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 The title of the sermon: “WHAT IS THE RAPTURE AND WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?”
- If you were ONLY reading the King James Bible on your own, you wouldn’t ever see the word rapture.
- Some people will say, “The rapture isn’t true because you never see the word in the Bible.”
- Today, we’re going to explain the rapture so you know exactly what it is according to the Bible.
- There is tons and tons and tons of false doctrine on the rapture.
- That false doctrine has spread throughout the churches so we need to get this right.
The rapture is the bodily resurrection of saved people at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- The dead in Christ shall rise first and then those who are alive and remain will then rise with a new body.
- Everyone who has been saved at the time when Jesus returns will take part in the rapture.
- Everyone will get a brand new glorified body that can never sin.
- That new body will be just like the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is the firstfruits. He is the only one right now that has a new and glorified body.
- At this moment, no one has a new body. Enoch doesn’t. Noah doesn’t. Abraham doesn’t. Sarah doesn’t.
- Moses? No. David? No. Paul? No. Saved people receive a new body at the resurrection or rapture.
So, where does the word rapture come from in the Bible? Is this a Biblical term and is this going to happen?
- If it is a Biblical term and it is going to happen, when is it going to happen?
- We’ll answer these questions today. If you search the King James Bible, you won’t find the word.
- Not once. You won’t find it. So, where does it come from? Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4.
 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
- Asleep in this verse is dead. The soul of the person is in heaven, but their body is asleep in the grave.
- This is talking about people who are saved but their body is still in the grave.
- Their body has not risen from the dead as Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
- But their body will arise from the dead. For example, the body of King David is still buried as of this day.
- King David’s soul is alive in heaven, but his body is dead. Right now his body is in the grave.
 Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
- This is Acts Chapter 2. At that time, King David’s body was dead and buried.
- He hasn’t risen from the dead yet. His body is asleep in Jesus and God will bring David’s body with him.
- One day King David is going to receive a new and glorified body just like Jesus Christ.
- The bodily resurrection or the rapture hasn’t happened yet so King David doesn’t yet have this new body.
- That’s just one example. No one has a new and glorified body yet EXCEPT for Jesus Christ.
- Let’s continue reading in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 verse 15.
 1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
- Some people are going to be alive when Jesus comes back in the clouds at His second coming.
- Most Baptist and the large majority of churches don’t believe the rapture occurs at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- They will all agree that the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 are referring to the rapture.
- These Scriptures are where the word RAPTURE is derived from. And I’ll show you that.
- But I want you to see exactly what verse 15 says:
“UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD.” The Bible itself tells us the rapture will happen at the coming of the Lord.
- Again, the rapture will occur at the second coming of Jesus Christ. ON THAT EXACT DAY.
- The rapture happens on the DAY OF THE LORD.
- The people who are alive at that time shall not prevent them which are asleep.
- There are people whose bodies are in the grave and there are those who are still alive.
- Their bodies haven’t yet died. And if they make it to that day, their bodies will not die.
- Let’s keep going here in verse 16.
 1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
- Jesus Christ will descend from heaven at His second coming. It’s called the COMING OF THE LORD.
- He’s already been here with His first coming in which He died on the cross for us.
- He came to setup a spiritual kingdom at His first coming. All those who believe join His kingdom.
- At His second coming, He isn’t coming to setup a spiritual kingdom.
- He’s coming to gather His people together, save His people, and then pour out His wrath.
First thing that happens here is we see the second coming of Jesus Christ in this verse.
- He descends from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel.
- And with the trump of God. There will be a loud trumpet announcing His second coming.
- Every eye shall see Him. It’s not a secret rapture like the movies make it out to be.
- He descends from heaven. Then what happens? Look at the end of the verse.
- “And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” The dead bodies of those who are saved will arise FIRST.
- Those who are alive and remain are not first. For example, the body of King David will arise.
 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
- Then those who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds.
- Jesus will come at His second coming in the clouds. The dead will arise first to the clouds to be with Jesus.
- Those who are alive and remain will then join them in the clouds. And you will never leave Jesus again.
- “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is comforting to know.
- You will see those who are saved and have died AGAIN. That will be a great day when you see them.
- But it will be even better to meet your Savior and God, Jesus Christ, in the air that day.
Now, I want to focus on verse 17 because this is where the term rapture is derived.
- These Scriptures were originally written in Greek. Paul wrote this book of the Bible in Greek.
- When he wrote this down, it was in Greek.
- When translated to Latin, you’ll see a Latin word that is the basis for the English word rapture.
 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then <épeita> we <hēmeîs> which <ho> are alive <záō> and remain <perileípō> shall be caught up <harpázō> together <háma> with <sýn> them <autós> in <en> the clouds <nephélē>, to <eis> meet <apántēsis> the Lord <kýrios> in <eis> the air <aḗr>: and <kaí> so <hoútō> shall we <ésomai> ever <pántote> be <ésomai> with <sýn> the Lord <kýrios>.
- This is the King James Bible in English with the Greek word following the English.
- Look to the part of the Scripture there that says, “SHALL BE CAUGHT UP.”
- Do you see that? It’s underlined.
- The Greek word following that word is “harpazo.” It means CAUGHT UP.
- When someone is caught up or raptured in this verse, they are taken into the clouds with Jesus Christ.
- That Greek word harpazo is translated into Latin as rapeimur and into English as rapture.
The first time the word rapture is shown in any translation of the Bible is the Latin Vulgate.
- This was a translation of the Greek Scriptures to Latin in 382.
- You can find the Latin Vulgate online and find 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 verse 17.
- Here’s what it looks like in Latin:
 deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus
- I’m not going to read that to you because I’ll look very bad trying. I don’t know Latin.
- The Latin word for English rapture is underlined there. RAPIEMUR.
- Now, let’s take the Greek word harpazo and see where it shows up in the rest of the Bible.
- To do this, I simply use a concordance or Swordsearcher.
- But before we do that, notice the definition of the word.
- To catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force.
- This is what God will do. He’s going to take our bodies up.
- Now, let’s see some Scriptures with this same word. There are 13 verses in the Bible with this same word.
 Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
- Take is that same word. By force is that same word in this Scripture.
 Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
- Catcheth away is that same underlying word, harpazo.
 John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
- Take uses that same word. By force uses that same underlying Greek word.
 John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
- Catcheth them is that word.
 John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
- Pluck there is that same word. Caught away, caught up, pluck, pull, take by force.
 Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
- Caught away is the translation there for that same Greek word harpazo.
 Acts 23:10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
- And to take is that word. By force is that word.
 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
- Caught up is the word here.
 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
- This is the verse we’ve been studying today. Shall be caught up is harpazo right there.
 Jude 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
- Pulling is that word. “Pulling them out of the fire.”
- I’m going over these because I want you to understand what the word rapture means.
 Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
- Caught up is that word. The child was caught up unto God. That’s just like the rapture.
- When the man who translated the Latin Vulgate, he chose to use this word.
- This word describes a unique event in the Bible in which all saved people are caught up with Jesus Christ in the clouds at His second coming.
- It’s not a word that you find in the King James Bible, but is an event clearly shown in the Bible.
- And yes, 100% without a doubt, the rapture occurs at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- Most churches aren’t teaching that the rapture occurs at the coming of the Lord.
They teach that the rapture is a different event that is separate from the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- They teach that the rapture can happen at any moment. It’s going to be a secret.
- People will just disappear and no one will know where they went. Jesus won’t be seen in the clouds.
- They teach that it could happen tonight. They teach the rapture happens before the tribulation.
- When you hear pre-tribulation rapture, you can know 100% fir sure that it’s a fairy tale.
- You won’t find a pre-tribulation rapture in the Bible. It’s not there.
So, this event that we see that we refer to as the rapture, are there other Scriptures that describe this event?
- Because some people will question the rapture? Is it real? Is it going to happen?
- Well, we just saw it described in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4.
- But let’s not stop at the end of 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4.
- Let’s keep going into 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 because that chapter continues to talk about the rapture.
 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
- When we talk about the rapture occurring, we know it’s happening on the Day of the Lord.
- No one argues that 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 isn’t talking about the rapture.
- But they won’t read chapter 5. It starts out with, “But of the times and the seasons.”
- He’s saying, “I don’t need to tell you when the rapture happens because it happens on the Day of the Lord.”
- And there’s all types of Scriptures all throughout the Bible that teach us about the Day of the Lord.
- If we can understand when the Day of the Lord will happen, we’ll know when the rapture is happening.
He says, “You know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
- But don’t stop reading there and understand exactly what He means.
- So, when does the rapture occur? It happens at the coming of the Lord which is the Day of the Lord.
- And notice, it’s called “THE DAY OF THE LORD.” It’s going to happen in one day.
- The second coming of Jesus Christ will be quick. The rapture will be quick.
- It’s not going to last many days, weeks, months, or years. It’s called the Day of the Lord for a reason.
 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
- For most people who aren’t saved and don’t know the Bible, the day will overtake them.
- How? Like a thief in the night. You don’t know when the thief is coming to rob you.
- You have no idea when that’s going to happen. If you did, you would watch for the thief.
- Right? Think about someone coming to rob your home at night.
- If you knew when they were coming, you would be ready.
Well, God is telling us that He gives us signs on when He’s coming back.
- He gives us signs within the Bible to show us when the rapture is coming soon.
- He’s telling us to watch for these signs so that day doesn’t overtake us as a thief.
- And the rapture occurs on that day. So we can read and study the Bible and know when it’s getting close.
 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
- We are children of the light, which means we are saved and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
- We can read the Scriptures and understand them because God lights them up for us.
- He helps us to understand the Scriptures. We are children of the day and not the night.
- The thief won’t overtake us at night because we know what to watch for. We know when He’s coming.
Let us not sleep as do others. Don’t just ignore His words. Don’t skip church.
- Don’t forget about God. Don’t ignore His words and listen to false preachers. Others do those things.
- We don’t. We’re going to read, study, learn, watch, and be sober. We aren’t going to be drunkards.
- We aren’t going to be surrounded by lies and confusion. We’re going to see the truth.
 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
- For God hath not appointed us to wrath. When does the rapture occur?
- It happens right before God begins to pour out His wrath upon the earth.
- He has not appointed us to wrath.
- He’s not going to attack His people with His wrath that you see in the Book of Revelation.
- The seals that you see in Revelation are not God’s wrath.
- The trumpets and the vials are God’s wrath. This is very easy to see when you read Revelation.
- If the seals are not God’s wrath but the trumpets and vials are God’s wrath, then when do you think the Day of the Lord will come?
The Day of the Lord is described throughout the Bible as a GREAT AND TERRIBLE day.
- The rapture happens on that day and God’s wrath is going to start after the rapture on that day.
- The Day of the Lord will happen right before God’s wrath is poured out.
- The rapture will happen right before God’s wrath is poured out.
- God will save us from His wrath by sending Jesus Christ in the clouds at His second coming.
Look at verse 9 again closely.
- “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Who else would God send to save us from His wrath being poured out? Jesus Christ.
- “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep.”
- Whether we’re still living at the time or dead at the time.
- “We should live together with Him.” We’re going to be with the Lord forever.
Clearly this is talking about what we just talked about in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4.
- This is a continuation of that chapter.
- It’s teaching us more about the rapture being on the Day of the Lord.
- He’s saying, “You’ll know when the rapture is near because the Scriptures teach you when the Day of the Lord is coming.”
- We were told to be comforted by these words in Chapter 4.
 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
- The rapture happens on the Day of the Lord which is the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- The rapture chapter teaches us that it’s occurring at the coming of the Lord.
- Which coming would that be? The Bible only talks about the first and second coming of the Lord.
- We don’t have a third coming of the Lord, a fourth, a fifth, or any others.
- FIRST AND SECOND. There’s not a 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, or a 1.5 coming of the Lord.
- First and second coming. The rapture happens at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- It’s a great and a terrible day. Great for the saved and terrible for the unsaved.
- It’s called the day of redemption within the Bible. It’s a great day for the saved.
 Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
- The day of redemption is the day when you receive a brand new body.
- You will receive a new body at the rapture on the Day of the Lord.
- Matthew Chapter 24, Mark Chapter 13, Luke Chapter 21 tells us what to look for.
- The disciples ask Jesus directly, “When are you coming back? When is your second coming?”
- “When is the Day of the Lord? When is the rapture? When is it happening?”
- Well, look at what Luke Chapter 21 says:
 Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
- For your redemption draweth nigh or near. What redemption? When you get a new body.
- When Jesus returns in the clouds to gather up all of His believers with Him in the clouds.
- He’s giving us all new bodies and gathering all of us together with Him.
- So, if we look closer at Matthew Chapter 24, Mark Chapter 13, and Luke Chapter 21, we should find the signs to look for.
Look at what that verse says right there, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth night.”
- Why would you look up? Jesus is coming in the clouds. They are in the direction of up. We look up.
- We’ll see Jesus in the clouds. EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM. The Book of Revelation says so.
- We’ll hear the trumpet. We’ll hear the shout. We’ll look up, and we’ll know that Jesus is coming.
- We’ll know that we’re about to be raptured and given a new body.
- So, let’s look for the signs. Let’s look to the Bible to teach us the truth.
 Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
 Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
 Luke 21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
- Jesus is telling them about the end of the world. Jesus, when are you coming back?
- What shall be the sign of thy coming? He’s going to answer this for us.
- And if you pay close attention, you’ll see that the rapture happens at His second coming.
 Matthew 24:5-6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
- You can match all of this up with the Book of Revelation perfectly. I won’t do that today.
- But I’ll give you a handout showing the comparison. You can download it from the website too.
- Can I have 2 children volunteers to hand these out for me?
- Match these Scriptures to the seals that you see in Revelation. The antichrist comes in seal 1.
- Seal 2 is wars. You see these things in these Scriptures.
 Matthew 24:7-8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
- The tribulation has begun with seal 1 and the antichrist coming on a white horse.
- Then we see wars. Then we see famines, pestilences, earthquakes.
- These are the beginnings of sorrows and troubles. This is the tribulation. The seals are the tribulation.
- The 3rd seal is famine. The 4th deal is death. So what do we see next in Matthew Chapter 24?
 Matthew 24:9-10 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
- We see death which is the 4th seal. We see martyrs which is the 5th seal.
- Do you see this? You can match this up perfectly with the Book of Revelation.
- The Book of Revelation is all about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is giving us all of these signs within Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
- This is the great tribulation. The antichrist turns his attention to saved Christians who will be killed.
 Matthew 24:11-13 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
- The flesh of the people who continue to endure through all these things will be saved.
- Others will be killed. But they also are already saved.
- But remember, those who are alive and remain will be caught up together in the clouds.
- Some saved people are going to make it through all of those things.
- They will make it through tribulation and then great tribulation.
- They will be able to look up and see Jesus coming in the clouds.
 Matthew 24:14-15 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
- He continues to tell us the signs to look for. The abomination of desolation, which is spoken of in the Book of Daniel, tells us that antichrist will stand in the temple and proclaim himself to be God.
- That is when the great tribulation begins. He will murder Christians because they won’t bow down to him.
- Just like with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They wouldn’t bow down. Will you bow down?
- Or will you be martyred for Jesus Christ? The Bible gets you ready for all these things.
 Matthew 24:16-19 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
- Things are not going to be easy. God never promises us easy. He tells us we will have trouble in this world.
- He says, “Endure to the end.” If it were all going to be easy, He wouldn’t tell us these things.
 Matthew 24:20-21 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
- You’ll know when the tribulation and great tribulation are here.
- You won’t know the exact day seal is opened. You won’t know the exact day of the rapture.
- But you’ll know when it’s getting closer. Because you’ll see all of these things happening.
- When the great tribulation is here, you haven’t seen anything like it. And never will.
 Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
- Obviously, the ELECT or the saved will still be there. At this time, they are still one earth.
- They haven’t been raptured away yet because we haven’t seen that yet in these Scriptures.
- Jesus is giving us the order of things. He’s telling us the order of end time events.
- Do you see this? Except those days be shortened, there shall no flesh be saved.
- The antichrist is killing people. He’s evil. He’s working for Satan.
- “But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Saved people are still there.
 Matthew 24:23-24 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
- There will be great wonders shown. The antichrist will claim himself to be God.
- He will show GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS. The false prophet will show great signs and wonders.
- They’ll say, “I am the Christ. Look at what I can do.” They get their power from Satan.
- They are evil. Don’t listen when they say, “Oh, here is Christ.” It’s not Christ. Don’t be deceived.
- The pre-tribulation rapture is a deception that people have fallen for. It’s not in the Bible.
- The very elect cannot be deceived because they see and believe the words of the Bible.
- They don’t allow a false preacher spewing lies to change their mind.
 Matthew 24:25-28 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
- Don’t believe all these other things. When Jesus comes, you’ll know it.
- From the east to the west, JESUS WILL BE SEEN everywhere. Jesus will come up out of the East.
- And He will shine even unto the West. He will be seen. It’s not going to be a secret.
- “SO SHALL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.” What’s all of this talking about now?
- We’ve seen seal numbers 1 through 5. We’ve seen the Abomination of Desolation.
Now, we see the coming of Jesus Christ. Do you see this? It’s in perfect order.
- It matches Revelation perfectly. Jesus is the carcase there. We are the eagles.
- We gather together to eat of His body. We partake of His blood. We’re saved by Him. He is our Savior.
- Let’s keep reading.
 Matthew 24:29-30 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.
- The disciples ask Jesus earlier in the chapter, “WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK?”
- What are the signs of your second coming? There’s the answer right there.
- He just told us about all of the things that must happen before He comes back.
- He says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
- In other words, when you see the sun darkened, the moon darkened, the stars falling from heaven, what do you think happens next?
“AND THEN shall the appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.”
- “And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.” It’s going to be a terrible day for them.
- They are going to be sorry because they’ll realize they were wrong about Jesus Christ.
- “And they shall see the Son of man COMING IN THE CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory.”
- This is exactly what we see in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. He’s coming with clouds.
But notice, the tribulation is OVER once the sun and moon are darkened.
- “Immediately AFTER the tribulation, the sun and moon are darkened.” Make sure you see that.
- Because here in a minute, we’re going to look for that sign of the sun being darkened in Revelation.
- When we find that happening in Revelation, we know the tribulation is over. Right?
- Let’s keep going in Matthew Chapter 24.
 Matthew 24:31 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.
- What happens at the second coming of Jesus Christ? The rapture happens. What is the rapture?
- It’s a gathering together of all saved believers.
- It’s all of HIS ELECT that He has saved by grace through faith being gathered together with Him in the clouds.
- Is that not what happens right there in verse 31? For some reason, people ignore all of these Scriptures.
- They don’t match with their false pre-tribulation rapture.
- They’ll say, “This chapter is only written to the Jews.” It doesn’t matter. It’s all going to happen this way.
- But it’s not written to the Jews alone. It’s written to saved people from all nations.
- At the end of Mark Chapter 13, which is a parallel Scripture to this, we see Jesus say this:
 Mark 13:35-37 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
- I say unto all. Jesus is talking to everyone who is hearing His words. Not just the Jews.
- Now does this not sound like 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 and 5? WATCH YE THEREFORE.
- You don’t know when He’s coming so watch for all these signs. Jesus isn’t lying to you.
- It’s all the false preachers and their fairy tale pre-tribulation rapture who are lying to you.
- Jesus is trying to give you all the signs to watch for. Will you hear Him or not? Hear His words.
 Matthew 24:32-34 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.
- All of this is going to happen EXACTLY how Jesus says. It won’t happen like the false preacher says.
- It’s going to happen how Jesus says. Don’t you want to know the truth?
 Matthew 24:35-36 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.
- If someone claims to know the day and time of the rapture, you should know he’s a liar.
- NO ONE CAN SET A DATE. But you can know when it’s getting very near.
- For example, when you see the sun and moon darkened, you know the day is here.
- The second coming of Jesus Christ is here when you see the sun and moon darkened.
- When you see all those things comes to pass, it’s time to look up because He’s here. He’s back.
 Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
- People are already forgetting about Jesus and His words. In the churches, they don’t use His words.
- They don’t like His words. They are evil and wicked people who hate Jesus Christ.
- But, for some reason, they want to use His name for gain. They want to use His name for offering.
- They want to use His name for their paychecks. They want to use His name to get more business.
- But they hate the real Jesus. They won’t hear His words. Just like in the days of Noah.
- They could care less because they truly believe Jesus to be a fairy tale. But He’s not a fairy tale.
- He’s be here, and they will be surprised. They will all meet the wrath of God.
- The second coming of Jesus Christ will be a great and a terrible day.
 Matthew 24:40-42 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
- This is talking about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Right? That’s what this entire chapter is about.
- What do we see here? We see the rapture. People are being raptured or taken away.
- WATCH for all these signs. The time is coming near. Keep watching.
- The rapture occurs at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Saved people will be gathered together and given a new body.
We are to watch for all these signs. Jesus comes back AFTER the tribulation. He says so.
- So why would preachers teach a pre-tribulation rapture. Jesus says, “AFTER THE TRIBULATION.”
- “I’m coming after the tribulation. After the sun and moon are darkened, that’s when I’m coming.”
- The lying false preacher says, “No, Jesus is wrong. He’s coming before the tribulation.”
- So we look to Revelation. We find when the sun and moon are darkened.
 Revelation 6:12-13 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
- When the sixth seal is opened, the sun and the moon are darkened.
- What does this mean? This means the tribulation is over because Jesus said so.
- Seals 1 through 5 are the tribulation. Once we hit seal 6, the tribulation is over.
- The day of the Lord is here.
 Revelation 6:14-15 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
 Revelation 6:16-17 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
- God’s wrath isn’t in seals 1 through 5. God isn’t pouring out His wrath then.
- Why? Because this says, “For the great day of his wrath is come.” NOW IT’S HERE.
- The people are hiding. It’s a terrible day for them. But for God’s people, they are raptured away.
 Revelation 7:13-14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
- All these people who endured through the great tribulation, are now seen in heaven.
- This multitude of people show up in heaven. “Where did they come from?”
- “Sir, thou knowest. They came out of great tribulation.” They made it through.
- They were raptured. They were those which were alive and remained unto the coming of the Lord.
- And next God’s wrath is going to be poured out. You’ll see the trumpets and vials next.
- The trumpets and vials are God’s wrath.
So, as we close today, let’s go over a summary of end times events. When does the rapture happen?
- The next thing that happens for end times events is the tribulation begins with seal 1.
- We see seal 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. We see the antichrist, wars, famine, death, and martyrs.
- We see the abomination of desolation and great tribulation.
- Then we see those days shortened when the sun and the moon are darkened at seal 6.
- That’s the Day of the Lord. That’s the second coming of Jesus Christ. That’s the rapture.
- That’s when the great day of His wrath is come.
So, tribulation is next, then tribulation turns to great tribulation, then the sun and moon is darkened.
- Then we see Jesus coming in the clouds. We see the rapture. Then we see God’s wrath being poured out.
- You’ll see the trumpets and vials go together and they consist of God’s wrath being poured out.
- God isn’t pouring out His wrath during the tribulation.
- That’s Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet doing those things.
- God doesn’t pour out His wrath on His believers so they are raptured on the day of the Lord.
- The rapture occurs at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
One last note before we close this out for good today:
- The rapture is referred to as the first resurrection within the Bible.
- Keep this in mind when you’re reading and studying the rapture.
 Revelation 20:5-6 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, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
- If you wanted to use a more Biblical term, you would call the rapture the first resurrection.
- Jesus Christ is the firstfruits, then you have the first resurrection, and then you’ll have a final resurrection at the Great White Throne Judgement.
 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
- There you have the order of resurrections. There are 3 total resurrections. The second one is the rapture.
- Christ is the firstfruits. Afterward, is the first resurrection or rapture.
- And the final one is the one at the end with the Great White Throne Judgement.
- And we will continue to go over all these things and teach the truth.
- We’re waiting for the day of redemption in which we’ll all receive new bodies.
 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
 1 Corinthians 15:53-54 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
- The rapture or first resurrection is our day of victory.
- I hope this has helped you to understand the rapture today, and I hope you see the truth in the Scriptures.
- These truths have always been here, but most in today’s world have chosen to ignore the words that have NEVER changed.
- Let’s start ignoring man-made doctrine and start listening to God Almighty and His words.