The Rapture Theory
Part 1 of 2
The very title of this belief should give one pause for consideration. What is a theory?
“An idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).
Not known or proven to be true. A supposition of fact, not true fact. Many churches today recognize this and have since change the name from the Rapture Theory to the Rapture Doctrine.
You could include the Big Bang Theory in this as well.
What is a doctrine?
“A set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
Not really all that much different from the definition of a theory but the purpose of the change is that it makes it seem as though it is an established truth.
Early on, the Churches had two different views of the rapture. At first it was a general belief that the rapture was simply something that happened at the end of the world, and it happened to everybody, at the same time.
Later on, it was changed to a belief that only certain Christians would be taken to heaven while the unbelievers would be left behind to endure the events of the tribulation period.
Personally, I have never taken the time to figure out what the difference is between pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation. The Bible that I read tells me that there will be two tribulations; one occurs when Satan is released from Heaven by the Archangel Michael and he reigns here on earth for a five month period and the second tribulation lasts less than five minutes when the true Christ returns.
There is no documented proof within the Scriptures that the Archangel Michael is indeed holding Satan in heaven at this time but within the realm of our Father, according to the hierarchy of the creatures that surround His Throne, Michael and Gabriel are of highest rank.
One of the assignments of Michael is to be the watcher over all Israel, he is said to be their prince, and it seems reasonable that Michael would be chosen as Gabriel was used predominately as a personal messenger of our Father concerning matters of utmost importance to Him.
Regardless, even at this present time, Satan is being held within the bounds of Heaven for release at a later time;
Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. KJV
From the time of that statement of Christ, the actual presence, de facto, of Satan was finished, although, as with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the absence of Christ Himself, so the demons of the nether world work in partnership with Satan to achieve his goals as well here on earth at this time.
The actual presence of Christ is well documented in the Gospels but Satan’s actual presence here on earth can be documented as well;
Job 1:7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. KJV
The rapture theory came into being in 1830, from a Scottish woman by the name of Margaret MacDonald. She was a sickly woman who had dreams and visions and from her came the concept of the rapture doctrine.
John Darby was an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, and lived from 1800-1882. He listened to some of MacDonald’s ravings, who, at the time, said that they felt evil and disturbing to her, and thought that he could make good use of what she was expounding and took it as his own.
The thing about ‘ole Darby was that when he spoke he sure could draw a crowd and before long, being the Evangelical preacher that he was, he got a lot of mileage out of his sermons concerning the any moment doctrine and the rapture theory.
The movement caught on and soon moved to Canada and eventually the United States in the early 20th century. The opponents of this theory like to say that the word rapture isn’t even in the Scriptures, and that’s true. It’s not. But does that also mean that the concept of this theory isn’t there? No, it’s not either.
Nowhere, in the Acts of the Apostles, is a pre-tribulation rapture of the Saints spoken of. For 300 years, after the church was set up following the Crucifixion of our Lord, the belief of the early Christians was of a post-tribulation coming of the Lord to defeat and destroy the Antichrist, Satan, in his second to final role before his eventual spiritual death in the Lake of Fire. I say spiritual death because Satan will never grace the world in an earthly body.
For 2000 years the Church never spoke of, preached on or recognized a pre-tribulation rapture. Not until Mary MacDonald and John Darby.
The Scriptural teachings against such a theory can be found in many places.
In recent times there seems to be a prominent war between those that believe in this rapture and those that do not.
Dave McPherson has written several books outlining the recorded and documented origin of the rapture theory;
“The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin”, 1973.
“The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture”, 1974
“The Incredible Coverup”, 1975.
“The Great Rapture Hoax”, 1983.
“The Rapture Plot”, 1994.
“The Three R’s – Rapture, Revisionism, and Robbery”, 1998.
While Hollywood has done their part to counter with;
“Left Behind, The Movie”, 2001
“Left Behind II, Tribulation Force”, 2002
“Left Behind: World at War”, 2005.
With that being said, a lot of words, books and movies by mankind, let’s see what the Scriptures have to say about this rapture and any moment doctrines.
What’s really going to happen? Are we going to gather back to Christ, or is Christ going to come back to us. If you read Ezekiel and Revelation you will find that both the Millennium and the Eternity will be spent right here on good old terra firma.
Rapture or not, we’re not going to be whisked away to a place that we point to up in the sky, heaven, but rather it’s all going to play out right here on good ‘ole Mother Earth.
Heaven is not some place in outer space nor is hell within the depths of the earth. Heaven is wherever our Father is at any given time.
Certainly things will look a bit different, especially during the Eternity. You can read Ezekiel chapters 40-48 to learn about the Millennium and Revelation chapters 21 and 22 to find out about the new heaven and the new earth.
But what is the mechanism that will allow the changeover? What are the things that must come to pass before our Lord does return?
I think that there are some things that we must understand before we get into how the transition into the Eternity comes about. We must understand that we have two bodies; one is terrestrial, earthly and the other is celestial, spiritual.
The Apostle Paul once stated that if Christ has not risen then all we are doing is praying for the dead. But, thankfully, Christ is risen from the dead and He became a quickening spirit. After death, the soul or spirit of a person is made alive.
Simply put, the spiritual body contains your soul and spirit after the death of your physical or earthly body. Your earthly, or physical body, contains all three; your spiritual body, soul and spirit while the earthly body is alive. Only after the flesh body dies can the spiritual body come forth.
1st Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.KJV
Don’t let Satan deceive you by his evil communications. What are some of those evil communications? The rapture theory and the any-moment doctrine. The words of men, influenced by Satan, may lead your soul to places that you do not want to be.
1st Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. KJV
If you don’t read the Scriptures for yourself you will never have the knowledge of our Father. Too many people rely on their preacher/pastor or the traditions of a particular church to tell them what our Father has to say. That is dangerous.
1st Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? KJV
The dead, your physical body, is never going to be raised up from the grave. This is the difference between the earthly and spiritual bodies.
How are they raised up, and when that happens, what kind of body are they in? Does the flesh body get raised up like many people believe? That’s what the rapture people say. That old dead flesh body is coming right up out of the grave and meet the Lord in the air. What a stink in the air that’s going to cause. My goodness; have you never smelled a dead possum in the middle of the road?
What about all the people that died thousands of years ago? All that’s left of them is some bones. Is our Father going to put flesh and blood back on those skeletons again? Flesh is flesh and dead flesh remains dead flesh. We’re not going to have another experience like Ezekiel had with the dry bones in chapter 37;
Ezekiel 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. KJV
Our Father is talking to Ezekiel in a spiritual sense. Ezekiel was told to preach the Word to these bones, which represents the people of backslidden Israel and, spiritually speaking, their dry bones had descended into idol worship and they needed an awakening that could only be provided by the Holy Spirit.
How are the dead raised up? Here comes the answer;
1st Corinthians 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
Let’s learn a little Greek. The word quickened in that language is;
✡ NT:2227 zoopoieo (dzo-op-oy-eh'-o); from the same as NT:2226 and NT:4160; to (re-) vitalize (literally or figuratively):
It means to revitalize or make alive again.
The word sowest means to put into the ground, to bury, as you would a seed. In fact, that’s a pretty good analogy, the seed dies and allows the plant inside to come up. The same thing with the flesh body; when it dies the spiritual body now comes up.
But Paul is saying that what it is that you put into the ground, the dead body, it’s never going to come up again. Its purpose was to die in the first place because flesh and blood cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven;
1st Corinthians 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: KJV
The body that you bury in the ground is not the body that’s going to come out of the ground. The flesh body stays there while the spiritual body comes forth. Just like with a grain of wheat or some other grain, like barley; or cucumbers or squash; vegetables. Any seed will produce the same result.
These flesh bodies are only temporary. They are designed by our Father to die. And thank Him for that. I don’t know about you but I’m 71 years old and I’m ready to get out of this decrepit old body and into one that doesn’t hurt all the time. I’m not going to hurry that process along but I’m ready when it does come. I look forward to it. The blessing is that I’ll be with the Father after it happens.
1st Corinthians 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. KJV
It pleased our Father to create these earthly bodies and He had a specific purpose for doing so. After the war in Heaven, in the first heaven/earth age, the katabole’, our Father had a choice: He could either kill and destroy all souls and begin anew or place us in temporary bodies for a short length of time and allow us to decide, once and for all, who we would follow; Him or Satan.
The reason that we are alive and here today is no more complicated than that. You don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet and consult with a Guru to understand the meaning and reason of this life.
1st Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. KJV
Humans, cows, birds and fish. All different kinds of bodies but yet, all still earthly, all flesh and blood.
1st Corinthians 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. KJV
Celestial = Heavenly, spiritual.
Terrestrial = Earthly, flesh and blood.
The glory of each one is different. I’m sure that’s true but when you get to my age I don’t see much glory when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to shave. Takes five minutes to get out of bed, another two to stand up straight.
The beauty of a young earthly body is its glory. The picture that the Scriptures paints of how an angel looks is that it looks like its 25 years old with light brown wavy hair.
The glory of the spiritual body is incredible. It never ages, never gets sick, never breaks a bone, never gets the flu and never dies unless our Father is forced to do so because of the decisions that we make in this life or the Millennium. It’s up to us, not Him.
1st Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. KJV
The sun shines more brightly than does the moon; different stars shine with different magnitudes.
Our Father often refers to us, His children, as stars. In the world that was, the first heaven/earth age, the tail of the Dragon, Lucifer, his tail being the lies that he told, deceived one-third of all God’s children to follow after him and reject our Father;
Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. KJV
The very reason we are in earthly bodies today.
1st Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: KJV
Some people will tell you that resurrection of the dead is proof that these bodies in the grave will rise again in glory at the rapture. Not so. These people are misled.
When this earthly body is planted, put in the casket and placed into the ground, it is planted in corruption. Why? Because the earthly body is corruptible. It ages. It dies. It gets sick.
A piece of steel can be corrupted by water which produces rust. It deteriorates.
Same thing with the flesh body; once born and reaching maturity, it begins to decay, to corrupt, gets old.
Remember this: corruption always refers to the earthly body; mortal always refers to the spiritual body.
The earthly body is corruptible and dies and what comes out is the spiritual body, which is incorruptible. It cannot rust. It cannot decay. It cannot get old. The spiritual body has put off corruption and has become incorruptible.
1st Corinthians 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: KJV
The flesh body dishonors itself by being sinful and perishable while the spiritual body that comes forth, at the death of the earthly body, is raised in glory simply because a spiritual body is more glorious than a flesh and blood body because it cannot die.
The flesh body dies in its weakness while the spiritual body begins and ends in knowing that it cannot die in and of itself.
If you had a choice of buying a new car that would quit running after a thousand miles or buying one that would run forever, which one would you choose?
1st Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. KJV
You have two bodies, one is flesh and earthly; the other is spiritual and heavenly.
1st Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. KJV
The soul of man is now being introduced into the equation. Adam, the first man of the Hebrew race, through which the Savior would come, is not the first man of the human race nor is Eve the mother of the human race. Let me say that again: Adam and Eve are not the beginning of the human race.
This is a universal, traditional teaching and it is false;
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. KJV
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. KJV
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. KJV
Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. KJV
Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. KJV
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. KJV
What you have just read is the creation of the Gentiles, all the various races, and it happened on the sixth day of the Creation. Adam and Eve were created on the day following the seventh day of creation on which our Father rested from His work.
The last Adam can really be spoken of as the second Adam but in either case it is the Lord Himself and He was made a quickening spirit because He rose from the dead. Salvation is worked into it as well.
1st Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. KJV
The question being asked is why was the natural, earthly body created first and not the spiritual? Maybe you have already figured out the answer to this question. Are you familiar with the three world ages that the Apostle Peter spoke about in 2nd Peter, chapter 3?
2nd Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. KJV
2nd Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: KJV
2nd Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: KJV
2nd Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. KJV
If you weren’t familiar with these three ages you certainly have been given a gem of truth from our Father’s Word. And if you are not familiar with these three ages, why aren’t you?
All those years of attending church every Wednesday night and Sunday morning and your pastor never spoke or preached on this subject? My, my. I don’t see why he wouldn’t; I mean, it’s not difficult to understand if taught properly. Jeremiah wrote about it as well, in chapter 4.
Although the Scriptures in 1st Corinthians don't go back in time that far, we actually were in spiritual bodies first, then in these earthly bodies and we’ll be in a different spiritual body after we die.
Spiritual--- natural--- spiritual.
1st Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. KJV
Formed from Heaven, Jesus Christ.
1st Corinthians 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. KJV
As long as you are in the flesh you cannot enjoy the heavenly with our Father but, at least, we can enjoy His blessings during this time.
1st Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. KJV
Just as sure as you walk around in these earthly bodies, you will also walk around in your spiritual body. That’s just the way it is, that’s our Father’s Plan and no one can change that.
At the moment your earthly or flesh body dies, your spiritual body emerges, along with your soul and spirit. It doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished in this life, regardless of the good or bad that you have done, you will transcend into the spiritual at the time of your physical death.
You may not be in that spiritual body long, if you haven’t followed our Father’s commandments, but you will be changed regardless.
1st Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. KJV
Flesh and blood cannot enter into heaven. Why? Flesh is sinful. It’s corrupt. You must put on incorruption first and the only way to do that is to enter into that spiritual body.
1st Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, KJV
So far, we’ve been talking about people that have died and when they did so, they changed from their flesh body into the spiritual body. What happens to the people still living on this earth on the day that our Lord and Savior returns? You’ve just been told. We will all not die but we will all be changed.
Billions of people will still be going about their daily lives when Christ returns. About 7.1 billion at the time of this writing. And they will all instantly be changed into a spiritual body at that moment.
You that are reading this are very fortunate because you have just had a mystery of God explained to you. Not many people are aware of this truth but now you are.
Everyone will be changed, even if it’s only for a short time before they are sentenced to walk into the Lake of Fire. When are they changed?
1st Corinthians 15:52 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 changed. KJV
When will this change happen? When you least expect it and it will not take any longer than it takes to snap your fingers.
Our Lord has told us that He will come as a thief in the night;
1st Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. KJV
That was Paul writing that in his letter to the Thessalonians but Peter gives us a more dramatic picture when that day happens;
2nd Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. KJV
The day that this event happens is known as the Lord’s Day. It’s going to be a busy day, for sure:
It will be the day that the 7th angel will blow the 7th trumpet.
It will be the last day of this dispensation, this generation in which we are now living.
It will be the first day of the Millennium, that 1000 year period.
It will be the day that those who are still living will change from earthly bodies to spiritual bodies.
It will be the day that the two wars of Hamon-Gog and Armageddon will be fought.
It will be the day that Satan will be cast into the pit for 1000 years.
It will be the day that the two Witnesses will ascend towards the heavens.
It will be the day that the Lord Himself sets foot on the Mount of Olives again.
What a fantastic day that will be. Changes going on so fast that you won’t be able to keep up with them. Marvelous and exciting. At least, for those that are in good standing with our Father.
What is this last trump? Did you know that there were seven of them? Of the seals and the vials and the trumps, the only ones that are executed in chronological order are the trumps and these events happen at the last.
✡ Last, NT:2078--eschatos (es'-khat-os); a superlative probably from NT:2192 (in the sense of contiguity); farthest, final (of place or time):
The last or the furthest one out in place or time.
And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The soul and spirit of any individual must transcend from a body that is corruptible to a body that is incorruptible.
The corruptible body is the flesh and blood body. The incorruptible body is the spiritual. The change occurs with the transition of the soul and spirit from one, the corruptible, into the other, the spiritual.
The sense of this verse continues with the next;
1st Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. KJV
For this corruptible (flesh) must put on incorruption; and this mortal (soul) must put on immortality.
In this verse Paul is also including the soul as well as the flesh. Remember earlier, when I said that corruption has to do with the flesh and blood while mortal has to do with the spiritual? What does this word mortal mean in the Greek?
✡ Mortal__NT:2349 thnetos (thnay-tos'); from NT:2348; liable to die:
It also means deathlessness. The soul has to put off the state of mortality. How can that be done? By surviving Judgment Day. A rather harsh way of putting it but true nonetheless. You must live your life in such a way that, on Judgment Day, our Father isn’t forced to send your mortal soul to the Lake of Fire.
When you enter into the Kingdom of God, your soul and spirit will live eternally because it has put on deathlessness, immortality. Nothing can endanger the life of your soul after this has happened. Your soul will live forever and ever, without question. Unless you make our Father destroy it. It’s up to you entirely.
1st Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. KJV
When you step from this flesh body into that spiritual body, and it happens to everyone that dies a natural or accidental death. It will also happen to everyone that is still living when the seventh trump is blown, in the twinkle of an eye.
Death is swallowed up in victory because the death of the earthly body is over. It doesn’t matter any longer. This flesh body is useful only for the purpose of being able to follow our Father’s commandments, His instructions to us and it allows us to be used by our Father to help others find the truth. It is a vehicle within which the soul and spirit resides throughout this life in this heaven/earth age.
Certainly, without doubt, we fall in love with someone because of how they look or act, to a certain degree. We love our children because they’re cute little things, most of the time. But for all the attraction that one flesh body can have for another flesh body, it eventually must go to a deeper level than just the complexion or the hair style or a muscular build.
The human body is a marvel of creation but it’s designed to wear out. The important parts are the soul and spirit which never wear out.
1st Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? KJV
The grave holds no victory over anyone. To my way of thinking, the death of this flesh body is a release of the soul and spirit. It no longer can hold us in this dimension, keeping us from the presence of our Holy Father.
We were with Him before we were born and we will be with Him after this physical death. It allows this soul to return to that realm that we don’t remember. That is, until we get back there, then we will have 100% total recall of all events, even those that happened in the first heaven/earth age.
Alright, I think that we have a good foundation to build upon as we go into debunking this rapture theory.
When does this change of bodies actually occur? I’ve already mentioned that it will happen when the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet but that’s really just a cursory answer. When does the soul change bodies?
2nd Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. KJV
This earthly house that Paul is talking about is this flesh and blood body and if it were done away with we would have a building of God to take its place, the spiritual body.
2nd Corinthians 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: KJV
Yes, we groan alright, from sore muscles and aching joints and so on, but any Christian that truly loves the Father would give anything to get out of these bodies and be back in His presence once more.
But we must be patient and do things His way; don’t ever consider taking your own life just to get back to that heavenly realm because that’s the worst way to get there and you will be accused by our Father of murder if you do. You will have murdered one of His children. Yourself.
On the other side of this, Father takes a mental condition into consideration. He will surely not judge someone to the Lake of Fire if they are mentally incapacitated in some way. It that is the situation, that soul will be afforded every opportunity for salvation during the Millennium. He is always fair.
2nd Corinthians 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked KJV
This clothing being woven by the righteous acts that we do in this life.
2nd Corinthians 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. KJV
The condition of your soul is mortal and it must put on immortality; mortality is swallowed up by being replaced with eternal life. Your soul is no longer in danger of being liable to die.
2nd Corinthians 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. KJV
Even our Father wants us to be back with Him.
2nd Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: KJV
We are confident that while we are in this flesh and blood body that we are not in the presence of God. We have the Holy Spirit with us in this life but not the actual sight and presence of God.
The fact that Paul states that we are “absent” indicates that we were once, indeed, with Him.
2nd Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) KJV
We have to believe in things that we do not see; we believe without seeing. The Apostle Thomas did not believe until he had placed his hand in the wounds of our Lord. We do not have that opportunity. We have to believe sight unseen.
A very good explanation of what faith is can be found in Hebrews;
Hebrews 11:11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. KJV
If we have to see to believe then there is no faith at all. Sometimes that’s very hard to do but you prove your love for our Father whenever you do have faith.
2nd Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. KJV
Certainly, we would rather be in Heaven with our Father than walking around in these flesh bodies.
This is stated just a little differently in Ecclesiastes and it proves, without doubt and with a little faith, that the soul does not lie in the grave with the flesh at the time of death, that it goes instantly back to the Father;
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. KJV
The flesh body returns back to the minerals that it was made of and the spirit immediately goes back to the Father.
2nd Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. KJV
If you are not accepted by our Father, by the time that your earthly body dies, then all this time spent in these earthly bodies is for naught.
If you have been deceived into believing the lies of religion and false christs, you may have the Millennium to receive the truth for the first time.
If you have rejected the Lord when offered the truth then you might as well live it up in this life for there won’t be another after the death of your earthly body. You will walk into the Lake of Fire right alongside Satan.
Faith and a belief that God is real and that Christ died on the Cross for your sins is a pretty good start towards an eternity full of good things. The way that you live your life is what will make you accepted of Him.
2nd Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. KJV
Everybody, black, white, red, brown or yellow, is going to stand before our Father. If you are worried about what you will be judged for then the time is now to start doing things that will bring you blessings in this life and rewards in the next. Don’t just worry about it; do something about it.
Judgment doesn’t always have to be negative. Our Father is not hell-bent on sending everyone to hell unless they lived their lives like Moses or Ezekiel or Joel. These were special people, chosen to be prophets and our Father loves us exactly the same as He does them.
If you have followed His Commandments you will probably be in good shape but if you lied and cheated and stole and worshipped money and things of this world, then you probably need to worry;
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. KJV
Our Father knows what the temptations of this world are all about. The desires of the flesh and the sweet, syrupy words of Satan…take you to hell every time. But remember this;
1st Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as 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. KJV
Our Father will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can resist so saying on Judgment Day:
“Oh, the temptations were just too strong for me.”
...ain’t gonna cut it. He will allow you to be tested to your breaking point sometimes but He will always provide a way out. You just have to look for it and open that door and escape.
Alright, let’s go to 1st Thessalonians and find out where the rapture theory places its roots.
1st Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. KJV
The Apostle Paul is writing and teaching and he doesn’t want you to be uninformed or unlearned about what happens to those who have died in this flesh and blood body. The word asleep is a figure of speech in the Greek;
✡ Asleep__G:2837, koimao (koy-mah'-o); from NT:2749; to put to sleep, i.e. (passively or reflexively) to slumber; figuratively, to decease:
We will probably still experience sorrow when a loved one dies but deep inside we should receive comfort if we know what happens to their soul at the time of physical death. The heathen do not. They don’t believe in God or anything; they don’t believe in the hereafter.
This life is it for them and when they die they believe that it’s over and that’s the end of it all. They have no hope of anything beyond what their flesh body can experience. They have no faith.
A good teacher will explain to you that the subject and object of what Paul is writing about is where are the dead. It’s not about flying away but where are the dead. And he gives us the answer in the next verse;
1st Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. KJV
I want you to have a really good understanding of what is written here. Paul is using our Lord as an example of what happens to our soul and spirit and it is this;
Jesus has always existed in a spiritual body but He took on an earthly body so that He could be crucified and bear the sins of all mankind once and for all. Three days later He appeared again and looked exactly like He did before the death of His earthly body.
But He wasn’t in the earthly body any longer, He was in a spiritual body. His soul and spirit no longer remained in the sepulcher, the grave, but when His spiritual body came forth, so did His soul and spirit.
The exact same thing happens to us. Our soul and spirit existed in the age that was, the first heaven/earth age; we were born in an earthly body with the same soul and spirit, and when the earthly body dies, our own soul and spirit will take on a spiritual body just like Christ did.
All of the people that have lived and died, right up to this present day, their souls and spirits are in Paradise right now, awaiting Judgment, and since the Millennium and the Eternity will be spent right here on this earth, Jesus will bring all of those saints with Him when He returns on the Lord’s Day. That day I spoke of earlier.
The soul and spirit of every person that ever existed on this earth is in Paradise right now, not in some hole in the ground. To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. Don’t ever forget that.
Verse 14 is supposed to give credence to the rapture theory, in that, the so-called saints will already have been taken up to heaven, by the rapture, and held there throughout the tribulation period and then they come back with the Lord when He returns.
1st Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. KJV
This is a pretty important word, this prevent. In our modern day usage it would mean that we would stop someone of doing something but in the Greek it means;
✡ Prevent__G5348, phthano (fthan'-o); apparently a primary verb; to be beforehand, i.e. anticipate or precede; by extension, to have arrived at:
The Word of the Lord says that when we die a physical death the soul goes immediately back to the Father who gave it: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Those who are alive and are walking around just like normal cannot precede them who have already died because they are already with the Lord in Paradise. Remember I told you that sleep is a pseudonym for die or dead.
How much more simple can our Father explain it? Your soul and spirit does not remain in the grave with your dead flesh body, it goes up to heaven to the Father that gave it.
1st Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: KJV
The dead in Christ shall rise first because they are already there. Paul writes it twice just to make sure that you get it.
1st Thessalonians 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. KJV
Then, those of us that are still alive and remain walking around on this earth, doing our daily chores and going to work and so on, when He returns.
Now, here is another word that means something different in the Greek than in the English; the word air. We know it to be something that we breathe, it provides oxygen for our bodies. In the Greek it means;
✡ Air__G109,aer (ah-ayr'); from aemi (to breathe unconsciously, i.e. respire; by analogy, to blow); "air" (as naturally circumambient):
It means our spiritual bodies, pneuma, breath of life. When our Lord places His feet on the Mount of Olives again for the second time all flesh and blood bodies will die instantly and our soul and spirit will come forth in our spiritual bodies.
This word clouds also seems to throw people off a little as well. We can look up at the sky and see the clouds floating by and when you associate that with air, I can see that some would think that we will be lifted up, meet Jesus in the sky, and then immediately come back down to earth again. What would be the purpose of that? That doesn’t make sense.
Paul was a very learned man who spoke more than one or two languages and he was fluent in them but when it came to the Greek language he spoke, what we might call today, street Greek or colloquial Greek, it wasn't formal Greek. It was the language that most people spoke, just like we don’t speak using the King’s English, proper English, but we speak with a lot of figures of speech.
Such is this word clouds. It means a great throng of people. Many people. We use it to a certain extent today in our language where we would describe thousands of grasshoppers or locust flying through the air as a cloud of locust, so many of them that they nearly cover the entire sky.
Let’s go to Hebrews and see how else Paul used this word cloud;
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, KJV
Paul is in a large gathering of Christians here and he is encouraging all of them to try to resist the temptation of sin that besets us all and be patient as we live out the years that our Father has given to us. He refers to this huge crowd of witnesses as a cloud of witnesses.
Word got back to Paul, after the Thessalonians read his first letter, that what he wrote to them, in these now few verses, confused them, and he wrote the second letter to them to elaborate on the subject.
Satan is always hard at work trying to confuse people and he has no problem finding some to help him achieve his goals. The fledgling churches of that day were wrought with people that took great delight in upsetting the apple cart and bringing doubt and confusion into the mix.
The great deceiver, always hard at work, trying to take as many souls into the Lake of Fire with him as he can.
Verse 17 is the basis of the fly-away-doctrine and it simply is a lie.
1st Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. KJV
Alright, let’s go to 2nd Thessalonians and see what Paul wrote in his follow-up letter to them, since parts of the first one seemed to confuse them somewhat. He goes into much greater detail at to what will occur during this period of time, just before our Lord returns;
2nd Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, KJV
The subject, here, and the only subject, is that Paul is going to talk about our gathering back to the Lord when He comes. He’s going to tell us what’s going to happen.
2nd Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. KJV
Don’t let the traditions of churches or the words of false preachers/pastors or evil spirits, nor my first letter to you, deceive you.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; KJV
Paul is being very specific. Many people have been deceived into believing this rapture theory and the any-moment doctrine. Paul is saying that the day of our gathering back to our Lord will not happen until there is a falling away first.
There IS a specific time for His coming and Paul has given us two separate events that MUST happen before our Lord returns and we gather back to Him.
The Apostasy must happen and the man of sin, the son of perdition must be revealed for what he really is.
Please go to Part 2 to continue.....