My Note: For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them Ref. Scripture 1 Thes. 5:3
When will the Lord return?
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:3 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.
Complete text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13
¶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.
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
We won't prevent them which are asleep because they have been with the Lord since they died in the flesh.
their flesh body died they were all changed into their spiritual body
and went to be with the Lord.
Absent from the body, present with the Lord.
Lord returns at the seventh trump, the last trump,
after Satan has been standing in Jerusalem claiming he is God.
They already had at the time of their death
Paul explained this so
thoroughly and simply
that there is no way we can misunderstand who comes first.
The subject is "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering unto Him".2 Thes. 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,
 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
 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;
 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
will happen at the sixth trump,
BEFORE Christ returns.
What happens to our bodies at the last trump?
Would you like to know a secret or mystery?
The apostle Paul is about to show us one.
In 1 Cor. 15 (read the entire chapter) Paul explains that you have two bodies, a flesh body and a spiritual body.
1 Cor. 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
He's talking about you and me.
our flesh body dies we are changed into our spiritual body
and go to be with the Lord.
Absent from the body, present with the Lord.
This is basic Christianity 101.
Now for the mystery! Paul is speaking...
Pay close attention here! This is a mystery (Gk.= musterion, secret or mystery) to most people.1 Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;
Here's how Dr. Moffat translates it:We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor. 15:51 Here is a secret truth for you: not all of us are to die, but all of us are to be changed -
Changed to what?
Our spiritual bodies!
When and how are we going to be changed?
We return to the King's James translation:
 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.
Christ returns and we "who are alive and remain" are INSTANTLY,
in the twinkling of an eye,
changed from our flesh body to our spiritual body.
after Christ has been here awhile,
but instantly at the sound of the trump!
Now, we learned in study
that the son of perdition,
comes FIRST, at the six trump.
Do you know what that means?
You guessed it!
you are still in the flesh,
if you still bleed when pricked by the MCI pin,
then Jesus Christ hasn't returned.
Now you know the secret!
Never forget it!
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.
What does this scripture mean?
It stands here all alone, pulled out of context.
Do you know what subject is being discussed here?
The return of Christ?
You can't guess at these things.
are too important
and they affect the very salvation of the souls of men and women.
To arrive at the subject being discussed here we must back up to verse 13.
Let's look at both the King James and the Moffat translations together.
1 Thes. 4:13 (KJV) 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.
1 Thes. 4:13 (Moffat) We would like you brothers, to understand about those who are fallen asleep in death; you must not grieve for them, like the rest of men who have no hope.
The subject is "where are the dead?"
Paul doesn't want us to be ignorant about where the dead are.
The Sadducees were running
around telling everyone there is no such thing as a resurrection,
i.e. there is no life after death.
Those who believe that lie have no hope.
 (KJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
 (Moffat) Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then it follows that by means of Jesus God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.
we believe that Jesus died and rose again then we must also believe
that our loved ones who have died,
rose also (changed of course into their spiritual bodies) to be with Him,
and so they are with Him.
So when Jesus comes back He will bring them with Him.
I like it!
 (KJV) 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.
 (Moffat) For we tell you, as the Lord has told us, that we the living, who survive till the Lord comes, are by no means to take precedence of those who have fallen asleep.
How could we precede those have died and are present with the Lord?
We can't, they are already with Him.
 (KJV) 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:
 (Moffat) The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a loud summons, when the archangel calls and the trumpet of God sounds; the dead in Christ will rise first,
If you've come this far you are no longer ignorant.
That's the purpose of
Paul explaining this...
"I don't want you to be ignorant concerning where the dead are."
So..... Quiz time!
Where are the dead in Christ?
They are already with Him.
So don't let your mind think about people "rising" from graves.
They aren't there.
They are with Christ.
Take your Strong's concordance (if you don't have one, get one published by Hendrickson, not Nelson) and check out the Greek word and its prime roots for "rise". It means to stand-up or present.
the "dead in Christ",
those who have died believing in the Lord,
who are with Him now,
will present themselves or stand-up first when Christ returns.
 (KJV) 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.
 (Moffat) and then we the living, who survive, will be caught up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall be with the Lord for ever.
Let's look again at 1 Thes. 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.
we are going to gather together as a group with the saints
that are coming with Jesus when He returns.
Paul uses the same
colloquial expression in Hebrews 12:1
when he refers to a great cloud of witnesses,
meaning a group of witnesses.
Christ is returning to the Mount of Olives where He will stand.
That is where we gather to Him, not in the clouds.
There is so little scholarship given to the Bible today that it is shameful.
are many figures of speech, analogies, metaphors, etc.
that the Holy Spirit uses in the Bible as tools of communication to better teach us.
But they are often ignored because of ignorance.
I guarantee you that if a verse in the New Testament read "The apostle Paul got into hot water" that we would have churches whereby in order to be in good standing you would have to get into a tub of hot water. Then there would be great discussion as to how much water you should get into and what temperature is considered to be hot. This would go on in spite of the FACT that the verse had nothing to do with water at all. It is a common expression in our language meaning he "Got into TROUBLE", not water!
we are going to gather to Christ as a collective group,
NOT in clouds (unless you have your head in the clouds).
There's one more word you need to look up for yourself.
Don't take my word for it.
I'm not going to be there
at your Final Jeopardy round.
I'll be playing Wheel of Fortune.
The word is "air" in verse 17.
verse really sounds like we are going to fly into the clouds,
up, up and away into the air.
The Greek word translated "air" is aer,
also means to breath or respire.
It refers to our spiritual body, our "breath" of life body.
Remember the secret?
We gather back to Christ, along side our brethren who have since passed away and are coming with Jesus, in our spiritual bodies.
It has nothing to do with clouds and oxygen.
1 Thes. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I know it is not popular to teach against such a widespread doctrine as the Rapture.
we don't conduct any opinion polls or focus groups here
to see what pleases the people
and then stroke them with lies to keep them coming back.
you believe in the Rapture Theory,
for the safety and concern of others,
when you are traveling by automobile in "mixed" company,
by all means let a non-believer drive.
When you take a trip there are two things you can pretty much count on:
pamphlets will contain graphic illustrations of catastrophes
caused by Christians disappearing from the driver's seats
and/or cockpits of cars, buses, trains and planes.
Normally (let's say you're
a non-believer) you just browse through the pamphlet
and put it back down,
but this time you're placed on hold so you decide to read it (as entertainment of course).
can't imagine that God, if He is a loving God,
would do something as preposterous as yank a driver out of a moving vehicle
that contains passengers and let it crash.
Your common sense tells you it doesn't make sense.
Then a logical thought hits your brain.
"If He's all powerful then He could at least stop the car engine first or land the plane."
The on-hold music continues so you read on!
You next come to Biblical documentation supporting the catastrophes.
are told the Bible says it's actually going to happen!
Yep, right here in Matthew 24 it says
"Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
You conclude the Bible really says that!
The music abruptly stops and the party that had you on hold returns to the conversation.
You put down the pamphlet, finish your call and leave.
However, subconsciously you have doubts about God's Word.
about Matthew 24?
Does it support the Rapture theory?
Let's examine it and rightly divide the Word.
Jesus is continuing to answer the question asked of Him by the disciples in verse 3.
The question is:
Matthew 24:4 ... Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
He cites an historical event,
in which occurred some corrupt acts
that will again take place just prior to His return.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:38 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,
Who, was marrying and giving in marriage in the days of Noah?
Let's go to Genesis chapter 6 and find out.
Genesis 6:1-2 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
it was the sons of God,
i.e. angels, that took them to wives the daughters of Adam.
pervasive were the "fallen" angels in their marrying with Adam's offspring,
that only one family, Noah's, was left untouched.
Gen. 6:9 you'll find that Noah was "perfect" in his "generations",
i.e. he had a pure, uncorrupted pedigree.
This is extremely important in order to understand what it will be like in the last days.
would be through the generations, the offspring, of Adam and his wife,
that the Messiah would be born.
Satan repeatedly, throughout
the Old Testament, tried to thwart God's plan,
even from the very beginning, in the garden of Eden.
the time of Noah,
it dwindled down to only eight pure-blooded adamic souls left unblemished,
uncorrupted by the angels,
through which Jesus Christ could be born.
The rest had intermarried
with the angels,
the offspring of which produced giants.
God caused the flood of Noah to rid the earth of these giants.
Here's how the Moffat translation records Gen. 6:1-4:
Gen 6:1-4 Now when men began to multiply over all the world and had daughters born to them,  the angels noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any one of them that they chose...  (It was in these days that the Nephilim giants arose on earth, as well as afterwards whenever angels had intercourse with the daughters of men and had children born unto them; these were the heroes who were famous of old.)
We now come to verse 39 in Matthew, as we continue to read in context.
Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Noah and his family, God's servants?
No! They were safe inside the Ark.
Those partaking in the marrying and giving in marriage with fallen angels were taken away by the flood waters.
It will be just like that prior to Christ's return!
 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
who KNOW NOT,
those partaking in the marrying and giving in marriage.
With the fallen angels that are cast to the earth with Satan, the false-christ.
These are same angels of Gen. 6 we just read about.
Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Did you know that?
Only this flood is a flood of lies spewed forth by Satan himself.
Rev. 12:15-16 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
we don't know the precise moment,
we can know the "season" and the sequence of events
and not be the first one "taken".
Paul told us exactly the same thing in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 ¶But
of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
It comes as a thief in the night ONLY to those not watching!
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
We are the children of light.
We won't be taken by Satan, the false-christ!
wait right here, working "in the field",
waiting for the true Messiah, thank you!
5 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.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
will be eating and drinking and giving in marriage.
They KNOW NOT what's coming.
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
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
has not appointed us to wrath,
i.e. He is not angry with His children.
He loves and protects them.
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
These are comforting words.
He's our Father, He loves us, and He has all Power in heaven and earth.
There is much more that could be "brought to light" concerning the Rapture theory.
is, by far, the most dangerous doctrine of mainstream Christianity,
for it gives false hope,
and a false sense of security to those who are not in the KNOW,
i.e. those who are not familiar with God's Word.
The Rapture theory cannot withstand the test of scripture.
It cannot be documented in the Bible.
can only be made to "appear" Biblical
if you take verses out of context and twist them.
Rapture theory is found "wanting" and should,
as E.W. Bullinger stated at the beginning of this series,
be thankfully discarded and replaced by the truth of scripture.
our Father hates false doctrines,
and in particular those who "hunt the souls to make them fly". Read Ezekiel 13:20.
Finally, if perchance
you are not convinced
and still wish to cling to the traditions of men
and hold onto the Rapture concept then always remember this.
the safety and concern of others,
when you are traveling in "mixed" company,
by all means let a non-believer drive.
You can be plucked anytime from the back seat and not cause an accident!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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