What Saith the Scripture?
Not An Hoof Be Left Behind
Or, Our LORD Will Not Suffer There To Be A Single Honest-hearted Christian Left Behind At The Pre-Tribulational Rapture
"Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God"
by Tom Stewart
Those who are "waiting for the Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 1:7) and His soon Rapture of His watching Saints, are like the children of Israel awaiting their exodus from Pharaoh's Egypt. "My soul waiteth for the LORD more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning" (Psalm 130:6). Moses declared to Pharaoh the terms of their departure to serve the LORD. Even down to the Israelites' cattle, the LORD would not leave an "hoof behind" (Exodus 10:26). Just so, our LORD will not suffer there to be a single honest-hearted Christian left behind at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "The LORD knoweth how to deliver the Godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished" (2Peter 2:9). "That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gensis 18:25). The character of our Righteous Judge is revealed in the separation of the Wise and Foolish Virgins before the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. [See our article, "The Character of God Is Revealed in the Rapture" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/Character.of.God.in.Raptur.html -- for more understanding of how the LORD makes this separation.]
LORD, How Long?
What True Saint has not asked the LORD how much longer He will tarry before He delivers His Saints and begins the Judgments of the Tribulation Week (Daniel 9:27)? "LORD, how long wilt Thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions" (Psalm 35:17). The "Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit" (Romans 8:16) that the Coming of the LORD Jesus is very near. We do not need to be aware of all the impending calamities of our world to know that our departure is soon. "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand" (2Timothy 4:6).
Approximately 38 years before the event, the LORD Jesus mourned over the coming destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD). He mourned because they would not be willing to repent of their wickedness; therefore, unaware that their destruction was at hand. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" (Luke 13:34). Thus, they would be destroyed. "And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (19:44).
Like A Thief
Only those who will be surprised by our LORD's soon Coming, are those who are not walking with the LORD. "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a Thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" (Revelation 3:3). [See our "Commentary on the Book of Revelation" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/The.Holy.Bible/Commentary.Revelations.1.html -- for additional insight on this passage.] Repeatedly, the LORD uses the argument that those who are surprised by His Coming, are like those surprised by a thief. "Behold, I come as a Thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (16:15).
"But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the Heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2Peter 3:10). But, when the LORD Jesus Christ comes as a Thief, what will He rob "the surprised" of? I believe that "the surprised" will be the Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25), who will be robbed of their departure at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. These Foolish Virgins are the Backslidden, who have yet to repent of their waywardness. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes [literally, early or diligently]" (Proverbs 13:24). [See our article, "A Tale of Ten Virgins" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Prophecy/A.Tale.of.Ten.Virgins.html -- , to see the difference between the prepared and the unprepared. Also, see our article, "He Will Subdue Our Iniquities" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Fellowship/He.Will.Subdue.Our.Iniquit.html --, to see how to be prepared.]
Not An Hoof Be Left
Why such insistence that not even a single hoof of the Israelites' cattle would be left behind (Exodus 10:26)? It was nonnegotiable because the LORD will always deliver completely those that belong to Him. "17 Notwithstanding the LORD stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the LORD shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His Heavenly Kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2Timothy 4:17-18). After all, Christians have understood that the LORD will deliver those who are putting their trust in Him. "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the LORD shall be delivered" (Joel 2:32).
How can we be satisfied with a Rapture that does not remove all of the Body that can be removed? "Ye are called in one body" (Colossians 3:15). For this reason, we intercede for the deliverance of all those who are watching and waiting. "2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1John 3:2-3). Our immediate concern is that those who are watching are Wise and not as the Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25).
Patient Waiting For Christ
We must temper our desire to depart with the patience of those who "occupy" (Luke 19:13) for their LORD. "And the LORD direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2Thessalonians 3:5). Like the LORD's declaration to the Psalmist, we need to be still before the LORD with our understanding of His judgment of His Church, Israel, and the world. "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the Earth" (Psalm 46:10). [See our article, "The Seventy Weeks of Daniel" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/Seventy.Weeks.of.Daniel.html --, for a development of this thought.]
Our LORD repeated the formula to the Seven Churches of Revelation, "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22), to emphasize that only the Elect are being addressed. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" (1Peter 2:9). The LORD will perform the miracle of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture for the benefit of you-- the Elect, who are ready, watching and waiting. He will go to the greatest measures to ensure your deliverance. [See our article, "For the Elect's Sake" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/For.the.Elects.Sake.html --, to see how far our LORD will go.]
Ours is to cling in faith to our LORD, as we do His perfect will. "1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1-2). The LORD will perform His Word concerning the Promise of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "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).
"Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1Thessalonians 5:24).
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