The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #4609
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:
My 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 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 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.)
Hebrews 12:1 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 gathered together?
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:
Matthew 24:29 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.
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 "who are alive and remain" haven't even been gathered!
Christ and the saints appear first, THEN we are gathered to them!
[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.
Paul says exactly the same thing in 1 Thes. 4:17, "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught-up (gathered) together 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 Him!
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 to love and please Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

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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