IS THERE A RAPTURE?
It seems to be very popular today for people to teach that there is going to be a rapture. Not only is this theory being taught in numerous churches, we are now seeing movies and books thriving off this very topic. Unfortunately, there are many different versions of the rapture. So, your left to decide which version you like the best. One of the more popular views is the one that the Left Behind Series teaches. They simply say, that one day there will be SECRET coming of Jesus and all the Christians will be taken away and the rest of the people will be left behind wondering where all these people have gone. Then there will be 7 years of tribulation. During this time the people on earth will have a chance to become Christians. If they do, Jesus will come a 3rd time and let them be a part of his physical kingdom he sets up on the earth for a 1000 years. Although this makes a very entertaining story, the bible doesn’t teach this. I intend to show in this study that the bible doesn’t teach this theory, but teaches that there will be a final 2nd coming of Jesus when he will judge both the Christian and non-Christian on that day. I would ask that you look up every verse that I give. I feel very confident that if you study the verses that I present to you from the bible, that you will have no difficulty in seeing that there isn’t going to be rapture.
I will be covering many topics in regards to the rapture theory. This will be a moderate study and will by no means cover everything. We will be studying the following topics.
Is there a secret coming of Jesus?
Will Jesus rapture just the righteous leaving the wicked behind for a period of 7 years?
Jesus will establish his kingdom on the earth right?
Matthew 24 teaches the rapture theory doesn’t it?
Surely Revelation teaches the rapture theory right?
I sincerely hope that you open up your bibles and study for yourself what I will present to you. You should never take someone’s word for it. This is why we have so many people today believing in the rapture theory. They here it preached by their preacher or bible teacher and so people assume that it is fact. We need to be just like the Bereans in Acts 17: 10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. With this in mind lets begin our study.
In order for there to be a rapture that is taught today, there has to be a secret coming of Christ. They say that the righteous will be taken away and the unrighteous will be left behind wondering where in the world all these people disappeared. They will have absolutely no idea that Jesus had come. One of the verses that people like to use to prove the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:16 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. 17Then 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.
This is the verse where the get their word “rapture” from. It comes from the two words “caught up”. It amazes me that someone can take two words out of the bible and turn it into a word that’s not found in the bible and then base a whole theory off of it. Read the verse again and notice that Jesus will come with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. Now for this to be a verse that teaches a secret coming of Jesus snatching up those righteous people seems to have some major problems. This is probably one of the noisiest verses in the whole bible. There is only one way that the rapture can hold up and that would have to be that only the righteous could hear this great noise at the supposed secret coming of Christ. This would mean that the unrighteous couldn’t see or hear Christ at this coming.
Well let see what the bible says in Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen
Notice it doesn’t say ever righteous eye will see him but EVER EYE WILL SEE HIM. We have just barley started this study and I think it is abundantly clear already that there isn’t going to be some secret coming of Jesus that the unrighteous are unaware of. Let us take a look at another verse that goes right along with this verse.
Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Here we are told that Jesus VISIBLEY ascended into heaven and when he comes again it will be a VISIBLE coming. Again, how can you say that there is a secret coming of Jesus?
This next verse is my favorite. 2 Peter 3:10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
I don’t know about you, but I think I would notice something like this. You see there’s just no way around it. When Jesus returns at his second coming, it will be audible and visible and everyone will see it and here it even those that are in their graves. John 5:28“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice. I hope that you can see clearly that there will not be a secret coming of Jesus.
The “rapture theory” demands that the second coming will be a secret coming. After this secret coming of Christ, there will be 7 years of tribulation. During this time people will have a chance to turn to God and be resurrected at the end of this 7 years of tribulation. Then Jesus will reign on the earth for 1000 years in his earthly kingdom. Then he will turn it over to the father after that. There are several different versions of the “rapture theory” this is just one of them.
I feel like we have more than abundantly proven that this supposed secret coming is not found in the bible. In fact intend to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there is only going to be a second coming only. It will be the final coming and this leaves absolutely no room for a third coming.
Will Jesus rapture just the righteous leaving the wicked behind for a period of 7 years?
Answer No. In this section were going to show that there is only going to be a second coming of Christ when all will be judged. This leaves no room for 7 years of tribulation.
John 5:28“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29“and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Here we learn that both wicked and the righteouses are raised. The righteous will be raised to eternal life in heaven and the evil ones will have eternal life in lake of fire. This verse alone contradicts the “rapture theory” of 7 years of tribulation and disproves it all by itself. Let’s take a look at several more passages that teach this same thing.
Acts 24:15“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. 16“This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Notice we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
John 12:48“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
Here we have last day mentioned, not days or years.
1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52in 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.
Please notice that it says we shall ALL be changed at the LAST TRUMPET.
2 Peter 3:10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
This is a very interesting verse, it covers a lot of ground. First it teaches no one is going to know when he is going to return. So this rules out their being supposed signs we can look for to know when that time is near. Second, it teaches that when he does come the earth is going to be destroyed. Please tell me how there can be 7 years of tribulation on the earth if the earth isn’t there?
MATTHEW 25:31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33“And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
This was a long section of scripture, but it is basically establishing that when Jesus comes ALL nations will be before him and the ones that are righteous will go to heaven and the ones that are wicked will go to hell. Notice, this all happens at once, there’s no room for a 7 year time span.
Matthew 13: 24Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25“but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26“But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27“So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29“But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
36Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38“The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42“and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Here we have the parable of tares and the wheat. It’s just another great example that teaches a final second coming. The tares represent non-Christians and the wheat represents Christians. At the end of the age or the end of the world when Christ comes, he will separate the evil from the righteous and cast the evil into hell and righteous will enter into heaven. Please note that both the tares and the wheat are harvested at the same time, as so it will be for us at Christ second and final coming.
Jesus will establish his kingdom on the earth right?
No. This is another false teaching of the “rapture theory”. It teaches that Jesus will establish his kingdom on the earth for 1000 years. Have you really thought about what this is implying. It is saying that Jesus failed to setup his kingdom when he was on earth and is not reigning yet. So he’s going to come back one day and setup and establish his kingdom on earth so that we can reign with him for this1000 year period. I’m going to establish that Jesus was successful in setting up his kingdom when he was on the earth, and that he is reigning now. We will see that this kingdom is the church. I will also show that we are reigning with Jesus now. Finally, I will show you that when the final second coming occurs, we will be with Jesus in heaven not on the earth.
Acts 2:33“Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34“For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Here we see that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. This tells us that after Jesus died he is now reigning with authority.
Hebrews 4:14Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession
Hebrews 8:1Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.4For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God with full power and authority.
John 6:15Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
I want you notice here that the Jews wanted to make Jesus an earthly king. If he wanted to reign as a king, he had his opportunity right here. He didn’t, because he came to the earth to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies and law and to establish a new covenant by his death on the cross. In doing so he purchased the church with his own blood.
Acts 20:28“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
He has done everything he was suppose to on the earth and he has no reason to set foot on earth again.
John 17: 1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2“as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
If Jesus says he finished his work, don’t you believe him? He could not make this statement if he still had more to do on the earth. He is now reigning at the right hand of God in heaven. Another quick point I would like to make is that John the Baptist and Jesus were both preaching that the kingdom was “at hand” which means near or close. In fact lets take a quick look at this verse.
Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, verily I say unto you; There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.
As you can see from this verse, the kingdom has already been established since all those people that were there have died long ago. The kingdom is also promised to come with power. If we can show when the power came, we can show when the kingdom came. Following the resurrection Jesus said, Luke 24:29“tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high” Now read Acts 1:8, where Jesus assured them of the power by saying: “But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you:” Jesus is saying that they will receive the power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. When did the Holy Spirit come? It came at Pentecost.
Note carefully these points:
a. The kingdom and the power were to come together.
b. The power and the Spirit were to come together.
c. The Spirit came at Pentecost
Therefore the kingdom came at Pentacost.
Col. 1:13He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Here is very clear passage that shows that the kingdom is established now and not some time in the future.
Matthew 13: “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38“The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:41“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
These 2 verses also establish that the kingdom is here now.
1 Corinthians 15:24Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
This is completely opposite of the rapture theory. It says here, that when Jesus comes he will deliver the kingdom to the father. He is reigning right now over the kingdom. When he comes and gathers all the nations before him, he will judge the people and cast satin and his angels into the fiery lake and then his reign will be over. The rapture theory would have us to believe that when Christ comes, he will establish his kingdom then. Surely you can plainly see from this passage that the kingdom is already established.
Revelation 5:9And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
11This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
12If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.13If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
Have we died with Christ? Rom. 6:2-3; Col 3:3
Do we now live with Christ? Rom. 6:4; Gal 2:20
Do we endure with Christ? 2 Tim. 3:12
Do we know reign with Christ? Rom. 5:17
Philippians 3:20For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
1 Peter 1:3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
I think that these 2 verses are self-explanatory. It is plain to see, that we will be in heaven and not on the earth. Consider this next verse.
John 14:2“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Why would Jesus prepare a place for us in heaven, then turn around and establish an earthly kingdom? Doesn’t make any sense does it. With this in mind lets see how silly this gets when we put the rapture theory to it. Jesus prepares us a place and raptures us at a supposed secret coming. So, I guess he lets us stay in heaven in the place he prepared for us for 7 years. Then, he tells us that have to go back to the earth now so that we can live with him for 1000 years in his new kingdom. The rapture theory just doesn’t make any sense.
Again, I must answer no. This chapter can be a whole study by itself, but I’m just going to cover it briefly in this study. First, lets take a look at what Jesus says.
Matthew 24:1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
This statement really got the disciples attention, because the Jewish nation was thriving and at peace. So you can imagine that they were going to have some questions for Jesus.
Matthew 24:3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
We have three questions asked here. The first question is, when will the temple be destroyed? I intend to show that verses 4-35 answer this part of the question. The second and third question is, what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world. I intend to show that verses 36-51 answer these questions.
History shows us that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army in 70AD. They didn’t just conquer the people, they completely tore down the city walls and temple. They went as far as to dig up the roads. If you ever get a chance you should read Josephus account of the destrution of Jerusalem. He was a historian that was actually there when the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed. His account of what happened before and during the destruction sounds exactly like Matthew 24. Lets examine the following verses.
4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8“All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13“But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Basically Jesus is telling them what will happen before the destruction of Jerusalem occurs. He warns them that many will claim to be him and deceive many. He also tells them there will be rumors of war. He tells them they will have tribulation and be killed. He warns them against false profits. Now verse 14 is very interesting because it tells us that the gospel of the kingdom will have to preached to all of the world before the destruction of Jerusalem will happen. The last part of the verse “ and then the end will come” is referring to the end of Jerusalem and not to the end of the world. The gospel of the kingdom was preached to the whole world before 70AD. Please consider the following verse.
Colossians 1:23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians was written somewhere between 60 – 64 AD and Paul is telling us in this verse that the gospel has been preached to the whole world. Now we have our prerequisite mentioned in verse 14. This means that the destruction of Jerusalem can now take place. Let look at this next group of verses.
15“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17“Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18“And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20“And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25“See, I have told you beforehand. 26“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28“For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The abomination of desolation is talking about the Roman armies. We know this because of Luke’s account in chapter 21 verse 20.
20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
When you study Matthew 24 you need to also look at Mark 13 and Luke 21. They record the same information but most of the time you will find more detail in one account than the other. When the Roman army came in, they surrounded Jerusalem to keep them from leaving their city. This was a very good tactic back then, because they would run out of food and water eventually. If anyone came out and tried to escape they would kill them. After they were starving to death, the army would move in and easily conquer the city. So Jesus tells them when you see the army approaching don’t bother getting your coat run like crazy to the mountains. The reason why he tells them to pray that they don’t have to flee on the Sabbath was because the Jews locked the gates on the Sabbath. You were not allowed to travel more than a mile on the Sabbath. So they made sure no one could leave the city. The Christians would be trapped in the city if the Roman army came on the Sabbath. It has been recorded in history that most of the Christians went to Pella when the Roman army started approaching. There isn’t any recorded deaths of a Christian being killed during this flee. Jesus also warns them not to be lead astray by someone saying that Jesus is in the desert. This actually happened back then. There were false prophets that would lead Christians out to the desert to see Jesus. They would lure them out there and they would have men ambush them and kill them. It was a very difficult time for Christians back then. Lets move on to the next section of verses.
29“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This section of scripture is often misunderstood due to its symbolic meaning. The rapture theory would say that this will happen sometime during the rapture process. This is another great example where it pays to find other examples in the bible using this same symbolic language. When you run across a difficult section of scriptures you can almost always find other places in the bible that will help you understand it better. These verses are talking about the judgment on Jerusalem. This judgment is their destruction. The same language is used to describe the judgment on Babylon in Isaiah 13 verse 10.
10For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
If you just read Matthews account, you might just think that the stars are going to literally fall from heaven. But now you can see clearly that this is symbolic language referring to the judgment upon Jerusalem. Lets move on to the next section.
32“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33“So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
These verses make it very clear that verses 4-35 are talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and not some future rapture theory. Notice that it says that it near. Even better than that Jesus tells them that their generation will not pass away before these things take place. The only way this could be a future event is if that generation is still alive today. But, we know that that generation has been dead for a long time. You have to come to the conclusion that these verses are talking about the destruction of Jerusalem.
What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world?
Before we begin, I want to point out that in verses 4-35 I underlined “these things” and “those days”. The reason for this is to show that everything in those verses were always referred to as “these things” and “those days”. Please also note that during these verses there was great tribulation and death. People were starving and war was on the rise. This is very important because starting in verse 36 Jesus starts answering the second and third question. You will notice a definite change in what will be happening before the second and final coming of Christ.
36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39“and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Do you see the sharp contrast here? First of all, notice that we have switched from “those days” and “these things” to “that day”. We are now talking about the final judgment day.
I also want you to notice that we are talking about a time of peace instead of a time of war and starvation. He says that it’s going to be like the time of Noah. People are going to be eating, drinking, marrying, and just having a good ole time. This is completely the opposite of what we read in verses 4-35. I would also like to point out that no one knows when the second coming will occur only the father knows. This means, that there isn’t some type of sign that we can look for. It just going to happen when we least expect it. Please read verse 39 again. This differs from what we read in 4- 35, because they knew that the destruction of Jerusalem would happen soon and within their generation. So, the answer to the second and third questions is that there won’t be a sign.
40“Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41“Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Here is another favorite passage that the rapture people like to use. They say, “See, it says one will be taken and one will be left behind. So this means that there will be rapture.” We know from all the scriptures that I have presented on the second coming, that all will be judged at the same time. So, this section of scripture can’t be referring to a person being raptured and one being left behind on the earth wondering where the other person went. No, instead I think that it is saying that when Christ comes, the righteous will meet him in the sky and the unrighteous will be left behind to face their judgment of eternal punishment. Lets read the following verses that support this.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 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. 17Then 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.
John 5:28“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29“and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
I can’t say it enough, if you come across a difficult section of scripture you have to weigh the evidence of what the rest of the bible says about that particular topic. Again, Jesus reiterates that when he comes no one will know when he is coming. I believe that he trying to make it crystal clear that there won’t be any type of signs before his coming.
45“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46“Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47“Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49“and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50“the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51“and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This last section basically is telling us that we need to be living faithfully until death. We have to be ready everyday. If the lord comes when we have turned our back on him by deliberately living in sin then we will not enter into heaven. I hope you can clearly see that Matthew 24 DOES NOT teach the rapture theory.
Answer: NO. Revelation is a very interesting book, full of apocalyptic and symbolic language. There are probably more books written on Revelation than any other book in the bible. One of the first things we have to determine is when Revelation was written. The two most popular views is that it was written around 68AD or 96AD. If Revelation was written in 68AD, you will hold the view that the book is written about the destruction of Jerusalem. On the other hand if you think it was written in 96AD, you would hold the view that the book was written about the fall of the Roman Empire. In either case, almost everything in Revelation has already taken place. Revelation can be a very deep study. We are just going to scratch the surface in this study. I intend to show two things: 1. Revelation is written to the Christians warning them about the destruction of Jerusalem. 2. I will show that Rev. 20,which is a popular chapter used to try and prove the rapture theory, doesn’t teach the rapture theory at all.
It is very important when you study Revelation that you use the rest of the bible to interpret it. People love to take parts of the symbolic language used in Revelation and make it literal and then in the same paragraph turn around and make symbolic again. They do this to so they can try a make their theory work. I believe that the Christians back then didn’t have any problems understanding the symbolic language found in Rev. The most important thing you should know about Rev. is that Christ will be victorious in the end.
Revelation is written to the Christians warning them about the destruction of Jerusalem.
Rev.1:1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.
Rev.22:6Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
You will notice in the very first verse and in the last chapter it states that all the things that John is fixing to talk about is going to take place shortly. Surely we can safely say that shortly means that the things written in Rev. would happen very soon.
Rev1:3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Here is another timed statement. The verse tells us that the time is near. Now compare this verse with what we read in Matt 24:
33“So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
We know from this verse that near was at least limited to a generation. This is one reason that I believe the book was written in 68AD. In order for Rev. to be referring to the fall of the Roman Empire, it would require “shortly” and “near” to mean almost 400 years.
Rev1:9I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ
Notice that he was in tribulation, just like Matt 24:9 states. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Just as a side note did you also see that John says the he is in the kingdom. This is another good verse to show that the kingdom was already established.
Rev6:9When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Here we have these saints that have been killed and they want to know how long it will be before Jesus will avenge their spilled blood. Now notice they are told to rest a little while longer. This tells me that it won’t be much longer before he does avenge their deaths. The rest of this study will mainly be showing who killed these servants. I intend to show that Jerusalem is the one responsible for these deaths. Lets examine the following verses.
Matthew 23:29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30“and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32“Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34“Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35“that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36“Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38“See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39“for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
You should probably read all of Matt. 23. In this chapter Jesus is really coming down hard on the Pharisees and scribes. I think this section of scripture plainly states that not only did their fathers kill the righteous, but they to were going to kill the righteous. Jesus tells them that they are going to pay for all the righteous blood they have shed from Able to Zechariah. We have another time frame mentioned in verse 36. Jesus is going to avenge all those righteous people within their generation. Verse 37 tells us that Jerusalem is the one who kills the profits and the Christians that are sent to her. I believe that this establishes that Jerusalem is the city that is responsible for the death of saints.
Luke 13:33“Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Here Jesus tells once again that the prophets are killed in Jerusalem and not outside of Jerusalem.
Rev.16:4Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due.”
7And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
In this chapter, the angles are pouring out the bowls of the wrath of God. Verse 6 tells us who these bowls of wrath are being poured on. We see that it is Jerusalem, because we have already established that they shed the blood of the saints and prophets.
Rev.18:20“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
21Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. 22“The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. 23“The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24“And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
Here Jerusalem is being called the great city Babylon. We know this because of verse 24. It says that blood of the prophets and saints were found in this great city Babylon. We know that this has to be talking about Jerusalem. In verse 21 it states that this city, when it is destroyed wont be found again. This is so true, because we still don’t know for sure where Jerusalem was located for sure. The Roman Empire did a very good job of wiping their cities existence from the face of the earth.
Rev.11:1Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2“But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
7When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
The first part of this verse is talking about measuring the temple of God, which is referring to the temple in Jerusalem. The Gentiles were not allowed to enter the temple inner courtyard. They had to worship on the outside of the temple. This is one reason why I know this is passage is talking about the temple in Jerusalem. I want you to pay close attention to verse 8. It states that these two witnesses dead bodies would lie in the street of the great city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. We know that this is talking about Jerusalem by reading the last words of the verse. It says, that Jesus was crucified there and we all know that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This is one of the main reasons I think that the book of Rev. is written about the destruction of Jerusalem and not the fall of the Roman Empire. You see the Roman Empire did not fall until around 476AD. We know that the Roman Empire destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD. We have to conclude that this great city that was spiritually called Sodom and Egypt has to be Jerusalem, because that’s where Jesus was crucified. It would be very difficult for these two witnesses to be laying in the street of Jerusalem when there wasn’t much left after 70AD. The Romans were represented by Pilate in Jerusalem. The Jews brought Jesus to be tried by him, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. The Jews were the ones who wanted Jesus to be crucified and they even went as far as to say they would be responsible for his blood being shed. Read the following passage.
Matthew 27:22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 23Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” 24When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” 25And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
The Romans allowed it to happen, but when you get right down to it, it was the Jews that crucified Jesus.
We just barley scratched the surface of Rev., but I hope that you have been able to see that Rev. was written as warning of things that were going to be happening to them back then and not some future event. I believe that I presented strong evidence that Rev is written about the destruction of Jerusalem and not the fall of the Roman Empire. We have one last thing that we are going to briefly look at.
Here another popular chapter that the rapture teaching people like to use.
Rev. 20:1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
4And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.
The rapture teacher would have you believe that this teaches the 1000-year reign of Christ on the earth. I want you to notice who it says will reign with Christ for a 1000 years. It says the beheaded will reign with him. That leaves out the righteouses that are living on the earth right now. The only way they can justify this is to say that the beheaded symbolically represent all the righteous and in the same sentence make the 1000 years literal. This is another great example of how you can make Rev. teach just about anything if make one part of a verse literal and another part symbolic. You will not find Jerusalem mentioned anywhere in chapter 20. The whole idea for this 1000 year reign is centered on Jesus reigning in Jerusalem. You won’t find the second coming mentioned in the chapter either. Nor will you find Jesus being on the earth. Rev. 20 simply doesn’t teach the rapture theory.
This concludes the study and I hope that you enjoyed it. I also hope that this will encourage you to study your bible more. Thank you for your time.