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The Persecuted Church




Is there such a thing as being caught up to Christ? (called the rapture) YES.

Too many deny what is called the rapture. We do have the bible describe the Saints in Christ, both the living and the dead being removed from earth to go to heaven. To make this clear, if you deny a rapture you are also denying the resurrection, for they are the same event.

2 Thessalonians 2:1: Paul speaks of the coming of our Lord Jesus “And our gathering together to Him.” The Greek word for ‘gathering together’ is epi sunagogues. EPI- means “above”, and SUNAGOGES means “gathered.”  Meaning: “to gather or collect together” as an assembly. This is not teaching of our being gathered to Jesus after He descends to earth to set up His kingdom, but to our being gathered up to Him. We are called FROM ABOVE by the Lord Himself, to meet Him. The whole church that is living is united together with those who died as an assembly in the air. He is the object we go to.

All believers who are alive will participate in this event, just as all the dead believers of all ages will in the resurrection. If there is no rapture, then there is no resurrection. They are two portions of the same event. Some speak in ignorance saying there is no such thing as a “secret rapture.” What about a secret resurrection? Are not all the taking of Saints included? It’s no secret, we have been told it would take place, just not the when, we are to be prepared that this will happen. Only those who are unprepared, care not to prepare mock it.

Jesus introduced the removal of the church after he spoke the Olivet discourse to his disciples. This is a new and significant doctrine he introduced on the night before his death. It is later Paul develops this teaching, which he calls a mystery (the rapture with the resurrection) Paul is teaching eschatology of both the Jewish and gentile believers. This because only the resurrection was tight in the old Testament.

In John 14 Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

Jesus left nearly 2,000 years ago and has prepared a place for us in Heaven, that is where He is now. And He will come to take us, the believers there. In other words, there will be a certain time in history when He will take the whole church away from the earth. Not all will have to die to be with Him as they do now. Both the dead and the living will be taken together.

Does Jesus speak of coming again for his church to be taken away as the second coming? No he speaks of being with believers on the earth at the second coming. It’s obvious it is not the same event. This can’t be his return which he stays on earth to rule for one thousand years. He comes to take us to where he says he is now, that is in heaven.

He says, I will “receive you to Myself.” This is the Greek word paralambanō - used for taken and receive. The meaning of that word is “join to one’s self.” Jesus is coming to have His church, his body of believers united with Him, then we will be completed, both the living and the dead as one body from all time, glorified together.

At the rapture the church goes to Jesus, He takes us to the Father's house in heaven, not back to earth. This is instead where Christ comes in the second coming with ALL his saints. He can’t come back with us unless He comes back to first to gather us.

The rapture is a promise from Jesus (John 14) to take us to where He is; it is not a deception, but A Promise.

I will come again for what?

Jesus says in Jn.14 I will come again; he is speaking of places he has made where he now resides (heaven). He has been preparing these for his bride. So this is not an on earth event. It cannot be the second coming because He is coming to receive us to Himself. He is coming to take us to these mansions in Heaven.

John 14:2-3 "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."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.”

We read in Rev.19 at the second coming, the whole church returns with him. This means that the marriage of the lamb has already taken place in heaven and the bride is ready to rule under him as he comes to establish the kingdom on earth.

The statement that where I am you will be makes no sense if He is coming to earth to begin the kingdom. Why be brought up to meet him in the air and be transformed in a blink of an eye if His intention is coming to earth to reign here for 1,000 years? The second coming is Jesus returning to end the tribulation, to rescue Israel and the saints that are left alive. Are we to meet the Lord to be transformed just as He is going into battle to save Israel, to destroy the armies of the false messiah? How is this in order as the Scripture portrays. There’s no mention of this in the bible happening this way. In fact Scripture tells us the whole body of Christ returns with him FROM heaven.

He is coming back to fight the armies of antichrist which is called Armageddon, and to judge the wicked. Those who received the mark are removed before He begins His millennial reign (Mt.25).

The second coming is Jesus returning to end of the tribulation. Zech. 14:4-6 “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you 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 with You. It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish.”

(Rev 19:19-21) “All the saints” accompany Christ back to earth when he destroys the armies of antichrist at Armageddon, they came from heaven. Rev. 19:1-14 “After these things 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! "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." Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”

We who are the body of Christ have participated in the marriage of the Lamb in heaven and return with him and watch him overcome those who have done evil at Armegeddon. It is his robe that gets stained in battle, not our robes.

Jesus had said I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you will be also. It can’t mean another time he takes the living to heaven because he says this is the reason He is retuning, to take them (us) to where he is. His abode is in heaven. If He is coming back to earth at that time you would not speak in this manner. He would instead say I come to be with you, instead, he says you will be with me, in the place I prepared for you; in heaven.

This fulfills John 17:24: "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

The earth is one dwelling place, heaven is another. The death of a Christian is a removing from one place to another, one that is far better according to Scripture (Philippians 1:23). We will be with him in heaven to see his glory whether we are alive or dead.



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