"Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you Matthew 24:3-4
The doctrine of the rapture expresses the idea that we wonít be going through the tribulation period, rather the church will go directly to heaven. However the doctrine of rapture uses several terms that were not inspired. God did not inspire the term tribulation Period nor is it found in 34 Bibles I have in the biblesoft/PC Study Bible I use every day. Confusing as it may be the tribulation Period is a fluent term in the church to describe the last days. The difference of interpretation is in theology of godly men versus that of understanding the scriptures as they were written.
The word Rapture is not an equivalent English word of the Greek word Harpazo regardless how it has been translated. The primary reason is because the meanings of the two words are not the same. In addition, ďRaptureĒ speaks of being transported by a lofty emotion to meet the Lord in the air where harpazo speaks of being taken forcibly. Letís consider Jesus said (Matthew 24:31) that he would send his angels to gather his elect and to separate the sheep from the goats when he comes in his glory (Matthew 25:32.) You will have no choice in the matter.
Finally we must consider that God speaks in a straightforward manner. The idea of being taken to heaven before the general resurrection is not revealed in a clear way so there is no confusion or a lack of understanding.
On the other hand the commentaries are polluted with information on the rapture and the tribulation period. The back wall of the preachers study is lined with commentaries that the church paid for. These commentaries are used by our church leaders to make their sermons more informative and include facts they could have missed. However, it is not the preacherís fault that his sermons include information contained in these books entirely.
Both the hearer and the speaker are obligated by God to test all things and bring the message into subjection of Christ Jesus. For this reason we need to reprove every word to discover if the information about the rapture and tribulation Period is a trump card of Satan to deceive you.
Commentaries state the rapture as fact and leave the illusion that certain events will take place. If bible scholars base their knowledge on opinions then everyone they teach will form the same opinions. The problem is deception and it is prudent to reprove what they say. If you cannot reprove the terms being used then God is in a position to say I never said that. Remember that we live by the spoken word of God, adding opinions to them or leaving parts out changes the plan of God. The importance of altering Godís word is related in (Revelation 22:18-19.)
Trumping is a term used in card games where a card of trump is used to outrank every card played to guarantee the outcome. Outside of card games the trump term is used to gain advantage over an adversary or opponent through stealth. In war Games trumping is seen as deceptive information that lures the enemy into a trap to cause heavy casualties. Satan is engaged in a spiritual war with the children of God and deception is his main weapon to gain the upper hand.
God wants his children to take the responsibility of being prudent in their decision making process by testing what they hear against the word of God. Not one Christian lives by what is preached but every man lives by every word the proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3.) It is prudent to study the word of God to become a workman approved by God who knows and approves of the plan of God, our father.
Falling doesnít hurt as bad as the compelling pain that follows and cannot change once it has happened. Deception leads you into a trap you cannot change having the consequences you are unable to refuse. In other words deception gains foot hold due to a lack of knowledge and it means we did not consider the consequences for our actions. In spiritual matters God gives anyone who asks wisdom without finding fault. Knowing the truth of the matter gives you the advantage of knowing how to avoid having the pulp beaten out of us.
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12
The unforeseen consequence of any trap makes us think how to avoid a next time. Every wile of the devil is revealed when the outcome of the decisions we sanctioned becomes apparent. Because Godís ways are different from ours we need to know the second coming of Christ from Godís viewpoint. The second coming was known over two thousand years ago and we need to understand that God hasnít changed his mind.
Jesus Christ used candid language when he spoke of how mankind would be handled during the transition of the end times. Itís common knowledge that you sort out what you want to hear and see what you are concerned with. Therefore, make every effort to pay attention to Godís word and intentionally open your eyes to understand what he is saying.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8
Understanding the Scriptures will out trump a belief in rapture. Logic tells you that being taken to heaven before the general resurrection nullifies the second coming of Christ. To tell you the truth I donít want to go through what I am told the tribulation period is either, but it is not my plan.
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:28-29
The resurrection of the dead is clearly stated. How could those who were raptured be in their graves? How could the gospel message be proclaimed to the world without a saint to reveal the gospel?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14
We should listen to anything the Bible repeats several times. The phrase ďwhen you seeĒ is one of those terms that deal with the end times.
"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the readerunderstandóMatthew 24:15
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everythingthat is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4
The bible also says
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Psalms 91:8
Are we listening, have we heard and are we prepared for what God has planned? Godís word will never be trumped by the doctrine of the rapture but through deception many will be dismayed and fall away not knowing what to believe. God tells his saints to let no man deceive them Matthew 24:4.
We may see some events that we were taught would not happen because of the rapture. We are told that some scripture doesnít pertain to us even though the same person reads that every word was sent to achieve Godís purpose. Why be at the wrong end of the stick when knowing what to expect gives us reason to know Godís plan and what to believe.
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
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