Many preachers were teaching that the Rapture of the church to Heaven would occur on September 23, 2017, right after the Feast Of Trumpets. They said the Great Tribulation would start the next day. They expected to be protected in Heaven for 7 years while all Hell breaks loose on the sinners on earth. None of this happened! Why? Is this what the Bible says? You need to know the plain truth from Scripture so you won't be upset or disappointed and question God or your salvation if you are still here during the Great Tribulation and no Rapture occurred. It's time we know the truth as actually written in the Bible and not some assumptions or someone's interpretation of events. What is plainly written in Scripture?
Does the Bible say Jesus will return to earth twice,
once secretly and then again 7 years later in power and glory?
Does the Bible say Jesus will come secretly
to rapture all authentic Christians to Heaven before the Great Tribulation?
Does the Bible say believers will be here on earth during the Great Tribulation?
Let's see what the Bible plainly says.
In the 19th Century a young Scottish girl named Margaret McDonald prophesied about a great "catching away" of the church. She believed God was going to secretly "rapture" the church to Heaven at any moment. Some churches at the time began to assimilate her belief of this great catching away doctrine. It should be noted that this is a relatively new doctrine and was not taught by Jesus, the Apostles, or the early church. The rapture is not spoken of in the Bible as a separate, specific event. The verses people use to support the Rapture belief are private interpretations of prophetic Scriptures concerning the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the saints.
2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. "
The Biblical teaching concerning the resurrection of the dead believers and of living Christians is not to be interpreted privately. Margaret McDonald did not obey God. The Bible, our only authority, speaks very clearly on this subject for those willing to listen.
Let's look at a few scriptures that people claim support the Rapture doctrine.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53, "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up (Greek word "harpazo" meaning to seize) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
Matthew 24:31 "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."
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The key to the entire question of when dead believers are "raised imperishable", or living Christians "will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air", is all a matter of timing. When does this resurrection occur? When do believers rise from their graves? When do those living Christians, changed from living flesh and blood to spirit beings, ascend into the clouds to meet Jesus? When does the Bible say Jesus will .... "send forth His angels withA GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds" ?
When will believers "all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" ?
When will "the dead be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" ?
When will "we who are alive and remain will be caught up....together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" ?
When "shall we always be with the Lord" ?
The Bible tells us in Matthew 24:29, "Immediately after the tribulation....."
Matthew 24:29-30, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and THEN shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
This does NOT occur before the tribulation, not before the last trumpet, not before the beast and the antichrist bring destruction upon the whole earth, and not before the persecution of the church by the devil.
"We will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" ...... after the tribulation at the blast of a great trumpet.
1 Corinthians 15:21-24 "For since death is through man, also through a Man is a resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward those of Christ AT HIS COMING. Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power."
When does this happen? "Those of Christ" are resurrected, if dead, or rise up to meet Him if they are living, "at His coming" , not seven years earlier. They meet Him as He is returning to establish His Kingdom on earth. When are all "made alive?" "At His coming" , When "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout," believers will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye. There is nothing secret or quiet about this! This is at His one and only second coming! Where is ANY verse that says He returns quietly to Rapture His church? No shouting. No Trumpet. No fanfare. Where is the Rapture mentioned as a separate event in the Bible?
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Do the scriptures say Jesus is coming back in two stages? Do the scriptures say he is returning secretly? Do they say Jesus will quietly return part of the way, stop short in the clouds, and then return to heaven? Do the scriptures say believers will return to Heaven for seven years with Jesus? No. The Bible says none of this. These are all private interpretations of the scriptures.
Rather than simply allowing these scriptures to say what they say, referring to the one and only return of Jesus, they have been privately and erroneously interpreted by some to be about a pre-tribulation rapture. What does the Bible say about the one and only return of Jesus?
Acts 1:9, "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."
How did Jesus go to heaven? He was seen publicly by a multitude of men of Galilee as he ascended.
Acts 1:11, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
The Bible plainly tells us Jesus will be seen coming down from Heaven through the clouds. It will be difficult for anyone not to see Him.
Matthew 24:27, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
1Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout ...."
Matthew 24:30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. "
We don't have to wonder about some secret return of Jesus. We don't need to interpret these verses to mean something else. The Bible says Jesus will return to earth the same way he went to heaven, openly and in plain sight for all to see. He won't return secretly or quietly but with much fanfare.
Matthew 24:30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
The Bible says Jesus will be bright and shining like lightning, for all the world to see. It will be a worldwide event witnessed by " all the tribes of the earth". It will occur with trumpet blasts and loud shouts. This clearly eliminates the argument of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 supporting a secret return of Jesus and a pre-tribulation Rapture of the saints.
1 Thessalonians 4:13, "....even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
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Don't believe what men tell you. Don't believe the relatively recent dream of a young Scottish girl. Believe what the Bible has plainly said for two thousand years, without requiring any private interpretation or explanation.
Does the Bible say in Matthew 24:30 that we will see Jesus return "in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven"?
Jesus went up into the clouds in glory at His ascension and He will return the same way. ALL the earth will see Jesus coming openly and in power and glory in the clouds. There is nothing secret about this at all.
What occurs after Jesus' return? The Bible says this is NOW when, "we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye". It says this is NOW when, "the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" and "this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality".
The Bible says this all occurs after the tribulation when the world sees Jesus return in power and glory. This is when the dead believers rise from their graves and the living Christians rise up to meet Jesus in the clouds. All the verses people claim are a separate Rapture event are really about the one and only return of Jesus to set up His Kingdom on earth with His resurrected saints.
Matthew 24:31, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
When do we find this great harvest of the believers occurring? It occurs after the seventh and last trumpet sounds and announces the return of Jesus is imminent! There can be only ONE last trumpet.
Revelation 11:15-16, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."
This great harvest of believers occurs when Jesus returns in the clouds crowned with glory. This is His second coming when the kingdoms of the world become our Lord's.
Revelation 19:11, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
Revelation 19:14, "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
Revelation 19:15, "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
This is the returning of Jesus Christ with all His armies of angels, after the seventh and last trumpet, after the tribulation, and after the resurrection of the believers. Jesus is coming to the earth in power and glory to establish His kingdom and judge the nations.
When Jesus comes in the clouds in power and glory, and believers rise up to meet Him in the clouds what happens to them? Do they go to Heaven for seven years? The Bible says "we shall always be with the Lord" .
1 Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. "
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Where does Jesus go with the resurrected believers after meeting them in the clouds? Where will they always be with Him? Zechariah tells us something about this in his prophecy concerning the second coming of Jesus.
Zechariah 14:4, "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, ..."
The Bible plainly says Jesus, and therefore the believers who rose to meet Him on His way back to earth, and who "shall always be with the Lord" , will stand on the Mount of Olives on that very day. (Not 7 years later.)
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, "we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."
"God will bring with Him (to the Mount of Olives) those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
Jesus meets the believers in the clouds who have been resurrected and changed, AFTER the great tribulation is over. He brings them with Him and His armies of angels when he returns to the Mount of Olives. The believers all return to the earth with Jesus the very day they rise from their graves and are changed.
No one goes to heaven for seven years. The reign of Jesus and the resurrected saints begins the very day of His return in glory. The believers return with Jesus to the Mount of Olives and the Kingdom of God is established upon the earth.
There are no references to the return of Christ anywhere in the Bible alluding to or stating that Jesus will come back to earth more than once. Believing that He is only returning in the air to "catch away" the saints to go to Heaven is a misinterpretation of Scripture. It is a private interpretation of the scriptures based upon the dream of a young woman and her human reasoning. It is not what the Bible actually says. At His return, the anger of God will be upon His enemies. Every reference in the Bible indicates the one and only return of Jesus is a final judgment on the wicked. There isn't one scripture that states the Church will be caught up to Heaven before the wrath of God comes upon the earth.
The pre-tribulation Rapture is a belief that is not based upon what the Bible actually says. When we listen to what the Bible says, it is clear that Jesus only returns once to this earth. He does this in the sight of all in His great power and glory with the resurrected saints, AFTER the tribulation.
The Bible tells us in the Book of Revelation in symbolic language that the church ("woman" , is a symbol for the church in prophecy) will be protected from the wrath of Satan right here on earth. God doesn't need to take Christians to heaven to protect them if He so chooses. He is fully capable of protecting His children right here on earth. He doesn't need to rapture them to heaven for seven years.
Revelation 12:14-16, "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."
The fact is that God will use many Christians to teach the truth during the Great Tribulation. These brethren will be afflicted, hated, and persecuted unto death during the Great Tribulation. How is this possible if we have all been raptured off to Heaven?
Revelation 12:17 then states dogmatically ......"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
These are CHRISTIANS! No other people on earth has "the testimony of Jesus"!
"for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. " (Rev 12:10-11)
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." (Matt 24:9)
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matt 24:22)
For the sake of true Christians who are not martyred for giving their testimony, God will shorten those days and protect us from death!
If you choose to believe a girl's dream rather than what the Bible says you will be totally disillusioned when you see the Great Tribulation begin and you are a believer still on earth. Don't be confused and lose faith in God when you are not raptured to Heaven during that time. God can protect you right here on the earth!
Don't believe a dream. Believe what THE BIBLE SAYS!