Rapture & Apocalypse TRUTH…The Harpazo!
Warning: This is an expository view of what the Bible says about the rapture.
I want to start by saying I miss blogging!!! I love sharing what I have studied, letting the Lord speak through me as His servant and helping as many in their walk with the Lord as I can. My husband and I have been doing some extensive studying about the rapture of the church (eschatology), it happens to be a field of interest to both of us. I want to post what we have found in our studies of the Word of God. We have been on vacation and will be for a while, thus having lots of time to study the Word and to spend time in prayer. I pray that you are blessed and that you may have a clearer understanding of the rapture and second coming of our maker and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. So just bare with me while I try to relay to you all that is in my notes! 🙂 Here we go!!!
Many people say the word “rapture” is not in the bible. Well let me prove you wrong my friend! In the Latin Vulgate the word in 1 Thess 4:13-18 for rapture is rapiemur– the proper tense of rapio. Our english words rapt and rapture come from the past participle of rapio.
The promise of the rapture can be found in John 14.
1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (As an interesting side note count how many times the word you is mentioned).
Now, Jesus had to leave in order for the Holy Spirit to come. John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” In the 2nd coming the Holy spirit IN the church must leave that Jesus may come.
Let’s go over the Jewish wedding because this is parallel to the rapture and 2nd coming…
The wedding starts with the Ketubah, or betrothal agreement ( This is the new covenant that has been established, 1Cor 11:25,26 )
The payment- purchase price is set and made ( the price has been paid 1Cor 6:19,20)
The bride is set aside (we as the body of Christ are to be set apart for Him, sanctified Eph 5:25-27, 1Cor 1:2 and 6:11, Heb 10:10 and 13:12.)
The bridegroom departs to prepare a room addition in His fathers house for His bride ( what Jesus is doing, John 14)
While the bridegroom is away, the bride is preparing herself for his imminent return. Usually his return would be at night (midnight), he came with escorts and a shout and a surprise gathering would take place. ( 1 Thess 4:16, 17 the church is preparing herself right now for the imminent return of King Jesus, the day or hour of His imminent return is unknown, he is coming with the shout of the archangel and the trump of God, to “gather” us to Him (rapture) and the wedding feast to take place! Hallelujah! This is why beloved we need to pay close attention to the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. We must be ready for His return at any minute.
After this they would go into the bridal chamber to consummate the marriage. (after the rapture we will go into the chambers while the tribulation is going on (Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until indignation runs its course. Also see Zephaniah 2:1-3 this also speaks of the rapture).
Notice that the wedding and the marriage supper are 2 separate events in the Jewish wedding and they are 2 separate events in the Lord’s return and marriage to His bride.
After they went into the chamber, the bridegroom came out and announced the consummation of the marriage. THEN the 7 day Marriage Supper would begin. (See Jude 14, Matt 9 & 22). After the rapture, the 7 year tribulation period will start (we do not know how soon after the rapture, due to the fact that a world leader coming from Assyria which is modern day Iraq ( the ancient city of Babylon was in Iraq as well) has to raise to power and become the world leader). The bride will hide in the chambers during the 7 year tribulation and come back WITH the Lord in His 2nd coming. And after we will have the Marriage Supper in which the tribulation saints will be guests.
The are 7 raptures in the Scriptures.
Enoch ~ Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5 , Elijah ~ 2Kings 2:1, 11, Jesus ~ Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9-11, Rev 12:5, Philip ~ Acts 8:39,
Paul ~ 2 Cor 12:2-4, Body of Christ 1 Thess 4 : 17, John Rev 4:1.
We must pay close attention to the OT patterns. They point to a pre-trib rapture.
Enoch & the flood of Noah in Gen 5:24
Issac’s absence after his offering in Gen 22:19 – 24:62
Ruth during the threshing floor scene in Ruth 3:7-9
Daniel’s absence from the fiery furnace in Daniel 5
Let’s take Noah’s flood as an example…there were those who were preserved through (only 8 ppl), those who perished through the flood and those who were removed prior (Enoch). You can say, well Enoch was just one person. My answer to that is the church is ONE body as well! 🙂
In 4 of those 7 the word Harpazo is used.
Rev 12:5, Acts 8:39, 2 Cor 12: 2-4, 1 Thess 4:17.
In the example of Rev 12:5. The woman is Israel and the child is Christ… “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
The process…the resurrection
Resurrection – 1 Thess 4: 13-18 (Job wrote of his conviction of the resurrection in Job 19:25-27).
1 Cor 15:50 “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” This verse clearly states the need for the resurrection.
Paul seemed to include himself among those who looked for Christ’s return 1 Tim 6:14
The physics of immortality
Dimensionality ~ 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” In however many dimensions the Son of Man is in we will be like Him and see Him ad He is. Immortal.
In 2 Cor 5:2 the greek word for dwelling is oiketerion and is only used 2 times in the bible. The other one is in Jude 6. This word is speaking of a “clothing the body”.2 Cor 5:4 states “For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” He is describing this “earthly dwelling or habitation (body)” as a tent. When we go from a mortal body to an immortal one we will go from a tent to a building…per say.
The rapture is the next expectation with no preceding expectation. Nothing needs to happen to trigger the rapture of the church. There is no event that needs to take place before the rapture. The rapture is the NEXT things on God’s time table.
The Doctrine of Imminence
Believers are taught to expect the Savior at any moment, Phil 3:20, Titus 2:13, Heb 9:28, 1 Thess 1:10 , 4:18 and 5:6 & Rev 22:20.
Expresses hope and a warm spirit of expectancy 1 Thess 1:10
Should result in a victorious & purified life 1 John 3:2, 3
Back in the apostolic era, Jewish converts were reminded to occupy until’ Jesus came back for His return was to be soon. Luke 19:13 “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ Heb 10:37 “FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.”
The people I have encountered today who happen to believe the Church (Body of Christ) is going to go through the tribulation period have failed to do their homework on 2 simple questions.
1-) Who is the “Church”? 2-) What is the tribulation period designed to accomplish?
Once you do your homework you will see that the church is not appointed to wrath and that the tribulation period is the Lamb’s and God’s wrath poured out with the purpose of bringing Israel as a nation to repentance. This period has nothing to do with the Church. The body of Christ has been purified by the blood of the lamb and does not need any more purification. To say that we (the church) must endure the tribulation in order to cleanse us, test us and purify us is a heresy and nothing short of the purgatory view of catholicism.
The “tribulation” the church goes through is brought about by the world and satan. The Tribulation (7 year period) of the last days is brought about right FROM the throne of God. Where the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse originate. For someone to say this is not “of, from” God is to question the sovereignty of the Most High and shows a tremendous defficiency in your study of eschatology. Believers are not appointed to wrath ( 1thess 5:9 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,”) neither the wrath of the Lamb or the wrath of God. NEVER, NOT once throughout history has God EVER judged righteous along with unrighteous with the same judgment! Did He with Noah? Enoch? Lot? and the list goes on. For us to say that the church will go through the coming tribulation which is so violent and horrendous that men’s hearts will fail in fear, is to say that we have an unjust God who does not know how to judge rightly and therefore punishes the righteous along with the unrighteous! Are you saying that? Consider.
Now let’s deal with the rapture verses vs the 2nd coming verses. If we study these verses we can see that they contradict each other. In one verse the Lord is coming and only His own will see Him and in the other He is coming with great glory and the whole world will see Him. So if you are saying that the rapture and trib is the same ONE event then how do you reconcile the contradictions? mmmm. Makes me wonder how so many mid-trib and post trib people reconcile these kinds of contradictions, they must be ignoring part of the bible and creating a whole doctrine based on “some” verses. Friend, we can not create any doctrine with just some verses of the bible. We must examine the character of God and what He has shown throughout scriptures. What the says about a topic and it ALL must be in harmony for as we know scripture does not contradict itself.
Luke 21:23 points to the Tribulation Period being a time of wrath upon “this people” – another reference to Israel and the Jewish people.
John 14:1-3 1 Thess 5:23 Rom 8:19 2Tim 4:1 Phil 3:20-21
1Cor15:1-53 2 Thess 2:1,3 1 Cor 1:7-8 Titus 2:13 James 5:7-9
1Thess 4:13-18 1 Tim 6:14 1 Cor 16:22 Heb 9:28 Col 3:4
1 Peter 1:7,13 1Thess 1:10 1 John 2:28, 3:2 1Thess 2:19 1Thess 5:9
Jude 21 Rev 2:25 Rev 3:10
Old testament rapture verses…
Isaiah 26:19, 21 , Zephaniah 2:3 and Psalm 27:5.
2nd coming verses!
Dan 2:44-45 Dan 7:9-14 Dan 12:1-3 Zech 14:1-15 Matt 13:41
Matt 24:15-31 Matt 26:64 Mark 13:14-27 Mark 14:62 Luke 21: 25-28
Acts 1:9-11 Acts 3:19-21 1 Thess 3:13 2 Thess 2:8 2 Peter 2:8
2 Peter 3:1-14 Jude 14-15 Rev 1:7 Rev 19:11, 20:6 Rev 22:7, 22:12 & 22:20.
Both of these groups contradict themselves, study them closely and you will see for yourself. The second coming of Christ is in 2 parts. The first is the rapture where we meet the Lord in the air and the second part is the 2nd advent when we come with the Lord and His feet touch the earth. The rapture is in secret for His bride, the 2nd coming is for everyone to see and all the tribes will mourn.
Let’s talk a little bit about Daniel 9. For us to understand eschatology we must master the last 4 verses of Daniel 9. During Daniel’s intense prayer for his sins and the the sins of his people Israel, the archangel Gabriel interrupted his prayer time and gave him the vision.
Dan 9:24 gives us the scope
Dan 9:25 (69 periods of 7 years) that have been fulfilled
Dan 9:26 The interval , this shows it is not a continuous 70 weeks of years
Dan 9:27 Describes what is to come in the 70th week, or 7 year tribulation period. There is more details of Christ’s 2nd coming in the old testament and new testament than any other event in the bible. The tribulation’s main focus is the Jewish people. Jeremiah 30:7 describes it as Jacob’s trouble.
Why can’t the rapture happen mid or post trib? Because this violates the doctrine of imminency the bible teaches over and over. If the rapture were to happen in the middle do you not think we would know when it is coming? That is to say that the first half of the trib will precede the rapture, therefore we must look out for the seals and the antichrist. Where is the element of surprise? The parable of the 10 virgins? There will be no surprise when christians see the antichrist make a covenant with Israel, worldwide food shortage, 25% of the population (4th seal) will be killed by sword, famine, and plague to name a few, and the 3rd temple being rebuilt, 2 OT witnesses (we know one of them is Elijah) and chaos! And you are telling me that if we will be here to see all this tale place, Christ has to warn us for that day NOT to overtake us as a thief in the night? Really? He needs to warn us that it will be like that days of Noah when people were drinking and marrying…etc. Do you think with worldwide genocide and people asking for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb…life will be as normal? Ummm you may want to think again. Mid-post tribulation theories are just a heresy and clearly people that believe such theories have not diligently studied and have no idea of God’s character. It’s like Jesus us saying ” Come let’s get married, let me beat the daylights out of you and then we will have supper!!! Yea!!! Ridiculous isn’t it! That sounds like Jesus, right? NOPE! Not the bridegroom I know!
A few side notes:
Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” John the Baptist was the close of the OT, the law and the prophets were until’ John. This does not mean that the law is done away with. By no means, the law is done away with for salvation and justification only. For only by grace we are saved through faith in Christ Jesus. Yet those who love the Lord will obey His commands, those who love Him will live lives to honor the law because they love Him not because they have to keep the law for means of salvation.
Not all saints are the same…there are the OT saints, the Church and the Tribulation Saints.
Now what’s are some of the problems with the Amillennial View? Let’s find out!
1- Messianic promises throughout the OT.
2- Destiny of Israel in God’s Covenant
3- Promise given to marry by the angel Gabriel (The child will rule in the throne of David)…the throne of David was not around in those days!
4- Numerous reconfirmations in the NT (of Jesus reign on earth for a thousand years).
1- The marriage supper is a snack and not a supper!
2- Denies the NT teaching of imminence (we are taught to expect Him at any moment).
3- Requires the church during the 70th week (Israel and the church mutually exclusive- Daniel 9:24)
4- Church experiences the Lamb’s wrath as well as God’s wrath (promised NOT to experience – 1 Thess 5:9 & Rev 3:10)
5- How can the bride come with Him if she is getting raptured?
6- Who is going to populate the millennium if the saints are gone and the unbeliever’s wiped out?
7- Who are in the “sheep and goat” judgment on Matt 25?
8- How can the virgins of Matt 25 buy oil without the mark of the beast?
Are your wheels turning now people? The same problems occur with the mid-trib point of view. These two views deny the doctrine that Jesus taught himself of the need to be watchful for His IMMINENT return.
Pre-tribulation rapture is the only way to defend the doctrine our Lord taught of Imminence!
The Anti-christ CAN NOT be revealed until’ after the rapture – 2 Thess 2:6-9 “And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,”
Who is the restrainer? Who is the ONLY ONE who can restrain sin? GOD – The Holy Spirit. The Spirit indwelling in the church needs to be removed that the man of sin be revealed!
There is an outline of the order of events in 2 Thess 2.
The restrainer removed (the Body of Christ)
The man of sin revealed
The day of the LORD
For those of you who say the pre-trib rapture is “new” let me enlighten you to the fact that the early and NT church believed and taught pre-trib rapture! Along with NT teachings, the pre-trib rapture can be found in the Epistle of Barnabas (100 AD), Irenaeus- in against Heresies, Hippolytus – a disciple of Irenaeus (2nd Century), Justin Martyr – Dialogue with Typho and Ephraem- the Syrian (4th century) to name a few. If you do your homework diligently, you can track pre-trib views all throughout church history to the early church.
We know that revelation is in Chronological order.
The lampstands are identified as the church (Rev 1:20) They are in Heaven when John arrives (Rev 4:5). The 24 elders are identified as the redeemed (Rev 5:9, 10), they worship before the Lamb, Jesus receives the scroll, opend it and the tribulation begins when the scroll is unsealed.
The 70th week or 7 year tribulation period is detailed in Revelation 6 – 19.
Prophetic profile of the 7 churches in revelation
1- Apostolic church ~Ephesus
2- Persecuted church ~ Smyrna
3- Married church ~ Pergamun
4- Mideval church ~ Thyatira (this represents the catholic church promised to go through the great tribulation – Rev 2:22)
5- Denominational church ~ Sardis
6- Missionary church ~ Philadelphia (will NOT go into the tribulation Rev 3:10)
7- Apostate church ~ Laodicea
10 reasons why pre-trib!
1- Promise of Rev 3:10. To keep us from OUT OF (Gk- ek from which we get the word exit from) the hour of testing that is coming to the whole earth.
2- We are not the object of God’s wrath Rev 6:16, 1 Thess 5:9
3- Escape (not endure) Tribulation Luke 21:36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Gk word for escape is ekpheugó, which literally means to escape or fled.
4- Look UP (not look out) Luke 21:28 “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
5- When war is about to break out they call the embassadors home! We are the embassadors of Christ! 2 Cor 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
6- He says in the twinkling on an eye, not an extended activity!
7- We meet Him in the air not on earth ( that is the 2nd coming)
8- The marriage supper is in heaven and it includes the raptured before ~ We come back with Him! Rev 19:11-14
Beloved I pray the spirit of God convicts each and everyone of you reading this that hold any other view of the rapture and tribulation to truly study the Word and get to know God’s character. I pray that this has been a blessing to you as well as an encouragement. Our redemption draws near! The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming VERY soon for His bride! He who is faithful and just will not pour our His wrath on His bride before marrying her! Amen!