The Rapture

A compilation of verses and articles exposing the lies of the false rapture doctrine and revealing the truth of what scripture teaches.

RAPTURE

 

Psalm 37:28  For Yahweh loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

29  The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

 

Proverbs 2:21  For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

22  But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

 

Amos 5:18  Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! to what end is it for you? the day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light.

 

Matthew 13:49  So shall it be at the end of the world (age): the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

Matthew 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Welcome, to escort. The true meaning of 'meet' will be demonstrated later in this study.

 

John 12:13  Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of Yahweh.

John 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Christ is not coming to take us away.

 

Zechariah 13:9  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, Yahweh is my God.

This life is our mortal test, our proving grounds, our refinery of our faith (allegiance). We are all tested and tried, we are all chastised, we will and do go through tribulation. When we lean on our history, heritage, Kinsman Redeemer and allegiance to Him, we are preserved during this test, and come through it when He returns. There is no shortcuts or skipping this exam.

 

II Esdras 7:1  When I had finished speaking these words, the messenger who had been sent to me on the former nights was sent to me again,
[2] and he said to me, "Rise, Ezra, and listen to the words that I have come to speak to you."
[3] I said, "Speak, my master." And he said to me, "There is a sea set in a wide expanse so that it is broad and vast,
[4] but it has an entrance set in a narrow place, so that it is like a river.
[5] If any one, then, wishes to reach the sea, to look at it or to navigate it, how can he come to the broad part unless he passes through the narrow part?
[6] Another example: There is a city built and set on a plain, and it is full of all good things;
[7] but the entrance to it is narrow and set in a precipitous (steep) place, so that there is fire on the right hand and deep water on the left;
[8] and there is only one path lying between them, that is, between the fire and the water, so that only one man can walk upon that path.
[9] If now that city is given to a man for an inheritance, how will the heir receive his inheritance unless he passes through the danger set before him?"
[10] I said, "He cannot, master." And he said to me, "So also is Israel's portion.
[11] For I made the world for their sake, and when Adam transgressed My statutes, what had been made was judged.
[12] And so the entrances of this world were made narrow and sorrowful and toilsome; they are few and evil, full of dangers and involved in great hardships.

When Adam was planted in the world, he was sent here to be superintendent and clean up what Satan and his angels corrupted, and re-establish the kingdom. He had his inheritance, but by disobedience he went from the great sea (city) through the narrow entrance into this evil world.

The narrow entrance from good to evil would be easy and pleasurable.

The narrow entrance from evil to good would be sorrowful and toilsome, full of dangers and involved in great hardships.
[13] But the entrances of the greater world are broad and safe, and really yield the fruit of immortality.
[14] Therefore unless the living pass through the difficult and vain experiences, they can never receive those things that have been reserved for them.

There is no “rapture”. We will be tried. We will be tested. We will be proven.

Only with true knowledge and understanding will we have a chance.

 

Enoch

LVIII. The Blessedness of the Saints.

[Chapter 58]

1 And I began to speak the third Parable concerning the righteous and elect.

2 Blessed are ye, ye righteous and elect,
For glorious shall be your lot.

3 And the righteous shall be in the light of the sun.
And the elect in the light of eternal life:
The days of their life shall be unending,
And the days of the holy without number.

4 And they shall seek the light and find righteousness with Yahweh of Spirits:
There shall be peace to the righteous in the name of the Eternal Yahweh.

5 And after this it shall be said to the holy in heaven
That they should seek out the secrets of righteousness, the heritage of faith:
For it has become bright as the sun upon earth,
And the darkness is past.

6 And there shall be a light that never endeth,
And to a limit (lit. ' number ') of days they shall not come,
For the darkness shall first have been destroyed,
[And the light established before Yahweh of Spirits]
And the light of uprightness established for ever before Yahweh of Spirits.

The Kingdom of Heaven is Righteousness. When Christ returns, removes all evil and all the wicked, those of us that have allegiance (faith) will shine, and the earth will be filled with righteousness (heaven).

 

 

The Rapture of the Wicked

   How will Christ Return?

 

The rapture doctrine originated with a Spanish Jesuit named Ribera around 1580 AD. He was the first to propose that Christ was going to come and secretly snatch away the church before a great seven year tribulation, where the 'Antichrist' would rule the world. This Futurist interpretation of the book of Revelation, along with the 'future' coming of the Antichrist, was designed to take the pressure off the Pope, who was universally regarded as being the fulfillment of these rather unflattering prophesies by the students of the Reformation. The streets of Europe still were running with the blood of the recently born protestant movement that had exploded in the face of the Catholic church.

For the next 250 years, the protestant world was united on this issue. There was no doubt in their minds who the Antichrist was who had extended his rule throughout the civilized world and had even put himself in the place of God. They still felt the whips on their backs, they still heard the screams of their neighbors being burned at the stakes, they still saw the rivers of blood millions of the brethren staining the fields and flowing in the streams (see The Rapture of the Saints, by McDougall).

Then, about 1830, a Scottish teenager named Margaret McDonald claimed to have had a vision. She said it taught her that there was to be a secret removal of the saints before a great future tribulation, during which the 'Antichrist' was to appear on the scene. Darby accepted this vision as the new revelation from God, and soon he led the Brethren church to accept the doctrine (see The Incredible Cover-Up, Logos Publishers).

Even so, this doctrine was not widely accepted until a century later.

Daniel 7:27 And the Kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. This passage is usually explained to mean that the saints are the Jews, who will supposedly be left on the earth during the great tribulation. However, Jesus taught that the Jews were not to inherit the Kingdom of God in Matthew 21:43-45. 43 Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (i.e., it would be a Christian Nation.) The only people that are 'saints' are descendants of Jacob/Israel. Those would be the race and people of the white nations of the world. We are the true Israelite Christians. The Jews are descendants of Cain and of Esau. They are NOT Israel.

Dream and visions of 4 beasts and the interpretation

Daniel 7:1  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

 7:2  Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

Mass of people.

 7:3  And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.  

Great empires.

 7:4  The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

Deuteronomy 28:49  Yahweh shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

 7:5  And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

The bear is the Medes and Persians. The Persians were the dominant nation, “raised on one side”.

The 3 ribs are Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt. The previous 3 empires.

 7:6  After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

Alexander the great, who conquered the Medo-Persian empire in 330 BC.. He conquered the whole known world in 10 years, fast, like a leopard.

Four wings are his four generals that took over after his death.

Diodorus Siculus Library of History, Bk 19.105.102, explains the agreement.

Greece, under Cassander, Thrace, under Lysimachus, Syria, under Antigonus, and Egypt, under Ptolemy.

 7:7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

This can only be Rome. Rome perfected iron. Ten horns are the ten provinces that Rome was divided into in the time of the Caesar's.

Most likely, the ten horns are the ten European nation-states which eventually formed a league with Rome after the city of Rome was sacked by the Germanic tribes. These ten nations or tribes were the 1. Franks, 2. Huns, 3. Vandals whose kingdom had been established in north Africa, 4. Visigoths, 5. Ostrogoths who had established a kingdom in Italy and the Alemannian kingdom north of Italy, 6. Alans (and Sueves), 7. Burgundians, 8. Odoacer’s Italian kingdom of several tribes, 9. Saxons, 10. Lombards.   (Rev 13:1)

 7:8  I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The little horn is the papacy. Justinian was the eleventh emperor of the eastern empire and he was the one who established the temporal power of the papacy. (see C.E. WTL# 53, and notes on Comparet Revelation series pt. 9)

Three of the 10 provinces were overcome ('plucked up by the roots').

Revelation 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Seven heads are the seven forms of government that Rome had through it's history.

Kingdom, became a Republic, Desempirate, Triempirate, tyranny (Caesars), etc.

13:2  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

The serpent was the symbol of authority in ancient Egypt, and in Assyrian and Hittite empire.

13:3  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

The empire of Rome fell, but the papacy, the Catholic church is the Holy Roman Empire.

13:4  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

1260 years.

752 BC is the approximate founding of Rome.

529 AD Justinian founded the monastic system, and kicked the Jews out of the court.

529 + 1260 = 1789. French Revolution, dispossessed the papacy and all of it's real estate in France, and Napoleon conquered the papal states and put the pope in prison.

13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The Roman emperors. Deifying themselves.

13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

True of imperial and papal Rome.

13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

13:10  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

 

 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.

 7:10  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Isaiah 30:33  For Tophet (a place of cremation, near Jerusalem) is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Yahweh, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

 7:11  I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

Justinian, the whole system, and every one worshiped it.

Revelation 19:20  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

 7:12  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

The peoples of these empires were not all destroyed with their empire.

 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him.

 7:14  And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Psalm 2:6-8

6  Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion.

7  I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8  Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

 7:15  I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

 7:16  I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

 7:17  These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

 7:18  But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

 7:19  Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

 7:20  And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

 7:21  I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

The Popes made war with the saints throughout their history.

Revelation 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Sovereign of sovereigns, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

 7:22  Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

When the children of Israel (saints) were obedient, they possessed the kingdoms upon the earth. David and Solomon's kingdom, the brief time when Ezra and Nehemiah returned and  rebuilt Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, the founding of the white European nations and spreading of the gospel during the Reformation, and the birth and beginnings of America.

 7:23  Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

 7:24  And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Justinian subdued 3 kings. Vandal-Delemar?, Ostrogoth-Viticus?, Gothic king Kotilla?.

Revelation 17:12  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Justinian established the supremacy of the bishop of Rome over all the rest of Christianity within the empire, the temporal power of the papacy, changed laws (Novele Constitution) which was a re-codification of Roman law. 529 AD until 1789 was how long the popes ruled. 1260 years.

 7:26  But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

The French Revolution took away the dominion of the papacy, but not the papacy itself, it's still here.

 7:27  And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.

Luke 1:33  And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.

 7:28  Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Revelation 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

This is a perfect description of the Romish popes, who under the guise of lambs – in the pretense of Christianity – devoured the sheep (saints), just as the dragon would do. The popes certainly were the “lamb” which “spake as a dragon”, which exercised “all the power of the first beast” (for an example, just examine the Crusades). They ruled over all the kings of Europe, and controlled the hearts and minds of most of the people of Europe. For nearly all of the time from the reign of Justinian to that of Napoleon, the popes were the single dominating force in the fate of the peoples of Europe.  

13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Burning of martyrs.

13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

The Catholic church claims 'signs' all the time.

13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 The popes made fire come down upon the earth by making war against the saints, and forcing the various nations of Christendom into papal idolatry with the threat of war and interdict.

One of Martin Luther's major complaints against the Romish church was the selling of indulgences, tickets out of Purgatory for oneself or one's loved ones that were purchased from the church. Of course, neither Purgatory nor the idea of indulgences are Scriptural, but the Romish church taught them and by them was able to transfer a large amount of wealth from the peoples of Europe and into their own greedy coffers.

13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Daniel 7:8  I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Of course, this is the papacy.

-Vicarius Filii Dei, “A Substitute for the Son of God”. The Latin numerals add up to (666).  

 

WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD? A strange phenomena has appeared in the doctrinal position of thousands of today's professing Christians. At one moment they speak of going to heaven in the rapture (or when they die), where they say they will live FOREVER; but then in the next breath they speak of Christ coming to earth with His saints to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26,27). This doctrinal schizophrenia is readily apparent to those who teach only one of the above positions. However, there are literally millions who believe both to be true, in spite of their inherent contradiction. So we must examine the Scriptures to see where the Bible locates God's Kingdom and where Christ shall reign with His saints. Where is the inheritance of the believer? Does the Bible promise heaven or earth as the eternal abode of the Christian? If believers are to receive their inheritance in heaven, then the rapture would be a logical method of ferrying them to their reward. If, however, our inheritance is on the earth, then there would be no need for a rapture, except (as is supposed) to prevent us from undergoing tribulation.

Those who rule with Christ in His Kingdom will be on earth as well, for we read in Revelation 5:10, "and we shall reign on the earth." This is but a reflection of the Old Testament Scripture. As far back as the days of Moses, this was the great hope of our ancestors. This planet is not destined for destruction; it is going to be shaken and cleansed so that God can give His people a good and beautiful inheritance. This was vowed by God Himself in the days of Moses: Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahweh.

Two other prophets took up the same theme. This vital truth has it's 'two or three witnesses' required to establish it as truth. Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea. And Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea. David's theme, repeated over and over in Psalm 37 was that "the meek shall inherit the earth." Jesus verified His doctrine in His sermon on the mount, when He taught the people in Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Jesus viewed the earth with a great deal more respect than many Christians do today. After all, He was the Creator of this earth (John 1:3), and thus His was the voice which pronounced it "very good" (Gen. 1:31). It was Jesus who inspired the Psalmist to write in Psalm 115:6 The heaven, even the heavens, are Yahweh's; but the earth hath He given to the children of men (Adam). When we learn to view Creation with the same love as does it's Creator, we will not despise God's good earth. Instead, out of love we will attempt to fulfill the first and foremost responsibility that God gave to man: to subdue and have dominion (authority under God) over the earth (Gen. 1:28), which is God's footstool (Matt. 5:35). When Jesus Christ finally sets up His Divine Government on the earth, and when true Christians rule with Him in the Kingdom, then the earth will indeed become a paradise once again. It will be "heaven on earth," fit for habitation for Christ and His people.

Heaven simply means 'the sky' or 'righteousness', depending on context. A word study and examination of each verse with this word will demonstrate this. (see 'Heaven' in Word Studies menu)

There are those who derive a great (but false) comfort in the belief that we are destined to live in heaven forever. But Jesus prayed, 'Thy kingdom come,' in order that God's will would be done 'in earth' as it is now done in heaven.

The reward of Christians is that their God will come to live with them – not that Christians will go to live with God. When John described the New Jerusalem, he made it plain that this city was to come down out of heaven to earth. Revelation 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Jerusalem refers to the people, the children of Israel, the bride. When Christ returns, we who are written in the book of Life will receive our Shekinah Glory (in-corrupt immortal bodies, like Adam before he fell, like Christ when He ascended).

Many Christians have also misread John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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.  This passage does not contradict Revelation 21. Christ went away to prepare the Kingdom for us from His exalted and powerful position in heaven (righteousness). He is cleansing the Kingdom now as He could not do as a man on earth. It was essential that Jesus leave and be reinstated as King-Priest, and Intercessor for the Saints. 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.

The word, 'mansions', the Greek word is 'mone', meaning a staying (the act or the place) :- abode

It comes from 'meno', a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy:- continue, endure, stand.

The “churches” teach that when you are “raptured” you will stay in a mansion in the sky somewhere.

The word does not mean a 'mansion' as a building or physical place. A 'mansion' is a noun. The Greek word is a verb. The KJV is notorious for changing nouns into verbs and vice versa.

The word 'place' is 'topos', it refers to a space, a locality, a position, condition, opportunity:- a territory.

This isn't talking about a neighborhood with stacked out condominiums in the clouds where all the Judeo-Christians go.

If we pass this test in this mortal life, by striving for allegiance with Christ, we will have a place, a relation, a position in the Kingdom. Our eternal abode. The kingdom is righteousness.

 

MEETING THE LORD IN THE AIR

Perhaps the most well-known Bible passage known today in rapture-believing circles is 1 Thessalonians 4:16 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.

This passage teaches that Christ shall return to the earth some day, and that the resurrection of the dead in Christ shall occur before the living believers are caught up to meet Christ in the air. BUT THERE IS NO MENTION OF ANYONE GOING TO HEAVEN.

The key to understanding this question is found in the verb, "to meet." The Greek word used by Paul here is apantesis, and this particular word is loaded with meaning, which does not come forth in our English translation of the word. It is a word which was used in ancient times to describe the actions of an official welcoming delegation that had been sent "to meet" a visiting dignitary. Thus, it literally means, "meeting and returning with."

It was customary back then (as it is today) that when a V.I.P. visits a city, the leader of that city send out a delegation to welcome him and escort him to the mayor. Thus, when the Queen of England visited President Ford during the American Bicentennial, she was not expected to get off the plane and call a cab to take her to the White House. No, she was met by a special committee that escorted her to the White House. Therefore, when Paul uses the term apantesis to describe our action in meeting Christ, he uses this particular term to show us that we are going to be sent TO ESCORT CHRIST BACK TO EARTH WHEN HE SETS UP HIS KINGDOM.  

Those who find this information to be unbelievable may do further study on this Greek word by noting how it is used in other Bible passages. The word is used in three other New Testament passages: · Matthew 25:1 and 6 speaks of the ten virgins who "went forth TO MEET the bridegroom." It was common practice in ancient times for the wedding party to escort the bridegroom to the bride after the marriage supper.

John 12:13 speaks of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (a prophetic type of Christ's second coming, at which time He will truly have a triumphal entry). It says that the people "took branches of palm trees and went forth TO MEET Him”. Jesus certainly did not turn around and escort the people back to Bethany with Him! No, the people escorted Jesus into Jerusalem.

Acts 28:15 speaks of Paul's journey to Rome as a prisoner. When the Christians in Rome heard that Paul was outside the city, "they came TO MEET us as far as Appii forum," which was about 43 miles from the city. They treated Paul like a Christian V.I.P., and Paul's heart was encouraged at their boldness to be identified as Christian friends of his. Thus, we conclude that Paul was not teaching that Christians would return to heaven with Christ, but rather that Christians would form Christ's escort back to earth.

 

The Day of the Lord

A few verses later (in 1Thessalonians 5) Paul writes further about "the day of the Lord. " 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. In reading this passage, most of us immediately picture Christ coming as a burglar and stealing something of value in secret. However, 2,000 years ago a "thief in the night" usually meant something entirely different.

It was common in those days for a band of robbers to swoop down upon an unprotected and unsuspecting village in the middle of the night, when the people were sleeping peacefully. The thieves would storm into town, throw everyone out of bed, strip the village of all its valuables, and kill anyone who resisted.

This is what Paul meant when he compared the return of Christ to "a thief in the night." While the world sleeps in "peace and safety, (ignorance, lack of knowledge)" then will come "sudden destruction" upon the wicked, "and they shall not escape." However, the Christians, who are "watchmen" on the walls, will not be taken by surprise. They will have prepared themselves for this "sudden destruction" (called "tribulation"), and thus they will not be harmed.

Amos 5: 18 has this to say about that day: 18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.

The Prophet Joel echoes the same theme in Joel 1:15 Alas, for the day I For the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Again, he describes the day in chapter 2, verses 1 and 2, 1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. The descriptions of this alien enemy invading the land fits perfectly the armies of the enemies of Christ. God said that they would be "My great army which I sent among you" (2:25) in order that the people might repent from their sins, call upon God for divine intervention and protection, and that Jesus would then come to save them. For the vast majority of the people, including, sad to say, many professing Christians, this day of the Lord will come upon them unexpectedly. They will not have prepared themselves spiritually, mentally, or physically for such times.

So let us strive to be as those to whom Paul wrote: "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." Thus, we see that in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 Paul does NOT teach a pre tribulation rapture, but rather that when Jesus comes, we will welcome Him back to earth, where He shall rule all nations in righteousness.

 

Another passage that rapturists use is Jude 1:14  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, 15  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Jude here is actually quoting from Deuteronomy 33:2, as well as from the apocryphal book of Enoch. Moses says in Deuteronomy 33 that the Lord came WITH His saints (or, "holy ones") at the time He gave the Law to Israel at Mount Sinai: 2 And he said, The Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them (Israel); He shined forth from Mount Paran, AND HE CAME WITH TEN THOUSANDS OF SAINTS.

Now when God descended upon Mount Sinai to give the Law to Israel, did He come with ten thousand CHRISTIAN PEOPLE? Obviously not, for there were no people in heaven to come with Him. Who were those "saints"? They were the angels of God, who will again come with the Lord at His coming. Paul speaks of these holy ones in 2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven WITH HIS MIGHTY ANGELS. The confusion lies in the broad application of the word "saints" (or, "holy ones").

The Greek word is hagios, which is usually translated "holy" in our Bibles. Strong's Concordance says that it literally means "sacred." When used as a noun, the Greek word hagios may refer to Christians or to the angels of God. Thus, since we cannot make any positive conclusions about the Greek word hagios, we must rely upon the context of the verse for clues as to what is meant. Even the apocryphal book of Enoch that Jude mentions teaches no such thing as a rapture, when it speaks of Christ's coming "with His saints."

Chapter one of Enoch reads: 1 The words of the blessings of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous WHO WILL BE LIVING IN THE DAY OF TRIBULATION, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed . . . 2 And he took up his parable and said, Enoch, a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me . . and from them 1 understood as 1 saw, but not for this generation but for a remote one which is for to come. 3 Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, 4 And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, even ON MOUNT SINAI. . . 9 And behold I He cometh with ten thousands of His Holy Ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly, and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Note that even the book of Enoch makes it very plain that the Christians "will be living in the day of tribulation." The book says that Christ was to come to Mount Sinai with ten thousands of His holy ones, and Jude picks up the theme, applying it to Christ's future return. Thus, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is foreign, not only to Jude, but also to the book of Enoch.

 

The Cleansing of the Kingdom

The Scriptures are full of references to the wicked ones being removed from the earth, so that the righteous may inherit a cleansed Kingdom. Solomon wrote in Proverbs: The righteous shall NEVER BE REMOVED; but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. (Prov. 10:30).

For the upright shall dwell in the land.... But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. (Prov. 2:21, 22).

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Prov. 3:25, 26).

Isaiah also echoes this same theme in Isaiah 13: 9 Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and HE SHALL DESTROY THE SINNERS THEREOF OUT OF IT. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.

The prophet Haggai also refers to the day of the Lord, when Christ shall come in judgment. Haggai 2:6  For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.

The New Testament author of the book of Hebrews (Paul) referred to this passage in Haggai in Hebrews 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth; but now He hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, "yet once more," signifieth the REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore, we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

In each case the theme is clear: God will soon shake the earth in tribulation, in order to throw down all man-made systems and in order to remove all the wicked from the earth. This shake-down will be so great in the day of the Lord that only those things which support God's Kingdom will remain standing. God will cleanse His earth and rule all nations in righteousness.

 

One Shall Be Taken, the Other Left

Matthew 24:37-42 is perhaps the second most popular Bible passage (other than 1 Thess. 4:17, 18) to teach the pre-tribulation rapture of the “church”. The passage is a comparison between Christ's second coming and the days of Noah leading up to the flood. Jesus said here: 37 But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood, they (THE WICKED) were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came and took them (THE WICKED) all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one (THE WICKED) shall be taken, and the other (THE CHRISTIAN) left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one (THE WICKED) shall be taken, and the other (THE CHRISTIAN) left. As you noted in reading the above verses, the flood of Noah's time took the wicked people away (off the earth). In the same manner, when Christ returns, the coming of the Son of man will see the wicked taken away, and the righteous will be left to inherit a cleansed earth, AS DID NOAH. Those who teach the opposite view, that the one "taken" is the believer and the one "left" is the unbeliever, miss the fact that the plural pronoun "them" can only refer to all the wicked people in verse 38. "Them" could hardly refer to Noah's family, because the wording of the passage is such that Noah is referred to individually. It would have been poor grammar to use a plural pronoun in reference to the singular noun, "Noah." There is also the obvious fact that Noah was not removed from the earth, but was rather preserved THROUGH the flood ("tribulation"). If God can protect His Christian people here on the earth as He did with Noah and his family, then why must we think that God must remove Christians from the earth in a rapture in order to protect them?

The Wheat and the Tares

Jesus' parables of the Kingdom reveal the same theme as well. In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus pictured the Son of man planting good seed in his field, and then one night an enemy sowed tares among the wheat. In the parable, no one appeared to know about the tares until the wheat and the tares began to bear fruit (or go to seed). At that point the tares were discovered, and the servants asked what to do about it. The Son of man instructed them to await the harvest, lest the wheat plants be rooted up along with the tares. Then the instructions were to "gather ye together FIRST THE TARES, and bind them in bundles to burn them," and then gather the wheat into the barn.

The lesson is clear for those who know what tares are. Tares are today known as zewan in Palestine. Tares look like wheat plants as they mature, but when they are full grown and begin to bear fruit, the fruit of the wheat is golden, while that of the tares is almost black. The wheat is nourishing, but the fruit of the tares is bitter and poisonous. Farmers have to remove each tare seed from the wheat before grinding the wheat to flour. Thus, the tares were separated and removed from the wheat FIRST. The wicked are to be removed from the earth not the righteous. Hence, we look not for the rapture of the church, but rather for the "rapture" of the wicked. Only then will come the "harvest," when the righteous will "shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:43).

Separating the Bad Fish from the Good

Later in this same chapter Jesus told another similar parable, in which a fisherman cast his nets into the water and drew to shore all types of fish, both good and bad. Then he sat down and separated the fish. Jesus concluded the parable with these words: 49 So shall it be at the end of the world (age); it the angels shall come forth, and SEVER THE WICKED from among the just. Again, note that it is not the just who will be "removed," but rather the wicked. This is the constant and consistent theme throughout the Scriptures. We are never given any good reason to believe anything different.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Nearly all rapturists teach that following the rapture we will all attend the 'marriage supper of the Lamb' for some years, while the great tribulation rages on the earth. This concept has no scriptural basis.

In ancient times a marriage supper was a feast attended only by the groom and his friends. The bride to-be never attended the marriage supper. It took place, in fact, while the bride was home making herself ready for the marriage itself. When the bride was ready and the marriage supper consummated, only then did the groom go to claim his bride. For an example, see Judges 14 in the story of Samson's marriage.

We must not look at this marriage scene through modern spectacles, lest we completely misunderstand the whole comparison.

Revelation 19 is the only complete passage which describes the marriage supper. Verse 7 and 8 describe the Bride making herself ready, while the rest of the chapter describes the supper itself. What follows is a description of Christ's coming, the 'Day of the Lord', which all the prophets saw and accurately described. It is a bloody scene, following the same basic outline prophesied in Isaiah 66:15-16. The fire and the sword smite the nations, 'and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God'.

But what does all this carnage have to do with the marriage supper? And just who are those called to eat this supper? The passage continues: Revelation 19:17  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 21  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The fowls are the ones who partake of this marriage supper. This is not simply an isolated passage. This is repeated in Ezekiel 39:17  And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18  Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19  And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20  Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.

Zephaniah repeats this idea: Zephaniah 1:7  Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

These guests are the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the field. Christians will not be forced to consume this carnage at some marriage feast in heaven. The only eating that the Bride will do will be when she dines with her Husband at His table in the Kingdom – AFTER she is married to Him.

Revelation 19 and Ezekiel 39, as well as others, describe how the wicked will be 'raptured' off the earth. They will be destroyed when Christ comes to cleanse His Kingdom-Bride. The Bride will be clothed in white 'robes of righteousness' when the wicked are removed from the Kingdom here on God's good earth.