RAPTURE – PART XV – OUR PRE-TRIB RAPTURE SAFARI
RAPTURE – PART XV
OUR PRE-TRIB RAPTURE SAFARI
Well, for whatever reason, Yahweh wants me to continue investigating the pre-tribulation rapture and our blessed hope of Messiah’s return to earth. So the hunt is on. We’ll begin in Luke 12 today. Thanks to Todd Strandberg of www.raptureready.com for tracking down this verse.
Luke 12:35-40, “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Wow, I must admit, I’ve never noticed verse 36 before. Yeshua, in this story, alludes to, even implies, the fact that He will return at His second coming AFTER THE WEDDING TO HIS BRIDE! This Scripture passage is a good supporting SCRIPTURE for the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine. But please notice this whole passage, again the CONTEXT is Yeshua’s SECOND COMING! But praise Yahweh, He may be coming back to earth from His wedding to His bride!! It’s not easy to find a pre-tribulation rapture Scripture reference NOT TIED to the SECOND COMING of Yeshua, though here we see a sequence of events with the wedding first, then the Master’s return. Good stuff, this passage is getting closer to the truth of the Rapture as Yeshua wanted His disciples to understand it. Also notice the attitude the virgin servants (Yeshua’s disciples) should have: imminent expectancy of their Master’s return!! We just don’t know the day or the hour. . . yet.
Revelation 3:10-11, “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. 11Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Again, this is a good pre-tribulation rapture SCRIPTURE. The word trial is peirasmos, one meaning is: adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness. This passage could relate to the Tribulation years, since it is the word used by Yeshua in teaching His disciples the model prayer in Matthew 6:13a, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Yeshua will answer our prayer. But, dear reader, you need to know that it is NOT the word tribulation, thlipsis, which means pressure, used by Yeshua in Matthew 24 or by John the Revelator in other places in Revelation. Notice also in verse 11 the imminency of His coming, which also appears to be His SECOND COMING. Again, it’s difficult to find a solid pre-tribulation rapture Scripture reference NOT TIED to the Second Coming of Jesus. But at least we are finding Scriptures, spoken by Yeshua Himself, that can be related to Paul’s teaching of the Rapture/Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4.
Ok, so now let’s go back again to 1 Corinthians 15 and try to tie in Paul’s rapture/resurrection Scripture with our pre-tribulation Scriptures. Get this in your thinking, the CONTEXT of chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians is talking about RESURRECTION. Pre-tribbers argue that post-tribbers use Paul’s “LAST TRUMPET” to put the rapture at the END OF THE TRIBULATION. Ok, so let’s set up a scenario that DOES NOT USE THE LAST TRUMPET, OR ANY TRUMPET, NOT EVEN A MESSIANIC SHOFAR!! Here we go, let’s MUTE THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, HEAVEN, EARTH AND UNDER THE EARTH! The only One allowed to make a noise, is Yeshua, Who must shout at the dead to raise them up. Everyone else and everything else in the universe is silent: -100db MUTED!! Not one gunshot, not one terrorist bomb, not one nuke, not one siren, not one baby crying, no pregnant women moaning in labor, not even one little earthquake, not one hoofbeat, NOTHING MAKES A SOUND! –100db MUTED! Ok, since pre-tribbers can’t handle trumpet sounds, let’s NOW IGNORE the “last trumpet” in verses 51-54, “Behold, 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.”” Ok, so the ABSOLUTELY QUIET rapture/resurrection just happened WITHOUT THE LAST TRUMPET SCRIPTURE PASSAGE. Now, let’s come back to reality, UNMUTE THE UNIVERSE and now let’s pull in some other verses from chapter 15 to get more of the CONTEXT of Paul’s rapture/resurrection, verses 20-26, “But now Messiah is risen from the dead [resurrection], and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive [resurrection]. 23But each one in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits [30 CE resurrection], afterward those who are Messiah’s at His coming [those who are dead or alive, about 2,000 years AFTER Yeshua’s resurrection, specifically at His SECOND COMING]. 24Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to Yahweh the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Now, dear reader, you tell me how you can interpret verses 23-24 to mean ANYTHING OTHER THAN MESSIAH’S SECOND COMING!! And notice that those two verses DO NOT MENTION THE LAST TRUMPET. Now get the ORDER, First Resurrection in 30 CE, then about 2,000 years later, the Resurrection/Rapture at Messiah’s Second Coming, then THE END. WHERE CAN YOU FIND ROOM FOR A 7 year TRIBULATION BETWEEN VERSE 23 AND VERSE 24?? Order: Yeshua’s resurrection, the saints resurrection/rapture at Yeshua’s Second Coming, THEN THE END. Is that too hard to understand? You need to do a word study on that word: ORDER! It’s a military term. Here’s Thayer’s definition: G5001 τάγμα tagma
1) that which has been arranged, thing placed in order
2) a body of soldiers, a corps
3) band, troop, class
Part of Speech: noun neuter
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G5021
Citing in TDNT: 8:31, 1156
Also, please take serious note of those three little Greek words, “then the end”. Then means sequence, the definite article the, followed by the end. This is not the end of time, but the end of a series of events, like the Great Tribulation, then Yeshua’s Second Coming! Here’s Dr. Thayer’s take on the word end: G5056 τέλος telos
1a) termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)
1b) the end
1b1) the last in any succession or series
1c) that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue
1d) the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose
2) toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods)
Part of Speech: noun neuter
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a primary tello (to set out for a definite point or goal)
Citing in TDNT: 8:49, 1161
That’s some pretty heavy Second Coming teaching in verses 23-24, and Paul uses this stage of context to teach us about the Rapture/Resurrection at the LAST TRUMPET!! Sorry, pre-tribbers, I couldn’t resist, Paul uses the last trumpet specifically to announce Yeshua’s Second Coming! And hey, who could stay dead then, with all that noise?
1 Corinthians 15 DOES FIT PERFECTLY with Hebrews 9:28, “so Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” And with Hebrews 10:12-13, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of Yahweh, 13from that time [resurrection/ascension in 30 CE] waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” Compare verses 23-25 with these Scriptures!! Rearrange your stinking thinking, there’s only two advents of Messiah, not three.
Let’s move over to 1 Thessalonians, where we’ll find the great rapture/resurrection Scripture in chapter 4. But first, you need to see the context of 1 Thessalonians. 1:3-4, “remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” Our hope is in Yeshua’s Second Coming to earth! And there’s that nasty word election again! It’s not just the Jews who are the elect of Yahweh!! 1:10, “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” Verse 10 has great potential to be a pre-trib rapture Scripture, but it’s already in the context of Yeshua’s Second Coming! 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” Paul is declaring our blessed hope, the whole imminency doctrine, THE SECOND COMING OF YESHUA!! The Second Coming/Second Advent of Yeshua HaMashiach is the CONTEXT of 1 Thessalonians!! 3:13, “so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our Mighty One and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” Are you, dear reader, GETTING THE CONTEXT of 1 Thessalonians?
Now, let’s look at the other great Rapture/Resurrection Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [physically died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again [fact, not fiction], even so Yahweh will bring with Him those who sleep in Yeshua.”
Is it not the pre-tribbers that insist that the saints COME WITH YESHUA AT HIS SECOND COMING? Huh, is 1 Thes. 3 and 4 pre-tribulation rapture Scripture, or SECOND COMING SCRIPTURE?? Why is it that pre-tribbers insist that Yeshua and Yahweh are confused about the direction of their movement at the rapture/resurrection/second coming? Notice the direction of Yahweh in verse 14, DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH, WITH SOME FORMERLY DEAD SAINTS, exactly the same statement as in 3:13. What do you pre-tribbers need? A compass? A GPS unit? An altimeter? A map? A lesson on gravity or supernatural transportation?
“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.”
Notice verse 15, this is the SECOND COMING OF YESHUA, and again THE RAPTURE IS TIED TO THE SECOND COMING!!!! Again, NOTICE the direction of Yeshua’s movement at the rapture/resurrection/second coming. HE DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN TO THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE JUST ABOVE THE EARTH’S SURFACE!! Oh my, there’s that trumpet thing again in verse 16; well, you pre-tribbers just ignore that Scripture, if it’s just too much for you to handle!! Hit your MUTE button again and go back to sleep. The rest of you notice verse 17, we’re going up to meet Yeshua, and Yahweh too, WHO ARE ON THEIR WAY DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH, then we shall always be with Him, BUT THIS VERSE DOES NOT SAY WHERE WE WILL BE! I do believe that for a little while, we’ll be hovering over the earth, in the breathable air. We may go to the Father’s house in heaven for the marriage supper, BUT THIS GREAT RAPTURE SCRIPTURE DOES NOT SAY THAT! We go up for an unknown length of time, but Yeshua and Yahweh are ON THEIR WAY DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH TO ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM OF YAHWEH ON THE EARTH! Paul says it twice here in 1 Thes. 4.
Let’s continue the CONTEXT 1 Thessalonians 5. Verses 2-4, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord [Judgment Day] so comes as a thief in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” 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.” Verses 9-10, “For Yahweh did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation [salvation is what His Second Coming is all about] through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” Dead or alive, we’re going up in the Rapture/Resurrection, but when? Whether on earth or in the lower atmosphere, we’re protected from the wrath of Yahweh. Verse 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 of our Lord Jesus Christ.” CONTEXT: Second Coming. I want the Rapture to be pre-tribulation as much as the next guy, but you are hard pressed to use 1 Thessalonians to PROVE a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Rapture is a FACT. The timing of the Rapture appears to be at the Second Coming of Yeshua. I just don’t see how you can read it any other way, in context.
Well, I guess we’d be remiss if we didn’t include John 14:1-4, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in Yahweh, believe also in Me. 2In 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. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4And where I go you know [ascension language, NOT rapture/resurrection language], and the way you know [the crucified life walk].” Look at this beautiful promise! Again, it’s talking about the SECOND COMING OF YESHUA, AND THE RAPTURE IS TIED TO THE SECOND COMING OF YESHUA. . . AGAIN!! Now get this into your thinking, WHEN YESHUA COMES DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE JUST ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH AT HIS SECOND COMING [“I will come again”] AND RECEIVES US TO HIMSELF (the Rapture/resurrection!!), where IS HE WHEN HE MEANS “WHERE I AM”??? He’s in the lower atmosphere!! And that is where He says we may be also when He says where I am. Yeshua DID NOT say, “Where I am GOING”!! We may go to the Father’s house in heaven for the wedding and marriage supper, BUT THIS GREAT RAPTURE/RESURRECTION/SECOND COMING SCRIPTURE DOES NOT SAY THAT!! Again, pre-tribbers ASSUME we’re going up to Heaven. Only problem I see with that is that there won’t be anybody else up there! The host of Heaven is coming DOWN to earth, to ESTABLISH the Kingdom of Yahweh on earth, and to REIGN on earth.
So, in conclusion, what have we hunted down so far in our Rapture Safari? Luke 12, CONTEXT is the Second Coming of Messiah, with an allusion to a wedding BEFORE Yeshua comes again. Revelation 3, Yeshua will keep us from a temptation (to take the MARK OF THE BEAST?) coming upon the whole earth, again in the CONTEXT of His soon coming. 1 Corinthians 15, the whole CONTEXT is the Second Coming of Yeshua. 1 Thessalonians 4, in the CONTEXT of the Second Coming of Yeshua, and even Judgment Day in chapter 5!
Let me be honest, I like the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine/idea/theory. I WANT to be raptured/resurrected before the Tribulation, so, I’m going to hold onto Luke 12:36 UNTIL JESUS COMES AGAIN!!
Gene Benjamin II
October 8, 2012 CE