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Rapture: Prophecy or Heresy?
By H. Speed Wilson
1 Chapter 1 Rapture a very important question 3
2 Chapter 2 The Prophetic Words of Jesus 3
3 Chapter 3 The Law the Prophets and the Psalms 5
4 Chapter 4 Bible Examples 8
5 Chapter 5: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 9
6 Chapter 6 (Refutation of) Rapture Support Arguments 17
6.1 Rapturist say "the Church" is not mentioned past Rev 4 17
6.2 Rapturists say the saints mentioned in Rev 4 are 144K Jewish Evangelists 17
6.3 Rapturists saw we not under God's wrath 1Thes 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 17
6.4 John 14:2,3 Says Jesus takes us to his mansions 17
6.5 Luke 21:36 says if we are worthy we will escape 18
6.6 Enoch and Elijah were raptured 18
6.7 1 Thess2:5-8 Says Church is taken away in rapture before man of sin is revealed 19
6.8 If we are not going to be caught up why are there so many heavenly scenes in the Book of Revelation 19
7 Chapter 7 The Origin of the Rapture 19
8 Chapter 8: What did Happen (Preterist) /What May Happen (Futurist) 20
9 Chapter 9: What we must do 21
10 Chapter 10: Blinding Doctrines of Today 22
11 Chapter 11: Consequences Of the Rapture Doctrine 22
12 Other Non Rapture Comments (not from Wilson's Book) 23
13 Some Websites on the Rapture: 28
1 Chapter 1 Rapture a very important question
1)"The Rapture question is far too important even critical and urgent, to be ignored by responsible " apostles, prophets, evangelisits, pastors and teachers"(Eph 4:11). God holds them responsible for the doctrines they proclaim. Jesus said " Anyone who ;shall offend (deceive or cause to stumbel one of thes who believe in Me, it were better for him to have a millsotone hung about his neck and cast into the sea to drown."
2 Chapter 2 The Prophetic Words of Jesus
1)"A sudden removal of all true Biblical believers in a rapture would certainly be a most sepctacular event (sign) to both those departing and those who remain on the earth. Therefore, we would expect Jesus to include such an event (sign) in his prophetic answeres to the questions about the "end of this age" and "His coming." There would certainly be no point in His disguising or hiding such and important thing, after all, why would Christians have to know much about the end of time and the "great tribulation" if we are not going to be here?
2)Jesus chose specifically to not pray for a rapture
2.1 Examples of Jesus telling about the wicked being taken and the righteous left:
27"They(the wicked) ate, they(the wicked) drank, they (the wicked) married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them(the wicked) all. Luke 17:34-37 "I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.35 "Two women will be grinding together: the one(the wicked) will be taken(destroyed) and the other left.36"Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken (destroyed ) and the other left."37 And they answered and said to Him, "Where, Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."(NKJ)
2.2 Examples of Jesus saying that the taken ones are devoured
2.3 Four Examples of wicked taken 'out' of the earth and destroyed and righteous 'remain'
1) Matth 13:24- 30 Parable of wheat and tares (Matth 13:37-43 Interpretation)
Matt 13:37-43 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42"and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43"Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!(NKJ)
3) Matt 13:47-50 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea("multitudes of people" Rev 17:15) and gathered some of every kind,48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."(NKJ)
4) 1Thes 5:2-4 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they(the wicked) say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.(NKJ)
2.4 The Elect (believers) are in the Tribulation because the days must be shortened for them.
1) Mark 13:19-20"For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20"And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. (also Matth 24:21)(NKJ)
2) (Why shorten the Tribulation days for the 'elect' if the believers are raptured away from it. The believers are in the tribulation, that is why it must be shortened for them.)
2.5 No MidTrib Rapture (how else believers see these things after the tribulation)
1) Matt 24:29-34 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31"And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.33 "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-- at the doors!34 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
2) John 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.(NKJ)
3) Matt 24:13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.(NKJ) ( so believers in tribulation till the end)
3 Chapter 3 The Law the Prophets and the Psalms
1)We can learn about the Rapture from the Old Testament
3.1 Psalms teach the wicked are removed and the righteous stay (opposite of the Rapture):
3.2 Proverbs teach the wicked are removed and the righteous stay (opposite of the Rapture):
3.3 Chaff removed and righteous remain in Job and Malachi and Isaiah
(the righteous kept safe in the world not removed from it)
Question: Above is more than two dozen scriptures that state clearly that the righteous remain and the wicked are destroyed out of the world. Can you find two dozen scriptures that state as clearly that the righteous will be removed from the world in rapture? (clearly is a key word here)
3.4 The wrath of God comes on the wicked while the righteous are on the earth not after they have been raptured
a) Ezek 9:4-10 and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."5To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 "Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city.8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?"9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!'10 "And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head."
b) Rev 9:3-4 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
c) those who do not have the mark of God on their foreheads are destroyed while they are still among those who do have God's mark.
4 Chapter 4 Bible Examples
4.1 Examples where believers were not raptured out of trial/testing but learned to be overcomers
1 Cor 10:11 Now all these things(testings) happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
7) Jesus and the Apostles were overcomes and examples not raptured out. (Paul 2 Cor 11:23-27 Trials)
Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (not rapured out)
a)Enoch and Elisha were not taken out ot tribulation – they just went to be w/ the Lord
b)God's men were not removed from the battlefield – they were victorious
5 Chapter 5: 1 Thessalonians 4:17
1Thes 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
5.1 This is the only scripture that even suggests the believers will be caught up from the earth.
5.2 We should not establish doctrine on one single scripture (this is a violation of a Biblical Principle)
a) Gen 41:32 "And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
5.3 What does "Caught up" Mean ?
a) caught = harpazo = to take for oneself to prefer or choose
KJV-- catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
b)None of the below 12 scriptures containing "harpazo" have anything to do with the physical removal of living people from the earth/world to heaven
Harpazo = Catch
1) John 10:12 "But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches(Harpazo) the sheep and scatters them.
Harpazo = Catch away
2)Matt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches(Haprazo) away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
3)Acts 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught (Haprazo) Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
4 ) 2 Cor 12:2-4 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-- whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows-- such a one was caught up(harpazo) to the third heaven.3 And I know such a man-- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows--4 how he was caught up (harpazo) into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
a)The questions of whether Paul was in the body or out of the body (i.e., in the spirit) is resolved by John in
1)Revelations 1:10 where he says, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day"
2) Rev 4:1-2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
3)Rev 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up(harpazo) to God and His throne.
Harpazo = Pluck
Harpazo = Pull
7) Jude 1:22-23 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling (Harpazo) them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Harpazo = Take by Force
8)Matt 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Harpazo).
5.4 What does meet the Lord "in the air" mean?
a) air = aer
b) the atmospheric region
2) Strongs 109 aer (ah-ayr');
from aemi (to breathe unconsciously, i.e. respire; by analogy, to blow); "air" (as naturally
KJV-- air. Compare 5594. ***. atha. See 3134.
b) The following scriptures show we are "in the air" right now
c)There is another Greek word which is translated, air. It is 'ouranos' and it means:
air = ouranas
1)Strongs: 3772 ouranos (oo-ran-os');
perhaps from the same as 3735 (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension, heaven (as the abode of God); by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specifically, the Gospel (Christianity):
KJV-- air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.
2) Thayers 3772 ouranos-
1) the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
a) the universe, the world
d) 'ouranos' appears in the following scriptures where 'air' is in bold type:
1) Matt 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father
2) Matt 8:20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
3)Matt 13:32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
4)Mark 4:4"And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
5)Mark 4:32 "but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade."
6) Luke 8:5 "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
7) Luke 9:58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
8) Luke 13:19"It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches."
9) Acts 10:12In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
10) Acts 11:6"When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
Note: Some rapture promoters make much of Noah being lifted up above the earth by the flood waters as a type of rapture. Notice Noah was not lifted up to heaven, but did remain in the air(aer).
5.5 What does "with them(the resurrected saints) in the clouds" mean ?
In the following scriptures the divine cloud came down to earth
1)Matt 17:5While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (also Mark 9:7, Luke 9:344)
2) 1 Cor 10:1-3Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud (must have come down)and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,
3) Heb 11:36-12:2 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. CHAPTER 12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses(the spirits of departed saints), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
5.6 Review 1 Thess 4:13-18 as a whole:1Thes 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep(this scripture is primarily about the departed/dead saints in Christ), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope(the Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection). 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so (in like manner) God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain(on earth) until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven( Acts 1:11 Jesus went directly from earth to heaven and shall return "in like manner" directly from heaven to earth. No rapture back to heaven for a later third coming) with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise(Greek word, anistemi: to set up or be resurrected) first. 17 Then we who are alive( 1 Cor 15:51 "We shall not all die, but shall be changed/transformed/transfigured" ) and remain ( on the earth in the aer)shall be caught up (made one –harpazo) together (at the same time) with them (the dead in Christ) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (on the surface of the earth). And thus we shall always be with the Lord ( in the air(aer) here on earth ).18 Therefore comfort(reassure) one another with these words. (Notice, the Lord "descended form heaven" before we are caught up to him; just as the "New Jerusalem" came down to dwell with us – Rev 21:2).
Another look at Harpazo:
1) to translate harpazo to the English phrase "made one" is as accurate an option as any of the 6 other ways it is translated in the King James bible. "Made one" removes 1 Thess 4:17 as a contradiction to and in conflict with the many other scriptures and biblical examples. This would make 1 Thess 4:17 the answer to the prayer of Jesus in
John 17:21-23 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
2) Martin Luthers German translation of 1 Thess 4:17 translated into agerman word which could mean, " the lesser was included into the greater ". We christians are the lesser and Jesus is the greater.. John 10:12 the worf 'harpazo' the sheep = the wolf ate the sheep and they were "made one" or the lesser was included into the greater".
The same is true in Matthew 13:4 and 19 in parable of the sowing of the 'seed':
1)devoured =2719 katesthio (kat-es-thee'-o)= to eat down, i.e. devour (literally or figuratively):
1)We are transfigured/Changed right here on earth (No promised about being removed from the earth):
1 Thess 4: 17, 18 We will meet the Lord in the air (here on the surface of the earth): and so (in that exact manner; in the air and on the earth – not in heaven) shall we forever be with the Lord. (in the New Jerusalem where God will dwell with us). Notice it is "forever" that we shall be with the Lord in the air on the surface of the earth and not in heaven for seven or three and one-half years to return with Jesus in a third coming.
5.7 A Spiritual Interpretation of 1 Thess 4:16,17 from Dave Curtis+Donald Hochner's web sites
1)What does "we shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air" mean?
a) "in the air"
2) When Christ came in the clouds , he literally, yet spiritually, gathered those that were alive to be caught up in the kingdom with Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ spiritually returned with the believers to the earth, to ever be with them. This was a spiritual event that was visibly manifest in the destruction of Jerusalem.
5.8 A Spiritual Interpretation of "the gathering together" from Don Preston's Web site
The gathering together: (This is discussed in Matth 24:29-31, 1 Thess 4:16,17 (being caught up together), 2 Thess 2:1-4)
2 Th 2:1-14 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 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. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1)Paul was appealing to "our gathering together to him" as something well-known to the Thessalonicans. Paul had taught them about eschatology while he was in the city, not to mention in his first epistle (2 Thess 2:5). Where did Paul get the idea of the gathering of the saints at the coming of Jesus ?
1) This is apocalyptic language and is to be interpreted as apocalyptic language is intended. Therefore, if 1 Thess 4:16,17 and 2 Thess 2:1 is talking about the same thing then they should also be interpreted the same way that Matth 24 is interpreted(i.e., in a literal spiritual sense not in a literal physical sense).
2) Matth 24:29-31 is the source of the language in 1 Thess 4:16,17 and 2 Thess 2:1. How can the coming on the clouds, angles, fire and trumpet not be interpreted as a literal physical thing and then say 'the gathering' is a literal physical thing(i.e., to one geographical place). Jesus NEVER use episunago to refer to any other eschatologyical gathering than His coming in judgment at the end of the Jewish Age. Why would Paul change the use of the word(in 2 Thess 2:1) to refer to some other coming. How many comings of the Lord, with his angels, in fire, in power and glory, to gather the saints, are there in the New Testament ?
1)Jesus used a very distinctive word to predict the gathering of the saints(Matth 24:31). Paul used that identical word to speak of the gathering( 2 Thess 2:1) to speak of the gathering. Jesus predicted that false teachers would come saying Christ had returned. Paul was writing to the Thessalonicans to thwart false teachers who were saying Christ had returned. Jesus said there was to be an apostasy before he returned to destroy Jerusalem. Paul said the apostasy had to happen before Christ returned. Jesus predicted the coming of lying wonders and signs before the fall of Jerusalem; Paul said the the Son of Perdition who would work all sorts of false miracles and lying wonders was on the scene but being restrained. (The point here is that Matth 24 and Thessalonians are talking about the same event and therefore Thessalonians ought to be interpreted nonphysically because Matth 24 is interpreted nonphysically)
2) 1996 episunago-
3) 1997 episunagoge (ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay'); from 1996; a complete collection; especially a Christian meeting (for worship): assembling (gathering) together.
4) episunago is used in all its forms a total of nine times in the New Testament and mostly in eschatological contexts. The other places it is used are:
5.9 Thessalonians themselves did not interpret the rapture passage to be a rapture passage (Summary of Notes from Don Preston's Web site)
II Th 2:1-2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
6 Chapter 6 (Refutation of) Rapture Support Arguments
The Saints stay on the earth
6.2 Rapturists say the saints mentioned in Rev 4 are 144K Jewish Evangelists
6.3 Rapturists saw we not under God's wrath 1Thes 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
4.Exodus 12:21-29 Moses instruct the Israelites to take a hyssop branch and dip it in the blood of a sacrificed Lamb and 'Mark' their doorposts with theis blood, so that the destroying angel of the Lord will not harm them.
6.4 John 14:2,3 Says Jesus takes us to his mansions
John 14:2-3 "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. "And 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.
a) Jesus said he will come to us not we will go to him
to make one's abode
metaphorically, used of God (the Holy Spirit) who indwells believers
d) The phrase "that where I am, there you may be also"
1)The word 'there' is not in the original Greek (i.e., the there is not there)
g) Summary: Jesus comes to us and lives in us , we do not go to him( John 14:3,18,23)
6.5 Luke 21:36 says if we are worthy we will escape
Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
6.6 Enoch and Elijah were raptured
2)Jesus said it would be as the days of Noah not as the days of Enoch and Elijah
3)In the days of Noah the wicked were removed and the righteous taken
d) Enoch (Gen 5:24) and Elijah(2 Kings 2:11) were not removed because some tribulation was upon them, rather, God chose to end their lives on earth in this manner. Enoch was an example that he pleased God (Heb 11:5) he was not an example for the Church to be raptured.
6.7 1 Thess2:5-8 Says Church is taken away in rapture before man of sin is revealed
II Th 2:5-8 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 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. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
2)John 16:8 "And when He(the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
3) Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
5)Claudious Caesar preventing Nero(the man of sin) from coming to the throne
6)The man of sin himself(Nero) restraining the church and was himself taken out of the way
6.8 If we are not going to be caught up why are there so many heavenly scenes in the Book of Revelation
7 Chapter 7 The Origin of the Rapture
1)Margaret Macdonald of Port Glasgow Scotland in 1830. Through visits to Margaret Macdonald, John Darby, organizer and promoter of the Plymouth Brethren movement, received this new revelation of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. (This was not taught in Church History until 1800's)
2)Next the doctrine was accepted by C.I. Scofield who included it in his very popular Bible
3)Finus Dake also promoted it in his annotated Bible and commentaries.
4)With these references the fundamentalist churches included it in their doctrines and taught it in their seminaries and Bible Schools
5)Cautions on Erroneous interpretation of Prophecy:
8 Chapter 8: What did Happen (Preterist) /What May Happen (Futurist)
1)Matt 6:9-10"In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
2)The fullfilment is : Rev 21:2-3 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
5)John 17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
6)Heb 8:11 "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
7)I Jn 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
8) 1 Pet 5:4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
9)Col 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
10)II Th 1:7-10 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
11)1 Pet 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire(not raptured), may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, This testing was during the falling away (2 Thes 2:3)
12)Dan 12:1-2 "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
13)Ps 37:32-40 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land(not be raptured); when the wicked are cut off( destroyed), you shall see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; indeed I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble.40And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.
14)John 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them(the believers) out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (This prayer was answered and the believers were not taken out of the world)
15)1 Cor 15:51-54 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
18)The saints must overcome not fly away:
21)Rev 7:2, Rev 9:4 (like Ezek 9:4-6) The believers are marked so that they are not hurt in the tribulation (
22)Luke 21:28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (not your rapture)
17) I left out some of the author's idea's here. The author is a partial preterist and believes this is still a future event. He thinks the changing and transformation is what happened to Jesus at the transformation (Mark 9:2-12).
9 Chapter 9: What we must do
1)Much of this chapter is about working together and the baptism in the Holy Spirit and is not relevant to "The Rapture" question
2)Hebrew Feasts and Holy Days were prophetic types and shadows of things that were to come
Three Feasts of Israel's annual cycle of religious ceremonies were:
3) The Feast of Passover (or Feast of Uleavened Bread). The following are 3 events in the Feast:
4) The Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks or Harvest of Firstfruits)
5) The Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths of Feast of Ingatherings)The following are 3 events in the Feast:
4)Note: Lev 23:41-44 You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 'You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,43 'that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.' " 44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
10 Chapter 10: Blinding Doctrines of Today
1)This chapter refutes the following doctrines
a)When the Messiah comes he will re-establish the geographical political nation of Israel
b) The so called gap in Daniel's 70 weeks
c) The temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem before Jesus returns
11 Chapter 11: Consequences Of the Rapture Doctrine
1) The main point being that the consistent theme of scriptures is for Christians to be overcomers and not be raptured out of tribulation. I left this out because it does not refute the rapture idea with scripture.
12 Other Non Rapture Comments (not from Wilson's Book)
1) This is not a physical Rapture because our physical bodies do not go to heaven only our spiritual body
ec) The Transformation = Redemption = salvation (not just a positional change). When we were born again it was more than just a positional change. When people in this generation confess to Jesus Christ and are initially born again they are transformed the same way as the early church was when they were born again for the first time.
12.2 Notes on 1 Thess 4:16,17 from the Book "The Rapture A Question of Timing" by William Kimball
(note: William Kimball is a partial preterist)
P 132 " a final note on the word "descend" (katabaino) employed in 1 Thess 4:16 is also helpful at this point. The word is consistently employed to characterize an uninterrupted descent. This is substantiated in those passages mentioning the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ at His baptism (Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32,33). It is also borne out in passages which refer to Christ's first advent (John 3:13, 6:38, 41,42,50,51,58). It is also employed numerous times in the New Testament in which its context clearly states or suggests an uninterrupted descent. When a change of direction in the descent is stated, a specific statement is included to qualify it."
b)Meet the Lord in the air
A careful correlation of the manner in which this distinctive term is employed in other New Testament passages demonstrates that it contains essentially the same meaning. When King Jesus descends, believers will rise o meet Him in the clouds and then promptly proceed to escort Him and His angelic host back to the earth.
The noun apantesis is found only three times in the New Testament. Besides 1 Thess 4:17, it is used in Matthew 25:6(in some manuscripts it is also found in verse 1), and Acts 28:15:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to MEET [apantesis] him (Matt 25:1,6)
…And so we went toward Rome. And form thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to MEET[apantesis] us as far as Appii forum, and the three taverns (Acts 28:14b-15).
In the parable of the ten virgins, which is clearly eschatological in nature, a direct parallel is made between an Oriental wedding and the Lord's return for his church. When the announcement of the bridegroom's arrival was sounded, the virgins arose and hurried out to meet the approaching bridegroom to escort him back to where they had been waiting. According to Eastern wedding custom, the attendants to the bride (the virgins in the parable) went out form the bride's home to join the bridegroom's procession and accompany him back to his waiting bride. It would be ridiculous to imagine the virgins going out to greet the approaching bridegroom only to turn around and retreat to where he had come form. This would amount to an abrogation of the wedding ceremony. In this parable, the word "meet" (apantesis) does not imply a reversal of direction.
The Acts account employing the apantesis describes and incident in the final leg of Paul's journey to Rome. The word "meet" is used in reference to a delegation of Roman Christians who rendezvoused with the Apostle Paul at Appii forum and then immediately proceeded to escort him to his intended destination of Rome. It does not suggest that Paul got as far as Appii forum, met the delegation of brethren, and then promptly returned with these brethren back to Caesarea from where the journey originated.
An honest examination of the distinctive usage of the word conclusively demonstrates that it meant that as one party was making a journey (the Lord, the bridegroom, and the Apostle Paul), others came out to meet them, and then accompanied them to the end of their original destination without changing direction. Nowhere else in the scriptures is this word so used. It is consistently used to suggest the concept of an unimpeded advance in the same direction. In the case of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, that direction would be a descent of the Lord from heaven to earth.
In commenting upon the application of this unique word, Arthur Katterjohn added,
Another pretribulation distinctive is associated with the word "meet." It teaches that when we have met the Lord in the air, He will reverse direction, lead us back to heaven, and there we will pass the seven year period in which tribulation racks the earth. Does the word "meet" mean to change direction and return along the path just traveled? It is used only three times in Scripture: Matthew 25:6, Acts 28:15, and here (1 Thess 4:17) … If the word "meet" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 has essentially the same meaning as in the other two occurrences, then we get a picture of Christ descending to the earth, being met by His people in the air, and continuing down to set right the heresies of the tribulation. The saints, and not Christ, reverse direction. The Captain of the hosts does not retreat on His way to victory. He continues on." (Arthur D. Katterjohn, The Tribulation People)
12.3 Non Rapture comment from "He shall Have Dominion" by Kenneth Gentry p 312
"Peter urges the perseverance of his readers(1Pet1:6) and warns against shortsightedness(1:9). It is only through long-term perseverance that we may expect access to the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ(1:11)
Peter expects to die soon (1:13-14; as did Paul, 2 Tim4:6-8). Consequently, he urges his readers to recall these things after he is gone(1:15), apparently not expecting a rapture of the Church in A.D. 70.
12.4 Comments on two body Resurrection scriptures (from a discussions w/ Todd Dennis and Ward Fenly)
1) Phil 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
2) Rom 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
12.5 A few scriptures indicating a spiritual resurrection
1)1 Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
4) Luke 17:20-24Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 "nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." 22Then He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23"And they will say to you, 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' Do not go after them or follow them. 24 "For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.
1) an opinion, a judgment, aview
12.6 Table from Internet that shows Matt 24 and 1 Thess 4:16,17 are about the same event (not 2 different events separated by thousands of years).
The purpose of this section is to show more clearly that Matth 24 and 1 Thess 4:16,17 are talking about the same event at the same point in History. (Therefore if Matth 24 is to be interpreted spiritually then so should 1 Thess 4:16,17.)
Matt 24:30-31 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31"And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
1Thes 4:16-17For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1) Christ Himself Returns Matt 24:30 1 Thess 4:16
2)From Heaven Matt 24:30 1 Thess 4:16
3)With a shout Matt 24:30 (in power) 1 Thess 4:16
4)Accompanied by Angels Matt 24:31 1 Thess 4:16
5)With Trumpet of God Matt 24:31 1 Thess 4:16
6)Believers Gathered Matt 24:31 1 Thess 4:17
7)In Clouds Matt 24:30 1 Thess 4:17
8)Time Unknown Matt 24:36 1 Thess 5:1-2
9)Will Come as a Thief Matt 24:43 1 Thess 5:2,4
10)Unbelievers Unaware of Impending Judgment Matt 24:37-39 1 Thess 5:3
11) Judgment Comes as Travail upon Expectant Mother Matt 24:8 1 Thess 5:3
12) Believers to Watch Matt 24:42 1 Thess 5:4
13)Warning against drunkenness Matt 24:49 1 Thess 5:7
(note: This table was seen and taken from both David Curtis and Donald Hochner's Web Sites )
1Thes 5:1-7 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
a) Note that the destruction is to come upon the unbelievers. This is consistent with the wicked being removed and the righteous inheriting the earth (they have to be on the earth to inherit it).
12.7 A few Questions to answer if there was a rapture
1)Jesus was building his church to kick in the gates of hell. Why would he take our the watchful saints (i.e., all useful church leadership) and leave the immature (who are going to most likely have a real attitude and be disillusioned that they did not get to go) to disciple the nations ? (Matth 25 it seems to indicate that those who were left were not Christians(i.e., they missed out on the marriage feast) rather than just foolish Christians)
2)Why tell people to flee the city and then rapture them ?
3)Why be watchful if you were just going to get yanked up ?
4)Why is such a significant event only talked about in one scripture (and that one scripture is not at all clear).
5)Why are there so many other scriptures that teach just the opposite (i.e., saints inherit the earth, Jesus specifically not praying to take the church out of the world, tares pulled from the wheat, bad fish pulled from good fish, etc…)
6)Why are there no Old Testament shadows of this extremely significant event.
7)If he was talking about a positional change in the spirit (not born again to born again) why is that not significant. What could be more important to promise. Why do you think that it is not a significant thing that would be a let down to the Thessalonians.
8)Why is there a consistent theme in scripture of the wicked being removed from the righteous rather than the righteous being removed from the wicked.( Matth 13 parable of wheat and Tares, parable of Dragnet, Matthew 24 like days of Noah wicked taken and righteous left.
I read somewhere on the Rapture:
1)God is more interested in getting heaven into us than in getting us into heaven
2)The early church was to look for the approaching Christ not the disappearing Saints.
What do YOU think ?
I wonder if the 95% of christians that believe in the rapture will come to their senses or they will be so busy waiting for the rapture to happen that they won't even recognize the antichrist. Kinda reminds me of how the jews were so busy waiting for their Savior to come deliver them from Roman oppression that they didn't even recognize their own Messiah.
Given the level of detail one can extract from a single word or phrase, and the huge import or significance you can attach to it (e.g. "our body/bodies", above), doesn't it worry you at all that scripture has been mistranslated in the past? Should you be doing this analysis in Aramaic, Hebrew, or Greek?
Date: 30 Mar 2005
Date: 31 Oct 2005
Date: 03 Feb 2010
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