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The Rapture Theory is False

There is a common teaching in Christendom today, which teaches that Christians will be raptured or taken away secretly by Christ, and that this will happen three to seven years before the tribulation period and the mark of beast crisis described in the Bible (particularly in the book of Revelation). Many Christians comfort themselves with this idea, and even refuse to study or to listen to anything concerning the book of Revelation. It is true that there are a lot of things which are hard to understand in this book, but God has promised: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” {James 1:5}.

In the very first chapter of Revelation there is a very challenging verse for every one to meditate on, “blessed is he that readeth , and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein for the time is at hand,” {Rev.1:3}. My friends, there is no way to avoid this verse. We usually read and hear, but God is asking us to also keep these things that are written in this book.

Let us examine this belief of the Secret Rapture to see if this is what the Scriptures really teach.

First, let us note that the word rapture is not in the Bible. The dictionary’s definition for the word does not support any idea of people been caught away either secretly or publicly. The meaning given for the word Rapture is: “state of being filled with great joy or pleasure; extreme joy, ecstasy.” Of course the word has been used in a theological sense to mean, “the catching away of the saints.”

The main points of the Rapture Doctrine

{1} When it comes it will be a secret.

Two texts are relevant in this connection: The first text is 1 Thess. 4:16 which says, “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:” The second text is Revelation 1:7 which says, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also, which pierced him: and all kindred’s of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” The question is, are these texts speaking of a secret event???

{2} People can be raptured or taken away at any time.

The most common verse used to defend this point is Matthew 24:40,41. If we examine the passage, beginning from verse 37, we will see that Jesus drew a parallel between Noah’s time and the time of His second coming. verses 38 and 39 show us that in the time when Noah was preparing the ark and preaching, it was life as usual for the people of the world until Noah entered the ark, and they “knew not until the flood came and took them away.” Noah and his family were protected and the wicked were lost. Let us bear this in mind as we examine the two controversial verses, 40 and 41. These verses say, “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.”

The question is, who is taken, and where?

It has been widely accepted that the one who will be taken is the Christian, while the wicked person will be left. But if we follow the parallel of events in Noah’s time, we can see clearly that it is the unbelievers who were taken by the flood. Verse 39 says, “…the flood came, and took them all away…” while the believers were protected by God in the ark. In the same parable in the book of Luke in chapter 17:34,37 It reads “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” The disciples then asked a very important question (verse 37) “where Lord?” Christ answered, “wheresoever the body is thither will the eagles be gathered together.” The parallel passage in Matt. 24:28 says, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”

In light of the word of God we can see clearly that it was the unbelieving wicked who were taken by the disaster of the flood and destroyed. This is exactly how it will be just before the return of Christ.

Let us now turn to Christ’s coming. There are two basic questions for us to consider as we examine the meaning of this prophecy. {1} By what will the unbelievers be taken? {2}What will be the protection for God’s people?

By what will the unbelievers be taken?

The best place for us to begin is the book of Revelation. Rev 8:1,5 shows us that there will be a time when prayers are accepted no more. In verse 5 it says that the angel takes the censer (the vessel that was used for offering incense which represented the prayers of the saints), and cast it to the earth. This clearly shows that probation is closed. Then in verse 6, the seven angels who have the seven trumpets prepare to sound. When these seven trumpets sound the earth is devastated along with the wicked in it.

If we read Revelation chapter 16, we will find similar events to those described in chapters 8, and 9. So we see that after probation is closed, then come the seven last plagues. In Revelation 9:3,4 we read, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. {4} And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” So the wicked will be taken by the seven last plagues, and finally destroyed, but the people who have the seal of God will be protected. (Matt. 13:30)

What will be the protection for God’s people?

As in the days of Moses when the children of Israel were captive in Egypt, God instructed them to kill a lamb and place the blood on the door post of each house which ensured their protection from the destroying angel, even so when the seven last plagues are poured out on the earth, God’s people will once more be protected. In Revelation 6:17 the question is asked, “…the great day of his wrath is come and who shall be able to stand?” Chapter 7 gives us the answer. It is those who have the Seal of God. Under the fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:4), only those who have the Seal of God are protected from the torments of the locusts. In Eze 9:4.6 God tells his messenger to set a mark on his people, then He tells the destroying angels, “go after him and slay all, but spare those who have My mark.” So we see that God’s people will go through the crisis but will be sheltered by God (see also Rev. 3:10). David assures us of this protection in Psalm 91:1,16.

Where and why was this false teaching formulated ?

The Theory that there will be a secret coming for the Church, was started by the Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest, Ribera in the 16th Century. He taught the theory to throw dust into the eyes of the people, because the Protestant Reformers were showing that the Papacy was the “Great Whore” of Revelation 17, and the antichrist of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11.

The Jesuit Ribera asserted in about 1580 AD that these prophecies referred not to the Papacy but rather to some future supernatural individual who was yet to appear.

Miss Margaret MacDonald a member of the Church pastored by Edward Irving in Port Glasgow, Scotland is credited as being the originator of the Pre-tribulation Rapture Doctrine. She claimed to have Revelations that Christians would be raptured before the Great Tribulation. She also claimed that the Rapture would occur in her lifetime. No doubt her claims did a great deal to establish the falsehood.The Bible warns us about false prophets (Deuteronomy 18: 21-22). Miss MacDonald died over a hundred years ago, and her prediction was never fulfilled and will never be.

My dearly beloved friends if we are honest with ourselves and God we can see that this belief is not scriptural and was formulated to distract and to deceive. Let us believe and receive only the truth of God’s word. God bless.

Source: by Neville Morris from Restoration Ministry


There is a teaching today that is rife within the Christian world, called the rapture. What is the rapture theory? It is believed by those who hold to this theory (and there are MANY who do), that the "church" will be raptured away to heaven and then the earth will continue for a period of seven years (called the tribulation) in which the inhabitants of the earth will be plunged into a time of great trouble and strife (more so than now). So according to this teaching there is a separation to take place between the saved and the lost BEFORE the end of the world.

In this teaching we are also told that Christ will return in two "phases". The first will be a "quiet" affair with the saints being raptured away. And then the second phase after the seven year tribulation will be the "glorious, triumphant" return, which according to this teaching, will usher in the 1000 year millennial reign on earth (which is also a false teaching).

Let me quickly show you an example of the weakness of the rapture doctrine - I came across a recent article stating '10 Irrefutable Proofs' for the rapture. Here are the first two 'irrefutable proofs' they quoted:

Number 1. "THE RAPTURE IS THE 'BLESSED HOPE' WHILE THE SECOND COMING IS A DAY TO BE GREATLY FEARED" ... They separate the rapture and second coming saying that the rapture is the 'blessed hope' quoting Titus 2:13, and the second coming is the 'FEARED day of the Lord', quoting Amos 5:18. They believe these must be different events, because one is to be hoped for, and the other is to be feared. But they fail to realize the simple truth that the second coming is the 'blessed hope' for the saved in Jesus, and to be 'greatly feared' by those who reject the Lord. Simple, logical truth.

Number 2. "IN THE RAPTURE, JESUS COMES FOR HIS CHURCH, AT HIS SECOND COMING HE BRINGS THE CHURCH WITH HIM" ... They say that Jesus takes His church away in the rapture, quoting 1 Thess. 4:16-17. And then Jesus comes back with the church at the second coming, quoting Revelation 19:14, which says 'the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses.". But what they fail to realize is that the 'armies' whom Jesus returns with are His angels, as Matthew 25:31 confirms, not the church.

"But what about 1 Thessalonians 4:14, where it says that those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him? This surely is talking about the church coming back from heaven after the rapture with Jesus at His physical return?" - No it's not. Rapture adherents love this verse, but they completely miss the context of what is being said here. Look at both vs. 13 and 14. Paul is clearly talking about those who are asleep in Christ, ie, those who are in their graves waiting for His return. And what does Paul say to give encouragement concerning those who have died? He says that just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so He will bring with Jesus those who sleep in Him. In other words, those who have died, God will raise them from the dead, just like He rose Jesus from the dead.

The rest of the so called 'irrefutable proofs' are of the same mold. They are not proofs at all, but just twisting of scripture to suit their wrong belief. It's interesting that they also believe the 'antichrist' will not be revealed until AFTER the rapture. This is a deception of the Roman Church. The Bible and historic Protestantism already revealed the antichrist - The Papal Church of Rome!

NOTE: If the rapture theory is a true Biblical teaching. Why was it not well known and popularized until the early 20th century?

John 17:15 ...'I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.'

Let me get one thing out of the way first. The word "rapture" is not found anywhere in the Bible. So where do they get the word from? It was coined from the words "caught up" found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. And we will deal with those verses later on.

What I would like to do is drop a Biblical bomb straight away on the pre-tribulation rapture teaching and expose it's weakness. That Bible bomb is found in Matthew, chapter 13. In this chapter, Christ Jesus is telling a parable and teaching a lesson concerning the events of the last days and the second coming. Let's look at what He says:

Matthew 13:24-30 ...'Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; [NO] lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.'

Wow! I love the Word of God. It is so clear that we need not second guess what is going to happen. So what are we told in the pre-tribulation rapture theory? We are told that Christ will "gather" His people BEFORE the tribulation and separate the "wheat and the tares" BEFORE the harvest. And yet what does it clearly state in the Bible verse above? That the separation only takes place AT the harvest.

"Oh but the rapture IS the harvest!"

Ok. So according to those who hold to the pre-trib rapture theory, the harvest takes place BEFORE the tribulation and BEFORE the end of the world. This is clearly what they believe because according to this teaching, the world continues for another 7 years and then another 1000 years AFTER the rapture. Well, what does Christ Jesus our Teacher say about this?

Matthew 13:38-40 ...'The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.'

Thank you Jesus for giving us the clear truth on this matter, so that we should not be deceived! Do you see the truth on this friend? The church and the wicked continue to live together on earth until the END OF THE WORLD. And it is only at the end of the world that the separation takes place. The pre-trib rapture theory is now blown to bits by the Word of God!

Please understand that VITAL point. The rapture theory teaches a separation BEFORE the end. But the Bible clearly teaches that there is NO separation before the end.

This also proves the mid-tribulation rapture teaching to be false

Those who hold to the mid-tribulation rapture theory, believe (just like the pre-trib teachers), that the separation takes place BEFORE the end of the world. But as we have shown from the Bible above, the separation takes place ONLY at the end of the world. Need more proof? Take a look at these Bible verses and you will notice that the focus is NOT about the church being taken away before the end, but rather AT the end of the world and the LAST DAY.

John 6:40 ...'And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.'

John 11:24 ...'Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'

John 12:48 ...'He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.'

Eternal life is given on the LAST DAY. The resurrection happens on the LAST DAY. Judgment is given on the LAST DAY.

Notice also what Jesus says in Matthew 28:20 ..."lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." ... Now why would Jesus reassure us that He would be with us until the END OF THE WORLD, if we were to be raptured away BEFORE the end of the world? Doesn't make sense does it? Friend, the rapture teaching is a false one invented by Satan to cause God's people to be unprepared for the time of trouble ahead, that we WILL go through.

Those who believe in a rapture say that the Greek word "parousia" refers to the secret coming of Jesus with the rapturing of the church and that the Greek word "apokalupsis" refers to the visible glorious coming of Jesus in power seven years later. So they believe from these Greek words that Christ will return in two phases, separated by the 7 year tribulation. Well, we have already proven from the Bible that there is no separation between the church and the wicked until the END OF THE WORLD. But let's take a look at "parousia" and "apokalupsis", and what we will show you is that BOTH are used to describe the SAME second coming, not two comings.

Paul uses the word "parousia" in 1 Thessalonians 4, which we have discussed above, when speaking of the coming of Christ and our gathering together unto Him. But Paul then shows that this "parousia" will destroy the man of sin; the Antichrist ... "whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [parousia]." 2 Thessalonians 2:8. So we have a problem. Paul is saying that it is DURING the "parousia" of Christ that the man of sin will be destroyed. And yet those who hold to the rapture teaching say that the man of sin will reign AFTER the "parousia". And will not be destroyed until the physical "apokalupsis" coming of Christ.

"Apokalupsis" [revelation] is also used in a way that indicates it is NOT a separate coming from the time the believers are gathered up. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:13 ..."be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation [apokalupsis] of Jesus Christ;" Now why would Christians be exhorted to continue hoping to the end of the world for the grace brought through the revelation of Jesus Christ if their real hope was a rapture seven years before the revelation? Do you see the problems with this teaching? I hope so.

These following verses which give Matthew and Luke's account of the same event prove that the words "parousia" and "apokalupsis" do refer to the SAME ONE COMING OF CHRIST. In Matthew 24:37 it says ..."But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be." ... And the same account in Luke 17:26, 30 says ... "As it was in the days of Noah ... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed [apokalupsis]." This is how we are to find out the TRUTH. We need to compare scripture with scripture.

So why are the two Greek words used? It's quite simple. Parousia means "presence", a VISIBLE return. And Apokalupsis means "to reveal", a REVEALING OF THE TRUTH. So to turn these two words into two separate comings make no sense whatsoever. They both describe the ONE event, the physical, visible, loud, fiery second coming of Christ, in which the truth will be REVEALED!!

There are many Christians who hold onto those few words ... "coming as a thief" ... separating them from the context and believing that Jesus is coming as a thief for the church. But let us look at what the apostle Paul says regarding Jesus coming 'as a thief'.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 ...'But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.'

These things become so clear when we read the context, rather than separating small pieces of scripture and building a faulty teaching on them. Can you see what Paul is saying above? WHO is Jesus going to return 'as a thief' for? THE WORLD! For whom does Jesus 'come suddenly', without them being aware? THE LOST. Which ties in perfectly with the parable of the wheat and tares, wherein the LOST are gathered FIRST. Paul confirms above in 1 Thessalonians 5 that the saints are NOT ovetaken 'as a thief', because we will be watching and waiting for the Lord, expecting His return.

Matthew 24:42-43 ...'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.'

Can we know what "watch" the Lord is coming in? YES! This is why we are given signs of the times in the Bible, so we can know in which watch the Lord will return. We do not know the hour, but we CAN know in what 'watch', which is why the 'goodman of the house' (the saints) ARE WATCHING AND WAITING!

John 10:10 ...'The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'

What does a thief come to do? To steal and destroy! Is Jesus coming to steal and destroy His church? No! He is coming back to steal and destroy the wicked. This is who Jesus is coming back as a thief for - the lost! But the church will be watching, and will NOT "suffer their house to be broken up." Oh how the truth becomes so clear when we read things in context!

Jesus is NOT coming back as a thief for the church. He is coming as a thief for the world!

For Jesus to say "end of the world", there must be some destructive event to take place right? So what event is coming that would be an "end of the world" event? THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST JESUS! Take a look at the following Bible verses describing the second coming and you will see that THIS is the event that will "end this world" as we know it.

Revelation 1:7 ...'Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.'

2 Peter 3:10 ...'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.'

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 ...'And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Psalm 50:3-4 ... 'Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.'

Isaiah 34:8-10 ...'For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.'

Sounds like an end of the world event doesn't it? The destroying force of the second coming of Christ Jesus, as shown in the Bible verses above, will cause the earth to be "laid waste" as described in Isaiah above. Which means that the world will NOT continue on as we know it now, which the rapture theory proclaims. Instead, the wicked will be destroyed and the earth will be laid waste. And it is AT THIS TIME that the saints are taken to heaven, not before.

Matthew 24:37-42 ...'But as the days of Noah 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.'

This is such a misunderstood passage of scripture today. Take a look at the context of the above Bible verses. Do you see that Jesus is telling us that His second coming will be like what happened in Noah's day? And what happened in the days of Noah? The above verse tells us. The flood DESTROYED the earth, taking away the wicked and leaving behind God's people (Noah's family). Who was "taken away" and who was "left behind" in Noah's day? Take a look at the above verses again. It was the wicked who were TAKEN and Noah was LEFT BEHIND! And this is what Christ is pointing us to. He is saying that the day is coming when the earth will be destroyed again and the wicked will be TAKEN and the saints will be LEFT BEHIND.

Please take note of the following VITAL point.

Luke 17:35-37 ...'Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.'

Why did the disciples ask 'WHERE, LORD'? Were they wondering where the one left behind was? No, that person would be in the same place as they were. So the disciples are clearly asking where has the one taken gone. And what did Jesus say? "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." The body? In the original language, the word Eagle can also mean Vulture. And where do Vultures gather? Where there is a dead body! And look at what Job says about the Eagle:

Job 39:27-30 ...'Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.'

And in Matthew 24, Jesus even makes it clearer by saying it is a CARCASS! So the one taken is the wicked who will be killed.

And what did we already confirm would happen during the harvest at the end? Let's read it again ... 'and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.' (Matthew 13) ... The wicked are "taken" first and the saints are left behind to then be "gathered into My barn" (taken to heaven).

The whole context of Matthew 24 is a warning for us to "watch and be ready" so that the "sudden destruction" that is to come upon the world (1 Thess. 5:3) will not TAKE US by surprise. Just like what happened in Noah's day. Who were taken? The wicked. Who were left behind? Noah and his family!

In light of what we have learned above. What does it mean when the Bible says we will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air? Exactly as it says! You see, those who hold to the rapture theory try to get something out of this verse that just isn't there! The truth is, when Christ Jesus returns at the second coming, the wicked will be destroyed, the dead saints will be resurrected and the saints who are still alive will be "caught up" to meet Jesus in the air. And then we will be taken to heaven to start the 1000 year millennium.

And why do we "meet the Lord in the air"? Because Jesus is NOT going to set foot upon the earth during the second coming. And the second phase of His return with the saints will be at the END of the 1000 year millennium. This is another misunderstanding that the rapture theory causes. Jesus is not going to rule on earth during the 1000 years. Instead, we are going to be in heaven with Him during this time, and the earth will be "laid waste" from His second coming. And only AFTER the 1000 years will we return to earth with Christ.

Source: End Times Prophecy Ministry

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