The truth about the “rapture”

The Rapture. One of the most debated doctrines of all Christendom. This doctrine teaches that at some point in time the alive righteous will be “raptured” or taken away from earth to heaven leaving the wicked, unsaved to face the wrath of God which will poured out upon them on earth. There are a number of different understandings about the timing of this event pre tribulation, mid tribulation and post tribulation being the three most common. Although these different views disagree on at what point the rapture will take place they all agree that there will be a rapture. It is also believed by some that the rapture and the 2nd coming of Jesus are different events and many believe the wrath of God and the tribulation are the same.`

What this writing will show is that ALL 3 are incorrect, in fact any teaching that there will be a rapture at anytime is incorrect. There will be NO rapture. The rapture doctrine is 100% false.

Disproving the doctrine of the Rapture is actually not very difficult to do as the doctrine is actually only based on a few verses that have been interpreted out of context to support the doctrine.

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room, the simple fact is the rapture is not mentioned in the Bible, not once, it comes from the latin RAPTURO which was translated from the Greek  harpagēsometha ἁρπαγησόμεθα from harpazó which means to catch up or snatch away. But those who defend it state the “concept” of the rapture is in the Bible. Well I shall show that even this “concept” doesn’t actually appear in the Bible either.

Now many focus on the argument that there is no evidence of anyone teaching the rapture until the 18th century and many claim that the doctrine started with John Nelson Darby in 1827. This is not true. There is a mention of the rapture in a 1788 essay by Morgan Edwards 40 years before Derby started to champion it, and a few others along the way. Darby most certainly brought the most attention to it. Some will offer evidence that this is not the case and that early church fathers did refer to a rapture.

Whether or not the doctrine was taught by early Christian believers or not is actually of little relevance to the truth, as Paul himself stated that many false teachings had been incorporated into Christianity even at his time. What is of the utmost importance is if the doctrine is supported by the Bible as it is the Bible itself from which we should obtain our truth and let the Bible tell us if it supports a doctrine or not.

 

We shall look at all the Biblical support for the rapture which, actually, once properly examined is rather limited. There are basically just 2 passages of the Bible that are used to support this doctrine and then a handful of verses and another few passages are used as support for the 2 main doctrinal supports. What we will see is that the “rapture” doesn’t exist. It has been read into and not out of the Bible.

What I will show is that the verses that are used to support the main rapture verse and passage are in fact not talking about a rapture at all.

 

The 2 main verses/passages of support for the rapture are

1 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.

 

And a passage in 1 Corinthians.

 

1 corinthians 15- 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality. 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.

So let’s examine both.

1 Thessalonians 4-17 is the main verse used to show this catching up. It is the “caught up” in this verse that gives rise to the term Rapture as it is here that the Greek  harpagēsometha ἁρπαγησόμεθα from harpazó is translated as Rapturo in the latin.

 

Alone this verse does show some kind of catching up in the air however when we put 1 Thessalonians 4-17 back into context we actually get a LOT more information about this catching up, what it means and when it will happen.

1 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Pauls aim here is not to put forward the idea for those that are alive to believe that they would be raptured at some point, that isn’t the context of the passage at all, it is specifically about those that are asleep. Paul is actually offering comfort and encouragement to believers who were concerned by or didn’t know what would happen to believers who die before the 2nd coming of Jesus. Paul states that unlike those with no hope (unbelievers) believers should not be concerned about those that are asleep (dead). The DEAD in christ shall rise FIRST. This very clearly highlighting a resurrection of the dead.  And those that are alive and remain will be caught up with THEM, with the resurrected dead. The dead in Christ are raised and those that are alive are caught up in the clouds. So we have the resurrection happening just before the apparent “rapture” The passage is to offer reassurance that the dead are not lost but will raised to life and will be with Jesus. Paul states verse 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Not a comfort that we will be raptured, not a comfort that we will not go through tribulation but the comfort of knowing that the dead in Christ will also be with Jesus just as Paul had just told them.

This event is when Jesus returns the coming of the Lord is always a reference to his second coming, it is not a reference to a secret rapture as Jesus return will be with a shout, a voice of the archangel and the trump of God.

Now obviously we do have the “catching up” which is understood to be the rapture which needs to be examined. Apart from the fact that there is no reference to these caught up being taken off to heaven but in the air we also have to put this verse in harmony with the rest of the Bible.

We know, because the Bible states as such, that Jesus will return in the way that he ascended

Acts 1- 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

He ascended in the clouds

Acts 1- 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

So he will return in the clouds. Jesus himself says that he will return in the clouds and be seen

 

Matthew 24- 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory

We are told in Matthew when Jesus is talking about his return that it will be like the days of Noah

 

Matthew 24:37-42 …’But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’

It says that one will be taken away and one will be left. However it does not say that the one taken is the one who is righteous , the pre supposed belief that it is the righteous who are raptured and the wicked that are left is read into this verse. As the verse doesn’t say it is the righteous or the wicked who are taken just that one is taken and one is left we have to use the Bible in order to understand who Jesus is referring to.

Remember back in 1 Thessalonians 1-17 it stated “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds”

Alive and REMAIN. It is those that REMAIN that are caught up so either we have a rapture preceding a rapture or it is not those that are caught up that are taken.

Jesus explains what will happen at the end of the world In the parable of the tares and the wheat.

Matthew 13-24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The disciples asked Jesus what the parable meant

 

Matthew 13- 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

So Jesus explained it.

Matthew 13- 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

So rather than a rapture where the righteous are taken and separated from the wicked Jesus stated that at his return there would be a harvest and it would be the wicked that would be removed from from the righteous. It is the righteous that REMAIN.

The passage also says as the days of Noah were it…. Well in the days of Noah it was the wicked that were destroyed and the righteous saved……The flood DESTROYED the earth and it was the righteous who remained not the wicked.

The harvest is mentioned again in Revelation.

Revelation 14-14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Notice in verse 19 that it is those that are reaped from out of the earth that are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. It is clearly the unrighteous, the wicked, the unsaved that are “taken” and NOT the saved who are Raptured.

Jesus states that this separation of the wicked from the righteous will happen at his RETURN and not an event before his return.

Matthew 25-31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Let’s look at the 2nd main passage used to support the rapture.

1 corinthians 15- 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality. 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.

It is the we shall all be changed and the putting on immortality from this passage that has been used to support the rapture doctrine.

So let’s examine this passage in more detail. This is actually discussing the RESURRECTION body.

Paul refers again to those that sleep. Saying that not all shall sleep but we shall ALL be changed. Those that sleep (are dead) and those that are not dead at the 2nd coming of Jesus.

If we go back to verse 35 we see Paul is answering the question that people were asking about the resurrection. In what body will the dead be raised in.

1 corinthians 15- 35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

Paul answers the question,

1 Corinthians 15- 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

The MYSTERY that Paul is revealing is NOT a rapture but the transformation into a new body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. The dead and those that are alive will be raised up into this new spiritual body.

Then from verse 50 Paul is showing that it will not just be the dead in Christ who are raised incorruptible when the resurrection happens. Those that are alive will also be changed at the twinkling of an eye (in an instant) into incorruptible bodies .

Paul is simply showing that BOTH the dead in Christ AND those that are alive at the time of the return of Jesus and the resurrection will be changed into incorruptible bodies.

We are also told this will happen at the LAST trump. So in 1 Thessalonians we are told it is with a trump and in this verse we specifically have the last trump. The resurrection of the dead and the changing of those that are alive will happen at the last trump.

But we must ask, if the dead rise FIRST , BEFORE those that are alive are “caught up” WHEN does the resurrection occur?
Luckily the Bible, as you might expect or rather should expect tells us exactly when the dead rise. The first resurrection happens just before the millennial reign of Jesus. The resurrected dead will reign with Jesus for those thousand years

Revelation 20-4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

This as we can see is after the antichrist has been revealed which absolutely invalidates the belief that there will be a “rapture” before the tribulation. The Bible very clearly places the resurrection of the dead after the antichrist and pairs it with the return of Jesus. The “rapture” or the catching up happens After the resurrection of the dead.

The second resurrection happens AFTER the Millennial reign…you don’t want to be part of this resurrection.

Jesus himself stated that his return will happen AFTER the tribulation not before it.

Matthew 24- 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Trumpet announcement again.

The disciples had asked Jesus when his return would be and what would be the sign

Jesus will return after the tribulation, with a trumpet and everyone will see him..certainly no secret.
Lets just look at some of the verses used to support the pre tribulation “secret” rapture  

Matthew 25-13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Revelation 16-15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

 1 Thessalonians 5-2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Matthew 24-42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

And Mark 13-32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

These verses are all taken out of context and refer to the RETURN of Jesus not a rapture and as we have already seen there will be no secret about the return of Jesus who will return ONCE not one and a half times (some teach that Jesus only partly comes back at the rapture)

The Bible very clearly states that the ones that this event will come as a thief in the night are the ones that are not watching. They are not expecting his return. But those that are are not children of the dark but of the light, to these, Jesus will not come as a thief because they are expecting him

1 Thessalonians 5-  1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Mark even tells us to Watch

Mark 13- 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

 

The Wrath of God and the Tribulation

The wrath of God is not the tribulation and the tribulation is not the wrath of God. They are 2 very different events.

The tribulation is the events that surround the 7 trumpets of revelation.

After the 7th trumpet is when the wrath of God is come and the judgement happens.

Revelation 11- 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.  the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

The wrath of God are the 7 vials that will be poured out.

Revelation 15- 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Revelation 16- 1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

It’s important that we understand the wrath of God, the 7 plagues,  and the tribulation, the 7 trumpets, are not the same. Believers will be kept from wrath not tribulation.

People often use Revelation 3-10 to prove we will not go through the tribulation.

Revelation 3-10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Firstly this does not say to be kept from as in taken away from the tribulation.

The Greek is tērēsō τηρήσω and means to be shielded or guarded against not removed.

This is the same word that is used in John 17-15  Where Jesus prays that the disciples NOT be taken out of the world but KEPT from the evil.

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

They should be guarded or shielded from the evil not removed from it.

The harvest of the earth doesn’t happen until AFTER the commencement of the 7th trumpet which is the LAST trumpet.

God never said that we would be spared tribulation. In fact believers are specifically told that we will have MUCH tribulation

John 16-33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

We are even told that some will be killed

Matthew 24-9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

John 1-9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Acts 14-22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Those that are in Christ are spared the wrath of God.

Ephesians 5-6 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

1 Thessalonians 5-9 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

John 3-36  36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Those that receive the wrath of God are those that have taken the mark of the beast and are alive at the time of the return of Jesus .

Revelation 16-1 1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The wicked will be separated from the righteous, as the Bible depicts,  and they will receive the wrath of God which is totally different than the tribulation.

The wrath of God is NOT signified with trumpets but with Vials

Revelation 15- . 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

The wrath of God is 7 plagues poured out on the wicked.

Revelation 15- 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

While the wrath of God was to be poured out those that had gotten victory over the beast and his mark were standing on the sea of glass with harps.

Revelation 15- 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

The scriptures, when put into their proper context do not teach a Rapture but a harvest.

The dead in Christ will rise first, then shall those that are alive be caught up and changed into immortal bodies, this is at the RETURN of Christ who will then reign on earth not in heaven for 1000 years. While this is happening the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. Those that are risen and those that were alive will then reign with Christ, here on earth


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