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.
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:
highlighted verses: 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. 1 Thessalonians
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 who are alive in the flesh
and all the saints who are coming with the Lord, are going to gather
together as a group at the 7th Trump, which is what the expression
"caught up together in the clouds" means.
It is a figure of speech and the
expression "in the clouds" has nothing to do with "clouds" any more than
the expression "He got into hot water" has to do with "hot water".
The former means "group" and the
latter means "trouble".
(See Heb. 12:1 for the same figurative
usage of "clouds" where Paul says we are going to gather in the clouds
and run a foot race.)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great
a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run
with patience the race that is set before us, Well, if the saints are in their
spiritual bodies and we are still in our flesh bodies, how shall we be
It is the "mystery" of 1 Cor.
15 which we studied in our last lesson.
"In a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye", at this same last trump we shall
be changed into our "breath of life" bodies, our "air" bodies, which are
our spiritual bodies as we shall see after Christ explains this same event
in Matthew 24:29-31.
We pick it up just after He has finished
describing the great tribulation of antichrist:
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:
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.
Does it say that when Christ
returns (which we know is at the last trump) that only the elect are going
to see Him? No, it does not! When Jesus Christ returns with
all the saints (remember?) "all the tribes
of the earth" shall see the Son of man coming! There is NO secret rapture! You can either believe some
theory of man that says only "the church" sees Him first or you can
believe the words of Jesus Christ. The choice is yours! Because at this point the saints
are alive and remain" haven't even been gathered! Christ and the saints appear
first, THEN we are gathered to them!
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they
shall gathertogether his elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other.
Paul says exactly the same
thing in 1 Thes. 4:17, "Then we who are alive
and remain shall be caught-up (gathered)
with them in the clouds (in a group, i.e.
figuratively in clouds), to meet the Lord
in the "air" (spiritual body, in the spiritual
dimension), and so shall we ever be with the
Lord (in our spiffy spiritual bodies)."
The Greek word for "air"
used here is "aer".
It is used only several times in
the New Testament and you can look it up for yourself (which you should
do) and check out how it is used, but it
does not mean the "air" that birds fly in which
is the word is "ouranos" as used in Luke 9:58
"And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."ouranos,
oo-ran-os', Greek 3772; perhaps from the same as Greek 3735 (oros) (through
the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as
the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specially
the Gospel (Christianity) :- air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.
Paul is telling us in 1 Thes. 4:17
that we are going to be "changed" into
our "breath of life"
bodies, our "aer" bodies
of that spiritual dimension in order to meet the Lord and the saints who
are already in theirs.
One thing is for sure, we can't
imagine how glorious that day will be but we know that when we see the
Lord (and the angels) we will be instantly changed to appear just like
1 John 3:2 Beloved,
now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall
see Him as He is.
How wondrous and marvelous
is the truth of God's Word.
You shall know the truth, and the truth
shall set you free... free from worry, free from anxiety, free from the
bondage of the traditions of men, free from ignorance...free to love and
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these
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.