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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37521
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 A Secret Rapture? by Sis. Susan Mutch

[b]A Secret Rapture?[/b]
[i]by Sis. Susan Mutch[/i]

The scene is a Boeing 747 over the Atlantic Ocean. Most passengers are sleeping. Suddenly, some of the passengers start to vanish. One by one, the remaining passengers cry out in fear as they realize their fellow-passengers are missing. Parents are frantic, as all the children have disappeared.

Though this sounds like science fiction, it is actually a scene from the first volume of the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. These highly popular books are based on the premillennial theory that prior to a seven year “great tribulation” period, there will be a secret rapture, or “catching away” of the Christians.

Amazingly enough, millennialists come up with this seven year period by declaring that the seventieth week in Daniel’s prophetic vision (Dan. 9:27) did not follow the continuum of the other sixty-nine weeks. Because the Jews rejected the Messiah, they believe in a “parenthesis” or “gap” theory, wherein the kingdom does not come until some future age yet to come.
John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), of the Plymouth Brethren sect, developed a theory of futurist premillennialism, which he called dispensationalism, after the division of history into dispensations or eras. The last of these dispensations was presumed to be a kingdom set up on earth during a thousand year reign. C. Scofield popularized this theory through his Scofield Reference Bible, which came complete with notes on millennial thought.

Darby, and others, held that Christ’s second coming would happen in two stages–a secret rapture, then the second coming of Christ in glory after a seven-year tribulation.

They cite I Thess. 4:16-18; 5:1-2 for their secret rapture theory. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

The fact that the scripture states that Jesus will come as a thief in the night is not referring to a silent or secret coming, but means rather the unexpectedness of His coming (Matt. 24:44). II Pet. 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” There is no mistaking here that the last day is intended. It comes as a thief in the night–obviously not meaning silently here, but unexpectedly. It is referring to the same day that Paul was speaking of in I Thess. 4. Furthermore, how could one call this a silent coming when it says that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven and it is accompanied with A SHOUT, A VOICE of the archangel, and A TRUMP!

Neither do we see in these scriptures a vanishing of the Christians. It states that they will be caught up in the air. This is in the same visible sense in which Jesus was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. In this same visible manner, the angel foretold Jesus would return (Acts 1:9-11).
Let us consider the context of Paul’s writings here. The Thessalonians seemed to have had some confusion as to what would become of those who had already died in the faith (vs. 13). Paul is writing to give them clarity concerning their hope of resurrection at Christ’s second coming. He is addressing the subject to bring comfort to the saints. Therefore, the rising of the wicked is not mentioned in this context. This does not mean that there will first be a resurrection of the righteous and at a future time a resurrection of the wicked.

Some believing in a secret rapture refer to it as a “first resurrection.” The term is misapplied in the context of a supposed secret rapture. The biblical term “first resurrection” refers to a spiritual rising from a dead state of sin (Eph. 2:1; I Tim. 5:6) to newness of life in Christ Jesus. Every true child of God experienced this in real Bible salvation, when Jesus “delivered us from the power of darkness, and…translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” Col. 1:13. The apostle John aptly describes this spiritual resurrection thus: “…He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life”–a resurrection!

The events in I Thess. 4 are in no wise meaning a secret rapture of Christians which precedes further events on the earth, but rather the end of all things on earth, for the coming spoken of here ushers in the global resurrection of the just and the unjust in the same hour (Jn. 5:28-29), where all will be called to the final Judgment and the earth and all the elements will be burned with fervent heat (II Pet. 3:10). This trump of God is one and the same with the last trump of I Cor. 15:51-54, wherein all bodies will be changed “in the twinkling of an eye” to incorruptible, immortal bodies. Some erroneously refer to a secret rapture taking place in the twinkling of an eye, but the scripture is referring to the change of the body for the resurrected dead and for those still living at the second coming of Christ. I Thess. 4, I Cor. 15 and Jn. 5:28-29 are all speaking of the events on the last day. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice [same voice as I Thess. 4], And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Jn. 5:28-29. There is no second chance!

This teaching also comes into scrutiny, as it puts a rather definitive time-line on the second coming of Christ (in effect, it would really be a third coming, according to their eschatological teachings), by saying He will come directly after a seven year period of tribulation, and then set up a kingdom on earth for 1000 years.

How grievous that such an unbiblical teaching has become so widely accepted in more recent times. Just as the Jews of old had misconceptions of the coming Messiah, much of the professing world today, as we are standing on the brink of the second coming of Christ, are holding to popular misconceptions. The entire system of millennial teaching is based upon one misinterpreted scripture after another. Beware, dear souls, and be not tossed about with these winds of false doctrine.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2009/2/7 12:04Profile

Joined: 2009/2/7
Posts: 51

 Re: A Secret Rapture? by Sis. Susan Mutch

The Lord came as a thief in the night and stole my heart from the evil one, and I have been in a state of rapture ever since. He has rescued me out of this world, and though I remain, I have been taken up into the clouds with Him. While there has been much tribulation, it has all been designed to release me from the clutches of Satan, so that in the day of the coming of the Lord, I will be purified to the degree that there will be nothing left to burn.

 2009/2/7 12:44Profile


Thanks for sharing this. I have never believed in a rapture which is a Latin word not found in the bible up to about 15 years ago. I believe in the second coming only that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24.

If it's not in the bible I won't have anything to do with it.

 2009/2/7 14:47

 Re: A Secret Rapture? by Sis. Susan Mutch

It's pretty simple if you compare Matthew 24 with Revelation Chapter 6&7 their we are. The Jews come on the scene in Revelation 14 as far as appearing with the Lord.

[b]You always have to use Matthew chapter 24 as your reference.[/b] I spent alot of time in prayer and waiting on the Lord and I am pretty solid on this one so far anyway.

 2009/2/7 15:03

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526

 Re: A Secret Rapture? by Sis. Susan Mutch

Hi Greg...

How grievous that such an unbiblical teaching has become so widely accepted in more recent times. Just as the Jews of old had misconceptions of the coming Messiah, much of the professing world today, as we are standing on the brink of the second coming of Christ, are holding to popular misconceptions. The entire system of millennial teaching is based upon one misinterpreted scripture after another. Beware, dear souls, and be not tossed about with these winds of false doctrine.

It would be nice if people like this could add those two simple words that distinguish between [u]truth[/u] and [u]persuasion[/u]: "[i]I believe...[/i]"

Instead, some people in the discussion of Biblical eschatology feel the need to call something "[i]unbiblical[/i]" that many people (myself included) feel might actually be quite Scriptural (at least, in some portions of the discussion). I wonder how "post-trib" believers would feel if I jumped into this argument and started calling all of their persuasions to be decidedly "unbiblical" or an embrace of "false doctrine?" It would be wrong to do so...because there is not a clear consensus in Scripture regarding this matter...even if people would act if it were so.

I am happy to listen to this woman's argument...but I am disappointed that she promotes her view as "truth" while she also readily rejects those who disagree with her view as promoters of "false doctrine."



 2009/2/7 16:31Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2068

 Re: To whom it may concern

"SOME things are true and some things are false: --- I regard that as an axiom; but there are many persons who evidently do not believe it. The current principle of the present age seems to be, "Some things are either true or false, according to the point of view from which you look at them. Black is white, and white is black according to circumstances; and it does not particularly matter which you call it. Truth of course is true, but it would be rude to say that the opposite is a lie; we must not be bigoted, but remember the motto, 'So many men, so many minds,'" Our forefathers were particular about maintaining landmarks; they had strong notions about fixed points of revealed doctrine, and were very tenacious of what they believed to be scriptural; their fields were protected by hedges and ditches, but their sons have grubbed up the hedges, filled up the ditches, laid all level, and played at leap-frog with the boundary stones. The school of modern thought laughs at the ridiculous positiveness of Reformers and Puritans; it is advancing in glorious liberality, and before long will publish a grand alliance between heaven and hell, or, rather, an amalgamation of the two establishments upon terms of mutual concession, allowing falsehood and truth to lie side by side, like the lion with the lamb. Still, for all that, my firm oldfashioned belief is that some doctrines are true, and that statements, which are diametrically opposite to them are not true, -- that when "No" is the fact, "Yes" is out of court, and that when "Yes" can be justified, "No" must be abandoned." -
C.H. Spurgeon

Not only is such a mind (of which Spurgeon writes above) evidenced here in the preceeding post on this thread, but it is a plague of this age which is a source of confusion to many who'd know the Truth as it is in Jesus.

As on another thread,the subtlety of satan the adversary, has injected his thoughts and infected the minds of the simple, to doubt and question what God has said.

Are there none who may lay claim to having stood in the presence and counsel of the LORD, to plainly state that what is being called good is evil upon the grounds that we know our LORD.

Does the wife not know her husband well enough to deny that what many are saying is pleasing to Him is not, but rather is odious to Him. A stench in His nostrils.

I am referring to what is known as "christian rap" or whatever other unholy profane name such so-called worship is being offered to the thrice Holy One.

If we'd turn our eyes upon Jesus and away from flesh and blood,it may be that He'd reveal Himself and we'd be new men as Isaiah or Job.

Worship God.

 2009/2/7 17:54Profile

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