Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Rapture

THE RAPTURE {CATCHING-AWAY} OF BELIEVERS

MEANING OF THE WORD "RAPTURE"

The "Rapture" is the name given to a Biblically revealed event in which Jesus Christ descends from Heaven, accompanied by the spirits of all the saints who have passed on prior to this event, and then the bodily remains of these saints are transported from the earth to meet the Lord and be rejoined with their corresponding spirits in the air. Immediately after this, all Christians alive on the earth are simultaneously transported to meet the Lord and those who have preceded them in the air. All are transformed into immortal bodies like Jesus' body, referred to as the "resurrection body".

"Rapture", when used in eschatological terms, is an English word used in place of the Latin word raeptius, which is taken from the Vulgate version of the BIble, which in turn is a translation of the Koine Greek word harpazo, found in the early Greek New Testament manuscripts of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

In many modern English translations of the Bible, harpazo is translated; "caught up", or "taken away". The meaning of "harpazo"[ har-pad'-zo Koine Greek;] is= "forcibly snatched away", "taken for oneself".

THE RAPTURE WAS A HIDDEN MYSTERY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

(Gen 49:10 KJV) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the GATHERING of the people be.

*Note: this is the only occurance of the word "Shiloh" in the OT, and means "peace". Shiloh={Heb=an epithet for the Messiah; tranquility, propsering, peace,} Also, the name "Melchizaderk", who is also a type of Christ or a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ , means "the King of Peace".

(Gen 14:18 KJV) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

(Heb 7:1-3 KJV) For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; {2} To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; {3} Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

THE FEAST OF "IN-GATHERING"... AN OLD TESTAMENT HINT ABOUT THE RAPTURE

(Exo 23:14-16 KJV) Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) {16} And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast GATHERED* in thy labours out of the field.

* The Hebrew word for "gathered" means " to receive, to take away, to take up. Jesus said:

(John 14:1-3 KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and RECEIVE you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

THE NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION OF THE RAPTURE- WHAT WAS HIDDEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IS CLEARLY STATED IN THE NEW

(1 Th 4:13-18 KJV) 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 {precede) 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.

(1 Th 5:1-6 KJV) But 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. {3} For 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. {4} But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. {5} Ye 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.

THE RAPTURE IS ASSOCIATED WITH A CHANGE TO A HEAVENLY BODY

(1 Cor 15:49-58 KJV) And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. {50} Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. {51} Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {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. {53} For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put 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. {55} O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? {56} The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. {57} But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. {58} Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

THE RAPTURE IS GOD'S PROVISION TO PROTECT BELIEVERS FROM COMING JUDGEMENT. THIS DEMONSTRATES A CONTINUING PRINCIPAL THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE

(Gen 18:25 KJV) That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: S hall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

(Exo 12:7,12-13 KJV) And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses,... (12} For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. {13} And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

(Psa 11:4-7 KJV) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. {5} The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {6} Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. {7} For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

(Psa 26:8-12 KJV) LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. {9} Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: {10} In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. {11} But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. {12} My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

(Luke 17:26-30 KJV) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. {27} They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. {28} Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; {29} But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. {30} Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

(Luke 17:34-36 KJV) I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. {35} Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. {36} Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

(Rev 3:10 KJV) Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

THE RAPTURE IS IMMINENT. ie, LIKELY TO OCCUR AT ANY MOMENT

(Mat 24:36-39 KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. {37} But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. {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.

(Mat 24:42-44 KJV) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. {43} But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. {44} Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

(Mark 13:32-33 KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. {33} Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(Acts 1:6-7 KJV) When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? {7} And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

(1 Th 5:2-6 KJV) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. {3} For 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. {4} But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. {5} Ye 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.

(Rev 3:2-3 KJV) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. {3} Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

(Rev 16:15 KJV) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

(Rev 22:20 KJV) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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