1. Does the Bible anywhere contain the word
No. This word is not contained in
any standard historical edition of any Bible.
2. Where did the 'Rapture' concept come
The concept of 'The
Rapture' was construed from a dream that one Margaret MacDonald had
in Scotland in the 1830s. Her
dream/vision depicted people being lifted off the earth and taken to
heaven. The dream caught
the attention of some influential clergy, interpreted according to
'modern' thought, and applied and accepted by word of mouth for a
generation now, to many Christians.
The modern rendition
teaches that Christians will be taken off the earth 3.5 years (some
say 7) prior to the end of the earth, and be spared the tribulation
suffered by unbelievers. It is said that some 50% of 'Protestant' churches hold to
some form of rapture doctrine. We'll
look at some scriptures used to support this claim and see if they
verify this theory
3. Do any scriptures talk about
the saints being 'lifted' from the earth?
Yes, a beautiful
description depicts the Righteous meeting Christ in a cloud someday. And, if one never reads the
scripture in context, one may well accept that this scripture does
indeed describe 'a rapture.' Here is a scripture which, out of context, is used to support
the rapture theory:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then they who are alive, shall be
caught up together into the clouds with them who remain, to meet the
Lord in the air; and so shall we be ever with the Lord.
4. When does
Thessalonians indicate reuniting with Jesus in the clouds shall be?
But the real question to ask is….
Is this really a meeting in the clouds 3
or 7 years before the end of the earth? Here is where context helps. Read verses 15 and 16 (prior to the often read verse 17):
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 For this we say unto
you by the word of the Lord, that they who are alive at the coming of
the Lord, shall not prevent them who remain unto the coming of the
Lord, who 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;
5. Do the events
of resurrection and the Lord's return in Glory fit time-wise with
the theory that saints will be conveyed off the earth 3 years before
Jesus comes? How much
time separates the coming in Glory and the 1st
What is the event when the dead in
Christ rise, or are brought to life? Aren't the (righteous) dead resurrected at the first
resurrection (See John 5:29)? What
event is when Christ descends to the earth? Isn't it at His coming in Glory? Now, these two events help us to understand when this
'joining in the clouds' occurs.
6. What about
Matthew 24. Doesn't
this discuss people being 'conveyed' mysteriously away?
According to this and other passages, no
time separates them. These
events are literally one in the same. They are at the end of the latter days, at the beginning of the
Millennium. They are not
3.5 years before the end of the earth. Therefore, if these events are at the end of the earth, not
some years prior, what1 Thessalonians 4:17 describes is Saints who are alive on the earth who are caught
up to meet Christ AS HE IS DESCENDING IN HIS GLORY! This is the plain description
of this scripture. Paul
was emphasizing the coming of the Lord in Thessalonians 4, and the raising of people
(both resurrected and currently living on the earth) to meet him when
Yes! But is it describing the common rapture theory? Lets talk about this passage
for a while.
Matthew 24:46-48 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that, In the last days, 47 Two shall be in the field; the one shall be
taken and the other left. 48 Two shall
be grinding at the mill; the one taken and the other left.
7. Aren't the
elect just 'God's people?' Christian 'Gentiles' read the end of Matt 24 and
believe it to be describing them—the elect. Is that correct?
Matthew 24 is Jesus words about a mysterious
event to transpire in the lives of people some day. Since we don't historically
know that it happened
yet, let's presume that it is an event yet to happen. It suggests this:
who is the object of discussion in Matt
· Who are 'the elect?' Again, reading the story in
context helps explain this term. Back
up in Matthew to answer who 'the elect' are: verse…. Says' I'm talking
about the Jews.' There. This
chapter is specifically about the Jews, not any self-righteous person in
the world who decides to apply it to himself.
Why are the Jews called the 'elect?' According to the Greek
translation of 'elect' in Matthew 24 (in fact, in all New Testament
occurrences of the word 'Elect'), elect means 'Chosen.' What were the Jews 'chosen'
for?—to be the light unto the world. These were the people to whom the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was
promised to be born. God
made good on His end of the bargain. Did the Jews make good on theirs? Well, not yet. But
this was God's convenient expression used to refer to the covenant
people of the house of Israel—the Elect. Bear in mind how the New
Testament plainly discusses how God has not forgotten His covenant with
the House of Israel—especially
Now, knowing who the elect are, the purpose of other New
Testament scriptures become more clear:
Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your
sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers'
'election' were simply those of the 'elect group', namely, the
Jews. What, therefore, was
Paul saying? He was telling
gentiles that the Jews were currently an enemy to the true faith of the
gospel (many had, after all rejected and crucified him). But that they were (still)
beloved in God's eyes—He would not forget them.
2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's
sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus
with eternal glory.
Again, what was
Paul saying? He was
enduring his struggle for the Lord so that the Jews could also obtain
salvation through Jesus Christ.
8. So, what then, is this 'gathering' under
discussion. What is
prophesied for the Jews and gathering?
The 'Christian' world
of today seems to have forgotten something that God hasn't…the
gathering of Israel. When Israel
rebelled against God even in the days of Moses, he foretold a cursing
and a blessing. The cursing: scattering of Israel to the
nations; the blessing: re-gathering them again one day.
Deuteronomy 30:3 That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have
compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the
nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
prophets continued to foretell the eventual re-gathering:
Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles
afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and
keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
Ezekiel 20:34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of
the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with
a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out.
9. What is the place
they will be gathered to?
Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto
you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I
will bring you to Zion;
Ah Haa! The ONE from a city, TWO of a family
(one grinding, one in the field, etc.) are those gathered unto
ZION! This is the real and only gathering that the scriptures
have ever prophesied. This is (will be) the latter day
fulfillment of all the covenants to the House of Israel--they would be
gathered together again to Jerusalem AND a place called Zion.
This is the real meaning of 'rapture'--not some
whisking away off the earth of Christians as some have supposed, but
the gathering of God's covenant people to the place where he shall
dwell on the earth in the latter day--Zion.
(for more Old Testament scriptures mentioning 'Zion'
10. Who will be in Zion with these covenant
people, and what part will Zion have in the earth's future?
Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the
mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will
teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of
Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from
From the scripture above, we can see that the Lord
himself will dwell in Zion, and from this place, the world will learn
In summary, what does all this mean about the
concept of 'Rapture?'
The rapture concept does not exist as some
Christians purport--there will be no whisking of good people off the
earth years before tribulation. There will be, however, the
establishment of God's kingdom on earth during tribulation in the
latter days, and God's covenant people will be gathered to it. The nations shall flow unto Zion to learn of God's laws and ways.
Does this mean that only the Jews and scattered House of
Israel will be gathered? No. God's covenant people are
those who repent and come unto him via His terms of faith, repentance,
baptism and receipt of the Holy Ghost. Those who do not repent,
even of the House of Israel, will be cut off from the promises. The real root of the promise to the House of Israel is that when they
come (again) to a knowledge of Jesus Christ (that was had among their
fathers) and obtain a fullness of the Gospel, the true gathering will
Zion is the place to which God's people
shall gather in the last days. Many other scriptures in the Book
of Mormon and Inspired Version of the bible clearly define this truth,
but have been saved from this discussion for purposes of expressly
showing what the standard Christian Bible concretely shares about this
covenant of the gathering of Israel.
it makes for great media hype and books on best-sellers lists, but any misconstruing about a rapturing in the last days are
misconceptions of men.
The only people 'Left Behind' are those
who will not repent and be gathered in to Zion in the last days.