The following is taken from the site:
I agree with the author and hope you will also see the truth from Scripture that supports the viewpoint expressed here.
Dear brethren and end-time saints of God,
I am posting Lyn Mize’s comprehensive summary on the First Fruits and Main Harvest Rapture not to be in any way controversial or provocative, but through prolonged prayer, petition, study in the (types, seasons, feasts, parables, epistles, and prophecies of) scriptures and writings of men, I have come to the conclusion (at this stage in my understanding) that this is the working plan of God as portrayed consistently throughout His Word.
[Note: I also refer our readers to the works on this subject by the likes of GH Pember, Robert Govett, GH Lang, T. Austin-Sparks, and Watchman Nee]
I understand that each of you may have many well-formed and hardened assumptions about such matters, yet I would encourage you before even beginning to review this material, that you spend some time with the Lord alone and ask Him for the absolute truth in this matter. Rest assured He will not give you a stone if your heart is contrite, teachable, childlike and you are willing to go solely where the Word takes you. Open the Book as you read this and dig deep. Be patient, pray without ceasing. Don’t believe it because any man or group said it; it is either true or it isn’t and only the Holy Spirit can make this distinction. Believe me, I have been incorrect in many things as a student of the Word, and am learning the hard way how true this is. The most important lesson I have learned, brethren, is that spiritual revelation and understanding can only ever follow the condition of our heart and our relationship with the Head of the Body. In other words, proving faithful in what we already know is required before He will teach us anything new. Only mature saints bringing forth fruit of the spirit will be prepared in that fateful hour, in terms of prescience, understanding and worthiness to enter in.
Please also know that for some time now I have “felt in the spirit” that the hour (not day or week or month or even year) was soon upon us for the culmination of all that we read about the Lord’s gathering of His own to Himself, the coming of the evil one one, and the fulfillment of all that we read in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere. In short, for many reasons, I have felt that we were indeed the last generation to see these things; that the Lord’s appearance was very near, even at the door. Perhaps many of you have felt something similar. Dear saints, it is important that we know, and I did indeed go to the Lord directly over many days and ask to Him to confirm this, or correct me, as He determined. He affirmed that this indeed was the truth, that we were in the final hours, that the imperative to make ourselves watchful and ready was all that mattered.
Now I realize the subject of the rapture and prophecy in general provokes strong opinions, yet the vast majority of popular opinion and interpretation in this matter has been offered up by rich, ease-seeking Laodecian scholars and teachers who loved not the truth, and therefore been induced by the Lord to believe the lie -
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. (2 Th 2:10b-11 NIV)
My hope and prayer is that indeed you will be sure you are one of the first fruits, one of the wise virgins who are deemed worthy to be delivered from that hour, for indeed, another brutal, hell-borne holocaust (see Habakkuk’s vision) is soon upon us, and during the first few years of the tribulation it will not be directed at Jews, but at unready and unripened Christians who yet require the intense heat of summer to grow to maturity in the works of the Lord.
All that is being put in place now politically, legislatively, technologically and economically in this and other nations (we have never seen anything like what is happening right now folks) is setting the framework for the Man of Sin’s ultimate capacity to identify, target, control, persecute, incarcerate and murder the Lord’s people. This is all that the current wave of crises are about, rest assured, and prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
Now is the time to determine who you really love, and where your loyalties lie. Not tomorrow, not next week. If you say you follow the Lord Jesus Christ and live for His return, and the establishment of His kingdom, then START LIVING LIKE YOU ACTUALLY MEAN IT! Are you a citizen of heaven or Babylon then? Are you storing up treasures in heaven or here on earth?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6-19-21)
If on earth, then did you realize that this statement by the Lord is actually prophetic in that the Anti-Christ in the first part of the tribulation will loot and pillage the property, possessions and wealth of world-loving Christians who have missed out on the gathering of the first fruits into the Lord’s barn?
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matt. 6:24)
LET IT ALL GO DEAR SAINTS! ASK THE LORD TO HELP YOU TO LET IT ALL GO! ALL THAT MATTERS RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT IS THAT YOU AND I ARE WATCHING AND READY FOR HIS RETURN; THAT WE ARE WHOLLY DEVOTED IN LIFE AND FAITH AND WORKS TO HIM, ABIDING IN HIM AND BRINGING FORTH LIGHT INTO THIS DARK WORLD!
For if the salt (us in fact) loses its savor (ability to restrain corruption – see 2 Thess), then it is GOOD FOR NOTHING!
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. (Matt 5:13)
Saints, the trampling is about to begin, and it is nothing less (as brother Mize conveys below), than the first part of the tribulation brought upon unfaithful and unfruitful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who have ceased being “salt”.
I pray for you all!
The Coming Rapture – Lyn Mize
Rev 3:8 (KJV) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
God has promised a special “open door” to the faithful Christians of the Philadelphia church in Revelation. This open door is the promised Pretribulation Rapture that will keep these faithful Christians from the “hour of temptation.”
Rev 3:10 (KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
A few verses later in Revelation 4:1 the Apostle John looks up and sees this open door into heaven.
Rev 4:1 (KJV) After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.
This is the Pretribulation Rapture of the church as seen by the great majority of Christians today, but most overlook that this open door was promised only to the faithful Philadelphia Christians. Other Christians such as those in the church of Thyatira are told that they will be cast “into great tribulation” if they do not repent. They do not receive the open door.
Rev 2:22 (KJV) Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
The timing of the Rapture is one of the most controversial issues in the Church today. The student of Bible prophecy should ask himself why so many faithful Christians believe in a Midtribulation Rapture if the Pretribulation Rapture of the entire Church is the correct view. The answer is simply that there are Scriptures that confirm a Midtribulation Rapture. Christians on both sides of the issue fail to consider that the Bible teaches both a Pretribulation Rapture and a Midtribulation Rapture.
It is interesting that the pretribulation rapturists expend great efforts in trying to rebut the Scriptures that confirm a Midtribulation Rapture, and the midtribulation rapturists do the same thing with the Scriptures that confirm a Pretribulation Rapture. An honest and forthright exposition of Scripture reveals teachings for both. The Firstfruits Rapture (i.e., the taking out of faithful, mature, Philadelphia Christians) is pretribulational, and the Main Harvest Rapture (i.e., the final taking out of the remaining Christians who have been refined and purified by the tribulation) is midtribulational. This is confirmed both doctrinally and typologically throughout the Scriptures, as will be seen.
The Pretribulation Rapture is the most popular view held in the Church today, but popularity is not an accurate measure of Scriptural truth. If popularity determines truth, then we should all convert to Islam, since that is the fastest growing religion in the world today. The very popularity of the sole Pretribulation Rapture mitigates against its truth. The fact that pretribulationists refuse to take a close look at the Scriptures on the rapture should also raise a warning flag for sincere seekers of truth from the Word of God.
Perhaps one of the reasons the Pretribulation Rapture is the most popular view is that it requires the least accountability in living the Christian life. It is very comforting for the average Christian to believe that he can sit back and enjoy the pleasures of life and dabble in the things of the world, while all the time believing that he will be miraculously removed before any hard times or persecution sets in during the tribulation. Any teaching that Christians might experience hardship, persecution or maybe even martyrdom is resisted by the majority of Christians today. It is difficult for Christians to understand that our present comfort is not the primary goal of our heavenly Father, in accordance with the following Scripture:
1 Pet 1:7 (KJV) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
God the Father promised to meet all of our physical needs if we seek the Kingdom of God (i.e., the millennial kingdom) (Matt. 6:33), but the Scriptures are replete with examples of faithful followers of Christ suffering the most horrible circumstances imaginable. The first news that Paul received after his conversion was that he was going to have to suffer a great deal for the sake of Jesus Christ. The Church in America today does not really grasp what suffering is all about, and many consider it suffering to drive a used car and live in a modest house.
Prosperity is a difficult test that God has provided for the Church in America, and the great majority of Christians are failing miserably. Pastors are among the casualties. Some are even preaching a gospel of prosperity, which states that financial success is a sign of being a faithful Christian. This false doctrine is so far removed from what the Scriptures teach that no rebuttal is necessary. The primary point to be made is that the Church is not exempt from persecution and hardship. In fact, the Lord even allows the ones He loves the most to go through fiery trials in order to purify them and increase their heavenly rewards.
In the final analysis, Christians will be ever so thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for the three and one-half years of suffering during the tribulation after they see the rewards for faithfulness that will be received at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The tribulation will be a final period of refining and purifying for those Christians who have not allowed themselves to be cleansed and purified during the present time.
The truth is that only a small segment of Christians are preparing themselves for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The majority of the Church is concerned with building large churches with gymnasiums, plush seats, carpets, stained glass windows and numerous other superficial accoutrements designed to impress our fellow Christians and other local churches. This describes the church age called Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-19. In verse 20 Jesus says He stands and knocks at their door, but most Christians do not open their door to Him. Jesus Christ rejects this church at the Firstfruits Rapture. The Philadelphia church, however, is given an “open door” in verse 8, and this is the Firstfruits Rapture. The Sardis church and the church of Thyatira will also be rejected by Jesus Christ at the Firstfruits Rapture.
Faithful Christians can see why the Pretribulation Rapture is so popular, since the largest segment of Christianity today is made up of Christians in churches typified by Sardis, Thyatira, and Laodicea. Sardis is represented in the world today by the Protestant churches, Thyatira is represented by the Catholic churches and offshoots from the Catholic Church, and Laodicea is represented by the charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Philadelphia is represented by the numerous but small and weak home churches. Christians in Sardis, Thyatira and Laodicea are the unwatchful, the doctrinally weak, the backslidden and the lukewarm Christians who are opposed to any suggestion that faithfulness will be the criterion for reward, let alone a special rapture prior to the tribulation. Pointing out the numerous Scriptures that clearly depict a Firstfruits Rapture is not convincing to many lukewarm Christians, since searching the Scriptures to see if these things are true is not a part of their lifestyle. They simply quote the Scriptures that point to a Pretribulation Rapture and glibly say that salvation is by grace and not works. For them, everything good in the Bible is for the saved, and everything bad is for the lost. They even use Revelation 3:10 as a proof text for the Pretribulation Rapture, but they overlook that the promise of being “kept from the hour of trial” is only directed to the faithful Philadelphia Christians (Rev 3:7). The churches of Laodicea, Sardis and Thyatira are often labeled as mere professing Christians, tares, the false church or some other tag that relegates them to the ranks of the lost. The fact that Jesus himself clearly identifies these groups of believers as part of his Church apparently makes little difference.
In consideration of the above, this is not written to the great majority of unteachable Christians who have their minds made up, and are not really interested in searching the Scriptures for the meat of the Word. This is written to Christians who are open to the Word and who are hungry to learn. The reader should study and pray for understanding about what the Scriptures have to say about the rapture of the Church. The Bible is the only test for the truths in this message. Ignorance of the Bible will not be an excuse at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Not a New Idea
Many of the great men of God in the Philadelphia church age of the 18th and 19th centuries understood and taught the doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture. They were men like J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, Dr. A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, John Wilkinson, founder of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, and Joseph A. Seiss, one of the greatest prophecy scholars who ever lived. Dr. Seiss’ book on the apocalypse is the classic on the book of Revelation, and is quoted by virtually every Bible scholar who has written a book on Revelation. Once the doctrine of Firstfruits Rapture has been explained in detail to a person who is truly desirous of knowing what the Scriptures teach, that person is typically converted to a belief in the phased rapture of the Church. The teaching is clear.
The remainder of this article will be presented in three sections with the first section providing an exegesis (i.e., interpretation) of the Scriptures addressing the rapture. The second section will present the argument from a typological standpoint of the Old Testament. The third section will address the criticisms from some of the more famous prophetic scholars of what they call the “partial rapture theory.” The term partial rapture is not appropriate for describing the Firstfruits Rapture, since it implies that only a portion of the Church will be raptured. The term phased rapture is more descriptive, since the entire Church will be raptured in two phases. This section will point out how the opponents of the Firstfruits Rapture use the straw man as a technique in their attempts to refute the phased rapture position.
Section I—Why a Special Rapture?
An excellent starting place for pretribulation rapturists to understand the concept of the Firstfruits Rapture is the variety of resurrections and raptures in the Bible. Enoch and Elijah were both translated into heaven without seeing death. The Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, has already been resurrected and is currently in heaven performing his function as our High Priest (Heb. 3:1-2). These easily understood truths pave the way for a more detailed understanding of the two phases in the rapture of the Church.
The doctrine of the Firstfruits Rapture is closely related to the doctrines of Grace and Works. The doctrine of Grace pertains to the salvation of the spirit, and the legal term justification is the most descriptive term of what took place at the moment of salvation. Positional sanctification has also been used to describe the believer’s position in Christ as a saved individual. By contrast, the doctrine of Works is related to the believer’s spiritual growth and maturity, and the most frequently used term for this process is sanctification or progressive sanctification. 1 Peter 1:9 calls this progressive sanctification the “salvation of the soul.”
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “rightly divide” the Word. The difference between Grace and Works is one of the most fundamental divisions in Scripture. By grace our spirits are saved by faith in Christ. We then have positional sanctification. Our souls are being saved by obedience to Christ. We are being progressively sanctified. This progressive sanctification will determine our reward and final standing in the Kingdom of God. The following Scriptures refer to this process of progressive sanctification:
Phil 1:6 (KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 4:19 (KJV) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing as unto a Faithful Creator.
James 1:21 (KJV) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
The biggest question in this process of sanctification is the cooperativeness of the believer. Those Christians who cooperate with the Holy Spirit in their progressive sanctification will receive greater reward. Those Christians who are uncooperative will lose their reward and will suffer great anguish at the Judgment Seat of Christ because of their shame and the contempt of the Lord Jesus Christ. An excellent analogy from Scripture is Peter when he wept bitterly when the Lord Jesus Christ gave him a soul-piercing look of judgment after Peter had denied the Lord three times. It has been stated that everyone’s cup will be full in heaven, but the size of the cups will vary greatly.
The Firstfruits Rapture can probably best be described as a special entrance into heaven before the trials of the tribulation start. It is an exemption from the final exam for those Christians who have already demonstrated their Christian maturity during the course of this life. The following Scriptures describe this exemption:
2 Peter 1:10-11 (KJV) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Luke 21:36 (KJV) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
In the 2 Peter 1:10-11 passage we see again a reference to an “entrance” or door offered to those mature Christians who “give diligence” as characterized by the Philadelphia Church. Luke 21:29-36 is a scripture addressed to the Church. This Scripture is an exhortation for believers to pray that they would be accounted worthy to escape the tribulation. The word “watch” refers specifically to a state of readiness or preparation for the Lord’s return.
Christians today should be watching for the return of the Lord, and they should be praying to be accounted worthy of the Firstfruits Rapture. It is doubtful that many Christians are following this exhortation from the Lord Himself. It is the height of arrogance to assume that one will automatically be accounted as worthy to escape the tribulation. Even Paul said he was “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling” in Philippians 3:14. The following Scripture describes the Firstfruits Rapture of the watchful Christian, but it is often misinterpreted as referring to a saved and an unsaved individual:
Mat 24:40-42 (KJV) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
This Scripture is in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse, and it is a warning to Christians that they need to be in a state of readiness if they are to participate in the Firstfruits Rapture of the Church. This Scripture is not an exhortation to get saved for the rapture. It is a warning to believers to get ready so they will be taken with the Firstfruits. Verse 42 confirms the subjects of the warning. It is absurd to think that this warning is to depraved unbelievers, since it would be an exhortation to watch for someone whom they believe is dead, buried and returned to dust.