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The Rapture – Part One 

(Note: I recommend to you Chuck Missler’s book “The Rapture” much of which these messages are based on)

1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 (NKJV)  16 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.   17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.   18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

  • Last week Bob opened up the topic of the Rapture and the End Times… since he put that topic on our mind, I would like to address some things about it, starting with the Rapture in todays message
  • It’s popular today to over hype and over sensationalize the Rapture and the End Times by turning every event into some Biblical sign (Hagee, Blood Moons being the latest; nothing to do with anything in Scripture; Hagee is always taking news events and “finding” them in Scripture to hype books; he ruins all his credibility by being a HYPER ZIONIST and a sold out Word Faith Prosperity teacher)
  • The idea of millions of people suddenly disappearing is pretty unique and wild…
  • Think of the chaos AND deception the event will cause: “Never let a crisis go to waste”… the fear instilled in the whole world because of this event is what I think will be the catalyst for the Antichrist to step up and give the “Solution” and offer peace and security

The Blessed Hope

Titus 2:11–14 (NKJV)  looking for the blessed hope

The Blessed Hope of many Christians, is to be part of an historical event the likes of which the world has never seen.

  • As the world spins out of control, and we witness our own country unraveling at the seams, how much more “blessed” does this hope become? How much more do we long for us AND ESPECIALLY OUR CHILDREN to be removed from this chaos?

Some say the word rapture is not in the Bible, but it is.

  • The English word “RAPTURE” is not but the Latin word rapiemur is used in the Latin Vulgate to translate the Greek word harpazo, which means “to be seized.”
  • In the King James, this word is translated “caught up” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 12:5) or “taken by force” (Matthew 11:12, John 6:15, Acts 23:10).
  • John 14:1–4 (NKJV)  1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.   2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.   3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.   4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

That night during the Passover meal, Jesus says to His disciples, “You believe in God, believe also in Me.”

  • CS Lewis: I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg —or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

This statement of Jesus is profound: Jesus knew He would have to leave before the Holy Spirit could be given:

John 16:7 (NKJV)  7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

The opposite will occur before Jesus can return again; the indwelling Comforter, the Holy Spirit, will be withdrawn when Jesus returns.  He leaves, the Holy Spirit comes… the Holy Spirit leaves in the future, Jesus Comes

The Wedding Ceremony, a picture of Christ’s leaving and return…  the Betrothal

  • Initiated by bridegroom; established the marriage covenant.
  • The mohar was his negotiating price, the payment he had to make to purchase his bride.
  • Once the mohar was negotiated, the bride was set apart, sanctified (so to speak) for her bridegroom.

At that point in the traditional ancient Jewish wedding ceremony, the bridegroom would depart to his father’s house where he would prepare a room for her.  SOUND FAMILIAR?

The bride and bridegroom are not yet married, but they are committed by a covenant.

  • The bridegroom is away and the length of his absence is deliberately indefinite. The bride does not know when he will return, but she believes and keeps herself prepared. SOUND FAMILIAR?
  • His return is imminent; there are no preconditions to his arrival except his having finished the work of preparing their new home.

Understanding this tradition, is the key to understand the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1–13

  • How much more clear is the meaning of that parable when you understand the Jewish marriage process, and how much more clear is the idea of the Rapture and Jesus Return when you understand this parable?
  • This explains the Bible’s urgent plea to always be ready

The Wedding Day

The Wedding Day in Hebrew is called the huppah.

  • Prior to entering the chamber, the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face.
  • While the groomsmen and bridesmaids waited outside, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber alone.
  • After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage to the members of the wedding party waiting outside.
  • Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed, so that everyone could see her.

The Jewish Wedding as a Type or Pattern or Symbol

That’s the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony is a type, or pattern. That is the way Jewish prophecy works. It’s a pattern or story that uses symbolism to explain God’s plan in advance.

  • We prepare ourselves, veiled as a bride is veiled
  • This truth believed only by Believers is hidden… then with a shout, the Bridegroom returns to consummate the eternal covenant He made and presents His bride, pure and holy, to God the Father.