Tom: You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. Our topic is and has been Dave Hunt’s book When Will Jesus Come? Compelling Evidence for the Soon Return of Christ. And, Dave, before I get into what we’re going to discuss in this segment, I have to let our listeners, in particular, in on something: They may not know that we not only are recording this for radio and for the internet, and also we’re broadcasting this for short-wave radio throughout the world, so our listeners are missing out on something, Dave. Our producer, Gary Carmichael, told us at the beginning that we both had perfect faces for radio, right?
Dave: Right. Absolutely, yeah. I’m quite proud of that!
Tom: But now we’re on video as well for podcasting, and now some people get to see what we actually do look like. And we’ve got a problem, right? The problem is now we have to come in presentable with regard to the clothes that we’re wearing, and so on. And for those in radio, I just want to describe what you’re wearing: Dave, it looks like you’re either representing a prison ministry, because you’re wearing black and white stripes on your shirt, or you’re a former NBA referee. I can’t figure out which one. But…
Dave: Well, this is a referee shirt, but I was told that we needed a referee in here in case we get into a quarrel, but then it really wouldn’t be fair if I’m the referee, so...but I didn’t realize that. So…but here I am, and I couldn’t go home. Time is of the essence, so we’ll carry on.
Tom: Yeah. But if you do want to make some referee’s calls during this, feel free—but don’t use your whistle.
Dave: No, I will not use my whistle.
Tom: Okay. Well, if you have a copy of Dave’s book When Will Jesus Come? and you want to follow along with our discussion, we’re about to begin chapter 18, titled “Timing Factors.” But, Dave, before we get to that, as you do know, one common complaint against the Rapture is that it’s a doctrine, so-called, invented in the 1800s. But you point out that it was Jesus who was the chief promoter of the doctrine and…but in what way?
Dave: Well, Jesus did say He was going away to His Father’s house. That must be in heaven where He came from—going back where He came from—and He was going to prepare a place for His disciples, and that would include us, and He said, “I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Now, I don’t know how He could do that without catching people off of this earth and taking them to heaven. So, that’s number one. Paul is obviously referring to this when in 1 Thessalonians, he says, “The Lord himself” (so that’s Christ coming back, like He said: “I will come again. )
“The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, the trump of God. The dead in Christ will rise first.” Paul is writing this because some of these Christians, Thessalonians, had died, and their survivors said, “Well, I guess they don’t get to go to heaven.”
So he said, “Comfort yourself with these words.” So, he was letting them know that even those who had died in Christ, their souls and spirits were with Him in heaven. He would bring the souls and spirits with Him and resurrect their bodies to reunite them with a new body, and then, “We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” Now, I don’t know what better explanation could be given of Christ’s promise in John 14. And for these people to say, “Well, there’s nothing about the Rapture in the Bible,” I don’t know what Bible they have been reading.
Tom: And some of the examples they give for this not being biblical, they say, it may have been Darby, back in the…what? Wouldn’t that be the early eighteen hundreds?
Dave: Early eighteen hundreds, right.
Tom: And then they also claim that it was started by a Jesuit priest.
Tom: Now, that’s a surprise to me, because the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in the Rapture.
Dave: Well, I guess they did that just to deceive us, I don’t know, but they even have a supposed documentation. But it’s not true. Darby supposedly got it from this young girl, teenager, speaking in tongues. No, that isn’t true, and, Tom, there is plenty of documentation of people in the church believing it, all the way back to the 300s, 400s.
And furthermore, I did not get this from Darby or some Jesuit, or from anyone else. Of course, I was taught it as a boy as I grew up, but it was taught to me out of the Bible, not out of some books that people have written. And I could see for myself in the Bible—“There it is!” How is Christ going to get His own from earth to heaven? Now, the people who deny the Rapture, they are expecting Christ to come and rule over the kingdom they have established. There are a lot of people who think Christians ought to take over this world, take over politics, take over the schools, and so forth, and when we have established the kingdom, then Christ will return to rule over the kingdom we have established.
Now, that is a great delusion, because Jesus Christ is not going to come to this earth to set up His kingdom until He has taken us, first of all, to heaven. And I don’t know how He could get us to heaven without a Rapture unless you want to die. But how are you going to take live people up there? So, Paul says: “Behold, I show you a mystery…” (this is 1 Corinthians 15), “we shall not all sleep…” (that is, our bodies won’t all be asleep in the grave) “but we shall all be changed. In a moment, the twinkling of an eye, the trumpet shall sound, the Lord shall descend, the dead shall be raised, and we will be changed.” Okay?
Now, how is Christ going to get us to heaven? I think these people believe in heaven— that’s where Jesus came from. He said, “I am come from my Father, and I return to my Father, my Father’s house of many mansions. I’m going back up there, and I will come again and receive you to myself.”
Now, how could that happen except by a Rapture? A Rapture is simply catching people up from this earth—these are living people—and the dead will be raised. Okay. So, I don’t know how else that could happen. And there is the Judgment Seat of Christ. There’s a marriage in Revelation 19, in heaven, and then Christ returns with His Bride. And I think we’ve probably mentioned it on this program before, but Zechariah chapter 14 clearly says: “When His feet touch the Mount of Olives, He brings all the saints from heaven with Him.” Okay?
So, I don’t know what the complaint is by these people who reject the Rapture, or what Bible they are reading, or how they think we’re going to get to earth from heaven. Now, apparently some of them, at least—they believe everything is going to be on this earth—that Christ is going to establish His kingdom on this earth. Yes, of course He is. He will rule on the throne of His father, David, over the children of Israel, and over the world from Jerusalem.
But we’re not Jews; we’re not in that particular kingdom. So, what does heaven have to do with this? And In Revelation 21, we see the heavenly Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven “as a bride adorned for her husband.” Now, how does a bride come down from heaven if she hasn’t been taken up there? I don’t know. Anyway Tom, I am belaboring the point.
Tom: No, I think it’s important information, Dave.
Dave: I don’t know how anyone could deny this, unless they think, “Well, we never go to heaven.” But what are you going to do with the people who died—Christians who died? Well, they have to be resurrected. Just to come back to this earth? They are going to have new bodies, they are going to rule and reign with Him a thousand years, the Scripture says. So, I don’t understand what the problem is. Furthermore, Tom, some of these people say, “Well, if you believe in a pre-trib Rapture, what are you going to do supposing the Antichrist does come first, and he pretends to be Christ? You will be deceived because you’re saying, ‘Oh, no, Antichrist couldn’t come. It’s going to have to be Christ. Antichrist only comes after Christ,’ so you would be deceived.”
Tom, there’s a very simple answer, and furthermore, the Rapture is the only answer to this. How could I not be deceived? I mean, if this guy is such a deceiver—he can do signs and wonders; he has all the power of Satan, with all the lying signs and wonders, deceivableness, and so forth. Well, and those who receive not the love of the truth, but I have received the love of the truth. But anyway, look, if the true Christ, as the Bible says, is going to catch us up, and we will meet Him in the air, He doesn’t even come to this earth—and you’ve got some guy walking around this earth, he doesn’t have the marks of Calvary, he hasn’t been resurrected from the dead, and anyway, that’s beside the point. He’s on this earth and he claims that he is establishing a kingdom on this earth, and he doesn’t catch me up to meet him in the air? The guy is a phony, and in fact, I’m not even here, because I’ve already been caught up.
Tom: Dave, one final point along this line. You talk about a secret Rapture. First of all, why does it have to be secret? And, you know, that unnerves some people: “So, what is this? Some kind of a cult, or esoteric teaching?” What do you mean by “secret rapture”?
Dave: Well, it was rather a secret resurrection actually. He appeared to over 500 brethren—these are all believers that He appeared to. I don’t have any record that He appeared to any unbelievers. So, why didn’t He appear to everybody? Why didn’t He let everybody know about this resurrection? They wouldn’t have believed it anyway. They would have tried to crucify Him again. This is something for His own, okay? We know that “When He shall appear,” John says, “we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Now, who is this “we”? Well, it says, everyone who has this hope in Him—we will see His appearing. The ungodly don’t have such a hope. Okay? Hebrews:9:28, says: “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” That’s pretty clear. [If] you’re not looking for Him…. Now, I don’t believe, Tom, that unless you’re standing out there scanning the sky at the moment that He returns, that He doesn’t catch you up, because it clearly says: “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” They don’t even have the opportunity to be looking for Him—the dead in Christ. So, everybody who died with faith in Christ is going to be resurrected.
Well, then those of us who are alive and remain, okay? That would be all the other Christians. In other words, we’re talking about Christians now. Some Christians died already, the rest of the Christians haven’t died. Okay, so they are caught up together with them, too. So, what does it mean: “Unto them that look for Him”? Well, a Christian—that’s all it means. We should be looking for Him, you know? That should be the attitude of every Christian. Now, how imminent they think this is, or whether they are involved in all kinds of other things, and the Rapture, tragically, would interrupt their plans—I think it would do that for a lot of people today; they don’t really want Christ to come back yet. “The stock market is about to hit 12,000, you know, and my 401K is doing great, and I’ve got money in the bank, and besides that, we are planning a vacation to Hawaii,” and so forth. Tom, I’m not being facetious! This is the truth. For most Christians, the last thing they are expecting is the Rapture. But anyway…
Tom: Which is what the Scripture says regarding that event.
Dave: But whether they are expecting Him or not, they at least have a belief that they are going to see Christ again. He said, “I will come again.” All right, anybody that believes that Jesus Christ came to this earth, paid the penalty for our sins, died for our sins on the cross, and rose again and went off to His Father’s house, they must believe—He said, “I will come again.” Where is He going to come from? He’s going to come from His Father’s house, and He said He would take us up there.
Tom, I don’t want to belabor it, but I couldn’t possibly be deceived by some guy who walks around on this earth, has everybody take a mark, and so forth, and then puts his image in the Temple, and you’ve got to bow down and worship it, and you’ve got to worship him as God, when my Bible clearly says that “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…voice of the archangel, the trump of God. The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air!” Okay? Secret Rapture? I don’t believe anyone on this earth except Christians will know this has happened.
Now people speculate: Well, our false teeth will fall out, or my artificial hips will be left—I don’t think so! He’s got to transform my body, the best parts of my body that I have (I don’t know what they are). You get a little older, you know, and things begin to fail, they wear out. But anyway, every bit of my body is going to have to be transformed. He’ll transform those artificial hips, too! They’re not going to be left behind.
People speculate: “Well, their clothes will be left behind, and they’ll know something, you know—that will tip them off; must have been the Rapture. That couldn’t have been a secret.” I don’t think clothes will be left behind. I think everything is gone and nobody on this earth is a witness to this event. The only thing they know is there’s maybe a hundred million people have suddenly vanished, and that would terrify this world, as we have mentioned in the past, in a way we couldn’t even imagine.
Tom: Well, Dave, second Thessalonians chapter 2, you know, it says, “Those who have not a love for the truth, God Himself will send strong delusions that they believe the lie.” So nobody is going to believe what the Bible says, or even if things that have been left behind, in which those who have never had an opportunity to receive the gospel, they may be affected by things that are left behind, but certainly not the world in general.
Dave: Tom, I often say, when I am speaking in a church, “You know, if the Rapture happened right now, and you’re left behind, you could be the only one left in this room, and you could know the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. You could have read, The Late Great Planet Earth twenty times, or whatever…
Tom: Or the Left Behind series.
Dave: Right. Or, how about my book, When Will Jesus Come? How Close Are We? It wouldn’t matter. If you have rejected the truth, there is no way that anyone could get you to believe that was the Rapture! You will receive a strong delusion from God to believe a lie. Then it’s urgent, therefore, for people to come to Christ now, especially those of you out there who have heard this, you know it’s true, but you’ve just delayed, you know—“Well, maybe tomorrow—maybe tomorrow.” There’s a hymn—I don’t think I’ve ever quoted it on this program. If I can remember it, it’s talking about being in time: “Life at best is very brief, Like the falling of a leaf, Like the binding of a sheaf, Be in time. Fleeting days are telling fast That the die will soon be cast, And the fatal line be passed, Be in time.” And I won’t go through the whole thing, but it ends something like: “Your cry will be too late, too late!” You won’t even know that it’s too late. There are all kinds of explanations: Remember, “Beam me up Scotty”? UFOs took up the space brothers, or they… we’ve talked to New Agers: Those who haven’t done their yoga, they are not spiritually prepared when the world is transformed into…mankind into “homo noeticus,” if you haven’t been doing your yoga, and so forth. You will be instantly removed to nonphysical dimension.
I don’t know what they all will be, but Tom, I do believe, as you mentioned, that those who have not refused the love of the truth, they haven’t heard the gospel—and I don’t know whether that includes most Catholics, who don’t really know about the Rapture. I mean, they don’t really know the true gospel.
Dave: All they know is, you take this wafer and ingest “Jesus” into your stomach. Of course, heathen off in the jungles never heard. Or, Tom, I’m not giving them too much hope either, because the Scripture says that this universe tells us of God.
Dave: And that He has written His laws in our hearts. You could be out there in the jungle, you never heard the gospel, but you have rejected the God that created you, whose glory is clearly seen in the things around you; you’ve rejected His voice in your conscience; you’ve made idols out of gold and silver and so forth, whatever you had at hand—wood or stone. I’m not so sure that these people themselves have not rejected the truth. I don’t know who will not have rejected the truth, and who will then be able to believe the gospel. However, the Bible indicates many will during the Great Tribulation, and they will be martyred for their faith. They will refuse to bow down to the image and worship the beast, and they will be martyred.
Tom: And those who somehow survive, who are not martyred, they are going to be the ones who populate the earth during the thousand-year reign of Christ, whether some Gentiles as well as Jews.
Dave: I’m not sure how many survivors there will be at the time Christ returns among those who believed under the Antichrist and were not killed. Because he’s got GPS, he’s got everything. He’s going after everybody everywhere, the Bible indicates. But I believe there will be a great multitude…. Of course, we know all Israel will be saved—that’s the one-third of the Jews who are left alive. They will all be saved. They will be saved when they see Him. “They will look on Me, whom they have pierced,” God says, “and they will mourn because of Him.” Obviously “Me” and “Him” are two persons, but they must be One, because they were mourning for Him because “I have been pierced,” God says.
So, anyway, I believe there will be many Gentiles who never heard the gospel—they didn’t even hear it, perhaps, during the Great Tribulation—they will believe when they see Christ. And they will be the ones who will continue on in this earth. They don’t get resurrected, because they haven’t died.
Tom: Dave, chapter 18 of your book, which we are going to get to next week—we’re just about out of time…
Dave: Now, Tom, you promised, today we would get to that, and we didn’t keep our promise. We’re going to lose any confidence these people have in what we say!
Tom: Now, Dave, is that a referee’s call? Are you blowing the whistle on me?
Dave: (Chuckling) That’s right.
Dave: Well, we will really get into it next week.
Tom: Yes, we will, or we have to sit in the penalty box, for you hockey fans out there! Chapter 18 of your book is titled: “Timing Factors,” and there are issues related to timing. Many things had to take place, and the question is…
Dave: Not for the Rapture, but for the Second Coming!
Tom: Well, that’s the question, because you seem to imply that there is a relationship between certain things that take place.
Dave: We’ll come back and talk about that next week.