There are two distinct, indeed mutually exclusive, concepts of imminence that vie for domination in the prophetic arena: random imminence and signs-based imminence.
Random imminence is the idea that the rapture that can happen at any random moment, indeed could have happened at any random moment since the apostles. This view allows no nearer or farther, closer or distant. Furthermore, because it is random, the rapture will be a signless event. No signs will herald its approach, not immediately, not distantly.
Signs-based imminence is the idea that signs herald the approaching rapture. While these signs enable us to know with certainty that the rapture is near, and while some of these signs are time sensitive, none of them yield the kind of information needed for believers to calculate the date of our blessed tryst in the clouds. We can’t know the day nor the hour.
Now random imminence is really a bizarre concept. It belongs in the same category as the unicorn. There are such things as horned animals. And horses are undeniably real. But mixing horns and horses takes us into the realm of mythology. The fact is, random and imminent are two very distinct concepts in the English language, and their semantic ranges don’t really overlap. Imminence implies known nearness based on objectively discerned phenomena. Randomness implies there is no certainty for either nearness or farness. All this to say, if the rapture is imminent, it is not random. If the rapture is random, it is not imminent.
The truth is, the use of imminence to refer to a random event is a unique sense of imminence that is not found outside of a small set of dispensational theologians who exploit the word imminence when they teach that it means that the rapture is a random event without signs or precursors. These men are guilty of hijacking a wonderful English word and giving it a sense which it bears nowhere else.
Now there are three things that a person must understand to have a full-orbed understanding of the biblical doctrine of imminence: the day and hour of the rapture is established by God, imminence is sign-based, and imminence comes in degrees of proximity.
First of all, God has set the day and hour of the rapture. It is not a random event. The day of the second coming is appointed (Acts 17:31). It has been set in redemption-timetable concrete since before the foundation of the world. Corroborating this is the fact that the sixth trumpet in Revelation 9:13-15 is set for an hour, day, month, and year. Indeed, we can rest assured that if the visitations of the seventieth week are set with such precision in God’s timetable, then the second coming itself is also established with this same precision.
Now if the second coming is set for a definite day and hour, and if the rapture bears a fixed relationship to it (seven years plus a short window), then the timing of the rapture is itself set in concrete. It too has an appointed day and hour. But—and here is the rub—we can’t calculate or know that time. God has arranged things so that we find ourselves looking into a brass mirror dimly. We can see events lining up and piling up which indicate the nearness of the rapture. But none of these events lend themselves to precision calculations. Ballpark estimations are the best we can do.
Secondly, when the Bible directs our attention to the coming of the Lord, it doesn’t exhort us to fixate on randomness. It exhorts us to pay attention to signs which indicate that our blessed hope is drawing ever nearer. “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). “You hypocrites. You can read the face of the heavens, but you can’t read the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:3). Again, “Exhort each other daily, and the more so as we see that day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). These all bear the same essential message. There are objectively discernable stage-setting events going on in the world around us which point unerringly to the approaching day. As these events increase in frequency, intensity, and iniquity, we can rest assured that the rapture is drawing closer.
Thirdly, imminence comes in degrees. This is best illustrated with a volcano. The early signs of a potential eruption include earthquake swarms and gas venting, followed by steam and ash venting. These signs can go on for many months, even years without an eruption. As the pressure builds up, a dome or bulge might appear. This bulging may be accompanied with explosive events and increased earthquake activity. At this stage, eruption is regarded as imminent in the near future. As the pressure continues to build, and the dome or bulge continues to grow, the warning signs will accelerate and intensify, indicating that eruption is imminent in the immediate future. Then—Boom!—the eruption explodes upon the environment around, bringing awful destruction.
Imminence works the same way for the rapture as it does for volcanoes. There are early signs which suggest that the rapture is coming, but most likely in the distant future. There are signs which suggest that the rapture will likely happen in the near future. And there are signs which suggest that the rapture is immediately imminent.
At the first coming of the Messiah, the world entered into the last days in a broad sense. Since then the entire age has been characterized by precursors of a general sort (like wars and rumors of wars, and wicked persecuting emperors and popes come in the spirit of antichrist). These precursors point to the imminent coming of the Lord, but they do not suggest that it shall happen in the near future. Nonetheless, believers looked to these signs, anticipating that somewhere along the line things were going to start accelerating and hoping, even expecting, that they might accelerate in their lifetime so they could see the coming of the Lord.
The endtimes pressure began to seriously build in recent centuries with the rise of rationalism, evolution, Marxism, and the modern NWO movement. The rise of Zionism in the latter half of the nineteenth century kicked the pressure up another notch. This movement led to the rebirth of Israel in 1948, an event which marks, for all practical purposes, the beginning of the last days in the narrow or technical sense. Those with prophetic perception understand that the generation that saw the rebirth of Israel would also see the rapture. That sign, and the string of prophecies that have followed, indicate that the rapture is now a near-term event.
In more recent years we have witnessed the rise of neo-paganism, Noahic-era perversion, anti-Semitism, and the global elite rolling out a plan to impoverish and depopulate the world. These pressures have further added to the expansion of the bulges on the fabric of the world—and these bulges have begun manifesting explosive events. Insane pressure is building for a time of tribulation that appears poised to explode upon the world in the very near term. Little is holding it back at this point except the restraining hand of God. And before the fulness of the mystery of iniquity explodes on the world, the rapture must and will happen.
This brings us to the title, Imminence on the Accelerator. As the signs for an imminent volcanic eruption accelerate from signs of a distant eruption to signs of immediate eruption, so we have witnessed the signs of the approaching rapture accelerate from indeterminate signs to signs that it was on the near horizon to signs that it is on the very near horizon. And the acceleration of the signs in number, scope, and degree continues on a breathtaking pace. Imminence has its foot on the accelerator. If we are not already on the cusp of the rapture being immediately imminent, we don’t have long to go. The preparations for the Gog and Magog war alone—Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Syria—should have the prophecy student on the edge of his seat.
Are you ready for the rapture? Personally, I believe that we have come to the place where the rapture literally could happen at any moment now. This from a man who for decades did not think the signs of the rapture were far enough along to talk about the rapture happening any moment.
Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.
Lee W. Brainard
Watch a longer version of this message on video — IMMINENCE ON THE ACCELERATOR.
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