The Return of the Lord Jesus Christ for his Bride.
Authorized King James Version (in all of this article)
“2 in my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Having been extensively on many Social Media Networks an especially G+ Christian Communities where I am privileged to be a member of almost 100 Christian Communities, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that many dear brothers and sisters in Christ are “stuck” in what I would call a vacuum of obtuseness because there are too many voices out there and they understandably lack the clarity and understanding of a most important portion in the Bible that Christians calls the Rapture.
(Yes, yes, I know. The word “Rapture” is not in the Bible… just like the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible and actually, the word “Bible” is not even in the Bible. The absence of a word does not negate the truth of it. There is a Bible, there is a Trinity and there is a Rapture). See in notes: “Absent words that are still true”.
In fact, there are some articles and YouTube videos on this topic that are so spurious that I would be tempted to consider them amusing if it was not the seriousness of the topic.
Allow me, in all humility to clear this point. Not that I am super incumbent in Scriptural knowledge but one thing I have learned since my young years as a Christian.
A Bible scriptural text can only be understood within its respective context. Otherwise, the interlocutor may be guilty of having a pretext.
In essence, this is like Star Trek’s “Prime Directive”. Make sure that what you are taught “holds” from Genesis to Revelation. Everything should always be taught to you within its own context.
What the “Rapture” is NOT:
One example. The Rapture is often related to the verse in Matthew 24: 40: “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” This verse has absolutely nothing to do with the Rapture. It speaks of a future time. This same verse is shared again in Luke 17:34-36: “34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
These two verses are to be applied to another event, one that comes after the Rapture.
The Rapture can happen anytime, day or night. Matthew 24 and Luke 17 will happen at night. Not the same event. (In fact, the one that remains, in these 2 chapters, are the one saved! The one “taken” is lost: “Where the body is, there also will the vultures be gathered,” (Luke 17:37)). So this is NOT the Rapture.
CONTEXT: At the beginning of Matthew 24, Christ’s disciples specifically ask Him for a sign of His return and the end of the age (verse 3). In this light, verses 40-41 can be taken to mean that at Christ’s return a separation will take place between those who attain to the first resurrection and those who do not (John 3:3-8; I Corinthians 15:50-53; Revelation 20:6). However, a secret rapture is nowhere contemplated in either Matthew 24 or Luke 17 (1) and the Rapture is not happening at the “end of the age”.
Another “error” is based on the “out of context” teachings of Ps. 110:1 “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
These “fake” teachers will teach that there is no Rapture… and the Lord will remain seated on the right hand of God until the very end. Well, again, “text”, “context”, “pretext”. If one reads the entire Psalm 110 (see below), one will find that this verse is related to a later time (again). (2) And to add to this, in Acts 7, Stephen (the first known martyr in the Bible) saw “Jesus standing”… and then, John saw our Lord walking among the candlesticks in Asia (Turkey) Revelation 2 & 3.
Another misunderstanding about the Rapture stems from this verse relating to the word “Trumpet”:
1 Cor. 15:51-52, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
Oh that “Trumpet”!
You see, there are 7 trumpets in the book of Revelation so many Christians believe that if there is a “Rapture”, it has to do with the 7th and last trumpet of Revelation. Wrong.
The Trumpets of Paul are not the same as the Trumpets of John.
In the case of Paul, he was referring to what all Jews understood. When Israel were in battle, they had 3 sounds of the Trumpet. The first was to get ready, the second was to ensure that they were circling Gideon and the “last Trumpet” was – “advance to battle. A sword for the Lord and for Gideon! Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran…” against the enemy.
This is the “last Trumpet” Paul makes allusion too. Time to go! (3)
It is of interest that the Romans copied this procedure later in time and used the same 3 trumpet sounds on the ground of battle. 1) Pick up your stuff and get ready; 2) by now you should be ready and wait for the last trumpet and 3) Charge!
So the confusion is between the Pauline Trumpets and the Johannine Trumpets. (4)
The Johannine Trumpets are not related to the History of Israel and are exclusive to the book of Revelation. Are they symbolic or literal? I leave that up to you.
Lastly on this topic of what the Rapture is not.
“There is debate as to the timing of the rapture. The pre-tribulation rapture doctrine says that the rapture will occur at the beginning of the seven year tribulation period, which immediately precedes the return of Jesus. The mid-tribulation rapture doctrine says that the rapture will occur 3 1/2 years before Christ returns, or halfway through the great tribulation period of seven years. The post-tribulation doctrine says that the rapture will occur at the same time as the return of Christ, or at the end of the seven-year tribulation. All of these positions fall within the realm of Christian orthodoxy.” (5). Others, like the Roman Catholic Church will say there is no such thing as a “Rapture”.
So beloved Christian, stop “mushing” up the Bible will you? Stay within the context of a Scriptural text please.
Thank you ;-)
To our topic:
What the “Rapture” IS: (pre-trib). It’s a MUST if we consider the “context” of the entire Bible.
First and foremost, what is the genuine character of a true Christian relating with the Rapture? It is not our deliverance as much as it is our deep longing to be “with HIM”!
Jesus in Glory happens to be our HOPE. Don’t ask “when will I be in Glory” but ask “when shall I see the Glory of the Lord”. Allow me to encourage you, reader, to have your heart at the right place.
In our Biblical context, the definition of “Rapture” is “the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence” and associated with the words: bliss, beatitude, transport, exaltation, ecstasy.
In order to know when the Rapture shall occur, one must understand the “context” of Scriptures and especially the book of Revelation.
What is the Book of Revelation? (A·po·ka′ly·psis).
When typing in Google Search the word “Apocalypse”, you get this definition:
1. the complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation.
2. an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.
Example: “a stock market apocalypse”.
Now, let us stop for one moment to understand this most eerie, frightful, ghastly, grim, gruesome, heinous and horrendous horrid word of the Apocalypse (Revelation).
The period of time explained in the book of Revelation is… “BAD”. It is God’s wrath on the Nations… and eventually, the blessing and the reunion, at last with the Nation of Israel.
Now, we know that all the true believers in Jesus become Christians and as such, they become part of the “Spouse of Christ”. This was an unknown Mystery, revealed only in the New Testament, but we know that the Son’s “Spouse” was in the heart of God the Father before the foundation of the world… before the cosmos… before the entire the Universe was created. In essence, the “Bride” comes from past Eternity and will forever remain, at Christ’s side, for ever. He died for HER: Ephesians 5:25: “…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for (Her)…”. (There are many symbols and insinuations in the Old Testament to the Bride of Christ… but only figuratively. The Bride started after John the Baptist and will end at the Rapture. All else will be the “friend of the Bride”).
To truly enter into the greatness of WHO WE ARE as Christians, please, take the time to read my note no. (6). If you are not “profoundly edified” by this article about the beauty of the Bride, I will refund you. (lol). Note 6 referrers to a great writer of the last century, the great Hamilton Smith.
Thus, my last question to you dear reader. If you truly love your wife (7) and if you had the ability to ensure that she would not unduly suffer, would you allow her to enter into a time and world of “destruction”? No.
Nor will Christ. He died for her. To suppose that the Spouse of Christ is to “suffer” the Tribulation is forgetting the Cross, HIS work, HIS love and who she truly is.
Mid-trib. And Post-trib. Belittle the work of Christ… the ones teaching such folly abase our Blessed Lord and his sufferings to nothing. If the Cross is insufficient to save from any further harm due to sin, then, Christ died in vain.
The Rapture is our HOPE, a deliverance, promised to us by Christ, our beloved Bridegroom.
Yes, believers will suffer in the Tribulation, but these will be part of the converts from the Gospel of the Kingdom, the one published in Revelation. No one, during the Gospel of Grace (the Spouse) will ever feel one single iota of the suffering of the Tribulation, and far less the Great Tribulation (the second half of Daniel’s 7 year period).
(7) Written for a friend.
All photos were taken from the Public Domain by Google Images.
Notes and references:
Matthew 13: “16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
Notes: “Absent “words” from the Bible that are true”:
Atheism is the teaching that there is no God. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1).
Divinity which means divine quality or godlike character. Yet, we speak of the godlike quality of the Lord God. See Psalm 139.
Incarnation which means the word (God) who became flesh. Yet, this is definitely taught in the Bible (John 1:1, 14).
Monotheism is the teaching that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:8).
None of these words are in the Bible… does that make them “anti-biblical”. Not at all.
- (1) http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/BQA/k/53/What-Does-One-Taken-Other-Left-Mean-Matthew-2440-41.htm
- (2) Psalm 110
A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
- (3) Judges 7:17–22
“17 He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet (TRUMPET ONE), then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’” 19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets (TRUMPET TWO) and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 When the three [b]companies blew the trumpets (FINAL TRUMPET NO. THREE) and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. 22 When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.”
- (4) Revelation 11: 15
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
- (5) https://carm.org/rapture-biblical
- (6) http://www.stempublishing.com/authors/smith/Bride_of_the_Lamb.html
- (7) Raphael Martin