Introduction to My E Book, 'Introduction to The Mid Week Rapture,' Part 1 of 4 Parts
by Karl Kemp
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"Scripture Quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
This e-book originated with the written texts behind my twenty-four, half-hour radio broadcasts of the series titled "The Mid-Week Rapture." I improved the written texts by adding bold (all of the key Bible passages are in bold lettering), underlining, and italics, which makes this e-book easier to read, and I made some other improvements in the content, including adding a Chronological Chart at the end of the e-book. The chart is essentially the equivalent to the fold-out Chronological Chart at the end of my paperback book, "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse-by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages."
The primary goal for these twenty-four articles was to discuss the most important Bible passages that enable us see that the Lord Jesus will return, and the rapture will take place, right in the middle of the seven-year period that is sometimes called Daniel's 70th week (based on Daniel 9:24-27). The articles in this e-book present the scriptural basis for the mid-week rapture rather thoroughly, and they serve as a good introduction for my paperback book, "The Mid-Week Rapture," which contains a large amount of information not contained in this e-book. (For example, the paperback book contains verse-by-verse studies of Psalm 110; Daniel 2:31-45; Daniel chapters 7, 8, 9, 12; and Zechariah chapters 9-14; and an eight page discussion that goes with the Chronological Chart that is included in the back of the paperback book and at the end of this e-book.) I frequently quoted from the paperback book in the twenty-four articles of this e-book.
As I mentioned, this e-book focuses on the most important passages of the Bible that enable us to understand the mid-week rapture. (See the Contents of this e-book in the section that follows.) There is a strong emphasis on passages from the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is God's last word in the Bible on the details of the end of this age, and it is packed with those details. It contains very much information that was not included in the prophetic passages that had been given before that super-important revelation was given to the apostle John (and through him to us) about AD 95. I should mention that there are some major differences of interpretation, including some of the key passages which are referred to, among those teaching the mid-week rapture.
Now that this e-book is available, it should be read before the paperback book. It summarizes the scriptural basis for the mid-week rapture, and is easier to read. Those who are interested in this topic and like this e-book will want to go on to read the much more extensive paperback book. Both books are available at amazon.com and the paperback book is also available on my internet site.
I'LL LIST THE PRIMARY CONTENT OF THIS E-BOOK (I'll underline the passages/verses if they are quoted in this e-book [some Christian article sites do not reproduce the underlining]; most of the passages/verses that are quoted are discussed to some extent; some of them are discussed to a significant extent):
Listing of the Chapters in My Paperback Book, "The Mid-Week Rapture"
Abbreviations and Other Such Information
Article #1. Introduction; Matthew 24:30, 31; Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 4:13-5:6; 5:9; Revelation 3:1-6; 11:15-17
Article #2. Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11; Daniel 7:21, 25; 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Revelation 3:10;13:2, 5, 7; 14:6, 7; 14:9-12; 17:16, 17); discuss abomination of desolation to some extent
Article #3. Isaiah 27:12, 13; Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15, 21, 22, 29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5; Revelation 9:13-21; discuss short great tribulation
Article #4. Daniel 11:40-12:2; Joel 2:30-32; Matthew 24:15, 21, 22, 29; Revelation 6:12-17; 9:2; 12:3, 4, 7-9
Article #5. Isaiah 27:12, 13; Zechariah chapter 4; MATTHEW 24:29-51; Luke 21:20-24; start REVELATION CHAPTERS 11-13; REVELATION 11:1-4
Article #6. Zechariah 12:10; 13:1, 8; 14:1, 2; and 14:4, 5; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 9:27-29; 11:26, 27; REVELATION 11:1-13; Revelation 17:8; extreme importance of the book of Revelation
Article #7. Psalm 2:1-6; Zechariah 12:10; 13:1; Romans 2:28, 29; 11:17-24; Revelation 1:4, 5, 8; 4:2-4, 8; 8:13; 19:5; REVELATION 11:14-19; start REVELATION CHAPTER 12; REVELATION 12:1
Article #8. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 66:7, 8; Daniel 7:21, 25; Romans 16:20; Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:21; REVELATION 12:1-5; Revelation 13:5-7
Article #9. Psalm 2 (espec. verses 7-9); Micah 5:1-3; Matthew 23:37-39; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:21; 11:18; REVELATION 12:5
Article #10. Micah 5:3; Matthew 24:29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; REVELATION 12:5-9
Article #11. Exodus 19:4; Daniel 7:21, 25; 12:7; 1 Peter 2:24, 25; Revelation 11:15, 17; 12:5; 13:7; 15:2; REVELATION 12:10-16
Article #12. Zechariah 12:10; 13:1, 8; 14:1, 2, 4, 5; Revelation 11:13; 17:8, 12, 13, 14; 19:19-21; REVELATION 12:17; start REVELATION CHAPTER 13; REVELATION 13:1-6
Article #13. Daniel 7:21, 25: 12:7, 10; Zechariah 11:15-17; 13:9; start DANIEL CHAPTER 12; Matthew 24:24; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 3:1-6; 12:17; 13:2, 4, 5; 14:6, 7, 9-11; 15:2; 16:13, 14, 16; REVELATION 13:7-18
Article #14. DANIEL 12:1-7; Daniel 10:4-6; Matthew 13:43; 24:21, 29-31; Revelation 1:10-20
Article #15. DANIEL 12:5-12; Daniel 7:21, 25, 26; 9:27; Zechariah 13:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; Revelation 12:17; 13:5, 7; 15:2-4
Article #16. DANIEL 12:12, 13; Matthew 27:50-53; start REVELATION CHAPTERS 4-10; REVELATION 4:1-5:5; Revelation 1:19; 3:21; 6:12-17; 19:11-16
Article #17. Matthew 24:6-9, 14, 15; 28:18; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 1:6; 8:1; 19:2; 20:6; REVELATION 5:6-6:11
Article #18. Isaiah 2:12-22; 13:9-13; Ezekiel chapter 9; Matthew 24:29; Hebrews 12:26-29; REVELATION 6:12-7:8; introduction to REVELATION CHAPTER 7 Revelation 5:6; 8:1; 9:4; 12:17; 14:1; 21:16, 17; the symbolic numbers 7, 12, and 144,000
Article #19. Ezekiel chapters 9, 10 and Daniel chapters 10, 12 and the man dressed in linen; Matthew 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:5; 22:3-5, 14, 15; REVELATION 7:1-8:6
Article #20.; Exodus 9:18-26; Daniel 2:37-39; 4:20-22; Joel 1:6; 2:4; Luke 2:1; Romans 1:8; Ephesians 1:13; REVELATION 8:7-9:12; first five trumpets
Article #21. Ezekiel 2:8-3:4; Daniel 11:36, 37; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 1:16; 4:3; 17:16, 17; REVELATION 10:1-11; brief discussion of Revelation chapters 14-18; start REVELATION CHAPTER 19; REVELATION 19:1-3
Article #22. Ezekiel 1:1; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:3; 3:4, 5; 7:14; 11:15-17; 14:14-16; 17:1, 15; 18:24; 19:13, 14; 22:10-15; REVELATION 19:1-11; discuss the word hallelujah
Article #23. Isaiah 63:1-6; Matthew 25:41; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 25; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 2:17, 26, 27; 3:12; 11:15-18; 14:1-5, 9-11; 14-16; 16:12-14, 16; 17:14; 20:10, 14; REVELATION 19:11-21; start REVELATION 20:1-9; REVELATION 20:1-3; discuss the words gehenna, hell, and hades
Article #24. Isaiah 66:7, 8; Ezekiel chapters 38, 39; Daniel 7:9, 18, 22, 27; Zechariah 13:9; 14:10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24; Galatians 4:26; Revelation 4:6; 12:6, 14-16; 15:2-4; 13:10; 20:14, 15; 21:27; 22:5; REVELATION 20:1-9; discuss salvation of "the nations"
I'll list the chapters in my paperback book, "The Mid-Week Rapture":
2. Chronological Chart for Daniel's 70th Week with Explanatory Notes (The chart itself is located at the end of the book.)
3. Christians Will Be Saved from the Day of Wrath
4. When (How Soon) Will the Lord Jesus Christ Return?
5. Daniel Chapter 2
6. Daniel Chapter 7
7. Daniel Chapter 8
8. Daniel Chapter 9
9. Daniel 11:36-45
10. Daniel 12:1-4
11. Daniel 12:5-13
12. Introduction to Zechariah Chapters 9-14
13. Zechariah Chapters 9 and 10
14. Zechariah Chapter 11
15. Zechariah Chapters 12-14
16. Isaiah 66:1-8
17. Micah 4:9-5:6
18. Psalm 2
19. Psalm 110
20. Revelation Chapter 11
21. Revelation Chapter 12
22. Revelation Chapter 13
23. Revelation 14:1-5
24. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Abbreviations and Other Such Information:
e.g. for example
f., ff. following verse or verses
I typically quote the primary Scripture passages we are discussing in bold print throughout this e-book.
I frequently make comments in the middle of quotations in brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious.
Bruce Andrews spent several hours modifying the Chronological Chart in the back of my paperback book, The Mid-Week Rapture, to make it more suitable for this e-book format. Greg Holtzmann produced the cover for this book. Norma Wagner proofread the manuscript, which enabled me to remove quite a few typos. I want to thank all of the students I have had dealing with this topic for the past forty plus years (and many other topics, but especially the topic of righteousness, holiness, and victory over sin). They encouraged me and many of them helped support my ministry, which enabled me to have the time and resources to do the things I have done.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my infinite debt to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Apart from the Father's saving grace in Christ Jesus and all the work of the Holy Spirit, I would still be lost and spiraling downward. I readily acknowledge that my Christian life and ministry is totally dependent on the sufficient grace of God in Christ Jesus, which includes all the work of the Holy Spirit. The triune God must receive all the glory forever! He is the ultimate source for truth, righteousness, holiness, victory over sin, life, peace, order, and everything else that is good!
May God's will be fully accomplished in the hearts and lives of His people through this e-book! In Jesus' name!
MID-WEEK RAPTURE #1
Introduction. I'll give a little background information since this is the first article in the twenty-four article series. I am a Bible teacher. For one thing, I have been teaching the Bible in the greater St. Louis area for about forty-five years, in churches, Bible colleges, home Bible studies, etc.
I received BS and MS degrees in engineering from St. Louis University, and I worked as a test engineer on various space projects throughout the 60s; it was interesting. Very often we were doing things for the first time.
In 1964 the best thing that ever happened to me happened. I became a born- again Christian; thanks be to God! In the fall of 1969 I quit my job as an engineer. For one thing, I wanted to go to seminary to learn Greek and Hebrew and everything else that could help me understand the Bible. But I realized back then, and I realize even more now, how dependent I am on the Holy Spirit to be my primary teacher. I graduated from Covenant Seminary in 1972 with an MA degree in Biblical Studies with high honors. I have found Greek and Hebrew to be very helpful in my study of the Bible, especially Greek, and I have taught some ten classes in New Testament Greek over the years.
The church I was attending when I became a born-again Christian - and I'm very thankful for that church - taught me the pre-week rapture. Most Christians call it the pre-tribulation rapture, but I believe it is far more accurate to call it the pre-week rapture. The week refers to that seven-year period we learn about from Dan. 9:27. It's called Daniel's 70th week; it's a week of years.
Not long after I became a born-again Christian, I learned of the mid-week rapture while taking night classes at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. My first five or six years as a Christian, I didn't study the end times much, and I didn't teach on the end times. Finally, about 1970, after I began to seriously and prayerfully study the topic, it became clear to me that the mid-week rapture is correct, and I have been teaching the mid-week rapture for about forty-five years now. I wrote a 360 page paperback book titled "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse-by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages."
You can check out the book (or order a copy of the book) by going to my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching). A chapter of the book is included on my internet site. You can also check out my other paperback book there, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ." The topic of that book is more important than "The Mid-Week Rapture." And many of my articles and papers are posted on my internet site. Both books are available at amazon.com, and I have another e-book on amazon.com, "Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin." That e-book serves as a good introduction for the paperback book.
I'm not here to argue, and I'm thankful I can sincerely say that I respect those teaching the pre-week rapture (people like Hal Lindsey and Dave Hunt, for example), and I respect those teaching other views like the end-of-the-week rapture, and the pre-wrath rapture, but it is very important that we seek God and make it a top priority to find the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches on the end times, and on every topic. Some topics are more important than Bible prophecy, but that topic is quite important, and especially for those living in the end times, which I believe we are. The primary topic I have been studying, teaching, and trying to live the last forty-five years is holiness and victory over sin.
I have been reading the Jerusalem Post every week for about twenty-five years now and the Jerusalem Report every two weeks for about that long; they are both written in Israel. And I read some other publications too, trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, especially in and around Israel. For one primary thing, I have been watching for the treaty that will initiate the seven-year period we call Daniel's 70th week.
That seven-year period is very important in Bible prophecy. We learn about that seven-year period from the book of Daniel, but the book of Revelation picks up on that theme. The book of Revelation never mentions seven years, but it mentions the equivalent of three and one-half years five times; it mentions 1,260 days, 42 months, and a time, times and half a time. The first two uses refer to the first half of Daniel's 70th week and other three uses refer to the second half of that seven-year period. This information is very important to help us understand the end times. For one primary thing, the book of Revelation speaks of several very important things that will take place right in the middle of the seven-year period, including the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, the return of the Lord Jesus to save His people and to judge the world, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the saints. At that same time, the devil and his angels will be cast down to the earth and Antichrist will begin his super-evil three and one-half year reign. God will use Antichrist in His end-time judgment of the world (cf., e.g., Rev. 17:16, 17).
One last comment before we move on to the Scriptures. We'll spend most of our time discussing key passages of Scripture verse-by-verse. I read an important article in the Jerusalem Post recently titled, "Chirac, it's time to impose peace." Chirac, as you know, is the president of France, and he was speaking of France and the European Union doing everything they could do to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, or should I say, to use his word, to "impose" peace. That mentality in Europe and many other places around the world could easily lead to the final seven-year treaty before long. I should mention that Chirac has been replaced by Sarkozy since I made that comment, but that mentality is stronger than ever. At the present time (February, 2014), John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, is doing everything he can do to bring about a treaty between Israel and the Palestinians very soon; he has been aiming for this spring (2014).
Let's turn to the Bible, 1 THESSALONIANS 1:9, 10. I'll always use the NASB, 1995 edition, unless I mention otherwise. I have been using the NASB since about 1969. Before that I used the KJV, the Scofield Reference Bible. I will frequently make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]]. 1 THESSALONIANS 1:9, "For they themselves report about us [referring to the apostle Paul and his companions Silvanus and Timothy] what kind of a reception we had with you [referring to the time when Paul and his companions first came to Thessalonica to share the gospel with them. See Acts 17 for the details.], and how you turned from idols to serve a [or, the] living and true God." Whether we translate "a living and true God" or "the living and true God," which sounds better, there's only one living and true God, the God of Creation, the God of the Bible (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).
1 THESSALONIANS 1:10. "and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus who rescues us [or, delivers us] from the wrath to come." Our being delivered from the wrath to come is good news, good news indeed! We probably know more about the details of this deliverance from the wrath to come than the apostle Paul did. For one thing, he died some thirty years before the book of Revelation was given, and the book of Revelation is super-important and packed with important details regarding the end times.
I'll read two other verses that speak of our being saved from the wrath to come. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:9, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." And ROMANS 5:9, "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." I believe we should understand the words "having now been justified" in a very full sense here, as is often the case in the New Testament, a very full sense that includes being forgiven and declared righteous and being born-again and made righteous by the awesome power of Jesus' blood and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are made righteous and holy by the atoning death of Christ, as we walk in, by, and after the Holy Spirit by faith, in accordance with the terms of the new covenant. (See my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin" and my e-book, "Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin." Both books are available at amazon.com.)
What wrath will we be saved from? The primary wrath we will be saved from is the eternal lake of fire, the second death of Revelation chapter 20. But we will also be saved from all the wrath that will be poured out during the second half of that seven-year period called Daniel's 70th week.
Now we'll discuss 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-17. "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep [Those who are asleep are the Christians who have died already; they are with Christ now.], so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope [[Christians are the only ones who have the hope, "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27), for example. Our hope looks to the future, when we will be glorified, at the time of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can't receive the glory until it is God's time. If we stay faithful we will receive the glory at the right time. And we can stay faithful by the sufficient grace of God in Christ. And we are going to stay faithful, aren't we?]]. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God [God the Father] will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus [[Don't worry about the Christians who have died, Paul says, they are with Christ now, and when the Father sends His Son back to fully save His people and to judge the world, He will bring with Him the spirits of the departed Christians, who are with Him now. They will come back to get their resurrection bodies, to be glorified, and to begin to reign along with the overcoming Christians who will still be living on the earth at that time.]]. (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep [The apostle Paul will have more to say on this point as he continues.]. (16) [Verses 16 and 17 are very important verses to understand the end times] For the Lord Himself [the Lord Jesus Christ] will descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel [[The voice of the archangel, that's Michael. We read in Revelation chapter 12 that Michael and his angels are going to wage warfare against the devil and his angels. That intense, brief warfare will take place right in the middle of the seven years, and that is when the devil and his angels will be cast down to the earth. By the way, we learn from that passage in Revelation chapter 12 that a third of God's angels joined Satan in his rebellion against God. The sin problem runs very deep, with the rebellion and fall of the devil and the evil angels and the demons, and finally with the rebellion of a large number of the sons of mankind who follow the devil in his rebellion against God.]] and with the trumpet of God
[[(This double bracket goes on for four paragraphs. Then we'll continue with 1 Thess. 4:16.) This trumpet is very important. It is quite significant that this is the same trumpet as the trumpet of Matthew chapter 24; the trumpet of 1 Corinthians chapter 15; and the trumpet of Revelation chapter 11. In Matthew 24:30, 31 there is a trumpet when the Lord returns with the clouds to initiate the rapture and the day of judgment. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 the apostle Paul gets more specific. He speaks of our being changed at the LAST trumpet (Our being changed includes the resurrection unto glory for the believers who will have died before that time and of the glorification of the believers who will be living on the earth at that time). Paul may not have known the details regarding the LAST trumpet because, for one thing, he died some thirty years before the all-important book of Revelation was given. When we finally get the book of Revelation (about AD 95), we read of the seven trumpets, and we see that at the seventh and last trumpet the Lord returns and the glorification of the believers take place. We read of the seventh and last trumpet sounding in Revelation 11:15. It is important to see that the trumpets of 1 Thess. 4:16; Matt. 24:31; the LAST trumpet of 1 Cor. 15:52; and the seventh and LAST trumpet of Rev. 11:15 are the same trumpet and that that trumpet will sound right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. Let's take a quick look at these three passages that speak of this same trumpet. (We will look at these passages in more detail in future articles.)
First let's take a quick look at 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-52, "Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable [In other words, we have to be glorified, which includes having glorified bodies, to inherit God's eternal kingdom of glory.]. (51) Behold I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed [Some true Christians will still be living on the earth when Christ returns. They will not die, but all will be changed. That is, we will be glorified and enter God's kingdom in its fully glorified sense. We will begin to reign with Christ at that time in a never ending reign.], (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET [my emphasis]; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we [referring to the believers still living on the earth when Christ returns] will be changed [we will be glorified, including having glorified bodies designed for us to live in God's eternal kingdom of glory]."
Now let's take a quick look at MATTHEW 24:30, 31. I'll read the verses and make a few comments, "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn [They will mourn because the day of judgment will have arrived.] and they will see the SON OF MAN [the Lord Jesus Christ] COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. (31) And He will send forth His angels with a GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other [In other words, the angels will gather His elect worldwide.]." This gathering of God's elect at the time of the sounding of this trumpet is the rapture. His elect are the believers of all generations, all the members of God's true Israel. I believe the saints/believers from Old Testament days will be included. In Romans 11:17-24 the apostle Paul spoke of the fact that all true Gentile Christians have been grafted into the tree of God's true Israel.
Now I'll quote REVELATION 11:15-17, verses of key importance, and make a few comments, "Then the seventh angel sounded [The seventh angel sounded his TRUMPET. The seven trumpets were given to the seven angels in Rev. 8:2.]; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord [God the Father] and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever [When the Lord Jesus returns at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet of the book of Revelation, He will begin to reign on the earth, and His reign will include judging. In most ways God is not reigning on the earth at the present time. He has all authority, but He has not chosen to reign on the earth in any full sense. If He were reigning things would come into divine order quickly, but as it is many things are getting worse (more sinful) instead of getting better. But it will be different when the Father sends His Son to begin to reign on the earth at the sounding of the seventh trumpet in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.].' (16) And the twenty-four elders [high-level angelic beings who are reigning with God (see Psalm 89:6-8, for example)], who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, (17) 'We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and HAVE BEGUN TO REIGN [my emphasis].' " God the Father will begin to reign on the earth (mostly through the ministry of God the Son) at the time of the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet of the book of Revelation.
Now I'll continue quoting from 1 Thess. 4:16.]], and the dead in Christ will rise first [That is, the true Christians who will have died before the Lord Jesus returns will rise from their graves with resurrected bodies.]. (17) Then we who are alive and remain [referring to the true Christians who will still be living on the earth when the Lord returns] will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [That is, the resurrected believers and the other glorified believers will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. That's the rapture. The catching up of the believers in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air is the rapture.], and so we shall always be with the Lord. [And not only will we be glorified and be with Christ, we will be reigning with Him from that time on in a never-ending reign.] (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words." Yes, I guess so! What a destiny! Resurrected if we have died, glorified, raptured, and beginning to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ in a never-ending reign in glory.
Let's consider one more detail regarding those who will be raised from the dead at the time of Christ's mid-week return to the earth. Will the believers from the Old Testament days be resurrected at that time? Many Christians say no, but I believe they will be included, even if the apostle Paul didn't really make that point here. See Dan. 12:2, for example. (We'll study all of Daniel chapter 12 verse-by-verse in these studies.) They are saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are part of God's true Israel along with us.
We will start with 1 Thess. 5:1-6 in Part 2.
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