The Mystery of the Rapture Reveiled

Paul goes to a great extent to explain the mystery in 1 Cor. 15. The return of Christ is first mentioned in verse 24. The body of his message is to explain and debunk the teachings of the Saducees. The Saducees believe that there is no spirit, no angels, nor resurrection… see Acts. 23:8. So here in this passage Paul is explaining that we indeed have a spirit body and a Earthly/natural body. Often Paul discusses this fact in other Scriptures, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” There is no need for a Earth suit in heaven. Yet so many miss the nature of the mystery that Paul is explaining. The mystery is not about the rapture (being caught up), but rather about the resurrection of the dead (see vs.44), and what happens to the Earth suit (physical body/ natural man).

In Acts 2 we are informed that Jesus natural body did not become “corrupted” in the grave. In other words it didn’t rot and decay. This was prophesied in the Old Testament. So we are made to understand that Paul is talking about the dead saints who’s bodies have become corrupted by rotting and decaying. Paul is stating that we will not all “sleep.” This means that we will not all come to rest in the grave by dying. Those who are alive (and remain) will change in a moment from mortality to immortality. This is the exact opposite of what happened to Adam at the fall when he sinned. He changed from immortality to being mortal. Death entered into the World through sin. Prior to sin Adam’s “Earth suit” could not die.

Paul calls this event the “resurrection of the dead.” He also informs us that the dead saints will again get new natural bodies that cannot be corrupted, rot, or decay. This is the mystery that Paul is referring to in this passage. The reason that the dead saints will need a new physical body is because Jesus is not going to rule and reign for 1000 years on Earth. Without a natural body, the dead saints would be disembodied spirits running around at this time with no Earth suit.

John informs us in Rev. 20:4,5 that those who get martyred for not taking the Mark of the Beast will be resurrected at the FIRST resurrection. 1 Cor 15:42-54 speaks of this same first resurrection.

Acts 1:9-12 informs us that Jesus will return in “like manner” of that He left. He left from the Mount of Olives to the sky/clouds to heaven. If He returns in “like manner” then He will come from heaven with all His (dead) saints to the sky/clouds (1 Thess. 4:16,17, Matt. 24:29-31 where we meet Him in the air) to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4,5 with all of His saints).

Earthly bodies never go to heaven. When John was told to “come up here…” he was immediately in the spirit…. Rev. 4:1,2. At the time of the resurrection we will be changed, but the word “glorified” bodies are not used by Paul to describe our new Earth suits (natural bodies).

 

Daniel’s 70 Week, The Abomination of Desolation, and the time of Jacob’s Trouble are indeed the same event, but….

History is a beautiful thing. Those who ignore it are destined to repeat it. Unfortunately some End Time views seem to ignore some obvious history.

First of all we must address the foundational basis of Matt. 24. Many ignore the first question the disciples asked, as most pre-tribbers do. The disciples comment to Jesus concerning the beauty of the temple and its architecture. Jesus prophesies that it will be destroyed and not one stone left upon another. This occurred in 70 AD. The disciples then asked when this would come to pass… THIS IS THE QUESTION OFTEN OVERLOOKED. The parallel passages in Mark 13, and Luke 21 also ask THIS question and do not continue to ask the rest of the question that is in Matt. 24:3. That is pertaining to the time of the End. The fact that is overlooked is that this question that the disciples asked is TOTALLY OVERLOOKED…. WHY?

Jesus DID NOT blow off the disciples question, but answered it:

In 66 AD Titus started a conquest through an agreement with the Roman Empire to squelch the Jewish uprising against Roman rule. This lasted for 3.5 years in that ended in 70 AD with the decimation of the Temple. As a result not a stone was left upon another because the gold seeped through the stones and the gold seekers displaced them to get to the gold. Also the daily sacrifices were ended. This piece of History is an obvious fulfillment to Daniel 9:27. This happened chronologically with vs. 26 which tells us that the Messiah was cut off but not for Himself. Another obvious fulfillment of Christ on the cross, who died not for Himself, but for the sins of the World. By ignoring this obvious fulfillment pre-tribbers lose a witness to the Jews at this Scripture obviously points to the cross and the decimation of the temple in 70 AD and the end of the daily sacrifices. The Jews are well aware of when they lost the daily sacrifices and how.

Unfortunately the pretrib view totally ignores this fact and somehow it twists this verse (Daniel 9:27) into giving us nearly thousands of years gap between verse 26, and 27 to tell us that Titus didn’t fulfill it in a timely manor, but that it somehow is yet to be fulfilled. Thus, also ignoring the fact that the daily sacrifices were ended nearly 2000 years ago.  The Jews know exactly when the daily sacrifices ended… if only the pre-trib doctrine could figure it out then they would have not destroyed a witness here.

But…back to the fact that Jesus didn’t blow off and ignore the disciples question in Matt. 24:3. Jesus totally answered it. It is in verses 15-21. He told them, when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not previously spoken about by Daniel the prophet… (let the reader understand) That’s very interesting…. let the reader understand…. History lesson again: In around 167 BC another invading army under the conquest of a Roman ruler Antiochus Epiphanies. He created an alter over the alter of God in the temple and offered a pig to Zeus. This is recorded in Daniel 11. Daniel 11 is a prophesy that today reads like a history book. It starts with the time of the Greeks and ends with the Roman Empire where the Glorious Land (Israel) is made to be included as part of the Roman Empire, but Ammon,Moab, etc is not (see Daniel 11:40.41) So we can clearly see that the Jews totally understood, …let the reader understand.., when Titus came with his army and stood in the temple where he ought not, just as Jesus had predicted.

After this time the Jews were increasing pushed from their homeland to the ends of the Earth. By 162 AD Jerusalem was considered Jew free and not a Jew was to be found in Jerusalem. The Jews were not to return until 1948. This fulfills another prophesy… but if you are a pretribber…you are not going to like this one… In Jer. 30:7 Jeremiah predicts a time for Israel unlike no other, it is called the time of Jacob’s trouble.  It’s unfortunate that the pretrib view does not read the rest of the prophesy that continues through Jer. 31. You see as a result of the time of Jacob’s trouble Israel is scattered to the ends of the Earth. After which she is gathered… Jer. 31:8. She will never be scattered again. At the time of scattering 3 on the onset and up to 6 Million Jews were killed by the Romans, and at the time of gathering under the Nazi’s 6 million Jews were killed. The scattering included many generations up to 1948 where she was gathered. This was INDEED the worse time ever for Israel, approx. 12 million Jews killed. When the Messiah returns He will find Jerusalem OCCUPIED with Jews… Zech 14:1-4

Consider the pretrib… view if you believe the time of Jacob’s trouble to be futuristic…  3.5 years into the Great Tribulation the temple is destroyed and the daily sacrifices ended… The Jews are scattered to the ends of the Earth (according to Jer. 30:7 through Jer. 31), just to turn around and be gathered… returned to their homes so that the Messiah will find Jerusalem occupied by Jews. During that time half of Jerusalem will be put under captivity to fulfill Zech.14.  All of these events would have to take place in less than 3.5 year. It is estimated around 6 million Jews in Israel today. Over 12 million Jews would have to be killed during this time for it to be the worst time ever for Israel. Unless, of course, you do not consider the death toll as a consideration of the “worst time ever” for Israel.  What then would justify a “worst time ever” for Israel?

So Jesus spoke of the “worst time ever” for Israel… it started with Titus and the destruction of the temple. Jesus tells them to flee when they see the armies surround Jerusalem and Titus stand in the Temple where he ought not. That would be in the inner courts where gentiles were not permitted. Matt. 24:15-21

Note that Daniel also speaks of the “worst time ever” for Israel. Daniel 12:1….”At that time…” What time??? the time of the Roman Empire just spoken about in Daniel 11 which included the Glorious Land, but not Edom, Ammon…etc. see vs. 40,41

Scripture makes it very clear when the “worst time ever” WAS for Israel. It is not futuristic. Her future is brighter than her past.  The abomination of Desolation took place in 70 AD and when John wrote the book of Revelation it is not mentioned… Why?  Because it was now a thing of the past!

So why does the Pre-trib view ignore History? Surely they could integrate it into their doctrine? One point is the 7 year period of the Great Tribulation. Without Daniel 9:27 (Daniel’s 70th week) being futuristic a seven year period is not substantiated, and it’s very important for it to be 7 years long for them for some reason. More importantly, it is important to separate the Jews from the church concerning the Olivet discourse. To except history as history and not push it into the future one must except Paul’s writings that the wall of separation has come down between the Jew and gentile and we are one new man in Christ Jesus… Eph. 2:11-15. Without this separation the separation between the rapture and the second coming becomes impossible. It is already… you see Jesus declares that He will come “like a thief…” for the second coming… 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15. If a rapture were to happen 7 year prior, the Jesus would be a liar concerning the nature in which He declared how he would come for the second coming, “like a thief…” A rapture 7 years prior would destroy any element of surprise, “like a thief…” would have… Matt. 24:42,43. Jesus is not the liar.