Gene says. I think David is being a little hard, but I agree in principle with his theology. Tough call:
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Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your heart in wanting to share this. I'm not going to beat around the bush about this though. I too believed this, and taught it, because that is what was taught to me by my teachers. The Lord then showed me that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is false, along with most all of the dispensationalist, eschatological and zionist nonsense that goes right along with it.
I don't expect you to believe what I'm saying here, but I do encourage you to fast and open-heartedly seek the Lord that He Himself might show you about this. That is what I did 15 years ago, on my face and in tears before Him waiting for direct revelation of the truth because I was getting a check in my spirit about what I was hearing taught incessantly on this subject from the Christian pulpits.
"Heaven" is not a far away glittering jewel studded city with streets of gold, pearly gates, and our own personalized mansions prepared for us to someday relocate to, by the way. No, heaven is simply another term for THE SPIRIT REALM. It speaks of the entire spiritual dimension (with all of its varying degrees) which envelopes and influences all of this natural creation, but whose presence and influence generally goes unnoticed by it.
With this in mind, and with regard to being caught up to the highest heaven, I'll just say that even now there are those who are pressing in for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus by entering into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, being made conformable to His death so that they might also be partakers of His glorious resurrection life. These saints are not hoping to be raptured away from trouble into the clouds, for they know that trouble (tribulation) is what brings them into rapturous fellowship with the Father and that IN THIS WAY THEY CAN BECOME THE CLOUDS in whom the Lord shall come with great power and glory and through whom every eye shall see HIM (for they shall be like Him).
Something else that I feel to point out to you about all of this is that the word used for “keep” in John 17:15 is the Greek word “tereo” which means to “watch, guard and protect.” IT DOES NOT MEAN TO REMOVE! This is the exact same word used in Revelation 3:10 where the Lord makes the promise to a remnant of believers that He will “keep” them (watch over, guard and protect them) from the hour of testing that will come upon the whole earth. This verse does not speak of divine evacuation from tribulation, but of divine protection in the midst of it. How men have been twisting these things to their own demise and the demise of others.
I have pleaded with many pastors over the years to get on their faces too in true humility and repentance before God so that they might hear and know about what is really to come upon the church in the end of the age. But most of these men have taken no heed to what has been said to them, and so, by their teachings, they continue to make lies their refuge and deception their hiding place, and those who follow them in their teachings more than likely those who will fear and flee in the day of battle rather than those who will stand in the battle in the authority and the anointing and the power of Christ.
It is certainly now the time for us to LOOK UP for our redemption draws nigh. Our salvation (full salvation) is surely now much closer than when we first believed, but that does not mean that we should be looking up into the sky for the coming of Christ hoping to be raptured away. It means to FIX OUR VISION ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT (a higher realm than this natural one) so that we might understand the manner of the Lord’s coming in this day, and be ready for it.
May the Lord bless you both with insight and understanding of these things. by David Weber