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The Separation    Listen to .mp3 propecy podcasts.

Lyn Mize

There is one Bible doctrine that Satan hates more than he hates the doctrine of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This hated doctrine is the separation of Christians who are watching, prepared and ready for the return of Jesus Christ from Christians who are earth-dwellers.  The earth-dwellers are those Christians who have settled down and gotten comfortable in this world and its system, and they are neither anxious for, nor looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ.  The majority of the Church today is either unaware of this coming separation, or they reject it as a valid Bible doctrine—in spite of numerous Scriptures.  

The Scriptures address this coming separation between prepared and unprepared Christians many times in type in the Old and New Testaments, and in doctrinal statements in the New Testament. Jesus warned of this coming separation three times in the Church section of the Olivet Discourse, and Paul addressed it in his epistles to the churches. In the book of Revelation, John gives minute details of this separation. In the seven epistles to the seven churches, he describes the criteria for inclusion as a member of the group of Christians that is taken to be with the Lord, while the remainder are left on the earth to be tried in great tribulation. The importance of this doctrine probably has its greatest emphasis in The Lord's Prayer as follows:  

(Mat 6:13 KJV)  And lead (i.e., bring) us not into temptation (i.e., tribulation or the hour of temptation), but deliver us from (the) evil (one) (i.e., the Antichrist): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 

In The Lord's Prayer we are instructed to pray for the Lord's kingdom to come, and we are to pray that He will not bring us into the tribulation period or the "hour of temptation".  The transliterated Greek word for bring is eisphero, and it means to "bring in" or "lead into" something.  God will not lead us into sin or evil (James 1:13-14), but he will bring us into the hour of temptation, if we are unfaithful to Him. The Philadelphia Church was promised an escape from this hour of temptation in Revelation 3:10. The transliterated Greek word for temptation is peirasmos in both instances, and the context of both verses is the coming kingdom and the tribulation period. The American Standard Version 1901 has the best translation as follows:  

(Mat 6:13 ASV)  And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  

The evil one is the Antichrist. The New International Version also has it correctly translated as the evil one. There are numerous other verses that explain the importance of being kept out of the tribulation period (i.e., the hour of temptation), but the most important one after the Lord's Prayer is as follows:

(Luke 21:36 KJV)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things (i.e., the tribulation Period) that shall come to pass, and to stand before (i.e., in the presence of) the Son of man.  

The context of this verse is the separation and the coming tribulation period. Jesus warned the disciples to pray always for deliverance at the coming separation, and He also included it in the model prayer called the Lord's Prayer. Even with so much emphasis on this coming separation, the majority of the Church is unaware of this separation between worthy and unworthy Christians, as God ordained it to be. It is in God's plan that the separation will take place before the majority of the Church awakens to its spiritual poverty, and begins to serve the Lord faithfully. This is simply a matter of prophetic fulfillment in choosing a bride for His Son, and selecting those who will be in the highest positions in the kingdom.  

With the understanding that only a small percentage of Christians will understand and receive the doctrine of "The Separation," this portion of dissertation will now attempt to explain some of the more salient Scriptures that warn the Church of this coming separation between watchful and unwatchful Christians. The three warnings by Jesus in the Church section of the Olivet Discourse will be discussed first.  

The Olivet Discourse is a connected discourse by Jesus Christ answering the primary question about the signs of His return. Since God has three elect groups of people, Jesus answered the question in regard to each of these three groups of people. These elect groups of people are the Jews saved outside of the Church Age, the Church, and the Gentiles saved outside of the Church Age. The first part of the Olivet Discourse is to elect Jews who will be saved during the seven-year tribulation period. This section of the discourse is located in Matthew 24:4-31. This entire passage of Scripture takes place during the seven-year tribulation period, and nothing in this passage of Scripture takes place before the Antichrist is revealed.  

The third section is located in Matthew 25:31-46, and is addressed to the nations or the Gentiles, so it pertains to those Gentiles who become believers during the seven year tribulation period.  All of this section takes place during the seven-year tribulation period.

The second part of the Olivet Discourse is addressed to the Church, which consists of Christians, or all believers who are saved during the Church Age. The Church section of the Olivet Discourse pertains to the current Age of Grace, and the Church section of the Olivet Discourse ends with the Main Harvest Rapture that takes place in the middle of the tribulation period. This is the same time that the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place for the main body of the Church. The Church Age actually ends with the separation described three times in Matthew 24:32-25:13 The three servants who are given 5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talent in Matthew 25:14-30 represent those Christians who miss the separation, but they are given an additional opportunity to be faithful with the Lord's goods. Two of them are faithful during the time of the Lord's absence during the first half of the tribulation period. These three servants represent three groups of Christians that comprise the three churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea. They also represent the same three groups of Christians described in the parable of the sower: those that were sown by the wayside, on shallow soil and among thorns. None of these groups of Christians produce fruit during the Church Age, but two out of three will produce fruit during the "hour of temptation" in the first half of the tribulation period.  

The faithful and wise servant described in Matthew 24:45 represents that group of Christians in the Philadelphia Church. He also represents that group of Christians sown on good soil (Matthew 13). These Christians are the ones who produce fruit during the Church Age, and are taken to heaven in the separation at the beginning of the tribulation. These Christians are made ruler over all of the Lord's goods, in stark contrast to the most faithful of the three servants (Mat. 25:14-30), who is called a good and faithful servant.  The good and faithful servant will be made ruler over many things instead of all things.  

It is of utmost importance to note that the very best of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30 was only found "faithful over a few things". It is also extremely important to note that the "wicked and slothful servant" of the three servants is not separated (i.e., cut asunder) like the "evil servant" of Matthew 24:48, but is cast into outer darkness instead.  Outer darkness is a position outside of the kingdom, and is an action taken at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the middle of the tribulation period. The only Christians taken in the separation are the "faithful and wise," so there is no negative reward meted out at the separation other than being cast "into great tribulation" (Rev. 2:22), being caught unawares and missing the separation (Rev. 3:3), or being rejected when the separation takes place (Rev. 3:16). Separation is an action taken when Jesus removes his bride and her court from the earth, and rejects or disqualifies the main body of the Church.  

It is important to remember that the last promise Jesus made to the Church was that he would not leave it until the end of the Church Age.  This is confirmed in the following Scripture:

(Mat 28:19-20 KJV)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (i.e., age). Amen.  

It is also important to note the conditional promise in the following Scripture:  

(John 14:2-3 KJV) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  

Jesus will remove His hand of protection from the main body of the Church when He takes His bride and her court to heaven. The main body of the Church will be turned over to Antichrist who will have unchecked authority during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period.  This is explicitly stated in the following Scripture:

(Dan 7:25 KJV)  And he (i.e., Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High (i.e., Christians), and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (i.e., 3 1/2 Years)  

All Christians will be in heaven, but only a small minority of Christians will dwell in the same household as Jesus. These will be the ones who qualify as his bride by their faithfulness during the present age. This group is represented by the faithful and wise servant of Matthew 24:45-47 who is made ruler over "all His goods". These Christians are the ones who will be taken in the separation as the bride of Christ. They are also represented by the five wise virgins described in Matthew 25:1-13.  

The five foolish virgins represent the same Christians as the evil servant in Matthew 24:48-51. Both are separated from their counterparts who were found faithful. Only the bride and her court are taken to heaven at this time.  

The Church section of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:32-25:30 contains three warnings from Jesus about the coming separation of faithful and unfaithful Christians. This separation is only temporary, and ends with the rapture of the Church in the middle of the tribulation. The four living creatures and the 24 elders represent the faithful Christians who are taken in the separation. The 24 elders have crowns and thrones of their own, and the four living creatures share the crown and throne of Jesus Christ. The rapture of the remainder of the Church is described in Revelation 7:9-17. The following passage contains the first warning in the Olivet Discourse about the coming separation:

Mat 24:38-44 (KJV)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 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. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.  

This warning is addressed to believers before the seven-year tribulation period begins.  Jesus is warning them about the coming separation, and He tells them that watchfulness is the prerequisite to be one of those who are taken. Jesus also cautions that the "goodman of the house" will be taken by surprise, and his house will be "broken up" or split up.  The "goodman of the house" is the master of the house (i.e., leaders of the Church), and the house is the household of faith (i.e., the Church). The house will be "broken up" or split up, and that which is valuable (i.e., the Bride and her court) will be taken away.  Thus, the leaders of the Church will not be aware of the time when Jesus comes, and they will not be watching.  

Jesus will come like a thief, and part of the household of faith will be taken.  The passage ends with another caution to be ready, since Jesus will come at a time that will not be obvious to the Church. This caution is appropriate, since the time for Jesus to come is very near, and the great majority of the Church is completely unaware of the signs of the time. The Church will be greatly surprised when the separation occurs, and those faithful Christians who are watching, ready and prepared are taken to be with the Lord.

The following passage of Scripture contains the second warning to Christians about the coming separation of faithful and unfaithful Christians:  

Mat 24:45-51 (KJV) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

Please note that the "faithful and wise servant" is knowledgeable about the Lord's return and, he provides "meat in due season." This means that this servant has watched and prepared himself for the return of the Lord, and he provides strong Biblical teaching at the appropriate time about the Lord's return.  If he has done what he is supposed to, this servant will be greatly blessed at the time of the separation.  He will be taken, and he will be made "ruler over all his goods."  This means that the faithful servant will be placed in the highest level of rule in the kingdom.  

Unfortunately, this same servant can neglect his duties, and can become an evil servant instead of a faithful and wise servant. It is very important to note that the one thing that could change this faithful and wise servant into an evil servant is his attitude about the Lord's coming. His attitude changes from that of eagerly watching for the Lord's return, to that of delaying the Lord's return in his own thoughts. This means that he thinks that the Lord is tarrying, and it is a while before He comes. The evil servant then begins to "smite his fellowservants." This means that he punishes or offends the faithful and wise servants who are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The evil servant also begins "to eat and drink with the drunken." This means that the evil servant gets caught up in the affairs of the world.  He is more interested in worldly activities, material possessions, and his position and status in the Church than he is in the coming kingdom. In summary, the evil servant is more interested in the things of the earth than he is in the future kingdom, and he is callous, rude, and insulting to the "faithful and wise servant."  

The evil servant is not aware that his Lord "shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This passage means exactly what it says. The Lord will come at a time that the evil servant is not aware of, and he will be separated (i.e., cut him asunder) from the "faithful and wise servant." The evil servant will be appointed his portion in the tribulation period with the other hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. A hypocrite is someone who outwardly pretends to be more spiritual than he really is. The evil servant will have an opportunity during the tribulation period to repent, and wash his defiled garments. This is described in Revelation 7:9-17 where the main harvest rapture of the Church is described in detail.  

The following passage of Scripture in the Olivet Discourse contains the third warning about the coming separation of faithful and unfaithful Christians:  

Mat 25:1-13 (KJV) Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out (i.e., going out). 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.  

The parable of the ten virgins concerns the same topic as the previous two parables. The five wise virgins represent those in the Church who are prepared for the return of the Lord, and the foolish virgins represent those who are not prepared.  Therefore, there is a separation of the foolish from the wise, and the wise virgins enter through the "Open Door" (See Rev. 4:1) into heaven, since they are prepared.  The foolish virgins will call upon the Lord to let them through the door that has been closed to them, but the Lord will deny that He knows them.  The Lord ends the parable by warning the believers to "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day not the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."  Again, watching is the criterion for being among the group that is taken to be with the Lord.  

The above three parables spoken by the Lord Himself clearly warn Christians about the coming separation of faithful and unfaithful believers, and the criteria for being among the faithful is to be watching, prepared and ready for the Lord to return. Christians who are sincerely watching for the Lord's return will not be caught unawares on that day, and they will be ready and prepared for His return. They are represented in the above parables by the one taken, the faithful and wise servant, and the five wise virgins.  

A very important and comprehensive type in the Old Testament for the separation is Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. A significant theological mystery in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego concerns the whereabouts of Daniel at the time of their persecution, when they are cast into the fiery furnace. The following Scripture is an Old Testament type that provides the same information as the faithful and wise servant and the other three servants described in Matthew 24:45-51 and Matthew 25:14-30.

(Dan 2:48-49 KJV)  Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. {49} Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.  

Daniel is a type of the faithful and wise servant who is separated from the other three servants. He is made ruler over the whole province of Babylon, which is a type of the world. Daniel has already been glorified, just as the four living creatures and the 24 elders in Revelation are, and he is now sitting "in the gate of the king". Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, just as the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30. However, they are subjected to persecution by the world just as Christians will be persecuted during the first half of the tribulation period. Just as the three churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea are cast into tribulation and the fiery trials of the tribulation period, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are cast into the fiery furnace. Because of their faithfulness, they come out of the fiery trial with their garments unsinged and intact. The only thing that burned from them was their bonds. Their garments are typical of a believer's works, and the bonds are typical of the old flesh nature. The fiery trials and tribulations have gained them rewards for their faithfulness, and purged them of their old flesh natures.

The entire time that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were being tried, Daniel was sitting in the gate of the king.  The king is a type of Jesus Christ. The gate of the king is the seat of authority or the place of rulership. It is the throne room of the king.  Therefore, Daniel is a type of the Philadelphia church that is taken in the separation to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are types of the churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea who are required to go through the fiery ordeal of the tribulation period.

The difference between Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is given in the following verse:

(Dan 1:8 KJV)  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.  

It was Daniel who purposed in his heart that he would not become caught up in the things of the world just as the faithful and wise servant did not eat and drink with the drunken (Matt. 24:49). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego followed the example of Daniel, but there is no mention of them purposing in their heart to remain undefiled. Another distinction between Daniel and these three is found in the following Scripture:  

(Dan 1:17 KJV)  As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.  

All four are children of God just as all the Church are the children of God, and all four had "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom," just as the whole church has understanding in the basic doctrines of salvation. However, "Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." Daniel is typical of those Christians who understand the deeper truths of Scripture in regard to the coming kingdom and the prophetic interpretation of Scripture. Therefore, Daniel is a type of those Christians who are knowledgeable of coming events, especially the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His bride. Consequently, those Christians typified by Daniel will be sitting in the gate of the king (i.e., gathered around the throne in heaven) at the same time that the remainder of the Church typified by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will be undergoing the fiery trials of the tribulation period.  

Another Old Testament passage of Scripture that addresses the separation is more obscure than most, and is located in the Song of Solomon.  The passage of Scripture is as follows:

(Song 6:10-13 KJV)  Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? {11} I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded. {12} Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. {13} Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.  

A more accurate translation of this passage of Scripture with the help of Keil and Delitzsch is as follows:  

Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, pure as the sun, set up as the chief one?  

"I had gone down to the orchard of nut trees to see the blossoms of the valley to see whether the vine had budded or the pomegranites had budded.  Before I knew what was happening, my soul set me upon the lead chariot of the princely people."  "Return, return, O Shulamite! Return, return, that we may gaze upon you.  What is so special about the Shulamite?  To be placed in the company of the sacred courts."  

The meaning of Song of Solomon 6:10-13 is an enigma to Bible scholars. It should be well-known that it is the bride referred to in verse 10, and it is she that is talking in verses 11-12, after she has been separated and taken to be with her "Beloved". In verses 11-12, the Bride is reminiscing about when she was taken by the Bridegroom and set up in the lead chariot of the King. She remembers that she had gone down to the garden to see how the fruits of the valley were doing. This is very important since it is the Bride who tends, feeds and nourishes the flock of the Bridegroom. In an instant she was set upon the King's chariot and whisked away before she knew what had happened. Four times she was beckoned by the people to return so they could look upon her to see what was so special about her. Of course, she could not and would not return, since she was with the King among the sacred courts in the heavenlies.

The primary theme in the Song of Solomon is the bride and the Bridegroom, and their love for each other. The book goes into great detail describing the bride's beauty, which is an internal beauty that springs from her faithfulness to the Bridegroom. Her skin had become darkened because she had worked in the vineyard as keeper (Song of Solomon 1:5-6). The bride of Christ is faithful in her works as well as her worship, and in her longing for the return of the Bridegroom. The bride will be separated out of the Church before the main body of the Church is raptured. Song of Solomon 2:8-13 describes in detail when the bride of Christ will be removed from the earth. It is in the springtime that the bride will be taken away to be with the Bridegroom. It is not until the fall three years later that the main body of the Church will be taken.

The reason these four verses in the Song of Solomon are an enigma is that they are describing the separation of the bride of Christ, and the reaction of those who see the bride taken away. The main body of the Church did not see anything special about the bride, but the Bridegroom is able to look upon the heart, and He saw something very special about the bride. In verse 11 it was her soul or her life that made her worthy to sit up in the chariot of the King. In verse 12 the Hebrew word for armies has a figurative meaning of sacred court.  When the remainder of the Church was on the earth calling for her return, so they could look at her in order to see what was so special about her, she was among the sacred court in the New Jerusalem with her Beloved.

The word Shulamite is simply the feminine form of the name Solomon. Thus, it means Solomoness or Mrs. Solomon. Since Solomon is a picture or type of Christ the Bridegroom in the Song of Solomon, Shulamite is a type or picture of the bride. She is the one who is most like Christ in behavior and character. She does not represent all Christians or the whole Church, since all Christians are not conformed to the image of Christ in this life. Only the bride knows Christ intimately and the power of His resurrection, since she has died to self and renewed her mind to be like the mind of Christ. The leaders of the organized church on the earth do not see anything special about Shulamite. They see her as being very plain and unworthy of any special favor. This is the reason they call for her to return in verse 13, so they can look upon her and see what was so special about her to the Bridegroom.  

The primary Old Testament type for the Separation is Elijah and Elisha walking along together when they were separated by a fiery chariot—a picture of discriminating judgment—and Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven. It is important to note that Elisha immediately rent (i.e., tore) his clothes, which is a symbol of repentance. It is also highly significant that Elisha refused to talk about the coming separation between Elijah and himself. This is like a great majority of the Church today who refuse to talk about the fulfillment of prophecies and the return of the Lord. Thus, they are failing to watch for the return of Jesus, and they will be left behind just like Elisha.

The details of Elijah's translation contain very important truths about which Christians will be taken and which will be left at the Separation. In Elijah, we have a model of readiness for the Lord's return. Step by step he walked with God:  "the Lord hath sent me to Bethel"; "the Lord hath sent me to Jericho"; "the Lord hath sent me to Jordan" (2 Kings 2:2). In the midst of a decadent people, Elijah was creating nurseries of devotion and study in the schools of the prophets. He was boldly witnessing for God without fear, and he was waiting for God without fainting. Suddenly, in a moment of time, Elijah was separated from Elisha, the fledgling prophet, and he was carried into heaven by a whirlwind. In the miracle of translation and the holiness that made that miracle possible, Elijah did more for the maturation of Elisha and the sons of the prophets than he had done in his whole life.

It is important to note that the Lord told Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor before Elijah was taken. When Elijah found Elisha, he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.  Elisha was a very rich man, which is an indication of where his heart was at the time of his commission as a prophet. It is also significant that the sons of the prophets at both Bethel and Jericho attempted to talk to Elisha about the coming translation of Elijah, but Elisha said "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace" (2 Kings 2:3,5). Elisha is telling them not to speak about it. Both of these facts about Elisha provide a picture of the Christian who will be left behind after the Separation. Numerous Christians have spent their lives seeking after wealth and material possessions instead of the things of God. They are uncomfortable about studying or talking about Bible prophecy, and especially the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The refusal to speak about the return of the Lord is the norm in the Church today. Christians do not want to hear about Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus Christ. Three and one-half years in great tribulation will likely change this attitude among the majority of Christians. The hot summer sun will cause the wheat left for the main harvest to die from the roots up, and the golden pods of grain will mature rapidly. Numerous Christians still have their roots sunk deeply into the earth, and no pods of grain have yet appeared. The fires of the tribulation will mature those Christians who are still babes in Christ, with the result that many will reign and rule with Jesus Christ in His kingdom.

When Elijah was raptured, he and Elisha were walking along two together when "there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11). It is not coincidental that the "evil servant" in the Olivet discourse who was not interested in, nor concerned about the coming of the Lord was also "cut asunder" at the time of the Lord's return (Matt 24:50-51). The following verses describe the difference between watchful Christians and unwatchful Christians at the time of the Separation. The unwatchful Christians do not want to speak about the Separation just as Elisha did not want to speak about it:  

There are many other Old Testament passages of Scripture that typify the coming Separation between faithful and carnal Christians, but the New Testament contains the doctrinal statements about this soon-coming event in the history of the Church.  

In the New Testament Paul wrote a great deal about the coming separation, but most of what he wrote is taken figuratively rather than literally. The figurative interpretation of a literal passage of Scripture is a violation of one of the most basic hermeneutical principles of Bible study set forth by theologians. This principle states that a word, phrase, sentence or passage of Scripture should always be taken literally unless the context clearly reveals that it should be taken figuratively. The following passage of Scripture is one of these passages that is taken figuratively when it should be taken literally:  

(Phil 3:8-14 KJV)  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, {9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: {10} That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; {11} If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. {12} Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. {13} Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, {14} I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

The Greek word for resurrection in verse 11 is exanastasis while the Greek word for resurrection in verse 10 is anastasis.  Both are talking about a literal resurrection from the dead.  Verse 10 refers to the resurrection of Jesus, but verse 11 is referring to a special resurrection or out-resurrection from among fellow Christians.  It is a literal resurrection, and it is "attained" by good works.  All Christians will be resurrected from the dead whether they have good works or not, but Paul wants to attain to this special resurrection that he calls the out-resurrection.  It is a violation of basic principles of Bible study to say that this out-resurrection is figurative, and that it takes place at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  The context leaves no doubt that Paul is talking about a literal resurrection, and this resurrection can only be attained by great effort.  

The book of Hebrews—probably written by Paul—also speaks of a special resurrection that faithful saints of God were striving to merit by their lives. The passage of Scripture is as follows:

(Heb 11:35 KJV)  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  

This passage of Scripture has reference to a literal resurrection, but most Bible scholars interpret this resurrection figuratively. The resurrection is literal, and it is the same as the out-resurrection that Paul wrote about in Philippians.  

Peter also wrote about this special resurrection, but he referred to it as an abundant entrance, according to the following Scripture:  

(2 Pet 1:10-11 KJV)  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye 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 Saviour Jesus Christ.  

This entrance that Peter referred to is a literal entrance into the kingdom, and it is attained by good works.  Peter probably got the abundant entrance analogy from the ancient Olympics as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about it.  In the Olympics of ancient Greece, an athlete who was a winner would receive a grand welcome back to his home town.  The people of the city would literally cut a narrow door through the city wall for the athlete to have his own special entrance into the city.  After he had entered through the narrow door, the wall would be rebuilt so no one else could enter in through the "narrow door."  The rest of the athletes would have to enter into the city through the wide gate of the city.  It was the winning athlete that received the abundant entrance into the city through the special door that was created just for the victor.  

The same abundant entrance will be administered to those victorious Christians who are overcomers in living their lives for Jesus Christ.  The book of Revelation describes this abundant entrance as a special open door that will be provided for overcoming Christians:  

(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.  

Please note carefully that this special door is provided only for the faithful Philadelphia church.  The following Scripture is referring to this same narrow door that only a few will be able to enter:  

(Luke 13:24-28 KJV)  Strive to enter in at the strait gate (i.e., narrow door): for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. {25} When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: {26} Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. {27} But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. {28} There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  

The out-resurrection, abundant entrance, and narrow door refer to the coming separation that will occur between faithful Christians who are watching for the Lord's return, and unfaithful Christians who are caught up in the affairs of this life.  Paul also wrote about this coming separation when he was writing to the Thessalonians about the coming rapture of the Church.  The Scripture is as follows:  

(2 Th 2:1-5 KJV)  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, {2} That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. {3} Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (i.e., the apostasy), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. {5} Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?  

The "day of Christ" in verse 2 is the Rapture of the Church.  This is confirmed by verse 1 which gives the definition of the "day of Christ". The meaning of a word or phrase in Scripture, as well as any writing, is determined by the context. The Thessalonians had been told that the rapture had already occurred and they were in the day of the Lord. Paul wrote to them to alleviate their fears and to explain when the rapture would occur. Paul very clearly and succinctly told the Thessalonians that the day of Christ (i.e., the Rapture) would not occur until three distinct and separate events occurred.  These three events are the apostasy, the revealing of Antichrist, and Antichrist establishing himself in the temple and claiming to be God. The rapture of the church is clearly and definitively stated by Paul to be in the middle of the tribulation period, since this is the time that Antichrist will establish himself in the temple and claim to be God. Of course, Antichrist will reveal himself at the beginning of the tribulation, immediately after the "apostasy."  

The apostasy is a definite, distinct and clearly identified event that will take place, and all Christians will recognize the exact time that this event will transpire.  The apostasy is not a process of something that transpires over a long period of time, such as a falling away from the faith or a rebellion against God.  The revealing of Antichrist and his establishment in the temple are also events that will be clearly identified as taking place at a certain moment in time.  Paul gave the Thessalonians three distinct and recognizable events that would take place before the Rapture would occur.  It would be ludicrous for Paul to give the revealing of Antichrist as an event to watch for if the whole Church were going to be in heaven at the time.  

The apostasy is probably the most misunderstood event in the Bible, because of the gross mistranslation of the transliterated Greek word apostasia as "falling away."  This same Greek word is used five times in the New Testament in Mark 10:4; Matt. 19:7; Matt. 5:31; Acts 21:21; and 2 Thess. 2:3.  It is translated "divorcement" in the first three, "departure" in the fourth, and "falling away" in the fifth.  Divorcement or departure would be an accurate translation, but falling away is completely without merit.  A better translation according to the above Scriptures would be "separation."  The following is the definition of divorcement straight out of the American Heritage Dictionary:  

di·vorce·ment n. Complete separation.  

Divorcement would also be a highly appropriate translation of apostasia, as in the first three instances, since it is a time that Christ will "put away" those in the Church who have been unfaithful.  

(2 Thess. 2:3-5 (Paraphrase) Let no man deceive you into thinking that the rapture has already occurred, for the rapture will not occur until the separation takes place, the Antichrist is revealed, and Antichrist presents himself as God by opposing God and exalting himself. Antichrist will even set himself up in the temple and present himself as God. Don't you remember that I told you these things when I was with you.  

Conclusion  

The purpose of this dissertation is to confirm the Scriptural truth of the coming separation between faithful and unfaithful Christians. It has also attempted to show the importance that God has attached to this doctrine, which has been rejected by the great majority of the Church. This rejection is in perfect accord with Scripture. Jesus spoke of this coming separation several times to his disciples, and He urged them to pray that they would be accounted worthy to escape the coming tribulation period.  Jesus even included it in the Lord's Prayer.  

God the Holy Spirit has called numerous people like myself to teach and expound upon this doctrine, even though it was prophesied that only a few would qualify for this out-resurrection.  

Jesus is not only calling those who will qualify to reign and rule with Him, but He is calling those who will enter into the highest level of reign and rule in the kingdom. Many will strive to enter this narrow door, but will not be able.

I have heard many teachers and preachers assure other Christians that all Christians will go out in the Rapture of the Church before the seven-year tribulation period begins, but none can give Scripture for this assurance.  

There is one-half chapter in the book of Revelation that describes in detail, and places the Rapture of the Church in the middle of the tribulation period (See Rev. 7:9-17), but these Christians are denied the status of being part of the Church, and they are referred to as tribulation saints.  It seems to matter not that all Christians are saints, and the Christians who go through the first half of the tribulation period will be tribulation saints, as well as being members of the Church.  

Paul even confirmed to the Thessalonians that the Rapture of the Church would not occur until the separation takes place, the Antichrist reveals himself, and establishes himself in the temple claiming to be God.  

It is my prayer that this dissertation will awaken a few of those who have closed their hearts and minds to the deeper truths of God's Word.  It is still the eleventh hour, but it is only seconds until the midnight hour on God's time clock.  Once the midnight cry has taken place, it is too late to qualify for the separation.