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Revelation's Rapture

Scripture: John 14:1-3, Matthew 26:64, Matthew 24:1-51
What does the Bible say about Christ's second coming? When and how will it happen? Will it be a secret? People were not ready for Christ's first coming. Could that same mistake happen again? Jesus promised that He would return. He told us the way He left is the way He will return.
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Note: This is an unedited, verbatim transcript of the live broadcast.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #1: Good evening! And we’re so glad that we’re here with you tonight and that you’re here with us. Our first question. Last night, you said if someone could email you and let you know what 1 with 33 zeroes after it, they should. And someone did. And it’s called a decillion. There you go, (Doug Batchelor (DB): I’m glad they know that) 1 with 33 zeroes is a decillion.

Doug Batchelor (DB). You better write that down, you might use that frequently. (Audience laughs) You won’t be using that with your bank account, I’ll tell you that. (Laughs) (Audience laughs).

Karen Batchelor (KB) & Doug Batchelor (DB): Alright.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #2: Our next question is, is Isaiah 4:1 referencing that the seven churches in Revelation are all claiming to be self-righteous movements?

Doug Batchelor (DB): N--no! You…in, remember we quoted we used Revela…I’m sorry, Isaiah chapter 4 verse 1 as an illustration. It says, “In that day, seven women will take hold of one man saying, ‘we will eat of our own bread, wear our own apparel, only let us be called by Thy name to take away our reproach.’” That’s fairly close. That is talking about churches all at one time in the last days. Now it is true in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus gives seven messages to the seven churches. Those seven churches represent three things. First of all, it represents a cycle of history that God’s church goes through from the first coming of Jesus to the second’s coming. Church starts out with that first love and then it begins to slip during the church of Ephesus and goes through the stages of Smyrna, and Thyatira, and Philadelphia, and Sardis, and Laodicea, and so forth. And it’s a cycle that the church goes through over the history from the First Coming to the Second Coming. We are now living in the age of the church of Laodicea. The lukewarm, indifferent church. It’s also a cycle that churches can go through. Some congregations…raise up, they’re on fire, they’ve got that first love, and then you track them couple of generations later—they’re lukewarm. It is also a cycle that an individual can go through in their experience with Jesus. We start out with their first love, and over the years, we can lose it. And so, it’s a warning, it’s a cycle that people sometimes go through. And Jesus warns against the pitfalls of the Christian experience in those seven churches.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #3: Alright. Will the coming antichrist be a person, computer, or organization?

Doug Batchelor (DB): We have a lesson on the antichrist and we’re gonna answer some of your questions by saying, “keep coming.” And so we’ve got a lesson on that, so I don’t wanna say too much.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #4: How reliable are our dreams as a predictor of the future?

Doug Batchelor (DB): Well, if you’re a prophet, there…if you’re a prophet of God, they’re very reliable. Most of us, our dreams are the result of everything from y--your, your mind is sort of rebooting. Your computer is rebooting during the night, it really does, you just sort of process that stuff. In Ecclesiastes, there Solomon says, “A dream comes through the multitude of business.” Now, I know I used to snow ski a lot when I went to this one school in Maine. And after a week of snow skiing, I would go to sleep at night and I was (makes sounds) in my dreams. (Audience laughs) And I play racquet ball. (Audience laughs) No, you’ve never noticed this before but I--she may have noticed the next one here. I play racquet ball now. I haven’t lately but I’m, I mean not since I’ve been here. But I--I like to play racquet ball, which is a very fast game. You gotta react quick. And sometimes, I’ll lay down to go to sleep, all the sudden I go huh (laughs) (Audience laughs). And then my--I it’s coming. Repetition makes you dream. And so, that might have something to do with it. And sometimes like I said, it’s…it could be something you ate, indigestion. Occasionally, God will speak to you through a dream, and it’s just between you and the Lord, and it may not be a message for everybody. Joseph interprets--interpreted some dreams that God evidently gave to the butler and the baker for the Pharaoh. That were not dreams for all history but just for those individuals. So it’s…they’re usually not accurate predictors of the future unless you’re a prophet of God.

Karen Batchelor (KB): Well, how do we know when somebody has a dream if it is (Doug Batchelor (DB): Good, good question) from a prophet of God?

Doug Batchelor (DB): Good question. I keep her up here because sometimes I’m not clear and she helps me. In the Bible, when the Pharaoh had a prophetic dream, he knew it was not an ordinary dream. He called all his wise men together he said, “I’ve had a dream, and I need to know what it means, cause I know it’s from God.” Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that was not an ordinary dream. His sleep went from him, he said, “I’ve got to know what this means, I know it’s from God.” When God gives you a dream, there is an impression, an intensity with it, a discernment, you’ll know that this is an inspired dream. “I’ve got to know what this means.” Very few of us have those dreams, you may not know how it feels.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #5: Thank you. Alright. Why didn’t Jesus tell us exactly when He is coming back?

Doug Batchelor (DB): How many of you wait until a few weeks before the 15th to pay your taxes? (Audience laughs) Would you like to show your hands? (Audience laughs) If you love the IRS more, you do it sooner. (Audience laughs) Now, there’s really a point in that. When--the Lord does not want us to get ready for His coming because we’re afraid of Him. He wants us to be ready. Not just to get ready at the last minute. I--I heard this story about New England. You know, the fishermen will go to see these whalers, sometimes for years. And their wives did not always know when they were coming back. And there were lot of scenarios about some of these wives. They always kept the light burning in the window, their house was clean, the--the kids were clothed and things were taken care of, and they just never had to worry when their husband was coming home because they were always ready. And then there were some other wives that were fooling around while their husbands were gone, the kids weren’t being taken care of, and they’re always looking out of the window, fretting! And that they might get caught. So they could scurry around at the last minute and clean things up. Well, the Lord wants us to have a relationship with Him where we--where we are ready and we stay ready. Amen? (Audience answers Amen) And so it says, “If I give you the day and the hour, your motives might be wrong. Just if you love me, be ready!” (Audience says Amen)

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #6: Alright. Could 666 be King Solomon? Read I Kings 10:14, and it has in there six hundred three score and six. Would you like me to read it?

Doug Batchelor (DB): I’ll tell you what that says. (Karen Batchelor (KB): I’ll check) I--it tells us that in one year, Solomon receives six hundred and sixty six talents of gold. And some are wondering that because that number is connected with Solomon’s reign, maybe he has something to do with the antichrist. The problem with that—first of all, the number 666 does represent the power or the rule of man. So in that respect, Solomon was a great powerful ruler during that time. But in Revelation, that’s a long time after Solomon. So why would God warn us about this beast power and says the number of a man 666 and be telling us about Solomon who had been dead about a thousand years. So obviously, it’s not referring to Solomon.

When you read in Daniel chapter 3 about the image that is made, it’s parallel to Revelation 13. Revelation 13 says, “Whoever worships the image of the Beast (uhm) they’re gonna get the mark of the Beast. Those who don’t worship the image of the Beast can’t buy or sell.” You go to Daniel chapter 3 where it talks about the image of the Beast, it says, “It was 60 cubits by 6 cubits.” And in Hebrew, if they don’t give the wet, the width, as well as the depth, it’s gonna be the same. In other words, if they only tell you about the height and the depth, that would mean the width is the same as the depth, which means that image was 6-6-6 in its dimensions. Pretty interesting. So the number does appear other times in the Bible.

Karen Batchelor (KB)—Question #7: Thank you. (Doug Batchelor (DB): Sorry) That’s fine. You sound as though the Bible is literal, what about evolution? How can all the scientists be wrong? Last night, you were praising technology.

Doug Batchelor (DB): Well, I do praise technology, but I think we all know that even technology has its pitfalls. And every now and then, the FDA recalls a drug because they found out it’s killing people. So, we are human. Every now and then, heaven forbid, a space shuttle falls out of the sky. So, even technology is not perfect. And I’m--I’m very thankful for the wonderful advances of technology. You can ask my wife when I first got a computer, she was a widow for a couple of years. (Laughs) (Audience laughs) Be and--because I was fascinated (Laughs) Yeah…I would…the new toys that I get, yeah. But no, I love technology, but there is no conflict with believing in proven science and believing in the Bible as a literal, dependable book.

I used to be an evolutionist. I believed that everything evolved and that life was a big biological accident. Now, because of scientific reasons and logic, I don’t believe that anymore. I can’t believe that. Some examples would be...well, first of all, the whole theory of evolution is under serious scrutiny right now. And--and is really in a desperate state because, well, for years they, you know, taught the Big Bang and that all these dinosaurs died out slowly. But then the fossil record was proving they all seemed to die in a flood. And they said, “Well an asteroid must have hit the earth and caused this cataclysmic flood.” Well, we know what the catachis--clysmic flood was, it’s in the Bible, right? And then one of the biggest problems was when they started developing the theory of evolution. It was back in the days of Darwin and Lewis Pasteur and when they looked through a microscope, all they could see with their microscope back then was a simple cell. And they said, “Hey, it looks like an egg, I think that could happen by accident.” But now, when they look through a microscope and they see a cell, listen to this.

John and I used to live in New York City. Picture the complexity of New York City at rush hour. Think about all of the electricity flowing through the buildings, the people going in and out, the elevators moving, the technology, the communications, the plumbing, the taxis, the com--the transportation system. Think of the activity of New York City at rush hour. Let me tell you what scientists say now. There is more complexity to a single cell of life than New York City at rush hour.

Now we know that for that to happen spontaneously, is not only unscientific, it’s absurd! The symmetry, the organization, the design that you see all around you, to believe it happened—and I remember hearing a story about (uh), this is important, so I’m taking some time with this. I remember hearing a story about a creationist who had a friend that was an evolutionist. And they’d go back and forth quite a bit. And one day the creationist went to the car with his evolutionist friend and he was getting in his new car. And the evolution believer said to his creation friend, his Christian friend, “So, where did you get the new car?” And he said, “Well, you’re gonna have a hard time believing this, but I walked out to my garage one day, and there was a roller skate. It used to be a puddle of oil but it turned to a roller skate.” (Audience laughs) And he said, “I thought I’m not gonna touch this cause it looks like something neat is happening.” He said, “Then after some time went by, turned into an skate board, and then eventually it was a go cart, and then a Yugo or a Volkswagen,” I don’t know which was first, a Yugo or a Volkswagen, but he said, “Then I came out then there was a Honda, now I’ve got this Lexus.” (Audience laughs) Then he said, “Aw, come on, where did you get this?” “Wait a second now,” he says, “You, think it’s absurd to believe than an automobile could happen spontaneously from a puddle of oil, what is more complex, a human being or car?” And the very first thing you know when you look at a car is that somewhere is a carmaker. Why? Cause there is inter-working system, there’s organization, there’s design, it must have intelligence. The idea that all of the creative genius that you see around you all the time, happens spontaneously, is absurd. Now, I’m not trying to ridicule you cause I used to believe that. And I’m embarrassed. But i--it’s just, it’s not scientific.

Karen Batchelor (KB): Well, just when you see a baby, and its birthing process, and it’s just miraculous. It’s--it’s (Doug Batchelor (DB): I don’t know how) just a miracle.

Doug Batchelor (DB): Little people come out of big people. (Audience laughs) (Karen Batchelor (KB): Me either) That is, that is really strange when you think about it. (Audience still laughing) And you know what, you made me think it’s something else, pardon me, Dear. (Audience laughs) In evolution when it begins, they say that you know, lightning struck the primeval ooze and somehow life was formed, a single cell of life. And, you know how cells used to—according to evolution—procreate. They decide to start a family and that cell would split. And you know, whenever things wanted to multiply, they just split in two. Well, that’s very efficient when you think about it. And some cells still multiply that way.

But where would the need for male and female ever come from? Where you have to have a cooperative act of love in order to create in your own image. It is the most impractical thing in the world. And it’s almost like God has a sense of humor and that He made men and women so different. You know it says in--it says “I will make her to be a helpmeet, because man is incomplete without woman and woman is incomplete without man.” And one evolved on Mars and one on Venus, right? (Laughs) (Audience laughs) Okay.

Karen Batchelor (KB): Alright. That’s all of our questions. (Audience clapping)

Doug Batchelor (DB): Our presentation tonight is dealing with the subject of Revelation’s Rapture. And we’ll say more about the specifics of the Rapture in just a moment. But our central focus of the presentation tonight is not only going to deal with the certainty and the eminence, the nearness of Jesus coming, but we’re gonna talk about how He’s coming.

I like to always begin with an amazing fact. And you know, for years now, we do this radio program every Sunday night around the country and the world where people call in their Bible questions and it’s called, “The Bible Answers Live.” And I, I’ve learned a lot because we’ve developed this big encyclopedia of amazing facts, and that’s just really strengthened my faith in God’s creative power.

The octopus is quite a creature. I’m--Karen and I have our scuba license, and we just love the ocean. Closest you’re ever gonna get to heaven on this earth in my opinion, is when you’re floating around a beautiful coral reef. You’ve got that sense of weightlessness like you’re flying. And you have neutral buoyancy. You just can roll around and you see all these beautiful, iridescent colors, and the fish, and the corals waving, and the currents, and the great white sharks…no (Audience laughs) But--but it--it has to be warm water. If it’s cold water, it doesn’t feel like heaven. And I--we’ve swum before with the octopus, and they are amazing creatures, because I’ve watched them, in a split second, change colors dramatically. Not like a chameleon where it’s just a different shade a little bit. They go from black to white. And not only that, they’re--they’re very intelligent. I--it’s an amazing thing. They’ve got one of the bigger brains of the sea creatures. They know how to mimic other behavior. Some of them—they can instantly look like the sea floor on which they’re appearing. They--they can look bumpy or smooth. The mimic octopus that you find in the Pacific has the ability to look like a snake, it can look like another fish, it can look like a stone. Matter of fact, it’s so clever, it will…they can get into crab traps, eat the food, and get back out again, that takes intelligence. Sometimes, what they do is they’ll to get into an abandoned clam shell, they use a little suction cups on their tentacles, they get inside and they’ll close and open the shell, a little like this, so it looks like a real clam, and they’ll stick out the end of one little tentacle and make it look like a worm. And some fish will come over to explore and then bhoosh, it comes out and captures its prey. Very clever, very deceptive, they are the master chameleons.

You know, I used that illustration because as much as I like octopus, they do make me think of the Devil who I don’t like—who is a Master Deceiver. The Bible says in Revelation chapter 12, “Satan deceives the whole world.” And don’t underestimate him. We’ll say more about the Dragon in our study tomorrow night. But right now, we just want you to understand, his masterpiece of deception is going to be around the second coming of Jesus.

Now, think about why this is important. When Jesus came the first time, were there prophecies in the Bible that told about His coming? How He was coming, when He was coming, why He was coming. There were 200 prophecies, at least, in the Old Testament that gave a lot of specifics regarding the second coming of Jesus. But when He came, His people that had the Word, were they ready? Now they were His people. My people. I’m Jewish, I--I haven’t abandoned my being Jewish since I became a Christian. I’m still very thankful for that heritage. I think you can be a Jew and a Christian. Jesus was! Right? So I hope there is no conflict there. (Audience laughs) And but they weren’t ready, even the apostles did not understand. You see the reason is, in the Old Testament, not only were there prophecies that talk about the First Coming, there’s prophecies that talk about the Second Coming. The First Coming is when He came as the Lamb, the Sacrifice. The Second Coming is when He comes like a Lion, the conquering King. His people reversed those prophecies, so they took the prophecies about Jesus’ coming the--the first time, and they made that the second time and they had Him come in as a conquering King the first time. And that’s why when--when Jesus was not asserting His power to overthrow the Romans and defeat their enemies and make Israel a nation once again, they became discouraged with Him. And they couldn’t understand it. And when He came, they weren’t ready. Even the apostles misunderstood, and they became discouraged.

Could that happen again? Could the church be making the same mistake will…where we are inverting the prophecies and when He comes next time, instead of coming like a Lion, we’re teaching He’s coming like a Lamb? I don’t think the Devil’s changed, and he is a master of counterfeit and confusion.

Let’s get into our lesson.

Question and Answer: Douglas Batchelor

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #1: Question number one. Can we be positive that Jesus will return to this earth again? What do you say? (Audience answers yes) Well, there’s a lot of Scripture for that. First of all we have some promises. Most of you know John chapter 14 verses 1 through 3, where Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.” Do you believe Him? Did He go? Has He gone to prepare a place for us? Will He come again?

By the way, the language that Jesus uses in that parable, in a Jewish wedding, so much of Jesus’ teaching was in the context of a Jewish wedding. The groom would give a glass of grape juice to the girl he was proposing to. If she took it and she drank it, she accepted the proposal and he would break the cup, some of you seen at Jewish weddings where they stomp and they break on the cup. Then he would go back to his father’s house and he would build a honeymoon chamber. And she didn’t know how long that would take. And while he was building the honeymoon chamber, she was making sure her garments were prepared and clean and wrinkle-free. That’s why the Bible says she’s coming for church without spot or wrinkle. That’s why Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins getting ready, waiting for the bridegroom to come. When he was finished with the honeymoon chamber, he would come back and get his bride. She didn’t know exactly when that was, she knew when it’s near because, you know, she had to be ready with her bridesmaids, but not the exact moment. And there was sort of this anticipation that was ha…half the fun. And I think, that’s still half the fun for a lot of women when they get married is the wedding.

I’ve done a lot of weddings, and I’ll tell you, I’ve seen some young ladies spend a lot more time thinking about the wedding than the marriage. (Audience laughs) And (Laughs) some have spent enough money on the wedding, they have to spend the rest of their marriage paying for it. (Audience laughs) (Laughs) But can you imagine a groom going and preparing this honeymoon chamber and when he gets back…done, he folds his arms and he looks at it and says, “Wow, that’s great! Now, why did I build that? What am I supposed to do with it now?”

If Jesus has gone to prepare this place for His bride, Revelation calls the church His bride, is He gonna forget to get the bride? (Audience says No) Course not! Furthermore, it tells us in Matthew chapter 26, “Nevertheless, I say unto you hereafter, you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven. You will see me come.” Is He coming back again? (Audience answers yes) There are many, many prophecies like this in the Bible and I believe that we can trust them.

Now, we’re gonna spend a little more time—most of our time—on question two, and rush pass some of the others that I think are easier for you to digest.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #2: In what manner, or how will Jesus return the second time? Well, we can look at when Jesus went to heaven and learn something about how He’ll come back from heaven. You can read in Acts chapter 1, when He ascended up to heaven after His first coming, while the disciples watched He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And the Bible says then that “Behold, two men,” Who were these two men? (Audience says angels) Angels, correct. “They stood by in white apparel and they said to the apostles, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand here gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who is taken from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.’” Now, if you wanna know something about how He’s coming again, look at how He went. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went, He left in the clouds; He’s coming in the clouds. When He left, He was real, He was visible; when He comes He’ll be real and He’ll be visible. It was a real event.

Keep in mind as we study this subject of the Second Coming, the first words out of Jesus’ mouth dealing with the subject was, “Take heed, be warned, be careful, watch out, that no man deceive you.” First thing He said is, “There’s gonna be a lot of deception about My coming.” So don’t automatically assume that the popular notions must be true. And don’t forget that the Devil, what makes deception, deception is, he co-mingles truth with error. And so there’s always gonna be an element of truth in the error. What makes poison dangerous is when you mix it with good food, right?

Jesus said, “There will be many false christs. Many will come in My name saying, ‘I am Christ’ and they will deceive many.” You know, I’m from California and not far away is where Jim Jones had his temple. And I did some meetings in Sta. Rosa nearby and I baptized a gal who escaped from Jonestown just before they all committed suicide. Baptized her. She was in a wheel chair. And she said, when they first started following him, he was--you know he used to be a Methodist preacher. Good church, read the Bible. By the time they got to Jonestown, things had digressed and he had thrown away the Bible. A matter of fact, they kept the Bible in the outhouse.

And then of course, we know about David Koresh and that whole fiasco. And I know somebody who was there. I don’t know whether I should tell you this, in a seminar like this, you might think we’re related, now I you to know, I never met David Koresh. If I did, I don’t remember. (Laughs) But I preached in Waco one time and his people came to the church where I preached. They stood outside and handed out literature. They didn’t care about what I thought was a wonderful sermon. I still remember, I preached on Daniel in the Lion’s den. And all they wanted to do is to tell me, “Do you know the Holy Spirit’s a woman?” And I thought, “This is kind’ a strange.” (Audience laughs)

And then of course, Jesus warns us, “When therefore they say unto you, ‘Behold, He’s in the desert’ go not forth.” There are gonna be people who say, “Jesus is here, He is there, He’s on the ground.” He said that don’t even go if they say that. Why? Cause it’ll be like lightning. And of course if, behold if He’s in secret chambers, believe it not, if He’s in the spaceship and we’re all supposed to gather, like Marshall Applewhite said. A lot of deceptions. But you know, this is not the deception. These characters that are basically deranged people are not the ones I’m worried about.

Have you ever met anybody who claimed to be Jesus? I have. (Laughs) It was really scary. Because I was all alone in the mountains when it happened. (Audience laughs) And some of you have heard this story, it’s the only one I’ve got, sorry, it’s what happened to me. I--I, you heard me say, I used to live in a cave by myself, I’ll say more about that later. And I hesitate to say too much too soon, because you might lose confidence. (Laughs) (Audience laughs) But and I was a baby Christian, I read the Bible, I didn’t know a lot about the Bible, and I live by myself, up in this cave way back in the mountains. And one day, into my cave yard, I had a yard, this man came walking. (Audience laughs) It’s pretty nice as far as caves go. And, I mean I was way out on this remote area, and the guy had a brown shoulder length hair, beard, moustache, tan skin, hazel or--or kind’ a green eyes, and not a bad looking guy, and--and medium build, and he came and sat down. I welcomed and I asked him if he wanted something to eat. I thought that he was just a hiker and after he visited a little while, he told me he was Jesus. (Audience laughs) And I thought, you know when someone first says that and you go yeah—he wasn’t laughing. (Audience laughs) He was serious! (Audience still laughing) Now, couple of things go through your mind when that happens. I mean, this guy looked real intense. One thing you think is, “I’m up here in the mountains all by myself with a lunatic” (Audience laughs) And that was a little scary. And then I thought, “Well I don’t wanna call him a lunatic—what if it is Jesus? I have a lot of questions to ask.” (Audience laughs). So, you’re not sure exactly what to say and you know, I was a baby Christian and so I said to him you know you don’t wanna say, “No, you’re not,” so I said, “Well, I’ve read in the Bible that when you come that” (Audience laughs) (Laughs) you don’t know what to say, ”that (uhm) you’re not gonna touch the ground, we’re gonna be caught up to meet you in the air.” He says, “Well that’s true.” He said, “That’s how I’m coming for the general populace, but I’m coming especially for a few people at first.”

And you know, he had an answer for everything. He knew his Bible which made him scary. (Audience laughs) And you know this went on, he--he ended up staying with me and we had these prolonged Bible studies, and the more I read the Bible, the more I found this is not right. And not only that, he stayed with me three days, he didn’t do any work, he ate all my food. (Audience laughs) And I knew that Jesus would never do that. (Audience still laughing)

A few days later, I actually saw him down in Palm Springs and he had found a disciple. Some tall, skinny, hippie was following him around, said, “This is Jesus.” (Audience laughing) And if he found another 11, I really been worried. But (Audience laughs) about a week later, I saw him on the streets again and he had evidently gotten to a fight. And one of his eye teeth were knocked, out and I felt better because I know Jesus has always teeth. (Audience laughs) And so, but you know we’re not talking about these poor, deranged people, like you know, Jim Jones and David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite, and this ge--gentleman in Japan who--the sarin gas thing that they had and, th--there’s all kinds of crazy people out there, and that’s not what we’re talking about.

What if Satan should impersonate Christ? How would you know that it wasn’t Jesus? We need to know something about how Jesus is gonna come. What would you do if all of a sudden, it appeared on the news one day (background music starts) that Jesus had arrived? All of a sudden there’s a news report and all around the world tv cameras are tuning in, would you go and sit down in front of the tv? Would you think that Jesus had come? He looked just like Jesus, sounded just like Jesus. News reporters are saying, “Jesus has returned” and all the cameras were flocking to hear the words and maybe doing some of the same miracles. Can the Devil do some miracles? (Background music stops) Doesn’t Revelation say that he will perform wonders? How would you respond?

We need to know how Jesus is coming. Now, I wanna be very delicate in what I’m gonna share because there are principally two conflicting views among Christians regarding how Jesus is gonna come. You know, there are probably hundreds of different variance of those views. But there are two primary views. Let me share with you briefly what they are. The first view is that when the rapture occurs, the church will be caught up and the lost are left behind alive for seven years of tribulation. Then at the end of that seven years, Jesus comes back with the church that’s been raptured and He then sets up His millennial kingdom here on earth.

The other view is that, the rapture takes place at the end of the time of tribulation. Now, there’s--virtually all Christians agree, and I hope if you hear something you didn’t believe before, you don’t agree with that we can agree disagreeably, that sounds fair? Are we Christians? Don’t we wanna study together and find out what the Bible teaches? I mean, isn’t it time? When Jesus comes back, aren’t we gonna be united as a people? How’s it ever gonna happen if we don’t study together, if we’re not afraid to ask questions and explore. So in a Christian way, let’s look at these things and find out what the Bible teaches.

Now, I’m not going to be hedgy, and I’ll tell you right out, that when I first became a Christian, I worshipped with people who believed the popular view of what we call the secret rapture. The Bible doesn’t really teach the word rapture. Rapture means to be carried away with force or power. And that’s where actually you get the word “rape,” it means to be carried away by force or with power. And we believed that was the secret—or at least the people I worshipped with did—and that the tribulation happened afterward, and that we were caught up with Him. And when the Lord came, people would suddenly disappear. It’s basically the left-behind scenario that has been made very popular.

And then there’s the other view that is the more traditional view. Some of you maybe had heard about a famous book written by Hal Lindsey years ago called, the Late Great Planet Earth. Let me give you a little history here. How many remember this book? I think, ‘twas is it 15 million copies sold. Back in the 1500’s, a Jesuit priest named Francisco Rivera was commissioned by our Catholic friends to study Revelation and cunna--come up with what they call the counter interpretation because the Protestant Movement, the Reformers, and I’m thinking of people like Luther, and Zwingley, and Melangthon, and Calvin. They taught that the church would be in the world during the tribulation and we were caught up when Jesus came back and the wicked were destroyed at that time. But the Catholics were really having struggles with the Protestants and so they said, “We need a counter interpretation.”

So Rivera wrote this interpretation that really didn’t become very popular until a man named Darby who is the Founder of the Plymouth Breth--Brethren, have you heard that church? It’s called Darbyism—till he embraced that. And that still didn’t take off, but what really made it popular was a man named Scofield. Any of you heard of the Scofield Bible? He incorporated Darby’s interpretation of Revelation in His Bible notes. And Hal Lindsey believe that, as well as some others, and popularized it with some books. So that amazing thing that happened is Protestants begin to believe the Jesuit interpretation of prophecy, which basically says, Revelation 4, when John hears a trumpet and he’s caught up in vision, that’s the rapture, and everything from Revelation 4 on, happens after the church is left.

Now that’s one view. I don’t believe that. What I’m gonna share with you from the Bible is really a very old view. What I’m gonna share with you, a more traditional view, is the view that was believed by, like I said, you know, Luther, and Calvin, and Zwingley, and and Tyndale, and Wycliffe, and Billy Sunday, and Dwight Moody, and I could just go down the line, I mean it was a very standard teaching until the last eighty years or so. In Hal Lindsey’s book for instance, he believed that because Israel was being established as a nation in 1948 for which I’m thankful, that a generation later, 1981, the rapture would take place and then after seven years of tribulation, in 1988, then Jesus would come back down with the church and establish His millennial kingdom. None of it happened, none of it happened! And yet they keep selling books. No public apology. No saying, “You know we were wrong.” And this has been true over and over again. Some of those who embrace these things keep using this philosophy, and it’s falling apart. I believe that everyone’s gonna know when Jesus comes.

Now, I wanna move along here. If this was view--if this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so, Hal Lindsey says in Late Great Planet Earth, 1948 all these things will take place. Well none of ‘em happened. And there was no apology published. Many scholars who’ve studied the Bible prophecy all of their lives believe that this is so. Well, that’s those who went along with Darbyism. And then of course you know of we all have heard of Tim LaHaye, and wrote the series of books with Jenkins’ Left Behind series. He said in his book, No Fear of the Storm, “No single verse specifically states Christ will come before the tribulation.” Well, I wanna go by what the Bible says. They’re saying that there’s no verse that really says Jesus is coming before the tribulation, which means He’s coming when? After the tribulation.

You’ve got Darbyism that teaches the pre-tribulation rapture. The secret rapture of the church will take place before the tribulation. And then you’ve got, (uhm) and that also teaches it’s not necessary really to understand the last 18 chapters of Revelation because the church will not be here during that fulfillment when the church disappears because of the seven years of tribulation.

By the way, can anyone here tell me where the Scripture is that says seven years of tribulation? That’s really putting my neck out on live television, international television to invite you to give me a Scripture. How many of you heard? Turn the camera around in the studio, I wanna see a show of hands. How many of you have heard of the seven years of tribulation? Put your hands up. That’s pretty good group. And how many Scriptures did we find? That ought to tell you something. It’s very interesting.

And then of course you’ve got what the Reformers taught, which is where I am. And we can all love each other if we disagree, Amen? Let’s study together. And you know what if nothing else, even if you say, “Doug I--I know where I stand and you’re not gonna change my mind,” fine. You owe it to yourself to at least understand your other brothers and sisters, right? So listen with an open heart and let’s find out what--what each other believes. The Reformers taught that the rapture of the church takes place after the tribulation. So, let me tell you, let me ask you actually a series of questions. In the Bible, let’s talk about the tribulation for a second. Everyone here believes that Jesus is coming and when He comes and descends from heaven with a shout, we’re caught up to meet Him. That’s the rapture, we’re caught up to meet Him.

When the children of Israel were in Egypt when the plagues fell, don’t forget the seven last plagues in Revelation are the tribulation. When the plagues fell on ancient Egypt, were the Israelites taken out of Egypt before or after the plagues? (Audience answers after the plagues) After the plagues. Were they in Egypt during the plagues? (Audience answers yes) Yes. Did God protect them during the time of the plagues? (Audience answers yes) Yes. Will we be protected during the time of the plagues? We don’t need to worry about the plagues. Some people get so scared they say, “I don’t wanna believe the other way because I don’t wanna be in the world during the tribulation.” You have nothing to fear, God will take care of you. That’s what Psalm 91 says. “Neither shall any plague come nigh your dwell--dwelling, a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand only with your eyes will you see and behold the destruction of the wicked.” Don’t be afraid of the plagues.

Did God save Noah from the Flood? Or through the Flood? (Audience answers through) Ahh, did God save Job from his trouble or through them? Joseph, did he go through trials? Was he saved from them or through them? Daniel, Shadrack, Meschack and Abednego, they went through some trials, did God save Danel from the lion’s den, or through it? Did he save Shadrack, Meschack and Abednego from the fiery furnace or through it? (Audience answers through it). The Bible tells us, Paul says, “It is through much tribulation we will enter the kingdom of God,” he says in the book of Acts. So, all through the Bible we find this example, why did Jesus say in Matthew 24 to the church, “He that endures to the end.” Endures what? If we’re gonna go poooph and disappear?

Now I tell you why it’s so important to understand this. I meet people all the time and sometimes I meet a husband, his wife is the spiritual one in the family, and he said, “Well you know, she takes this very seriously and she says that she’s gonna get raptured and I’ll have to go through the tribulation and I guess, well if she gets raptured, I’ll--I’ll get real serious then cause I’ll have seven years, it’ll be tough, but then I’ll get my act together.” Some people who believe that, it offers a second chance, and that’s very dangerous. People who think they’re gonna have a second chance?

And by the way, if whenever you’re in doubt, believe the safe thing. If you like me believe that when Jesus comes the next time, that’s it! You gotta be ready now, right? (Audience answers amen) If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize in heaven. (Audience laughs) But if you’re wrong and you’re counting on a second chance, not safe. Now, some are saying, “But Doug it says in the Bible, ‘Jesus is coming as a thief.’” Let’s find out what the Bible teaches on that. Amen? He is coming as a thief. Does that mean that (uhm) a--people is just gonna disappear, or does it mean it’s gonna be a surprise. I think it means a surprise.

Does life go on here on earth for seven more years after Jesus comes as a thief? Let’s read it in the Bible. II Peter chapter 3 verse 10. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” Many people stop right there. Keep reading. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which?” It means in this day, “the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the things therein are burned up.” So what? Er--what’s the condition of the world when Jesus comes as a thief? Does it look to you like life is going on and people are saying, “I wonder where everyone went?” No, when he comes as a thief, the elements are melting with fervent heat.

You can also read Matthew 24 verse 42. “But know this that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and not to have suffered his house to be broken up.” Now I used to be a thief. I’ll tell you more later, I don’t wanna say too much to begin with (Audience laughs). I was, I’ve did, I’ve--was a burglar. I’ve been in and out of jail and--and you know what? I never sent an advance announcement when I stole from anybody .(Audience laughs) It was a surprise. Surprise was very important. (Audience laughs)

And this is what Jesus means-- is that-- it’s gonna be a surprise. Is it a surprise for the church or for the world, for the lost? Get your Bibles. You know I, I read a lot of Scripture on the screen but I’d like to read this one. Turn with me to I Thessalonians chapter 5 in your Bible. Let’s read another one here, we’ll start with verse 1. I Thessalonians 5 verse 1. “But concerning the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I should write to you for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night for when they say peace and safety, sudden destruction comes upon them.” What happens to the wicked when Jesus comes as a thief? Destruction. Does life go on for seven more years? “Sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.” It’s not overtake. We should know when that time is near. Amen? “You are sons of the light, and sons of the day, not of the night and the darkness. Therefore, let’s not sleep as other do, but let us watch and be sober.”

And so when Jesus comes as a thief, it’s cause the world was not prepared, but that’s it. It’s a surprise. Matter of fact, Jesus tells another parable. “If you wanna break into a strong man’s house, you have to bind him.” Does a man know when he’s been wrapped up with ropes? Or is he gonna go “What, where’d everybody go?” The Bible says. Let’s look at some verses about the second coming. Quickly, we’re gonna go through them.

“Our God will come and shall not keep silent.” I’m wondering if it sounds like a secret to you. “It shall be very tempestuous round about him.” You can also read, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout.” One of the noisiest verses in the Bible. “With the voice of the archangel and the trump of God.” Does that sound like a secret to you? Again, you can--and that was I Thessalonians 4:16. Jeremiah 25 verse 30. “The Lord will roar from on high and utter His voice form His holy habitation and He will mightily roar upon His habitation, He will give a shout.” That sounds very clear to me that when Jesus comes as a thief, that it is a very audible, loud, tempestuous event.

Let me give you one more. Jeremiah chapter 4. Turn to me in your Bibles. Jeremiah chapter 4, we’re gonna go to verse 23. And here the prophet describes in vision the condition of the world just before the second coming. Jeremiah chapter 4, I’m sorry—just after the second coming. “I beheld the earth and indeed, it was without form and void.” That sounds like Genesis, doesn’t it? “And the heavens, and they had no light.” He’s not talking about looking back, he’s looking ahead, notice. “I beheld the mountains and indeed they trembled,” the earth trembling, “…all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld indeed there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had fled.” Now what does that mean? They were there but now they’re gone. Don’t forget about no man, and the birds fled, Jesus talks about the birds and the carcasses in Reve…in Matthew 24. “I beheld and indeed the fruitful land, what was once a fruitful place is a wilderness and it’s cities were broken down.” Why? “At the presence of the Lord and by His fierce anger.” And the word presence there, matter of fact, in the Greek it’s “parousia” that means the coming of the Lord.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #3: Question number three. Will the second coming of Christ be visible to all men? We’ve already found that it’s very audible. What does the Bible say? “Behold, He is coming with the clouds” and how many eyes? “Every eye will see Him.” And again, you can read in Matthew 24 verse 30. “Then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn and they will see.” They will what? They’ll see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. It’s a glorious event. That’s not something secret. “And then shall appear the sign of the son of man and the heavens and all the tribes of the earth will mourn.” It shall appear in the heaven. They’ll see it. And they will see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. So, right away you know that if someone calls you on the telephone and said, “Go grab your paper, look on the front part, see your paper, turn on the news, did you know Jesus came?” You’re not gonna be watching reporters and pundits talking about “Oh what was it like for you?” And putting the microphone up in someone’s face, “Well you know there was this bright cloud and all the sudden people started popping out of the ground and…” It’s not gonna happen like that. When He comes again, everybody’s gonna know. Amen? (Audience answers amen) It’s the most glorious since the climax of the Bible is when Jesus comes.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #4: Who will be with Jesus at His second coming, and why? Answer. Matthew 25 verse 31. “When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He’ll sit on the throne of His glory.” Who’s coming with Him? A few angels? How many angels are there? Well, if every person has one guardian angel, and there’s at least 6 billion people in the world today. Don’t forget that, there’s billions of angels. He said the ministering spirits of God. Furthermore, “His angels…” speaking of His coming, “…will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.”

And then again you can read in II Thessalonians chapter 1. “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels…” this is when He comes again, “…in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that know not God.” What happens when the angels come? They’re taking vengeance on those that don’t know God. That’s why it’s called sudden destruction when He comes back again. That’s why the Bible says, “We should pray and watch and be sober, lest our hearts should be overcharged with drunkenness and the cares of this life lest that day overtake us as a thief.” We should be watching because once that day comes if we’re not ready, it’s forever too late.

Friends, I just don’t want your blood on my soul. I want you to know, we’ve got to be ready now because we don’t have another seven years to try to get serious about it. Now think about in the Bible, He’s coming with all these angels, and how many angels? Billions at least, right? What was that number? Decillion? Maybe, we don’t know. But there’s at least, billions. Remember in the Bible when one angel, you can read in Matthew, came down and rolled away the stone, the glory of that one angel was so terrifying and awesome that a hundred Roman soldiers just collapsed with fear and then fled in terror, remember that? One angel. One angel of the Lord went among the Syrian army and in one night a hundred and sixty thousand men were killed. One angel. Do you think if the Lord comes with all His angels, that someone’s gonna say, “You’ll never guess what happened yesterday.” (Audience laughs) “You should have seen it, I got a digital picture.” (Audience laughs) “But it’s all washed out cause it was so bright.” (Audience still laughing) Not gonna say that. When He comes with all the angels—it’s a--it’s gonna be the end. Everybody is gonna know that.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #5: Number five. What is the purpose of Jesus’ coming? Now some people think, “Oh, He’s coming to get even.” That’s not why Jesus is coming. Jesus tells us why He’s coming. John chapter 14 verse 3. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself.” Why does He wanna get us? Why is He coming? To receive us. He wants to be with us. He says, “Father, I pray that those you’ve given me will be with Me.” What a privilege! Jesus, I want you with me. He loves you. And again, He says, “And behold…” this is in Revelation 22:12, last chapter in the Bible. “Behold I come quickly…” and if that was true then, boy is it true today, “…and my reward is with me to give to every man.” He’s coming to give rewards. He’s also coming for the restitution of all things. There’s a number of reasons. But He’s really coming to gather His children. He sends His angels to gather together His elect. Are the wicked destroyed? Yes. Why? By the brightness of His coming, it’s because they still have sin in them and the presence of the Lord, the light of God, is a consuming fire on the lost. Amen.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #6: Number six. What will happen to the righteous people when Jesus comes the second time? Well, there’s a number of things in the Bible.

I Thessalonians. We’ve already looked at, but let’s review that. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel with the trumpet call of God and then the dead in Christ will rise first.” So, the righteous Christians who are alive in the world don’t go before the dead who are resurrected when Jesus comes. The graves are opening up when Jesus comes. Does that sound like a secret to you? And this is happening in concert with this massive earthquake. All the graves in the world opening up, you know how many graves there must be that the angels have marked all over the planet? And the Bible even says the sea gave up the dead. And you might be wondering, “Doug how is the Lord gonna reassemble all these people’s parts?” Write that down, send it in. (Audience laughs) Again you can read in I Corinthians 15. “The dead shall be raised incorruptible and we will be changed…” They’re resurrected with glorified bodies and those that are alive get this body changed, “…for this corruptible must put on incorruption, this mortal must put on immortality.” And it goes on to say, “Then we who are alive when the Lord comes, we are caught up together with them.” Who’s that? “The resurrected saints to meet them in the air, and we meet them with the Lord and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” That’ how it’s gonna happens when Jesus comes. Does that sound like a secret to you? We’re just reading it right out of the Bible.

A matter of fact, I’ll submit to you, I believe that anybody who came here tonight no preconceived ideas would never come to the place where they believe the secret rapture. It is a doctrine that was concocted, it was manufactured with a political purpose in mind. It was marketed, very successfully, but it is not biblical, and the great Bible minds of the past never believe this. And you should do the research for yourself. I’m going out on a limb and you ought to check on me and see if I’m right. And send in your questions, if--if you can show me where this has been the biblical teaching of the church, the foundation of God’s church over the ages. It is a fairly new doctrine that is confusing a lot of people.

In my radio program, you’d be amazed how many times people call. Matter of fact we don’t even take the question because it’s so frequently, it’s redundant. “Pastor Doug, I’ve been studying this secret rapture and I’m looking for the Scriptures, can you help me find them?” And I said, “No, they’re not there. I can’t help you to find them. If you wanna find out about the glorious coming of the Lord, there’s a lot of Scriptures on that, but the idea of it being a secret is not there.”

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. What will happen to the wicked when Jesus comes again? Do they live on for another seven years? Will the antichrist and the 144,000 Jews preaching the gospel? You might wanna ask some questions about those things. “It says when the Lord comes and then shall that wicked be revealed who the Lord will consume when He comes. He’ll consume with the brightness of His mouth and will… I’m s…with the spirit of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” So what happens to the wicked when He comes? Do they go on for another seven years or are they’re destroyed by the brightness of His coming? And some say, “Well that Doug, that’s seven years later.” Nowhere in the Bible do you find the Scripture splitting the rapture from the second coming. It’s all united. It’s interwoven through the Bible.

Revelation chapter 6 verse 15 through 17, you gotta stay with me this is a long one. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man…” speaking of the second coming here, “…hid themselves in the dens, in the rocks of the mountains, and they said to the rocks and the mountains, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne from the wrath of the Lamb for the great day of His wrath is come and who will be able to stand?’” And they’re destroyed by the brightness of His coming. This is happening simultaneous with the trumpet, the roar, the shout of the archangel, the rapture, the resurrection, it is all woven together you could link all these Scriptures together in the Bible as one harmonious event. You cannot split it in half with seven years.

Sorry about getting worked up on this, but you know what worries--I’ll tell you why I get excited about this. Misunderstanding this can set the stage for the Devil to impersonate Christ, and you to be deceived. So it is so important that you understand this friends.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. How will Christ’s second coming affect the earth itself? What’s gonna happen on the planet when Jesus comes? Is it gonna be where you just gonna read it in the headlines and not know? We read, “And there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great.” Everything that can happen to the planet. It says islands are swallowed up, mountains are leveled, volcanoes are erupting. It doesn’t say that in the Bible but you can count on it. And so the earth is going through this massive convulsion. That’s why Paul says, “The whole creation groans and travails in labor.” And when Jesus comes, it’s the final convulsion of nature itself. When Jesus came the first time and He died on the Cross, was there an earthquake? Did nature, did the sky go dark? What do you think is gonna happen when He comes again? You think you gonna wake up and go to pat your wife on the hand and…she gonna be gone, her pajamas still in bed? (Audience laughs) I mean this has been very colorful teaching but it is not biblical.

Revelation chapter 16 verse 21. “And a great hail fell from heaven upon men each hail stone about the weight of a talent.” Somebody emailed this picture of hailstones from the Midwest that someone took a picture of. Those are tangerine-sized hail. They’ve actually had hail in North America as big as soft balls and even bigger in India. I did an amazing fact on it one time. That is nothing compared to—Bible says the hail is gonna weigh about a talent, a varying measurements approximately 56 pound blocks of ice when Jesus comes back, pummeling the earth, it’s gonna just, i--it’ll be like those banker busting bombs that the military has, this hail coming down. You think that it’s gonna be a secret? The whole of nature’s convulsing.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. Does the Bible give specific information regarding the nearness of Christ’s second coming? Yes. And I--I have to be very careful at this point because whenever you talk about the eminence and the nearness of Christ coming, if you get too specific, people think you’re setting a day and I don’t believe anyone should ever do that. Jesus said no man knows the day and the hour. And I still believe that’s true. Matter of fact, every now and then there’s I remember there’s a radio host, he’s still on the air, it’s amazing. I was doing a meeting back in I think it was ninety--was it ’96 or ’94 when that you know who I’m talking about? Said that he had national radio program, Jesus is coming, set the year and got everyone all worked up. Was it ’93? No, I think it was later than that. Ninety-four? Anyway I was doing a meeting. It was really good for my attendance because everybody all the sudden came thinking the world is gonna end, and nothing happened. And this has happened, many people setting dates. You gotta watch out for that, because you know what happens? People get let down and they lose all faith in Christianity. That’s why I said you don’t wanna just get ready cause you’re scared, you wanna be ready cause you love Him. That has to be the motive. (Audience says Amen)

But there is information. If you love the Lord, you wanna know when He’s coming, right? You know when I’ve been on a long trip and I start getting home, I start calling Karen along the way. I said, “Well I’m in Chicago and now I’m taking my leg down going through Nevada” and you know I called her on the way home, “I’m getting closer.” And then I call from the garage, you know (Audience laughs) “I’m here” (Laughs) (Audience laughs) on the cell phone. (Audience still laughing)

Let me share some things with you. If--if you do a little math on the Bible. How many of you have heard about the seven-thousand-year theory? It’s a very simple principle. In II Peter chapter 3, speaking of the second coming of the Lord—I see some of you taking notes and I’m glad you’re doing that. “A day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” And Peter’s actually quoting from two different Psalms when he says that. “Thousand years in his sight are as yesterday when it is gone.”

You know it’s interesting that God said to Adam, “In the day you eat thereof you will die.” How long did Adam live? Nine-hundred years. No man lived a thousand years, they all died in that day, that first millennia. God works on a principle of six days. You work, one day you rest. When you add up the ages in the Bible—anyone can do this—it tells you Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years and so forth, you just add it up and you have to compare a number of passages, but you can get an approximation of roughly how old the world is based on adding up some of these figures.

And based--any of you ever heard of Bishop Usher’s chronology? It was one of the more widely accepted chronologies. He places the creation at approximately, notice that approximately, I’m not setting dates, 4,004 B.C. There was 2,000 years from the creation to Abraham, who was born four thou…2004 B. C, 2,000 years later. You’ve got the age of the patriarchs before Abraham: Adam, Noah, Enoch, Methuselah, they weren’t Jews. Then from Abraham to Jesus is 2,000 years. You know when Jesus was born? This confuses people. 4 B.C. “How could Jesus be born four years before Christ?” people say. (Audience laughs) But you know what happened is, once this monk established the A.D., B.C. dating method, years later they found out that he was off. But by that time, it was all entrenched. It’s like your typewriter keyboard. It has the craziest arrangement of letters, why don’t they go ABCDEFGH. I still type with two fingers, (Audience laughs) it’s so embarrassing. On a plane, I’ll be sitting next to some executives that’s going prrrh, prrrrh, prrrrh. (Audience laughs) And I open my laptop and go ting…tingting...tingting (audience still laughing) And I’ve gotta search for the keys.

Anyway, after they established the A.D., B.C. dating method, they found out through archaeology that King Herod, who tried to kill all the babies in Bethlehem, died 2 B.C. He had to die after Jesus was born. So they did a little more math and realized Christ was probably born about 4 B.C. So you got 4004 B.C., then to Abraham, 2004 B.C., the age of the patriarchs from Abraham to Jesus, the age of Israel. Then Jesus is born, you’ve got the age of the church, or spiritual Israel, from 4 B.C. to the Second Coming. Right about now, has been 2,000 years from the First Coming of Jesus, right? Matter of fact, we’re living in that window between His birth and His death right now. Interesting. And how long is the millennium? Thousand years we live and reign with Christ like a Sabbath.

Friends, we are living in the last generation, I’m certain of it. And look at all the stories in the Bible. I’ve got a list here, this isn’t very pretty but i--it’s a summary of a number of things. This is a chart. These are just some of the Scriptures that talk about the sevens in the Bible. You know the Jews had a law, for six years you farm your land, the seventh, you let it rest. They had a law that for six years you can have a servant, the seventh year he went free. Moses stayed at the base of Mount Sinai—how many of you know how long was Moses on top of Mount Sinai? Forty days and forty nights. But a lot of people don’t know, if you read the verses just before that, says he stayed at the base of the mountain for six days, and at the end of six days, on the seventh day, God called him up into the clouds. He went up—for rapture—after seven days, I mean after the sixth day.

Mark chapter 9. You can read where Jesus took Peter, James, and John and He brought them up to glorious mountain, this experience where He’s transfigured? He makes this statement. He says, “Verily I say unto you, there are some of you standing here who will not taste of death until you see the kingdom of God come with power.” After he makes that statement, it says, “after six days, he took them up.” Now I wonder if God’s trying to tell us something.

Read in the Bible the story, you know there’s only one queen of Judea—a wicked queen, daughter of Jezebel—her name was Athaliah. She killed all of the seed of David, tried to kill them all, she missed one—Josiah, or is it Joash? Joash, sorry! They sound alike, you didn’t know so I--I don’t feel so bad. (Audience laughs) He was hidden in the temple of the Lord. For six years, she ruled over the land. A despot, wicked woman. I mean, any woman, they would kill her grandchildren. At the end of six years, Josiah is brought out of the temple. Joash, thank you dear! Joash is brought out of the temple, and he is coronated, the trumpets blow, she is slain, the people rejoice—it’s a miniature picture of the Second Coming. Where is our High Priest? Where is Jesus now? Isn’t He at the right hand of the Father in heaven? And when He comes out of that temple, He’s coming back to earth, He’s gonna receive His kingdom, just like all His parables told us and that wicked Queen, you read about in Revelation, is gonna be destroyed and He’s gonna be coronated, the trumpets are gonna blow, there’s so many parallels in these stories. God is trying to teach us through these symbols, the code of prophecy, to understand that His coming is very close.

So it could be that this theory, six thousand years before the millennium; and we have a lesson on the millennium. You know what that put us? That would put us on the last generation. I believe some of us here may die, not too many will die of old age. I think Jesus is coming very soon. Can you say Amen? (Audience says Amen) And I should say this is the most important thing you could be doing because, if what I’m saying is true, what is more important than eternity? We’re only here a little while, and the reason we’re here is to get ready to live with God forever, Amen? (Audience says Amen) I hope you’ll continue to bring your friends to these meetings, because this should be our priority—seeking first His kingdom.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #10. Number ten. How may we know when we are near the last generation? Well, I’ve just given you some indicators, we talked about a few earlier. The Bible tells us in II Peter chapter 3 verse 3 and 4. “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts and saying, where is the promise of His coming?” They will be scoffing, making fun of the Second Coming. Do we have that today? People that love to ridicule, especially the media. Generally speaking, the media is extremely liberal, and they make fun of any Christians who take the Bible seriously. And they scoff, and the Bible says that’s gonna happen in the last days, scoffing.

Also the Lord has warned us in His word that as it was in the days of Noah, what was like in the days of Noah? There was a great deal of spiritual immorality, am I right? Perversion. Do we see that very prominent today? People with perverted lifestyles are clamoring for attention and endorsement. And you’re not allowed to call anything wrong anymore without being called intolerant. By the way, God is intolerant of some things.

I Thessalonians, I’m sorry, (uhm) II Timothy chapter 3 verse 1. “But know this, in the last days, perilous times will come...” This is verse 1. “…men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traders, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God.” Are we living in an age where people are lovers of pleasure? It’s like we live for entertainment. And you know if the remote control breaks, were bummed. And what are we gonna do now? You know, the VCR is broken, what are we gonna do? Cable went out. Which is our constantly need to be entertained. Lovers of pleasure.

Spiritualism is another sign. We’re just adding these to the signs in our previous presentation. “In the latter times, some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits.” Is spiritualism in the program in everywhere you look? The Harry Potter, and Buffy, and the witchcraft, and sorcery, and just--it has become just ingrained in the culture. There was a day in North America where the church shunned that. Now, Christians get mad at me for saying anything bad about Harry Potter. “I like Harry Potter.” It’s all sorcery! And they—what they do is they make it cute. Isn’t that how the Devil operates? He tries to make something wicked attractive, how else do you get a fish to eat the bait except you make it look good? These are some of the signs and there’s many more that we could point to.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #11: Number 11. How near is the Lord’s coming? Well, while we don’t know the day and the hour, there are final signs that we can consider. I wanna review a few things that we talked about in our last presentation. We know that there have been wars, and rumors of wars ,and (sound effects starts) we’ve seen that these massive weapons of destruction. And we don’t have anything on… there we go. We’ve even got the natural disasters, we’ve got weapons that are much more dangerous now than before, the earthquakes, the fires, the floods, tornadoes, hurricanes. We had a whole series of hurricanes just this last year. (Sound effects stops) And these things are accelerating in their intensity.

God is trying to tell us through these events that are happening. Everything from—turn the camera around, get a--get a shot of the audience here, cause remember, we’ve got a lot of friends watching around the world and we’re sort of like the host site. How many of you when you saw the images of 9/11 happening before you, were wondering, “Is this the end? Does this mean the end is closer? Is this a sign?” Some of you were wondering if it was a Hollywood reenactment. Am I right? And when you heard the reports of the tsunami, we’re you wondering? God is wanting you to wonder! He--these signs are trying to tell us that the end is near and He wants us to get ready. Friends, I believe Jesus brought us because He’s got a plan for you. He says, “Now when you see these things begin to happen, lift up your eyes, lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” That’s good news. It shouldn’t terrify you—it should warn you—if you’re not ready, to give your heart to Jesus.

Doug Batchelor (DB)—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. How can I be certain that I’ll not be deceived by Satan regarding the second coming of Christ? How can I know? You need to go by the Word. “For as lightning comes out of the East…” Jesus says, “…even unto the West so shall it be in the day of the coming of the son of man.” You know lightning is one of the brightest lights that we have, and if you see lightning shining from one side of the sky to the other, and you’re outside; have you ever tried to close your eyes during a lightning storm and still goes through your eyelids? I even put my head under the pillow one time, closed my eyes, and I could still tell when the lightning flashed, not because of the thunder. You know what I’m talking about? Does anyone have to say “Did you see that bolt of lightning go from the East to the West?”

Another way you’ll know is if someone shows off walking around on the ground and they say there’s Jesus. When Jesus comes again, you notice, we’re caught up to meet him in the air. Do his feet touch the ground? (Audience answers no) No, they will--at the end of the millennium, we’ll talk about that, but not when He comes to rapture up the saints. No! Go by the Bible. “According to the law and the testimony, if they don’t speak according to this word, there is no light in them.” We need to find out what is the truth based on the Word of God, Amen? (Audience says amen)

And I’m encouraging you. Please friends, if I’ve said something you’re wondering about it, ask the questions. Go to prophecy code website, prophecycode.com, and email us your questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them. We want to arrive at truth together. I’m pleading with you. Jesus warns us, “Wherefore if they say to you, ‘Behold He’s in the desert, go not forth.’” Matter of fact friends, if someone calls and says hey you know he’s on tv, turn to channel—I wouldn’t even turn. Because I think the Devil has hypnotic powers that can mesmerize people. Notice what we’ve learned about Jesus’ coming tonight. It tells us in the Bible, it is a literal coming, He’s gonna come like He left. It’s personal: He was real when He left, He’ll be real when He comes. It’s visible: every eye will see Him. It’s audible: a shout, a roar, thunder, lightning. Very physical: the earth is gonna shake. Everyone of your senses will be assaulted with the reality of Jesus’ coming according to the Bible. It’s vitalizing: resurrection’s taking place, bodies are being transformed. It’s glorious: the angels are there filling the heavens. It’s climatic—meaning, it is the end. That’s where those that are saved are saved, and those that are lost are lost. There’s no extension.

When God told Noah to get in the ark, did he give a second chance to those that stayed outside? When God said, “Lot get out of town,” did he extend probation for those in Sodom and Gomorrah? And Jesus says, “I’m coming back,” it’s like the days of Lot, it’s like the days of Sodom, get ready cause that will be it. The curtain’s going down friends. These fanciful scenarios that have become so popular are dangerous. And we need to know what the Bible really teaches. You know, we’re running out of time, and it’s so important that we put Jesus first in our lives. (Background music starts)

You know there’s an interesting story from history about an Antarctic expedition. Ernest Shackleton, Sir Ernest Shackleton, made several expeditions trying to reach the South Pole. Once got within a hundred miles but he did not wanna lose his men, so he turned back, cause he cared so much about his men, he didn’t wanna risk their lives. Got that close. On another expedition, he and his men got trapped in the ice in their ship, for a year, they floated among the ice flows—almost a year, freezing to death. He knew their only hope of survival was if they could get some help. Some of the men rode to an island. All of the men rode to an island. And he realized that they would not survive the winter without help and he said, “I will go for help and I will come back for you.” He and a few men in a row boat, went 800 to a thousand miles to an island where they knew that they could get help. The most incredible conditions that you can imagine. And he promised them, “I’ll come back for you.” So many times he wanted to give up but he didn’t give up because he kept thinking about his men. Finally he came back, and boy, were they glad. He found help, and he could have rested, but he said “I’m going back for my men with you with the rescue ship.” Made the trip back even though he was half dead. And when his men were rescued, they were all alive and waiting for him. They got on the boat, he said, “Did you lose hope?” They used to call him boss. They said “No boss, we knew you’d come back for us.” And he said, “Were you packed?” They said, “We were packed.”

You know, Jesus is telling us, “I’m gonna come for you” and He cares for you more than Shackleton cared for his men. Are you ready? Are you packed? Do you wanna be ready when Jesus comes? Friends, I wanna pray for you right now, and I wanna pray for those who are watching. He’s brought you because He wants you to be ready. Let’s bow our heads.

Father in heaven, loving Lord, we are so thankful that you have arrested our attention tonight. Some of us maybe troubled by the things that we’ve learned in our souls, and we hope that’s the Holy Spirit. We can see that everyone of our senses will be bombarded with the reality of Jesus coming when He comes. I pray that our conclusions will be rooted in the Word of God. And Lord, I pray that each person will hear you speak to their hearts and know that they can be ready, that you’ve sent these messages because you want them to be prepared. That you’ll receive us if we come to you just as we are. And right now in each person’s heart, I pray that they will say, “ Lord I want to be ready, I can’t do it without you but through Christ all things are possible. Help me to be ready and waiting and packed when Jesus comes.” We ask You in Christ’s name, Amen. (Audience says Amen).

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