PROPHECY: A MID-TRIBULATION PARTIAL “RAPTURE”
THE BIBLE TEXT
(Mark 6:45,46) And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
AMPLIFICATION OF THE BIBLE TEXT
(Mark 6:45,46) And straightway [immediately after Jesus had fed the five thousand in the wilderness east of the Sea of Galilee] he constrained [Gk: to necessitate: compelled] his disciples [his saved pupils; those students “chosen” (John 15:16) to study under him] to get into the ship [the Gospel ship], and to go to the other side [go to Palestine, go to The Promised Land] before unto Bethsaida [sailing under Bethsaida located on the NW end of the Sea of Galilee], while he sent away the [multitude of unsaved] people [who will (sadly) not ever be permitted to enter into The Promised Land (a type of Heaven)]. And when he had sent them [the unsaved multitude] away, he departed into a mountain to pray [a type and shadow of Acts 1:9, the ascension of Jesus Christ].
1. Commentary: “to get into the ship” = to get into the church which is a spiritual vessel (concept) sent by God to convey us to Heaven; it is the Gospel ship, and you and I are of His disciples in the ship.
2. Commentary: “to get into the ship” = Men are typified as trees throughout the Bible, and Jesus was a carpenter, and so then are we. The Gospel ship is assembled out of wooden boards (trees) that have been “chosen” (John 15:16) out of the forest of mankind by Jesus, cut asunder, separated from this world (justified – the brazen altar of burnt offering), leaving only their old dead roots in the ground, thereafter trimmed, shaved, and pruned, having their limbs lopped off, straightened (sanctified – the brazen laver), and assembled together and presented (glorified) as Noah’s ark (Gen 6:14), the 48 priest boards (Num 35:7; Josh 21:41) of the Tabernacle of Moses, and the barn (Mat 13:30) of Jesus Christ. This is entirely a supernatural transitional process, from physical tree to spiritual ship.
3. Commentary: “and to go to the other side” = the disciples were commanded to go from the wilderness land east of the Sea of Galilee into The Promised Land (a type of Heaven) positioned west of the Sea of Galilee; symbolically, we are commanded to go in our mind (Rom 12:2) from the wild (disobedient state) to the tamed (obedient state). There are no wild animals (or wild people) in Heaven.
4. Commentary: Jesus does not ever “suggest” things to us; He is God and commands. Jesus commanded His disciples “to go to the other side.” Please note this most important thought, that whatsoever He commands of us, He also empowers us to accomplish.
THE BIBLE TEXT
(Mark 6:47,48) And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
AMPLIFICATION OF THE BIBLE TEXT
(Mark 6:47,48) And when even [Gk: nightfall] was come, the [Gospel] ship was in the midst of the sea [fully occupying the attention of His disciples: “Occupy till I come” Luke 19:13], and he alone on the land. And he saw them [the disciples] toiling [Gk: in torture: pained, tormented, tossed] in rowing; for the wind was contrary [Gk: opposite; fig. antagonistic: against] unto them [THEY WERE IN TRIBULATION]: and about the fourth watch of the night [about 6am, about dawn, about 12 hours since they had embarked] he cometh unto them [Jesus’ Second Coming unto them], walking upon the sea [the sea is a biblical symbol of humanity; fig. He was walking upon the waters of humanity as King of Kings and Lord of Lords], and would have passed by them.
1. Commentary: “the ship was in the midst of the sea” = The Gospel ship was about half-way across the 7 miles wide Sea of Galilee, or “about five and twenty or thirty furlongs” (John 6:19) which is equal to about 3 ½ miles. One furlong equals 1/8 of a mile. Please note the purposeful ambiguity.
2. Commentary: “toiling in rowing” = The sails were securely tied down because of the severe, powerful, “boisterous” (Mat 14:30) raging of the wind and the threat of high crushing waves; and the twelve disciples (you and I) were in tribulation being tossed about, painfully rowing, single-mindedly focused (ideally), striving to ignore the treacherous distractions (Luke 8:14) of the world, and to obediently enter into The Promised Land.
3. Commentary: “for the wind was contrary unto them” = The average normal walking speed of a man or woman is 3 miles per hour. The cyclonic storm is a vivid indicator of the adverse ferocity that this world has (the relentlessly contrary howling wind and heavy crashing waves) toward the disciples of Christ (you and I). Satan, who is “the god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4), has arrayed his servant elements in battle attack formation and sent them to oppose, obstruct, and destroy us by blocking our entrance into The Promised Land (Heaven). Please note that the storm of the world was so exceeding strong against and “contrary” to the earnest efforts of the disciples (you and I) that it took them (us) 12 hours, equaling 36 miles at normal walking speed, to row just 3 ½ miles. Please also note that the disciples did indeed successfully proceed 3 ½ miles closer to Heaven in the face of the storm (hallelujah!), and that they were continuing, intent upon proceeding even closer when Jesus Christ suddenly appeared (His Second Coming) walking out of the mist, “walking upon the sea.” (beautiful picture that).
4. Commentary: Why does the Bible reveal that while observing and acknowledging the pain, struggling, and suffering inherent in the rowing of the disciples (you and I) who are the ones whom He has sent to contend against the deadly ferocity of the infuriated wind and waves of this world, that Jesus “would have passed by them”? Plainly, it is Father God’s intention to comfort us and to reassure us in our daily struggles wrestling with the fallen angels of this world by illustrating in this narrative that whatsoever Jesus Christ commands of us, He also empowers us to accomplish. May you take great personal encouragement in what the Lord is saying unto you, that in fact the ship (the church), the Gospel ship and the disciples serving in it (you and I), although embattled, beleaguered, besieged, and under utmost attack, being tossed to and fro exceedingly by a menacing and hostile world, was never mentioned as being in danger of sinking, and not one disciple ever was lost overboard from the ship. In this, we may be spiritually strengthened with full confidence that the obstacles Satan sets before us are merely his attempts to divert us from our primary objective, attempts that are destined to failure, and that one day soon we shall successfully and most happily arrive “to the other side.” Keep rowing dear brothers and sisters, keep rowing.
(Mark 6:49-51) But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship [His Second Coming consummated]; and the wind ceased [all adversity was made powerless]: and they were sore amazed [Gk: exceedingly astounded] in themselves beyond measure [at awesome God], and wondered [Gk: have in admiration]. J J J
1. (John 6:20,21) But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
2. Commentary: And where were the disciples going? To The Promised Land, symbolically, to Heaven. John had just said in the previous verse that the disciples “had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs” (John 6:19) which equals about 3 ½ miles, and that effort would have placed them in the middle of the 7 mile wide Sea of Galilee. Further, Mark unequivocally substantiates the mid sea position by reporting “the ship was in the midst [Gk: middle] of the sea” (Mark 6:47), and Matthew also agrees that “the ship was now in the midst of the sea” (Mat 14:24). All three Gospel writers clearly agree about the mid-sea position of the ship, but the text says that the disciples “willingly (a big deal there) received him into the ship:” (i.e., His Second Coming consummated), “and immediately the ship was at land whither they went.” How do you explain “immediately”? I do believe that we are quite certainly looking at a prophetic illustration (a picture) of a mid-tribulation partial rapture of which “and [Jehovah] retained [Heb: to fasten upon; to seize] those three hundred men” (Judg 7:8) is a type and shadow. Thank you Lord. By way of explaining “partial,” may we also note that Jehovah “retained” only 300 men out of the 10,000 saved men – definitely a future message there. Well, what do you think? This shipboard journey has changed my eschatology, how about yours? And how shall I act now? Very very thankful, as if every day were my last. Praise God.
a. Dictionary: “rapture” = 1. ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy [Given the harrowing circumstances, I certainly would have felt like that, had I been one of His struggling disciples when he entered into the ship]. 2. an utterance or expression of ecstatic delight. 3. the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence [Yup, and He did that too. Hallelujah!].