Author Topic: Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 1  (Read 2371 times)

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pilgrim

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Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 1
« on: April 15, 2011, 10:08:07 AM »
Because Christians do not see a clear picture of the rapture and things that affects the teaching of it, there is much confusion about the whole subject. That is one of the reasons that many do not teach or believe in the rapture at all.

As used today the English word rapture has been adopted from the Latin Vulgate version of the Scriptures. In 1 Thess. 4:17 Paul speaks of the church being “caught up,” which is from the Latin word “rapturo.”

The C. I. Scofield reference Bible, copyrighted in 1909 was perhaps the primary vehicle in establishing dispensational teaching and popularizing the teaching of the rapture in the churches.
 
The rapture is the teaching of Paul the apostle that at the end of this present Dispensation of Grace, the Lord will come for His bride the present church. At that time He will bring with Him the souls and spirits of those Christians who are with Him now in heaven and first raise their bodies to be joined with their soul and spirit.
 
At the same event we who are alive will be instantly changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and taken to heaven and return with Him 7 years later at His appearing at the Second Advent when He comes to establishes the Millennial Kingdom. Of that event Paul said: When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4).

To speak of His Second Advent and admission into the kingdom as the prophets did, is entirely out of the question that they were speaking of the rapture of the church because Paul said the change from mortal to immortal and transported to heaven was a mystery, hidden in past ages (1 Cor. 15:51-52). The prophets and the Lord (Matt. 24:27; Lk. 17:24, 30) spoke of His coming to earth and appearing visibly to people on earth.

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Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen (Rev. 1:7).
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Every eye will see Him because the earth is where the judgments will be to determine who enters the kingdom that has already been established at His coming (Dan. 7:13 14; Matt. 13:38 43; 24:30; 26:64; Lk. 21:27; Col. 3:4; 2 Thess. 1:7 8).

After clearing up the confusion about the resurrection in the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 15:12-50) Paul revealed a new and hitherto unknown truth about the resurrection of the church. The mystery was about an instant change of the living from mortal to immortal and taken to heaven with the resurrected church saints and Bride of Christ of this dispensation that began with the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:2, 46-47; Eph. 3:1-6).

It is imperative that we believe Paul’s statements that his gospel, the present church and this whole Dispensation of Grace and consequently the rapture were mysteries to those before him must not be ignored; otherwise confusion cannot, and will not be avoided. Never did the Lord in His entire earthly ministry even mention the present assembly of Christ or else Paul was confused to say the least. He revealed a new and hitherto unknown truth about the resurrection of the church.

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“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-53).”
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In 2 Thess. 2:3-4. Paul explains  the change from mortal to immortal that he spoke of to the Corinthians church in 1 Cor. 15:51-53 above.

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“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:14 17).”
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There are many Scriptures that are very supportive and add much to understanding the sure teaching and necessity of the rapture in relation to the coming tribulation and kingdom.

At the Jerusalem council in AD 50 James had said that God is presently taking out Gentiles.

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“Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
‘After this I will return and rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord. Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the ‘Lord who does all these things.
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Here it is clear that James is speaking of the Rapture when he speaks of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name. Paul said the same of the Rapture in Rom. 11:25-26 that “after,” the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, “all Israel will be saved. But another important truth often overlooked is after the Lord takes out from the Gentiles a people for His name He will redeem Israel so that the rest of mankind may be saved. Here we have 3 distinctly different groups of people separated in time from each other to be saved. Yet the Amillennialists lump all into one group.
 
His next coming after the Rapture and revelation (His appearing on earth 2 Tim. 4:1) with His church (Col. 3:4; Rev. 19:14) will be to judge the residue of mankind and angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

In the rapture, the righteous are taken, and the unrighteous are left behind. In the judgments  of Matthew 13 and 25. At the Second Advent the unrighteous are taken away to judgment and the righteous are left to go into the kingdom then established. Again, we are discussing different events at different times for different people.
 
The beginning of the tribulation is synonymous with the re-building of David’s kingdom. That is where the 144.000 Jewish servants of Rev. 7, and the two witnesses of Rev. 11 begin preaching the gospel of the kingdom to the whole world in fulfillment of Matt. 24:14 where the Lord said of the third and last offer of the kingdom (Matt. 10:16-2 and Matt. 22:8-10:

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“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
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To be noticed, the Lord identified the gospel or good news of the same coming kingdom that was preached before and after the cross (Matt. 10:5-23).

Paul said when He comes to establish His kingdom He will judge the living and the dead.

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I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1).
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Here it is evident that Paul was speaking of judging when he appears to establish the kingdom and not of those in the church being judged. We have already been judged in Christ and His righteousness is put to our account. Paul said of us:

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“…so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Heb. 9:28.”
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There was no mystery about a resurrection, the Lord said:

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[/quote "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice "and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (Jo. 5:28-29).
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According to Dan. 9:27, it is reasonable to believe that we should see at least the preparations for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem for the re-institution of the sacrifices that will resume close to the time of the rapture. The covenant that the Antichrist makes with Israel is the beginning of the tribulation. That will require the offering of the sacrifices that will cease in the middle of the week when Antichrist himself sits in the temple as God and demands his worship (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4).

The Jewish temple being rebuilt and sacrifices offered in the Tribulation is undeniable proof that the present assembly of Christ is of a different order of things than when the gospel of the kingdom is again preached as in Matt. 24:14.
 
In Dan. 9:27 we read of the Antichrist and his covenant with Israel:
 
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“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."
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When the gospel of the kingdom is preached in the tribulation, there is no promise of immediate salvation and indwelling of the Holy Spirit as in Paul’s present Gospel of Grace. But they are told they must endure to the end.

Part 2 next.

pilgrim

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Re: Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 2
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 10:14:42 AM »
Continuing from part 1

Seven times in Rev. 2-3 when speaking to the Jewish assemblies He says: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Jewish assemblies). To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God" ' (correction added). In another post in Feb. 23, 2011 (The Churches of Rev. 2-3) it was shown that those are Jewish assemblies in the Tribulation and will be given to eat of the tree of life because the kingdom on earth will consist of mortals who will through the Tree of Life become immortal.

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"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved (Matt. 10:22).

"But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Mk. 24:13). …"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Mk. 13:13). quote][/quote]

Of the earth dwellers in the tribulation it is said in Rev. 9:21): “…they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” The Greek word “sorceries” (
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pharmakeia
) is where our word drugs and pharmacy comes from. In the above setting it has a meaning of to have “an enchantment with drugs.” Does it not describe the present times?

The beginning of the Tribulation is the same time as the parable of the Ten Virgins (Israel) when they went out to meet the Bridegroom but He was delayed. The delay was the seven years of the tribulation.
 
The parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25 are those (Israel) who go out to meet the bridegroom and are identical to those Israelites who hear the third call in Matt. 22:9-10. In both instances, Israel is not the bride. The elect (the one third (Zech. 13:8-9) who survive the tribulation and will be friends of the Bridegroom, whose bride is the present church.
 
Seven times in Scripture the Lord’s disciples are called friends by the Lord (Matt. 9:15; Mk. 2:19; Lk. 5:34; 12:4; Jo. 15:13, 14, 15). There is a very clear distinction between the present bride of Christ and Israel now, and in the tribulation which includes His 12 disciples in Lk. 12:36. In v. 32 the Lord identifies the disciples as His little flock.” To them He says in vv. 35-36: “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding.” When He encourages them to keep their lamps burning, and watching (v. 37), is He not speaking of the same identical people (Israel) and time, as the ten virgins in the tribulation?
 
In contrast, Paul said the church is the bride of, and married to Christ, but never did he say we are friends of the Bridegroom or Christ.

Those waiting cannot be the bride who is returning with the bridegroom from the wedding (Rev. 19:6-9) where the bride is introduced and together they will greet the friends of the bridegroom at the wedding hall for the marriage supper (Matt. 22:9-10; 25:1-13).
 
Always, when a marriage supper or banquette is mentioned, it is after the wedding has already taken place which is when the marriage of the church with the Bridegroom has been concluded in heaven after the rapture. Paul said to the Corinthian Church: “…I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2).

When she accepted her Savior those in the church were betrothed to Him (2 Cor. 11:2), and married to Him (Rom. 7:1-4, and in the rapture was caught up with Him for the marriage to be concluded in the bride chamber in heaven. There the friends of the bridegroom outside rejoice at the sound of the bride and bridegrooms voice in the bride chamber (Jo. 3:29). The bridegroom’s coming with his bride in the parable of the ten virgins is the same as in Lk. 12:36 where the disciples are to be like those who wait for the Bridegroom returning from the wedding.

Following are 10 sure evidences of how the rapture of the church a different event than the judgments of Matthew 13 and 25.

1. Since the rapture is of just the church, it cannot possibly be the same as the judgments of Matt. 13 and 25 that has to do with the whole world.
 
2. The judgments of Matt. 13 and 25 are to determine who will go into the kingdom then on earth and be given the right to eat of the Tree of life (Rev. 2:7). The church saints were already judged in Christ on the cross. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). They have been baptized into Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), and already separated from the lost. We have already been judicially delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13); and sealed until the redemption of our body in the rapture (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 cor. 5:21). And finally of the rapture: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil. 3:20).

3. That the kingdom of the Son is still un-established is verified by Paul. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior” (Phil. 3:20); “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18).
 
4. Today, the only gospel is that of salvation through grace completely apart from the offering of the kingdom to Israel. Then will be preached the gospel of the third offer of the kingdom that was commanded in Matt. 10:5:16, Matt. 22:7-10 and Matt. 24:14 than to the entire to world.

5. They are the same as those who preach the kingdom of heaven is at hand in Matt. 10:7; and in v. 22 who endures to the end, who will not have gone through all the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes (v. 23). They are also the same as in Rev. 2-3 where it is said 7 times "he who overcomes," which clearly shows that the day of grace has ended at the rapture when the Holy Spirit left with the church. They are Jews who are judged by their works the same as in the wheat and tares and sheep and goats judgments of Gentiles who survive the tribulation.

6. If any part of the church is left behind as in the mid-tribulation or partial rapture teaching, then not only do we have the mixing of the present gospel of grace and the gospel of the kingdom, but also a mixing of the destination of those left behind and the earth dwellers at large. Out citizenship is in heaven but the saved who survive the tribulation will go into the earthly kingdom as those among the wheat (Matt. 13:30) or sheep (Matt. 25:32) at the Second Advent.
 
7. As to the partial rapture teaching, if part of Christ's bride is left behind then there has to be two raptures to have a complete bride. Would He come again for those He left behind the first time, or leave them until His second coming to establish the kingdom? If the Holy Spirit left with the church so the Anti-Christ could be revealed, then they would be left to go into the kingdom as mortals and not be changed as the first ones were to have a spiritual body like Christ. They would have to be part of those who would be given access to the tree of life and retain the same bodies as we now have. It can easily be seen that the partial rapture teaching instead of enlightening the Lord's people, only brings endless confusion.

8. Those who are left after the rapture are those who have heard but rejected the gospel, and those who have never heard or understood it. In either case they are unsaved Jews and Gentiles; nonbelievers. Consequently, there has to be a period of time to evangelize those who have never heard or understood the gospel in order to have a citizenry for the kingdom.
 
9. The church is to be changed to reign as co-rulers with Christ in the kingdom. They must be made like Him (Phil. 3:21), and have the very mind of Christ (1 Cor. 13:12), but no such thing is so much as hinted at in the Judgments of Matt. 13 and 25.

10. If we are to have a spiritual body for heaven, and those admitted into an earthly kingdom are given to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7) to live, then it is not possible to that they are the same. Those in the earthly kingdom can and will reproduce to replenish the earth. We will have a spiritual body like Christ.
And this is the mystery of the rapture; a whole generation of saints will be changed from mortal to immortal and caught up to meet the Lord in the air and translated to heaven. There can be no reasonable denial that this event is as Paul says: a mystery.

The Post-Tribulation people admit that there will be a rapture and the church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and taken to heaven, but say we immediately return with Christ to earth. But where is the time required for the judgment seat of Christ of 1 Cor. 3:15 to determine our rewards and rank in the kingdom, and to be made ready to reign with Him (1 Cor. 3:12-15; Rev. 19;7-9). ).

Because of the erroneous translation of assembly to Church in Matt. 16:18 we have been taught that the Lord spoke of the present church and the rapture in His earthly ministry.

It is said that Jo. 14:3 speaks of the rapture where the Lord said to His disciples: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” They are reading something in the passage that is not there. He says nothing about the rapture or when He would come for them. If He is speaking of the rapture, them Paul was wrong when he said the rapture was a mystery; unrevealed before him. Do we believe Paul or not? It was to him that this mystery Dispensation of Grace was given and begun.

The coming glory for the church is our revelation with Him when He is revealed to earth dwellers and at the marriage supper of the Lamb when the Lord introduces His bride to Israel the friend of the Bridegroom. The scene when the Bridegroom has returned to earth with His bride as in the parable of the Ten Virgins where it is said:

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"Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine lined is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9)!
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The presenting of His bride dressed in her righteous acts is the end result of (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Concerning the teaching that some Christians will be left behind because they were not worthy (Lk. 21:35-36). Would the Lord desert part of the last living generation of His bride to endure the perils of the tribulation, and that without the Holy Spirit? The thought is not only incredulous, it is impossible. Paul says that if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (Rom. 8:9).

It could truthfully be said that the teaching that some Christians will be left to go through the tribulation because they are not worthy in reality is a Protestant purgatory, where they must suffer for their unworthiness. It is an outright denial of what Christ has accomplished for us; a teaching that our standing before God is through our own righteousness instead of Christ's imputed righteousness.

When speaking of the church, Paul said that God has “…sealed us and given us the Spirit in out hearts as a deposit” (2 Cor. 1:22). In Eph. 1: 13 he says we were “…sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Again he says in Eph. 4:30: “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption,” which would be the rapture. Being sealed by the Holy Spirit is our assurance and guarantee, that as a believer we have been separated from the lost and preserved by the present indwelling Holy Spirit.

Paul said of the bride of Christ and their deliverance before the Day of the Lord:

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“For when they say, “Peace and safety! Then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they will not escape. But you brethren, are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. “…For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thess. 5:3; 9-10).
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My answer to the question specifically, how long is the period between the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation? It is the same as when Paul in 1 Cor. 15L52 said about our change: “…in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” The word “moment” used by Paul is the Greek word “atomos,’ where our word ‘atom,’ comes from.

When the restraining Holy Spirit is taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2:7) at the rapture is when the lawless one “went out conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2). The above Scriptures establish the sure truth that when He is taken out of the way, we are also removed because Paul said we are sealed by Him, until the day of our redemption.

Therefore, it is evident, if those being admitted into the kingdom are afterwards given the Holy Spirit, then, He was not indwelling believers during the tribulation. And that is because the “Restrainer” left with the church in the rapture. It is taught by some that the church is the restrainer of 2 Thess. 2:7, but the church who is the bride of Christ is feminine, and the Restrainer is a “He” in capital. Besides, the church cannot even restrain herself.

To make my case for the Rapture I have taken up much space, but like most fundamental teachings, the case cannot be covered with a simple verse or two. For anyone who might be interested, I have written a book “Understanding the Biblical Rapture” and would be happy to send it as an attachment (over 57.000 words) complete to anyone who is interested at no charge; just an email address is all that is required. See my profile for my email address.

In His grace

pilgrim

Proa42

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Re: Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 1
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 02:49:54 PM »
ANSWER SIMPLIFIED:  Revelation 14:15 (King James Version)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.


Matthew 24:30
 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

pilgrim

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Re: Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 1
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 08:54:46 AM »
Proa42 says:

ANSWER SIMPLIFIED:  Revelation 14:15 (King James Version)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.


Matthew 24:30
 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Passingthrough

I really fail to understand what the above has to do with anything I said. Would you explain yourself?

pilgrim 

Proa42

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Re: Understanding the Biblical Rapture. Part 1
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 06:11:18 PM »
People spend a lot of time, and additional words trying to explain what God has simply laid out.

You are making a lot of connections, some possibly valid. Very Theological in appearance, but mostly Theo-illogical.

I can't, you can't, we can't improve on the simplicity of God's word.

A parable about being ready (10 Virigns) is just about being ready.

My comment was just about the rapture -- which I thought you were writing about.

If I may, by the grace of God, paraphrase:

Proverbs 10:19 - In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his pen is wise.