapture, who have become indwelt born-again Christians, will not have to die. Paul himself refers to this as a great mystery. Twinkle, twinkle little child, no more wonder who you are! The great mystery being - how can a decade worm infested body be caught up with the Lord? It almost sounds like a zombie horror movie – Hmm, that might preach. "Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). Old Testament or New, God continues to reveal this mystery in a way that man’s mind finds almost impossible to contain. When Paul said, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep” (sleep in the Greek means “death”), he was being literal. Paul was blowing the minds of these Corinthians. They had obviously never heard of such mysterious teachings. By faith, you and I are required to believe because He said what He said. When the Lord Jesus comes back to get His Bride, the dead in Christ are going to be caught up out of the grave to meet the Lord in the air and those who are still alive and breathing – well, we (they) will be suddenly translated from earth to heaven in a twinkle of God’s eye - one moment suffering in our infirmities and the next in heavenly 8
places in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4). My dear reader, this is the truest definition of the Rapture. I hope you join me in the hope and thrill of knowing that our blessed Lord is NOT going to leave His Bride during the most evil and demonic times of the ages; but rather, He is going to call His Bride out and up, so that we might be eternally with Him in glory. When you were chosen by Him, He gave you a new past, present, and future. The Rapture is what transfers the final members into His future of eternal bliss. We need to be praying for all those friends, family, and even our enemies â€“ that they may hear and feel the calling of the Lord for Salvation. We know now the Rapture is the next big event of our Lord. It can happen at any moment. Are you in waiting and are you watching?
Chapter Three The Shroud of Secrecy Imagine for a moment that you are walking down the street and you sense something in the air toward the east. You hesitate to look, but you do anyway. What your eyes see is the Lord, Jesus Christ in the air with His arms opened wide. Next, you hear a voice calling out, “Come unto me, My Bride.” I am about to tell you a story that few have ever heard me share; but I am now compelled to tell the world, fully embracing the risk of my vulnerability. When I was in fourth grade, I was suffering rejection in the worst way – at least as much as my little mind could bear. Family distress was at a peak, kids in school were making fun of me, I was flunking every academic venue being put in front of me, and to top it off – I wanted to die. Because of all my failures, I lived for recess. A fellow classmate of mine was the only friend I had in the entire world – his name was Brad. The recess bell rang and off the two of us went to the ball diamond. About half way there, I sensed a presence in the air. I stopped, looked up, and to my shock, there was a man in the air with his arms opened wide. I stopped Brad and said, “Look!” He saw nothing. I can remember, as I ran each base, I kept looking into the sky with anticipation. The presence was warm and inviting. It seemed to be saying something, yet no mouth was seen. Upon the bell ringing to end recess, Brad and I took off to the schoolhouse and again, I felt this presence in the air. I looked, but this time he stayed there. I reached over and put my hand on Brad’s chest and said, “There he is, don’t you see him?” He said, “No.” Off we went to the schoolhouse. Being unchurched, I had no way of associating this man in the air as possibly being Jesus. Throughout my childhood, I honestly thought I was seeing things and even thought the event didn’t happen. In my late 20’s, I made the journey back to this old Kansas school and asked the administration if Brad still lived in the area. They affirmed he did and gave me his address. After finding him and enjoying a little reunion, I asked him if he remembered the event. He not only said that he remembered, he said that God had used this event to lead him to Christ many years later. In 1977, shortly after I married my beloved bride, I had a vivid dream that shook the foundation of my life. During this period, fear gripped me like a hangman’s noose around my neck. I dreamed of a stately mansion surrounded with a southern flair. My job in the dream was to take people from the dark forest on the other side of the cobblestone driveway and bring them to the front doors of this mansion. I would do this single task throughout my dream with a heart of fear. There were men with guns in the 10
dark trees, shooting at us as we passed over the driveway. We were being hit, but would not die. I was slowing wearing down – getting tired and discouraged. In an instant, I popped out of my dream. Jane said I sat up straight and stared at the wall in front of me for almost 10 minutes. Even with her attempts to awaken me, I stayed in this slumber. Even though I was in this slumber, I remember every moment vividly. I heard a still small voice in my head that said, “Thus is your life Stephen. Fear not, for I am with you. Go where I send you, for you will fear no more.” Then all I felt was a warm comfort come over me for an extended time. Jane said I fell back on my pillow and was out like a light. And as one might guess – I fell right back into the dream, right where I left off. Now with more ambition, energy, and determination, I moved between the dark forest and the mansion with a fervor that I can’t explain to this day. After this went on for some time, I turned around to go get some desperate souls and the sky lit up with this brilliant light. I turned around and the mansion was glowing. I approached the doors and they opened automatically. I entered and noticed the rooms filled with people, but the people were in categorical social groups – old, young, handicapped, and teenagers - each having his own room. As I looked into their faces, they radiated with peace and joy. I felt a pulling, or calling, to come to the back part of the house where the dining room and kitchen were located. A voice called out and said, “Go ye and partake.” I said, “I can’t!” The voice repeated the command and I replied the same. You see, it was as if my feet were nailed to the floor. In an instant, I was lifted up and floated through the French doors into the back patio, where I saw the most beautiful garden my eyes have ever seen or could imagine. I can still smell the flowers today. Shortly after this dream, I drew a sketch of the inside and outside of this mansion. I placed it in a folder and there it remained for many years. The only person who knew of this dream was my dear and precious wife. Fast-forwarding ten years later, while living in Colorado Springs, I received a call from a Jewish businessman in Florida. He said that he had heard about my dream. I said, “What dream?” - truly not connecting the dots. He said, “The dream about the mansion.” I asked him who told him of this dream and he said that it didn’t matter. He said he had a building in Florida he had to show me. My reply was that I am not a man of money and I cannot afford to chase my dreams. He said that he was funding the entire trip. So off to Florida I went with sketch in hand. As he was approaching this building, I felt as if the blood was draining out of my body. He asked me if I was OK. I pulled out the sketch and showed him - now he looked as I felt. The sketch was an exact pictorial depiction of this building, which he owned. When we got inside, the rooms were laid out in the exact order of the sketch. The next day, he took me to the architect who had done the marking. I walked into the front office of this architectural firm. The owner came out and 11
without even greeting me said, “Let me see your sketch and where were you two years ago?” A bit confused, I assured him I had no idea what he was talking about. Then, he began to tell me the story. Back in 1977, a gentleman by the name of Milt Green, the carpet cleaner of evangelist James Robison, had a dream. In his dream was this mansion. Upon awaking, he sketched it in detail. Through many years of attempting to find out why God gave him this dream, he felt compelled to have it built. A group of people joined forces to fulfill his plea and this building was the result (now occupied by a Fortune 500). Shortly after the building was completed, Milt died. After telling me the story, the architect walked into his office and came out with this massive photo of the mansion at dusk, framed in a Victorian gold ornate frame. He gave it to me and to this very day, this picture hangs in my home. To bring things up-to-date, I have since learned that this carpet cleaner became one of America’s most outspoken teachers of the Exchanged Life. Milt was personally mentored by James Robison. As I learned recently, Robison was discipled by Dr. Charles Solomon, the man who recently passed the torch of his life’s work to me. What does all this have to do with the Rapture? For me, it is through this story that God continues to remind me - His hand was upon His chosen before the foundation of the earth. “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (Revelation 13:8). I am known by my family and friends for being immovable in my beliefs. It is through experiences like I mentioned above that keep me planted in the Word. I rarely, if ever, question God. If He says it – I believe it. If God says that He wrote my name in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world, then who am I to question it? I might not understand it with my human brain, but my finite mind has no prerogative to question the mind of an infinite God. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 3:22). The Lord wants us to open our ears to the Spirit and listen. The Rapture is viewed by most as being buried in some kind of shroud of secrecy. Truth being said, it will be a very public event. The Scriptures show us that He will come openly and His Bride will depart openly. Unbelievers will see this supernatural event with their own eyes.
God tells us that there are two phases of our Lord’s Second coming and we are not to confuse the two. First, He will come in the air with a shout – this is the Rapture. All indwelt born-again believers walking the face of the earth will be “caught” up with Him. In this same phase, the dead in Christ shall come forth from their graves and be caught up. Jesus does not actually plant His feet on the earth at this time. But, He will get close enough that the call of the Groom is heard and He is seen by His Bride. It is doubtful that the unsaved will be able to see Him. He comes quickly, like a twinkling of an eye, and does what His Father has asked Him to do. He gathers up His Bride for safety, as well as to fulfill Hebrew law. The second phase is much different. This phase is referred to by many theologians as the Great Revelation. During this time, Christ will reveal His Personhood. All remaining souls will see Him for certain. “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen” (Rev. 1:7). This is the time the Scriptures state that He will come with 10,000 of His holy ones to execute Judgment. “It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’" (Jude 1:14-15). During this time, he will destroy every nation that has come against Israel (Bride of Christ), past and present. This is the beginning of the Day of Judgment. Since a day is a thousand years to man, this Judgment phase will last a thousand years of man’s time. But for God, it is only one day. This is why the Scriptures call it the Day of Judgment. “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8). This day will be a very public day – no shroud of secrecy and no hidden agenda. Everything will be put on the table for all to see. You see, this is why the Lord compelled me to finally share my story of seeing Jesus in fourth grade and having Him visit me in my dream in 1977. God used that mansion, both in Milt and my dreams, to sustain our faith. To think that God would go through such effort to confirm Revelation 13:8 in my life – well, that is just too much love for me to bear. As God uses His New Testament to reveal what has been concealed – I, too, must be willing to live the same. 13
Chapter Four Twinkle, Twinkle “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:5153). Do you know how fast a twinkle is? It is faster than a blink and slower than the capture of a reflection. In the Greek dictionary, “twinkle” is a “sudden jerk” or a “flash of reflection.” One of my favorite things to do is write the Hebrew word picture next to a Greek or English word as I study the Scriptures. Allow me to do this with our passage: Behold (picture in the eye), I tell (break silence) you a mystery (well-kept truth); we will not all sleep (body without breath), but we will all be changed (made different), in a moment (shadow of time), in the twinkling (sparkle) of an eye (window), at the last trumpet (horn); for the trumpet (blast) will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable (incorruptible), and we will be changed (made different). For this perishable (corruptible) must put on the imperishable, and this mortal (able to die) must put on immortality (unable to die). Behold — our author is calling attention to the “mystery,” the Truth kept well within the bosom of our Heavenly Father. God obviously knows one of man’s manifestations of the fall – that of his quest for more knowledge. The reason that parent(s) keep truth close to their bosom is because of the reality that their child will use it against them – so they wait until shortly before the event before the big reveal. This is most likely why God has mysteries! After Jesus died, was resurrected, and came unto the Father, God was then able to reveal many of the mysteries spoken of in the Old Testament. Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
Every human born to this earth must die – including Jesus. But if you are familiar with your Bible, you might say, “All, but Enoch and Elijah.” My response to that is - this is why they must come back. As the Word tells us, after the work has been completed of these two final prophets, they too, lay dead in the streets (Rev. 11:10). The implication here is that all humans are to face death, which ultimately puts them in a position of facing their Maker. Those who face their Maker through Christ Jesus, before their physical death, are true indwelt Christians. They will join the host of believers past, present, and future who stand in waiting for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 52 of our passage shows us that all this is going to happen at the last trumpet. As you may already know, there are seven trumpets that will blast. This is the last one. As this trumpet sounds off, the popularized Apocalypse shall proceed. Just as Jesus ascended “with the sound of a trumpet,” so shall He descend (Psalm 47:5 and Rev. 11:15), which will probably occur on the first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. As for the year, well nobody knows that except for the Father. The word “imperishable,” for the English speaking world, means something that will not perish or go spoiled. This is how “death is swallowed up.” Death is ordained by God to either produce victory or defeat. In the case of the indwelt Christian, death is swallowed up in victory; but as for the unsaved – death swallows them up in defeat. Once the seventh trumpet sounds, the indwelt Christian’s body goes from life, to death, and then transformed into an incorruptible heavenly body that is imperishable – one that will never go spoiled by defeat again. But before all of this can take place, there is one significant thing that must happen: no, not wars or rumors of wars; nor famines, pestilences or earthquakes; not the return of Israel to the land of Palestine; and no, not America being taken over by the Islamic nation. Even though all those things must happen, the most significant thing is the completion of the Church. Allow me to explain. In the wonderful book of Acts are several glorious prophecies. Chapter 14, verse 16 shows us that God allowed all the nations to go their own way. If you listen to the evening news, you will discover that is exactly what has happened. Once a nation is turned over to the destruction of their flesh (selfishness), they become 100% corrupt – they become destroyed by their own ways. In chapter 15 verses 16-18, He says: “AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,” SAYS THE LORD, “WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.”
Does this mean the Lord will save the entire world? Nope – afraid not! Does this mean that the Lord will have the actual Tabernacle of David rebuilt? That would be a resounding, “Yes.” The Lord’s purpose for the Church Age is not to convert the world, but rather to call out a world of people for His Name – mainly the Body of Christ, in order to complete the Reformation. Scripture makes it plain that the return of our Lord will not happen until the Church, Body of Christ, has been unified and made complete. Keep in mind that this is not the same kind of unification that the Emergent church is pressing to accomplish. It is the authentic true indwelt Christians joining as one Body, for one Lord – the indwelling life of Jesus Christ. Another significant point to keep in mind is that Jesus will not return until the fullness of the Gentiles (non-Jewish) comes into the new Tabernacle. Check this out: “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS’ " (Romans 11:25-27). This means that Israel will remain partially hard-hearted and stubborn until the nonJewish transformations/conversions are complete. Too many evangelists put the emphasis on getting the Jews saved and back into their homeland. But Scriptures make it clear that Israel will not become complete until the numbers have been fulfilled regarding the Gentile conversions. Since God is the only One who knows that number – we must keep sharing the Gospel with every person we can. Be assured, when that last number is called in, the Church Age will be completed. And when the Church is completed, the Rapture will take place. After the Rapture, God deals with the remains of Israel in a manner that is not appropriate for any Bride of Christ to see. I know this seems like an impossibility – uniting the true indwelt Body of Christ. With now over 3,000 “Christian” denominations in the world, it seems difficult to predict what sect is going to take the lead in all this. Allow me to give you a word of wisdom. Not one of those 3,000 self-proclaimed Christian groups is going to take the lead. All authentic Christians will be called out of those denominations and Christian religious sects in order to be associated with the head of the Church, Christ Jesus Himself. I know I could be shot for saying this but, Jesus is not Southern Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, or any other group that touts or leaves the impression that they are the true branch of Christianity. Jesus is the Husband, the Church is His Bride, and His Bride is the Body (Church) of Christ – only made up of born-again believers. Not one emergent Chrislam, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, or anyone else who has not had a born-again, Spirit indwelt experience will become a member of the Body of Christ. Any and all 16
people, who have had a true born-again conversion, are the true Church. This is what the Rapture is pertaining to - it’s singly for the Church or Bride of Christ. Any human or religious group that touts you can be a true Christian or Body member of Jesus, without an indwelt (Christ in you) conversion – you had better hold them at arm’s length. For these people will not be a part of the Rapture, but rather the final rupture. There are three primary groups in the entire human race: Jews, Gentiles (non-Jews), and the Church (born-again indwelt Christians). This is how the Lord divides the whole of the human family. All the racial fighting over color, nation, and religion will matter not at this time. The only thing that will matter is if you are Jewish or have been graphed into the Jewish bloodline, as is the case of indwelt Christians. Even then, the nonmessianic Jews will not be caught up in the Rapture – only those who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord, Savior, and Life. The Rapture is going to be a very sudden event. No warnings, but like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2). Since it takes 1/20th of a second to blink the eye and a twinkle being a bit faster, the Rapture is going to happen before the world can figure out what happened. One twentieth of a second we are here and the next twentieth, we are gone. The whole thing happens in less than a half of a second. Little mind bending isn’t it? Let’s pretend you’re not saved and you’re having coffee with your mother, who is saved. By the time you pick up your cup, take a sip, and put your cup down – your mother is gone. Not only that, the Holy Spirit indwelt Christians provide an environment of love, joy, and peace. Once your mother (and the rest of the Church) is gone, you will be left with an overwhelming sense of doom, gloom, and oppression – instantly! All the opinions of the philosophers, liars, persecutors, haters of God, Emergent believers, and people of the one world church won’t seem to matter at that point. Can you imagine what will go through the minds of every human who doubted, mocked, or tried to shut up true Christians? The odds are it won’t matter. Heard-hearted people are so blinded to God’s reality, they will probably blame it on the aliens and zombies and move on. Most deceived people stay deceived until they are face to face with the gates of hell. In conclusion: We know that the Rapture provides a way of escape for the dead in Christ and living believers at the time of this magnificent event. The hypocrites will be left behind like dust in the wind, the postmodernist will be left to their cyclic self-life philosophies, and the Emergent church believers will remain with their “lovey dovey” doctrines of demons. The Rapture is for a very special group of people – the authentic Bride of Christ who walked through the details of the message of identification with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension - Christ as Savior, Lord, and Life. Are you ready for that day? Do you know the Christ of the Bible – not the she-male version some of our postmodern translations depict, but the true Savior who is all male, all God, and all of who God the Father says He is? If you feel unworthy of Him – good! 17
We are all unworthy! This is why all of humanity must embrace the truth that they are born sinners destined to hell unless they decide to take the narrow way of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, become born-again (filled with the Spirit), and exchange their lives for His. I hope you are one of those who have already become a Bridal member of Christ. If not, I will pray that this message of Truth will provoke you to call on Him to get those questions answered so you, too, can pray: Dear Heavenly Father: I believe that Jesus is Your Son, He died on the cross for my sins, and I, my Old Man, died there with Him. I believe in the Trinity, You as the Father, Jesus as the Son and the Holy Spirit. I confess that I have been a sinner â€“ totally separated from You. I choose to accept Your forgiveness for my sins through the power of the blood of Jesus that was shed for me on the cross. As a child of God, I choose to deny SELF and allow you to Exchange my life for His. I now ask that you send the Holy Spirit to live inside my mortal body. Thank you for saving me! In Jesusâ€™ name, Amen.
Chapter Five Complete Disappearance The Lord had me write in my prayer journal a few years ago: Loneliness is the absence of holiness. The Rapture is going to be the most glorious event of all the ages, for the true indwelt Christian. But for those who will not be caught up in the air – well, they simply will be overwhelmed with despair. Predicting the end of the world can be both a sure bet and a fool’s errand. Few question that the total destruction of civilization, the human race, and yes, the world, is near to its end. The tricky part about predicting the biblical Apocalypse is its timing. Scientists, scholars, astrologers, prophets, and kings have tried to forecast this impending doom that most agree is sure to come. Postmodernists now tell us that 2012 is the new year of choice for the implosion of mankind. The Mayan calendar tells us that December 21, 2012 is the day. The 12 most popular human doomsday scenarios are: an attack of the asteroids, a disease infested pandemic, micro-machines taking over, green keepers’ projected gamma ray bursts, the return of the ice age, ocean acidification, a solar storm, super-volcano, the well-thought-out geomagnetic reversal, let’s not forget the nuclear war, the growing popular artificial black hole, or the X-factor (space shifting to a different quantum state). Interesting as it is, not one of these popular predictions include the most documented historical doomsday view of all times – what is stated in the book of Revelation. I wish I could say the reason for this oversight is because the true Christian Bible holds to a religious point of view. But then why would most of the intelligible world quote the prophecies of the most demonic, devil infested, people of all time - the Mayans. Sin really does make you stupid! What does the Rapture have to do with the postmodern doomsday predictions? To start with, it washes out all of the predictions made in the Word of God. If Satan can fill the minds with his philosophies of doomsday maladies, he then will be able to help the people shake off panic the Rapture could ignite. For example, the Word talks about the day when demons will roam the earth like stray dogs. Now, if Satan was smart, he would come up with some kind of ridiculous culturally acceptable fad, like zombies and vampires. How about making these demonic beings friendly and miniature saviors – like ET? Here is another good one – consider the New Jerusalem, 1,500 miles square, descending from on high. What does that sound like? An alien spaceship of course! That is probably one that ET won’t phone home about. All of these culturally accepted masks of Zorro become ways to keep the young minds deceived and turned away from the sharp accuracy of the Word of God. Everyone wants a superhero, but few want a 19
hero who actually promotes destruction of a rebellious people. Seriously, who would want a hero who is destined to destroy kingdoms, leaders, religious prophets, and even the land they stand on; who comes against the narrow-minded views of a God who says there is only one way to come unto Him? In order to escape the deceptions of these cute little mascots of the devil, one must become a born-again indwelt Christian. The Rapture does show favoritism, I must agree. But the type of favoritism is whether a person is born-again or not. Some teach the theory of partial Rapture - only very good Christians are raptured, while the bad Christians are left behind to pay for their sins. Yes, there are theologian types that teach a partial or split Rapture. I know it is surprising, but is certainly true. The Word of God does not support such fables, primarily because the oneness of the Body of Christ cannot be divided. All get raptured and all get translated at the same time and place. Do not be easily deceived by teachers of partialities, i.e. a person will miss the Rapture unless he has spoken in tongues, is a member of a certain church, or is fully sanctified. There is only one qualification for the Rapture and that is to be washed in the blood of Jesus through the process of Salvation. Don’t get me wrong. There are some indwelt Christians walking in obedience more than others, but this is not what determines whether one has his ticket for this final flight. Also, there are many who are deceived into thinking they are Christians, but they are not. They have been given stinky thinking through upward training that if one holds to the teachings of a church that they are saved. The truth being said, if any human has not repented of his sins, acknowledged that he is going to hell without Jesus, that He is the only way, truth, and life, AND has been filled/sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13) – he has no ticket, at least for the Rapture. God does not call us to cast judgment on who is or who isn’t – only God can determine that. Just don’t assume your loved one is going to heaven based on some kind of pew sitting philosophy that he adheres to. “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). By the way, when is the Rapture going to take place? I think most Bible believing Christians know that it is an imminent event, but when exactly? Did you know the Rapture is mentioned 30 times in the New Testament alone? In fact, if we read Jesus’ testimonies carefully, we will find that He’s constantly referencing His return. There might be a reason for that! I have a Bible software program that allows word searches. I typed in the words “alert and watch” and was amazed as to how many verses are referenced. One of my favorites is Jesus saying: 20
“Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them” (Luke 12:37). Which ones are not alert or are watching? Those who hate being called slaves, of course! Have you noticed how much of the world spends their day fighting some type of slavery? An old historian friend of mine says that this single issue alone is what makes the world turn. He also says that for without the fight of slavery, the world would come to an end. In order for one to understand true Salvation, he/she must accept volunteer slavery to Christ Jesus. “For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave” (1 Corinthians 7:22). “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more” (1 Corinthians 9:19). People, who fight slavery, are usually caught up in the ways of independence and selfsufficiency. Since this type of person is not waiting for a Master, he is sure to miss the signs of his Master coming. Christians who are not watching for Christ will not be alert to the signs of His coming. On the other hand, faithful servants do watch and are alert. They listen for every sign and rumbling of His presence. What exactly is this faithful servant to be watching for? Simple – he is supposed to be watching for the fulfilling of the signs of the times and as he sees God’s Word being fulfilled, he understands that His coming is soon to be embraced. How many true Christians do you observe studying end-time events? Most hide at the stroke of a pen, which mentions the scary details of Revelation. Some, on the other hand, are blissfully caught up in the details of watching and listening for their Husband’s arrival. I happen to be one of those! No one knows the day or the hour when the Rapture is going to take place, but we are warned and encouraged to watch and be on the alert for this day! Matthew 25:13 says; "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” We are blessed with many Scriptures that prepare us for the birth pangs of the coming tribulation. Believers who know their Bible see these signs pop out on the news almost daily. You would think that it would cause them to be doomsday focused, but that is simply not the case. Those Christians, who are secure in their identity in Christ, find great comfort and excitement in hearing doomsday updates – for it is a reminder their Husband is on a cloud not so far away. On the other hand, Christians gripped by fear when they hear of the signs of the times are insecure and do NOT know who they are in Christ. These people typically don’t read articles like this – the titles alone scare them away. Adults are really not that different than children. Some children cower at sudden sounds and images, while others are attracted to finding out what made that noise. In 21
either case, all Christians are called to be alert and watch for the signs and wonders of the end-times. It isnâ€™t a suggestion to the strong type â€“ it is a mandate to comfort and excite us. This does not mean that we are looking for tribulation, but we are looking for the translation before this great Tribulation period. We are not looking for the Antichrist, but we are looking for our Jesus Christ. Remember â€“ loneliness is the absence of holiness and those who fear are very lonely people.
Chapter Six Looking Into the Future of Those Left Behind In the past four articles, we have been examining the details and revelations of the greatest Church event of all times – the Rapture. As we have stated repetitively, the Rapture can happen at any time, night or day; for nobody knows the moment this glorious event will occur. We also have learned that once an individual becomes a born-again indwelt Christian, the Lord encourages him to look to the eastern skies with anticipation. Hebrews 9:27-28 sheds light on this gesture of encouragement: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Hebrews 9:27-28). I don’t know about you, but I oftentimes think and wonder what life will be like for those who truly are left behind after the Rapture. It is important to understand that once the Bride of Christ has been safely transposed to the literal side of her Husband, Jesus Christ, the great Tribulation will begin. This Tribulation will last seven years, with the first 3 ½ years being fake global peace to cover up for the unexplainable phenomenon of the Rapture. The Antichrist will use every ounce of his deception to convince the people that now that these “born-again types” are out of the way, the world can finally have peace. It is likely he will convince the people that the world couldn’t experience peace because “they” were here. The explanation of the suddenness of our removal will most likely be accredited to his removal of us. Since we are not here to figure out the method of madness of the enemy – we will leave that alone. The second half of the seven years will be death and violence. Who is behind this madness is a highly debated topic. “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ " (Revelation 6:15-17). This portion of the Tribulation is this great day of wrath. All global leaders, money holders, lowly world changers, and followers of the Antichrist will be compelled to run and hide. Why? Because the Lord Himself will shake the earth with every form of distress, such as earthquakes and natural disasters. The unique thing is they actually 23
make the connection that it is God waging discipline on the entire world. These people will not be hiding so much from the fear of being hit by a falling rock or slip into a crack in the earth, but will be running to hide themselves from the presence of God Himself. During the first half of the Tribulation, for some reason, God allows the entire world to experience the presence of the Antichrist and even feel safe under his ruling. The Scriptures show us that during the second half, the Lord actually makes His presence known, AND this is why they are fleeing. The Scriptures also reveal to us that those left behind will somehow know that He is very angry and know there is no way to stand before Him. In fact, any being (demonic or human), who comes in contact with the presence of the Lord, will be forced to fall on his knees and confess Jesus truly is the Lord. Well – since that won’t happen until Judgment Day, they run. They quickly realize they have been left behind and God is about to unfold His wrath. One of the most debated topics in the world of theologians is – “Will the Bride of Christ go through the great Tribulation?” Churches have been divided, believers have fought one another, and schools of theology have been at war over this one single controversy. This war has not shown any favoritism. There have been well respected and admired Christian leaders who have chosen to believe that the Body of Christ will indeed go through this horrid event. Christ made it clear that true indwelt believers will escape all the things that shall come to pass when God’s wrath is turned loose on those who harmed the Bride of His Son. Every soul that showed hatred of God and choose not to become born-again, will be faced with going through this day of wrath. "But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 1:36). Christians are not appointed to go through this kind of wrath, although God does tell us that most Christians will go through persecution. The difference is the day of wrath is from God and persecution is from the Antichrist. Why would the Father punish His Son’s bride when He went through the sacrificial act of sending his Son to take our place for sins’ penalty? Plus, once we are saved, God doesn’t punish – He disciplines. Punishment, in the Hebrew, means “to pay for (embrace) the consequences for one’s own sins.” Discipline means to “make one a disciple through the means of correction.” Punishment is Old Testament and Discipline is New Testament/Covenant. Those who do not become born-again bridal members are subject to the Old Testament style of payment – punishment (read Rev. 6). It is a fact - Jesus has already paid the cost and taken the punishment for the sins committed by Christians. Do you really think He would put the believer back into the position of paying for his sins again? No, certainly not.
The Father makes it clear that each and every indwelt Christian WILL be raptured out of this world before He begins the process of His judgments of Tribulation. When we look back on the catastrophic events noted in the Bible, the Father consistently delivers His own people. Examples are the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, bondage to Egypt, and now, the Tribulation. The bottom line is this: God will not permit the Tribulation to begin until He come and gathers up His children. Don’t get me wrong; it is clear that all indwelt believers will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. This event is not during the Tribulation. “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Romans 14:10). And . . . “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). It is only a liberal/emergent view that attempts to spout the dogma of believers not facing the Judgment Seat. The difference between an indwelt believer and an unsaved soul standing before the Judgment Seat is that indwelt Christians will not be punished for their deeds, but unbelievers will. Bridal members of Christ will be given rewards according to their level of Christ as Life deeds while on the earth. Yes, rewards; while non-Christians will be given punishments according to their measurement of sins (Rev. 22:12). This Judgment Seat experience will be a time of revelatory exposure. The Lord God will for certain shine the light of holiness on every phase of our life, from the day He saved us to the day of our departure. If you’re expecting to be punished for the sins you have committed while you have been a Christian, then you are wrong. These sins are simply brought into the light for the purpose of the measurement of rewards clearly stated in the Word.
Matt 6:1 – deeds to be noticed, no rewards Matt 6:4 – giving done in secret has rewards Matt 6:6 – praying done in secret carries rewards Matt 6:16 – fasting in secret and you will be rewarded Matt 10:41 – receive a prophet and you shall be reward Matt 10:42 – giving a cup of water to a little one shall not lose his reward
I think you get the point. If our works pass the test of fire (I Cor. 3:13), it is those works that will be rewarded – not the drummed up “good flesh” that is popular in the church 25
today. You see, once the Rapture occurs, the Christ as Life deeds (works) will cease. This is the hour the Bride of Christ says, “It is finished.” Once the opportunity of Christ as Life deeds has ended, the Judgment Seat of Christ will conclude this period of the Church with the dishing out of the rewards, which have been stored up through the believer’s time on earth – but only during his Christian experience. Once we become indwelt Christians, the past (before Salvation) is never to be spoken of again. Whatever we did before we were saved is sealed in the pit of hell. On the other hand, whatever we did after we were saved becomes available for the spotlight of the Judgment Seat; not for punishment, but rather for receiving our measurement of rewards. Most indwelt Christians I have met are not comfortable talking about the reward system God has in place in heaven. It seems to provoke in them thoughts of “working to get.” Well, that is the point. All works done, through the motive of getting, will be burned up in this test mentioned in Corinthians. “Each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work” (1 Corinthians 3:13). God’s Word tells us that the fire will test all of the works of man, both saved and unsaved. What is this fire of testing? I doubt it is a fire pit in front of the Judgment Seat. Rather, it is most likely the fiery eyes of our Savior piercing into our souls at this Judgment Seat. It does sound a bit odd that there is some kind of record of all of our motives, words, and deeds; but it is true. "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). I need to be honest with you – this is a bit startling to me! If this really is true, and it is, the Lord is going to have a very long talk with me. Being a prophet, many words have come out of my mouth that have been careless and unfeeling. No question about it. This adds a new perspective to: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Even though the Judgment Seat will not be all fun, I still look forward to it. For I know that the GRACE of God is like an oil of gladness that will cover my soul as I look into my Husband’s eyes. Will I feel guilty? I don’t believe I will, because all that selfcondemnation stuff was taken care of on the Cross. Will it be a sobering moment? Will there be tears? Yes, without question (Rev. 21:4). I truly believe it will be the most sobering moment of my entire existence. Will I be glad when it is over? Ah – yes! I leave you with this question: Why do you do what you do? What is your motive behind your good deeds? What do you do with the glory when it is given to you by others? 26
These are the questions we can embrace today to protect the day of our standing before the Judgment Seat. In conclusion, the Rapture is certain to happen. Who will go and who will stay is up to the Lord. My job while here on earth is to make sure I tell as many as possible the way to Salvation (justification) and the pathway of the Exchanged Life (sanctification). Who embraces these messages of Truth is not up to me; that is the role of the Holy Spirit. My part in the end-times is to assist in preparing others for our great day of departure â€“ the Rapture.
Other Works by Dr. Phinney
The Faith of Mockery: Who Are You Really?
The Book of Prayers: Learning to Pray Doctrinally
Revelations: The Final Frontier
Permissible Suffocation (Coming Soon)
Finances & The End Times
The Hebrew Family (Coming Soon)
Building Blocks to Small Groups
IOM Discipleship Manual: 300 Teaching Diagrams
Faithful Father: Embracing the Trinity of God & Man
Principled Patriarch: Discovering Biblical Manhood
Men & Warfare: Teaching Men Spiritual Warfare
Sexual Temptations of Man
Biblical Woman: Hebrew Characteristics of Woman
The Legacy of A Father: 7 Part Interview Questions
Knowing Your Spiritual Gifts
Resting in the Storm
Freedom of Forgiveness: Extending & Seeking
The Art of Spiritual Warfare
Disillusionment of Discipleship
A Truth Friend: Authenticity of True Friendship
200+ Published Online Articles
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Due to the publisherâ€™s guidelines, we are only able to provide you with a preview of this publication.
Thank you for taking the time to review Into Thin Air. As you read from the Table of Contents, this write is filled with many more inspirational prayers, teachings and encouragements. To Check Out the Authorâ€™s Spotlight: Click Here
The following pages reveal additional materials available by this author!
Finances And The End Times By Stephen R. Phinney View this Author's Spotlight
Please take advantage of the publishers discount. This book will directly benefit those who care about the world of finances: personally, professionally, and politically. In my studies and research for a book I am writing (Book of Revelation, the Final Frontier), I am discovering many correlations between money, the end-times and personal suffering. "I believe as you read this book, your experience will be much like ours – one of an encounter with the Lord. I have an utmost respect and reverence for the Biblical topic of money, stewardship and the end-times and I believe Dr. Phinney handles this topic with the care and guidance of the Lord. Today holds the greatest opportunity to discuss this matter and we have found that the principles he presents in this book will probably be the best investment you have made this year!" - Robert Cornelius ISBN: 9781300404996 † Christianity † 237 pages
The Principled Patriarch: Embracing Biblical Manhood By Stephen R. Phinney View this Author's Spotlight
The Principled Patriarch is a 30-Lesson Study Guide designed to lead men back to a Biblical tradition of manhood. Our women, children, communities and nation need a few good men – husbands, fathers and leaders who are willing to lead according to the divine Word of Truth. We are in the middle of a cultural battle that wages war against the male and female genders – boys being emasculated and our girls being made masculine. Whatever happen to the patriarchs of our day? Why are the women asserting more male dominance than our males? Why do men default to women in leading their families, homes and communities? These are just some of the questions that get answered in The Principled Patriarch. ISBN: 9781300515739 † Manhood Workbook † 110 pages
Men & Warfare: Equipping Men In Spiritual Warfare By Stephen R. Phinney View this Author's Spotlight
The Christian man is engaged in a spiritual battle even if he does not believe that he is. Satan and his spiritual forces are on the battle line waiting for you each day. A man does not have a choice as to his engagement in this battle, it awaits him each day and there is no way getting around it. If you are saved and have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are in! Be alert and sober, for your enemy, Satan, roams around on the earth to seek whom he can devour. This study is to equip each man with the spiritual tools necessary to war against the world, his flesh and the devil himself. This study can be used as a private devotional - completing one lesson per day or at a pace that is most comfortable. A popular format is in a small group environment – finishing one lesson per week. This workbook contains many helpful tools to equip leaders in leading small groups. ISBN: 9781300514466 † Manhood Workbook † 156 pages
LIFE MISSION: Dr. Phinney is the Founder and Ministry Host of the Institute Of Ministry (IOM America) and founder to the Exchanged Life Global Initiative, as well as the International Fellowship of Exchanged Life (IFEL). Stephen is also the co-founder of the Men Mapping Outreach Ministries, a ministry dedicated to equipping men to be protectors of women, children, community, and nation. Stephen & Jane have been married for over 35 years and have three grown children: Abigail (husband, Quintin Eason), Elizabeth (husband, Nathan Ford) and Jessica. Jane & Steve have also been blessed with seven grandchildren. They are dedicated to the institution of marriage, multigenerational family development, and local multigenerational family church development. They are conference speakers on topics relating to core marriage, multigenerational family, leadership values, and the Exchanged Life (Not I, but Christ). Stephen has authored multiple books/teaching series on spiritual growth and has published over 200 online articles/booklets assisting others in obtaining a Transformational Biblical Worldview. Even though he does NOT put much stock in these degrees, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Masters in Counseling Psychology, and a Doctorate in Ministry. He also holds the status of Doctor of Philosophy Candidate at Oxford Graduate School. Mission Truth is under attack in our culture. “Christians” believe ideas, concepts, values, or supposed facts that are true only because their ideologies demand it – NOT because it is written in the Word of God. Our ministry often hears one of the most popular clichés in our culture today, “That may be true for you, but it is not necessarily true for me.” Gone are the days when right and wrong were black and white. Today’s morality is painted in shades of gray to match the faces of morbid belief. Steve is focused on providing not just a biblical worldview, but a Transformational Biblical Worldview – one that emphasizes changing lives. Worldview Development It is his confession that worldview is birthed through personal identity! This is why it is critical for workers to first understand who they are in Christ before they can lead another in such a discovery. With this in mind, he aims to gently message the identification truths of co-death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into all aspects of ministry communication. It is his experience that if any ministry or its workers focus on worldview issues before experimentally understanding the power of the Cross, these workers could actually lead the Church away from the Truth that will set them free. His primary objective is to equip individuals for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ and to assist in empowering men, women, children, and families to have a greater impact on the communities
they serve. This is accomplished by providing Christ-centered, Bible-based guidance and training that focuses on issues pertaining to the indwelt Christianâ€™s identity in Christ. He press forward to show individuals their freedom from enslaving mental, emotional, and spiritual conflicts by placing a special emphasis on IDENTITY MATTERS. The ministry style is direct, honest, and truly biblical. Exchanged Life Global Initiative Dr. Phinney has adopted the proposal of the Exchanged Life Global Initiative, which has provided his mission with a proactive pro-vision, in order to revitalize the worldview of uniting Exchanged Life workers throughout the entire world. In addition to our existing strong partnerships, we welcome partnerships with other ministries that focus on the message of the Exchanged Life to join our efforts!
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Thomas Nelson Publishers
Harvest House Broadman & Holman Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN 1-56507-430-0 ISBN 080542465-2 ISBN 0-7852-6883-9