“THE RAPTURE is the greatest, final and only mystery as revealed to the Apostle Paul that is yet to happen.”
This Rapture will be ‘the event’, which will trigger off two events almost simultaneously at the same time.
First, the ‘Body of Christ’, that universal body of believers, from all nations, tribes and tongues….
……those who have ‘heart believed’ Paul’s Gospel of Grace, will be ‘caught up’ and taken out of the way [1 Thessalonians 4:17].
They will be that one generation that will not see and experience physical death, as we understand it.
They will literally be lifted off this planet by probably ‘the greatest’ supernatural Act of God.
And you and I could very well be a part of that living generation.
This will happen the moment that last believer steps into the ‘Body of Christ’, completing it.
And this ‘Age of Grace’ which has been going on now for 2000 + years, will come to an end.
This end of the Grace Age will not be a gradual decrease, but abrupt and ‘instant’, in the blink of an eye.
The Bible calls it, “In a moment, in the twinkling of any eye” [1 Corinthians 15:52].
And that ‘twinkling of an eye’ in our mathematical language, is a period of ‘indivisible time’, which is beyond comprehension.
Furthermore, this event of the ‘Rapture’, is ‘imminent’, that is, it’s about to happen ‘any moment’, as we stand today.
So that’s the first.
Final Seven Years
Secondly, this ‘Rapture’ will set the clock ticking, for that final seven years of ‘the great tribulation’.
It will be the one that Jesus Christ Himself spoke of in [Matthew 24:21].
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
And if we think this world is already in terrible shape, which it is….
……what is coming will be, ‘hell on earth’, never known or experienced by mankind in its entire history.
Rest assured, ‘NONE OF US WANT TO BE THERE’!
And the ‘only way’ to escape it, is to put our heart believing faith in Paul’s Gospel of Grace.
The Gospel that the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ in Glory revealed directly to him according to the Scriptures in [Galatians 1:11-12].
And this Gospel is clearly laid out in [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]:
“How that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
And the great Apostle Paul says in [2 Corinthians 6:2]:
“Behold, ‘now’ is the accepted time; behold, ‘now’ is the day of salvation.”
The Word ‘Rapture’
Now the word ‘Rapture’ is not a Biblical word, so you won’t find it in the Bible, but the concept is absolutely very Biblical and Scriptural.
This English word ‘Rapture’, is actually derived from the Latin word, ‘Rapio’.
And ‘Rapio’ means to ‘seize’ or ‘snatch’, an actual removal from one place to another.
The Greek word for the term ‘Rapture’ is ‘Harpazo’, which means to be ‘caught up’ [1 Thessalonians 4:17].
And the Latin translation of this Greek word is ‘Rapturo’, which means to snatch or take away.
So, the ‘Rapture’ or ‘Rapturo’, or ‘Harpazo’, is the carrying away of the Body of Christ, the Church, from earth to heaven.
And as we have mentioned, it will take place in the ‘twinkling of an eye’, a period of ‘indivisible time’.
Pre, Mid Or Post
Whether this ‘Rapture’ will be pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation, has become a highly debatable point.
There is no doubt that the Rapture will happen, the only question is ‘when?’, in God’s scheme of things.
There is no shortage of speculations, conceptions, opinions and theological views out there on the net in relation to this Rapture.
This is by no means, a doctrinal point, in the sense that it will ‘not’ affect the salvation of a true believer.
‘That is already irreversibly and irrevocably settled by the way of the cross.’
But since it has been revealed, it is important that we know the truth, for reasons we will mention later.
And there can be only ‘one truth’.
There are many, including professing Christians, who know nothing about the concept of the Rapture.
The Scripture refers to the Rapture as our “blessed hope” in [Titus 2:13].
The unbelieving world out there thinks it is a fairy tale figment of our imagination.
Many within Christendom think that the Rapture is something that is only just a ‘spiritual thing’.
That it’s something that is not really tangible and real.
And the bottom line is the hard truth that Christendom, for the most part, hasn’t really paid attention to the Apostle Paul.
There are but a few who have given Paul his rightful place of apostleship in this Age of Grace.
Qualifying from Scripture
Everything that we have written so far, are for the most part, just statements, which ‘MUST’ be qualified from Scripture.
After all, what did both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul say?
“For what saith the Scriptures?” [Matthew 22:29], [Romans 4:3] and [Galatians 4:30].
Not what man says, not what our denomination says, or what anybody else may say.
For it is the Scriptures, “rightly divided” [2 Timothy 2:15], that always has the ‘final say’ in all things.
So, as we begin this series on ‘The Mystery of the Rapture’, we prayerfully hope to do just that.
So please do stay with us.
Three Foundational Concepts
Before we start to explain the Rapture, there are ‘three’ important foundational concepts that need to be settled first.
And if we can grasp these foundational fundamentals, they will open our understanding much more effectively for what’s to follow.
The first is God’s ‘prophetic plan’ for the ages.
Secondly, we have God’s ‘Mystery (secret) plan’ for the ages.
And the third is the ‘resurrection’ of all men.
Once we comprehend these, it is amazing how much confusion and doubt gets dispelled, and things fall beautifully into place.
A Progressive Revelation
Remember, that the entire Bible is a ‘progressive revelation’ of God’s Word.
God has revealed His plan and programme in stages.
Moses, in [Deuteronomy 29:29] said:
“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God:”
That means that God, in His Sovereignty, can hide things, and reveal them when HE sees fit to reveal them.
“But those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever…….”
When Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba in [Genesis 21:33] the Bible says that:
“Abraham called there on the Name of the LORD, the everlasting God”.
When we extract the meaning out of the original Hebrew text, this is what we get:
- The Name of Deity, that is, the Name of God here is referred to as ‘ELOHIM-OLAM’, Who is from ‘everlasting to everlasting’.
- This ‘Everlasting God’ is also the ‘God of Time’.
- And since He is also the God of time, HE Sovereignly ‘hides’ things ‘in time’.
God by no means expects any of us to believe something that ‘HE’ has not revealed.
It’s only as and when God reveals something, that we are then expected to believe what HE has said.
And God, in this 6000-year journey of human history, through His Divinely appointed prophets, has revealed His plan in stages.
Determinate Counsel And Foreknowledge
Peter in [Acts 2:23] talks about the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”.
This is a very powerful, telling and loaded statement.
Yet, so many of us have just read over this casually without really stopping to think about it.
And we do this with so much of Scripture.
But let’s not be too hard on ourselves, the things of God take time to understand, be it even a lifetime.
And yet, none of us will have all the answers.
As the prophet said in [Isaiah 28:10]:
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
When we talk about a ‘counsel’, it refers to a ‘meeting of minds’.
For example, when the prime minster of a nation brings together all his cabinet ministers to discuss an important issue.
There is this meeting of minds to determine and set the right course of action into motion.
So the Triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, did just that.
They met in ‘counsel’, then determined and precipitated the entire plan of the ages sometime way back in eternity past.
The other word is ‘foreknowledge’, which is that God knew everything about everyone from the beginning to the end.
He knew from the very beginning, every decision that every one of us would make in every aspect of our lives.
And with this ‘foreknowledge’ of God, everything was set in motion.
The Beauty Of The Bible
And of course, this is the beauty of the Bible.
That God, as Sovereign as He is, nevertheless, let men and nations exercise their free will.
Yet here we are, as close as we can tell, nearly 6000 + years from the creation of man’s beginning.
And everything since that time has fallen ‘right in place’ according to God’s timetable.
Now how God does that without making human beings simply robots is beyond our understanding.
But it’s so factual, and we can see it.
Everything that was prophesied concerning His first coming was all fulfilled to the last ‘jot and tittle’.
And it’s the same with everything that has been more or less prophesied concerning the end time.
We can now see, that these prophecies are falling into place as the stage is being set and just about complete.
And it’s all perfectly according to His timetable, there is not a thing out of place.
And yet He has never made man or governments just robots.
The Overall Scheme Of Things
So as we consider the subject matter of the ‘Rapture’, we want to look at the overall scheme of things.
Just as God laid it out from eternity past, beginning with the creation of man.
Now we don’t want to get involved with controversy as to the origin of the universe.
We always say, ‘so what?’, what difference does it make?
What is important is, ‘Who started it all?’, and Who is keeping it going?
And eventually, “Who is going to bring it all to a close?”
Click [HERE] for Part #02 of this series.
(Please note, all that is written in the orange colour, are connecting links, so do read them. You will find them to be very useful.)