The Rapture

The Rapture


In the 1st book of Thessalonians, chapter 3, Paul writes that he had sent Timothy to Thessalonica to minister to

 the new church and to find out how they were doing. When he comes back he tells Paul how it was one of the best churches in the first century, even though during the time of Paul’s preaching and after he left, it was a church that was severely persecuted and went through much tribulation. Timothy also brings a question from the Church for Paul: Since Paul had left them, some had died and those that were still alive wanted to know at the rapture what would happen to those that had died.

So in his letter he praises them for the church they had become and the love they have shown to all. Now in chapter 4, he answers the question. The first century church believed that Christ would come back in their lifetime, so they had a legitimate question. It seems like they thought that the rapture was only for those who were alive. In v13 he answers the question, and tells them not to be sorrowful or ignorant of the facts and in v14 he says that the dead will also rise as Christ also rose from the dead and in v15 he says that we who are alive will not prevent them that have died from rising at the Rapture. I will talk about v16 later.

The great tribulation is a time of God’s wrath. In 5:9 Paul says that God has not appointed us unto wrath, which means that we, (the Church), will not go through the great tribulation. Everyone goes through all kinds of tribulation in their lifetime but that is not the great tribulation.

In the 2nd book of Thessalonians, chapter 1, it seems like some people had gone to the Thessalonian church and told them that the rapture had already taken place and that they were in the great tribulation. So Paul tells them not to worry about the tribulations they are going through now because the rapture has not taken place and this is not the great tribulation.

There are 2 second comings of Christ, 1st is the rapture and 2nd is when He comes back in power and glory with all His angels.

In acts 1:9 Jesus is taken up into the clouds without any fanfare and no one sees Him go except His disciples. In v11 two angels tell them that He will come back just like He left. The world did not see Him leave and they will not see Him come back when He comes back for us. We, His disciples, the church will be the only ones who will see Him. This is the rapture, the first of His two comings. This comes before the great tribulation. The second of His two comings is when He comes back in power and glory with all His angels. This comes after the great tribulation and all of the world will see Him then. As you can see there is quite a big difference between the two comings.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:5 Paul says, don’t you remember that when I was with you I told you all of these things? In v 6&7 he talks about the ‘mystery of iniquity’, which is Satan, who is working right now. And the Holy Spirit is holding him back so that Satan can only do what God allows him to do. Then Paul continues: “until He be taken out of the way”, which means, when the Holy Spirit leaves the earth Satan is allowed to have full control. This is the beginning of the great tribulation. We as Christians are told in scripture that God will never leave us or forsake us, which means that when the Holy Spirit leaves the earth we who are believers have to go with Him. So the rapture comes before the great tribulation.

Getting back to 1 Thessalonians 4:16. ‘The Lord will descend with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, with the trump of God’. What will He shout? Remember when Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus in John 11:43, He cries out with a loud voice “Lazarus come forth”, and though he was dead, Lazarus came forth. So, when He shouts here, He will call out everyone’s name who knows Him as Savior and we will all hear our names called. If there are millions of Bills, I will hear Him calling me. Now, ‘with the voice of the Archangel’, what does this mean? He is calling all the souls in heaven to gather and to descend with Jesus to meet their bodies in the air. Now, ‘with the trump of God’, what does this mean? In the Old Testament, one trumpet blast called the congregation together, so here it is calling all of the congregation to gather with Jesus in the clouds. So at this trumpet blast Jesus descends with all the souls from heaven and the dead in Christ rise to meet their souls and we who are alive rise also to meet the Lord in the air and we will ever be with the Lord. This is what the Lord has shown me about the rapture and there is a lot more to it than what He’s shown me. The rapture is for the church, the bride of Christ only. I have had a question for the Lord for some time now but He hasn’t answered me yet and that is: ‘When does Israel rise from the grave and meet their souls in heaven’? In writing all of this, all I am trying to do is help people to better understand what scripture says. If this makes sense to you, accept it, if not reject it.

Bill Gauthier


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Category: UNCLE BILL
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