The Rapture, Part III


To enable us to understand the `First' Resurrection/ Rapture, it  is  best to divide the Word and look at  the  four  different aspects.  

#1  Jesus: "And he is the head of the body, the church:  who is  the  beginning,  the firstborn from the  dead;  that  in  all [things] he might have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:18) He  is considered  to  be  "first fruit".

#2 The 144,000 Jews: "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the  mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and]  four  thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. .. the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from
the earth.

"These are they which were not defiled with women;  for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever  he goeth. These were redeemed from among men,  [being]  the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:1,..3,4) See  Revelation  7:1-9  for the whole explanation  of  who  these 144,000  are.

#  3  The  Tribulation Saints, who missed  the  Rapture  and repented.  Since the Rapture has taken place before the  Tribulation, the Antichrist had license to kill them for not taking  the mark  of the beast: "And one of the elders answered, saying  unto me,  What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and  whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and  have washed  their  robes,  and made them white in the  blood  of  the
Lamb."  (Revelation 7:13,14)

# 4 The Body of Christ, the Church who has the blessed hope. Note  that only those who look for Him will see Him and hear  His voice  when  He  comes like a thief in the night  to  gather  His bride. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;  and
unto  them  that  look for him shall he appear  the  second  time without  sin  unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:28)  




The  Apostle  Paul describes what it means to "be found in him, not having mine  own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

"That I  may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the  fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not  as though I had already attained, either were  already  perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for  which also  I  am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

"Brethren,  I count  not myself to  have  apprehended:  but [this]  one thing [I do], forgetting those things which  are  behind,  and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ  Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,  be  thus minded:  and  if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,  God  shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have  already
attained,  let  us walk by the same rule, let us  mind  the  same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample." (Philippians 3:9-17)

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the  marriage of  the  Lamb  is come, and his wife hath  made  herself  ready." (Revelation  19:7) "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for  I  am holy." (1 Peter 1:16) Jeremiah  warns the Jews with this message from God:  "Then will  I  cause to cease from the cities of Judah,  and  from  the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of  gladness,  the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of  the  bride: for the land shall be desolate." (Jeremiah 7:34)

Total  darkness sets in spiritually when the Church is removed. "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom  and  of the bride shall be heard no more  at  all  in thee:  for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." (Revelation 18:23)  And here  is why: "And these shall go away into  everlasting  punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:46)

Jesus was talking to His disciples about the Rapture,  those whom He had personally picked, which applies to His followers:  "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your  hearts be  overcharged  with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and  cares  of this  life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.

"For  as  a snare  shall  it come on all them that dwell on the face  of  the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may  be accounted  worthy to escape all these things that shall  come  to pass,  and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36)  This is proof that the Resurrection/ Rapture ushers in the Tribulation. It comes unexpectedly and becomes the signal for the Tribulation to begin.

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