The Rapture...Another Lie
Reflections and Comments on an old story
Those who are a part of the fundamental and mainline denominational churches in America are familiar with the word 'rapture'- the infamous teaching that believers will be 'caught up in the air' to be with Yahshua prior to the great tribulation in the earth. This teaching is common church doctrine, but is it in fact true? If not, where did this teaching originate?
Our research over the years reveals the rapture teaching- or theory- is perported to have one of a few origins. The most popular supposition is that the rapture teaching began over 150 years ago in Great Britain during one the meetings of a fundamentalist group named the Plymouth Brethren. It is reported that during this meeting, a woman rose up and exclaimed that the Holy Spirit had informed her in a dream that when the tribulation came upon the earth, all the believers in Messiah would be taken into heaven and thereby escape the ensuing holocaust. The singular experience of this woman, as is told, was accepted with enthusiasm, thus giving birth to the teaching of the 'rapture' of the saints. This teaching quickly spread throughout Britain and other countries around the world. One of the biggest promoters of the 'Pre-Trib' (pre-tribulation) rapture teaching was John Nelson Darby. JND, as he was popularly known, was a famous Plymoth Brethren organizer and teacher. He made at least a half dozen trips to America and Canada in the 1860's and 1870's to establish centers of Pre-Trib doctrine. Many of these centers still exist today in places like Ontario, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri. It is no surprise, then, that the rapture doctrine has since spread and taken a stronghold in the organized churches of America.
Another source reveals that the rapture teaching originated with a Jesuit priest, who saw the potential of this teaching as being politically advantageous for the advancement of the Roman system, and therefore it was embraced with fervor. History has proven that politics and religion make strange bedpartners. Truly, the only one who profits from this type of marriage is satan himself. Therefore, this origin of the rapture doctrine is entirely plausible, especialy if the reader is familiar with the mission of the Jesuit order. If you are not familiar with the teachings of the Jesuit order, we recommend researching this brotherhood, paying close attention to the content of the Jesuit oath.
Other reports concerning the origin of the rapture teaching no doubt exist; however, the purpose of this writing is not so much to authenicate the rapture doctrine's origin,date and circumstances surrounding its birth as much as it is to raise the awareness about this teaching and challenge its accuracy as church doctrine.
In light of scripture, it is difficult to align the rapture doctrine in both the old and new testaments. If this teaching does not line up with the word of Yahweh, then it cannot be of the Holy Spirit.
Simple study of the Holy Writ affords us patterns and symbols that are consistent and therefore accurate measurements of Almighty Yahweh and His purposes in earth. With the rapture teaching as a reference and the judgments of Yahweh as our measuring line, let us first turn to the story of Noah and see how Yahweh fealt with Noah concerning coming judgment upon the earth. We know that Noah was righteous and 'perfect in all his generations' and therefore Yahweh moved upon Noah to prepare him for the days of His greater judgment on the wicked in the earth. Noah obediently prepared the ark that was to take him and his family safely through the flood. Noah suffered great persecution- not for just a few years, but about 120. When we consider the length of time Noah and his sons built the ark- in the middle of the desert, no less- we gain a more accurate picture of what this man's experience must have been like. How would any of us fare in this day, given Noah's assignment? Yet, Noah was obedient to prepare the ark, and because of his obedience, he and his family were preserved through the days of Yahweh's great judgment upon the earth.
In the new testament, we read of the days when Yahshua walked in the earth. Many pressed 'round about Him anxiously wanting to know about the end of the world. Eveyone wanted to know the end of the story. The same is true today: everyone wants to know when and how the great tribulation with happen. However, Yahshua spoke- as He often did- in parables. When questioned about the end times, Yahshua referred to the end of the age as being like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:36-44). This is an often-quoted passage that is mis-applied in support of the rapture doctrine. In reflecting upon Noah and the flood, why did Yahshua make this reference? Perhaps the reason is this: Noah and his family were not taken from the earth, they remained in the earth and were spared Yahweh's judgment on the wicked because they were righteous. Noah and his family never left the earth. They remained on the earth, but because of their obedience, they were preserved through Yahweh's judgment day. This is an important pattern that becomes a clue to our picture today.
It is equally true that throughout scripture we are given the mandate of Yahweh to 'replenish the earth, 'occupy til I come' (Luke 19:13), 'overcome the world (1 John 5:5),' and even Yahshua prayed to the Father, "I would not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (John 17:15). If we, as believers, are supposed to accomplish the will of our heavenly Father in this earth, how can we do so by leaving? When the going gets rough, can we expect to be rescued out of this sphere? The passages sited above do not support the idea that we are supposed to leave this earth- even if the going gets a tough. Countless numbers of saints have been and are daily experiencing tribulation for the kingdom of Yahweh to be birthed in them and in this world. Yahweh in not taking them out of their respective situations. He is not 'snatching them away' from their trials and oppressors. No, He is delivering them in the midst of great pressures by dwelling IN THEM as their Deliverer, Savior, Redeemer! Yahshua Himself had the roughest road of any, yet he was not 'taken from the line of duty,' as it were, before He finished the job He came to do. He fulfilled the mandate of His Heavenly Father by accepting His mission, no matter the cost.
Apart then from scriptural patterns, proponates of the rapture doctrine have key scripture references that they use to substantiate their belief that believers will be snatched away before the tribulation begins. Their first favorite passage is in Matthew 24:40-41where Yahshua speaks about 'two shall be in the field, one shall be left and the other taken' two shall be in a bed, one shall be left and the other taken,' Luke 17:34. These scriptures, they purport, verify the evacuation of the saints from the earth: afterall, one is left and the other is taken. To those who persist on hanging their theological argument on these passages, one might ask, "Who said the righteous would be taken?" Has it ever occurred to the rapturists, that these passages could be interpreted to mean just the opposite: the wicked will be taken, and the righteous remain? Ponder the thought! Selah.
There is a re-occurring theme in the Bible about the wicked, namely that Yahweh has a way of removing them from the earth. Yahweh refers to the wicked as tares. Careful study of the tares reveals a definite pattern: Yahweh is always speaking about 'plucking up the tares,' i.e. taking them out of this world. This is consistent with His purposes, since the wicked will have no place in this earth when Yahweh's righteous kingdom is established. Again, if the mandate given to the righteous is to establish the kingdom of Yahweh in the earth (Matthew 5), why would the righteous be removed? Would it not make more sense that the 'tares' will be removed, so as to make way for the kingdom of Yahweh?
The second favorite passage of those in favor of the rapture teaching is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Yahweh in the air:and so shall we ever be with Yahweh." Those in defense of the rapture interpret this passage to mean that believers who are alive when Yahshua comes will be caught up in a cloud out of this world and taken to heaven where they will then live with Yahweh forever. This departure is supposedly to transpire 'in the twinkling of an eye' (I Corinthians 15:52). Whereas these passages have been often quoted as evidence to support the Pre-Trib rapture position, closer examination of the same scriptures reveals an altogether different story. The word 'air' in scripture refers to Spirit and 'caught up' denotes 'rapture', i.e. to be enthralled, elated. It would seem the more appropriate translation of this verse involves the individual believer's affection toward his Redeemer, being caught up in His Spirit into the glories of Yahweh. There are many reports in the Bible about those who were 'caught up' in the Spirit where they saw and experienced the wondrous presence of Yahweh. Paul and John the Apostle are two examples of this 'raptrous' experience. It is important to note that neither of these men physically left the earth and entered the heavens. Their experience was totally in the Spirit.
That a physical body can disappear and be taken into the heavens is possible, as proven by scriptural record; however, there is good reason to argue that not all disappearances of this type support the 'rapture' teaching. No where in scripture do we find an antetype for the rapture. The Bible does, however, record how different ones were taken into the heavens, namely Enoch and Eliyah. Both men, according to scripture, lived righteous lives- so much so that they were taken directly into the presence of Yahweh without experiencing death. The Bible says, Enoch 'walked with Yahweh, and Yahweh took him.' It appears the obedience exhibitd by Enoch and Eliyah, allowed Yahweh to translate them into heaven. Neither of these men experienced physical death.
If we read 1 Corinthians 15 carefully, we begin to have a clearer understanding of Yahweh's creation: the physical and the spiritual man, i.e. the terrestial and the celestial. There is a marked difference between these two creations: the physical being ruled by flesh and blood, and the spiritual being ruled by the Spirit of Yahweh. The spiritual man, by definition, has been changed into the likeness of the second Adam (Yahshua Messiah) and is therefore no longer subject to the law of sin and death. To achieve this state of spiritual maturity where sin no longer reigns in one's flesh requires discipline by the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Ghost. The redeemed, 'celestial' man is not born over night, much like Rome was not built in a day. It takes time for the inworking of the quickened life of Messiah to raise one up in the image of Yahweh. This resurrection of the firstfruits, as scripture calls it, is the manifestion of the sons of Yahweh (Romans 8:19)- that company of overcomers who have given up all to follow Messiah. The word of Yahweh will be made flesh in them, bringing them into new bodies of celestial substance: incorruptible and immortal. This new body will then have the ability to be translated wherever Yahweh so wills, for the sake of His kingdom work.
That countless numbers of believers are waiting to be translated out of this world when the tribulation begins is alarming, since most are not mature spiritually to experience this phenomenon. A physical body can not be 'caught up' into the heavens unless it is prepared to leave. It is too dense in its atomic/molecular structure to pass from the physical to the spiritual plane. In such a case, it would be akin to the human body experiencing high 'g' forces: without proper atmospheric decompression, the body would be consumed. In much the same manner, if we do not appropriate the righteousness of Yahweh in our lives, we will not stand before Him. We will be consumed. Therefore, we must allow the washing of the water of the word to purge us from the nature of the old Adam into the image of Yahweh in Messiah to the point where our physical bodies are changed into new, celestial bodies. Once we have our new bodies, we then can be transported and translated. To pin one's hopes therefore on being taken from this earthly sphere when the great tribulation begins presents a serious problem for the rapture believer. Such a believer is ill-informed as well as ill-equipped for a journey which he knows not. Thus, there is a great and sobering dilemma for the organized church and its many members: for as loving and sincere as these believers are, they do not realize that the rapture doctrine is a lie.
There are many books, magazine articles, and videos that have been published which expose the rapture teaching as a false doctrine. Many of these publications have appeared within the last two decades. It would seem that a growing number of believers have been inspired of the Holy Spirit to study this subject and examine it closely. The Bible says we are not to believe every spirit that is gone out into the world, for truly not all spirits are of Yahweh and His Messiah. The Word is full of warnings, admonishing us not follow 'vain philosophies' and 'doctrines of demons' that corrupt the truth. If ever there were a day when the truth of Yahweh has been turned into a lie, it is now. Yahweh's people need the spirit of discernment to know what is truth and what is a lie.
Therefore, we encourage you to search out 'the rapture.' Search the scriptures. Pray. Investigate commentaries and publications on the subject. What you discover could change your perspective and ultimately your life.
Satan is the father of lies and truly it is a masterful deception that has been planted into the minds of Yahweh's people that they will not be around when the days of His great tribulation come in the earth. What greater way to catch Yahweh's people unawares than to tell them they won't be here when the hard days come! What better way to catch people unaware, because they did not prepare- both spiritually and naturally- for the days of the great tribulation!
Many believers in this day will die of starvation, pestilence, or the sword, because they believed Yahaweh would take them out of the earth before all these terrible events occurred. This is sad, but true. Many more will die of fear, simply because Yahweh's judgments will be so fierce in the earth. Evidence of this fact is found in the writings of the major and minor prophets of the old testament. Read the accounts of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, Obadiah, and Micah, to name a few. Yahweh's pattern remains the same: He removes the wicked but preserves the righteous in His time of tribulation (judgment). He did not remove Noah and his family from the earth in the time of the great Deluge. He preservesd them in the flood. Yahweh did not remove Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the tribulation of the firey furnace. He preserved them in the fire. Yahweh did not remove Daniel from the lion's den. He preserved him in the den. Yahweh did not remove Yahshua from the tribulation of the cross, He preserved him unto full resurrection glory.
In all tribulation, therefore, Yahweh has proven to preserve those who are 'caught up' in Him: those whose spirits are fastened on Him in love, adoration, and obedience. This is the one and only escape that will be afforded His people in the days ahead.
When the lights go out, therefore, will Yahshua be your light? When there's no food on the table, will Yahshua be your bread? When nuclear war breaks out, will Yahshua be your shelter of will the rapture be to you a bitter end?
Yahweh spoke it well when He said to Daniel, Many shall be made purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand", Daniel 12:10.
See, understand, and hear what saith the Spirit.