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German Version


Caught Up In The Clouds
Markus Piercy-Reins

















The LORD always has unique ways of teaching us HIS truths. Some time ago He drew my attention to the topic of the rapture.
Well, I had read quite a few books about this topic before and all the different aspects were familiar to me. As I said the Holy Spirit has often a unique way of teaching – and this was just one of those special lessons for me.
It started with me asking HIM how HE is looking on all of this and immediately He started teaching me. HE is the best teacher available, but when HE started the lesson I was quite confused at the start, because HE began by explaining to me HIS “Three in Oneness” (the trinity - so hard to catch for us, but a fact we have to take by faith).
I was amazed because I had never imagined any connection with the rapture and the “Trinity” before – totally absent from my mind, but you will see that the principle of “Three-in-Oneness” holds the key for important understanding.

HE is one God – and although He is one, He is three, too. I can’t explain how that works, but I know it is that way by faith. (Hebrews 11:1) logical reasoning won’t bring us any further, because God just pointed out one single way to grab spiritual truth – faith.

I will repeat now just the way HE taught me.
The first thing is the trinity of God. Although being one God He has "three parts" or “three persons”:

The “Tri-Unity” of God

God the Father - is above everything He is the highest in ranking. HE is the omnipotent, everlasting creator and ruler of the whole universe.

John 10:29
God the Son - is sent by God the father. HE received from the father. Only a higher authority can give to a lower.
Luke 10:22 / John 5:36-37 / John 14:28
God the Spirit - is under command of the father and the son. HE is the lowest in ranking of authority.
John 15:26
Although being three persons they're one God.
John 10:30
Well, I had no difficulties with this lesson. This was all well known to me, but without hesitation God continued just opening the next lesson.

The “Tri-Unity” of Man

The second example for the principle of “Tri-Unity” is man. We're made after God's image and because HE has a “Tri-Unity” we're three in one, too:
Genesis 1:26
We will find the same difference in ranking when we look at man as God originally designed him.
Man's decision to obey Satan instead of God caused the death of the spirit. To be dead in the eyes of God means that the order in ranking doesn't exist anymore. I will now describe the order of ranking as God intended in the beginning.

The spirit of man - was designed to rule over soul and flesh(our physical body).
The Spirit is the only part of us that can have a connection with God.
To use a picture:
The Spirit is like our eyes. Without our eyes we're still alive, but we're blind! We can feel, hear and smell but we have no chance to see the light.
Although sensing, our picture of the surrounding reality is wrong - we need to see to know the true reality!
When man bowed to Satan's promise his Spirit died. In God's eyes every man is dead now. God can't reach us anymore - like we can't communicate with the physically dead.

The soul of man - was designed to submit under the spirit. But now, spiritually dead, the soul took over the spirit's part. Man was now directed by his feelings, his mental abilities.

The body of man - is the lowest in ranking. If we would separate the body from the rest of us there would be now difference to animals - just wild, brutal fighting for survival - archaic, animal like existence.
The disorder in man, caused by the death of the spirit, is so big, that often man can't submit the body to his soul. In that case man became more brutal than animals. No creature ever committed such incredible cruelty against nature and its own kind - but man!

When the LORD finished this lesson I told him, that this was nothing new to me. He didn’t pay any attention and continued to the third chapter. And here I finally started to see it; I started to understand purpose and direction of this lesson.

The "Tri-Unity" of Israel

The 11 tribes of Jacob – the biggest part, are the ordinary people. They are on the lowest stage in spiritual ranking. They received the land, and had been in direct contact with the daily affaires of human life.

The tribe of Levi - they did not possess any land as their brothers did. They received 48 cities with the surrounding pastures. They received the tithe and a part of the offering. Their job was to serve in the sanctuary and teach God's law to the people. Their spiritual ranking was, although smaller by number, higher than the others.
Numbers 35 / Joshua 21
The priests (descendants of Aaron, Aaronites) - the smallest group. They didn't even have cities. Their inheritance, like all the tribe of Levi, was the Lord. They received the first-fruit and the offering. Their designation was written on a golden plate on their forehead: Holy to the Lord!
They were the smallest group in Israel but they had the order to be the connection between God and the rest of the people. They had the vocation of ruling God's people in righteousness and truth.
Deuteronomy 18:2 / Exodus 28:36
Let’s visualize this principle of “Tri-Unity”:
Israel Size Ranking
the 11 tribes
(chosen out of the nations
to live holy unto the Lord)
big low
Levi
(chosen out of Israel to
serve the Lord)
smaller higher
Priests
(chosen out of Levi)
smallest highest

But with this lesson God wasn't finished with me. There is one more lesson – crucial for any further understanding.


The "Tri-Unity" of The Temple

The plan of the temple David received from God shows, how could it be different, a “triune” structure, too

The courts - were the biggest part of the temple. A place every member of Israel was allowed to enter.
The courts of the temple were the place that Jesus cleansed in His holy anger.

Matthew 21: 12-13
The sanctuary - was a place only priests and Levites were allowed to enter. To make this clear: You have to be born as a Levite to have the right to enter here! (This is important we’ll need this truth later)
The ranking in holiness was higher than that of the courts.

The Holy of Holies - was a place where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. A place where God himself was present. It was separated from the sanctuary by a long veil.
Only once a year, at the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was allowed to enter that place.
Hebrews 9: 1-7
Let's visualize that principle of “tri-unity” again:
Temple Size Ranking
the courts
(a place every member of God’s people could enter)
big holy
the sanctuary
(a place for Levites and Priests)
smaller more holy
the Holy of Holies
(a place of God’s presence)
smallest most holy

When God finished this lesson I was able to realize a divine principle:

Every expression of God’s divine character here on earth shows the characteristic structure of HIMSELF – a unity in three parts!

Man
created after God’s own image

Israel
HIS very possession among all the nations

Temple
HIS house, the place of HIS presence

(There are more “Tri-Unities” to find in God’s word, but God just used these. Even the heavens have a “Tri-Unity”. Read 2. Corinthians 12:2)

The old temple isn’t standing anymore. Jesus promised to tear down the old temple and build up a new one - HIS body, the church.

John 2:19
A temple not built of stone but of living men. And now comes the “key-scripture” for further understanding. We are told in Hebrews that the old temple is an image of the new one.
Hebrews 9+10 / 2. Corinthians 6:16-18
Does the today temple, the church, have this same structure as the old one had?

We have learned that every thing representing God on this earth is made in a way of a “Tri-Unity”. So today, the body of Christ, that new temple of God, shows the same characteristics as the old one did!

How can we describe those three parts in God’s temple (church) today? There must be differences in the inner life of a believer representing those different stages of holiness.

"Court-believers" - they have entered through the gate Jesus – Jesus is the gate we have to go through in order to become a part of the new temple. Through Jesus' death they have free access and are members of God’s people now. Although being God's property, they are only allowed to enter the courts, because to enter the sanctuary the "right of entering" (Salvation) isn't sufficient - here you need a "birthright" (Rebirth). At the courts there's a lot of trading and mingling with the world they should have left behind. They are saved, but haven’t become a new creation yet.

"Sanctuary-believers" - they aren't satisfied with just being saved. They hunger and thirst for more. They regard their wickedness and long to have divine order in their lives. They hunger and thirst for a life after God's original design.
Nothing can satisfy that hunger - until they get it!

Let’s remember the statement about the service in the sanctuary: No one can enter here, unless he is a Levite.
This is the same with the new temple, there is no easy entry for anyone, unless you are permitted by birthright.
Does this somehow sound familiar to you? Do you have an “Ahh”- experience as I had when God got me to this point?

There we see Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night asking for the way to enter into the kingdom of God (The new Temple)
But we have learned that no one can enter the sanctuary - unless he is born a Levite.
John 3
Jesus was replying that he is a scholar in Israel and he should actually know it. (Well, I have to confess I didn’t know the answer to this particular question until the day God started to teach me this lesson. But now, by God’s grace, we can answer.)

You can’t just enter in, you have to be born, to receive admittance rights – you have to be born again! You have to become a total new creation – a Levite of the New Covenant!

When Nicodemus asked how that can happen, Jesus was pointing towards the wind – the Ruach Ha Kodesh – the Holy Wind – the Holy Spirit.

Well, I know this is a little bit disappointing. I know we love to know an answer showing us, what we can do! We made a decision for Christ and decided to be baptized – and now this dependency on a “wind” I do not have under control. A wind that is coming from somewhere going to somewhere – playing with me like a leave in the wind! We don’t like this wobbliness - we want answers. But this is God’s action, we have to accept HIS way, to accept the insecurity of a leave blown by the wind!

But there are unmistakable signs for the activity of God’s wind: Hunger, Hunger for more of God!
God will give the will first and the work at HIS timing. (Philipians 2:13)

God will create a total new creation – a creation with a living spirit again, able to hear HIS voice and to fulfil HIS will.

As God has chosen Levi for the old service, we have to accept HIS choice for the “New Service”. HE makes the choice – every move outside HIS will is presumption (remember Korach, Nadab and Abihu). Although we think we’re serving God, we are setting ourselves against HIS divine order – and this will be followed by God’s judgement.

As God chose Levi in the "Old service", HE will choose His vessels for the new one.
Romans 9:16
"Holy-of-Holies-believers" - these are the very rare disciples of Christ that are not satisfied with the new creation alone.
By Jesus' death on the cross the veil is torn. If someone is born again nothing can hinder him; he has free access to the face of God.

But only a very few choose this path of facing a consuming fire. These few long to be "transformed" into His image.
2. Corinthians 3:18
So they turn their faces towards the Holy of Holies. As they get closer, the radiance of God’s holiness starts to penetrate their lives, cutting away every useless branch, dividing spirit and soul.

The consuming fire of God strips them completely. The heat will go over the human abilities and they will start to live not by normal human functioning anymore. When their own resources will break away, they will experience what is meant by:...to live by the spirit.
These are men and women consumed by God! What will be the result of that process?

They will reach a position of rest and peace. (Hebrews 4, 9-12)

We can describe this “Tri-Unity” in that way:
Old Temple Church Size Ranking
God's people saved large holy
(saved)
Levites born-again smaller more holy
(renewed)
Priests transformed just a few most holy
(transformed into
God's image)

This temple is constructed in the same way as the old one – with only one difference, its stones are living people.
It is one temple, it is one people, one church - but there are three levels of ranking.

Just a few thoughts to the courts:

In Revelation it is said that the courts will be given to the nations, and they will trample over it 42 months.

Revelation 11:1-2
This will be the same cleansing process like Jesus did at His time. Instead of a whip HE will use the nations (driven by satanic power) to trample the courts.

Let's stay a little with that thought.

We are saved by the precious blood of Jesus. This blood is so powerful that all our trespasses of the past, the present and the future are totally covered. Nothing can be added to it.
We are saved for all eternity. But this does not mean that we use that "birthright" in the right way. Most believers like to be in the courts. They want eternal salvation plus the pleasures of the world.
In the courts you can do that. It grieves the heart of God but He will not recall His promise.
But just as we punish our disobedient children, God will cleanse His courts which have been turned into a robbers den.
The Old Temple was destroyed by heathen armies. Israel had not turned from their idols. So God allowed the enemy to be victorious. The trampling of the courts in Revelation has to be seen as God's loving discipline.

Those that refuse "to lay down their lives" for Jesus' sake and prefer the easy life of the court, will face the fury of a fierce enemy.
Paul is saying the same thing: ... the believer will suffer loss. But for eternity he will be saved.
1. Corinthians 3:10-16
This time is very close!

When God got me to this point, he started to reveal the meaning of Revelation chapter 12. And with all we have learned up to now, everything is clear. This scripture contains everything we need for understanding. Here we find the “Tri-Unity” again, we are able to discern three characters:

The woman - The male child - The rest of her offspring

The only disturbing thing was the question: Is this vision about the church or about Israel?

God solved that quickly!

The Revelation is about the present and future at John's time. He received that vision on Patmos about 70 years after Jesus' birth.
Revelation 1:19
Before that time Jesus had already lived about 33 years on earth, had died, risen and ascended to heaven. Now glorified, He is speaking from heaven to John.

So it's an obvious contradiction to think that the male child is He, Jesus, because Revelation is about John's present and the church's future.
Beside this simple logic, Jesus didn't ascent directly after His birth.
It's clear that the vision of the woman giving birth to a male child, and her offspring keeping the testimony of Jesus must illustrate something different.

Let's start with:

The Woman:

In the Old Testament God often used the picture of the woman to describe Israel - God's people.

This woman stands for God's people of the new covenant - His church. A people separated from the world, living "Holy unto the Lord".

The woman is dressed with the sun. This symbolizes that she is dressed with Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 / Romans 13:14 / Matthews 13:43
The moon under her feet is a symbol for authority over Satan. To put a foot on someone’s head was a common ritual in former ages; a sign of total surrender.
Romans 16:20
The crown of twelve stars is a symbol for the twelve apostles of Christ. Again we find an obvious parallel between Israel and the church.
The people of Israel came forth from the 12 sons of Jacob. The church came forth from the 12 disciples of Jesus. They are the foundation of billions of believers.
They will shine like the stars forever (see Daniel 12:3).
This woman is the bride of Christ that will be prepared in the desert. There she will be protected from the enemy. She will have her saviour only. And this total dependence on Him will purify her.
These 42 months of desert will turn her into Christ’s beautiful bride.

The devil will try to kill her but God will protect and provide for her.

Before her time in the desert, however, she will give birth to a male child. It is very important that this child is male. This symbolizes that this child is not the bride.

The Male Child:

In biblical symbolism the gender “male” only refers to God and Christ - and the 144.000 sealed in Revelation. So, what does the "male child" stand for?
Revelation 14:1-5
This is a symbol for the transformed ones. They have been transformed into God's image
and this transformation has changed their “female” human attribute into God's “male” attribute.

These people have lost their identity in God!

They will face a total stripping away of every natural way of existing. These people have lost the basic foundation which all of humanity draws from.
Because of this transformation in their life no man can understand them any longer. They are isolated in a way I can't describe.
Perhaps this will help! The scripture tells us that no human being can see God and live. They have turned their eyes towards God. And this facing God transforms them into the image of God.

This process is unutterably painful, like the pain of labour. But the woman will give birth to her first fruit. When the last of the transformed ones is perfected, the rapture will take place!

The Church of Christ will bring forth a fruit, a people transformed into God's image; the first fruit of the nations. A first fruit breaks the womb first, and is regarded as the very possession of the Lord in the Old Testament.
They will be spotless in God’s eyes. On their foreheads they will wear the names of the Father and the Son engraved in their flesh. As the priests of the old covenant wore the golden plate, "Holy unto the Lord", they will wear the name of the Lord.

Isn’t that fascinating! How every little detail is perfectly in place! Look at the perfect teaching of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy and not mystical – plain, simple truth, connected to our understanding about the divine principle of “Tri-Unity”.

These 144.000 are the royal priesthood of the New Covenant – the first fruit of the nations.
We will find the number 144.000 twice in Revelation. The first is the first fruit of Israel (12 x 12.000. 12.000 from each tribe. (Revelation 7).
In Revelation 14 they are the 144.000, the first fruit (firstborn child) of the nations. They are the Priesthood of the New covenant, and the whole creation awaits the revelation of these Sons of God!

When the transformation process is finished (the painful labour is over) they will be caught up into heaven. In Revelation this happens during the seventh trumpet (the last of a total of seven), and Paul confirms this in 1. Corinthians 15:51-52 as the last trumpet.

The Rest of Her Offspring:

The ”rest of her offspring that keep the commandments of God and keep the testimonies of Jesus” are the “court-Believers”. In Revelation chapter 11 we read that the heathen will trample the courts for 42 months. Here we hear that Satan will fight against them.

Final conclusion:

Woman – Born-Again – Sanctuary

They will not be caught away. They have a place in the “desert” protected by
God and nourished by Him. There in the “desert” they will be perfected,
purified and formed into Christ’s perfect bride.

Male child – Transformed – Holy of Holies

As soon as the last one is perfected the rapture will take place. A sign for
the “woman” to get ready for the desert.

The rest of her offspring – saved – court

They will face the fierce hatred of Satan. The very most of them will be killed
or die by starvation if they refuse to take the mark of the beast.
If they decide rather to die rather than taking the mark, they will reign with Christ.
(Revelation 20:4)

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!
Whoever has eyes to see, let them see!
 

Amen


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