HOW TO PREPARE FOR RAPTURE
New Birth Is Not Enough
To be born again is mandatory but not enough to guarantee entry into heaven. If it were not so Jesus would not have said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mt 7:13-14). Heaven is not a school. You cannot do in heaven what you are not accustomed to doing on earth. Some brethren will miss church rapture for lack of brotherly love, care and encouragement
The problem of mankind is not sin the devil or the world system of greed and avarice. The problem of mankind is ignorance. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Sins is a problem only because you do not know that the sin problem has been solved. The devil is a problem, but God has a program for the devil. God is using the devil to perfect the sons of glory and has assured He would not allow the devil to temp His children beyond the level they are able to bear.
In the Mandate of Jesus the first coming assignment of Jesus was not to ‘kill’ the devil but to destroy his works (1 Jn 3:8) and give His followers power to ‘trample on serpents (evil spirits) and scorpions (demons) with the assurance of victory (Lk 10:19). In His second coming agenda, the devil will be confined in the Abyss or Bottomless Pit for 1,000 years to make for final restitution of what God lost. After the 1,000 years, the devil will be released. It is only after the White Throne Judgment that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire.
It is clear that the devil is doing a very important work for God. Without the devil there would be no dispensational proofing. How would God judge those who from their heart obey, love, serve and worship Him in spirit and truth? Without the devil how will positions be assigned commensurately to saints who qualify to be raptured into heaven at His second coming? The Word of God has a promise that those who know God shall be strong and do exploits for God. Jesus fought a moral battle against the devil at the Cross and was victorious. The powers of sin, reign of darkness and captivity of fear have been broken. In consequence Jesus has given the keys of the kingdom of God to His followers. Hence followers of Christ who are in the world but not part of it are seated in heavenly places with Christ. They operate from a position of assured victory.
There are three gates to heaven: salvation, rapture and the Judgment Seat of Christ. The first gate is entered through grace and grace alone. The second gate is entered through grace and works while the third gate is governed by works alone. The world evil system should not entangle saints who know who they are, where they came from and what they are supposed to be doing on earth in this life. Saints who are not covetous, lustful and greedy for material things and worldly honors but are focused on their race to heaven should not be distracted by the wickedness that is blossoming all over the world now. It will even get worse. Ignorance is the harbinger of eternal death. Doubtless, the greatest problem facing the Christian is not the devil, the world or the flesh but lack of knowledge of how the kingdom of God operates and the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
How To Prepare For Rapture
The first and most important preparation is genuine repentance. The preaching of the gospel in the energy of the flesh through head knowledge and eloquence is pervasive in the modern church. Even where the preaching is theologically correct it cannot regenerate without the involvement of the Holy Spirit. He uses the preacher’s testimony and message of the cross and shed blood of Christ to convict of sin. It pricks the heart and produces three results: accept Christ; reject the message sometimes with violence, and postponement of decision either way. When the condition in Rom 10:1-10 is fulfilled, the Holy Spirit imparts eternal life in the following ways. He
- Releases the power of deliverance for liberating the spirit from satanic occupation and control.
- Fills the “empty swept and garnished” (Mt 12:44) spirit by implanting a Hypostatic Chip.
- Marks Chip’s name in Lamb’s Book of Life as “allocated.”
- Seals the believer in the Body of Christ as a “member” of Christ.
- Bears witness with the rejuvenated spirit and to the mind about sonship in God (Rom 8:14).
This is where the believer must take up the gauntlet and move in one of three directions in order to be established in the Lord. A believer can decide to follow Christ by walking along the narrow road to the gate of heaven, continue living as before or do absolutely nothing about his or her salvation experience.
Desire To Grow In Grace
There must be a desire to grow from grace to grace. It is a personal decision.
Walking In The Light By Confessing The Word Of God
The word of God we confess has transforming power. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).
Walking In The Light Through Confession Of Sin
Jesus will judge sins not confessed and repented in this life. Most sins in this category are ensnaring in nature. The danger with besetting sins is that they are so trivial to be reckoned with as sins. This calls for self-judgment “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1 Cor 11:31). The way out is to walk in the Spirit knowing that the danger with sins not repented of is that there will be no advocacy when the rapture of the church takes place. Jesus would have left the Father’s presence in heaven to descend to the atmospheric area of the earth to await the arriving saints. Satan will contest the glorification of the body of any saint who has any of his properties, which are mostly idols of the heart and ensnaring sins. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Walking In The Spirit Through Yielding
To walk in the Spirit is to give the Holy Ghost right of way in every aspect of one’s life. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:16, 25)
Serving The Lord By Being Full Of The Spirit
There is one baptism in the Holy Ghost and several infillings. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18).
Spiritual warfare: Personal deliverance
The ministry of conflict is the declaration of war against the powers of darkness, contending seriously for what the enemy has captured from you. Salvation does not exempt anybody from the battles of life but equips the believer to fight and win the battles of life. (See 2 Cor 10:3-4; Eph 6:12). All the children born through ungodly marriages are unholy at the state of birth and remain so until born of God. They are guilty of the Adamic sin which the New Birth takes care of. Righteousness is reckoned not from the date of natural birth but from the date of spiritual rebirth. Inherited and self-acquired sins must be dealt with. Satanic bondage will lead to infractions of the Law of God. These sins are committed one by one and must be confessed and repented of one by one. There is no blanket forgiveness of sin simply by praying 1 Jn 1:9.
Praying With All Prayer
It is good to form a lifestyle of intercession by praying constantly in the Spirit. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph 6:18).
Baptism With Fire
Baptism with or by fire is total surrender to the will of God. It involves consecration and sanctification. It is life lived in total submission to the Holy Spirit. It involves the totality of the person, spirit, soul and body. A living sacrifice belongs to the Lord wholly. The body should be taken to have been placed on the Brazen Altar and burnt completely as if it were an animal sacrifice. Baptism with fire is required to fulfill one’s destiny on earth. The degree to which one becomes Christ- like on earth determines the position one will occupy in the millennial earth and eternity.
The purpose of baptism with fire is essentially to remove ensnaring sins. It seeks to ignite willing hearts to love God, empower for good success and total victory by destroying every hindrance, stronghold and the sin that hinders Christian effectiveness and testimony. It creates in the heart an elevated passion for Jesus and an extraordinary zeal for His work.
Sensitivity To The Holy Ghost
One of the causes of pre-mature death is failure to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus regularly. The Lord knew the confrontations His followers would face in the world and made provisions for them to live long and healthy to fulfil destiny. One of the provisions He made before going to the cross was the institution of Holy Communion. Self-introspection is the scriptural way of consecration to the Lord. It helps in living a sanctified life. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1 Cor 11:31).
Self-judgment Through Holy Communion
The ordinance of Holy Communion was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ the last night before His death. “…and he (Jesus) said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15). Jesus instituted it to be observed by the militant church until the end of this age.
For a genuine Christian Holy Communion is a double-edged sword. If you don’t take it at all you are disobeying a direct commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ who said “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (Jn 6L53-57). Failure to east the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus puts a question mark on one’s salvation and walk of faith. Taking Holy Communion unworthily makes you liable to fall sick or die physically before your time, although you may still qualify to be raptured other things being equal. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” (1Cor 11:29-30).
Taking Holy Communion perfunctorily like once or twice a year amounts to half obedience. It should be taken often. The command of Scripture is “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1Cor 11:26). Half obedience is as the sin of witchcraft. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sam 15:23). Proclaiming the Lord’s by communing with the triune God should be a daily experience.
How often would you like to meet with the person you love – weekly, monthly, yearly or none at all? I endeavor to celebrate HC every day. The result is amazing. Now in my sixties I’m healthy, strong and physically as fit as when I was in my forties. To use a local parlance “Don’t try me o.” Jesus power is working wonders in my inward and outward personalities and that as a result inter alia of daily administration of Holy Communion at the Family Altar. The Lord expects His followers to take Holy Communion worthily on regular basis to live properly and proclaim His death. You can get a copy of our eBook Proclaiming Jesus’ Death Till He Comes Again to learn more about the benefits of obeying the Lord’s command.
In these last days, Holy Communion should be taken on daily basis in the local assembly and at the family altar. I believe that the physical health manifested by members of the early church arose from the fact that every day they went to the Temple for fellowship, retired to private homes to break bread and ensured that everybody had food to eat at supper time.
While Holy Communion wine is symbolic of the Blood Christ shed at Calvary for the remission of sin, the bread is for the healing of the physical body. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). The body is subject to the corrupting influence of sin resident in the human blood. A regular intake of the flesh of Jesus stems the rate of decay preventing it from becoming comatose before the appointed time of release. It is an aberration for a believer to be so paralyzed with an infirmity as to be unproductive even in old age. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree … they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (Ps 92:12-14).