John Hagee - The Revelation of The Rapture
If you have your Bibles, turn please to Psalm 12, and we'll read the first two verses together, as we talk today about "The Revelation of the rapture". King David places his pen to parchment in Psalm 12, and he begins with two of the most famous words in everyone's prayer life, "Help, Lord". How many of you've ever prayed like that? "Help, Lord". Pay attention. Look at what's happening to me. I need help now. A father was pushing his baby carriage through a mall. And his two-year-old son was screaming his head off. And the father was praying, "Lord, help Albert. Lord, help Albert have more patience. Lord, help Albert have comfort. Help Albert have strength". And a lady who was watching from a distance saw the father praying, and came over and said, "I think it's so nice for you to pray for your son, Albert". He said, "Let's get it straight, lady. I'm Albert. That's LeRoy".
David prayed. David prayed, "Help, Lord". How many of you know God sometimes answers your prayer in a way that you're not expecting? God has a thousand ways to answer every prayer, and sometimes we have mentally predestined the solution, and God gives another answer. Sometimes God answers and we don't want that answer. Rabbinical scholars say the word "Help" in verse 1 translates in the Hebrew, "Save". And the word "Ceaseth" has been translated "Is no more" or "Has disappeared". Putting those phrases together, the accurate translation is "Save, Lord: for the godly man is no more" or "He has disappeared". Read with me please. "Help Lord: for the godly man ceaseth: for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity everyone with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak". Here is the phrase translated. Save, Lord: for the godly man has disappeared.
Scholars have said this whole Psalm can be viewed prophetically, as referring to the coming of the antichrist. Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the antichrist cannot rule the earth until the church of Jesus Christ has left the earth. It is an event known as the rapture. King David, who was the poet laureate of Israel, who was also the prince of prophets in Israel with the gift of prophesy, looks through the telescope of time. And he says, "There is going to come a day when suddenly from the face of the earth, the godly are going to disappear. The righteous will be taken from the earth". That's exactly what's going to happen when a massive, sudden disappearance of all the righteous transpires at the coming of Jesus.
I want you to understand that there will be a coming antichrist. He will come as a man of peace. He will come as a man that will cause craft to prosper. He will make a three-and-a-half-year treaty with the nation of Israel and break it in 42 months. He will set himself up as a God to be worshiped. And every one of you, who have rejected Jesus Christ, will follow him. He will put his mark in your right hand and in your forehead, and you cannot buy a gallon of milk or a shoelace without his permission. I want you to understand that every secular humanist, that every Satanist, that every new ager, that those who are in the occult, all who are a putrid spiritual element now functioning in America, you will not be able to rule as long as the church of Jesus Christ is here, because we are the salt of the earth, and salt retards corruption! But when the church is taken out, all hell is going to break loose.
When you reject the Son of God, you are going to get Satan's Messiah. When you reject truth, all that is left is a lie. There is a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions that no human tongue can describe and no mind can comprehend. Some of you are going to be here to see it, because you have rejected the Son of God. You are marrow, but you have never confessed Christ. The Bible says, "You must be born again". Say that with me. "You must be born again". The Bible says, "He that believeth... Hath life. And he that believeth not... Is dead already". If you have not received Christ, if you have not confessed him with your mouth, in the theatre of your mind, place a casket in the front of this church. Put yourself in it. Put the lid down and screw it down, because without Jesus Christ, you're dead already. But when you receive Christ, you become a new creature. And when the trump of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise, and those who are alive and remain shall be caught up, you'll be in part of that body, because you're the bride of the church of Jesus Christ! Let's pray:
Father, in Jesus' name, for those in this room and for those around America who have not seen Jesus in all of his power and purity, who have not confessed him as Lord, who have not seen him coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory in scripture, let them see it today, and confess him, and receive him as the Lord of their lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord.
You may be seated. David saw a day of massive disappearance. "Save, Lord: for the godly man has disappeared". In the Old Testament, there is a clear description of godly men who simply disappeared off the face of the earth without dying. So the concept I'm presenting to you is not unique to the New Testament. The Bible says Enoch disappeared. Enoch was not: for God took him. The Bible said Elijah disappeared in a chariot of fire. Do I believe in spaceships? Obviously, they had them in the Old Testament. I believed it before Stephen Spielberg put it together. Do I believe in life on other planets? Yes!
In the pages of this book, there's an ultimate suburb in space called the new Jerusalem. It is described as the city where roses do not fade, where the lame leap with glory, and the deaf hear, and the blind see. It is a city where there is no crying and where there is no dying, and where there is no parting, and there is no sorrow: for the former things have passed away. It is a city without death and disease. It is a city where Jesus Christ abides: for the lamb is the light of that city thereof. It is the city where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob preside in mansions created by the master architect of the ages.
It is the city whose builder and maker is God. It is the city where my father is this morning, where my grandparents are today, where hundreds of saints that I have pastored on this earth, now walk the streets of glory, singing the songs of the church. It is the city when the trump of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise, and the living are raptured to the meeting in the air. There's going to be a reunion just inside the Eastern gate! It'll be the grandest moment in all of history when the church of Jesus goes home! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ, the great grandson of king David, described this moment in Matthew 24. "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven... With power and great glory". And then the angel said, in acts 1:11, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing into the heavens? This same Jesus". Say that with me, "This same Jesus". Say it again. "This same Jesus shall come in like manner as you have seen him go". He left physically. He is physically coming back. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. And we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds of glory to meet the Lord in the air".
Now every one of those words are important. You put those verses together and here is what you have. Suddenly, any moment now, in a day that king David saw in Psalm 12, Jesus Christ, the prince of glory, the Lamb of God, the fairest of 10,000, appears in the clouds of heaven. Brilliant lights shining all about him. The trump of God has sounded. Why? Because the trump in the Bible announces the coming of royalty. He is the King of kings and he is the Lord of lords! And the voice of the Archangel shall summons the dead. Why? It is the ultimate defeat of Satan. When even the ashes of the bride of Christ are snatched into the heavenlies to be with God, it once and for all will say that he is the Lord, and he is the King of kings, and there is none liken unto him.
Graves will explode. Mausoleums will topple, as all of God's children gather for the meeting in the skies. Empty cars will be parked beside loop 1604. The motors will be running. The drivers and the occupants are mysteriously missing. I challenge you. Don't you ever fly with a Christian pilot. Homes of believers will have the supper dishes on the table. The food will be on the stove, but the occupants are gone to the mansions on high for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Headlines will be screaming in the San Antonio newspapers, "Millions are missing. The church of Jesus Christ has been raptured". Telephone lines are going to be jammed the length and breath of America and the world, as people begin to search for missing relatives and missing friends.
Television crews will invade the cemeteries, and they will look at the empty graves, and they will look at the empty mausoleums, and they'll begin to go to the houses of God where this church and every church in America will be packed to the walls with people who missed the coming of Jesus Christ, because they were not ready. CNN, ABC, and NBC will have a panel of experts, explaining how this could not have possibly happened. Theologians will be there from the world council of churches, explaining the evangelical concept of rapture. But in the new Jerusalem, the saints of God shall be receiving their crowns and be receiving their robes. And we shall sing and rejoice in the name of the son of the living God, who is the conqueror of death, hell and the grave: where we shall abide in his presence forever and forever.
The first time Jesus Christ came, he was the Lamb of God slain from the foundations of the earth. The next time he comes back, he will be the lion of the tribe of Judah, and he will rule the nations of the world with a rod of iron. The first time he came, he was slapped, he was spit upon. They put a purple robe on his back and a crown upon his head, and they mocked him. The next time he comes back, every knee shall bow before him, and every tongue shall confess that he is the Son of God to the glory of God the Father.
The first time Jesus came, he was nailed to a cross. The next time he comes, he will rule from the throne of his father David in the City of Jerusalem, Israel. It is going to be a literal throne. It is going to be a literal kingdom. And I'm literally going to be a part of it. Bless God forever! The first time he came, he rode a donkey into the streets of Jerusalem. The next time he comes back, he will be riding a white horse, and the armies which are in heaven shall be mounted on white horses. And we shall thunder through the clouds of heaven to the battle of the Armageddon and announce him to be the king of all kings and the Lord of all Lords, as he puts his foot on the Mount of Olives, walks through the Kidron Valley inside the Eastern gates of Jerusalem, and establishes himself as the son of the living God! And the nations of the earth bow before him!
David said it well. "Save, Lord, because the righteous have disappeared". That day could happen before I finish preaching this message this morning. Secondly, David predicted a day of deception. That generation just prior to the coming of Jesus Christ will be an era of massive deception. Psalm 12:2, these words: "They speak vanity... And with a double heart". The Hebrew translation of "Double heart" is this: a heart within a heart. Say that with me. A heart within a heart. It simply means that people will display a heart of peace and friendliness, while secretly in their hearts, they will be filled with hate and rancor.
There will be a generation that will come just to that prior to the time when the righteous disappear, when they will pretend to be loyal to God but are not. They will be full of profession but will not have possession. They will go to church and sing "Amazing grace," and then go home and commit adultery. They will say "Amen" to what the preacher says, and then go out and practice what they are. They will be sheep in wolves' clothing. They will be tares among the wheat, and you will not be able to decipher them until the glorious day when Christ, the blessed redeemer, shall separate them. He said, there will be a time of deception. Jesus Christ confirmed David. He said to his disciples when they asked him for a sign of the end of the world: he said, "Beware" and "Take heed that no man deceive you".
There are those who are teaching there will not be a literal rapture. They're saying that's a fable. They're saying, "Where are the signs of his appearing, because all things appear to be as they were since our fathers fell asleep in death"? I want you to hear this. The very fact you don't think he's coming is living proof he's on the way. What does Jesus say? "In that day shall all the earth see the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven". What do the angels say? "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing into the heavens? This same Jesus..". What did Paul say? "Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" to be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air! He is literally coming!
There are those who are teaching that he's only coming in his church. I tell you he's coming in his church, and then he will come for his church, and we shall meet him in the air just as the Word of God has said! Those who do not believe in the literal rapture are saying that the word "Rapture" does not appear in the Word of God. That's true. The Bible is a book of concepts and word pictures. So simple, the Bible says that a fool cannot err therein. A lot of preachers do, but a fool can't. False teachers say the rapture teaching is nothing more than escapism, saying, "You people who teach the rapture are trying to evade and avoid the real world".
I tell you I am fighting the devil with both fists, and I'm enjoying it. But this earth is not my home. And God has made me citizen of heaven and I am going there. And the rapture, that's the way I'm going. And it's the only way to fly and I'm looking forward to it! The rapture is no more escapism from the world than salvation is escapism from sin. I tell you, with great joy, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He has washed my sins away. His mercies are renewed to me every morning. And he has become the Lord and Savior of my life for some 33 years. And I am looking forward, not to who's going to be the next president, or not the next nasty war in the Middle East, or not the next nasty scandal in the city of San Antonio.
What I'm listening for is the sound of the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God, as I leave this place for mansions on high to be with the prince of glory! The rapture is no more escapism than divine healing is escapism from disease. Environmentalists want to escape pollution. The peace movement wants to escape war. The Bible teaches us to prepare for escape. Luke 21:36 says, "Watch therefore, and pray always that be counted worthy to escape those things that are coming upon the earth". What are we going to escape?
Let me explain for you in just two minutes the contents of Revelation 8 and 9 and 16. God says, this is what I'm going to do for all of you who reject my son Jesus, for all of you who choose to follow Satan's Messiah, the antichrist, and live under his administration called the tribulation and the Great Tribulation, seven years of unmitigated hell on earth. Here's what I'm going to do for you. One-third of all vegetation on the earth is going to be burned up. The grass and the trees will be dissipated. The gates of hell are going to be opened and hordes of locusts the size of a horse will fly throughout the earth, and they will sting men for a period of five months with the pain of a scorpion, and men will gnaw their tongues and beg God and ask him to let them die. And he that sits in the heavens, will laugh them to derision. They cannot. There will be a worldwide famine.
For the Revelation gives the rider on the black horse with scales in his hands, selling enough food to live for one day for all the money a man can make in one day. There is going to be a world war so bloody that the blood will flow to the bridles of a horse for 200 miles in the valley of Jezreel. Every person on earth is going to be covered with great running sores because of the infestation. Can you imagine having one boil? But can you imagine being covered with boils so that you can't walk or sit or lay down? The seven seas will be turned to blood. Every stream, every river, every creek will become blood. Every bowl and every basin that has water, it will be blood. It will only produce more mind-breaking thirst and intense famine on the face of the earth. The Bible says, "The sun will be intensified and will scorch the earth with fire". Major uncontrollable fires will break out over the world, destroying homes, destroying vegetation, destroying livestock.
You say, "That can't happen". Mister, it's happening right now! Scientists are now saying there's a hole in the ozone that cannot protect us from the intensification of the sun. And all of these forest fires that are happening across America are a spontaneous act of nature. No, they're not really. It's just the voice of God saying, "Listen. I'm in control. Look up! I'm the answer"! The Bible says the tribulation will become so severe that kings and princes and mighty men of war will hide themselves in the caves, and they will look toward the throne of glory and say, "Hide us from the face of him that sits upon the throne. Let us die". But they cannot die. The earthquakes are going to be so shattering, the Bible says that the islands of the sea shall disappear. Imagine Hawaii and the Bahamas suddenly vanishing off the face of the earth.
Now put all of those things together happening in rapid fashion where the water is turned to blood, and the heavens are filled with locusts stinging men, and there's nothing to drink, and no food to eat. You tell me you want to stay here and enjoy that? I'll tell you, with great delight, I'm not looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to the Son of God standing in the clouds of heaven, bringing home the church of Jesus Christ! If that's escapism, I recommend you try it. For those of you who don't believe it's going to happen, let me ask you a question. If you don't believe in the literal rapture, how are you going to know when the real Jesus gets here? How are you going to know? CNN presents the Messiah from the Mount of Olives. Hey, any deluded man can put on a white bed sheet and get his deluded followers to surround him, and say, "This is the son of David and he's the Messiah".
How are you going to know? How are you going to know when the real Jesus gets here if you don't believe in the rapture of the church? I'll tell you that God has put in the scripture a fail-safe system, something so absolutely supernatural, so absolutely divine: Satan cannot imitate it and he cannot duplicate it, and it's called "The rapture of the church". How am I going to know when the real Jesus gets here? When my squatty body leaves this earth and climbs into the heavenlies, I'll know that's the real Jesus! Meantime, if you can't get me off the ground, don't claim to be the Messiah. The Bible says, when he gets here, I'm going to have a glorified body. I ask you, does this look like a glorified body?
The Bible says, "For those that look for him shall he appear the second time". Simply stated in reverse logic, if you're not looking for him, he's not coming for you. He's only coming for those that love and look for his blessed appearing. Are you ready? Or is there unconfessed sin in your life that if the trump of God sounded before I finish this message, you would be in this building awaiting Satan's Messiah, the antichrist, to live through the unmitigated hell of the tribulation and Great Tribulation? "I have set before you life and death". I have set before you heaven and hell. I have set before you Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace: and Satan's Messiah, the antichrist. Both are on their way. Which do you choose to serve? The choice is yours.