Before I begin, I need to go down one “rabbit trail” for better understanding of what you are about to read. We are only at the tip of the iceberg when we talk about the deeper things. However, I want to make this as uncomplicated as possible.
Stephen, the Martyr:
In the book of Acts, the infant church faced opposition from Jew and Gentile alike. But with every successive wave of persecution, the church grew more and more. In hardships increasingly on the Lord for strength and guidance. In doing so, they demonstrated faith to others.
Stephen, one of the seven men chosen to minister for the needs of the neglected in the early church, became the first martyr of the Christian faith. The book of Acts also tells us that right after the stoning of Stephen, a zealous young Pharisee, named Saul continued the persecution of the new faith by hunting its members down and imprisoning them to face similar charges and similar fates.
Up until this time, the Jews were still in the forefront, but when they rejected Christ by killing one of His disciples. This disciple especially, because he was the one that told the Pharisees and Sadducees, that they had crucified the Messiah. So when they killed Stephen because of his message, Jehovah put the Israelites aside , for now they would go through the Tribulation and turned His attention to the Gentiles.
What I find interesting, is that Saul, known as Paul later, was involved and that is where we get our next big change.
(1Co 12:27 MKJV) ” And you are the body of Christ, and members in part.”
(1Co 6:19 MKJV) “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own
(vs. 20) for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Common sense: Do you really think that God is going to pour out His Wrath on his own Body? If we are in the Body of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit in us. I do not believe for one second that the Lord will allow our indwelling Spirit to go through the Tribulation, so the Church of Christ has to be taken out of this world before the Tribulation. He will not remove Himself because he said:
(Rom 8:39 MKJV) nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Next thought: Watch the pronouns when reading the scriptures that have to do with the rapture and the tribulation. Who’s talking? Are they saying us? you? them? they. This is where people get tripped up.
What the Apostle Paul says about the Rapture.
(1Th 4:13 MKJV) “But I would not have you ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you be not grieved, even as others who have no hope.”Paul wanted the new Thessalonians converts to take comfort with the following words:
(1Th 4:14 MKJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him all those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.” Paul says here that God will bring with Him those who “sleep in Jesus.”
(1Th 4:15 MKJV) For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep.” With the truth about no man knows the day and the hour, Paul mistakenly believes it might come in his time, and so did the Thessalonians.
(1Th 1:10 MKJV) and to wait for His Son from Heaven (whom He raised from the dead), Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.“Notice that the scripture points out that Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come.
(1Th 4:16 MKJV) For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
(1Th 4:17 MKJV) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.”Then, we, the living true Christians that make up the “Body of Christ,” will be caught up in the clouds to meet up with rest of the “Body” and the Lord Himself. And we shall ever be with the Lord.
Now, think a minute, why are these scriptures even in the Bible? Because they are true, so believe instead of trying to make something else out of it. Just for the reason that you are in the minority and something else is being taught from the pulpit. I would rather step out of my “comfort zone” and tell others what I found, than end up in everlasting doom.
(1Th 4:18 MKJV) Therefore comfort one another with these words.” The Thessalonians, according to the Apostle Paul should remind one another of this truth, as a source of comfort.
Would it be a comfort if they were going to go through the Tribulation, in which the Apostle and the Thessalonians thought it could come in their generation?
(1Co 15:51 MKJV) Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed; into an uncorruptible body (vs. 52:) in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. (vs. 53:) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (vs. 54:) But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” Incorruptible means:
Imperishable; everlasting; immortal;
Do not glaze over these verses without paying attention to what being changed means. As it says “changed” into an incorupttible body. In vs. 54 incorruptible shall be immortality. We are not going up as Humans. It is right here read it in your own Bible. I find it facinating!
The Apostle Paul is speaking here about the hour of Ecstasy; Delight; Joy; Bliss; Enthusiasm: Eagerness: Euphoria: heaven & Elation.” Which is the meaning of “Rapture.”
(2Th 2:1 MKJV) Now we beseech you, my brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
(vs. 2:) that you should not be soon shaken in mind or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word or letter, as through us, as if the Day of Christ is at hand.
(vs. 3:) Let not anyone deceive you by any means. For that Day shall not come unless there first comes a falling away, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition,” Who is the anti-Christ.
In 2 Timothy, Paul paints a vivid picture of America today:
(2Ti 3:1 MKJV) Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand. (vs 2:) For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
(vs. 3: ) without natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control, savage, despiser of good, (vs. 4:) traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (vs. 5:) having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these. (vs. 6:) For of these are those who creep into houses and led captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with different kinds of lusts, (vs. 7) ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth. (vs. 8:) But as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so these also resist the truth, men of corrupt mind, reprobate concerning the faith. (vs. 9:) But they shall proceed no further. For their foolishness shall be plain to all, as theirs also became.
But in Titus:
(Tit 2:13 MKJV) looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”
But then again, the Day of the Lord or the Day of God begins with the opening of the seven years of Tribulation.
The dictionary form of this Greek verb is Harpazô. Koine Greek is also the language of the Christian New Testament, of the Septuagint (the 3rd-century BC Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), and of most early Christian theological writing by the Church Fathers. In this context Koine Greek is also known as “Biblical ,” “New Testament, “ecclesiastical” and/or “the church fathers and their writings” in Greek.
So what’s the big deal? Going back to the Greek language used in those days is the most noteworthy truth. Since the original scriptures were written in Greek. and on top of that there are other places where “caught away”, the Greek verb is used:
(Act 8:39 MKJV) And when they had come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.”
One thing I learned the hard way is, after 15 years being a Jehovah’s Witness, the scripture you use to make a point should not be taken out of context. That is why I , take into account the scriptures around it, and most importantly agrees with the rest of the Bible or something is wrong. A lot of people have their own view on the matter, however, it is the Word that speaks and the Bible is speaking now.
(2Th 1:10 MKJV) when He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all those who believe (because our testimony among you w(vs. 11: ) Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of the calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, (vs. 12:) that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the next verses, we are given a promise, that God’s wrath (understood as rage or fury), will not touch us.
(1Th 5:9 MKJV) For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (vs. 10:) who died for us, so that whether we watch or sleep we should live together with Him. (vs. 11:) Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do.
Do we dare to hope?
In Daniel 12:1 it says: ” And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
The time frame in Matthew 24:39-31 refers to the period after the seven years, when Israel is gathered as a remnant and they will see Jesus coming in Great Glory. Jehovah never forgot about the Gentiles, so they are also part of the remnant.
(Mat 24:29 MKJV) “And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (vs. 30:) And then the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heaven with power and great glory. (vs. 31:) And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
(2Th 2:3 MKJV) Let not anyone deceive you by any means. For that Day shall not come unless there first comes a falling away, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition,” (who is the anti-Christ)
(1Ti 4:1 MKJV) But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,”
So, as of now, the “son of perdition” has not shown himself, nor has the words, “peace & safety” been proclaimed .There are a ton of books out there advocating a “later out-calling,” which mixes these verses with all the other verses that apply only to the Second Coming, when Christ will stand on the Mt. of Olives. If you mix Paul’s doctrine of the Rapture (mostly Gentiles and the heavenly hope) and the dispensation given to him with the Second Coming, (the KIngdom at the end of the Tribulation) the dispensation to the Jews, you will be mixing the Law and Grace, Satan smiles and God is grieved. So stop mixing it.
(1Th 4:17 MKJV) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them(the body of Christ) in the clouds, (the atmosphere) to meet the Lord(where?) in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.EzrAnd then we go back with Jesus to Heaven before the Judgement Seat of Christ, and have the marriage of the Lamb; and then we will be ready to be with Him at the end of the Tribulation.
(2Co 5:10 MKJV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad.”
(Dan 9:24 MKJV) Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”70 weeks to the end of the Tribulation.
Seventy weeks: That is, seventy weeks of years, or 490 years , which began from the seventh year of Artaxerxes, coinciding with the 4,256th year of the Julian period, and in the month of Nisan in which Ezra was commissioned to restore the Jewish state and political entity.
Ezra 7:9-26 will bring us to the month of Nisan of the 4,746th year of the same period, or A.D. 33, the very month and year in which our Lord suffered , and completed the work of our salvation. Lev. 25:8; Num 14:34; Eze 4:6.
Take Note: WHO HAS PAUL BEEN WRITING TO?
God has been adding individual believers from all around the world; Chinese; Japanese: Russians: Burmans: French; British; Americans; Canadians, etc. Believers are coming into the Body one at a time.But isn’t it amazing, the Body of Christ is finally going to have the last person in place. We don’t know where it will be, but one day the last person is going to be put into the Body of Christ-It is complete. Now God will deliver it from its confines here on earth and we are going to be “caught away suddenly, or raptured” out, and that then becomes the Gentile Body of Christ, where He is going to turn to? The Jew! Now of course, the Jew is going to have to endure the seven years of Tribulation before he enjoys all the blessing of Christ’s return.
(Rom 11:25 MKJV) For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you should be wise within yourselves; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the nations has comes in.The blindness that Paul refers to here is the Jews rejecting Christ as the Messiah, and culminated in the stoning of Stephen.
(Rom 11:26 MKJV) And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
(Rom 11:27 MKJV) For this is My covenant with them, when I have taken away their sins.” the Abrahamic covenant still stands,
(Rom 11:28 MKJV) Indeed as regards the gospel, they are enemies for your (the Gentiles) sakes. But as regards the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. Israel are a people for God’s name and that has not changed.
(Rom 11:29 MKJV) For the free gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
(Rom 11:30 MKJV) For as you (Gentiles) also then disbelieved God, but now have been shown mercy through their (Israel’s) disbelief,
(Rom 11:31 MKJV) even so these (Israelites) also have not believed now, so that through your (Gentiles) mercy they may also obtain mercy.
(Rom 11:32 MKJV) For God has shut up all in unbelief (in Israel), so that He might show mercy to all. The Body of Christ (Gentiles) that are caught away suddenly, the Rapture.
(Rom 11:33 MKJV) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! Pray for Jesus to reveal himself to you in the scriptures.
(Rom 11:34 MKJV) For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?
(Rom 11:35 MKJV) Or who first gave to Him, and it will be repaid to Him?
(Rom 11:36 MKJV) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen.It’s in God’s hands.
I do not like rabbit trails, so I am trying to stick closely to the subject at hand. However, there are many, many scriptures you should be aware of, but I am running out of paper, Lol! If you have a deep question, do not be afraid to ask, please let me know how I can improve myself. Thank you.
Christian: (1Th 4:18 MKJV) Therefore comfort one another with these words.