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Lesson #15

RETURN TO SYLLABUS

REVELATION AND THE SECOND COMING
LESSON #15
THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

  • MEMORY VERSE: 1COR 15:54
  • DEFINITION OF TERMS:
    • “RAPTURE” = THE TERM DOES NOT OCCUR IN SCRIPTURE SPECIFICALLY BUT IS TAKEN FROM THE PHRASE “CAUGHT UP” IN 1THE 4:17 WHEN JESUS CATCHES AWAY THE CHURCH INTO HEAVEN.
      • ALL THREE POSITIONS, PRE-TRIB., MID-TRIB., AND POST-TRIB., BELIEVE IN THE EVENT OF THE RAPTURE. THEY DIFFER ONLY IN TIMING. (SEE LESSON #3)
      • READ 1THE 4:13-18
        • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST?
          • “EVENT OF THE 2ND COMING” = THE MOMENT IN TIME WHEN JESUS SETS HIS FOOT ON THE MT. OF OLIVES AND COMES TO EARTH IN THE MANNER IN WHICH HE LEFT IT IN ACT 1:6-11

THE RAPTURE

THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING

 

WHO SEES CHRIST COME?

 

ONLY BELIEVERS IN CHRIST (LUK 12:35-40)

ALL MANKIND (MAT 24:30

 

HOW DOES HE COME?

 
LIKE A THIEF (NOT TO STAY) (2THE 5:1-4)

LIKE A KING (TO STAY) (REV 19:16)

 

WITH WHOM DOES HE COME?

 
WITH ANGELS (1THE 4:16)

WITH SAINTS AND ANGELS (1THE 3:13)

 

HOW CLOSE TO THE EARTH DOES HE COME?

 
IN THE CLOUDS IN THE AIR (1THE 4:17)

HIS FOOT TOUCHES THE MT. OF OLIVES (ZEC 14:4)

 

WHERE ARE THE BELIEVERS WHEN HE COMES

 
SOME ARE DEAD IN HEAVEN AND SOME ARE ALIVE ON EARTH (1THE 4:15)

THEY ARE GATHERED FROM THE 4 CORNERS IN HEAVEN (MAT 24:31)

  • WHY IS THERE SO MUCH CONFUSION ABOUT THE RAPTURE?
    • JESUS GAVE US SIGNS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING. THERE ARE NO SIGNS FOR THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.
      • THEREFORE, THE PRIMARY CONFUSION OCCURS WITH THE TIMING OF THIS EVENT.
  • THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT VERSES FOR UNDERSTANDING THE RAPTURE:
  • READ AGAIN 1THE 4:13-5:9
    • 1THE 4:14 SAYS THAT BELIEVERS WILL COME WITH THE LORD.
      • THIS WILL OCCUR AT THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING.
    • 1THE 4:17 SAYS THAT BELIEVERS WILL BE CAUGHT UP WITH CHRIST.
      • THIS WILL OCCUR AT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.
    • BECAUSE THESE TWO THOUGHTS OCCUR WITHIN THE SAME PASSAGE, SOME SEE IT AS A GOOD ARGUMENT FOR THE POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE POSITION.

THE RAPTURE SEQUENCE
1THE 4:16-17

CHRIST DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT

1THE 4:16a

THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL SOUNDS

1THE 4:16b

THERE IS A TRUMPET CALL

1THE 4:16c

THERE IS A BODILY TRANSFORMATION OF HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY BELIEVERS

1THE 4:16d
1COR 15:51-52

AN INSTANTANEOUS REUNION OF HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY BELIEVERS

1THE 4:17

BELIEVERS ASCEND TO THE CLOUDS

1THE 4:17

A MEETING WITH THE LORD IN THE AIR

1THE 4:17

  • READ 1COR 15:51-54
    • THE RAPTURE IS A MYSTERY THAT GOD DOES NOT REVEAL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT BUT REVEALS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
    • THE PHRASE, “NOT ALL SLEEP” REFERS TO PHYSICAL DEATH.(51)
    • THE BODIES OF SOME BELIEVERS WILL BE CHANGED WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF DEATH.
      • THE BELIEVING NEW TESTAMENT DEAD WILL BE RESURRECTED BEFORE THE BELIEVERS THAT ARE LIVING AT THE TIME OF THIS EVENT.
    • WHEN WILL THE EVENT OCCUR?
      • IT WILL OCCUR AT THE LAST TRUMPET. (52)
        • WHAT IS THE LAST TRUMPET AND WHEN WILL IT SOUND?
          • THERE ARE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS:
            • =1= IT IS THE LAST TRUMPET MENTIONED IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION (REV 9:14) THAT OCCURS JUST BEFORE THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON.
              • THIS INTERPRETATION PUTS THE RAPTURE AT THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING. (POST TRIBULATION POSITION).
            • =2= PERHAPS THE LAST TRUMPET WILL SOUND AT THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. (REV 11:15).
              • THIS INTERPRETATION VIEWS THE RAPTURE AND THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING AS THE SAME EVENT.
            • =3= PERHAPS THE LAST TRUMPET IS THE SEVENTH TRUMPET JUDGMENT (REV 11:15).
              • THIS INTERPRETATION VIEWS THE RAPTURE AS EITHER A MID-TRIBULATION EVENT, A PRE-WRATH EVENT, OR A POST TRIBULATION EVENT DEPENDING ON THE SEQUENCE YOU ASSIGN TO THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS AND THE BOWL JUDGMENTS.
            • =4= PERHAPS IT IS THE TRUMPET SOUND ASSOCIATED WITH A ROMAN BATTLE THAT WOULD ROUND UP THE REMAINING TROOPS AND CALL THEM HOME.
              • THIS INTERPRETATION HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO ANY OF THE THEOLOGICAL RAPTURE POSITIONS.
            • =5= THIS INTERPRETATION IS THAT THIS TRUMPET IS CONNECTED WITH THE PROPHETIC FEAST OF TRUMPETS CELEBRATED BY THE JEWS. THIS INTERPRETATION LINKS THE LAST TRUMPET OF THAT CEREMONY WITH THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.
              • THEREFORE, THE EVENT OF THE RAPTURE FULFILLS AND COINCIDES WITH THE PROPHETIC FEAST OF TRUMPETS. (MORE ON THIS LATER AS THIS IS ONE OF THE TEACHER’S PREFERRED INTERPRETATIONS.)
            • =6= THE FIRST TRUMP OF GOD, MENTIONED IN EXO 19:3-6, 16, 19, WAS THE VOICE OF GOD THAT PEOPLE HEARD AT MT. SINAI. THEREFORE, THE LAST TRUMP OF GOD, AS MENTIONED IN PSA 47, IS THE VOICE OF GOD CALLING BELIEVERS TO BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT WITH CHRIST.
              • THIS IS ONE OF THE TEACHER’S PREFERRED INTERPRETATIONS.
    • WHAT WILL THE RESURRECTED BODY BE LIKE?
      • READ PHI 3:20-21 AND 1JOH 3:2
        • JESUS IS THE MODEL FOR WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM!
          • THE GLORIFIED RESURRECTED BELIEVERS ARE MARKED WITH “G” ON THE MASTER TIME LINE CHART.

THE GLORIFIED RESURRECTED BODY

AN ABILITY TO SPEAK AND BE HEARD

LUK 24:25

AN ABILITY TO EAT

LUK 24:30, 43

AN ABILITY TO DISAPPEAR AT WILL

LUK 24:31

HAVING FLESH AND BONE BUT NO BLOOD

LUK 24:39

ABLE TO BE TOUCHED AND FELT

LUK 24:39

AN ABILITY TO GO THROUGH WALLS AND NOT BE LIMITED BY SPACE AND TIME

JOH 20:19

NO NEED FOR SEX OR MARRIAGE

MAT 22:30

  • SCRIPTURAL PROBLEMS CONCERNING THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE:
    • THE QUESTION OF GOD’S WRATH:
      • LET US EXAMINE THE PRE-TRIBULATION POSITION ALONG SIDE THE POST-TRIBULATION POSITION IN LIGHT OF 2THE 2:1-4.
        • READ 2THE 2:1-4
          • DOES THIS SCRIPTURE REFER TO THE RAPTURE OR TO THE EVENT OF THE SECOND COMING?
            • VERSE 1 SAYS “OUR REUNION WITH HIM”. THIS IS THE RAPTURE, TRUE? HOWEVER, VERSE 8 SAYS THAT THE ANTI-CHRIST IS DESTROYED WHEN CHRIST COMES. THAT IS AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION.

THE QUESTION OF GOD’S WRATH

THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

THE POST TRIBULATION RAPTURE

BELIEVERS WILL NOT SUFFER GOD’S WRATH POURED OUT ON EARTH

(EPH 5:6 JOH 3:36 1THE 1:10 1THE 5:9)

BELIEVERS WILL BE PROTECTED THROUGH THE WRATH OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD

(REV 16:2 REV 14:9-10 REV 9:4 LUK 21:16-18)

SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES:

NOAH (GEN 7)
LOT (GEN 19)
NOAH (GEN 7)
MOSES’ PLAGUES (EXO 8:21-22 EXO 9:4, 26 EXO 10:23 EXO 11:7)
    • THE QUESTION OF CHRIST’S IMMINENT RETURN:
      • SCRIPTURE TEACHES THAT CHRIST COULD COME AT ANY MOMENT AND THAT NO PERSON KNOWS THE TIME BECAUSE THERE ARE NO ACCOMPANYING SIGNS FOR THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.
        • MAT 24:36, 42, 44, 50 MAT 25:13 REV 3:3
      • ONLY THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE POSITION TEACHES THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IMMINENT COMING OF CHRIST IN THE RAPTURE.
        • THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIBULATION AND THE END OF THE TRIBULATION HAVE SIGNS THAT INDICATE THE PREDICTABLE TIMING OF THESE POINTS IN THAT SEVEN YEAR PERIOD. THEREFORE, THE MID-TRIBULATION POSITION, THE PRE-WRATH POSITION, AND THE POST-TRIBULATION POSITION, DO NOT CONSIDER THE SCRIPTURES THAT TEACH THE IMMINENT RETURN OF CHRIST.
    • OTHER RELATED SCRIPTURES:
      • READ JOH 14:1-3
        • JESUS WILL COME AND TAKE US TO THE PLACE HE HAS PREPARED FOR US IN HEAVEN. WE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH HIM WHEREVER HE GOES.
      • READ 1COR 1:7-8
        • WHEN WE RECEIVE OUR NEW BODIES IN THE RAPTURE, WE WILL BE PERFECT AND BLAMELESS AND WITHOUT SIN.
      • READ 1THE 1:9-10
        • WHEN JESUS COMES IN THE RAPTURE HE DELIVERS US FROM THE WRATH OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD THAT WILL COME UPON THE EARTH.
          • THE WORD “FROM” MEANS = TO SNATCH OUT OF THE REACH OF.
      • READ 1THE 5:2-9, 23
        • BELIEVERS ARE ENLIGHTENED SO THAT THE RAPTURE WILL NOT CATCH THEM BY SURPRISE.
        • NON-BELIEVERS WILL BE SURPRISED BECAUSE THE RAPTURE WILL OCCUR AND THEY WILL BE LEFT TO FACE THE TRIBULATION DESTRUCTION.
      • READ TIT 2:13
        • THE COMING OF THE LORD IN THE RAPTURE IS CALLED “THE BLESSED HOPE”.
      • READ 1JOH 2:28
        • BE SURE THAT WHEN THE LORD COMES IN THE RAPTURE HE FINDS YOU FAITHFUL
      • READ REV 2:22
        • UNLESS A PERSON REPENTS OF SIN AND RECEIVES THE FORGIVENESS OF SALVATION IN CHRIST, HE WILL BE LEFT ON EARTH TO GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION PERIOD.
      • READ REV 3:10
        • JESUS WILL TAKE BELIEVERS OUT OF THE WORLD TO PRESERVE THEM FROM THE TRIBULATION PERIOD ON EARTH.
      • READ 2TIM 4:1 AND JAM 5:7-9
        • BELIEVERS WHO ARE RAPTURED GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
        • THEREFORE, BELIEVERS SHOULD GROW IN THEIR FAITH.
    • CONCLUSION:
      • ALL THE SCRIPTURES INDICATE THAT THERE IS NO STATED TIMING OF THE RAPTURE EXCEPT THAT IT MOST LIKELY OCCURS BEFORE THE TRIBULATION PERIOD. THERE IS NO INDICATION OF HOW MUCH BEFORE.

HOMEWORK
THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH CONTINUED
THIS IS A SELF-STUDY. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HOMEWORK ANSWERS TO THE TEACHER FORCORRECTION.

  • APPLICATION OF THE STUDY OF THE RAPTURE:
    • WRITE DOWN YOUR THEOLOGICAL POSITION CONCERNING THE RAPTURE (PRE-TRIBULATION, MID-TRIBULATION, PRE-WRATH, POST-TRIBULATION) AND WHY YOU BELIEVE IT.
  • PREPARATION FOR THE CONTINUED STUDY OF THE RAPTURE:
    • READ THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES AND WRITE DOWN WHAT “DAY” IS MENTIONED. THEN WRITE DOWN TO WHAT TIME OR EVENT YOU THINK THAT “DAY” REFERS.
      • 1COR 5:5 2COR 1:14 PHI 1:6 PHI 2:16
      • 1THE 5:2 ISA13:6
      • 2PET 3:12
    • WHAT SPECIFIC THINGS SHOULD THE BELIEVER DO TO GET READY FOR THE RAPTURE?
      • COL 3:1-4
      • HEB 10:24-25
      • 1COR 11:26
      • 1THE 3:12-13
      • 1COR 4:5
      • 2TIM 4:1-2 1PET 5:2-4
  • MEMORY VERSE: PHI 2:16

 

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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