1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so Yahweh will bring with Him those who sleep in Yeshua. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Master, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Master will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16For the Master Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of Yahweh. And the dead in Messiah will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Master. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-58, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Yahweh; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has 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 your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to Yahweh, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua Mashiach. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Master, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Master.”
You know what I’ve posted about these verses in the past. They speak of the Rapture, Resurrection, Judgment Day. These verses give many people hope that true Christian believers will be raptured before the Tribulation begins, known as the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine. It was this doctrine and hope that led me to Yeshua in the first place. I still hold this hope, but I do believe we will go through more tribulation than what most Christians believe we will. Revelation 12:6 seems to indicate that Christians will be around at least for the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.
I’ve posted before about the Rapture Theory being a recent doctrinal phenomenon, beginning around 1830 CE. I may now have to stand corrected. I recently read a short article found on Grant Jeffrey’s site, www.grantjeffrey.com, written by Thomas Ice of the http://www.pre-trib.org website, entitled Examining an Ancient Pre-Trib Rapture Statement. Here’s a brief quote from that article, “All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins. -Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627 [CE])” Pseudo-Ephraem was quoting from his sermon based on the writing of Ephraem of Nisibis (306-73 CE). Does that or does that not sound like a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, preached over 1,000 years before the modern rapture doctrine developed in the 1820s and 30s? Dr. Ice’s article is well documented. I encourage all of you to read it and regain, maintain and speak out our hope in Yeshua. What seems to harm the Rapture doctrine is the lack of evidence in the Book of Revelation, outside of chapture 12 anyway.
But I don’t care whether or not I’m raptured at the beginning, middle, or at the end of the Tribulation period. What matters is that we receive our resurrected immortal bodies. What matters is that we qualify to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh. We should each be ready to testify of the hope within us and to die at a moment’s notice for our testimony to Yeshua.
Yeshua stated in Luke 21:34-36, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 20:34-38, “Yeshua answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of Yahweh, being sons of the resurrection. 37But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called Yahweh ‘the Mighty One of Abraham, the Mighty One of Isaac, and the Mighty One of Jacob.’ 38For He is not the Mighty One of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.””
Paul understood this and explains in his day observance passage in Romans 14:7-9, “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Master; and if we die, we die to the Master. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Messiah died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master of both the dead and the living.”
Yeshua’s words in Luke 21 and 20 are the best rapture doctrine you can get, but it looks like we must qualify for the Rapture/Resurrection experience. Do the barley company remnant folks qualify? For sure. Do the wheat company church-at-large people qualify? I’m not so sure on that one. You study the whole end-time harvest scenario and you see that the tares are separated from the wheat at the END, when Yeshua is in the clouds. Tares LOOK LIKE wheat but are not. Do the grape company rebellious humans get raptured? I don’t believe so. You’ve heard of the winepress of Yahweh’s wrath? That’s their lot. So who qualifies as the barley company of remnant believers? That would have to be the willing and obedient servants of the Most High. His servants on earth become His sons in the Kingdom. The meekest, lowliest, humblest servants of Yeshua on earth, become the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew18:1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2Then Yeshua called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Matthew 25:37-40, “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Master, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Qualification, according to Yeshua HaMashiach Himself, relates to how you treat your fellow man. How do you treat prostitutes, homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics, convict-felons, or homeless folks? Serve Yahweh in His house now, then live as His son in His Kingdom when Yeshua returns. How do you treat children? Children have Yeshua’s ear and heart. Do you see how far America has fallen? A mother can now murder her child and walk out of jail free and make millions of worthless dollars in book and movie deals. Luke 16:9-13, “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Faithfulness seems to be another qualifying factor, but greed for money, filthy lucre, will certainly disqualify us.
Paul made it, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Master, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (Yeshua’s Second Coming).” You can make it too. Love Him and His appearing. None of us are worthy of Yahweh’s Kingdom in our selves. Outside of Yeshua, none of us qualify to enter the Kingdom, let alone be raptured or resurrected. But with Yahweh, all things are possible.
Luke 13:22-30, “And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23Then one said to Him, “Master, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of Yahweh, and yourselves thrust out. 29They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of Yahweh. 30And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.””
Be comforted in your journey toward (New) Jerusalem,
Gene Benjamin II
July 19, 2011 CE