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Rapture....

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by FaithBuilder, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. FaithBuilder

    FaithBuilder New Member

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    As it stands, I do not believe in the rapture but I am curious and always open to learn and so my question is, for those of you who do believe in the rapture, what brought you to that belief? And what biblical references back up that belief?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    What do you think is the rapture?
    Is it this here?
    The rapture event occurs when Christ returns.
    So maybe you can believe in a 'rapture", but not a false teaching of a rapture that occurs before Christ's return?

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
    13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive andremain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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.
     
  3. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    "The rapture" as popularized by recent series of books and movies was not the way the second (and third???) coming (-s?) of Christ were to be. It seems to date back to the 17th century, and thus isn't really part of any Tradition.

    Christ IS coming again, and we shall be changed (bodily) and be with Him.

    That much is probably agreeable to all.
     
  4. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    When you speak of the rapture, are you referring to the rapture Theology promoted by John Darby, in which Christ comes unseen to take believers away secretly, and only later comes back again for everyone else publicly?

    According to the Bible and according to the belief not only of Orthodox Christians but also of the Roman Catholic and most Protestant mainline churches, its not a secret event like John Darby described. The true Rapture will not be secret; it will be the great and very visible Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. That is the one and only “Rapture”. It will not be a separate, secret event but one that "every eye shall see" (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

    Honestly, considering the modern definition of rapture, we don't typically call it that. The modern definition, sometimes called "dispensationalism" was completely unheard of until the 1800s. The purpose of the dispensationalism “Rapture” is to protect the elect from the tribulations of the end times. Yet Jesus said nothing about sparing anyone from tribulation.
     
  5. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Matthew 24, which teaches about the end of the current age and the coming of Christ...

    The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
    3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

    In the chapter, Christ teaches this, that every eye will see His return, has this happened yet? NO, yet some teach Matthew 24 has no future, they are called preterists. About end times doctrines, Christ warns us of many false prophets, and false Christs. Which we can see of the world today, His words are TRUE, there are many false teachers, prophets and false christs who claim to be coming as Christ or of Christ.

    The Coming of the Son of Man
    29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


    23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

    4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.5
    For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.


    Many people 'in the church' but not being 'of God' will come to you in Christ's name and deceive many people about the end times..
    And this is His own words here. So being deceived by Satan, such deceivers are actually under demonic deception, so do not believe what they teach or you too will be caught up in their deceptions as well. If your deceived by Satan, then you need to be delivered by Christ into the Truth, He must grant that you repent after being captured by the devil to do the devil's will, which is to deceive the whole world and the ELECT of GOD if possible. He will demand of Christ to sift you like wheat, as he did regarding Peter to the Lord Jesus, which sounds like a painful experience to me.

    And those who are deceived, will also tell you, it does not matter really what you believe about these things, well I have no desire to become deceived, I desire to know Him and His power and be of the Resurrection and the LIFE, as He who follows Christ, it is said of them, they will not walk in darkness but have the Light of Life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  6. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When Phillip came up from the water where the Eunuch was baptized, he was 'caught away' and taken to a town, if memory serves, about 20 miles away. The word used there is harpazo which is the word for rapture. This shows us that the word does not have to mean vertical, it can mean horizontal. In fact, if you look at how it is used in the Septuagint (Greek OT) you'll find it doesn't have mean being lifted up at all. Anyway... I think there are enough NT verses that show a being taken up.... but I believe that since the meek inherit the Earth, and with the example of Phillip... AND knowing that the second exodus as described in the last few verses of Isaiah 11 has not happened yet... then I tend to 'think' that if there is a rapture, we are taken horizontally to a staging ground where we take part in the second and greater exodus. Not exactly mainstream view I know... but it does answer some prophecy that has not been fulfilled yet. :)
     
  7. FaithBuilder

    FaithBuilder New Member

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    Fab! Thanks everyone! I believe in the second coming and us being reunited with God and wasn't aware that this is what people meant by the definition of 'rapture' so thank you for enlightening me!
     
  8. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hi Faith Builder, and let me also welcome you to the forums and to Traditional Theology! I just noticed you are brand new. :) We are so glad that you've joined us!

    Actually, some people mean something different when they say "rapture". Usually they mean something else entirely, since most of us who look for His second coming in the traditional sense don't usually use the word "rapture" in order to prevent confusion.

    I (and some others) just gave our understanding of Christ's second coming (leaving out some details, such as there will also be a judgement).

    There are a number of different end-times views. "Rapture" is a word usually associated with Evangelical Christians, and often a particular set of beliefs about end-times along with it. Most of these are not doctrines traditionally held though. It's a pretty big topic overall.

    By the way, if you need any help finding your way around the forums, please let us know. We have a forum devoted specifically to escatology, though the times I've peeked in it has been very - not-calm in tone.

    Again, welcome. I pray that you are blessed by being here!
     
  9. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anastasia is correct... definitions matter and not every define things the same. For many, the "rapture" is when Christians are removed from the earth before or during the tribulation and taken to heaven... while all hell breaks loose on earth. I personally reject this as "tribulation" is something God has used over time to bring His people together. Also... some see a rapture before the tribulation, some during, and some at the end... most see a vertical rapture... I am leaning more toward an end of tribulation horizontal rapture followed by said 2nd exodus.
     
  10. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    All the faithful coming together after the Judgement...

    Well, Ken, maybe not exactly 'not mainstream' either. In the altarpiece from Ghent we see one of the most famous depiction of the faithful entering paradise after the final judgement pulling together ideas from Revelation 5; notice the five lower panels the "Dignus est Agnus" (translates "worthy is the Lamb") which is used liturgically as n Introit on Christ the King Sunday (Sunday of the Fulfillment, last Sunday of the Church year) or in place of the Gloria in Excelsis during the Easter season in the Mass (below is a Catholic parish using the exact same setting as we have in our liturgy as a distribution hymn during communion):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Revelation 5:9-14
    9And they sang a new song, saying:

    “You are worthy to take the scroll

    and to open its seals,

    because you were slain,

    and with your blood you purchased for God

    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.

    10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

    and they will reignb on the earth.”

    11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they were saying:

    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength

    and honor and glory and praise!”

    13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

    “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

    be praise and honor and glory and power,

    for ever and ever!”

    14The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  11. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for adding those. I have a growing fascination with early Christian art. I find two in particular to be most interesting. One is a relief painted on a wall in a church (I can find the exacts another time) from the late first century that has Yeshua without a beard. Now, that depiction does not mean it is accurate, but if it is that really opens up a few cans of worms as it meant he would certainly have had a different definition of a few laws. :) Another image is from the 2nd or 3rd century, it is in a church and is supposedly a depiction a Jerusalem street in the first century and there are both men AND women were wearing tzitzit, the "fringes" that would hang from the 3 corners. I find that significant only because the practice of women wearing them in Messianic or Orthodox circles is often a source of controversy. Not for me.. but there are always "some" in any crowd that come up with ideas and then feel the need to push them on others.
    Blessings.
    Ken
     
  12. FaithBuilder

    FaithBuilder New Member

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    Thank you so much!! Lovely to be here and thank you for your reply, I feel I understand a lot more now so thank you!
     
  13. FaithBuilder

    FaithBuilder New Member

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    Thanks everyone! I'm currently studying Theology but am so new to it all :scratch:
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    You are very welcome!

    We all had to start somewhere. In a sense, you may be well ahead, as far as theology is concerned. If you are new to it all, then you are able to research sources and make up your mind yourself, instead of having to combat prejudices many of us have been taught, and have to un-learn incorrect teaching.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  15. Fenwick

    Fenwick I literally don't care

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    You're not liable to find anyone who rightly belongs in this forum that believes in the rapture. The rapture was made up in the early-mid 19th century and so it stands in contrast with the historic, orthodox Christian faith that this sub forum (Traditional Christianity) represents.

    If anyone has affirmed it in here, chances are they wandered by way of the sidebar without realizing they were lost.
     
  16. Endtime Survivors

    Endtime Survivors prophecy link in my profile!

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    I was reading through the thread and had wondered about that! When I read the OP I was like, oh God here we go...

    But when All4Christ finished her post with, "Yet Jesus said nothing about sparing anyone from tribulation" and then got 7 likes (fairly unprecedented in the eschatology section for this kind of topic) I was quite pleasantly mystified as to how such a thing could happen. Anyway, thanks for the explanation.
     
  17. Endtime Survivors

    Endtime Survivors prophecy link in my profile!

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    Hi Ken. I don't think I've heard this interpretation before. I'm curious about the staging ground; where you think it might be, what would be happening while we're staging there and for how long would we be staged, if you don't mind elaborating a bit. Thanks.
     
  18. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Interesting; I have been pondering this a bit too; and this is only speculation, but an infinite space, where everyone and God "is"; yet everyone is infinitely in close proximity with God. This might occur over a great period of infinite joy; or in an instant.

    However it happens, it can as it is God's omnipotent will that will make it happen.:)
     
  19. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Greetings. So, to start I look at the word rapture itself. The Greek is harpazo, and we have essentially, through teachings and Hollywood, recreated a word that can only mean vertical rapture. If I asked you, and I am not looking for an answer here, "Have you EVER heard the word 'rapture' and NOT thought vertical, what would be your answer?" :) I hadn't, until I began to look at how the word was used elsewhere. I mentioned one instance in the previous post, in Acts 8:39, where we read that the Spirit of the Lord "caught away Philip." In this case, Philip was moved from the town of Gaza to the town of Azotus, about 20 miles. So if we stop here, we have a good precedent, that harpazo, which means "to seize, carry off by force, or snatch away," can mean horizontal. Phillip didn't go UP, he went OVER.

    One tool we use in study is that in order to get a greater variety of uses of any NT word, you can do a search for that word in the Greek OT (Septuagint) which was translated out of Hebrew in about 300BC. As a quick aside, when you do this you can find the underlying Hebrew word and then see when and where (and how) that word is used as well. Anyway, when you do this with harpazo, there is never one case where it is used for a vertical catching away. In fact, most of the time it is used in ways that wouldn't even make sense, considering how we use the word today. For example, in Leviticus 6:4 we read, "then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found." Can you find the word we use for rapture here? Don't worry, I couldn't either the first time, it is "has stolen." The KJV translated that as, "violently taken away." That makes a little more sense but still shows us that we have a very narrow definition of harpazo. It CAN mean vertical, but doesn't have to. In fact, when you study the word, you'll find it rarely is used to depict anything being taken unless we are speaking about stealing. For now though, let's look at the NT verses we generally lean on for our rapture doctrine:

    1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.

    We take this verse above all to be the standard in terms of a vertical rapture, and perhaps it is? But are there other possibilities here? My first question would be, "where are the people going?" If the answer is, "to be with the Lord," then I would follow with, "Where is he going?" Heaven, or when he returns is he setting up his Kingdom? There are so many verses that I can list but will list just a few to make the point, Daniel 2:44, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 14:9, Amos 9:11, Hosea 1:11, Acts 1:6 and so forth. These all speak of a Kingdom on earth, the messiah on earth. So if the Kingdom is being set up here, and we will be with him when we are "caught up," then this doesn't sound so much like a snatching away to heaven. This sounds more like we go through the tribulation, which I happen to believe by the way and can prove (I think).... and when we see the Lord in the air, we meet him (perhaps) but go to where he is going to rule and reign with him. He isn't "coming in the clouds" where we see him... rapturing us back to heaven... only to return AGAIN and bring us with him. There is one return, he left in the clouds and he returns in the clouds. Just as we saw him go, it is said in Acts, so shall we see him return (Acts 1:11).

    But I said "perhaps," is there another interpretation? The Lord appeared to the Israelites as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The cloud would hover over them, it even hid them from the Pharaoh at one point. It is POSSIBLE that being "caught up in" is being used idiomatically, rather than literally. The cloud represented His "presence" in the wilderness and during the exodus, and being caught up in it can simply mean, "to be in his presence." So, if he returns and sets up His Kingdom in Jerusalem, being in his presence... being caught up... can still be just as special as what we once believed, but perhaps not quite carry the same meaning we thought it did.

    Enoch - Before going on I want to share a thought about Enoch. After all my years of study, I cannot give a satisfactory answer for what happened to this guy. :) It should be easy, after all, Hebrews 11:5 says he was "translated" to heaven (It doesn't use the word heaven, but I think we agree that is a given). But here is the deal, the word for translated isn't harpazo, the word used in 2 Thes. 4:17, it is metatithēmi (G3346) and you probably need to see how that is used the other 4 times it appears in the NT. So Enoch wasn't raptured, at least, the word we use for rapture isn't used with Enoch. He was translated, which seems to mean that he simply passed from death unto life but I don't know where to take it from there. The Hebrew word that is used where harpazo is found in the Greek OT (gazal H1497), is not used in relation to Enoch in the OT, either. In Genesis 5:24 where we see the word "took," it is the word laqach (H3947) which means to take, but again, that is not the Hebrew word that would be found where the Greek word for rapture appears in the Hebrew OT. So Enoch appears to have been taken, but not raptured.

    That takes us to the idea of a staging ground and a second and greater exodus.

    Jeremiah 16:14 "Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "that it shall no more be said, 'The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' Jeremiah 16:15 but, 'The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.' For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.

    Isaiah 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious."
    Isaiah 11:11 It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
    Isaiah 11:12 He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.
    Isaiah 11:13 Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
    Isaiah 11:14 But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.
    Isaiah 11:15 The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make men cross over dry-shod.
    Isaiah 11:16 There will be a highway for the remnant of His people Who will be left from Assyria, As it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.

    So we have unfulfilled prophesy tied to the coming of the banner for the nations, the root of Jesse, the gathering of those in the nations, the parting of the sea, His people crossing over dry-shod, AS IT WAS when they came out of Egypt long ago. A second exodus... that involves, seemingly, the same path used before. There are other interesting facets to this understanding. Again, I think I can make the case that we are not taken before the tribulation. Some other aspects, I have been told, are against the rules to be discussed here. This would deal with two-house teaching. I will honor that rule but want to add that we can be a part of Israel (which I believe we are) without being descendants. The mixed multitude, the foreigners or strangers who came out of Egypt with Israel were A. to be treated like native born B. were to assimilate into the tribes they traveled with, and C. were given the law as well and were to be blessed for keeping it and cursed if not... just like Israel. So these people, who had ALSO just lost their first born in the final plague, STILL came out of Egypt and chose to follow the God of Israel. The statement, "to be treated like native born" shows us... they were the first to be grafted in. They became a part of Israel... and all the arguments aside... if we come to the God of Israel through the messiah of Israel... we don't replace Israel and make so many of God's promises to Israel of no effect.... but... we are a PART OF Israel and that is one of many reasons why I think we will become part of the second exodus. Even Paul wrote in Eph. 2 that we WERE gentiles in the flesh, WERE aliens of the Commonwealth of Israel, but are NOW... through his blood... "fellow citizens." Even if we are not descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel that was scattered into the nations... we are still part of Israel because of the work Jesus has done.

    So, I believe that if we are raptured as we have used the word, I don't see it being a vertical thing, I see it being something more like what happened to Phillip. I see it taking us all who belong to God, all of His Israel... to the west side of the Red Sea where it will again part as it once did, in the day when He led them by the hand out of Egypt.
     
  20. Endtime Survivors

    Endtime Survivors prophecy link in my profile!

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    Hi Ken. Thanks for such a detailed explanation. It was long, but informative. There's a lot to respond to. I think there is some merit to your interpretation and I'll get to that shortly, but first there are some aspects of it which do not make sense to me.

    I think probably the most confusing part is the Red sea prophecy. I suspect you may be taking it too literally. If we are not caught "up" but rather "over" then how do we travel to the staging ground? People will be changed and resurrected all over the world. Will they pass through solid objects (as they are being gathered) as they travel over rather than up on their way to the red sea? If they do not pass through solid objects then it must be that they will need to walk, drive, or fly in a plane of some kind to get there which will take time and resources, and I can't imagine there being much available after all the destruction of the tribulation.

    If they can pass through solid objects as they are being gathered, then what would be the point of everyone stopping at the waters edge so that God can strike it and they all pass through without getting their feet wet?

    I think there can be a compromise here. It seems like your argument against the "going up" thing is that we don't leave the earth to some magical land. I agree, at least partially. My understanding is that we do go up, and then over. At the sounding of the 7th trumpet Jesus returns with his angels and with New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven (Compare Rev 11:15 with Rev 21:2-3). The saints are resurrected, given new bodies, and pulled up-and-over to the New Jerusalem where Jesus is waiting (Matthew 24:31). We celebrate the marriage supper of the lamb while the vials of wrath are poured out on a disobedient world below, culminating in the 7th vial (which is the battle of armageddon) where we ride down from New Jerusalem with Jesus (Revelation 19:7-14). Afterward, we rule with Jesus for a thousand years, on earth.

    I do not think this interpretation is inconsistent with the spirit of your interpretation, though we may have some disagreement on the details. I'm mostly thinking that going up does not necessarily contradict going over as well.

    As for the red sea prophecy, I was previously unaware of it, but I'd like to suggest an alternative interpretation which I believe is consistent with other aspects of prophecy from Revelation and Daniel. In particular, Isaiah 11:15 seems jam-packed with references to the Revelation. It's interesting that the river has "7 streams", which appears to matche with the 7 heads of the dragon, and the 7 mountains on which the beast sits. I suspect this "striking of the 7 steams so that people can cross without getting wet" is a metaphor for God overcoming the Beast and saving his people.

    The reference to Egypt (and in particular, the tongue of Egypt) parallels nicely with the Angel from Revelation 11:8 who narrates the background story of the two witnesses dying. He refers to Jerusalem as being spiritually "Sodom and Egypt". The idea being that a city which was once meant to be Holy had become altogether defiled. I think the same spiritual concept is happening in the Isaiah 11 reference to the tongue of Egypt. The false prophet is described as having the horns of a lamb (i.e. claiming to have the authority of Jesus) but speaking with the mouth (i.e. tongue) of a dragon. Perhaps, the Holy City had a lot of help in becoming spiritually Egypt through the mouth of the false prophet, and it is his "tongue of Egypt" which will finally be broken. Also, the word "sea" is sometimes used to metaphorically describe large bodies of people. Perhaps the "tongue of Egypt" which will be broken is the power that evil men will have had up to that point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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