Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In Matthew 24:39-42 we see the fact of the rapture. Verses 40 and 41 say, “Then shall two men be in the field; one is taken, and one is left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; one is taken, and one is left.” Here we see two brothers in the field and two sisters at the mill. One of the brothers and one of the sisters are taken and the others are left. Some among us, especially the young people, may love the Lord and think that they need not care for their human living. But in these verses we see two brothers working in the field and two sisters grinding at the mill. This is for eating. As long as we live on earth, we cannot ignore the need of eating. We must work in order to eat. Therefore, if you truly love the Lord, you must realize that while you are loving Him, you must still earn a living for yourself. While two are working in the field for their living, one will be taken and the other left. Outwardly they are the same, but inwardly they are different. If you read the context, you will see that one is watchful and ready and the other is not. While one is getting ready, the other is not watchful.
The fact of the rapture of the overcomers is also found in Revelation 12:5. This verse says, “And she brought forth a son, a man-child, who was about to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” Notice that the man-child is not caught up to the air but to the throne of God. The throne of God is in the third heaven. This rapture will transpire before the three and one-half years of the great tribulation (12:6, 14).
The fact of the rapture is also found in 14:1-5, where we read of the one hundred forty-four thousand becoming the firstfruit to God and to the Lamb. Being firstfruit, they are brought into God’s house, the temple of God in the heavens, not to the air. The hundred forty-four thousand will be raptured to Zion in the heavens before Antichrist forces people to worship him during the great tribulation.
These facts regarding the rapture of the overcomers cannot be denied. The one in the field and the one grinding at the mill are taken before the others, the man-child is caught up to the throne of God before the last three and one-half years, and the firstfruit is taken before the harvest. No one can say that the harvest will be taken at the same time as the firstfruit. As Revelation 14 makes clear, the firstfruit is raptured first and the harvest is raptured later.
Now we come to the time of the rapture of the overcomers. According to Revelation 3:10, it will precede “the hour of trial.” Moreover, chapter twelve indicates that the man-child will be caught up to the throne of God before the last three and one-half years, that is, before the great tribulation (12:5-6, 14, 17). Furthermore, the one hundred forty-four thousand firstfruit will stand on Mount Zion before Antichrist forces people to worship him and his image at the time of the great tribulation (14:1-5, 9-12). If you read chapter fourteen carefully, you will see that after the firstfruit is taken to Mount Zion in heaven, on earth Antichrist will erect his image in the temple and force people to worship it. Unless you do not believe the Bible, there can be no argument about this. If we believe what the Bible says, then we must admit that some Christians will be raptured to the third heaven, not to the air, before Antichrist persecutes God’s people.
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