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What I found in the bible on Rapture
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The Rapture - What I found in the bible.
Probably every christian know that we are in the last days before the end of the world, but does anyone know with certainty how the end time prophecies and events will unfold?
I cannot predict with certainty the exact time we're in with respect to the end time prophecies nor can I pinpoint when what will happen but I will like to reflect on a very crucial belief and expectation of all christians.
The next big event should be the sudden and secret appearing in the clouds of Jesus to 'harvest' the saints and is popularly referred to as the Rapture.This should, it is claimed, mark the beginning of the end and the manifestation of the Beast.
This is what I was taught and have believed(and still hopes is the case) all my life as a christian. However I was recently challenged by a different suggestion - that the rapture will occur after the manifestation of the Beast.This led me to study through the bible for evidence of the correct timing of the Rapture.
Daniel's vision of the end is captured mainly in Daniel 9 and 12.
While chapter 9 dealt with the 70 weeks prophecy that covered the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, the first coming of the Messiah - Jesus Christ, and the 1 week of the 'end' - the apocalypse, there was no reference to anything that could be considered as the Rapture.
Chapter 12 makes reference to the "time of Trouble" - Great Tribulation.
Daniel 12:1, 10 KJV
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
To confirm that this period refers to the apocalyptic 3 1/2 years of the reign of the antichrist:
Daniel 12:11 KJV
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
And then this.
Daniel 12:12 KJV
Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Nothing said about removing the saints before the "time of Trouble, rather a blessing for getting to the end of it.
The disciples of Jesus asked Him three specific questions.
Matthew 24:3 KJV
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
1. When shall these things be? In reference to His statement in verse 2 about the temple.
2. What shall be the sign of your coming...? The second coming of Christ.
3. ...And of the end of the world?
When one reads through the entire chapter one will see that Jesus clearly answered all three questions. However the only account that describes the Rapture (verses 30-42) is placed after the tribulation in verse 29.
Matthew 24:29-30 KJV
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: 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.
(Some claim that this refers to the public revelation of Jesus in His second coming. If so where did Jesus talk about His secret appearing and a removal of saints? He most certainly wouldn't have avoided mentioning if it was part of the end time realities.).
Again no reference to a removal before the end begins or before the Tribulation. Rather verses12 and 13 sound very similar to Daniel 12: 10,12 warning of the need to wait or endure till the end.
John gave the most detailed account of the end.
While Revelation 13 details in summary the manifestation of the Beast and the False Prophet spanning the 7 years of the apocalypse, it only makes a brief reference to the Great Tribulation. However before then no reference was made to the Rapture. Some say that chapter 4 and verse 1 is a reference to a type of rapture citing the trumpet and the phrase "come up hither" as evidence.
Revelation 4:1 KJV
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Without trying to impose man's inventiveness on the scripture it would be clear that John is the one been directly addressed here and no trumpet was sounded, rather a voice like a trumpet talking with John. Where trumpets were sounded(chapter 8) it clearly stated so.
Another reference to the Great Tribulation is in Revelation 7:14 KJV
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Who are those that came out of the great tribulation? This also is in agreement with Daniel 12:10,12 and Matthew 24:13.
Revelation 15 gives a narrative of the gathering of overcomers singing the victorious song of Moses.
Revelation 15:2-3 KJV
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. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
These overcame the Beast and his mark and were gathered before the pouring of the 'wrath of God' in chapter 16.
Please note that every reference so far to the saints has an inference to overcoming the beast and an implication that they are still alive and still in the world. Those who lived through it all. No reference to those matyred or killed in the tribulation.
The next reference to the saints is in their readiness for the Marriage of the Lamb(verses 7 and 8) which is followed by the second coming of Christ to establish His millenial reign all in chapter 19. This is the only time Jesus meets His bride and is actually the only reference to the appearance of Jesus Christ and to His second coming in the whole of the prophecies in Revelation.
This appearing of Jesus is accompanied by the first resurrection Revelation 20:4 KJV
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.
This picture(of Jesus appearing in the clouds to meet His bride - dead and alive) agrees perfectly with Paul's account in
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV
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: 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.
Note Paul says "..are alive and REMAIN", implying a remnant. This can only be a reference to the tribulation.
All through the bible there isn't any clear suggestion of a secret removal of saints before the end begins, except for where people have misapplied some references to suit their purpose.
This exercise has left me bewildered, confounded and alarmed. I am not proposing nor opposing any doctrines, I am just sharing with you my observations. You make of it what you will but do let the Holy Spirit guide you.
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