Before Things Get Worse
In my earlier days as a younger Christian I use to hear the older and mature saints say, during testimony service “God won’t put no more upon you then you can bare”. Obviously, these saints had some life experiences, at times, were overwhelming or too big for them to handle alone. By their victory praise one can tell the Lord intervened at the right time for them and prevented them from succumbing to defeat. I say that, to say this, before things in this life get the best of us, the Lord will rescue His own. His own is the body of believers which is His church.
In time to come, the Lord, Jesus will do just that. Before the wars of this world and nuclear threats get too out of control, the Lord will rapture his church. Thus, putting no more on us than we can handle. This is the advantage the church has over Israel because we have believed in the first coming of Jesus. We who were last (Gentiles), now, are first (church/Israel) Matt. 20:16. To know the truth about the spiritual reality of not having to go through the tribulation period lifts a big burden (Jn. 14:18). The Lord will be back for his bride after he prepares a permanent home for the church. Like the seven days of celebrating the wedding ceremony in the Jewish culture the church will celebrate for seven years right after the rapture. The tribulation is reserved for Israel and the rest of the unbelieving world.
The church will experience the rapture (a snatching away) before the tribulation times of final world chaos. As some, otherwise, believe, I like to tell you we are NOT in the tribulation period. A prophetic promise illustrated in the life of Enoch has been our safety net of assurance. His life foreshadows the rapture event and a saving out of world destruction and death. The ideal of the rapture is quite simple. Before things in the earth get worse, God “snatches away” his mystical church body. Enoch the sixth son of Adam did not experience death (Gen. 5:24). It’s a clear revelation to know Adam was created and given life on the sixth day and Adam’s son, Enoch was the sixth, of his sons born to him. Enoch did not experience death the way his father Adam did. In fact, God took Enoch away. This event in Enoch’s life was a “snatching” (what is meant by rapture) out of harm’s way of the great and devastating coming flood. God foreknew humans on the earth were going to really get out of control. Therefore, he would send a flood to destroy sinful behavior on the earth. In Chapter 5 of Genesis Enoch was raptured. In chapter 6 of Genesis the flood came. I deem the old saints knew why they were praising God. “If your soul’s not anchored in Jesus, you will surely drift away!”
Of interests, also, Genesis chapter 5 clues us in on the millennium kingdom of God that is represented by Methuselah being the longest to ever live among all humans (969 years). He was short of 1,000 years. One thousand years is the millennial reign of Jesus’ kingdom established in Israel during his Second Coming. The reason Methuselah died at 969 years is because NO human being will be the first partaker of the supreme glory that belongs to Him alone. Therefore, God stopped him short of one thousand. Like Lazarus who had to die again after his resurrection experience. Jesus alone is the Lord of life. Jesus will be the first to live on the earth longer than any human being ever born to the sons of men. Methuselah though falling short, of 1,000, was the foreshadower of the millennium reign of Jesus on earth. The kingdom of God will become his kingdom on earth during the millennium.
Of second interest, is the number 969 the exact death of Methuselah. Take special notice of the number 69 within 969. In Daniel chapter 9:26 it states that “after the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One (referring to Jesus note the all caps) will be cut off and have nothing”. In this prophecy, if you add 62+7=69th week. During the 69th week of Daniel, approximately, 173,880 days from the time of the Decree of king Artaxerxes telling the Jews to go back and rebuild their city, Jesus enters into Jerusalem (triumphal Entry) and is crucified. Jesus died according to Daniel’s prophecy of the 69th week. Methuselah died before the flood and when Jesus died in Jerusalem, the city became ransacked and destroyed “like a flood” by the Romans (Dan. 9:26). Methuselah is a prophetic key element pointing to the enjoyment of 1,000 year earthly life with Jesus at his second coming. Humans will live longer on earth with Jesus than ever before.
These two related persons Enoch and Methuselah reveals to us in their timeline that one was raptured up before the great flood ever took place; and the other, that after the rapture humans will one day live longer on the earth during the millennial reign of Jesus. Jesus lifts our burdens when we think life and the world we live in has gotten the best of us.