RAPTURE OR RESURRECTION?
In this study, scripture will prove that there is not a pre, mid, nor even a post supposed Rapture of any believer and that the church will in fact enter into the reign of the Antichrist and will be overcome by this beast and martyred. This document will discredit the Rapture Theory by showing the events which occur prior to the supposed Rapture, "with a trump of god" and "the dead in Christ shall rise first", happening at the end of the tribulation period. The Rapture is being confused with "the resurrection" which does involve the ¡§catching up¡¨ but of the ¡§dead", not living, once Christ has returned. The teaching that believers in some way will be protected either by a removal prior or a protection during the tribulation is contrary to scripture.
I Thess 4:16,17. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an 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".
This above passage gives many clues in understanding the timing of those being "caught up". It is very important to understand if it can be proven that the resurrection, "the dead in Christ shall rise first", occurs at the end of the Tribulation Period then this would prove false a pre-tribulation Rapture.
Those who believe in a Rapture see the events occurring like this:
Dead in Christ arise - > Tribulation Period - > Second Coming of Christ
Alive/remain caught up
However scripture shows the following in relation to the resurrection:
Tribulation Period - > Second Coming of Christ - > Dead in Christ arise
Thus, the alive and remain would follow the dead in Christ after the Tribulation Period.
Those who believe in a Rapture read I Thess. 4:17 as follows;
The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then (in addition to) we which are alive (physically) and remain shall be caught up together with them (referring back to the dead which have been risen) in the clouds (literal clouds).
However the correct understand of the verse is such;
The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we (referring back to the dead which have been risen) which are alive (now spiritually in our glorified resurrected bodies) and remain shall be caught up together [with them in the clouds].
The ¡§with them in the clouds¡¨ is to be understood as a group of individuals separate from those mentioned. As it will be shown, these individuals are his ¡§army¡¨ which accompanies him on his return. They are not literal clouds.
Also, most interpret the word ¡§first¡¨ as meaning that there are two separate events being mentioned. However the word ¡§first¡¨ is only confirming the fact ¡§in what order¡¨ the righteous are resurrected then after this the wicked. If the word ¡§first¡¨ was to be understood ¡§first this, then this¡¨ as setting off a sequence of events it would be grammatically placed at the beginning not at the end of the event.
Let¡¦s continue to prove this point by using scripture, scripture alone.
"The dead in Christ shall rise first". The resurrection.
When we study scripture, time and time again we see the resurrection of believers occurring at the end of the Tribulation Period. The bible does not teach multiple resurrections for the believers.
Dan 12: 1,2. "And there shall be a [time of trouble], such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that [sleep in the dust] of the earth shall awake, [some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt"].
Above we see first "a time of trouble", the Tribulation Period, prior to the resurrection and the judgment of those which are asleep (or dead). This would put the "dead in Christ shall rise first" at the end of the Tribulation Period. Note that ¡§everyone¡¨ believers as well as the unsaved are judged at this time with the "dead in Christ" being first.
Matt 25:31,32. "When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on his upon throne of glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats".
The same story as above: all, believers as well as the unsaved, are gathered and then judged with believers in the first resurrection then unbelievers in the second resurrection.
The key is to understand that in the last two verses it is "together" in which both believer and the unsaved are gathered and then judged. This clearly shows there is no extended time period between resurrections or judgments. Thus, the bible does not show or support a group of believers being resurrected nor judged at a previous time. Also note that it is not until after his second coming does Christ sit upon his ¡§throne of glory¡¨ and not before at some prior supposed judgement. Don¡¦t be mistaken, this throne of glory is the same as the ¡§judgement seat of Christ¡¨ and the ¡§Great White Throne¡¨.
Below, we see again both believer and the unsaved resurrected on the "last day". Notice the bible says "last day", not day(s), nor latter days. It would be a great error to claim this day is none other than what it says, the last.
John 11:24. "Martha said unto him, I know that he (Lazarus) shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day".
John 12:48. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one the judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day¡¨.
Now, let¡¦s go to one of the key verses of all¡K¡K.
I Cor 15: 20-24. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and became the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that our Christ's at his coming. then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom of god....."
Once again the sequence of events; Christ returns, then afterwards the dead in Christ rise and the end of this world comes with the appearance of the kingdom of God. Note, that when Christ returns here that it is followed by the "end" not a Tribulation Period. Also stated again is that we "all" die, there is no escape. This verse also questions the 1000 year reign as we see no gap between ¡§the end¡¨ and the appearance of the kingdom of God. (See my writing on this subject Millennial Kingdom; 100 years or eternity?)
Rev 20: 5,6. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power..."
Clearly here the bible states that the first resurrection takes place after the Tribulation Period at some point and that this is the first and none prior (except Christ himself). Thus, it would be contrary to scripture to have another ¡§first¡¨ resurrection or a "catching up" prior to the Tribulation Period. Now, if you insist incorrectly in applying the phrase "this is the first resurrection" to those martyred in verse four you would still have a first resurrection taking place after a supposed pre-trib rapture. Either way the "dead in Christ will rise first" occurs after the start of the tribulation.
Rev 11:18 "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shoudest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear his name, small and great: and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth".
Again, we see at the 7th trumpet at the end of the Tribulation Period both dead believers and the unsaved about to be resurrected and judged. Note that this occurs at the end of the Tribulation Period! not prior.
Rev 20:11,12 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened which was the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works".
Here above we see the first group of those before God, this is the first resurrection. This is the dead in Christ arising first. Why do we know these are believers mentioned here; their referred to as "small and great" which were those who "feared his name" in the above verse Rev. 11:18. We see them "stand" before god; Psalms 1:5 states that the ungodly will not stand in the judgment. The book of life is present; Rev 3:5 states the lord will confess the names of those written in this book, the ungodly have been blotted out. And yes, we are judged according to our works as for a reward which is supported by II Cor. 5:10 the same verse which those who claim a Rapture use to support separate judgements??.
A common misinterpretation is to take the phrase "and there was no place found for them" and apply it below to the dead, small and great. But it is speaking to which sentence it is found, to the old heaven and earth. Now let's see the second resurrection, the resurrection of the ungodly.
Rev 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works".
We know that these are the ungodly being judged but are these delivered here just those that happened to die in the oceans ect...hardly. The "sea" mentioned here is no ordinary sea but the abyss, the bottomless pit. We also see in Rev. 13:1 the beast rising up out of this sea which is earlier referred to as the bottomless pit in Rev. 11:7. He does not rise out of an "multitude of people" which has been incorrectly taught. Also, unlike the group prior there is no mention of the book of life and they are just judged according to their works.
We have clearly seen that the ¡§dead in Christ shall rise first¡¨ occurring at the end of the Tribulation Period. This would mean that the ¡§we which are alive and remain¡¨ being caught up must have to also happen at the end of the Tribulation Period and not prior !! This understanding alone discredits a pre or mid Rapture Theory, study it again for yourself!!
"With a shout, voice of an archangel, and with the trump of god".
The above signals an event about to happen, "the dead in Christ shall rise first" the resurrection. We first have clearly shown that the resurrection takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period both for the believer as well as for the wicked so these signals and sounds would also have to occur at the same time as well. Does scripture confirm this?
John 5:25,28,29 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. V28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation".
Above we see that the ¡§voice¡¨ spoken is associated with a resurrection of the dead in Christ not a Rapture. Also, again "all", good and evil, shall come forth and be resurrected at the sound of his voice not just the "dead in Christ". This is further support of the resurrection taking place at the end of the tribulation Period.
I Cor. 15: 51,52. "Behold I show 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 all be changed".
It is so hard to believe that there are those of the faith who use this verse to support a Rapture. First it states that ¡§all¡¨ shall be changed so are we saying that this means not ¡§all¡¨ but only those who are living on the earth at a certain time? Clearly not, for he is speaking of those which are asleep, dead in the grave. This is confirmed in the next verse with the dead being raised up. Furthermore, we see that it is at the "last trump" the dead in Christ are resurrected and changed and put on immortality. This "last trump" cannot occur prior to the Tribulation Period because seven trumpets still are yet to sound and thus would not be the last trump. Paul has been speaking of a resurrection for the entire chapter and now slips in one verse denoting a Rapture? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die! (1 Cor 15:36). Let's study the 7th trumpet, the last trump.
Rev 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 declared to his servants the prophets".
Rev 11:14,15,18. "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 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...... and the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth".
Why is the 7th trump the last trump? We see the mystery of God is finished; and most important it ushers in the Lord's return for he comes quickly (Rev 2:5,16,3:11,22:7). The trump of God is the last trump which sets the stage for a resurrection not a supposed Rapture.
We have seen that "with a shout, a voice of an archangel, and with a trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" clearly occurs at the end of the tribulation period, eliminating a possibility of a Rapture prior to the Tribulation Period. OK, but how do you explain the "alive and remain"? Who are they?
¡§Then we which are alive and remain"
Is Paul speaking here of "alive in the flesh" an earthly body? Why would he then speak this to those who he knew would be long dead and not be here at that time which he confirms in the next chapter?. Why would they care? They were concerned with those who were, "asleep", already dead and what would happen to them. Paul here is speaking of being "alive" after being resurrected!!.
I Cor 15:20-22 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of then that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so all should be made "alive".
We see above the resurrection of the dead and then those made ¡§alive¡¨. We are made "alive" after death at the resurrection. This is the same in which Paul was speaking "the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive (after resurrection)".
Christ is the example¡K.
Rev 1:18 "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, amen...".
Let's now see if the dead in Christ which have been resurrected and made "alive" are those who now "remain". For the meaning of the word, "remain", the dictionary states: to be left after others have been subtracted, removed, or destroyed! Make sense, however if you hold to the Rapture and claim to be the "remaining" then who has been subtracted, removed, or destroyed prior to the Rapture? Scripture will show that it is after the resurrection the wicked are destroyed and the believers remain forever.
Proverbs 2:21,22 "For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it".
Ezek 7:11 "Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor any of theirs...".
Matt 24:37-39 "But as in the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the son of man. For as in those days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be".
It is very clear, the term ¡§alive¡¨ which Paul spoke of in Thessalonians does not give reference to those which are living in the flesh on earth at an appointed time but speaks of the state you and I will be after the resurrection.
In addition, below we see Paul address the church of the Thessalonians of those who have died before them and were asleep.
I Thess. 4:14 ¡§For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even ¡§them¡¨ also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him¡¨.
We now see Paul state that they too will be caught up with them. They will all rise together at the resurrection.
I Thess. 4:17 ¡§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¡¨.
Lord descends from heaven - Second Coming
With a shout/voice/trump - 7th seal/last trumpet
The dead in Christ rise - The resurrection
Alive and remain caught up together in the clouds
The Great tribulation „³ l The Eternal Kingdom of God
The church will be tested as stated in the letter to Laodice and we know that those who endure till the end and hold fast to the name of Christ during the Tribulation Period are not protected but martyred (Rev 6:9-11, 12:11, 13:7, 13:15, 15:2, 17:6, 19:2, Matt 24:9. Be comforted, we are protected from the second death.
Let me leave you the following scriptures, note that he commends the Thessalonians for enduring persecutions a church he previously wrote concerning a Rapture? Strange.
II Thess 1:4,5 "So that we see ourselves glory you in the churches of God for you patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God...".
1 Pt 4:12,13 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto to you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy". amen.
The dangers of teaching a Rapture
1. It inhibits those of Christ to study the book of Revelation. With an early escape, who cares what Revelation says we won't be here attitude! This thinking falls into the hands of Satan and his plan continues unabated. May I ask which book of the bible is the least read and most misunderstood? Rev 1:3 "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the prophecy, and keep those things which are written there-in¡¨.
2. It breeds passiveness. The imminent return of Christ is supposed to make the church ready at any moment and give cause to witness, but does it? It actually teaches a second chance doctrine (purgatory) that if I don't get Raptured then at that time I will get right and do right. Why do we have the word today? Blood! The testimony of those before us gave their lives for the cause so let us not cheapen their work. The problem as mentioned in the letters of the seven churches in Revelation is that the church is composed of so-called believers, "luke warm" and thus it is why god will bring fiery trials upon it. It was reported in Russia that a group of masked terrorist stormed a church demanded that those who believed in Jesus would die and the others could leave, 80% left and then the terrorist took off their mask and joined in worship. Would the church today be more effective 80% less but 100% believers? Hey, 20% of the church gives most of the money anyway.
3. The parable of the evil servant, Matt 24:48-50. "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowsevants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;". We see above, a church member one who has tasted of the heavenly gift but has not truly been born again. Why do we know this; God calls him a "servant", the servant calls God "my Lord", and he smites his "fellowservant" (true believers). Will you be upset if the Rapture does not occur and Lord delays his coming and you then find yourself in the Great Tribulation?
4. Revelation's final warning, Rev 22:18,19. "For I testify unto every man that hearth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life..". The individuals spoken of above must of had some understanding of Revelation to be able to add or to take away to these things. Furthermore, would have to say that this warning would be greater to those in roles of teaching and responsibility due to the fact that this is a very strict warning which can do great damage resulting in major accountability.
5. Warning to teachers of this doctrine. Many teach the Rapture fully not understanding prophecy nor it's consequences. I too once believed in the Rapture until the holy spirit moved me to deeply study the bible concerning this doctrine. Imagine, Matt 24:7 happening and persecution is around the corner for the church and those looking up and saying; Why are we still here? Where is the Rapture? Why has the Lord delayeth is coming? Why pastor? Why teacher? Why have you told us this lie? What grief, what sorrow would that bring upon those teaching this false doctrine upon those it ministers and loves! What would be their outcome? Why take that chance, study to show thyself approved.
The dangers of not teaching a Rapture.
Let¡¦s now take a look at another misinterpretation involving the ¡§Day of the Lord¡¨ and it¡¦s association with the supposed Rapture. The Day of the Lord is not the start of the Tribulation Period nor the Rapture. It is simply the return of Christ.
The Day of the Lord
Acts 2:19,20 - "And I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable Day of the Lord come".
If you believe that the day of the Lord commences at the Rapture, you are then saying we would go through the supposed 7 yr. Tribulation Period in complete darkness!
For above we see it is "before" the Day of the Lord the sun is blackened and the moon turned to blood. Moreover, we see the sun blackened and the moon turned to blood during the Tribulation Period at the sixth seal Rev 6:12! What, is the sun blackened and the moon turned to blood prior to the tribulation period and then again during the tribulation period? I don't think so.
I Thess 5:1,2 - "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night".
Paul is speaking once again to the Thessalonians about the time table of those events in chapter 4 and that they will not happen until the Lord comes as a thief in the night.
Are you saying that you are taken by a thief? I hope not for you sake for a thief cometh not, but for a steal, and to kill, and to destroy John 10:10.
So when is the day our Lord returns as a thief in the night to kill and destroy? At the seventh vial at the end of the Great Tribulation, his second coming.
Rev 16:15-17 - "Behold, I come as a thief, blessed is he that watcheth, and keep his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying it is done".
Questions and Answers
1. Question: God has not appointed us to wrath which means the church cannot be present during the tribulation period.
Answer: Correct. God has not appointed the church to his wrath. Remember the true believers are overcome and martyred prior to God's wrath upon the earth. Notice below, that God's wrath comes in the last of the plaques which is at the very end of the Tribulation Period. The term ¡§Tribulation Period¡¨ is actually the reign of the False Prophet with God¡¦s wrath culminating his reign with great tribulation, his wrath. Notice that prior to his wrath the glass surrounding the throne is covered with fire, or blood, denoting those that gave their lives for Christ during this time. Also notice that in the beginning when John is taken to heaven that this glass was clear.
Rev 15: 1,2. "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plaques; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.....".
Rev 4: 6. "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal.....".
Is this why now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face which Paul spoke of in I Cor. 13:12 because there is a sea of glass between us and the throne?. Furthermore, what could also God's wrath compose of? What is the opposite of obtaining salvation? Eternity in hell, God's wrath forever.
I Thess 5: 9,10. "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev 14: 10. "The same shall drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever....".
2. Question: The word "church" never appears in Rev. Chapters 4-19 which means the church is not present and has been Raptured.
Answer: In the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, the churches are warned to hear what the spirit is saying to them and who overcomes are rewarded into the kingdom. Study the letters and you will see that many of these congregations are composed of false witnesses, non-believers! For example, in the church of Sardis that "many" have defiled their garments, Pergamos we see those holding to the doctrines of Balaam and Nicolatians things which god hates ect..!! The theme in these letters is that by "trial" and "overcoming" the church will be purified and the true saints be revealed. Why be warned to overcome if you are not to be here? The bible states during that during this trial some fall away, others are overcomers. Not all church members are saints, but all saints are overcomers! This is why we see the word "saints" used in rev 4-19 because not all of the church will overcome. Remember, "many are called, few are chosen".
The following scripture will reveal the twenty four elders who are around the throne. Note that the phrase "twenty four elders" is found in no other book than the book of revelation. Thus we will see scriptural evidence for the number "twenty four", where as there is none to signify it relates to the church.
Rev 21: 12,14. "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and the names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel:.....and the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb".
12 + 12 = 24.
3. Question: Isn't the church raptured up to heaven in Rev 4:1 when John is taken up to heaven?.
Answer: The prophet Ezekiel had the same experience and his revelation are precisely the same as John's in the book of Revelation. Also in II Cor 12:1-4 Paul was caught up to the third heaven. There is no reason to conclude that typifies the Rapture. Remember John just spoke to the church to overcome, but now all of a sudden to be raptured? Seriously.
4. Question: In the letter to the church at Philadelphia God says he will keep them from the hour of temptation. Doesn't this mean that the church will removed from earth during the Tribulation Period?.
Answer: God does says that he will "keep from" the temptation, but he also says to them in verse 12, "he that overcometh". Why would they have to overcome if they are not present?. Also, how could they take thy crown away if we are not here? For that matter how can we have a "crown of life"? This is given to them that endure temptation! We will see from the following scriptures, that while the temptation is present he will keep those from, "falling", who keep the word of thy patience and they will receive a crown for doing so.
I Cor 10: 11-13. ".....whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but god is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it".
We see in the following scripture how we will be able to bear this hour and keep you from falling to the temptation; the holy spirit will allow us to bear it.
Matt 10: 19,20. "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your father which speaketh in you".
James 1:12. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he his tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him".
So now let's look at the letter to Philadelphia to see the understanding of keep thee from the "hour of temptation". Notice we see them having patience not to accept the mark of the beast. Thus, in the hour which they are to be delivered to death the holy spirit will give them power to overcome the temptation and they will receive a crown of life for doing so.
Rev 3: 10-12. "Because thou hast keep the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh.....".
We see this same teaching in Thess. It is ironic that this is the church he is supposedly teaching the "Rapture".
II Thess 1:4,5. "So that we see ourselves glory you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of god, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.....".
We are counted worthy for enduring persecutions and tribulations!!!!!
5. Question: Doesn't it say that one will be taken, the other left? Isn't this the Rapture?.
Answer: If you look at the sequence of events prior to this you will notice that Noah entered the ark and the flood came and took them (ungodly) all away, this will be like the coming of the son of man. Do the godly represent them which were; eating, drinking, marring and giving in marriage?. In the following verses it likens his coming as a thief. Would you want to be "taken" by a thief? I'd rather be left thank you.
John 10: 10. "The thief cometh not, but for a steal, and to kill, and to destroy.....".
The ones which are taken are unbelievers and the ones which, "remain" ("the other left"), they are those which are the, "alive and remain", which Paul is referring in Thess. So let¡¦s see, in Matt 24:41 those who support the Rapture say they are the ones taken, in Thess. they say they¡¦re the ones which remain? Doesn't wash!
6. Question: In I Thess 4:16 it says he will come by himself, how can this be speaking of the second coming?
Answer: The word "himself" emphasizes that the Lord will be present, this in no way means that Christ is coming alone. We also see this emphasis in I Thess 3:11 and II Thess 2:16. Furthermore, just verses prior to I thess 4:16 we see references to his second coming in verse 3:13 and now later in chapter 4 he is talking about a secret coming prior to this? I don't think so.
7. Question: In I thess 4:17 it says that we should "meet them in the clouds". This must be different than his second coming.
Answer: Are the clouds literal clouds or are they something else? Can the clouds be the army of saints themselves clothed in fine linen, white and clean which were martyred and came out of the Great Tribulation? I think so. Let's see.
Ezek 38:9 - "Thou shall ascend and come like a storm, thou shall be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee".
Above is a picture of the armies which are to gather around Israel in the battle of Armageddon. Notice they are referred to as a "cloud" which covers the land.
Rev 1:7 - "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him; and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Now we see Jesus coming with clouds. Are these literal clouds? Or an army?
Rev 19:14 - "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean".
A massive army arrayed in bright white descending from heaven would appear to be as a "cloud". Remember, Christ comes literally as a thief in the night as just prior the sun has been blackened, can you see normal clouds at night time??
8. Question: Jesus said that he will prepare a place for the church in heaven, so why will he not take us there?
Answer: Who said he wouldn't? His father's house is the "kingdom of God" which is in heaven, I hope you know the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Remember, there are no believers on earth as Christ pours out his wrath and returns for they have been overcome and killed by the beast Rev. 13:7. Furthermore, there is no Rapture but a resurrection which occurs at his coming I cor 15:21-23 and then we return in our glorified bodies alongwith the kingdom of God rev 21:2,10.
Dan. 11:33 ¡§And they that understand among the people shall instruct many.¡¨