03 rapture

(Rapture is closely related to the previous article, Dead in Christ.)

The means by which the Christian Church escapes this seven-year period is an event known as the Rapture of the Church. This means that Christians will disappear off the earth in the "twinkling of an eye" and be taken to heaven. [#21] They will remain in heaven protected from the seven years of wrath on earth. At the end of the seven years they will return to earth with Jesus at His Second Coming, to rule and reign with Him for the next one thousand years. [#22], [#23]

The Rapture of the Church as described will have a resounding effect on the people left on this planet. Please read the article: Can we know the day the Rapture of the Church will occur.

The Dead in Christ Rising
Furthermore, according to the prophecy, the Rapture is preceded by a supernatural "warning sign" event that occurs 40 days prior to the Rapture. The "warning sign" to watch for is called 'the dead in Christ rising' and it occurs on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits which is celebrated in the spring of the year. [#24]

This supernatural "warning sign" will have an equally resounding effect on the people of the planet, and both of these unparalleled events take place in the spring of the year, and just prior to King Abdullah's peace covenant being confirmed with the Jew's and their Arab enemies.

In fact, the way the prophecy reads, it is the presence of the Christian Church that is hindering King Abdullah from finishing the peace covenant with the Jew's at this time, and it is the Rapture that removes that hindering force; allowing peace to prevail. [#25] [#26]

Footnote 21 [back to top]
I Corinthians 15:51-52
15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--

15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Footnote 22 [back to top]
Revelation 19: 11-16
19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

19:13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Footnote 23 [back to top]
Revelation 20:4
And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Footnote 24 [back to top]

Caution: Watch for the 40 Day Warning Sign of Rapture

In the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, he told them that before the Rapture would occur an event would take place that would leave no doubt of the impending Rapture. He told them to watch for "the dead in Christ to rise first"!

I Thes. 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

This is an event that will mimic an event that took place at the time of Jesus' resurrection and is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, and verses 52& 53.

Matt 27:52,53
27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which were dead arose,

27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Known dead people will be brought back to life in a 'spiritual' body and appear to living people in Jerusalem. That is the Gospel account of what happened the first time, and it is what Paul is empathically explaining to watch for this time.

Additionally the Gospel records, that after Jesus raised from the dead He remained on earth for 40 days and then He ascended into heaven. Paul is explaining that this is the same sequence of events that will take place at the time of the Rapture of the Church. He is demonstrating that the Ascension of Jesus into heaven is indisputably linked as a foreshadow to the Rapture of the Church. And, because the Church is called the Body of Christ this is said to be the 'Body of Christ' going up into heaven in both instances.

Paul is also saying that from the time the 'dead in Christ' raise from the dead this time, they will stay on earth for 40 days [just like their predecessors did in Matthew 27: 52,53] and then they will be Raptured along with those that are a live and waiting for the 40th day to arrive. The living are waiting for the 40th day because they knew the warning sign had taken place 40 days prior.

And lastly, Paul sets the timing for both the 'dead in Christ to rise' as well as the Rapture when he says that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits and ascended 40 days later. That interpolates into the 'dead in Christ' will rise this time on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits and the Rapture of the Church will happen 40 days later. And all that comes together to say that the WARNING SIGN for the Rapture of the Church is the 'dead in Christ' rising on First Fruits!

Please see the article: SUBSTANCE & SHADOW

Footnote 25 [back to top]
II Thessalonians 2:6-8
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Paul is referring to the particular individual [King Abdullah] who is responsible for establishing the peace covenant with the Jews as the lawless one. He is reminding the Church at Thessalonica that there is a 'Restraining Force' withholding the identity of this individual.

"...only he who now restrains will do so until he be taken out of the way..."

The 'he' in this verse is referring to the Christian Church, and it is the restraining force until it is taken out of the way or Raptured!

Footnote 26 [back to top]

The Apostle Paul on the Restraining Force

Greetings Watchers!

I received this question from a Watcher yesterday and thought many of you might be asking the same question.

Dear Brother Sal,

I have read some of the articles on your website and know that you teach that the church is the "restrainer". As I recall, your argument for this is that Paul refers to the "restrainer" when he is talking to the church. Is there any other evidence to confirm this?

Thanks again, David

Hi David!

Thank you for your note. I appreciate hearing your comments. Be sure to use our web site to your full advantage. In addition to all the teachings at the watchers study page, we have the live chat line and the search engine at the main site to help you find info on the 3,000 pages of teaching and archives that we have there.

The "restrainer". That passage is in verse 7 of chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians. The proof of it is in the text and how Paul delivers it. He is just going over things that he had taught them before, because people had been coming around telling them that the Church was in the Tribulation period, and they were to take that on the authority of the spirit and letters from Paul, which scared them out of their wits. So the theme is all about the Rapture, which the Thessalonians were completely aware of from Paul's previous teaching in his first letter and when he was with them.

Now, these folks were very scared by the word from the false teachers, so they looked to Paul for the message to be clarified. And Paul addresses their concerns with this letter—the second on the Rapture.

Because this letter is to relieve the pressure created by the false teachers, Paul is being very specific and precise in his message. And there is one word in 2:3 that plainly doesn't fit the context and the precision of his words. The word is Aposticia in the Greek, and is translated as a "falling away" before the time of the man of sin to be revealed.

The word Aposticia also means "departure". Now, lets begin at the first verse, and then insert the word "departure" instead of "falling away". Now it may be so that a great falling away from God will be happening, but every age has it's peaks and valleys, and what Paul is addressing is more precise than that. Just like wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes in diverse places (from Matt. 24). Those are signs, but not The sign—that stuff never stops on the earth. But Jesus is very precise in that because He says that when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of in Daniel's prophecy, then run! A precise thing for the Jews to watch for. This is very important stuff here, and God makes it precise and clear.

Paraphrasing: Now we have Paul "beseeching" them—a very strong urging—by the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto him—the rapture. Precise and clear as to exactly what he is addressing.

Then, the warning: let no man deceive you by ANY MEANS: for that day shall not come (which day?)—the day of Christ—what does that mean? The second coming is only the beginning of the day of Christ. If a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, then the day of Christ is a thousand years long. The millennium!
So, don't let anyone fool you that the millennium begins before our gathering together because we have to 'depart' so that man of sin can be revealed. The man of sin is described, and then Paul reminds them that he told them all of this before, and now you know what's holding him back so he can be revealed in his time.

Now, he says, the mystery of iniquity is already at work. What's a mystery? According to Paul to the Ephesians, a mystery is something hidden in the mind of God, and can't be known until He reveals it. You can guess all you want, but you will never get it right. But, he says that spirit is already working in the land. But this guy, who will sit in the temple of God and say that he is god, he can't be revealed until after this gathering together.
Then: only he who now restrains, will continue to restrain; until when? Until he is taken out of the way. The gathering together, departure that is the subject of this entire chapter.

Now: And then shall that Wicked be revealed. Wicked with a capital W (the false deliverer)! Not till after the departure will the Antichrist (false deliverer—earthly deliverer of the Jews) be revealed as to his true nature. And then the Lord will consume him with the brightness of his coming. The Church is part of that brightness when Christ returns. So, it had to be gone to come back. The gathering together, departure, taking out of the way.

Now many argue that the "he" that is taken out of the way is the Holy Spirit. It that were true, then who are the last two witnesses and the 144,000 anointed by? The Holy Spirit is not off the earth during the first half of the Tribulation. And the devil is not on the earth in person until the second half of the tribulation.

And some say that it's Michael the archangel. But Michael is the protector of the Jews. He's the one in Daniel 11 that Gabriel enlists the help of to hold off the Prince of Persia while Gabriel delivered his message to Daniel. And it's Michael that tosses Satan out of the air to the earth where there are no new creature "Christians" anymore. Only Jews and Gentiles. And what would he be taken out of the way of? What is he restraining? Can't be the devil coming to earth, because he tosses him there.

Then Paul goes on to talk about what happens to those who believe a lie. Then in verse 13, He thanks God always for the beloved brethren (the Church) of the Lord, because God has chosen us from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.

So, stand fast brethren and hold to the word that we taught you in our last letter and comfort yourselves in that.

I hope that is enough evidence. It's all that Paul taught on it, but combined with all of the other teachings on the Rapture, you get the total picture that the "he" has to be the Church.

God bless.

Brother Sal

Ministry Offices
36 Tom Polk Circle
Chico, CA 95973

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