John the Baptist said that he was a friend of the bridegroom and if a friend then not necessarily the bride. Was he not a follower of Christ? He was born with the Holy Spirit – even Jesus wasn’t; He received the Holy Spirit at His baptism (Matthew 3:16) – yet John did no recorded miracles, he simply preached repentance and baptism; something unheard of in those days and without scriptural merit, yet he fulfilled these verses:
Exodus 23:20 (KJV) Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Malachi 3:1 (KJV) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 40:3 (KJV) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Note: “angel” and “messenger” in the verses above are the same word in Hebrew. Jesus quoted these verses in Matthew 11:10, yet when speaking of John Jesus said:
Matthew 11:11 (KJV) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Why do I point this out? Because God deals with man over time differently. Some choose to use the inaccurate word dispensation: the ordering of life and events by God, but from Adam to Moses grace abounded. Because of the arrogance of Israel, the Law reigned from Moses to Jesus. Yet, David dared to challenge this arrogant teaching and lived by grace (not being killed for killing Uriah to steal his wife; unlawfully eating the showbread, etc.) My idea in all this is to point out that after the bride (the church) is removed, the preaching of the gospel will revert back to the Israel via the 144,000 male virgin Jews and the two witnesses supernaturally sent from heaven. The 144,000 having missed the rapture, understand what happened, accept the gospel they were obviously taught, become sealed by God to avert the wrath to come, and it is they that will continue the message of grace taught since the beginning of time. Another scenario would be they hear the two witnesses and accept the Gospel. God always leaves a way of escape and a remnant. These 144,000 male virgin Jews will be protected from God’s wrath on the earth, but the Antichrist will kill them. Persecution is not wrath.
The gentiles are not the only ones raptured, anyone who accepts the free gift of life, including ethnic Jews.
John 3:29 (KJV) He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
The preachers (144,000 male virgin Jews – Revelation 7 & 14) will be sealed to preach the gospel. The Antichrist will overcome those that turn to Christ and kill the saints (Revelation 7 & 13) as well as the 144,000 (Revelation 14). Thinking that no one can get saved during the tribulation? Of course people will be saved, who else will have the kids who will die as a child at 100 years of age in the Kingdom (Isaiah 65:20), or who will be left to rise up against the Lord at the end of 1000 years (Rev 20). If the believers are rapture and will be like the angels (Matthew 22:30), and when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom everything that is offensive will be gathered and thrown into the fire (Matthew 13:39-42), who will be left to have the children? Those that supported Israelis during this time of tribulation will be allowed to enter the earthly Kingdom (Matthew 25:40). Those Jews, in name only, who remained in the world and would not accept their heritage will be judge by Jesus in the wilderness (Ezekiel 20:33-38) and those who survive in Israel or Petra (Isaiah 16:1 & Daniel 11 & Matthew 24) will be accepted (Ezekiel 20:39-44 & Zechariah 12:10).
One of the greatest miracles in the world is when one accepts the free gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus. Although it’ll be much harder during the tribulation period, grace will still available for those who choose to accept the free gift of salvation from hell. Do so now, before it’s too late. Jesus died for YOU personally. I invite you to watch this video to set the record straight: http://youtu.be/4lnB38K-gmc