# 7 The Rapture

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"...in the day of the great slaughter - when the towers fall." Isaiah 30:25

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A thought in favor of a Pre-Tribulational Rapture
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Why Can't I Find the Word "Rapture" In the Bible?

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Question for those insist the Rapture takes place at the end of the Great Tribulation:
 
If the resurrection and rapture really occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation (When Jesus physically returns at the battle of Armageddon to establish his earthly Kingdom),
 
If, at that time, Jesus resurrects all the dead who belong to him, and changes all the living who belong to him and catches them all up to himself into the air (in an instant 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15).
 
What righteous will be left on earth for the angels to sever the wicked from (Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50)? 

 

The Rapture

 

The resurrection and catching up of those who belong to Christ is predicted in the Law of Moses through the Feast of Trumpets. Remember, the law was prophetic— symbolically foreshadowing our redemption through Jesus Christ and the good things to come (Galatians 3:24, Hebrews 10:1, Revelation 19:10).

 

 

Who Will Be Raised?

Also known as the Feast of Ingathering, the Feast of Trumpets ends the harvest season with the sound of a trumpet. The cycle of harvest for the dispensation of Grace, the time of Christ In You, will be completed at this feast.

 

This final harvest feast predicts the resurrection of the just and the catching up of those living in Christ at that time. This is when the real ingathering will take place   (Exodus 34:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

 

The apostle Paul tells us that all living saints (a saint is anyone who belongs to Christ) will be changed at that time—not just the best. There is no class system within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, Galatians 3:26-28, 1 Corinthians 12:13-20).

 

When the dead are raised, they will be raised with glorified bodies that will never die again. Those who are living at that time will receive the same type of glorified bodies as the resurrected ones—they just won't have to die to get them.

 

 

The Great Re-Union: It’s Not What We Think

What exactly will be taking place when the dead are raised?

 

When Christ descends from Heaven to meet us in the air, the bodies of the dead (only those “in Christ”) will be reunited with their souls and spirits—which have been in Heaven with the Lord ever since their bodies died (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).

 

Now, in our resurrected and gloriously changed bodies, we will accompany Christ back to Heaven to stand before his judgment seat and receive rewards for the things done while living on earth (John 14:2-3, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

 

It is at this time that God's redemption plan for our bodies will be fulfilled (Romans 8:23).

 

  

The End of the Dispensation of Grace

The catching up of the living saints, more commonly known as the Rapture of the Church, signals the end of the time when men can simply call on the name of the Lord to be saved. From this point on, men can no longer simply call on the name of the Lord to be saved, but Jesus told us they must now endure to the end to be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, Romans 11:25, Ephesians 3:2,1:10, Matthew 24:13).

 

Knowing these things combats lethargy in Bible believing Christians and incites them to become aggressive soul winners—not just the opposite. Below is an example of erroneous teaching in this area:

  • “focusing on a rapture has caused many to lose their burden for the lost. This escapism mentality has caused lethargy in the church, because they are waiting to be caught away from the claws of the Anti-Christ”  (found in the doctrinal statement of Kim Clement).

 

This reasoning has become quite prevalent among Christians today, but is it at all sound? I find that just the opposite occurs when we focus on the scriptural teaching of a pre-tribulational rapture. Hearts are ablaze to win souls and prevent as many as possible from having to experience the horrors that will be described in the next few chapters.

 

Aside from that, an escapist mentality is very scriptural in certain situations. Paul admonishes Christians to flee from temptation, and Jesus said to pray that we would be counted worthy to “escape” all the horrors that will be coming on the earth (Luke 21:36).

 

Jesus commanded us to pray that prayer. I believe his word is dependable and if he advocates escapism in regards to The Great Tribulation, then I am not going to argue with him.

 

The order of the Feasts of the Lord is just one evidence of a pre-tribulational Rapture. There are many more contained within the scriptures (some of which will be covered in later chapters). Prior to the feast of Trumpets (which foretold the resurrection/rapture), each event predicted by each feast, occurred in the exact order, and on the very day, it was observed. This is strong evidence that God is revealing the order of things as well as the events themselves in the observation of these prophetic feasts.

 

Summary of what we have covered so far:

  • Passover: Christ’s Physical Death
  • Unleavened Bread: The Law is Fulfilled
  • First Fruits: The first Harvest Feast / Christ's Physical Resurrection (Souls Redeemed)
  • Pentecost: The second Harvest Feast / The Holy Spirit is Given/ The Dispensation of Grace/ The Time of Christ In You/ The End-Time Harvest begins
  • Trumpets: The third and Last Harvest Feast / The Resurrection of the Dead in Christ and the catching Up of the Living (Bodies Redeemed)

 

The resurrection of the dead and catching up of those [in Christ] who are still living is a pre-tribulation event. The first four feasts were fulfilled literally and in the exact order the feasts were observed. There is no scriptural evidence that the pattern will change with the last three.

 

In the next few chapters we will be looking at the feast that foretold the Time of Jacob’s Trouble—more commonly known as The Great Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Revelation 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 2:2-8).

 

If there is any lingering doubt that the feasts contained in the Mosaic Law are prophetic in nature, there are scriptures that clearly tell us the law reveals things to come in general, and that those things pertain to Christ in particular (Galatians 3:23-24, Hebrews 10:1, Revelation 19:10).

 

Do You Belong To Christ? If there is any doubt at all as to whether or not you belong to Him and would like to have scriptural assurance that you will be included in the Resurrection of The Just, or the rapture of the church, simply call on God right now. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and save you because you believe that Jesus Christ is his risen son (Romans 10:9-10,13).

 

Then follow these simple steps to learn how to follow Christ and begin to grow in your newfound faith:

 

  • Prayerfully read your Bible every day (always picking up today where you left off yesterday). The book of John is a good place to start. A King James Bible with no chapter headings or footnotes is recommended.
  • Talk to the Lord daily in prayer. It doesn't matter if you pray silently or out loud. He can hear you either way (Philippians 4:6).
  • Meet regularly with other Bible believing Christians (Hebrews 10:25).
  • Be baptized according to our Lord's command (Matthew 28:19 & Acts 2:38).
  • Begin telling others (immediately) about what Jesus has done for you. His Holy Spirit will help you and use your testimony to draw others to Christ.
  • Also, it is important to realize that trials and temptations will still come. The choice now is, will you deal with them your way or God's way? The only way to know the difference between the two is to read your Bible.
  • You must also begin adding to your faith. 2 Peter 1:4-11 gives us a list of the things that must be added (deliberately and systematically) if we are to follow Christ successfully. That same passage is equally adamant in assuring us that if we do not add these things we will constantly suffer defeat in our Christian walk.
  • What if we sin after we are saved? 1 John 1:8-10, 2:1-2 tells us, we certainly will sin after we are saved and how to deal with it when we do.
  • What if the good feeling goes away, and we don't "feel saved" anymore? From time to time, the good feeling will go away. It is important to understand that we are not saved simply because we feel like it or don't feel like it. We are saved because we chose to repent of our sins and believe on the name of the resurrected Son of God. On that basis, we called upon the Lord to save us and now belong to him (1 Corinthians 6:19-29, 1 John 5:11-13, Romans 10:9-10,13).

 

Believe the word of God—not our feelings.

Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life!”

The Rapture and The 2nd Coming of Christ
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Are Not The Same Event -- See contrasts here

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