“Immediately after the Tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
We will look at today’s Scripture passage, and we will study what will happen after the Tribulation and what God wants to teach us concerning it. The Lord said, “Immediately after the Tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
The first part of Matthew 24 says that many of us who are born again will be handed over to death and others that are alive will endure untold hatred and persecution from all people until the end. These that are alive will not suffer physical death until they have received their salvation. When the Tribulation comes upon this land, there will be some people of God who will be martyred and some who will even hide in underground drainage pipes until the Day of the Lord's appearance. Simply put, this world at this time will be in total chaos.
What did the Lord say about the way things will unfold after the tribulation? Firstly, He said that the sun would be darkened. And He also said the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. This means that the preaching of the gospel will be impossible during this time when the people of God and His servants who are born-again suffer death at the hands of the servants of Satan. Will the Lord leave this universe unscathed at that time? It says that the sun and the moon of the sky will not give light. It teaches us that God will do this immediately and suddenly. And He also says that the stars will fall from heaven and that the powers of the heaven will be shaken. It means that the harmony of the universe God has created will break down. In the solar system, all planets revolve around the sun. But the Lord teaches us that the order of the universe will collapse after the tribulation. That is why we need to accept this teaching and keep it in our minds.
What would happen if the sun does not shine and give off its much-needed heat? What would happen to the earth? It would be very dark place, right? What about all the plants and trees? They would all die. What about people? If there are no plants, people will not be able to live either. And what would happen if the moon does not illuminate at night? It would always be a pitch-dark world. The Lord teaches us what will take place after the tribulation here on earth. It would be somewhat unfair if the world continued on regardless even after the born-again people suffered through the tribulation. But the bible informs us that the world will be destroyed immediately.
We Must Believe in the Teachings Concerning the Events after the Tribulation
There is no reason for God to let this world continue on after the born-again children of God go through the Tribulation. In addition, can you imagine the stars falling from the sky like celestial missiles? Have you seen the movies ‘Armageddon’ or ‘Deep Impact’? These movies are about some heroic individuals saving the earth from an asteroid that is falling toward the earth at a tremendous speed, ready to bring on the total destruction of the earth. In a desperate act to save the earth, the main characters fly a spaceship to outer space and track the asteroid, and they then destroy the asteroid in the sky with a nuclear bomb. It was impressive to see how a single meteorite having been blown apart from the asteroid could fall into the Atlantic Ocean, which created a huge disastrous tidal wave (tsunami), and wiped away large cities on the east coast of the United States.
The earth will be like that in the end. Such science fiction movies are not made without any basis. It is actually very possible. The scientists inform us that the dinosaurs had suddenly disappeared from the earth because such an asteroid or a meteorite with a diameter reaching a few kilometers had fallen on the earth and the resulting dust from this devastating impact had covered the whole atmosphere of the earth, which lead to an ice age. By the way, when the Lord says, “I will do this,” we should understand what He is saying and believe in what He says.
In reality, it is very difficult for us to imagine such a thing. We sometimes see disastrous events like planes crashing down, rocks falling from the mountain, and large ships sinking. But it is hard to imagine the stars of the universe crashing into one another, large meteorites and asteroids speeding down like unguided missiles and crashing into the earth at an amazing speed, and with the result the earth immediately turning into a ball of fire, eventually bringing its end speedily. But they have made these frightening movies under the validation of scientists because the possibility of such disasters occurring is more than enough. It is hard to comprehend the Lord’s teachings about the period after the tribulation with our limited intelligence, but I believe it is very possible because that is exactly what the Lord tells us in the Scriptures.
If the earth is totally demolished, it will be impossible for us to live on it unless the Lord renews it. That is why the saying “Behold, I make all things new” is recorded in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:5). The Lord says that He will make anew this world and will reign with us for a thousand year, and He will later dwell with us eternally in a place called “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).
The Lord continues, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” It is said the sign of the Lord’s coming will appear in heaven. We do not know exactly how the sign will manifest itself, but the Bible tells us that He will come with a glorious and magnificent presence surrounded by the host of archangels. The sky will be full of magnificent stars shining ever so brightly. And the angels and the host of Heaven will enter amongst the white clouds, and the Lord will appear, sitting on the white throne in the sky. It teaches us that all those who are alive after the tribulation will see this glorious sight with mourning and anguish as they actually see the coming of the Lord after the showing of these many signs.
Why would people cry at that time? Those who do not believe in the Lord will cry in fear of the judgment because they did not believe, and those who do not believe with the correct faith will cry regretfully for their ignorance of the true gospel. Some will say, “Oh, God lives, and Jesus is God,” and cry regretfully for not having believed. And some who did believe in Jesus but were not born again for they had been misled in their faith will cry out in fear of the judgment to come, as they see with their very eyes the coming of the Lord.
If that is what the Lord said, that is the way it is going to be. Some people live in ‘cuckoo land’ all of their own making as if they are going to live forever, and they steadfastly and firmly believe that the universe will never be destroyed. But the end of this world will definitely come when the Lord returns, and whether our Lord will come shortly or not depends on whether the Lord’s will has been completed or not.
When the gospel is shared even to the ends of the earth and all those who ‘deserve’ the receiving of salvation have received their salvation, then the Lord will completely demolish and send the host of angels with the sounds of the trumpet to bring together the chosen people from one end of the earth to the other. It means that the Lord will send the host of angels after the seventh trumpet sound following the tribulation to gather all the elect from the ends of the earth. There will be this glorious rapture on earth then. The rapture will occur with the coming of the Lord upon this world when the Lord returns with the sound of the trumpet and of the archangel. It means that the Lord will lift the believers up to Him in the sky then.
The stars of the sky will fall toward the earth like unguided missiles, and huge tidal waves and other disasters will then take place, making the earth an extremely difficult place to live in. God also said that He would return to this world after the Tribulation and rapture the righteous who had lived through and survived all these disasters as well as the believers who are already dead. This is the time when the rapture will occur. Why would the believers be lifted up to the sky? It is because this land will no longer be suitable for human habitation. How can we live on this land after such decimation? Of course the Lord could renew the whole universe just simply saying these words, “Let there be a renewal of the universe” like the time when He had created the world. But the Lord says that the only the true believers will be raptured at that time.
The Apostle Paul says in the First Thessalonians chapter 4 that our Lord will rapture the believers with the sound of the trumpet of the archangel. It says that the believers will be lifted up to the sky. Let us now look at the 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 together: “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
We must understand what the Lord is saying to us about the things that will happen after the tribulation through the Word, which is recorded in Scripture. The Lord says through Paul, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The Word states clearly that the signs of the Lord’s coming will appear after the Tribulation with the sun losing its light and heat, the moon also will give up its light, and the stars will fall away. The Scriptures also tell us that He will descend upon this world with the archangels and the sound of the trumpet, and send the angels to gather God’s elect from the ends of the earth. Here the word “to gather” really means the “rapture.” When we look at this, we can see that our Lord will rapture us after the Tribulation when the end is very near.
God commands the angels to gather all God’s elect from one end of the earth to the other. The words ‘God’s elect’ refers to those who have received salvation by believing in the only true gospel of the water and the blood of Jesus Christ in their hearts. God is doing this to fulfill His objective of accepting them as His children and to eventually live with them for all eternity. These words of God means that after the Tribulation He will send the angels to gather all the elect in Christ, those who have received salvation and eternal life and become sinless children of God by believing in His gospel of the water and the blood, and then rapture them all.
Those who have been born again will definitely be raptured after the Tribulation. Even though you may have never experienced flying in a plane, God will have you flying at high speed at that time. All the overweight people will be raptured and including the underweight people will be raptured as well. The born-again will be raptured regardless of their weight. The Scriptures tell us that ‘only’ the children of God who have been born again of water and the Spirit will be raptured.
Those who believe in eschatology with their own man made set of deadlines interpret the number 144,000 recorded in the Book of Revelation as believers of their own respected denominations. Some denominations in this world even hand out identification cards as a proof of the ones ‘chosen to be raptured’. And some of these groups have already passed membership beyond that number, and if that were the case, it means that they no longer need to evangelize. These man made claims do not make any sense at all. Even the amongst the Evangelicals there is much confusion about the rapture. We must simply believe exactly according to the recorded Word in the Scriptures.
What do the Scriptures say about the rapture? The Scriptures clearly tell us that only the children of God who have been born again of the water and the Spirit will be raptured. Concerning this number 144,000, which is recorded in the Book of Revelation, is the number referring to the number of people from ‘each Israelite tribe’ who will be receiving salvation at the end time (Revelation 7:4). And the number of the Gentiles who eventually receive salvation during the Great Tribulation will be countless as it is recorded, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). People generally come to a false and senseless conclusion because they interpret the Scriptures anyway they want to. One thing the Bible is very clear about is that a person with sin in their hearts will definitely not be raptured regardless of their denomination.
We Must Not Be Deceived by the Doctrine of “Pre-Tribulation Rapture”
The Evangelicals claim the theory of “pre-tribulation rapture,” that is to say; the rapture will come before the Seven Year Tribulation. Therefore they claim the following, “You will not even have an opportunity to spend the riches of this world when you are raptured. So instead you should give the riches of the world to the church as an offering and use it for the Lord’s work.” This is really a fantastic idea for requesting offerings and donations. It is their intentions to sanctify their religious leaders and to accumulate vast riches of this world with this false doctrine of the rapture. Even in our locality, I am really dumbfounded to see that there is a certain church that is collecting funds to build a three million dollar edifice of a church in these economically difficult times. These people are tragically using the false pre-tribulation doctrine of the rapture to accumulate their own wealth.
If I were so sure that the rapture would take place before the Tribulation, even I would be up there with them telling you also, “Give everything you have to the Lord and go before the Lord without having any money left over.” However, we find in the Scriptures that the time of the rapture is definitely not before the tribulation. The Seven Year Tribulation can be distinguished by the first three and a half years and the second three and a half years. The Scriptures inform us that the Antichrist will appear after the first half of the Tribulation and set an idol in his own image in the Temple of the Israelites, claiming, “I am God.” The Antichrist will rule over the world during the latter half of the Tribulation and persecute the righteous people of God, and the rapture will occur during the second half of the tribulation although the Lord did not specify exactly when it would occur.
Why does He not make this clear to us? It is because the lives of the believers would be in danger if the exact time of the rapture were to be known. Those unbelievers would persecute the born-again believers to death if they knew exactly when the rapture would occur. God the Father has not specified the exact date of the rapture, because it is for our protection even though we understand that it will happen some time during the second three and a half years period of the Tribulation. This is the wisdom of God.
During the Tribulation period, most of the born-again believers will be martyred. But some of them will escape and survive. The Lord will finally destroy this land at a time when the gospel can no longer be evangelized, and He will appear in the heavens and catch all of us up with Him in the sky. He will first lift up the brothers and sisters who are sleeping in the grave, and then He will transform all the surviving believers everywhere in this world and lift them up too. The Lord told us this clearly in the Word. Therefore we shall not be deceived by the false doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture. Do not be deceived. One thing is very clear: We will be raptured after the Tribulation. Our Lord said that He would send His angels to gather us from every corner of the earth after the Tribulation. We must believe in this steadfastly and unwaveringly.
What Will Happen During the Times of the Third Seal and the Fourth Seal?
Let’s read Revelation 6:5-11 together: “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’ When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony, which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
Verse 5 states that a black horse appeared as the third seal was opened, and the black horse having a pair of scales cried out, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius.” These words have the meaning that there will be a great famine. The Scriptures continue, “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him.” The period when the fourth seal is opened is the time when the events after the Tribulation have unfolded.
The period when the third seal is opened is the time when we suffer the tribulation. The time of the third seal is when there are disasters, earthquakes, famines, and other calamities, and the time after the Tribulation is when we are martyred. Many people will suffer death at the time when the pale horse appears. There will be the rapture at that time, but the Lord will continue to postpone the time of the rapture until the number of the true believers He desires has been fulfilled. This number however will be filled very quickly, and those who have already been martyred will be mentioned when the fifth seal is opened. What will happen when the sixth seal is opened?
We shall find the answer in the Scriptures. Let us look at Revelation 6:12-17. “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” We can see in this passage that there will be a great number of martyrs after the first half of the Seven Year Tribulation and that the rapture will take place right after this. We must not be deceived regarding these matters.
There are many around who claim to have been born again and to have received salvation. But the reality is that those who have not been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not have the Holy Spirit within them. Those who do not have the Spirit within them are not essentially the righteous, no matter how much they claim that they do not have sin. You must truly become the righteous, not just claiming to be the righteous superficially.
What does God’s Word in Matthew 24:41 tell us, “Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left,” This verse means that God will look into people’s hearts and see whether or not they have received the remission of sin through His gospel of the water and the Spirit and thus have the Spirit within them, and He will take only those who have the Spirit within them. Those who merely claim to have been born again just by lip service will not be lifted up. One thing we must understand clearly is that those who say “Do not accumulate wealth. Give all you have to the Lord because you will be raptured before the Tribulation” are all false prophets. And those who claim to have received the remission of sin without the Holy Spirit within them are not truly the righteous before the Lord. We must also understand is the fact that the Tribulation as mentioned in the bible will definitely happen and we should believe in the coming of the Lord, living faithfully serving the gospel, and preparing our hearts.
The Lord tells us, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” We must do exactly what He tells us to do. These are the times in which we are living of much deception, propagated by the false prophets. They keep telling us, “Now is the time just before the Tribulation. But we will be raptured before the Tribulation because we are the born-again. We will go before the presence of the Lord anyway. So people let’s give all the material wealth to the Lord and prepare ourselves to meet the Lord.” They keep deceiving the people in this manner.
There will be one more thing that will occur throughout the world, when people forget about their respected families and schools, just to get together in their churches, and cry out “Lord, Lord,” like the Dami Mission. Because such phenomena occurs more frequently these days, we should be ever more focused and live out our lives with greater dedication to the evangelization of the gospel. We must believe in the fact that the rapture is an event that will occur when the end of the world is imminent, and we must be faithful in our responsibilities until the day we will no longer are able to preach the gospel.
And at the end period, the unified government of the world will do everything in its power to persecute the righteous believers and distort their true faith. At that time the preceding servants of God will be persecuted first, and many will be martyred and go on ahead before the Lord. But I tell you do not be afraid. Though some will go before others, our final destination has already been decided. Please do not be deceived by all the false doctrines of the rapture, and stand fast to the very end. In Christianity there are many strange things occurring these days, because false prophets have spread much of their false doctrines. Many have sold their houses and even divorced because they have fallen for the false doctrine of eschatology. The false prophets who claim to be the righteous just by giving lip service are the tares that Satan has planted in this world. Their purpose is to shut up people’s hearts, so that they will not believe in the fact that the end time is very close.
I sincerely desire all of you to realize that we must live by faith because we do not have much time left over in this world. What I mean by saying this is that we need to focus our efforts more acutely and serve the gospel by faith. It is more beneficial if you do not quit your job or business that you do for a living now, but rather work hard in it. Also at the same time give your heart towards the sharing of the Gospel by faith, and use your money you have earned for the serving of the Lord and the bringing of people to Christ, rather than spending it on yourself like before you were saved.
Here are some wise words of encouragement; Do as you faith leads you concerning the remainder of your life. We should nevertheless take care of our own families, work hard, make money, and carry on nurturing our children. Through the strength the Lord provides us, we must serve the Lord with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our physical capability, and with all that we have. We must serve the Lord with our faith and with our time. Again I will repeat to you, do the things well for your family and in your social life, but do not leave the Church. Serve the gospel in one mind and purpose with your minister and the Church, and share the gospel with as many people as possible. Share it with their family members in order that their entire household will be saved.
Work with the Church wholeheartedly. It is a great blessing when you become one in mind with the minister in the Church. Do you understand this? Please do not say that you are going to sell your house and donate all the proceeds to the Church. Such type of action will not be of any benefit to the gospel. Let us not fill our heads with nonsense just because the coming of the Lord is near, but let us walk by faith diligently and share the gospel with each person we come across until the day we meet our Lord.
When the world is almost completely destroyed, the stars of the sky will fall down like unguided missiles, nuclear wars will erupt, the earth will split open, and this earth will become a garbage dump filled with agonizing excruciating cries. And then our Lord will appear in the sky, and we will be raptured. You should always remember that you can not do whatever you want to do by not witnessing to others, just because you now know the end time is very near. Knowing that those who have been born again will be raptured and have eternal life, we should go on living in this world with hope. At that time of the Lord's appearing we will all be transformed to a holy body like God and be raptured. It will be much more gratifying to know that we will descend again to this earth with the Lord and rule like kings for a thousand years when our Lord renews this entire universe.
Let Us Spread the Gospel to Every Person to the End of This World
Do you know, it is God’s will for everyone living on this earth to be saved. The Lord said that he would come after this gospel has been spread throughout the entire world. How can the people of this world be saved if we would be raptured before the Tribulation? If we do not evangelize this gospel, then who will? Is it possible for a person who has not received the remission of sins share this true gospel? Absolutely not! that is not possible. How can a person proclaim this gospel without knowing it? How can one witness the gospel without believing in it? A person who has not received the ‘remission of sins’ will receive the mark of the Antichrist. Then who will be the ones martyred? There are many martyrs mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Will those who have received the mark of the Antichrist be martyred? No, that does not make any sense at all. The truth is that those who have been born again through the water and the Spirit will embrace their martyrdom by faith.
We must learn from this Word of God written under ‘spiritual inspiration’ and live by faith according to its teaching. Then and then only will our hearts will be comforted. Just accept the fact that we will share the gospel until the end time. I am comforted when I think that I will live until the Lord’s coming.
There are not that many people in this world who speak about the doctrine of rapture in the same manner as we do. Most people say that the rapture will occur before the Tribulation. They keep on saying, “You will be raptured before the Tribulation. So friends serve the Lord diligently with all your strength and ability as if you were a wealthy and powerful individual before all that is yours become useless.” There are just too many false preachers around who keep on deceiving people in this manner. Please keep in mind that the rapture is an event that will take place when the end of the world is very near. The rapture will take place at the time of the Lord’s coming. Therefore, we should live out our lives with the conviction that we will go on living until the end of this world, the end of the earth, the end of the universe, and we must share this gospel to the very end. Have a solid concrete conviction about this important matter, and be careful not to be deceived and lose everything you have. If someone should tell you this nonsense, please rebuke these people with the Word of God, as it is written in the Scriptures.
Many believers wavered at the time when the Apostle Paul wrote the First and the Second Book of Thessalonians. Some of them quit working because they believed they were going to be raptured soon. So seeing this situation the Apostle Paul wrote in the First and the Second Book of Thessalonians that those who do not want to work shall not even eat. The First Book of Thessalonians shows clearly that they surely had a great deal of problems with this end time matter. That is why Paul states clearly, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
The Bible is very clear that the rapture will occur at the time of the Lord’s coming with the sound of the archangel’s trumpet. The Scriptures tells us what will happen during the second half of the Seven Year Tribulation after the first three and a half years of the Tribulation have passed. My friends there are not that many days left before the coming of the Lord. Our time ‘in tribulation’ is not too far off; this is because the Lord has said that He will take away a portion of it.
During this period, there will no doubt be people that we must share the gospel with. When we are unable to share the gospel with the people of this world anymore, we can then share the gospel with our family members. We should share the food we have, and also share the gospel with them everyday. We should share the gospel with our close relatives, distant relatives, in-laws, and whoever else comes to us. So we see at that time, we shall share the gospel one more last time, and when we are unable to share it anymore, all we have to do is to endure just a little longer. Then the Lord will come after the end of the Tribulation.
Let us believe in the return of the Lord, and let us believe that we will be going through the rapture at the end time. And let us share this gospel to the very last soul on this earth until the end of this world and the end of our lives, and let us be lifted up before the Lord.