Revelation 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Recently I saw this minister on Christian television deny that there was going to be a rapture. As a matter of fact, the preacher asserted that those who believed in the rapture would certainly follow the beast (usually incorrectly called the anti – Christ) during the Great Tribulation! Such rapture – deniers mystify me! A common misconception that the word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. Actually, that is not true. “Rapture” is more literally stated in the Bible than “trinity.” Rapture is from the Latin word “rapio”, which was used by Jerome, who translated the Bible from its original languages into Latin, to translate the Greek word “harpagesometha” that Paul used in I Thessalonians 4:17, which is a form of the word “harpazo” which like rapture means to be taken or seized. Of course, the common religious application of that passage means that such is what will happen when Jesus Christ returns for His Millennial Reign. Except, of course, the Bible does not say that. I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 says that the dead in Christ shall rise first and the living in Christ shall be caught up. Revelation 19 – 20, which describes the Second Return of Christ, first speaks of the armies of saints dressed in white returning with Christ. I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 says nothing about the armies returning, and Revelation 19 – 20 speaks nothing of how those armies of saints got into Heaven to return with Christ in the first place. Second, the second return of Christ as described in Revelation 19 – 20 DOES NOT REFER TO ANYONE LIVING. Why? BECAUSE WHY WOULD THE LIVING BE ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN IF JESUS CHRIST IS RETURNING TO SET UP HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH? The Christians still living at the end of the great tribulation will simply continue to live in the Millennium. The only thing of the sort that happens at Christ’s return will be the FIRST RESURRECTION, where the martyrs will go take their place in Heaven. And the only other event of the sort will be the SECOND RESURRECTION after the Millennium, when ALL PEOPLE, Christian or not, will be assumed into Heaven to for the final judgment. So there is NO WAY that I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 refers to either the FIRST RESURRECTION at the coming of Christ or the SECOND RESURRECTION at the end of the Millennium.
How do rapture – deniers interpret the meaning of the verse above? And then you have I Corinthians 15:51 – 53. Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. First off, THERE IS NO MENTION OF A TRUMPET IN Revelation 19 – 20! The trumpets sound during the GREAT TRIBULATION! The LAST TRUMPET sounds in Revelation 11, and at that point the great tribulation isn’t even over yet! Still remaining are the “seven last plagues” and the battle of Armageddon! Incidentally, the seventh trumpet; which trumpet is that? Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. Still unconvinced? Well what is “the mystery of God” that “should be finished”? THE CHURCH (Ephesians 5:29-33)! “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Incidentally, here you see YET ANOTHER REASON why Satan and the world SO HATE MARRIAGE, first striking against it with polygamy, then in the church with nuns and priests forbidden to marry, and now with single parenthood and homosexual marriage being elevated as fashionable ideals! Now let us go back to I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18, which says 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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Also, consider Revelation 3:10 above in conjunction with what II Peter 2:5 – 9 reads: And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just
Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
These are not the only references to the rapture in the Bible: far from it! Such references are all over the Bible, including in the Old Testament, and I will one day document as many as I can with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I chose these few references from Paul for a reason. Realize that Paul was a Jew’s Jew, a Pharisee on the Sanhedrin Council. That means that Paul was one of the most dedicated, intelligent, and educated Jews of his day concerning knowledge and understanding of the Jewish scriptures. Realize that Jews have many books that most Christians know nothing about, and this was even more so during the days of Paul, which was before 70 AD when the Romans thoroughly sacked
Jerusalem, destroying the temple which housed many Jewish books. Further, consider that one of the major conflicts of the time was between the Pharisees, who believed in the resurrection, and the Sadducees, who did not (Matthew 22:23, Acts 23:6-8). Further, so did Martha, the sister of Lazarus whom God raised from the dead (John 11:24). It can be reasonably construed that there were Jewish writings concerning resurrection of the dead that correspond with the sounding of trumpets. Keep in mind that trumpets sounding have real spiritual significance to Jews, a sign of a great spiritual triumph, recall Jewish battles, especially the walls of Jericho incident. Do some of these writings still exist? Perhaps. The fact that so few Christians have studied this potentially great reserve of knowledge not been studied by Christians shows how foolish we have been in burying Judaism and pursuing our own “Christian” religious vanities, and the result of this is certainly described in Hosea 4:6. But look not on that fact. Instead consider the fact that despite the presence of these scriptures, the Sadducees denied the resurrection and hence lacked faith in the truth of the scriptures, just as many Christians do today with the rapture! For the people who believe in the rapture, of course the question is not “whether” but “when.” The answer of course: no one knows the day or the hour! People who have tried to predict it have failed. You had “The Late Great Planet Earth”, which predicted the rapture in the 1970s. You had “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Happen In 1988”. And then there was the “Year 2000”. Of course, this has been going on for quite a while: Christians who witnessed Christ’s Resurrection felt that the rapture was imminent. (Further, Jews believed that the FIRST coming of the Messiah would bring about what Christians currently with the SECOND coming!) But the flurry of interest in the rapture and other things concerning eschatology these days has been due to three things:1. The charismatic movement; the outpouring of the Holy Spirit resulting in tongues, healing, prophecies, and other miracles on a widespread scale as never seen before in the history of the world
as prophesied by Joel and referenced again by Peter.2. Electronic mass media, allowing the gospel to be spread more rapidly than ever before, a precondition for Christ’s return prophesied in Matthew 24:14. (And to think that just over 100 years ago western Christians actually OPPOSED evangelizing the Third World!)3. The return of SOME Jews to
Israel. In addition, other things have happened, such as the economic/political/cultural globalization movement, the normalization of sinful actions and lifestyles, disease outbreaks and large scale natural disasters, and microchips that allow a person to be tracked and also contains financial information. What people need to realize is that many of these things have happened before! Diseases? Bubonic plague, killing 13 million in
Europe. Globalization? The EU and UN are merely poor imitations of the
Holy Roman Empire. If you want to talk about immorality, that also described the
Roman Empire, as did the persecution of Christians. As a matter of fact, the emperor who significantly escalated Christian persecution was Nero, and the number of his name in Hebrew is 666! You have to go back to The Man Himself, Jesus Christ! First of all, Christ warned us in Matthew 24, and specifically in verse 6, not to be deceived into believing that every world event was a sign of the coming rapture because lots of things were going to happen in the course of history. Indeed, the effect of folks crying wolf is people losing their faith. Second, Christ gave us the KEY PREDICTION on the era in which the rapture would come: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37)! Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 does not speak of when the RAPTURE will come. Why not? Because He was not asked! No, He was asked when the end of the world would come, and the end of the world will not be until at least 1,000 years after the rapture! But trust me, Believers (and non – Believers), the end of the world will not come 1,000 years after an event that will not happen! Indeed, in Matthew 24:37, while it is implicit, Jesus Christ gives the strongest, clearest, and best indication in the Bible that there will be a rapture, but why one must be, and that being that it must be as it was in the days of Noah before the world comes to an end!
Now this is where the patience and the labor of the saints are revealed. Why must there be a rapture in order for the final age to be as it was in the days of Noah? Well, the chapter of Noah is Genesis 6. The key verse is 5; “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” How can such a state of great depravity exist if the church and its many millions of righteous people are on the earth? This can only come about if God’s Righteous Believers are all gone save a few like Noah! Further, note that in Luke 17, which correlates to Matthew 24, Jesus Christ also referenced Sodom and Gomorrah, a place where not 10 righteous people were found; not even Lot’s wife! Recall that the days of Noah and of Sodom and
Gomorrah were not only before the New Covenant, but also before the law was given to Moses. There were certainly righteous individuals at that time, but no righteous nation or called group of people who had a particular charge or formal method of establishing righteousness upon the earth. The age of Noah and the condition of Sodom and
Gomorrah cannot come about so long as there are God’s people on the earth acting according to God’s Will. It can only come about in the ABSENCE of a nation of Believers; only after the children of the promise to Abraham (save a remnant) are gone! And that is only a consideration of the INDIVIDUAL righteousness of INDIVIDUAL Christians! What is even more needful to remember is the EFFECT that Christians have by being righteous! Consider how the Holy Spirit works through us. Consider our good works and prayers. Consider spiritual warfare. God works through us to stand against Satan and his phony kingdom on this earth. With our work in the natural and spiritual realm, we prevent a lot of people from becoming wicked and wicked people from doing a lot of things! But in our absence, both wicked people and the master that they serve will have free reign on the earth – for a time. Consider Genesis 6:1-5. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” During that time, every person and spirit could do whatever it wanted upon the earth, with absolutely no fear, inhibition, or opposition! It created men who were giants, mighty men of old, men of renown, BUT THEY WERE NOT RIGHTEOUS! And when God said “My Spirit will not always strive with man”? That happened when HIS SON came into the world and brought peace and goodwill on earth between man and God, and instead of striving with man God’s Holy Spirit became man’s comforter! But the time of God’s peace and Holy Spirit was glimpsed under the old covenant and established under the new. But before the covenants we saw how wicked things became, and after the age of grace, when NEITHER the old OR the new covenant will be in place and the only way that a man can be saved will be at the price of his life, it will be that wicked again!
Make no mistake. Do not be deceived. God’s Word is true, and it only requires a reader with love for God, faith in Him, and a strong desire to prove that all is possible with God to understand it! So long as you have this attitude that God WON’T do something that is righteous, or that God CAN’T do something that is righteous, you will never understand, you will never believe, and all that you will know is what others tell you. It is those people who are going to be deceived by the beast; it is those people who are going to worship the beast and his image and take the mark and then be cast into the lake of fire. People who read God’s Word looking to confirm and justify the power of God will be saved; people who are determined to limit God by their own logic, reasoning, understanding, and ability to believe will be deceived, for the beast will come out of man’s faults and use man’s faults to deceive and control him! The beast will appear to answer every question, calm every fear, and fix every doubt because he will be the product of the lack of knowledge, faith, and obedience that mankind has exhibited throughout history save the redeemed friends of God! And when the redeemed friends of God are taken from the earth, God’s Holy Spirit will follow. That is when the beast will have the power to make war against and overcome the few saints that remain (Revelation 13:7). That is when God will allow mass insanity to overtake the world (II Thessalonians 2:11); the effect of which may be that the people “left behind” will not even know that we are gone! And that is when the world will descend into the state of Noah and Sodom and
Gomorrah. And it will not take long! Believers simply do not know the power of the Holy Spirit, of faith, of charity, of works, of spiritual warfare. We do not know that God is literally using us to keep this corrupt fallen world together for the purpose of spreading the gospel and fulfilling His Word. Not that God depends on us, but rather this is how He chooses for things to be done! But without God’s people on the ground for God to work His Love through, the world will quickly descend into the biggest morass of depravity that it has ever known! A hint of how fast it will happen: the great tribulation will only last seven years! Not only that, many Christians believe that the rapture occurs in the MIDDLE of the seven years, and some believe that it will happen at the END of the seven years! Now there is some debate over whether the seven years is a literal time or a prophetic time, but either way it is clearly going to be a short time period; a blink of an eye compared to Christ’s millennial reign! As a matter of fact, compare it to the church age, which Jesus Christ called a generation (Luke 21:32)! Bible scholars generally agree that a Biblical generation is 40 years, so the great tribulation will be at maximum 1/6th of the church age.
Now, the good news for the rapture deniers is that if they truly believe on Christ, they will be saved despite their inability to fully believe or understand God’s Word. John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 – 10 are true! The bad news is that by denying both the power of God (far greater than man’s) and the prerogative of God (far greater than man’s ability to understand or believe and past what man thinks is right or appropriate) such people are guilty of II Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” That verse finishes with the instruction: “from such turn away.”! That may sound a bit harsh, but realize that by denying God’s power and prerogative, they are severely limiting their own ability to keep God’s commandment and desire for His people to subdue the earth. God wants us out there fighting over every soul and opposing every evil deed of the enemy. How can a person effectively do that if they do not believe that God’s Word is true? If they do not believe that God can simply remove all of His people from the earth just as He did Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus Christ? And if they do not believe that God WILL do such a thing simply because He CAN and because such a thing is GOOD? Or is not sparing His people the great tribulation GOOD? Why would not it be? And if it is GOOD, why would NOT GOD do it? Do you not remember Matthew 3:15 where Jesus said “It becometh US to fulfil all righteousness”? Who was this
US that Jesus was referring to anyway? Not John the Baptist, for John was the one doing the act of giving righteousness – baptizing – that Jesus wanted to fulfill by RECEIVING. Not the disciples, for Jesus Christ had no disciples as of yet. No, the
US was the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost! It becometh GOD to fulfill all righteousness, which means that every good thing that there is, God has done and will do. It must be so, for all good comes from God (James 1:17)! So who are you to say that God cannot or will not do a good thing? Make no mistake, both God punishing the wicked for their actions against His Righteousness (and against the innocent) AND God removing His righteous Believers so that they will not share the punishment with the wicked are very good things indeed (again, see II Peter 5 – 9). Only someone who denies the power, prerogative, and goodness of God would do such a thing, and for those people I say thank God for His Grace! Of course, I say the same about myself, for I too have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and there is none righteous but God and those to whom God confers righteousness with His Grace such that they can be accounted for righteousness despite their flaws as was Abraham. I acknowledge that I struggled over the rapture (as well as other things such as Noah’s ark and judgment of those who never heard the gospel) for many years. But as Christ did, with the help of the Father and the Holy Spirit I overcame and had the victory in my struggle because I sought not to justify my own thought process and value system and instead sought to justify God. In other words,
I did not as Job did when Elihu righteously got angry with him. I call upon all of you who deny the rapture, spiritual warfare, the Trinity, the virgin birth and resurrection, salvation by grace, etc. to do the same. Cease to deny the power and will of God so that you may fully operate in God’s power and will and therefore do His Commandments and receive His Blessings! Realize that the rapture is real even if your faith isn’t! Prayer:Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please lead Your Children to believe in the rapture as described in the Bible, and may they seek Your Face so that You would make them ready for it according to Your Will, and please use teachers, preachers, pastors, evangelists, and prophets to spread Your Word about the truth of the rapture and the necessity to prepare for it.
Deliverance:The demons that work in this area are false doctrine, false teaching, false religion, and faithlessness, causing people to A) believe the words of men over the Word of God and B) not believe in things which they cannot see or imagine. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!