GLORY TRAIN - A Play
by Gavin Finley
In the literature and music of western Christendom a wonderful theme keeps re-emerging. It is the magnificent vision of a future personal experience for the saints, the train to glory. In the waning light of men and nations we turn our hearts to our heavenly home. And so we await the arrival. It is the "blessed hope", the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Titus 2:13 In His radiant train the saints will slip the sullen bonds of this mortal station to be carried away into the glory.
The train to glory will take us across the great divide and on towards the gates of splendor. This will be a journey of ecstasy far more wonderful than words can describe. That train will carry us on into the eternal realms and to those many mansions which God has prepared for us. - John 14:2
So what is our final destination? It is the Holy City!
And what a vision of splendour it is! (Rev.21&22).
This much we know is true.
The time will come when the whistle will blow.
And the conductor will call out,
"All aboard!"Johnny and I were in the dream.We'd heard all about the coming troubles.
We'd heard the marvelous story.
Then found ourselves out on a quest.
To find the train to glory.
Trials, tribulations, - raging nations.
But then we had heard about this train to glory.
We knew that it will be taking us out of here.
We had also been told that the departure of the train to glory was "imminent".
Was the train indeed prepared to whisk passengers off at that very minute?
Well my dear friend Johnny and I wanted an answer to that question.
And so we were on the road to find out.We had seen the vision splendid,....................................................
The Rapture train to glory!
But both of us would soon find out,
'The rest of the story!'
A blast of steam obscured our view but then found that we had arrived at the railway station.
And when the steam cleared we saw that we were standing on the platform.
It was then that we saw that there was a conductor at our side, someone with authority.
Greeting us warmly he gave us directions to board saying,"Ladies and Gentlemen, move on down to the rear carriages please."Well at this my mild mannered companion, Johnny looked slightly puzzled.
I followed him as he headed on down past the front carriages of the train.
Curiously they were all completely empty.
There were signs on these unoccupied front carriages. And they read,
"Reserved for the First Resurrection Saints".
Passing on by them we came to the rear carriages which were marked
"Reserved for the Rapture Saints".
There, beside the rear carriages a curious crowd was lining up to board the train. We joined them at a doorway. Then we stepped up and entered into the train. Johnny and I found our seats. Then we sat down with a contented sigh.
Well we were sitting there for quite a while. We looked at our train schedule and tickets for a departure time. But they just read "Anytime now!". I turned to ask the other passengers around me,"Excuse me, but do any of you know when the train is going to be leaving here?"Our fellow passengers are in a festive mood.
One of them smiling contentedly turns to us and answers,"We are leaving imminently.There is a party atmosphere around us but I can see that Johnny is uneasy.
Hey, what a way to go! Aren't you excited?"
We sit there and wait and wait.
Finally, unable to restrain himself, Johnny leans over to ask Michael, our conductor,"What is the story behind all those empty carriages at the front of the train? And just who are these special people who have tickets to occupy those "reserved" seats up in those front carriages? We are the people of the imminent rapture. Do we have to wait for these other people?"Michael, a glowing presence and splendidly attired in a white uniform and a gold belt, is an inspiring fellow. We feel good under his guardianship. He turns to us, smiles, and says,"I shall be answering that question right now."Then turning to address all the passengers he announces,"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to the train to glory! Many of you have asked us when this train will be leaving. Well, we cannot leave this station yet. This is the Glory Train. And there is just one. It will not be leaving here until the Sovereign Word is given.Suddenly there is a stunned silence in the carriage.
Mouths hang open in shocked amazement.
Finally, a big man across the aisle with a prominent jutting jaw stands up.
Addressing the conductor he says,"Not leaving. Why? Why aren't we leaving?Our conductor meets the man's simmering anger with an even gaze.
We were told that nothing further needs to happen before we leave out of here.
In fact we were told explicitly to expect to leave at any time.
We were told repeatedly by practically every Bible teacher that our Rapture departure time is imminent.
So what is going on here?
What are we waiting for?"
Something about the conductor's glowing presence causes the man to pause.
He looks down at his hands. Then he sits back down in his seat.
Our conductor continues in quiet but earnest tones.Dear people.exclaims a lady in a red dress.
It appears that there is something you have yet to understand.
You see there are still some other people destined to board this train.
All of them must come aboard before the Train to Glory can leave.
She looks over her glasses at the conductor with an imperious air."Just who are these other people?Our conductor replies with quiet words of unction and authority.
Mr. Conductor, this information you are giving here is just not adding up.
I'm afraid that I am going to have to ask to speak with your supervisor!"
Dear lady. I am the supervisor.Suddenly a collective groan is heard throughout the carriage.
I have been given complete authority for everything that goes on here aboard this train.
Now here is the situation, and you should have been well aware of this.
It is laid out very clearly in your Guidebook.
The resurrection saints will be coming up out of their graves. (John 6:39, 6:40, 6:44, 6:54.)
They will be joining you at the last day.
All of you will be transported into the glory together on this train!
As you know, the first resurrection will come on an epic day in future history. (Rev.20:4-6)
There will be an end-time harvest of the righteous dead.
And it will come at the last day, at the end of this age.
All the righteous dead will be coming back to life again.
They too will be coming to join you all aboard this train. (1Thes 4:15-1, 1Cor.15:23)
The scriptures also give special mention to the future saints of the Great Tribulation. (Rev.7:9-17)
Many of these dear saints will give their lives for the witness during those final years of this age.
These too will be part of that great company of the righteous dead who will be raised up at the last day.
Someone hisses."Oh, my God! Those people he's referring to are the Tribulation Saints!Michael replies.
We were told that these people did not even belong in the Church!
What is this man talking about!?Dear people.At this point I had heard more than enough.
These Tribulation Saints are indeed in the Church.
Your Apostle John saw them.
He said that they have had their garments washed in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev.7:14)
They are martyr-witnesses. So they are worthy.
They have made the ultimate blood covenant commitment to their Savior.
So they are your brothers and sisters in the faith.
There is no way that they can be 'left behind'.
They cannot be forgotten. And they will not be forgotten.
These are saints of the first resurrection harvest.
At an instant in time the righteous dead will be coming up out of their graves.
They will join us on this train as we pull out toward the gates of splendor. (Rev.20:4-5)
They will come aboard to fill these empty front carriages.
The whole Congregation of God will be here on that day.
Then, and only then shall we pull out of here to meet the Lord at that grand party He has prepared."
And being the rough cut Australian that I am I pipe up at that point to ask,"Now hang on just one minute, Michael!Michael graciously yet firmly replies,
That tribulation saint company will suffer an awful martyrdom!
Many who refuse to take the mark of the Beast will be beheaded!
What do you mean we have to wait for them?
We have been told we could go out on the rapture train at "any time".
Our pastors assured us that we could in fact leave "imminently".
So, that being the case, we shouldn't have to hang around waiting for any Resurrection!
We are the people of the Rapture!
And those dusty Old Testament Hebrew saints don't belong on this train either.
Now apart from many of these people being Jews these people are dead, D-E-A-D dead!
This is the glory train isn't it?
We boarded a train for the living! Not a hearse!""Dear Elect people of God. When you see those resurrected saints come up from their graves to board those front carriages they will all be very much alive. They will be glorified. These saints are overcomers who died in the faith from past and future times. Every single one of them will come aboard to join you here on this train. They will be coming in new spiritual bodies. They will be glorified, just as you, the living saints of the rapture will be at that time. All the righteous dead of this present evil age along with past saints and those future Tribulation Saints will be arising together. All of them will come aboard this train at that epic future time. The glory train will then pull out on that long awaited journey. All the saints will be entering the glory together at the Resurrection-Rapture."My mouth is still open and moving but words won't come.
I sit down abruptly. Nothing has prepared me for this.
I am speechless.
At that point a rather large lady appearing somewhat flushed and flustered gets up.
Pointing her finger at Michael she asks,"Now Michael, this is not the story we were told!Michael answers,
In fact it is far from what we were told!
We were told the train could leave at any moment!
We were told that our rapture departure was imminent!
If what you are saying is true then why were we not informed of this earlier?""You are the people who flow in God's grace are you not? Are you not aware of these things? Your future destiny is to take responsibility and authority in the royal priestly offices of Messiah. So would it not be your personal responsibility to check all the information coming to you against God's Word? Where did your end time information come from? And who gave it to you? Did you confirm that it was correct? Did you check it against the Scripture of Truth?"The lady, now ashen faced, sits down.
Michael continues,"I do not speak on my own authority here. Nor am I permitted to. (Jude 1:9). The Word from the throne has already been given, and given to all mankind. You are the Elect of God. Have you read His Word? Have you taken it to heart? All the information concerning the glorification of the saints has been given to you, has it not?He hesitates for a moment before continuing.
"You mean the Rapture?"a young man asks?
"Yes, the Rapture, ....... and also the Resurrection". Michael responds.
"The two occur together as one combined event.
Your Apostle Paul teaches that the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Then those of you who are alive and remain at that time will be caught up, (or raptured).
You will rise to join those resurrected ones. All of you will rise together to meet the Lord in the air". (1Thes.4:15-17)
"When will these Resurrected passengers be arriving?"another asks.
"We can't wait around for these people forever!Michael turns to address the passengers.
We'd like our Rapture to take place, well er, sort of early.
Our Bible prophecy teachers didn't talk much about the Resurrection of the righteous dead.
They just talked about the Rapture.
So we just never saw our connection with them.""Dear saints, Did not your Apostle Paul tell you about these things?Johnny speaks up at this point to explain,
Did he not tell you clearly that the Resurrection and the Rapture were a combined event?
And did not your Master lay out the time of the Resurrection when He was with you?
Jesus Himself told you precisely when the Resurrection would occur did He not?
Do you remember what He told you?
He said He will raise all of His saints up together at the 'last day'. (John 6:39,40,44& 54)
This is not hidden information.
The saints of former times, including Martha, knew when the Resurrection would be.
She testified to Jesus that her brother Lazarus would be raised.
Martha said that Lazarus would be raised from the dead at the Resurrection at the "last day". (John 11:24)
Dear saints. Is this really such a difficult concept for you?"Er,... well Michael, we don't quite know what the term, "last day" means."Michael turns to answer Johnny's question."You don't know what the term "last day" means?" he asks.
Last day would mean the last ordinary day of this present age would it not?"
Johnny is hesitant to answer.
"Er, well, we were not given a clear definition of what the phrase "last day" might mean.Michael quizzically raises one eyebrow at this but makes no comment.
We were given to understand that the phrase "last day" could be a long period of time.
It could be seven years long. Or since Peter referred to the "last days" in Acts in the time of the early church the last day might even be 2,000 years long".
He pauses for a while, glancing out the window before going on.
The tone of his voice changes to bring words of quiet affirmation."You people gathered here are the beloved Congregation of God.I am somewhat taken aback by all this.
But God has prepared this train to gather all of you. Not just some of you.
All of you will be going into the glory together.
You will be traveling as one single Elect Congregation.
You will all enter Messiah's Kingdom together.
Your scriptures state clearly that the Rapture will immediately follow the Resurrection.
The dead in Christ will rise first. (Thes.4:15-17)
Your scriptures promise a single harvest gathering of all "those that are Christ's at His coming". (1Cor.15:23).
So your Saviour will return at the end of the age at the last day.
Messiah will draw all His saints from among the the quick and the dead. All of His Elect will be gathered up together. All of you will be leaving this earthly realm aboard this train. You will be traveling together into the glory as one complete, Elect and Chosen people. Because all of you are part of the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a royal priesthood and a holy nation.(Heb.11:40, 1Cor.15:52, Mat.24:31)
The information is coming at me too fast.
It is a bit too much for me to handle.
Then it hits me.
And suddenly I realize what it all means."Lord help us! I exclaim.Michael replies,
Are we taking everyone with us?""I have a front seat up in the very first carriage especially reserved for Abel.Johnny and I are incredulous at all this.
He was among the first righteous persons to fall asleep.
And in that same front carriage are seats for all the saints of the First Resurrection. (Rev.20:4-6)
In fact right there in that front Resurrection carriage with Abel there is a seat reserved for the last Tribulation Saint."
The information is terrible and yet awesome and exhilarating at the same time.
Many of the passengers are too flabbergasted to speak.
A wave of hushed conversation passes amongst them.
Michael continues,"All the righteous saints will come up from their graves and ready to enter into their spiritual inheritance. -Dan.12:13 & Heb.ch11. The Old Testament saints will all be boarding here too. Joseph and the patriarchs, the judges Deborah, Samson, and Gideon, as well as Ruth, King David, the prophet Daniel, Nehemiah, along with a host of other saints of former times will all be there. Many saints you have never even heard about will be there. They will all be coming aboard to join you here. All the earlier pilgrim saints who closed their eyes in faith in the promised Sacrifice Lamb will be there. They will be joining you. Both the living and the resurrected dead will make up that glorious company. Then, at the "last day", we shall pull out on our way into the glory.At this point a tall man gets up to entreat the conductor saying,"Sir, I am beginning to understand some things here today but please understand. This is all so strange to many of us. We had thought that the church had a different destiny to that of the Jews. Even the Old Testament believers were, ...er... well sort of in a different category. This is what we had been taught by our Bible teachers. They have been wonderful teachers in every other way. And we love them for what they taught us. But Michael, how could they be so wrong here in this matter of the Resurrection and Rapture? Can you help us with this?"There is silence in the train so Michael continues.
"Yes I can,"replies Micheal.
"I am the conductor and the guardian protector over all of God's people. And I have been from the beginning of time. (Dan.10:21) Do you remember the scripture in Hebrews 11 which lays out the long list of Old Testament heroes of the faith? Well this is the single undivided Elect Congregation of God. This is the Congregation to which you belong. You are part of a wider, larger and more glorious company of people than you have been led to believe. The writer to the Hebrews goes on to reveal that all these Old Testament overcomers, will not be made perfect apart from you. You are all in the loop here. You are in the same epic relay race that Abraham began 4,000 years ago. Those heroes of the faith from former times given in Hebrews 11 are depending on you to finish the race, not just for yourself, but on behalf of all the saints who have run before you. Do you understand this?Beloved of God, you are not running the race just for yourselves.The tall man nods appreciatively and sits down.
In fact you belong to the corporate Body of Christ/Messiah.
So the situation is clearly stated here.
These Old Testament saints can not be made perfect apart from you.
They ran in the earlier part of the race. Now it is your turn.
And these earlier believers are on the sidelines cheering you on.
You should be preparing yourselves to run.
Because you have been called to run on the final leg of the race".
You are the ones who will be finishing the race for one and all.
You will be taking the baton to the finish line! -Heb.11:40
Our conductor continues on."Dear people of God, the race is not yet over.
Many are yet to be born into the faith.
And many are yet to finish their life story and witness.
In fact way at the back of those front resurrection carriages is a special seat.
I have reserved a seat for the last tribulation martyr.
Which brings me to another issue".
With that Michael turns and fixes each of us in his gaze.
His eyes flash like lightning as he asks,"Won't you wait for the salvation and deliverance of your Jewish brethren?Michael gazes at each of us as he walks down the aisle. He continues to address us quietly.
We all realize that their national conversion will be late.
But they will definitely be coming to rejoin you.
This is just as the scriptures have promised. (Zech.12:7-13:1, Joel 2:28-32)
Are you prepared to be patient and gracious here?
Will you help them to make their way to this train of the redeemed?
This is even as you finish your witness of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Remember that this is the train to Zion.
There is just one single train to glory and it just makes one trip.
There are many from the Jewish house of Judah that are still to come.
"I can assure you that we'll not be leaving here until the whole company of resurrected saints, both Jew and Gentile, from both sides of Calvary and right on up to the last tribulation martyr has come aboard. Then, assuming you are still alive, and have remained faithful to the end will board as well. You will take your seats in the Rapture carriages back here. At that point the completed company of the Elect from out of this entire evil age will have come on board and been seated. Then, and only then shall we pull out of here."By this time I am starting to get angry. I can feel my face face flushing red with an Edomite glow. I rise to my feet. My knuckles grasp the seat in front of me. are white. I know that I am about to "lose it"." Now look here", I snarl.I scramble out of my seat and approach Michael.
"I paid good money for this pre-tribulation rapture ticket! We were not told anything about having to wait for any Tribulation Saints! I never even knew about them until now! And we heard nothing about waiting for the salvation and deliverance of the Jews either! The Battle of Armageddon is way too late for us to leave! I say it is getting high time for you to fire those boilers and let's get this train moving! Disconnect those front Resurrection carriages from us if you have to! As a matter of fact I don't want to hear anything about any First Resurrection! I'm only interested in the Rapture! Get it? Now cut 'em off! Chop 'em loose! But let's get this train to glory rolling here right this minute!"
Privately I whisper into his ear."We were sold tickets for an exclusive church express. If there is a "Special Early Rapture Express" then I want to be on it. The last thing I want is to be "left behind". When things start getting bad I want to be assured that I'll be OK. When those trumpets begin to sound I want to be "outta here"!Michael takes a look at my ticket. Written in big hot pink letters are the words "Special Early Rapture Express" and below that "A Church Exclusive". He raises a quizzical eyebrow and gazes into my face."Where did you buy this ticket?" he asks.He pulls out a scanner from his gold belt and peers at the readout intently.
"I don't recognize it as one of our vouchers.
It has not been authorized and issued from the throne of God by Gabriel from the third heaven.""Hmmm", he says.There is a stunned silence in the train. We are all dumbfounded. Finally, Johnny asks,
"This is just as I thought. This ticket does not bear the seal of God's throne. It is a forgery. It is not a faithful administration of the Scripture of Truth.-Dan.10:21 This ticket has been improperly issued by lower angelic and earthly religious powers. Whoever printed this early express Resurrection-Rapture ticket did so without divine authority.""Why would our religious leaders and what? Angelic powers you say?Michael replies,
Why would they do such a thing? Aren't all the angels over the church holy?""The angelic religious powers over your people in your present day institutional church are in many cases less than holy. The reason they are unholy is because down on earth below the Judeo-Christian people of God have married into or covenanted with unholy political and merchant powers. These ruling princes in the lower heavenly realms are often forces of darkness masquerading as angels of Light.-2Cor.11:14 These princes that bear political and merchant rule, both the earthly human rulers and the angelic rulers above them, have never made themselves totally subject to God. In marrying these thorny sword-wielding princes the churches have corrupted themselves. In making these church-state and church merchant alliances God's ministers below have actually loosed unholy angelic rulers up in the second heaven. Powerlessness in God and untold grief has been the result. You as the people of God are partly responsible for the loosing or releasing of these powerful spirit rulers. As the religious powers are now unifying for bargaining power with the emerging global secular powers this process is unleashing bigger and more powerful rulers in the heavenly realms. Whether you realize this or not these powers are loosed or bound by you, the congregation, the "called out"/ekklesia of God. You are in the loop here. Your witness is vitally involved in accordance with the sovereign purposes of God. As you make your earthly pronouncements and enter into your earthly covenants you bind or loose angelic principalities and powers in the heavens.-Mat.16:19 It is the people of God by their authorizing and loosing of these unholy alliances that will ultimately loose the dark angelic spirits over the end-time harlot system and the 666 Antichrist system that will follow it."We are sitting with our mouths open at this point. I am in a state of sheer and utter incredulity."This is awful! How are we supposed to respond to this?" I ask.There is a charged and pensive atmosphere building among the people gathered. Michael is looking out the window at the crowds coming towards the train as he answers."Yehoveh-God has always been the protector of His people. But alas, the majority of His children are all too often not inclined to trust Him. Nor do they trust His Word. This is the root cause of your troubles. It is the cause of the coming Great Tribulation. The "called out" company of God will covenant with men before they turn to Yahweh. - Dan.9:27 As with all things political the process of maintaining popularity and power with the crowds becomes a foremost concern for your shepherds. The true Shepherd of Israel declares that you are a stiff-necked people.-Exod.32:9 You have turned aside from your God to follow others. You and the people of the covenant that went before you fail to remember your God. You repeatedly go back to making covenant with powerful yet unholy secular rulers. Your political lovers are linked to spiritual principalities and powers of darkness in high places. These power brokers invariably have earthy and thorny agendas. Jotham, son of Gideon discovered this with his half brother Abimelech back when Israel was entering the promised land. -Judges ch.3 Accordingly the important holy matters as laid out in scripture are all too often neglected by God's people. Sacred issues are all too often set aside for pragmatic and political reasons. These reasons are quite understandable from a human perspective. The shepherds of established Christendom must cater to the indifferent majority. These uncommitted ones make up the masses of the nation belonging to the prince with whom the established religious powers have entered into covenant. So it follows that the established religious powers must retain the popular support of these stony-hearted people of the nation or merchant system involved. They must do this in order to stay in power or in business as the case may be. Since the crowds ultimately rule even as the seas rage it follows that holiness has never been achieved with popular Judeo-Christian religion. So the policies, traditions, edicts and doctrines of established or popular Christendom are almost always mixtures of the holy and the profane. They are accommodations to the flesh and the world with just enough of the genuine Truth and Spirit added in to make it respectable. They are mixtures. So as a result of this many church teachings and doctrines are not authorized from the throne of the sovereign God Most High. So this is why the scriptures do not testify to the truthfulness of much of the common popular teachings regarding the last days. While they may well be well received and well funded they are not supported in the Scripture of Truth. Nor are they given a witness by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the true saints of God."At that moment someone standing in the aisle speaks up."I don't understand what you are saying, Michael. We trust our religious leaders to tell us the true facts regarding the end-time. They are the ones that have studied the scriptures. Many of them have access to the Word and in Greek and Hebrew! And now you are saying that we as members of the crowd or the pew are the one's calling the shots? Do we pressure religious leaders that much really? I thought the religious leaders set the agenda."Michael replies,"Yes, the shepherds, the pastors and teachers are accountable before God for what is taught. They also bear an awesome responsibility for the preparation and development of the saints toward their perfection/completion in God. Most try hard to be faithful to God's Word. But as the endtime plot thickens they are under enormous political and economic pressure from the princes and merchant rulers with whom they have previously contracted. They also must please their superiors or the ones who pay their stipend. The one who pays the piper gets to call the tune. In addition to that they must also maintain their popularity with the crowds. Crowds can bring down a leader very swiftly when they are roused to indignation. Remember Pontius Pilate? Even as governor he had to deliver Jesus to be crucified? And why? It was because the wish of the crowds that Jesus died. At that awful moment the crowds roared,Johnny is stirring restlessly at this point. Finally he gets up to ask,"Away with Him! Crucify Him!The mob called for the crucifixion of Truth back in those days. And so they continue to do so today. It is because of concerns for popularity, power, and money that the political, merchant and religious rulers have consciously or unconsciously conspired to "cloak" or twist God's Word. They have done this in order to promote or continue their earth based humanistic "peace" over the crowds. It is also for the sake of this supposed "peace" that the religious powers of established Christendom have allowed the crowds to have what they wanted in the way of pagan diversions and fables. The Egyptian goddess Ishtar has become the substitute for the resurrection of the Saviour on the Feast of Firstfruits, the cross has been magically replaced by a sword, the House of God has become a structure of masonry and on and on it goes. These and a host of other profane admixtures have drawn people away from a deep personal devotion to God. The crowds wanted it that way. So even with Bibles in nearly every home a fog of religious disinformation continues to shroud the true Word of God, hiding it from human hearts. This matter of scriptural integrity is the crux of this. God's Word has always been a matter of holy witness and sacrificial bloodshed. Church history shows that religious powers have repeatedly persecuted to death those who stand on the pure testimony of the holy scriptures. Many have been and yet will be put to death for upholding a holy confession of faith in the Saviour who is the Living Word of God. You will recall how vehemently the established churches persecuted the reformers and Bible translators. Why did they attempt to prevent the shedding abroad of the light of God's Word? Why does established Christianity change God's information into disinformation? The answer is that established religious powers consider pure Bible truth as too "extreme" or "radical" for them to uphold. So as a matter of practical expediency the hired shepherds of God's people have found it necessary to "water down" the Biblical truths to maintain their popularity with the crowds, - and also retain their position.
We have no king but Caesar!""I'm not sure I understand, Michael. What is so "radical" about the Bible of all things?Michael turns and pauses before answering."It is the Word of God that causes hope to rise in men's hearts. This is the way it has always been with those coming to YHVH/God. Newly converted saints are not sanctified immediately. Their responses to the inrush of God's new blessings and power is very often a mixture of the holy and the carnal. With this wonderful new hope in the covenant with God dreams and expectations of men spring forth in their hearts, minds, and motivations. With their spiritual expectations boosted their earthly and political expectations also tend to rise and sometimes break forth in the flesh as well. This can end up being quite socially disruptive of the status quo. The division is inevitable. Jesus Himself said that His coming would bring a sword of division between people, even those residing in the same household. -Mat.10:34-36 The Word of God cuts like a two edged sword. Truly the breaking forth of the Word of God is the engine of history. The elect of God are ever moving onwards and leaving new legends and stories behind them. The highway of holiness leads onwards and upwards. The vitality of this new wine is always requiring new wineskins. New wine bursts open the old wineskins if it is allowed to stay and ferment there. The pilgrims in passage cannot be kept too long encamped in old structures under the flags and standards of earlier castles of compromised religion. They must move on. So while denominations and old movements are desirous of keeping the bulk of the people together and comfortable in one place the fresh revelation of the Word of God is calling the chosen "called out" ones ever onwards. As pilgrims, life can be unsettling at times. This is how it must be. As the ekklesia, the (Gr.) "called out ones", the church or congregation of God is moving out along that ancient highway of holiness-Isa.35:10. Staff in hand the pilgrims journey on as sojourners just as your father Abraham did when he was called out of Ur four millenia ago. The breaking forth of the Word of God is always an embarrassment to that established religion which is built up humanistically into a culture. So instead of sharing the pure Word of God the shepherds have presumed to release attenuated weaker versions of scriptural truth in order to keep people together and to prevent them from "getting out of hand". Most importantly the crowds must be kept "quiet" for the sake of the ruling princes. So down through the ages the shepherds and their angelic rulers over Christendom have consciously or unconsciously conspired to authorise a continuous stream of scripturally unsupported special religious concessions and indulgences among men. Why? They do this in order to avoid offending and scattering the crowds. Inclusiveness is a foremost concern. And no pastor or evangelist wants to shepherd just the small percentage of fully committed saints and them only. They want to reach out to others and rightly so. But then again they do not want to have the more fully committed among their people becoming in any way disruptive of the social order. They are committed to maintaining the status quo. This is why the established church in England padlocked their pews against John Wesley and the 18th century evangelicals. They called them, "enthusiasts". Evangelicals were rejected as too "emotional". Churchmen felt the need to keep their subjects "under submission" and "quiet". Things haven't changed. Church sponsored edicts and doctrines are mixtures of Bible truth and the fancies of men. They are tailored for the average, "middle of the road" Christian. So this is why many end-time doctrines are compromised, unholy and untrue."Our conductor looks down at the ticket I had offered him.
Then he fixes me in his penetrating gaze as he continues."The sales of this false Special Early Express Pre-Tribulation Rapture ticket here is just another case in point".At that point I am badly shaken but still indignant.
Gamely I come back protesting loudly."Now just one minute, Michael!" I exclaim.Our host replies,
"We are the church! We are not destined for the wrath of God! -1Thes.5:9. We are headed for glory!-Rom. 8:18
We are kings and priests before God!"-Rev.5:10"It is true you are not destined for wrath.With that Michael looks across at us and his eyes flash as the fire of a furnace.
And indeed you are destined for glory"."But dear saints, God is not mocked. You will never realize your true destiny in God until you stop trying to avoid your witness in Him. He has promised to be with you right through to the end of the age. -Mat 28:18-20 Your Saviour is waiting for you to take up your cross and follow Him. Only you can respond faithfully to His calling. And like your fathers before you, as they bowed before Joseph in Egypt, you must resolve this matter of the Cup of Christ. Please understand something here. You cannot be given authority at the end of the age unless you have taken up your responsibility in it. Whether you realise this yet or not, you are the blood covenant people of God. You are the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the threshold of the final showdown of the age is just up ahead. As such it is your responsibility to fulfill your witness in that New Covenant in Christ. The Saviour asks you to drink "all" of His Cup along with Him.-Mat.26:27 Your response is very personal, even as the Hebrew wedding betrothal. Your signature too will appear in witness on the New Covenant betrothal document if it is to be validated. You have been invited to drink the Cup along with your Beloved.Now how you respond to that invitation is your decision. And it is yours alone".At that point I collapse back in my seat. This has completely blown me away. I mumble incoherently.
Johnny too has heard enough.
But then a sudden flash of realization comes across his face."Now I see it!", he exclaims.Johnny gets up and I follow him forward and off the train. I am feeling faint and shaky.
"Those tribulation saints we are waiting for here in those front compartments of the train are surely the end-time Church!
Didn't the Apostle John say that "they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb"? -Rev.7:14
That sounds just like us, doesn't it? Hey, they may BE us in our future witness!
Come on, there is work to be done! We must get "back to address the future"! Time is short!"
It is like I want to fall down on my knees. I'm a pretty tough sort of a person but I can feel myself breaking up on the inside. So Johnny helps me to exit down the steps. The crowds are pressing in against us now to board the train. We, on the other hand, are going against the crowds. We are leaving the train and heading out. We pass Michael on the platform and he fixes us with an angelic smile. He says,"I guess you boys were inclined to go up and board the train a little early, eh?"At that point Johnny and I can only nod as we head off."Don't worry." Michael says.I stop and turn around.
"I'll be coming to pick you up when it is time to board.
I will be taking every last one of you out of here precisely on time and as promised"."What good will that be?" I lament.The Word of God ministers within us as we walk off along the platform.
"From what we have heard here today many of us may perish as witness/martyrs before that time comes."
"God will give you grace for the trials ahead", Michael says.
You will be "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."-1Pet.1:5
"Even as darkness falls you will be as lamps bearing the Light of His witness. You are "The sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, ...(and you will) shine as lights in the world". -Phil.2:15
You are the Seed of Abraham, the myriad people of faith in Christ (-Gal.3:29). As the Elect of Yehoveh-God you will pass onwards and upwards
as a wedding party of shining lamps in the night, passing along a highway of holiness towards the Holy City. -Isa.35:8-10
You will "lift up a banner for the peoples". -Isa.62:10
"And surrounded by a cloud of heavenly witnesses you will run with endurance the race that is set before you,
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith"-Heb.12:1 You will pass on to realize your inheritance in realms of unspeakable splendour.
No matter what happens in your passage of witness you will all enter into His ecstasy and transport
at the resurrection-rapture of the "last day".-John 6:39, 6:44, 6:54, & 11:24 Mat.24:31
One way or another all of you will be there alive and changed in that final climactic explosion of glory.-Joel 2:28-32.
And "not a hair of your head will be lost". -Luke 21:18
So fear not! We'll not be one millisecond late for our departure.
We'll be leaving just as soon as the gang's all here.
Right after I get the word you will hear my shout.
Then I will call out,
A little glimmer of hope begins to well up within me.
I find myself strangely lifted in the Spirit. Turning around I ask our host one last question,"So when will it be, Michael? When will that Day come when we finally get carried "outta here"?Michael turns to us and answers,"We'll all be pulling out of here together,
"In a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet,
.....the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and (you) will be changed."-1Cor.15:52