Is there a rapture of the Church, and if so, is it secret, followed by a seven year tribulation period in which those left behind will have a second chance at being redeemed?
A fictional series of books called the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, published in 1995, took the Christian world by storm. Though the books are fictional, a majority of the Christian world took them as being Biblically correct, and as part of the Gospel, leading unsuspecting parishioners to fall for the story line completely. I have had people get fighting mad with me when I attempted to explain the truth. This is how easy it is for Christians to be so easily deceived. They will not open and study their Bibles for the Truth, believing an unbelievable fictitious book, simply because it follows the deception of the rapture and tribulation scenario laid down years ago by Satan and his minions.
According to current traditional teachings in a majority of the Christian Denominations, the Church will be secretly raptured from the earth. Airplanes will crash, trains will derail, buses and cars will crash due to the drivers and pilots being raptured. Millions will disappear and only the clothes they were wearing will be left behind.
Following the rapture of the Church a seven year period of tribulation will be ushered in, in which a series of events will take place; an anti-Christ figure will arise ushering in a period of peace when he makes a peace agreement with Israel, and after 3 ½ years he breaks the agreement and forces everyone to accept an electronic implant (mark of the beast) and all Christians that have been redeemed through a second chance will be rounded up, persecuted and some beheaded. During this last 3 ½ years there will be major catastrophes and troubles bringing in a major war, known as Armageddon and culminating in a third return of Christ to rescue the second chance Christians.
Sounds like something straight out of Hollywood and their special effects department doesn’t it? Well, according to my Bible, It is, and I pray through the aid of the Holy Spirit and God’s Holy Word to show the deceptions of these scenarios and how they are completely opposite of what the Bible teaches. I believe this is one of the greatest deceptions other than the Sabbath day switch, ever perpetrated on God’s Church and his people. In this part 3 and part 4 the tribulation, to follow I pray I will be able to show through scripture the deceptions on God's people with the the seven year tribulation and rapture theories presently being taught.
The word “rapture” is not, and cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, but it means to be carried to another place, to remove, snatch away. Thessalonians 4:16 is usually cited as the source of this term RAPTURE; 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: This is one of several verses which indicate a rapture like event at the second coming of Jesus Christ. But is it secret or silent? There is nothing secret or silent in this verse.
According to present day teachings in most Churches it will be a secret and silent rapture with millions disappearing without a trace and the Governments attempting to cover it up, making it appear aliens from outer space kidnapped all these people. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about a silent and secret rapture.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Is lightning invisible as it flashes across the sky?
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.(Emphasis is mine)
This does not indicate any secret or silent coming, instead this verse as well as the one above indicates a complete opposite of what is being preached and taught in today’s churches, and all shall see and hear when the Lord descends for his people. Now let’s look at another verse.
I 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: (Emphasis is mine)
Psalm 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall NOT KEEP SILENCE: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. (Emphasis is mine)
These verses of scripture do not indicate a secret or silent rapture. There is nothing quite about the actions of either verse.
I believe the confusion comes from 2 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.
To the unbeliever this will be as a thief. They will be caught unawares. On the other hand, those which have a personal relationship with Jesus, keep his commandments, study the Bible and the prophecies relating to the end times, will not be surprised or shocked, this is what they are looking and waiting for.
As an example, the Scribes and Pharisees missed the coming of the Messiah because they were looking for a conquering King and not a meek servant of the people. The wise men from the East interpreted the scriptures accurately and came to pay homage as did the Sheppard’s in the fields, who were also waiting and watching for the Messiah.
The learned and supposedly intelligent of that day missed the Messiah. The learned and intelligent of today will also, like their counterparts of the past, miss the signs of the Second coming event.
Much like then, the Christians and Churches are looking in the wrong place and reading the wrong signs, listening to the false prophets and teachers which abound on radio and television, and will therefore, be caught with their pants down so to speak.
There are other verses which are used to indicate a secret rapture, including: Matt.24:38-41
Matthew 24:38-41 38 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, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Jesus is not indicating 2 individual persons but rather an analogy akin to the wheat and tares parable in the 13th chapter of Matthew, with the two people indicating the saved as one, (the wheat), and the lost sinner, (the tares), for the other. The one left is the unrepentant or lost sinner and will be cast into the fire as indicated in the Parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew chapter 13.
In this parable which can be considered a prophecy as it does indicate the gathering together of God’s people in the last days, and Jesus indicates this in Matthew 13:30 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. (Emphasis is mine)
Jesus is indicating the saved will be gathered while the unsaved are being destroyed. I see no seven year separation in this parable; Jesus is indicating the lost will be separated and cast into the fire at the same time the saved are gathered, and if we look back at 2 Peter 3:10 we see almost the same scenario as the gathering of the tares and wheat in this parable. 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. This is indicating an action of gathering and destroying all at the same time and not over a seven year period.
There are four classes of people on this earth and all will be dealt with. There are the righteous living and the wicked living; there are the righteous dead and the wicked dead. At Jesus’s return, the righteous living and the righteous dead will be raised incorruptible, as Paul describes in 1 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.
These are the first two classes of people Jesus will deal with, and he will then immediately deal with the second class of people, namely the living wicked of this world as shown in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Now let’s see what happens once the living wicked are destroyed at his coming as shown in Thessalonians 1:7-10.
Look at Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. (Emphasis is mine)
Now, my question to you is, if Jesus, as indicated in the forgoing verses resurrects his followers from among the living and the grave, and destroys the remaining unsaved at the same time, where is this seven year tribulation? These verses verify this as the FIRST RESSURECTION, but according to present teachings, all the lost (“Left Behind”) are to remain for seven years and afforded a second chance for redemption, but reading these verses there is no indication of this. Friends if you are waiting for this seven year period to make your changes, you are in for a very bumpy landing.
The Devil is a very cunning and devious spirit, anyone not believing this, need only look at Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: Stars in prophecy indicate angels, and here it is shown that Satan deceived a third of the heavenly angels into following him. Are we smarter than those angels? Look at what Paul said in Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Satan is working overtime in our Churches and in our lives to deceive us into believing his lies and robbing us of the eternal home God has promised to those that love Him, and keep his commandments, he knows his time is short and he intends to destroy as many of God’s people as possible.
Let me give you a little more insight concerning the wheat and tares. The tares are an almost identical looking piece of wheat scattered amongst the real wheat, making them counterfeit. The real wheat is a healthy plump plant filled with ripe fruit. The wheat in this parable then is indicating the fruitful Christian keeping God’s commandments, witnessing and winning souls for Jesus. On the flip side the tares which resemble the wheat have no fruit and are unproductive in winning souls to Jesus. These will hear the most pitiful words spoken; And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity Matthew 7:23
The tares are much like the bench warming athletes, who never play but wear the team emblem, or the armchair quarterback, never participating but always finding fault, complaining about those which are doing God’s work.
Which are you? The wheat, loving God by keeping His commandments, witnessing to others, and following the example as set by Jesus himself when he walked this earth. Or, are you a tare? A counterfeit Christian, warming the bench, complaining and finding faults with others doing what you refuse to participate in, not studying and following God’s word and his commandments, but rather conforming to this world and man’s traditions and ways, 2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
Revelation 22:11-12 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. What Jesus is saying here is there will be NO SECOND CHANCE, whatever state of rightousness or wickedness you are in, there you will remain.
If you intend to be in the first resurrection when Jesus comes, may I suggest you turn from your worldly ways and become a new creature as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Mathew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
If we expect to be with Jesus we must become a new creature and dispose of our sinful ways, putting all our troubles and faith on the one that matters most, JESUS! Our only hope, our only way of getting out of this world alive. Today is the day of salvation. Are you ready?
Please read part 4 Deceived- The Seven Year Tribulation to get a better understanding of this part.
Copyright 2013 by Paul Taylor All Rights Reserved
All Scripture is King James Version unless notedRev 01/25/13 01/28/13 01/29/13 2/03/13
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