by Paul Benson
I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Isaiah 48:3
Sometimes when the Lord is dealing with me, and speaking his truth more deeply into my spirit, I get a word or phrase stuck in my mind and cannot seem to get away from it. In recent days I seem to be somewhat stuck on the word ‘Suddenly!’.
Although our Creator is a loving God, who has remarkably demonstrated his patience and long-suffering countless times through out history, he is also a God who is quite prone to come on the scene in a sudden and unexpected manner.
A Sudden Wind
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Act 2:1-4
With an unexpected abruptness the Lord transformed the disciples of Christ into the Body of Christ. He now had taken up residence inside his followers! They had ceased to be merely Temple-goers who attended the functions which transpired at the local synagogue; they had now become the very Temple of God themselves!
This sudden move of God completely transformed those impacted by it; and the effects of this visitation of God have altered the lives of countless millions down through the centuries since that day! As an un-churched heathen who found Christ in a Pentecostal revival service I also had a sudden and unexpected encounter with the Holy Spirit. You can read that testimony HERE if you like.
The Sudden Second Coming
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Act 1:9 -11
Behold, I come quickly (suddenly): blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Revelation 22:7 italics are mine P.B.
As abruptly as the Lord Jesus parted company with his followers he will assuredly re-appear in similar fashion! In a day that will take the unbelieving world (as well as the false Church slumbering in apostasy) by total surprise, the glory of Christ’s Second Coming will suddenly breach forth upon the darkness of this world!
A quite frequent (but provably false) argument against a ‘post-tribulation catching away of the Church’ is that such a scenario is not in sync with the statement that the coming of Christ will be ‘like a thief in the night’. The reasoning given claims that if the events of the time of tribulation (including the reign of Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast) have transpired then Christ’s appearance will now be expected, and will not surprise his followers. This seems to present a problem.
And to this I say amen! There does seem to be a problem.
But the problem comes not from any fault of post-trib theory, but from interpreting the concept ‘like a thief in the night’ through ‘pre-trib colored glasses’ so to speak. For the truth of the matter, as clearly shown in the Scriptures, is that to the awake and watchful the Return of our Savior will NOT come upon us ‘as a thief’. It is the ones who are asleep who are taken by surprise!
Though Jesus himself said that no man can know the day or hour of his Return, he also taught quite plainly there are many signs or indicators we are to watch for that will tell us the season of his return. That was the whole purpose of the Parable of the Fig Tree!
[SIDENOTE: Those who try to portray a ‘pre-trib’ rapture as the sudden event we are to be on guard for and the Second Coming as a later appearance that will not be a sudden surprise are at odds with the teachings of the Bible! (I debunk this phony ‘Known Day verses An Unknown Day’ myth HERE.) And here is something the pre-trib crowd loves to ignore: EVERY single time he warned of the danger of being caught off-guard by his return you will find that warning in the context of his post-tribulation appearance!
As I have shown numerous times (HERE for example) the many catch-phrases used to promote the pre-trib doctrine (‘Like a thief in the night’, ‘no man knoweth the day or hour’, ‘caught-up to meet the Lord’, etc. etc. etc.) are ALL stolen away from passages directly speaking of Christ’s Return to Earth (which takes place AFTER the time of tribulation).
Why must they hi-jack these catch-phrases from verses dealing with the Second Coming?
Easy! There ARE NO pre-trib passages to get any pre-trib catch-phrases from! The Bible teaches no such thing; so they have to steal them away from the context of the Second Coming and misapply them to their theory. Come on sleepy Church; let’s get it right! We are not awaiting a departure of the Church; we are awaiting the arrival of our Lord.]
But regardless of whether we are awake and expecting Christ’s return or not it will be a SUDDEN event! One minute he will not be here and the next he will be visible in the sky! We will no longer pray: ‘Thy kingdom come!’; we will declare ‘the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord!’ (Rev. 11:15)
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1Thessalonians 5:2-4
Within the contextual parameters (1Thess. 4:13 – 1Thess. 5:11) of a lengthy discussion on the Second Coming (from which the phrase ‘caught-up to meet the Lord’ is hi-jacked, renamed ‘the rapture’, and falsely applied to pre-trib theory) we are informed that the sudden destruction of the wicked will be seen at a time they are saying ‘peace and safety’.
But Brother Paul! How could the world be declaring peace and safety during the time of the great tribulation; with all the events that the Bible prophecies speak of going on at that time? Well, because what many don’t realize is that the wrath of God is not poured out until AFTER the tribulation! Jesus administers the Wrath of God at his Return to Earth.
What takes place during the tribulation is one last call to repentance for mankind!
When Jesus returns for the Bride those ‘call to repentance’ events will have been over and done with; and there is a short lull before the wrath of God is poured out at the Second Coming. To the surviving populous it will appear the dangerous times are past and they will be fooled by it!
The scattered remnants of the Body of Christ will have been seemingly defeated according to Daniel 12:7 (contrary to the Seven Mountains Mandate/Dominionism error many are preaching today!). The Two Witnesses will have been killed and their plagues will no longer reeking havoc upon humanity. The time of great tribulation is now past (Christ returns ‘immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days’ Mark 13:24-27, Matt. 24:29-31), and the world will have been lulled into a false sense of security.
Then suddenly Christ will appear; and he will resurrect the dead and catch away the living survivors. And then, and only then, is the wrath of God poured out. We will be safe under the wing of our Savior when the fury of God is visited upon the wicked.
Sudden Judgment Before The Day Of Wrath
The Church will escape the sudden wrath of God. But that doesn’t mean that sudden Judgment (a call to repentance) cannot befall certain areas or nations in this day. And that brings us to what I feel the Lord is currently speaking to me: That sudden events will soon transform the world around us in ways that we could not imagine.
As I have stated before I see a strong possibility that the USA may not even exist in the future in the form that it does currently. Not necessarily destroyed and gone completely. But possibly reshaped or disbanded similar to the former great and powerful nation of Yugoslavia. Or over-run and occupied by our enemies following a military conflict.
And I absolutely believe we will see (absent of any of the former scenarios) a marked increase in the move of the government of this nation towards a dictatorial or totalitarian control. Major terrorist events or biological plagues (real or false-flag events) could propel us in that direction in a very rapid manner! The authoritarian controls and loss of liberties we experienced (for our own good and safety!) because of 9-11-2001 could pale in comparison to the extremes we could see as a response to a major event.
If you think a strong and prosperous nation cannot devolve into chaos and hardships in short order just look around the world at nations like Syria, Libya or Venezuela. Do some historical research. A mere decade ago all were a far cry from the hell-holes they are today. And I doubt the people saw it coming.
Please note: Although God has certainly spoken to me prophetically in times past (sometimes quite specifically) I am not prophesying any specific events here. What I am saying is:
I hear the Lord saying to be ready for: ‘Suddenly!’
Though many are prophesying a time of peace, prosperity, and the future security of this nation I believe they are prophesying falsely. Be ready for sudden life-changing and even world-changing events. Whether it be sudden danger or a sudden change in our way of life (or hopefully a sudden manifestation of God’s presence, or some course-altering instructions from him); we desperately need to be ready to respond to God in total obedience.
And the only way to respond in total obedience is to be walking in the Spirit without a defiled conscience so we can hear the Lord’s voice clearly and have the grace and faith to move with what he is saying. This is not a day to be dragging around the weights and chains of besetting sin; or to be distracted by the entertainments and enchantments the world seeks to immerse us in.
A defiled Church is a church far from God; and deaf to his voice!
How’s your hearing lately?
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts… … Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:7-13
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36
I believe with all my heart this nation is in serious peril. And the greatest danger to this country is not terrorism, war, or biological hazard. The greatest danger we face as a nation is the removal of the mercy of God that prohibits the desolation and destruction our sins deserve! The Judgment of God is our greatest danger; and I do not see how he can restrain it any longer given the gross abominations that increasingly flood our country.
And if ‘Suddenly!’ happens and we miss God’s voice (or cannot respond to it in faith because we are walking in sin or caught up in the things of this world) it very well could be fatal to us or our loved ones!
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. Psalms 5:12
Brothers and Sisters, I really do believe we are on the cusp of very dangerous and troublesome times. Times in which we will suddenly need ‘the good hand of God’ (Ezr. 8:18) which moves on behalf of the faithful.
Let’s be a people God can place his ‘good hand’ upon!
Stay in a wide-awake anticipation of sudden events; and in a condition to respond under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those asleep at the wheel may well find themselves to be victims at a time they ought to be victorious.
I have shared with you the burden upon my heart. Please take it to the Lord in prayer; and allow him to speak to you in a personal way.
Blessings upon all who love our Christ;
I welcome your input!
If you have comment or criticism please use the section below. Overly long comments may be edited for length.
Thank you for visiting my site.