10 Days to the Rapture
Precious fruit of the earth
by Craig C. White
The Rapture is preceded and followed by the salvation of many souls. There are two periods of time when great numbers of people are saved and brought into the Church. The first was when Jesus preached to Israel and his disciples preached the gospel throughout the world. The second occurs at the end of the Church age, before and after the Rapture. The harvesting of many souls culminates during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). These periods are accompanied by three things.
1) The Preaching of the gospel (Luke 4:18, Revelation 14:6).
2) The Saving work of the Holy Spirit.
3) The Persecution of the church.
All of these things happened two thousand years ago. All of these things are happening today. The Church today is suffering terrible persecution, especially in the old world. Persecution of Christians has been elevating starting around 2005. In many countries Christians have been killed and have been disallowed assembly. In the midst of the most anti-christian countries God is saving many souls. I think God is saving whosoever will come to him to deliver them from the time of Tribulation that is soon to come on all the Earth (Act 2:21).
The first 3 chapters of Revelation are Jesus’ letters to the Churches in Asia Minor (namely Turkey and Greece). Many Bible commentators have assigned time periods to each of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation (Rev 1:11). We are not instructed to do so. Instead each letter is addressed to “He that hath an ear”. So each Church message contains edification and correction for churches of all time periods.
To the church in Smyrna Jesus wrote:
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
The early church suffered persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. The later Church is now suffering at the hands of the reemerging World Empire. Just as the early church had “tribulation ten days” (Revelation 2:10). I think that the current tribulation of the Church will last a relatively short period of time, perhaps on the order of ten years before the Tribulation begins. This is not a hard and fast rule. I am making a judgment based on Revelation 2:10, plus the recent rise in Christian persecution, and also on the contemporary formations of world governments (read my commentary titled The Leopard is Upon Us), and also on the gathering battle of Gog and Magog (read my commentary titled Magog Made Easy). In other words I see end time prophecies on the march.
I would like to point out that the ten days of suffering that Christians will endure may also describe a relatively brief period of persecution that will happen at the time that the Antichrist is revealed just before the Resurrection and Rapture. Revelation 2:10 was written to the Church in Smyrna which is in Turkey today. So Rev 2:10 may be addressing Christian persecution specifically in Turkey. Turkish President Erdogan has declared war between cross and crescent, between Christianity and Islam.
James tells Christians to patiently wait for the latter rain and the fruit of the earth.
Jas 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
James is telling us to wait for the saving work of the Holy Spirit and the harvest of souls in the latter church period. We should wait patiently for the Resurrection and Rapture. The Church today is being severely persecuted; world governments are a wreck; and God is saving many people in improbable places.
Note: There is a national turning to Jesus by Israel at the end of the tribulation. (Zec 12).