KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Faith in the Last Days (Part 2: The Rapture)

 “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8)

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” (Matt. 24:1)

“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matt. 24:2)

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3)

As Jesus and His disciples passed by the temple, they pointed out to Him its grandeur, but Jesus replied by saying that all the stones of the temple would be cast down.

They responded by asking Jesus three questions.

The answer Jesus gave to the disciple’s third question, “what shall be the sign…of the end of the world?” revolves around a prophecy given in the Book of Daniel.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Dan. 12:11)

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matt. 24:15)

Jesus went on to explain that after the “abomination of desolation” would stand in the holy place, there would be a short period of time and then the end of the world would come.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21)

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:22)

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” (Matt. 24:29)

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30)

This is a description of the third coming: the coming of Jesus as the Conqueror, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; the time of the end of the world.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Rev. 21:1)

The single event that “triggers” this time period which separates the coming of Jesus as the Bridegroom and the coming of Jesus as the Conqueror is the “abomination that maketh desolate.”

The Apostle Paul gives greater detail of this event, and in doing so explains two things which must occur before the time of “great tribulation” and the “day of Christ”:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (2Thess. 2:3)

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2Thess. 2:4)

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2Thess. 2:5)

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” (2Thess. 2:6)

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2Thess. 2:7)

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” (2Thess. 2:8)

The Bible teaches that in the last days there is coming a man upon the earth who will be the epitome of evil. Even as Jesus Christ is referred to as the “fullness of the Godhead bodily”, this man will be so full of Satan that he is referred to as the “Antichrist.”

He is also called the Beast, the man of sin, the son of perdition, and the abomination of desolation.

The Bible teaches that when he is revealed he will go into the Temple in Jerusalem, remove the daily sacrifice, enter into the Holy place, sit down and declare that he is God.

The Roman Empire had become so oppressive against the Church in the days of the Apostle Paul, that some in the Church believed they were living during this time of The Great Tribulation.

They believed that the saints coming out of their graves after the resurrection of Jesus (Matt. 27:52) was the Resurrection, that Caesar was the Antichrist, and that the Roman Empire was the kingdom of the Beast.

The Apostle Paul wrote to them in 2 Thessalonians explaining that this was not so. Caesar could not be the Antichrist because two things were yet to happen before the Antichrist could be revealed.

These two things are still yet to happen.

They are that “He who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way”, and the Antichrist must sit in “the temple of God shewing himself that he is God.”

Since the Temple of God was destroyed in circa 70 A.D. by the Roman armies, it has never been rebuilt.

One of the events that must happen before “the man of sin” can remove the daily sacrifice, sit in the Holy place, declare himself to be God, and be revealed as the Antichrist is that the Temple must be rebuilt and the sacrifice be reinstituted.

Jerusalem today is a divided city between Jew and Muslim, with the Temple mount occupied by the Muslim Dome of the Rock.

What could possibly happen that would be of such cataclysmic proportions as to upset the balance of power and embolden the Jews to rebuild the Temple of God in the place of the Muslim temple?

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2Thess. 2:7)

There is only one power in the earth today that is able to hold back the powers of darkness and prohibit the enemy of God from performing his will at any time.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that God has put in His Church, and until the Church is taken out of the way, that Wicked cannot be revealed.

There have been men in the past such as Adolf Hitler, filled with evil, who thought they could make the prophecies come to pass, destroy the chosen people of God, conquer the world, and assume the position of the antichrist.

However, as long as the Church is in the world to have faith, believe God, pray, and resist the devil, the Evil One is paralyzed and limited as to what he can do.

The Bible tells of a time when a worldwide miraculous event shall occur. In one single moment every true believer in Jesus Christ will rise up to meet the Lord in the air, and every born-again Christian will disappear from the face of the earth.

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Cor. 15:52)

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” (1Thess. 4:16)

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:17)

Trumpets were used in the Old Testament not only for battle, but to assemble the congregation, to announce the feast, and to declare the changing of the season.

This is the last trump that shall sound, the last assembling of the congregation, the last call to the feast.

This is the end of the season, the end of the Church Age, and the gathering of the believers in Christ to meet the Lord in the air.

This is the next great event in God’s plan that we the Church are to be looking for.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28)

Then shall the Holy Spirit who indwells the believers that make up the Church be “taken out of the way”, and the Scripture can be fulfilled:

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12)

What is Jesus looking for in His Church when He comes back? What is He expecting His Church to be doing?

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Faith in the Last Days (Part 3: Faith)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at for the NOOK, for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at for the NOOK, for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at for the PC and all e-reading devices


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