Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:18)
The purpose of this dissertation is not to promote any theory concerning
the phrase The Blessed Hope but to look at the purpose behind the
Most beliefs concerning the rapture of Christians is woven around the following
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. For
if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep
in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
There are four main theories concerning the drawing up of believers in
Christ into the clouds; and each proponent has relevant verses from
God's word to support the theory which he believes in.
This theory is that all believers will be taken up into the clouds before
the great tribulation, that is told us will be the worst experience that
mankind has ever known. This theory is supported by such ministries as
the Berean Call, edited by Dave Hunt.
This belief is based on certain verses that break the seven year tribulation
period up into two periods of three and a half years. Barry Smith of New
Zealand promotes this theory.
This theory is based on the idea that Jesus Christ is only coming once,
at the end of the tribulation period. Sword Distributors of South Africa
support this belief.
Some people believe the theory that there will be no rapture at all.
Which one do you believe? Which would you like to believe in?
Many, many professing Christians have spent days, weeks, months or
years of their lives trying to unravel the mystery and put the pieces of
the puzzle together and then publishing their findings in books, articles
and lately, on the Internet.
Is this not perhaps another red herring of Satan? Few people realise how
powerful this spiritual person is. Some professors don't even believe that
he exists. However, every hour spent studying a theory is one less hour
studying the evident truths or witnessing to others.
Here are a couple of relevant scriptures about this most evil person:
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of
the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward
an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son
of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said,
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then
the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle
of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself
down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:
and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou
dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It
is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again,
the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him
all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him,
All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan:
for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt
thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came
and ministered unto him.
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint
not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in
craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation
of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight
of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom
the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them.
(2 Corinthians 4:1-4)
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how
that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward
destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first
estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting
chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom
and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves
over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an
example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy
dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about
the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but
said, The Lord rebuke thee.
I know and know of people who profess to be Christians, but do not carry
the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ about with them, who have
not the fruits of repentance in them, who state "just look at that terrible
tribulation that is coming, I'm so glad that I'm going to miss it."
Is that so?
They might have spent six months of their lives at a weekly Bible study
learning about the theory of the rapture, instead of learning about their
redemption or lack of it.
We know that Jesus of Nazareth and Paul spoke of the end of the world as
we know it, did Peter and John, apostles that walked with, talked with
and touched Jesus? What did they say?
The apostle Peter wrote:
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which
I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful
of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the
commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first,
that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own
lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers
fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning
of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word
of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water
and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with
water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same
word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one
thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the
day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation
and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements
shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise,
look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore,
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be
found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that
the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved
brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto
you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things;
in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned
and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their
own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things
before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and
for ever. Amen.
(2 Peter 3:1-18)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus
Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the
former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be
ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect
of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your
sojourning here in fear:
(1 Peter 1:13-17)
The apostle John, who wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ under the power
of His angel, had this to write:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud:
and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were
the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little
book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left
foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a
lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to
write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things
which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. And the angel
which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to
heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven,
and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein
are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should
be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,
when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished,
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Going back to the Old Testament, we who have hindsight, will see many prophesies
concerning the coming of the Messiah.
Here is one:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably
to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that
her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double
for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare
ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made
low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it
together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said,
Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all
the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass
withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon
it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower
fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest
good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest
good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not
afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord
GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him:
behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall
feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those
that are with young.
We see here not only the promise of John the Baptist, but of God's "strong
hand", of the end of the world: and yet the learned ones in the time of
the ministry of Jesus were looking for a worldly king. They were expecting
their Messiah to release them from the tribute of the Romans. They rejected
their Messiah because they had an incorrect theory.
We have seen that Satan knows the scriptures, moreover, he was once in
heaven with God; he also recognised the Messiah when He started His earthly
ministry, and yet even he couldn't interpret the prophesies correctly otherwise
there was no way that he would have allowed his unknowing tools to kill
the Lord of Glory.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom
of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But
we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes
of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified
the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him.
(1 Corinthians 2:6-9)
Here is an example from the Bible that demonstrates the thought behind
On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was
accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded
the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down,
and set him before them. And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said,
Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God
until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by
him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite
thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law,
and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood
by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren,
that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil
of the ruler of thy people. But when Paul perceived that the one part were
Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and
brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection
of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose
a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude
was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither
angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great
cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and
strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel
hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. 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.
(Acts 22:30 - 23:1-10)
We See here that Paul sowed a seed of contention that caused his enemies
confusion and brought their plans to nought.
Brothers and sisters, please continue to study the scriptures daily, but
keep your priorities Biblical.
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. 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. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch
is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is
nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it
is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation
shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall
pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth
no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as
the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man
be. 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, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 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. 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. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think
not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom
his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find
so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all
his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord
delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants,
and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come
in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is
not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion
with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth
unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the
battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed
is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked,
and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called
in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
So you like theories? Here is one.
How long will the sign of the Son of man in heaven, in the clouds of
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first
earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy
city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a
bride adorned for her husband.
Here, as well as in Isaiah chapter 60, we see a new heaven and a new earth.
What happened to the old? Also, there are at least three heavens mentioned
in the Bible. Now what part of which prophecy applies to which heaven and
which earth? And don't forget the prophesies of Daniel.
You see, we end up with a multitude of prophesies like a giant cauldron
of soup bubbling merrily, with here a bit of meat appearing and then a
vegetable or two. Please don't waste your time trying to sieve out the
future; Worship God!