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What Does “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” Mean? How Can We Be Overcomers?
Hello brothers and sisters of Find the Shepherd,
We are now in the last stage of the last days, I’ve seen in the news that all kinds of disasters are growing and growing in scale, and whether or not I can be raptured before the tribulation and made into an overcomer before the disasters are key issues for me. My opinion about these two issues is that, so long as we hold to the name of the Lord no matter what happens, work hard for the Lord and do not turn back as we go through all manner of adversities, then we can become overcomers. And when the disasters come, we can then be caught up into the sky to meet with the Lord and enjoy His promise. But some have questioned my opinion, saying that some people have now achieved this and that, moreover, the disasters are growing in scale and many kinds of disasters have befallen us already, and yet still no one has been seen being raised up into the sky. Does being caught up really mean being raised up into the sky? And is it so simple to become an overcomer, that one becomes an overcomer just by achieving these things? I don’t quite understand all this, so I’d like to ask your opinion. Looking forward to your reply!
Hello Sister Xiao Xiao:
That we can seek and fellowship about issues that we do not fully understand accords with God’s will. Thank the Lord!
Whether or not we can be raptured before the tribulation and can be made into overcomers before the disasters directly relates to whether or not we can enter into the heavenly kingdom. But if we want ultimately to be made into overcomers and be caught up into heaven, we must first understand what exactly being caught up means, and what being made into overcomers means. These two issues have been separated below for discussion. May God guide us!
1. What Does “Pre-Tribulation” Mean?
If we want to understand what “pre-tribulation rapture” means, we must first know what it means to be caught up. Some people believe that being caught up means that, when the Lord returns, He will raise us up into the sky to meet with Him, and this is because Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “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.” But is this what the Lord intended? This is just what Paul himself said; the Lord Jesus never said this, the Holy Spirit never bore such testimony, and therefore these words cannot represent the Lord’s intention. As we all know, in the beginning God created mankind on earth using clay, He set them to oversee all the things God had created on earth and He enjoined them to worship Him and glorify Him. What’s more, God long ago told us clearly that God would establish His kingdom on earth, that He would abide with man on earth, and that the kingdoms of the world would all become kingdoms ruled over by Christ. It is just as the prophecies in Revelation say, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Therefore, when the Lord returns, He will not raise people up into the sky to meet with Him, but will establish His kingdom on earth, for the destination God has prepared for us is to be found on earth. Moreover, if we were caught up into the sky, we wouldn’t be able to survive up there. So the belief that to be caught up means to be raised up into heaven does not accord with the truth and does not accord with the facts of God’s work; it is merely a product of our conceptions and imaginings, and it is an extravagant wish.
So what does it mean to be caught up? Let’s read a passage of God’s words and then we’ll understand. This passage states: “‘Being caught up’ is not being taken from a low place to a high place as people imagine. This is a huge mistake. Being caught up is referring to My predestining and selecting. It is targeted at all those I have predestined and chosen. Those who have gained the status of firstborn son, the status of sons, or people, are all those who have been caught up. This is most incompatible with people’s notions. Those who have a share in My house in the future are all people who have been caught up before Me. This is absolutely true, never-changing, and cannot be refuted by anybody. This is the counterattack against Satan. Anyone I predestined shall be caught up before Me.”
From this passage, we are able to know clearly that being caught up does not mean that we are raised from a low place to a high place, but rather it refers to those who are predestined and chosen by God. Being predestined refers to those who were predestined by God to attain salvation before the ages, and being chosen refers to those who are predestined being able to follow God’s footsteps, come before God and accept His new work—this is what being caught up means. As we are well aware, at the end of the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus came to carry out a new stage of work. At that time, Peter, John, Matthew, James and so on, all heard the sermons preached by Jesus, so they left the law behind and followed the Lord, and thus they were caught up before God. Similarly, the Lordthat He would return in the last days and that He would come amongst man to speak His words and perform His work to save man. As the Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). From this, we can clearly see that when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He yet has many things to say to us and He will express His words and perform the work of judgment. Only by accepting God’s work of judgment of the last days can we truly be caught up before God.
Therefore, as the name implies, pre-tribulation rapture means that God will once again come in person into the world before the great tribulation arrive to do the work He must do, and only by welcoming the return of the Lord during this time can we be raptured before the tribulation.
We’ve now fellowshiped about what pre-tribulation rapture means, so now let’s fellowship what it means to be made into overcomers before the disasters.
2. What Does “Being Made Into Overcomers Before the Disasters” Mean?
Before we can understand what it means to be made into an overcomer before the disasters, we first have to understand what the overcomers are. Literally, it means a group of people who overcome. As all who believe in God know, Satan is the enemy of God, and so we must overcome, which assuredly means that we must overcome Satan. Therefore, the overcomers refers to the group of people who will overcome Satan. But what does it mean to overcome Satan? Ever since our ancestors Adam and Eve were seduced by Satan, mankind has lived in sin and has been filled with all manner of corrupt dispositions, such as being arrogant and conceited, selfish and despicable, crooked and deceitful, and so on. It can be said that each and every one of us is fettered by these things and we live relying on these poisons. Therefore, overcoming Satan means to cast off Satan’s bonds and fetters, to utterly rid ourselves of all the satanic poisons that plague us and no longer live by them, but instead be able to hear God’s words and live by God’s words. In this way, we can be named overcomers and our sins can truly be purified, and we can live in the light and be worthy of God’s inheritance. Just as it is recorded in Revelation, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out” (Revelation 3:12). “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7). “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4–5). And God’s words say, “Those who are made complete before the disaster are obedient to God. They live reliant on Christ, witness Christ, and exalt Him. They are the victorious male children and the good soldiers of Christ.”
From these words, we can see that the overcomers are those who make it through great tribulations. They experience the judgment of God’s words, their corrupt dispositions are cleansed away, they possess the reality of obedience to God, they enter God’s kingdom and they enjoy His promise. To say it another way, being an overcomer does not mean being able to suffer, to pay a price and to keep the Lord’s name in one’s faith in the Lord, and it does not mean not turning back when tribulations arise; instead, it means accepting God’s work of judgment of the last days and having one’s sins cleansed away. But how much of our current filth and corruption has been cleansed away? We have not yet rid ourselves of any of our corrupt dispositions, such as being arrogant and conceited, selfish and despicable, crooked and deceitful, wicked and greedy, and so on. When God blesses us, we can obey Him, but when things happen that are not to our liking, we are capable of involuntarily blaming God. When we see others who are better at giving sermons than we are, jealousy and hatred toward them can arise within us. When matters touch upon our own interests, we can engage in deception and not be honest—these are just a few examples. Therefore, if we want to be raptured before the tribulation and be made into overcomers before the tribulation, then we must accept God’s work of the last days before the tribulation arrive, experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, cast off all the corrupt dispositions of Satan, live by God’s words, exalt Christ and bear witness to Christ in all things, and obey and worship God. Only then can one be considered to have been made into an overcomer by God and be qualified to inherit God’s promise and to enter into His kingdom.
Sister Xiao Xiao, our understanding and knowledge of what “pre-tribulation rapture” and “being made into overcomers before the disasters” mean is also limited and we can only provide such a fellowship as this, but we hope this has been of some help to you. If there is anything else you don’t understand or if you have any more problems, please write to us and we’ll seek and fellowship together again.
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