Chapter 17e - Rapture -The Meeting in the Sky
The return of Jesus Christ to gather believers before the seven year Tribulation begins which is call the Rapture the gathering of His Body the Church today.
(Also see chapter on the Dispensation of Grace)
The church today is identified as The Body of Christ, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23,29-32, Colossians 1:18,24, I Corinthians 12:27. The Dispensation of Equality best describes this dispensation since God has always showed grace to man. The uniqueness of this administration of God is equality and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to all who receive Jesus Christ as LORD AND SAVIOR, and the message of the New Covenant is dispensed by individuals and not a Nation of special people, Colossians 1:26,27, Ephesians 2:-3:6, Acts 15:8-10, Romans 3:21-31, 10:12,13, Galatians 3:28,29. The Dispensation of Grace/Equality or the church today began with Israel's stubbornness to be the dispensing Nation and will end with the Rapture, (do not mix up the begging of the New Covenant with the beginning of the Church today called the Body of Christ). The equality given to all is revealed as the book of Acts is unfolded which reveals the rejection by Israel for leadership of the New Covenant and the Nation being rejected by God as the dispensing mouth piece.
The Church administration today is a parenthesis which was a mystery between the 69th and 70 week spoken about in Daniel,Daniel 9:24-27.
The mystery was revealed fully, Ephesians 3:1-12, Romans 16:24-27; Colossians 1:25-28 after Israel as a Nation rejected the offer of the Kingdom and Truth which Jesus Christ gave for salvation, Acts 3:17-26, 7:51-56, 10:15, 13:45,46, 15:13-19, 18:5, 22:18-21, 28:28. The Nation of Israel is not the mouth piece of this dispensation for they have been laid aside until the Rapture and seven year tribulation begins, which is the wrath of God on the failure of Israel and unbelieving Gentiles of this dispensation.
This last spiritual rejection accrued by National Israel in Acts 7. Here we see Steven speaking to the leaders, Verse 1 of Israel recounting their history and their rejection of God, Verses 2-53. Israel rejected God the Father as He ruled through prophets, priests and kings in the Old Testament. The beginning of their rejection began with the captivity after the division of the Nation because of their failure, and second they rejected the incarnation of God the Son in the Gospels by hanging Him on the cross, and finally rejecting the Holy Spirit by rejecting the message and offer of forgiveness through the dispensing of the New Covenant. Their hostility towards the truth which Steven was preaching led them to stone him and Jesus Christ standing in heaven in judgment of the Nation, (the standing position shows a position of judgment) and Israel as a Nation being set aside until the Rapture, (see Acts 3:12-4:28;& chapter 7). Historically in 70 AD they went into captivity, which Acts 28 represents. They are blinded today as a nation and will be until the tribulation period begins, at which time a remnant will repent and turn to God becoming the new and true Nation of Israel and the seven year tribulation will be the subject of this prophetic development in God's program moving to Christ Jesus return to set up His Millennial Kingdom, Romans 9:27,28. The 70th week commences at the Rapture, (Tribulation period, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 4;1 through 20:3) when the Lord Jesus comes for His Church called His Body, and the removal of it. This event is call the Rapture, because it is the catching away of the believers into the air to be with Christ, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Corinthians 15:50-58. Jesus Christ does not touch the earth in the Rapture but bring the Body of Christ to Himself in the air.
The seven year Tribulation there is suffering caused by God's wrath on mankind, whereas the suffering today is caused by individual sin and Satin's attack on mankind. We today are not experiencing God's punitive wrath because He is not through with this dispensation call the Dispensation of (Equality) Grace or the church administration called the Body of Christ. Also when the rapture happens there will be no believers left here on earth, they will be transformed into spiritual bodies and those left behind will be those who rejected the message of salvation or have not heard the message, they will have fleshly bodies yet to die and they will still be able to reproduce offspring. Out of those left behind who have not heard the true message of salvation or had not already refused God's offer of salvation, God will save many who by faith receive the message of God and refuse the mark of the beast, Revelation 14:9-13, Revelation 20:4 but those who heard and rejected the truth will not be saved during the tribulation period, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. There will be an unknown number through the message of the cross delivered by the remnant of the Nation of Israel during the tribulation that are saved saved, Revelations 15:1-5.
A very important difference of the end of the dispensation of Grace is there will be no believers left behind, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 however, at the end of the tribulation there will be no unbelievers left here on earth, 2 Thessalonians 2:2,8-12, cf. note: v 21 of Revelation 19:1-21, 14:14-20, 16:13-16, Matthew 24,25 (battle of Armageddon also the Day of the Lord), Revelation 20:1-8 . The believers raised at the end of the Dispensation of Grace will not have bodies of flesh and blood to reproduce where at the end of the tribulation the believers who are alive at its end have bodies of flesh and will reproduce offspring during the 1000 year reign of Christ.
The Rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth has been a topic of some confusion down through the years. Some of the confusion is caused by a incorrect understanding of God's Word by those trying to lump all scripture into one event and not seeing the symmetrical development of God's working in His overall plan in history and the unfolding of future events still happening.
In Heaven or the eternal Kingdom, (2 Peter 1:11, Daniel 4:1-3, Romans 8:38,39, I Peter 1:1- 5) there will be the call out who God foreknew, them He predestines in Christ Jesus, them He called through His Spirit, them He justified by the work of Jesus Christ and them He Glorifies because of His love and faithfulness, He cannot and did not lie about His promises, Romans 8:28,29. There will be the children of God through the ages of the world. The word church means the call out people of God and if your going to examine their personal responsibilities you will need to look at the time they lived out their personnel belief on earth according to the dispensation operating at the time. In heaven we are all called the people of God the called out ones saved by the redemptive covenant of God (See chart and follow redemptive blood line of Christ Jesus marked by a red line, who completed all the work in eternity past and was worked out through the different dispensations historically.). By examining their personal lives reveal in the Bible, we discover the character of man and God preserved in the recording of the Bible we have today.
In the Resurrection what will the physical body be like?
First of all God promises that our bodies will be redeemed at the resurrection which is yet in the future. The redemption of our bodies will be at the Rapture for all those in Christ Jesus! In Romans 8:10,11 He says, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you." Verse 23, "--even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, waiting, the redemption of our body." (2 Corinthians 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-21,35-58), The body dies: And it will be a different kind of body from what we have now: God gives a body that pleases Him, and each person will have their own body. Before the resurrection of the dead the body dies in corruption and will be raised in incorruptible for believers the body before death is dishonorable because of the corruption of sin. The believers' body will be raised in glory. The body here on earth is weak from birth but is raised in power. The body here on earth is a natural body but is raised a spiritual body in the resurrection. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. God says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, referring to the Eternal Kingdom in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, where neither corruption exists and where the redeemed inherited incorruption. A mystery for believers is that they will not be all dead when this transformation occurs, but all believers will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (of this dispensation): for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed at the Rapture, at the end of this dispensation, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
The resurrected body will be like Jesus Christ resurrected body, also it will have traits like the Angels.
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The Literal Second Coming of the Lord to the Earth or The Day Of the Lord.
Isaiah 2:10-22, "Isaiah warns his listeners to "run for cover" because of the coming judgment of the day of the Lord. This is a time of universal judgment that will result in the overthrow of all human government (cf. Joel and 2 Thess. 1:7-2:12). Since this day of judgment is coming, when all human government shall collapse into the dust, the prophet urges his readers to trust in God.. The ships of Tarshish reference to the fleet of western Europe (Spain) which carried smelted ore. The reference to shaking the earth is similar to Revelation 6:14.
Isaiah 13:6-18, "Isaiah's reference to the day of the Lord is both immediate and eschatological. The destruction that he has immediately in view is the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.. But he also saw the ultimate fall of. "" Babylon" in the last days (cf. Rev. 14:18)." (Notes from the King James Study Bible by Thomas nelson Publishers, Nashville 1988, page 1036)
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World Wide Outreach Ministry Inc.
By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH