The Rapture is an event in certain systems
eschatology (the study of the end
times) whereby it is believed that all Christians
will be taken from the Earth by Jesus Christ into Heaven.
Although in almost all forms of Christianity,
it is believed that those who are "saved" will enter Heaven, the term
"rapture" is usually applied specifically to their belief that
Christians will be taken into heaven prior to the Second
coming of Christ, and there will be a period of time where non-Christians
will still be left on earth before Christ arrives to set up his earthly
The word "rapture" comes from
verb rapere which means, "to carry off, abduct, seize or take
forcefully" (comparable to the concept of
It was used in the Latin
Vulgate (about 405
A.D.) translation of 1
Thessalonians 4:17, which is the primary biblical
reference to the event in question, rapiemur, meaning, "we shall be
caught up" translating from the original harpagēsometha
(passive mood, future tense of harpazō).
The earliest known extra-biblical reference to the rapture is from a sermon
attributed to a fourth century Byzantine,
Ephraem of Nisibis,
in which he is quoted as saying, "For all the saints and Elect of God are
gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord
lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our
Although the doctrine of the Resurrection
of the dead — as said to be taught by Jesus — was common to all
Christians and part of the Nicene
Creed, little attention was paid to the area of eschatology later known as
'Rapture' until the Protestant
Reformation, aside from this ancient reference; thus the Christian
denominations that have beliefs concerning a “rapture” are mostly those that
appeared after the Reformation.
The later popularization of the term is associated
with teaching of John
Nelson Darby and the rise of premillennialism
in the United
States at the end of the 19th
century. The doctrine of the rapture was further popularized by an
evangelist named William
Eugene Blackstone, whose book entitled,
"Jesus is Coming" sold more than one million copies,
and then by its inclusion in the Scofield
Among Christians who do believe in a Rapture, there
is substantial debate about the timing of the rapture relative to the seven-year
Critics of a "Pre-Tribulation" Rapture, consists of the belief
that the Rapture will occur prior to the Tribulation, and often attributs the
doctrine to a 15-year old Scottish-Irish girl named, Margaret
MacDonald (a follower of Edward
Irving) who had a vision in 1830.
However, there are at least three other Pre-Tribulation references prior
to MacDonald. For example, in a book
published in 1788,
in the writings of a Catholic priest named, Emmanuel Lacunza in 1812,
Lacunza’s influence became acknowledged by various other writers and by John
Darby himself in 1827.
Increased interest in the Rapture theosophy gained
populararity in wider circles during the 1970s,
in part, thanks to the books of Hal
Lindsey, including The
Late Great Planet Earth.
Many of Lindsey's predictions in that book, which assumed that the
rapture was imminent, were based on world conditions at the time.
War figured prominently in his predictions of Armageddon,
and other aspects of 1970s
global politics were seen as having been predicted in the Bible.
Lindsey believed, for example, that the 10-headed beast cited in
Revelation was the European
Economic Community, a forebearer of the European
Union, which at the time consisted of ten nations.
The doctrine of the Rapture continues to be an
important component in Christian
eschatology today. Many
Christians continue to feel that world conditions point to the Rapture occurring
Although this belief is emphasized in the
Some challenges of the validity of The Rapture
throsophy are based upon the famous "fig tree" parable of Jesus in the
Gospel of Matthew, specifically Matthew 24:36:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of
heaven, but my Father only". However,
it should be noted that Matthew 24:36 does not specifically refer to the Rapture
as such, but rather to that time when Heaven and Earth will pass away.
This event will take place at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus
Another biblical reference frequently cited by
Rapture orists is Matthew
24:40-41. This verse does not refer
to the Rapture dogma either: "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."
This parable is also repeated 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, (literal translation) “Wheresoever the (dead) body (fallen
in battle) is, there will the vultures be gathered together.”
This does not refer to the rapture of the church; that is, as Jesus
answers that these people are taken to a battlefield and are dead and
putrefying, having fallen in battle, He is pointing to an event later in time
referred to in Revelation 16:14: "For
they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings
of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great
day of God Almighty."
Supporters for this belief generally cite the
following primary sources in the New
"Then there will be two men in the field;
one will be taken and one will be left. Two
women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be
left." (Matthew 24:40-41, part of the Olivet
"(Christ) shall change our vile body,
that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:52)
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, says that the
"dead in Christ" will rise first in the Resurrection
of the dead, then all who are alive and remain will be caught up
together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
Generally, an elaborate set of predictions about
the end times
is constructed from these sets of verses, together with various interpretations
of the Book
of Revelation and the predictions of Christ's return in Matthew 24:30-36.
In general, believers in the rapture throsophy consider this present day
and age to be the end times, and offer interpretations of the various symbolisms
in the book of Revelation in terms of contemporary world events.
Many Christians who do not agree that there will be
a Rapture of the Church and they hasten to point out that it is a relatively new
doctrine, first popularized in the 1800s
and elaborated on subsequently. There
are many denominations holding this view, such as the Roman Catholic Church and
Many do not accept the "rapture"
interpretation because they recognize that it is clearly not expressed in the
Bible, but instead purponents of the rapture-doctrine rely on extrapolations and
inferences made from a patchwork of disjointed verses.
Many further believe that if anything this significant were intended to
be a major part of Christian teaching, then surely Christ would have made a
plain reference to it in His own sermons as recorded in the Gospel(s), and He
would not have buried such a major
prophecy in a few verses of the Apostle Paul.
One common criticism of the rapture doctrine is
based on the principle that one’s belief in Christ could be proven at that
time; and that by the events of the rapture, it could also be confirmed
to anyone left behind. Thus
anyone left behind who had knowledge of the rapture theory, but previously did
not believe in Christ, could essentially be forced, by the proof of this
miracle, to believe in such. This
would prevent any type of Antichrist
from obtaining credibility.
Most Roman Catholics and many Protestants do not accept the concept of a
rapture in which some are "taken up into Heaven" before the end of the
world; consequently, this idea did not exist in the teachings of any Christian
whatsoever until the 1800s. Therefore,
it cannot be said to belong to an Apostolic
Tradition. Instead, most
Catholics and many Protestants interpret 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 literally, and
assert that the rapture will immediately follow the general resurrection
Day, when the living and the newly-resurrected-dead will rise up to meet
Christ as he descends from heaven to judge the world.
These people consider the rapture to be merely a minor detail in the
Biblical description of the Second
Coming of Christ.
to the Rapture interpretation, in the near future dead believers in Jesus will
be brought back to life and believers who have never died will be changed in the
"twinkling of an eye"; and both groups will be taken to heaven
My comments: This is a false doctrine that necessitates
various other false doctrines for support. Expose
the other doctrines that it is based on, and the whole theory collapses.
First is the false doctrine
espoused by Christianity today, that we (“good people”) go to heaven when we
die, and/or are changed at the second coming of the Messiah.
However, a problem arrises; that in actuality, He is indeed coming to
correct those that are currently upon this earth – and not those who are
somewhere off in a heavenly place. We
(the resurrected Saints) will rule with Him here on earth – from
let’s think for a moment – if Yahshua goes and prepares a place (or
position) for us, then returns, where will He be returning?
Here, of course! He is not
coming to take us away, but to put us to work.
We will rise to meet Him in the air, to be transported to
false doctrine is the idea of an immortal soul residing within our minds and hearts.
This idea came not from the pages of your Bible, but from the erroneous beliefs
gleaned from a fictious stage play written by Dante Aligheiri, a non-Christian
Roman playwright. No such belief
comes from the Scriptures. The Bible
teaches that when we die, we are dead – just like the little dog Rover –when
he died, he died all over (Eccl. 9:5)! The
Scriptures reveal that even King David, a man after Yahweh’s own heart, is not
ascended to heaven (Acts 2:34). Actually,
no one has ascended into the heavenly realm of Yahweh’s domain, the “third
heaven,” spoken of by Paul in 2 Cor. 12:2 with the exception of the apostle
Paul and he apparently was taken
there in spirit form to be instructed by Yahshua Himself.
We do not HAVE a soul; we ARE a soul.
See Genesis 2:7, where Yahweh breathed the breath of life into Adam and
he became a living soul; not that he
now had a “soul” living within him. This
Hebrew word translated “soul” is “nephesh” and is from Strong’s Hebrew
dictionary # 5315. It can and does
refer to any living, breathing creature, including animals and people.
summary, everything about the so-named “rapture” doctrine is in error; it is
based on other errors and understandings of those who advocate it.
They have no concept of Yahweh’s true Plan of Salvation for all
mankind. They do not realize that,
instead of us wafting off to heaven to “be with the Lord,” as they say, He,
Yahweh, is moving His headquarters here to this earth and He will do this at the
end of the 1,000 year period. So
that more light might be shed upon this topic, please read about it in
Revelation chapters 21 and 22. ~
Strong’s Concordance/Greek Dictionary #5117,. topos, top'-os; appar. a prim.
word; a spot (gen. in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas G5561 is a larger
but partic. locality), i.e. location (as a position, home, tract, etc.); fig.
condition, opportunity; spec. a scabbard:--coast, licence, place, X plain,
quarter, + rock, room, etc. ……………………..