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For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16

Before we get started we must understand there is a rapture coming. The term rapture does not exist in the Bible. In fact, the definition of rapture isn’t even what people use it for.


Learn to pronounce
noun: rapture; noun: Rapture; noun: the Rapture

a feeling of intense pleasure or joy.
"Leonora listened with rapture”

Expressions of intense pleasure or enthusiasm about something
“The tabloids went into raptures about her”

The second definition is only there because of “millenarian teaching”and that definition is the transporting of believers to heaven.

Well, if that wasn’t interesting enough, the Bible actually gives the exact time that people will be “raptured” based upon end days events. Let me make this clear. The Bible does not tell us exactly what date but it does tell us when, based upon the events of the end days, by which this rapture will happen by using the phrase “this is the first resurrection”.

If you were raised in the popular teachings of end days prophecy, called
dispensationalism, you’ve likely heard of a seven year tribulation period where a rapture of the saints will occur before or in the middle of this seven year period. Here’s a couple passages used to support this theology.

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4

Because “this Day should not overtake you as a thief” is believed to be telling many christians that they will be removed before the Day of the Lord.

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Whether or not you believe in a pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation rapture, we cannot ignore proper use of grammar. Let’s look at what’s being said in these two passages.

Paul is telling the Thessalonians that The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. The purpose of this use is to help us understand that there are
no signs and wonders, no events in the world that will tell us “this is the end”. Later, he tells the Thessalonians there are signs in the church to show us the end is near. Paul then tells them that the Day will not over take them.

There’s two bad teachings that come from this portion of Scripture and it’s done by ignoring proper grammar.

The first teaching is that the saints will know when the day is because “this day should not overtake you as a thief”. This statement has to completely ignore the previous “but you, brethren, are not in darkness”. We are to watch, not for signs but by putting on faith, love, and hope. It will not overtake us because we’re ready.

The second teaching is a pre-tribulation rapture. By leaving off “as a thief” we can come to a theology of pre-tribulation rapture. But, the very term “as a thief” is a descriptor of what’s not going to overtake us. Because we are constantly looking toward faith, love, and hope, we will not be overtaken as a thief by which the rest of the world will be. No where does it say we're removed before the Day of the Lord it just says we're ready for it.

Do you see how the twisting can happen?

In verses 9-10, we are told that “God did not appoint us to wrath.” The Day of the Lord is the day that Christ returns and destroys everyone who is not in Christ and binds satan for a thousand years. The theology of our escaping “wrath” is based upon a
seven year tribulation period which the Bible does not talk about. By not understanding what the Day of the Lord is and separating that from God’s wrath we come up with a twisted theory that the Bible is not telling us.

All it takes is for one bad teaching and suddenly we have this snowball effect which we try to justify what we want to believe.

I started this study by telling you the Bible SPECIFICALLY states the “first resurrection” in the timeline of events of the end, or The Day of the Lord. Let's look at that.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:11-16

From this section of passage we learn when the wrath of God comes, it’s when Christ mounts a horse and brings the armies of Heaven with Him for battle on earth. Notice this is not a
seven year tribulation period where an antichrist arises.

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.” Revelation 19:17-21

As we continue in the story we see that this battle will kill every single person who did not follow God.

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3

During this period satan is bound and cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4

It’s also during this time we see the saints, those who worshiped God and not the things of this world, raise from the dead and they’ll reign with Christ for a thousand years. This is when we understand the rapture to be. We know we will meet Christ in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and we know we go to God’s house to live (John 14:2). Here we are told it will be for a thousand years.

“The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5-6

John goes on to tell us that not everyone will come back to life. Those who did not serve God will remain dead for a thousand years. He explains that “this is the first resurrection”. He obviously is not talking about the “rest of the dead” because the dead in Christ rose at the beginning of the thousand years. This is why he also finishes up with “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection”.

Ok, so we have our timeline of events that tell us EXACTLY when the resurrection will happen.

In a period we cannot be sure but which I’m expecting to be very quick, that being the destruction of the wicked, these are the events as told to us by the vision of John

Christ comes for war with the heavenly armies
Christs army kills all the wicked in the earth and the birds feast on their flesh
Satan is bound for a thousand years
The dead in Christ rise at the first resurrection to reign with Him for a thousand years
The sinful dead remain dead for a thousand years.

When there is such a clear storyline of events, how can we fall for deceptive teaching that twists Scripture to make things how we want to believe them to be?

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