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Report Date: April 5, 2011
Special Report: The Rapture & The Resurrection

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Happy Resurrection Day!

Today's report is a dual report. I was asked by my wife to put together a simple Bible study on the rapture of the church that she could e-mail out to friends. I felt like this study would make a great report for an event that I believe the Bible tells us is in our futures as believers in Yeshua The Messiah.

At the end of this report is an article that I think you will really like. It's a good thought provoking article on the Resurrection by Dr. David Reagan. I hope you enjoy it.

The Rapture of The Church or the catching away into the clouds as some refer to it, is a sticking point for a lot in the body of Christ. Some say that it's shortsighted to think that we will not go through the Tribulation, while others say the Pre-Trib Rapture folks like me are just not going to be prepared when the worse comes. I must say however, because I believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Body of Christ, Christ could return for us at any moment, this doctrine has always caused within me a sense of urgency to be all I can be in Christ our Messiah. I would say I'm more ready for the Lord's return then ever before in my 36 years of walking with Yeshua because of the study of Prophecy, End-Times and the Rapture.

I have looked at both sides of the debate and for me, the rapture of the church just makes sense when weighed against the context of scripture. Each believer must bring the issue to the Lord in prayer and God what the truth is after reading and studying the scriptures relating to the subject. All believers must take a stand and then be ready to give a reason for why the believe the way they do. Study the topic and for heaven sakes make a decision based in the Bible and stand on your convictions.

This study is my answer to the critics of the rapture. This is why I believe the way I do:

1Peter 3:15:
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;


The Rapture of The Church

The doctrine of the Rapture of the Church or the Body of Christ is the removal of those faithful servants from the earth prior to "Seven Years of Tribulation" on earth. Simply put, we will hear the last trumpet sound, we will hear Yeshua shout, "Come Up Here," Rev. 4 and the dead in Christ rise first and we who are alive are changed into the likeness of Christ (immortal) and follow them to meet the Lord in the Air or the first heaven, the atmosphere. This study will develop why I believe in the rapture of believers. It should be noted that “old testament” Jews believed in the resurrection of the dead. You can find interesting articles on this at the Jewish Encyclopedia ; Jewish Eschatology and The Resurrection of The Dead. The concept of the Resurrection of The Dead was not foreign to the Jews at all. I bring this up because the teaching of the "Rapture" includes The Resurrection of The Dead. The dead rise first, then we who are alive and remain follow them... 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18  Just an interesting factoid to get us started. 

Scriptural Basis:
Jesus Christ returning to Rapture the Church
(Isa. 26:19-21; Mal. 3:17; Lk. 21:36; Jn. 14:1-14; I Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 1:10 &  1Thes. 4.13-18 & 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10; Rev 4:1-2).  

My Synopsis:
Prophecy, knowing what's on the horizon, the examination of the Rapture of the Church and how this ties into the Jewish wedding ceremony, it's all profitable for study and should not be withheld from God's people! By the way, you should study how the Jews in the Lord's day got married. It's a fascinating study and in my humble opinion, it makes a solid case for the rapture or catching away of the Church. Study is in the next paragraph below...

Here's a brief synopsis on it...The groom and the bride are betrothed for a year or so and then at the appointed time, the Father tells his son, the groom, to go get His Bride. The groom's precession is huge and the trumpets are blown. Everyone knows the groom is coming! The Bride is dressed in the finest of pure white linen. The Groom takes His bride back to His Father’s house where they are joined in marriage and for seven days there is a feast. To properly understand the rapture of The Bride of Christ (Church), one must understand the marriage ceremony that the Jews at the time of Christ were accustomed to! Please do not overlook the PDF lesson provided on this...it will broaden your understanding in a wonderful way. Read a GREAT detailed lesson on this here

When the last trumpet is blown the Lord (groom) will come on the Shekinah Glory (clouds) and call us (Bride) to join Him. We will meet Him in the clouds of glory and He (the groom) will take us (The Bride) to His Father's house where we will be joined to Him and for seven years we enjoy His presence and have a feast. After the wedding feast Rev 19:5-9 is over we return with Him to stop the madness on planet earth.
Read Acts 1:9-11 (Yeshua goes into heaven in a cloud and we're told he will return the same way); Ephesians 5:24-27 ( Christ and The Church)
 

In Rev 19:1-3 we see the saints that are speaking have an acute awareness of what the word SALVATION engenders. The church knows from personal experience what it means to be “saved” from ones sins by personal experience, hence, the church or bride is proclaiming this in this heavenly scene. Furthermore, His bride is adorned in the pure white linen that represents the righteous acts of the saints. When Yeshua went to the cross His righteousness was inputted to us. We are righteous because He is: 

Rev 19 - After these things (Rev 18 pronouncements) I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." 3 Again they said, "Alleluia!  

1Thessalonians 4:16-18
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

1Corinthians 15:50-58
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 5 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  

Revelation 19:14 - 14 And the armies in heaven (Old Testament Saints, Church and Angels), clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (Note: If we were here through and after the Tribulation, we’d then have to go to up to heaven and come right back again to assist the Lord. This is called the Yo-Yo theory.) 

Zechariah 14:5
5 Then you (Jews) shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints (All who belong to Yeshua) with You. 

Conclusion; while the people of the earth are undergoing the seven years of Tribulation because they chose not to believe in Yeshua prior to the Tribulation, we (church/Saints) are in heaven with the Lord, our just reward for believing prior to the days of Tribulation, and we are enjoying being in His presence and I believe we will receive our marching orders when we return with Him after the Tribulation concludes. Yeshua and His Bride (church) finally joined, the event of the ages has finally been consummated!  

Romans 8:
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Finally, I should mention that under The Law of First Mention, it seems clear to me, as we examine Noah and Lot, that we can see that when the “final” Judgment of God comes He never judges the righteous and the unrighteous together. In the story of Noah we all know that God separated His people from those who were to perish and to be judged. In Lot’s case the same was true. Lot and his family were told by the Angels to make ready and leave. The language used was not a suggestion but a command to leave and leave fast. The point was, Lot and his family were separated and removed from the “final” Judgment of God. The Angels made it clear that they could not do what they had come to do until Lot and his loved ones were a safe distance away. Interesting that as Lot’s wife looked back, back at the world of sin and corruption, she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Our Lord instructed us not to allow the cares of life to choke out the word of God in our lives (Mark 4:19). As we turn to Christ we are to look forward to a new life with and in Him. If we look back at our old life, the power of the spirit can be greatly diminished in our lives and it can have devastating repercussions in our lives. Many a people have backslidden because they looked back and desired what once was.

To bring this thought to a close, The Law of First Mention teaches that when something appears in the Bible for the first time it continues to be true throughout all of scripture. It seems to me that the examples given to us in Noah and Lot show us the nature of God’s grace and love for His children. I believe that our Lord desires to spare us from the pain and suffering that the unbelieving world must endure (1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9). This thought falls within the parameters of the Law of First Mention.

There are those who will argue, well, what about the Tribulation saints who believed after the Antichrist came to power, don’t they suffer with the unbelievers?  Yes they do, however, they were given ample time to accept Christ prior to the Tribulation and chose not to accept Him prior to the Tribulation. The consequences for that choice were well known to them. Unfortunately, they will need to accept those consequences with courage and faith in Yeshua. Also, God does provide a very special reward for the Tribulation saints; see Rev. 7:9-17. I should mention that even during the Tribulation God sets aside a remnant who He protects from the horrors of that day!  Even in this we see the grace of God at work. As well, I have been asked, Stephan what about the people who are not part of the Church or the Bride of Christ, won't they feel left out or set a side. My answer to this is two fold, first, this thought process is human in nature, this is not how we will think when we are with the Lord. Secondly, the Old Testament Saints where set free from Hades, the Lord led captivity captive see Eph 4:8. What a gift that was to them to see the long awaited Messiah spend 3 days with them and lead them into heaven, Wow how wonderful! The Tribulation Saints, as well as the Martyrs , as we discussed prior, will server the Lord while He is on His throne and they will never leave His side, nor will they ever suffer again. The point here, God rewards everyone in every dispensation fairly and no one will feel left out. God is good and everyone's needs will be perfectly met. No need to be concerned about hurt feelings in heaven...

Additionally, Yeshua our Messiah, took upon Himself the judgment for our sins. With this in mind, the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30) is God's judgment for sin on those left behind because they have refused to turn from their sin. Because Christ took that judgment in our place we will not have to face His judgment that will be poured out against an unbelieving world. Our great hope then is to hear the shout of God, "Come Up Here!" How wonderful it will be to meet our Messiah (Groom) in the air and then be escorted by Him to the Fathers house where we will forever be with Him! Thank God that He made a way of escape for us who love Yeshua! There is now no condemnation for those that love Christ Jesus. When God sees us He sees the Righteousness of Christ. If we then are seen as Righteous, there is no judgment necessary for us to endure concerning heaven or hell, the price has been paid through the blood of Jesus Christ. If we do not see that the Tribulation is a time of judgment for sin and the unrighteous then we will not be able to grasp the doctrine of the Rapture of The Church.
[Please read all of 2 Corinthians 5; verse 21 is the capstone]

When you take into consideration the examples provided by the context of scripture Old and New, it is clear that the Rapture of The Church is an event that is in our very near future! The prophecy of the Rapture of The Church will be fulfilled...

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Please read the 2nd part of this report:

What are the three greatest miracles in history?
The Resurrection of Jesus is one of the three greatest miracles of history — the other two...

Read The Report Here

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"Many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. - Mic 4:2

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." Psalm 137:5,6

Shalom v'ahava b'Yeshua HaMashiach
(Peace and love in Yeshua The Messiah),
 

Bro Stef
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'But if the watchman sees the sword
coming and does not blow the trumpet and the
people are not warned, and a sword comes and
takes a person from them, he is taken away in his
iniquity; but his blood I will require from the
watchman's hand.' Ezekiel 33:6

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who meditate on His name. AMEN! Malachi 3:16
 

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