Rapture – Part XIX – Paul’s Thessalonian Rapture
RAPTURE – PART XIX
PAUL’S THESSALONIAN RAPTURE
I’m going to list Paul’s Thessalonian references to Yeshua’s Second Coming, which I now call the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT. Once I have a group of Scriptures, we’ll take a look at what Paul taught. Trust me, I’m LOOKING FOR, HUNTING FOR, ON SAFARI TO FIND, A PRE-TRIBULATON RAPTURE. I don’t want to go through the Tribulation any more than any other believer would want to. I’m peculiar, but I’m not crazy!
1 Thessalonians 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from heaven [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT], whom He raised from the dead [JESUS 1.0 ADVENT], even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT]” You can relax and wait patiently for your Master, because you KNOW you won’t suffer the wrath of Yahweh coming upon the whole earth!! Dead or alive, on earth or in heaven, you will be protected. When Yeshua comes down from Heaven, wrath will be upon the land. No sign of a PRE-tribulation rapture here. Notice the word “delivers” in this verse. It is in the present tense in the Greek. I know of at least one PRE-tribulation teacher, using the King James Version of the Scriptures, where this word is rendered “delivered”, who claims this verse substantiates a PRE-tribulation rapture, because we have already been raptured or delivered. But this verse DOES NOT TEACH that, since the word delivers IS IN THE PRESENT TENSE IN THE GREEK. What this verse is really saying is that at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT, Yeshua IS delivering us from wrath that is still future to His Second Coming!! Yeshua returns to earth BEFORE the final wrath of Yahweh is poured out, consistent with all the Scriptures we’ve looked at so far. Yeshua may come back 1 minute before He pours out His wrath, or 1 day, or, as I believe, about 10 days. He returns on a future Tishri 1, Feast of Trumpets, raptures His saints, then 10 days later finalizes His wrath against the wicked on Tishri 10, Day of Atonement.
1 Thessalonians 2:14, “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of Yahweh which are in Judea in Messiah Yeshua [the early Messianic Jewish Christian Church!!]. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the [lost] Judeans,” I couldn’t resist citing Paul’s plug for Messianic Christianity!! Did Paul, or didn’t Paul, know what he was talking about? I know he did.
1 Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence [emprosthen, in front of place or time] of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” [parousia, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] This is Yeshua’s Second Coming, no indication of a PRE-tribulation Rapture here.
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4, “that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation [thlibo, to press (as grapes [ouch]), press hard upon], just as it happened, and you know.” Paul had a good grip on truth and the reality of the Christian life! A nice tribulation Scripture, but not a very good rapture Scripture, let’s move on.
1 Thessalonians 3:13, “so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our Mighty One and Father at the coming [parousia, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” I thought the PRE-tribulation rapture folks believe Yeshua is coming back at the pre-trib rapture FOR His saints, not WITH His saints!?! Was Paul confused? Were the translators confused? Or are the pre-tribbers confused? That word “with” denotes accompaniment!! This certainly looks like a JESUS 2.0 ADVENT, not a JESUS 1.5 ADVENT! The pre-tribbers are confused about the TIMING of the Rapture/Resurrection.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died physically], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [at His JESUS 1.0 ADVENT], even so Yahweh will bring with [denotes union, togetherness, companionship] Him those who sleep [are physically dead] in Jesus [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT].” Again, I thought pre-tribbers said Yeshua was coming back at the pre-trib Rapture FOR His saints, not WITH His saints. Is it different if Yahweh the Father brings back the dead saints from Heaven at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT, instead of Yeshua bringing them back?
“15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming [parousia, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [dead physically]. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of Yahweh. And the dead [nekros, the dead corpse kind of dead] in Messiah will rise [literally stand up, resurrect!!] first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [Greek: harpazo, pronounced harpadzo. Wikipedia: The Latin Vulgate translates the Greekρπαγησόμεθα as rapiemur, from the verb rapio meaning “to catch up” or “take away”.] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [in the breathable air of the lower atmosphere]. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
THE RAPTURE/RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS IS AN UNDENIABLE SCRIPTURAL FACT!! There’s just no indication of a PRE-tribulation Rapture/Resurrection in this chapter! Please understand the directional flow of Yahweh, Yeshua, and dead and living saints in these verses. Yahweh, Yeshua and formerly dead saints, now in heaven, are headed DOWN to earth in verse 14. Yeshua is headed DOWN to earth in verse 15 to meet us and recently resurrected saints. Yahweh and Yeshua are DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN in verse 16. Yeshua is still heading DOWN to earth in verse 17, when we pop up to meet Him in the lower atmosphere. Verse 17 shows from that moment of Rapture/Resurrection onward, we will be with Yeshua for all eternity!! Glory! BUT HERE IT DOES NOT SAY YESHUA TURNS AROUND AND GOES BACK TO HEAVEN FOR A MARRIAGE SUPPER! That is a PRE-tribulation rapture fairy tale. Since this great Rapture/Resurrection event happens on Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets, we, the Raptured/Resurrected saints will only hang out in the clouds from 10-14 days AT THE MOST, before WE, the RAPTURED/RESURRECTED SAINTS, TURN AROUND and land in Jerusalem, Israel. From other Scriptures like Zechariah 14 and Revelation 14, we learn that Yahweh and Yeshua CONTINUE THEIR DESCENT TO EARTH TO SMITE THEIR ENEMIES from Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets through at least Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, known also as JUDGMENT DAY. The whipping of the nations may continue until Tishri 14, the day BEFORE our marriage supper and wedding to the Lamb, on Tishri 15, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles! Then we will celebrate our wedding to Yeshua for the rest of the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles. Pretty simple, really, when you understand just the basics of Yahweh’s Feasts and what they rehearse!!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, “But concerning the times [a space of clock time] and the seasons [set occasions, Yahweh’s appointed Feasts], brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord [always denotes JUDGMENT DAY! Look how Judgment Day IMMEDIATELY follows Rapture/Resurrection Day!!] so comes [erchomai, JESUS’ 2.0 ADVENT] as a thief in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace [implies prosperity] and safety [security from enemies]!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day [Judgment Day] should overtake you as a thief.” Who else talked like that, that He was coming as a thief? Oh Yeah, Yeshua!! You mean Yeshua and Paul are on the same page? Yeah. And notice that people on earth will be talking about two main themes JUST BEFORE JUDGMENT DAY: economics and security!! Does that sound eerily familiar to anyone besides me? We are getting closer every day my friends.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, “For Yahweh did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ [spiritual salvation at the JESUS 1.0 ADVENT and physical salvation at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT], 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” This is a great verse. No matter when the Rapture/Resurrection occurs, we’re saved from the wrath of Yahweh, and we’re going to get our immortal bodies at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the Mighty One of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming [parousia, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice how the theme of the SECOND COMING OF YESHUA continues through the whole book of Thessalonians. Paul never gives a hint of a PRE-trib Rapture.
Now dear reader, just kick back for a minute and get this vision in your head. Yeshua and Yahweh and the armies of the host of Heaven descend into the lower atmosphere, and hover just above earth, say from 5,000 to 15,000 feet up. The glory of Yahweh forms a security canopy, an impenetrable shield, all around the earth’s sphere! We’ve just popped up into the air to be with Yeshua. We’re ALL there, the Family of Yahweh, including all His angels and heavenly creatures, white horses, fiery chariots, the works. The armies of the Antichrist and the evil nations of the world are gathered together in the Valley of Megiddo, ready for the final attack on Jerusalem. Think about that for a moment. But wait a minute, all the military, communications, GPS and weather satellites are ABOVE us, at their 22,000 mile up geo-stationary positions!! Question: will Yahweh allow the evil armies of the Antichrist and all his wicked host to COMMUNICATE via those satellites?? Or to blast laser or scalar wave attacks from those satellites?? HA, HA HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, Hee, hee, hee, hee, ho, ho, ho, ho, the jokes on the DEVIL!! Just thought I’d share that hilarious final war scenario! ROFL, LOL!! It’s a real gut buster when you stop and think about it. You can see a similar vision in 2 Kings 6:8-23.
2 Thessalonians 1:4, “so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of Yahweh for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations [thlipsis, same word used by Yeshua in Matthew 24 and by John in Revelation 1 and 2] that you endure.” I know no one likes that word tribulation and then to see Paul saying they have to endure persecutions and tribulations, it sounds just like Yeshua in His letters to the 7 churches in Revelation 2 and 3, he who endures to the END will be saved. I hope you’re all ready. But take heart, verses 6-10, “since it is a righteous thing with Yahweh to repay with tribulation [thlipsis] those who trouble you , 7and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed [apokalupsis, the apocalypse] from heaven [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] with His mighty angels, 8in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know Yahweh, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence [the face, His countenance] of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10when He comes [erchomai, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT], in that [Judgment] Day [Tishri 10], to be glorified in His saints [whom He just Raptured/Resurrected on Tishri 1] and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”
We see the Second Coming of Yeshua here, as AFTER EFFECT evidence of the Rapture/Resurrection, i.e. Yeshua glorified in His saints. But yet again, you see the glorification of the saints tied to the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT in the SAME sentence in which we see JUDGMENT DAY!! Rapture/Resurrection of the saints is included in the Judgment Day JESUS 2.0 ADVENT of Messiah! Jesus, Paul, and John never separate these events by more than a few days, during the Fall Feasts of Yahweh! What is so difficult for pre-tribbers to understand about Yeshua’s Second Coming and the Rapture? Blind guides lead the blind.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-15, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,”
Notice that the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT of Yeshua and the Rapture/Resurrection of the saints to the gathering in the breathable air in the lower atmosphere happens AT CLOSE PROXIMITY IN TIME!! There is no evidence of a 7-year GAP between the Rapture and Yeshua’s return. At the most, the two events will be separated by a few days in a future month of Tishri, between a Rapture on Tishri 1 and Judgment Day on Tishri 10. That’s not 7 years!! This is a rapture Scripture, but there is no indication of a PRE-tribulation rapture here.
“2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Messiah had come.”
Some try to make a distinction between the day of Messiah and the day of Yahweh, or Judgment Day. Such foolishness. Some ancient manuscripts for 2 Thess. 2:2 say the day of the Lord in Greek. Come on, Yahweh and Yeshua are One. Paul was simply telling the Thessalonians not to listen to the rumors that His day was upon them then, in Paul’s day, just as Yeshua warned about in Matthew 24-25!! It also sounds like some of the Thessalonians may have thought that Yeshua had already come back, like they had missed the rapture, but Paul reassures them that He has not returned yet, and obviously, they had not yet been raptured!! If Yeshua had already come, there thoughts and Paul’s comment would have been a moot point.
“3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come [this English phrase is not in the Greek] unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
This is the abomination of desolation that Yeshua and Daniel talked about, which is supposed to happen during the Tribulation period.
“5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he [Antichrist] may be revealed in his own time.”
This 3-word English phrase “what is restraining” is ONE Greek word, a verb in the neuter gender; a thing, idea, object, concept, or political or religious entity is restraining, not the Person of the Holy Spirit.
“7For the mystery”
A Greek NOUN in the neuter gender, the SUBJECT of Paul’s thought is a thing, idea, concept, object, or political or religious entity, it’s a mystery, a religious secret, not the PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
“of lawlessness [NOUN, feminine gender] is already at work;”
In verses 6-7 we discover that the MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS is WHAT IS RESTRAINING and keeping the Antichrist from being revealed to the world, not the Person of the Holy Spirit.
“only [a neuter adverb modifying restrains] He who now restrains”
He who now restrains is a poor English translation given the grammar structure of verses 6-7. This 4-word phrase in English is TWO Greek words: now restrains. Now is an adverb modifying restrains, a masculine gender VERB, not a NOUN, so this CANNOT BE THE SUBJECT OF PAUL’S SENTENCE. The sense is that the MYSTERY is present tense NOW RESTRAINING the Antichrist from being revealed. Now, of course was Paul’s now, about 2,000 years ago! He who is supplied by the translators, according to their warped minds; there is NO Greek word for this English phrase He who, it is a misconstrued assumed implication based on the masculine VERB restrains. NO person, human or divine, is implied.
“will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
This 3-word English phrase “He is taken” is ONE Greek VERB in the third person singular, with NO GENDER. Again, He is taken is a poor translation of the grammar, since Paul is talking about an object, idea, concept, thing, or political or religious entity; THE MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS is the subject of this sentence! A better rendering of this ONE GREEK VERB would be: until IT is taken, meaning the MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS!
“8And then [once the MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS IS REMOVED] the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Master will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] of His coming [parousia, JESUS 2.0 ADVENT]. 9The coming [parousia, revealing of Antichrist] of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,”
Paul’s use of the word “brightness”, which means manifestation, appearing, or ADVENT, is the same Greek word he used in Titus 2:13 as the “glorious appearing” of Yeshua, our blessed hope of Yeshua’s soon return! Paul is saying here that this is Yeshua’s ADVENT OF HIS ADVENT, the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT!! That is literally what Paul is saying, the ADVENT of His ADVENT!! And I thought I had come up with a cool new phrase: JESUS 2.0 ADVENT. Paul beat me to it by a couple thousand years!! Maybe I should call His Second Coming His: ADVENT2!?! According to Paul, Yeshua’s Second Coming will be DOUBLY BRIGHT!! And notice that word parousia; see, the word parousia does not ONLY mean the second coming of Yeshua, here it speaks of the coming of Antichrist! It’s just a Greek word that means coming.
“10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Do you get what Paul is actually saying in this paragraph? There is a THING, IDEA, CONCEPT, or ENTITY called THE MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS that is keeping the Antichrist from being revealed and rising to the top of world power.
FIRST INTERPRETATION: After studying the above passage, I saved this document, closed all my applications and turned off my computer. It was brunch time, so I turned to break bread with my wife, and Yahweh immediately dropped the following understanding into my spirit. What is this MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS? IF the antichrist spirit has most of the world ALREADY deceived into rebellious lawlessness AGAINST Yahweh and His Torah Law, including an apostate “Christian” Church, WHY would the Antichrist need to come out into the open? There is NO compelling reason for the Antichrist to be revealed in a mostly deceived world, a deluded world is ALREADY on its way to the Lake of Fire RIGHT NOW TODAY! So, WHAT will flush the Antichrist out into the open, to be revealed before the whole world? Simply put, the 3rd SPIRITUAL GREAT AWAKENING dragging millions or billions of rebels back to obeying Yahweh and His Torah Law! This of course will be done by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh granting a spirit of repentance to these millions or billions of people, to give them salvation by grace through faith in Yeshua, our Hebrew Messiah! This present tense MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS has seemingly prevailed over the masses of humanity for the last 1,950 years!! Only Yahweh, through His precious Holy Spirit can accomplish a spiritual Great Awakening, then the MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS will be taken out of the way as repentant humans turn to Yahweh in faith for forgiveness of sin. Then the Antichrist will be revealed to the world, because then he will understand that he’s losing control of the world, and so he must take advantage of the desperate moment from Satan’s point of view. As Hilary Clinton would say, never let a good crisis go to waste, which in this case is a spiritual awakening! Now we know how to pray even more precisely!!
SECOND INTERPRETATION: We should take a moment to discuss the Greek word MYSTERY. It is Strong’s # 3466. Here is Dr. Thayer’s first definition:
1) hidden thing, secret, mystery
1a) generally mysteries, religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals
1b) a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding
1c) a hidden purpose or counsel
1c1) secret will
1c1a) of men
1c1b) of God: the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly
This word mystery is used 27 times in the Second Covenant. It is the exact same word Paul used in 1 Cor. 15:51-52, discussing the Rapture/Resurrection. The only way you could relate this word mystery to the Rapture in 2 Thessalonians is to think of the Mystery as the Church itself! Paul himself makes this connection in Ephesians 5:32, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Messiah and the church.” IF you say the Mystery is the Church of Messiah, then Paul describes it as a lawless Church in 2 Thessalonians! BUT, maybe Yahweh needs to take the lawless apostate Laodicean 21st century Church out of the way to get the end times rolling, with the revelation of the Antichrist!! This is a remote possibility in this passage in 2 Thessalonians, but it is a possibility. It definitely is another layer to the Mystery. The conclusion from this remote connection would make the Thessalonian Rapture a PRE-tribulation Rapture!!
THIRD INTERPRETATION: We could also try to relate this Mystery of Lawlessness to Mystery Babylon, which now we know is the United States of America, a political entity, the only current superpower WHAT IS RESTRAINING (verse 6 above) the evil Islamic beast system, with its Antichrist Mahdi, from rising to world dominance. Over the last century, America has been the world’s policeman nation, keeping evil rulers from taking over the world, but America is about to fall, as Revelation 17-18 clearly points out, point being that America has turned its back on Yahweh and will be judged for that. Go back and reread verse 6. Paul told the Thessalonians that they knew WHAT IS RESTRAINING! They could not have known about America back then, 1,600 years before America was even founded. Also, in verse 7, Paul states that the Mystery of Lawlessness was ALREADY AT WORK in his day. Well, that cancels out Mystery Babylon America from also being the Mystery of Lawlessness! And besides, America has not been a hidden or secret thing, but very much out in the open. America is definitely a great military and political power in the world, but since 2009, we haven’t restrained the Beast, we’ve enabled it! If you doubt America is Mystery Babylon, read the 60 reasons against Mystery Babylon being anything but America: http://www.aoreport.com/ao/prophecy-studies-mainmenu-47/82-60-reasons-why-iraq-can-not-be-mb
I therefore believe my first interpretation, or understanding given by Yahweh, is the best interpretation of the Mystery of Lawlessness. The 6,000 year old mystery is that created humans live in rebellion against their Creator Yahweh and His Torah Law. Why? Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
“13But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because Yahweh from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT]. 15Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.”
Stand fast and hold to Paul’s Hebrew traditions, NOT the traditions of a modern 21st century apostate “Christian” Church. Paul just prophesied about today’s apostate Church in verse 3 above!! He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Laodicean Church!
In 2 Thessalonians chapter 3, Paul reveals that the blessed hope of Messiah’s imminent return, His JESUS 2.0 ADVENT, has caused many Thessalonians to stop working and just sit around and wait for Yeshua to show up! Does this sound like folks we’ve seen and heard about over the past 30 years? Read and heed his rebuke!
Well, we’ve found another version of Paul’s teaching on the Rapture/Resurrection, but still NO CLEAR EVIDENCE of a PRE-tribulation Rapture. I’m not disheartened though, just more determined than ever to give the Devil fits during the Tribulation! In 1 Corinthians Paul taught us that the Rapture/Resurrection is a mystery. In Thessalonians Paul teaches us about a Mystery of Lawlessness, related to the coming of the Antichrist. Father, please take away the restraining Mystery of Lawlessness so the Antichrist may be revealed to the world!!
Gene Benjamin II
October 15, 2012 CE