The Rapture, Part IV


So far we have heard six different general renditions  about the  timing of the Rapture and the most destructive is the  notion of no Rapture. They are those who believe the destruction of  the second temple was the beginning of the Millennium. Now Christians are to change the world to present it to Jesus at the  end of the Millennium. That is also what cults teach in many cases.

The Apocalypse, another name for the last Book of the Bible: The  Revelation to John, is the only book in the Bible that  contains  a special promise to obedient readers. (see Rev.  1:3)  At the  same time it pronounces a curse upon those who  tamper  with it's  contents. (see Rev. 22:18,19). This is a likely reason  why not  much  is taught of this book by pastors and  much  confusion exists considering pan-, pre-, pre-wrath, mid-, post-, post Armageddon, post Millennium and no Resurrection/ Rapture.

Why  does there need to be a Rapture? The Bible states  that believers are already redeemed and spiritually in the presence of God. The Rapture is a redemption of our bodies through the  transformation.  We have been sealed for this by the Holy Spirit, who will clothe us, envelop us, at the Rapture. Because we have  this hope,  we should take care that we do not grieve the Holy  Spirit through walking in the flesh. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" (Ephesians 4:31)

We must honor the Lord by  walking in  the  Spirit, "And be ye kind one to  another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (vs.32) Fear  and  despondency is our greatest  enemy  because  many Christians are afraid of what awaits them, they think they cannot stand  before the Lord and prefer not to hear about  this  event. This is a sign of not understanding the teachings.

Studying His Word has a marvelous, comforting effect of eagerly anticipating  the last trumpet before the curtain goes up for the  secular world.

In answer to those who do not believe in a pretrib Rapture, how can a God who teaches us to have charity - not have this charity for us. His name is `Love'. The only unforgivable sin  is our  rejection  the Holy Spirit, because without Him we are lost. There is no end to His charity. Even the unforgivable sin is only detrimental to us because without  the Holy Spirit we are dead. We cannot  inherit  eternal life  without Him.

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we  may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not  made perfect in love." (1 John 4:17,18)

Obviously  the seven year tribulation can safely be  considered  to be the wrath the Scriptures describe beginning with  the seven  trumpets each depicting specific calamities, aligned  with angels warning people at the same time to fear God, that  Babylon has fallen. They warn not to take the mark of the beast. They are harvesting tribulation saints. After more harvesting followed  by fire, which is the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ in person on  the Mount of Olives (see Zecharia 14:4).

At  Mid  Tribulation the  bowls  are  added which are used to pore out  wrath  on  the
people  for taking the mark after the Anti Christ is  exposed  in the temple. Paul assures us in 1 Thessalonians 1:10: ".. to wait for His Son  from  heaven, whom He raised from the  dead,  [even]  Jesus, which  delivered  us from the wrath to  come."  (1 Thessalonians 1:10)  

The children of God have already come under the wrath  of God  and  His judgment at Calvary's cross where  the  Lord  Jesus substitutionally took upon Himself our judgment and the wrath  of God, meant for our sins. That is exactly why everyone who belongs to  the  Lord  Jesus is justified before  God  (justified  =  not guilty)  and will not experience the Great  Tribulation  of  the final judgment.

Confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 5:9,10 we are  reassured that the Pre-tribulation Rapture can be the only one  which is  true. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to  obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."

Posttribulationists  contend that there should be  at  least one passage in Scripture which clearly teaches that there is more than one distinct event at the second coming of Christ Jesus. God is  not  in  the habit of giving us truth  directly  stated.  The Trinity is an example.

It can only be discerned by  enlightenment and  study.  To Jesus's followers the concept of the  Trinity  is very  obvious and cannot be denied. Similarly, biblical passages reveal  two separate comings of Jesus, one in the  clouds,  unrevealed  to  the  world and one on the Mount of  Olives  with  the saints.  How could He be accompanied by His saints, if  they  had not been taken up at some time prior to this particular coming.

The  Rapture  is most clearly presented in  1  Thessalonians 4:13-18,  emphasizing the English phrase: caught  up,  translated from  the Greek word `harpazo', which means to `seize  upon  with force' or to `snatch up'. The word `Rapture' comes from the Latin word  `rapere'. Living believers will be `caught up' in the  air, translated  into the clouds, in a moment of time.

The Rapture  is characterized  in the Bible as `translation coming' see 1  Corinthians 15:51-52 in which Christ comes for His Church. The  second advent  is  Christ  returning with His  saints,  descending  from heaven  to establish His earthly kingdom. (Zecharia 14:4-5;  Matthew 24:27-31)

For  post-trib believers the Rapture requires that  the  believers  will be present during the 70th week of  Daniel  (Daniel 9:24-27) although it was absent the first 69 weeks. The post-trib position denies imminency - emphasized by Jesus Himself. He could come  any moment without warning, which means there are no  signs before this event occurs. Post-trib contradicts Jesus's  promise, because  the  Bible clearly states an exact sequence  of  events during the tribulation.

There is also the Scripture in Revelatiom 19:7,8,14  indicating  that the Church, Christ's Bride,  is  made ready to accompany Christ to earth before the Second Coming.



The  Rapture  restarts God's program for  Israel  after  the Church is removed. This foundation is the only one that meets the test of biblical consistency. Salvation is based on having faith, believing, trusting God for promises He has made. One promise  is written in the blood of certain animals. God asked for a  heifer, 2  goats,  a  ram and turtledoves for a blood  sacrifice,  so He Himself could swear an oath in blood in the Old Testament to the Jews  (re. to the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15).

The second  promise made was in the blood of His own Son in the New Testament on  the cross  of Calvary to those who believe that Jesus was God in  the flesh. Like Abraham who believed in what God had revealed to him, we  are expected to believe what God has revealed to us.

Without the fulfillment of the first promise, that Abraham would father a son  and become the father of many nations; and later  through  him, Mary  would  be the mother of Jesus Christ, a Jew, we  would  not have had the cross of Calvary. Our belief can't be vague to be of value. It must be specific.

The first blood oath was a promise of an inheritance of land to Abraham  through an heir out of his bowels, which was  at  the time  a physical impossibility. But Abraham believed God in spite of it and  it  was counted  to him for righteousness. The second promise was  salvation  to  all who accept His Son. God demands from  us,  Christ's righteousness,  the  only righteousness that  will  satisfy  God.

Jesus admonished us in Revelation 3:18, "I counsel thee to buy of me  gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;  and  white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness  do  not appear; and anoint thine eyes  with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." The white raiment is the wedding gown that the Bride of Christ, the Church, will place over herself for  the wedding which is the righteousness of Christ Jesus.

The  Old  Testament Jews could not participate  in  Christ's gift. They had the opportunity through the law, but rejected  the spiritual  opportunity  of  being translated like  Enoch,  which places  them  into a slightly different situation than  the  Gentiles. This becomes the foundation of the two  separate  events, actually  a series of events. The parable Jesus spoke of in  Matthew 19:30; 20:16; Mark 10:31 gives us clearly two events: the first  and the  last.

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