The Rapture - Who will be taken and Who will be left
The answer may surprise you!
The apostle Paul does tell us that this 'mortal' will put on immortality' but the question people fail to ask is "when will that change take place?"
A popular teaching among 'bible believers'" today is a doctrine known as 'Rapture'. According to this teaching before the tribulation of the last days the Christians in the world will be 'raptured' or taken up to heaven so as to miss the terrible times that will be coming upon the earth. As far as I'm aware of there's one set of passages that are used in promoting this understanding and they're found in 1 Thessalonians verses 15-18:
1Th 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and then the dead in Messiah will rise first.
1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul is telling the Thessalonians what will happen at the return of the Messiah but he doesn’t tell them, or us, when it will happening, at least not in his first letter to Thessalonica. To learn that we’ll have to go to 1 Corinthians 15 where we have the apostle telling us ‘exactly’ when this transformation takes place:
1Co 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
1Co 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 imperishable, and we will be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
It will be at the “Last Trumpet” that:
We will be changed
The dead will be raised imperishable
This mortal will put on immortality
With even a rudimentary understanding of the Bible we realize that in the end there will be 7 trumpets that will sound. So without further ado let’s go to the “last trumpet” in the Book of Revelation and see if what Paul told us is consistent with what John tells us will happen at the “last trumpet“.
Rev 10:7 … in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the "mystery of God" is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
Rev 11:15 … the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has now become the kingdom of our Yahuweh and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever."
Just as Paul said it would be, at the last, or seventh Trumpet the “mystery” of God will be finished. The world will become the kingdom of Yahuweh and of His Messiah and we who are still alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, at which time “this mortal will put on immortality.“
It will be the “dead” that are raised first and “then“ we will be changed - NOT BEFORE.
(I'll be typing up an article shortly showing that "no one is going to Heaven, Heaven is coming to earth", Rev 21:2,10. Contrary to what is believed and taught by many ministers today the meek will inherit "THE EARTH" not heaven - Matt 5:5; Psa 37:29.)
I have to admit that this idea of the believers being taken up, or ’raptured’ prior to the tribulation of this world sounds like a nice idea, but it’s simply not an idea found anywhere in the Bible.
We’re told not just in the Book of Revelations, but numerous other times that it will be on the last day, at the time of the last trumpet, that the dead will be raised, and then - not before - we who are alive will be changed and this mortal will put on immortality (1 Thes 4:17).
In other words when someone dies they "are not" taken up to Heaven, nor do they go to Hell, they are in the grave (Ecc 9:5; Psa 6:5) where they'll remain until the Last Day (John 6:39-44, 54; 12:48). As Paul said, it will be when the Messiah Yahoshua returns that the 'dead' in Messiah will be "raised first" and ONLY then we who are still alive will be caught up to meet the Master in the air (1 Thes 4:17).
Where is King David - today?
The apostle Peter on Shavuot, or the feast of Pentecost, told the thousands of Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem how Yahoshua the Messiah died and rose again. And then Peter goes on to explain to these same Jews how David, who died some 1000 years prior “was still” in the grave at that time (Act 2:22-29). Why didn't Peter tell these Jews that David was now in Heaven? Obviously because that wasn't the case, David was and still is - in the grave waiting for the resurrection.
Many people today seem to forget that Peter said this 50 days "after" the resurrection of the Savior and fact is, David was still in the grave. He didn't go to heaven as so many today would like to believe. King David, and everyone else that ever died, are still in the grave, which is where they’ll remain until the “Last Day“, just as the Savior, Paul, and the rest of the Scriptures tell us they will. (John 6:39-44, 54; 12:48)
Lazarus is Dead
This concept of the 'soul' living on after someone dies, or the idea that we go to heaven or hell at the moment of death, isn't something that is ever taught in the scriptures. It was a teaching that was started many years before the time of the Messiah by the Greek Philosopher Plato, and later believed on by the Gnostic's. After which time it was promoted by Emperor Constantine when he formed the Roman Catholic Church around year 325 A.D. And of course it continued being taught by Martin Luther and the Protestant Churches after him.
Yahuweh tells us numerous times that the "soul that sins it shall die" - not go to Hell (Ezek 18:4; Jam 5:20) .
For those that might still refuse to accept this fact, please consider the many times that we're told it will be on the "last day" in which we'll be resurrected (that is everyone except the 144,000 who will be in the first resurrection at the beginning of the Millennium - Rev 20:4-5)
Lazarus (John 11:1-47)
Where was Lazarus for the four days he laid dead in the tomb, did he got to heaven, or was he possibly taken to "Abraham's bosom" as we're told of another Lazarus in the parable found in Luke 16:20-32? Well if either one of those scenario's were were true no one at that time was aware of it. Notice what Martha, a close friend of the Messiah's, said to him when he arrived.
John 11:21-22 Martha then said to Yahoshua, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."
Shouldn't Martha have known that her brother was now in heaven as so many today believe they'll be when they die? No, she, nor anyone else, would have thought such a thing, including the Messiah himself. Notice his response to her when she talked about her brother being dead. believe
Joh 11:23 Yahoshua said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
When was her brother going to 'rise again'? Of course it would be on the 'last day' (John 6:39-44, 54; 12:48), when the seventh trumpet sounded (Rev 11:15). And Martha understood that.
Joh 11:24 Martha *said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
Why is it that Martha believed her brother would be resurrected, 'on the last day?'
Could it be that Mary and Martha were there when Yahoshua spoke the following words to the multitudes at the Sea of Galilee.
John 6:39 And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes on Him should have everlasting life. And I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:44 ....No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
How many times does the Messiah have to tell us that the resurrection will be "on the Last Day" before people begin to believe it?
For those that might believe that it was 'after' the Savior was resurrected that people started going to heaven or hell please remember the words of Peter in describing how King David, who 50 days after the Messiah rose from the dead, stated that he, David, was still in the grave and had "not ascended into the heavens (Act 2: 29-34).
Speaking of the last days, the Messiah, Yahoshua, described how some people will be taken out from among the others. But exactly who will be taken and who will be left?
Luk 17:34 - 37 I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Luk 17:35 Two shall be grinding together, one will be taken, and the other left.
Luk 17:36 Two shall be in the field, one will be taken, and the other left.
Luk 17:37 And they answered and said to Him, Where, Master? And He said to them, Wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will be gathered together.
To better understand this passage let's take a look at exactly 'who' is going to be taken away.
In describing the parable of the wheat and tares the Messiah tells us that it will be the wicked, that is the sinners, who will be taken out from among the righteous.
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather outof his kingdomall things that offend, and them which do iniquity (sin);
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Thenshall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.
We see that at the 'end of the world', more properly at the 'end of the age', at the 7th and last trumpet, Yahoshua will sent forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom, that is the world, all those which work iniquity, the ’sinners will be taken out from among the righteous.
When the 7th angel sounds "The kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Yahuweh and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever." (Rev 11:15)
In another parable the Messiah reiterates again that it will be the 'wicked' that are taken out from among the 'righteous'.
Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
It will be the 'wicked' or 'workers of iniquity' that will be taken away, just as Yahoshua told his disciples:
Luk 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Mater? And he said unto them, Where so ever the body (or carcass) is, there will the 'vultures' be gathered together. (NASV)
To show that the 'Old' and 'New' Testament are, as always, in harmony with each other, let's take a look at a few things Yahuweh said concerning the last days, the end of the age.
Isa 24:6 Therefore has the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (see Luke 13:23-24)
Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcassesof the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
Jer 25:33 And the slain of the Yahuweh shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Eze 39:17 And, thou son of man, thus says the Sovereign Yahuweh; Speak unto every feathered fowl (vultures, and other flesh eating birds), and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh, and drink blood.
Eze 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
Eze 39:19 And you shall eat fat till you be full, and drink blood till you be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
So at the 'end of the age' the wicked or sinners will be taken out from among the righteous, gathered and given as a sacrifice from the Almighty to the birds of the air. Just as we were told in Luke.
"Where the carcass (the dead body) is there will the vultures be gathered" Luke 17:37
In the days of Noah who was taken and who was left? It was the wicked that where taken out, or destroyed, from among the righteous.
Mat 24:37 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
Mat 24:38 "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, in other words they were going on with life as usually, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
Mat 24:39 and they did not understand untilthe flood came and took them all away, that is destroyed them; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
These people in Noah’s day didn’t understand until it was to late. Hopefully, you won't be among those who who fall into the same trap or 'unbelief'. It will be the wicked, those that continue in sin, that will be taken away. No one who continues in sin will inherit the Kingdom of Yahuweh (1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:3-5).
In the days of Sodom and Gomorrah who was taken and who was left? Again, it was the wicked that were taken, or destroyed, from among the righteous
Luk 17:28 "The same will happen as it happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; in other words it was life as usual,
Luk 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 "It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.".
When the Savior returns it will be as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, the “wicked will be taken" from among the righteous, and then the righteous will shine forth in the kingdom of their Father (Matt 13:41-43; Rev 11:15).
On Judgment Day there will be many that did not understand, just as there were in the days of Noah and days of Lot. And then they will hear those dreadful words of the Savior when he says to the many on that Day, "depart from me, I never knew you, you that work Lawlessness"Matt 7:22-23.
As long as someone has the breath of life in them they still have time to repent and turn from their sins. But I believe, and very soon, it will be to late for any man.
Pro 1:24 "Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
Pro 1:25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof;
Pro 1:26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes,
Pro 1:27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
Pro 1:28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Repent, turn from your sins while there is still time.
To learn the History of the Rapture "click here"
(The Earth, this Earth, will abide forever: Psa 72:19: Psa 78:69; Psa 104:5; Ecc 1:4; Zech 14:9; Jer 3:14-19; Num 14:21; Hab 2:14; Isa 11:9: Etc ).