The Rapture and What the Bible REALLY SAYS ABOUT IT!

It Doesn't Have To Be That Complicated!

II Corinthians 3:12

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

While I blog entirely using plainness of speech, I also blog for the spiritually minded believer. You will see many comparisons of scriptures:

I Corinthians 2:13

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.



Is II Thessalonians 2:7 Really The Rapture?

Many Christians believe that the anti-Christ will not be revealed to anyone until after the rapture of the church, but could this be a doctrinal error? This common belief often comes down to one verse in the New Testament of the Bible, which most main stream Christians often claim describes a pre-tribulation rapture. This verse, II Thess 2:7, needs to be considered very closely:

II Thessalonians 2:7-8

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

First of all, let's look at verse 7. The "he" who is being taken out of the way in verse 7 is just that, a "he." This verse is not describing the "taking out of the way" of a woman. The church, in the Revelation, is Christ's bride. Look again. It says, "until he be taken out of the way." The church, at the rapture, is the virgin bride of the groom, Christ Jesus. We are not a "he." We're a she.

Revelation 9:7

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

It is important to keep in mind that although we, the church, are Christ's body, we are only His body in that we are His bride. Jesus said that when a marriage takes place, the two become one flesh. In that analogy, the woman is the body of the man, but the woman is still a woman. The church is only Christ's body in that we are his bride, and thus twain in Him, but we clearly are a woman as an entity on earth. This is evident in other verses in Revelation as well as the one I have cited above, but the above verse just says it all.

Before I explain II Thessalonians 2:7 to you via a very careful in depth scripture comparison from Jesus's parable of "the sower and the seed," I am first going to cover what the Bible REALLY says about the rapture. Note: the word "rapture" does not actually appear anywhere in the Bible, however, the words "caught up" do appear together in reference to the church's being "caught up." The word "rapture" means "caught up." There definitely will be a rapture!

There are many plain text teachings on the placement of the rapture from the mouth of Jesus, himself, but many false teachers deny that Jesus taught that as being the rapture, correctly stating that he was referring to the second coming of Christ after the tribulation, but yet teaching the false doctrine that the church was already raptured seven years prior to the second coming. (This, too, is looked at near the end of this blog). Without even citing Christ's very own "plain text" Words about the rapture, I am going to show you evidence that the rapture follows the tribulation.

IMPORTANT VERSES!

I Thessalonians 4:16-17

16 For the Lord himself whall descend form heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Notice!!!

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 the FIRST RESURRECTION occurs at the beginning of the church's being "caught up." The FIRST RESURRECTION is at the beginning of and BEFORE THE RAPTURE!

Revelation 19:20-21

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

TWO MORE IMPORTANT VERSES : REVELATION 20 : 4 & 5

Revelation 20:1-6

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, andshall reign with him a thousand years.

Notice!!!

In Revelation 20:4 John saw those who had been martyred in the tribulation, and he was then told in verse 5 "THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION." As we have already seen in 1 Thessalonians 4 : 16 & 17, all of this is going on PRIOR TO THE RAPTURE, because Paul clearly wrote in 1 Thess 4:16 that "the dead in Christ rise first...." There is just no way that the rapture happens before the tribulation!

Notice, also, in Revelation 19:20 thru 20:5, that the first resurrection doesn't occur until AFTER the beast and the false prophet who marks non-believers with the mark of the beast are all cast into the lake burning with fire and brimstone. Then, just before the First Resurrection and the rapture Satan is bound for a thousand years, which is the millennial reign. This passage, Revelation 19:20 thru 20:5, also is consistent with Christ's teaching in the parable of the sower and the seed (we will have a comparative look at the whole parable later on in this blog as we seek understanding for 2 Thessalonians 2:7):

...and you're going to love this!

Mathew 13:30

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Did you see that? Jesus taught that the tares are to be gathered FIRST, but that the wheat also will be gathered! That is just what we read in Revelation 19 and 20!

Understanding 2 Thessalonians 2:7

You are going to love this area of teaching once you've seen the correct teaching of 2 Thess 2:7, as you read further! It will make you angry at the false teachers who run the mainstream corporate churches. Let's consider the TRUTH, for once!

Revelation 19:11-13

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.

12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

So, who is this "he" who now "letteth" until "he" be taken out of the way, in II Thessalonians 2:7? The "he" in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is The Word of God. This "he" is unfulfilled prophecy, hence, the Word of God. Unfulfilled prophecy is God's Word as much as any other Word in the scriptures is His Word, and God's Word is God. God is a "He." Prophecy states that the wicked have to issue the mark of the beast, and that the righteous have to mature, before the wicked will be exposed and dealt with. Once some of the push toward the mark of the beast has been efforted, then the prophecies of the mark of the beast and the maturing of the righteous will have been fulfilled enough for us to identify the false prophet. As prophecies are fulfilled they are thus "taken out of the way," much like the unveiling of the Old Testament in the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Consider the following passage from the Revelation:

Revelation 19:11-13

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.

12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Christ was revealed prior to the crucifixion, yet the prophecy of Christ was not yet completely fulfilled when his following began to take form in the assembling of the early church. (This is just about where the anti-Christ movement is in its fulfillment of the mark of the beast).

Now to make you angry at false teachers:

II Thessalonians 2:7 is not teaching the removal of the church, but the fulfillment of the some of the prophecies of Daniel, The Book of Revelation, and Jesus; (hence the Gospels contain many parables and other prophetic teachings from Jesus). Instead of teaching the Thessalonians that the righteous are being raptured away, the Apostle Paul was teaching the very opposite, that the wicked are staying for yet-awhile longer! Go back and read the verse again; Paul's writing is being taught backwards by most mainstream church leaders!

II Thessalonians 2:7-8

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

One very plain English way to restate what the Apostle Paul was saying in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is that the wicked are already in the world working toward the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel, Christ and Revelation, but until at least some more of this prophecy has been fulfilled and the righteous tested, we are not going to be able to identify the false prophet of the anti-Christ. (Hence II Thessalonians 2:7 does not say how much of the prophecy is holding back the identity of the anti-Christ, only that He, unfulfilled prophecy, is allowing the mystery of iniquity to be where it is--doing what it does, FOR NOW, until He, unfulfilled prophecy, has been fulfilled).

Now, to further help you to FULLY understand II Thessalonians 2:7:

It is going to become so crystal clear to you - as you read the next part of this blog, "the parable of the sower and the seed," that Paul was actually teaching a part of this parable to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

The early church was not looking for the rapture; they were looking for God to rid them of their enemies. The early church knew Christ's parables, and that is why Paul wrote to them in II Thessalonians 2:7: to let them know that the tares cannot be removed until after the prophecies have been further fulfilled. In Mathew 13:24-30, Christ taught about the sower and the seed:

Mathew 13:24-30

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Jesus's parable of the sower and the seed is abundantly clear, and if you will notice, it maps perfectly with II Thessalonians 2:7. "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work" maps to the discovery of the tares in the householder's garden. "Only he who now letteth will let," maps to the householder's Word to "Let both grow together until the harvest:" and "Until he be taken out of the way," corresponds to fact that the householder's Word, to "Let both grow until the harvest" has been followed (e.g. fulfilled). The sower, as stated by Christ, is "the Son of Man."

Mathew 13:17

37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

The Apostle Paul did not write one single word about the rapture ANYWHERE in-even the whole chapter of II Thessalonians 2. He only wrote about the fact that some of God's Word (unfulfilled prophecies) must be fulfilled (thus, taken out of the way) before the anti-Christ false prophet can be revealed and then dealt with (at some point). The rapture does come, however, as we just read in Mathew 13:30; Jesus prophesied that the wheat will be gathered also. The anti-Christ most certainly is being revealed today, TO BELIEVERS. We ARE going to go thru the whole tribulation. Anyone who denies that the church goes thru the tribulation is a false teacher and needs to be rebuked in brotherly love. These false teachers are basing their entire life perspective of the New Testament Church on a misunderstood teaching, II Thessalonians 2:7. There simply is no case to be made for the false doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture. PAUL FORWARNED, IN THIS VERY SAME WRITING TO THE THESSALONIANS, THAT THE ANTICHRIST MOVEMENT WOULD NOT MOVE FORWARD, EXCEPT A FALLING AWAY COME FIRST:

II Thessalonians 2:3

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

If you think the anti-Christ false prophet is a scary guy, just think about all of those false teachers in the pulpits who will read this or other blogs just like it and still deny God's Word! Those guys (and in some cases, today, women) are right there in your face, and they are backwards teaching a Bible verse that is written to illustrate that the power of God's prophesied Word is allowing the wheat and tares to grow together! These false teachers are no less the same devils as those who fly the reversed Christian flag of the Red Cross! There is some serious evil going on in the world today!

So what happens to the church during the tribulation?

Revelation 12:14

14 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.

God just isn't going to reveal the identity of the anti-Christ false prophet to people who are not watching for the coming of our Lord; they will wear the mark of the anti-Christ. In Revelation 12:14 the woman (e.g. the church) is flown right into the tribulation (hence: the wilderness), and she is actually nourished from the face of the serpent for a time, times and half a time. The fulfillment of prophecy feeds the believer who is watching it all unfold. As the anti-Christ is doing his thing, fulfilling the prophecies of Daniel, Christ and Revelation, the church is eating it up. We're onto him! (This occurs before the rapture, but we, the church, are VERY caught up on the wings of love. Notice that this verse DOES NOT state that the woman is caught up in the clouds, but rather on the wings of a great eagle. When Christ comes for the rapture, following the tribulation, we will be caught up in an instant with him, IN THE CLOUDS, as we already read in I Thessalonians 4).

If we, Christians, could not identify the elements of the mark of the beast, then we too would be deceived by the anti-Christ false prophet into receiving the mark. Recall Christ's words:

Mark 13:22-23

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

Notice that Jesus did not state that we will not be deceived because we will not be here, but that we will not be deceived because He has told us all things!

Rebuke!

When you confront your pastor about how wrong he is in teaching his seminary's version of II Thessalonians 2:7, you might want to suggest that he read this blog. You might just want to just print it and hand it to him. It is your responsibility to confront your brother when he is in sin:

Ezekiel 3:20-21

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

Just exactly how much of the Revelation do you think you will ever be able to understand as a Spirit led Christian?

Revelation 2:17

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

The believers in the church who fully overcome in Christ are given to eat of the hidden manna. Whatever portions of the prophecies that have been fulfilled will be understood by overcomers, whenever we are aware of those activities. We should never let people tell us that we will never understand the Revelation! The first thing Satan will do to a simple minded believer is tell him that the Revelation's symbols cannot be understood, and then that same devil will go back and teach lies from that Revelation based on some seminary's teaching, and it will be taught wrong every time!

NOTE that the following two verses were shared with the early church, which came together in one mind. Back then, there were no "corporate" churches, no seminary schools, nor any major divisions between Christians. Please keep in mind that many denominations, especially The Church of Christ will use these two verses to keep you blinded and loyal to their denominations, but the purpose of these verses is to prevent that! These verses address the body of believers who believe the Bible period, not any one particular congregation, denomination nor non-denomination.

Romans 16:17-18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

When someone insists on believing in pre-tribulation rapture, the best way to make them realize the hypocrisy of what they are saying is to have them read Mathew 24:29-36. This passage explains the post tribulation rapture, and then it tells that no man knows the day nor the hour of this coming of the Son of Man. Tell the misled brother or sister that Jesus is going to come in the rapture tomorrow at 7:00 P.M. sharp, and have them quote Mathew 24:36 back to you in stating that no man knows the day nor hour of the rapture. They, in their own mouths, will have just admitted that that passage from Mathew 24 is teaching about the rapture and not some other second coming that comes seven years after the rapture!

Mathew 24:29-36

29 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:

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.

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.

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Notice also that in verse 32 Jesus inserted the parable of the fig tree putting forth its new leaves, that it is a sign of summer. What Jesus is saying is that the prophecies are being opened up, that new understandings are coming from God's Word. See also my blog titled "What The Bible Says About The Church In The Last Days."

The lost, including the anti-Christ false prophet and his followers, are the only persons who are necessarily blind to the identity of the anti-Christ, and that blindness is because of their disbelief. They, simply, have not the light of Christ by which to light their way (hence Revelation 2:17). We Christians, however, know all things in Christ. The Bible says that if truth be hidden it be hidden from the lost.

Mathew 11:25

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Luke 23:34

34 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

II Corinthians 4:3

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

I John 1:5

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

I John 2:20

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

When the truth is hidden, it also is hidden from false teachers, often in the pulpits, who are crucifying Christ afresh by teaching false doctrines that are making alot of monies for their universities and seminaries. (Also see my blog titled "What The Bible Says About The Church In The Last Days," which is on this web site). The love of money is the root of all evil:

I Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Looking again to II Thessalonians, consider verse 2:8:

II Thessalonians 2:8

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

II Thessalonians 2:8 goes on to say that the Wicked shall be revealed (this after the fulfillment of prophecies). Once the anti-Christ false prophet is cast into the lake burning with fire and brimstone, in Revelation 19:20, Satan is bound for 1000 years in Revelation 20:3, and he can no more deceive the nations during that time. There is no other false prophet mentioned in any of God's unfulfilled prophecies. Satan, too, is bound by God's Word:

Revelation 20:1-3

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Lastly, the following passage, from The Gospel of Mark is one that I have been sharing for very many years. I am merely presenting it to you to give you more foundation on the fact that the church is raptured after the tribulation. Like the Apostle Paul said about the early church's doctrines, Jesus taught his disciples about the rapture using very plainness of speech. He taught in parables when the multitudes were around, but he prively explained his parables to the disciples in plainness of speech (See Mathew 13). This passage is given in Christ's very plainness of speech:

Mark 13:14, 24-27 and 32

14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Mark 13:14 & 24-27 tells us, in plain English, that Christ comes for His elect after the tribulation of which Daniel spake. When you read this passage, notice also that Christ describes that he is seen coming in the clouds, sending his angels. This passage says nothing about Christ's coming "with His saints" in the clouds, only that he is "sending His angels." Were Christ talking about a second gathering together of His saints seven years after the rapture, wouldn't he also have his saints with Him in the clouds from that earlier rapture event? Recall the first verses that we read in this blog that describe the First Resurrection followed by the rapture. In those verses, didn't Paul write "forever will we be with our Lord"? If the above passage was describing a second coming other than the rapture, then we would be coming with Christ in those clouds! Notice also that in verse 32 of the above passage, when Jesus taught the post-tribulation rapture, he followed up with the warning that no man knoweth the day nor the hour of the event. Both Mathew and Mark recorded that Christ's teaching about nobody knowing the day nor the hour of his second coming was in reference to the post-tribulation rapture he had just described.

Looking back to Mark 13:14 above, notice where Jesus said that we will see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and that it will be standing where it ought not. Jesus then followed that with (let him that readeth understand). Do you care to take a stab at what he means in those parentheses? I believe Jesus is warning us that the abomination of desolation is in the pulpit, hence also II Thes 2:3 where Paul also referred to this falling away and its being revealed the son of perdition. This is why Jesus said, "let him that readeth understand." He is telling us that if we'll just read God's Word for ourselves, then we will see the devils when they have taken over the pulpits. This has been going on for a long time. Jesus revealed Judas Iscariot, one of His own disciples, as the Son of Perdition, and that was 2000 years ago! Judas certainly was standing where he ought not, when he was one of Jesus's disciples!

Jesus made it very clear to us that there are to be many false teachers in these last days. The Bible teaches us that God is not the author of confusion. Why would Christ confuse us by saying that he will be coming to gather together His elect from the four corners of the earth, had he already gathered once and had some of them with him but not mentioned in this passage? The mainstream is full of false teachers who are devils, false prophets of Satan, liars who are only out for what to them, is that almighty dollar! Don't believe their lies!

NOTE: I requested that my online book be removed from FreeGroups.Net library, because the format in which my book was stored on the site made it difficult for the site administrator to update it. There are a few errors in my original book for which I had submitted corrections, but the site administrator contacted me back and explained that since my book is stored in .JPG images, which are static, it is too difficult to maintain. My choices were to delete it, allow commenting on it, or to do nothing with it and leave it errant. I elected to have it deleted, since some readers might not see my comments correcting my previous errors. This free web page is a re-write of that little booklet, and this site contains far more information than my original work.

I encourage you to read my blog titled, "One Cloudy Day." There is a world of information in that blog! God Bless you and happy reading!