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"I write what I see, and it comes from the heart." .....Jon C. Randall
What He REALLY Meant:
Concerning The Rapture
Reach in your pocket and pull out a quarter, then look at it closely. Most believe that quarter has two sides, but if your perception is open, you'll actually see that it has three.
Most go through life, their viewpoints coupled with the common perception that life or understanding has two sides, each usually an opposing viewpoint of things given in life on equal footing. It is that perception that gives rise to what they believe truth to be, and oppose all those who take on a varied view.
For examples, we have those who believe there are a God, and those atheists and agnostics who don't. Those who believe in a government under the protection and divine will of God, and those who believe in separation of church and state. Or those who believe that abortion is the killing of the unborn in the womb, and those who feel it are alright to take a life to perpetuate their current lifestyles. And the list goes on, including the perceptions of denominational views and biblical teachings
"Diverse denominations; or religions for that matter; are formed due to mans narrow focus on what they perceive to be truth. If you are involved with, or partake in one narrow view, you become no different than a denomination of Scribes, Pharisee, or Sadducee, whom persecuted Jesus or His disciples when they walked this earth. They persecuted because of their denominational views, their hardened hearts, and the threat of loss of power, or prestige. The same can be applied to the denominations, or religions, of today. (1)"
A house divided will not stand, but fall.
Looking at that quarter, you will see a thin edge, or narrow band, that lies between the other two sides, which joins them together. This narrow band is truth, and can be seen more clearly after searching for understanding of each side shown, yet understands both sides shown, and joins them together.
Hence, the purpose of this series of articles entitled "What He REALLY Meant!," the looking at perceptions given, then looking closely at His word, to see what He really meant in the thin edge of narrow truth that understands all other perspectives given in today's denominational maelstrom and teachings given. These will include (over time), "The Tribulation," "The State of Israel," Denominations," "Salvation," "Judgment Day," and "The New Heavens and the New Earth."
Truth is truth, and cannot be abrogated. It is the purpose of why we should take the time OURSELVES, to understand clearly what is being shown in narrow truth, instead of joining forces with those who have one perception or another. In reality, Jesus taught the same thing, if you look closely at His word. Then, if you understand fully, it then becomes the simplicity of salvation, without denominational viewpoints.
Jon C. Randall
What He REALLY Meant: concerning the Rapture!(b)
You may have seen those bumper stickers that state "IN CASE OF RAPTURE, THIS VEHICLE WILL BE UNOCCUPIED," or heard stories of planes falling from the skies during a "secret rapture," or perhaps have seen the movies where piles of clothes lie on the floor where someone once stood, symbolizing they simply "vanished" in a "secret rapture?" These are humorous, at best. They unfortunately belie the hidden belief of what currently is taught in many churches and denominations, or by mainline television/radio preachers to the masses over the decades. Regrettably, many have gone to their graves, or currently hold on to this false hope, erroneously taught them with poor understanding, of what the scriptures truly show concerning the "rapture of the saints."
The timeframe of this rapture is AFTER the times of tribulation. I know this is hard to believe, but whether you accept it or not, it is fact. The bumper stickers, the scenes in the movies, and the false teachings are symbolic of the desire to escape pain or tragedy, and only that. It gives false hope that we'll "escape" the problems that we are going to have to face that God has laid out in His word for us to understand. It underscores the nature of us who desire only to live in comfort and ease, who want nothing to do with the problems of the world, the "not in my own backyard" syndrome.
Something "free" is usually costly. Freedom is costly. Life has its price, as well as death. Tribulation is a teaching tool that develops character and strength. Jesus set the example during His ministry on this earth, and suffered greatly for it. If you ever get the chance to see Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ", this will give you a mind retching dose of reality of what I'm stating. It was brutal in its reality of what truly took place in the suffering for us by The Christ. Maybe it will bring you back to reality of what will happen, and force you to evaluate if you truly can pay the price.
Life is full of choices, oftentimes hard. Many suffer at the hands of another in needless tragedy, yet endure what they undergo in quiet strength and stronger wills, knowing that one day it will end abruptly, and they can go on in a new life with deeper understanding and compassion. Things will change, and when the moments seem the darkest, they reach within and continue on, no matter what the price.
We'll go deeply into this tribulation timeframe in another article, and will concentrate mainly of what will transpire during that time, but for now, we'll look closely at what is involved in this rapture, and what truly will take place.
"And it came to pass, while he blessed them, He parted from them, (and was carried up into heaven). And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising God. (2)"
"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven. (3)"
After the resurrection, Jesus set an example that should be noted and paid attention to very carefully. What you saw Jesus do, was NOT done in secret, but very much openly. They watch Him go UP plainly, visibly, and will come back the very same way, openly. You'll be surprised as to how open God really is, as we'll discover in subsequent articles.
Why then, should the rapture be in secret, if He set the example? He was caught up to heaven, in a slow moving process that took time that was observed by many from the ground for a period of time by those who watched for it. Shouldn't it happen to us the same way? Yes, it will.
The error that is being taught is that this rapture will be done in "secret." It isn't going to happen that way. No pile of clothing on the floor, no planes falling from the sky, no auto crashes from unoccupied vehicles. Interesting, isn't it?
What has happened is that many locked on to several passages in the Bible, taking things out of context, without taking the time to look at the fullness of the context of what was truly being stated. This involves our bodies that will be changed, just as Jesus' body changed after the resurrection, when He left that lonely tomb where his former body laid.
What was interesting to note, was that several didn't recognize Him in this new body shortly after the resurrection, starting with Mary, and then some of His disciples. I have yet to figure out why this happened, considering they spent time with Him during His walk upon this earth. Mary thought Him to be a gardener. (4) When Jesus told the fishermen to cast their nets to the right side of the boat, while making breakfast of fish and bread over a fire, no one recognized Him. (5) Even on the walk on the road to Emmaus, He wasn't recognized. (6) He appeared at will, anywhere, anyplace, He wanted to. What is further interesting were walls or locked doors didn't keep Him out, but he appeared at will in this new body, as seen when the disciples were gathered together (later with Thomas), and He breathed upon them . (7)
Why wasn't he recognized, keeping who He was hidden, or how did he just appear at will? That is a mystery to me, and something to think about. He was full of surprises as to what He could do, as evidenced throughout the scriptures.
But what is really addressed here? Where is the error coming in the thinking of the many? Again, it lies in that word "body." What many had done was take one verse out of context, and built a whole doctrine on it, misleading the many. This is what they are referring to:
"Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (8)"
What they are thinking or stating is that we'll all disappear in a twinkling of an eye, giving rise to the "secret rapture" doctrine that is pervasive even to this day. Movies have been made of this, books have been written about it, sermons and speeches have been given concerning it. They all are following this line of thinking;
"Propaganda has only one object - to conquer the masses. Every means that furthers this aim is good; every means that hinders it is bad."
That was written by Joseph Goebbels who was Hitler's Minister for Propaganda during the period of the Third Reich. He stands out in history as having the greatest strategy and outlook of the propaganda world in the 20th century.
It is this propaganda, the "secret rapture," that has built ministerial empires; heavy book, movie, and tape sales; or large television and radio ministries; they all becoming a cult of propaganda with massive followings, ravaging those that oppose their doctrinal error. They couple the above listed passage concerning the "twinkling of an eye" with the following verse:
"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. (9)"
They put two and two together, and viola, instant "secret rapture," to create the furtherance of the error in thought. They tied that in with Matthew 24:32-41 about individuals "to be taken" in the parable of the fig tree at the time of His coming. They missed what was really addressed here, the body, that is born and dies in death.
What was taken out of context in a simple thought was buried in a massive study of the resurrection of the Christ in ALL of chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians. That is how you should read it, in context, in its fullness, and in its entirety. Then it can be summed up in this simple thought:
"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? (10)"
We are talking about the "body" that dies if you die in sin, and changed (if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior), on the last trump on the last day. There is no mistaking about it. You have to read everything in context as it was given, and NOT take a simple thought and build an entire doctrine upon it. We'll be discussing this "last trump," His voice, and the "last day" in a subsequent article, but let us continue with this current train of thought.
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (11)"
The "rapture" is really the resurrection of the dead, (and those left alive), by the Lord Jesus Christ, on the last trump on the last day, when He comes back for His saints. Our bodies will be changed, from corruptible to incorruptible, a spiritual body, that will never taste death again. Jesus set the example by what He did, and made the promise throughout the scriptures of what we can expect, if we quietly endure what is set before us, and if we make the right choices.
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (12)"
That changes the perspective a lot, doesn't it? It is the simple truths that you can easily discern if YOU take the time to study the scriptures, and ask God for wisdom and understanding for yourself. There is richness of wisdom and thought in all of 1 Corinthians chapter 15, and I suggest you take the time to read it in its fullness and straight through. Take the time to do it, why trust your soul to those who build empires upon propaganda and deception. Is it worth it? I think not. Further addressed (besides those who are alive at His coming), are those who have died already, as seen in the previous verse, and in the following:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (13)"
So, the simple truth is that the subject is dealing with death, and the body, that existed from Adam to this day, until that time of the resurrection. Again, I reiterate, that this resurrection will come after the times of tribulation, but prior to the times of the Wrath of the Lamb and of His God, but, that is another article. So in concluding this article, I leave you these simple thoughts:
"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (14)"
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (15)"
So, in reality, our bodies will be changed instantly (those who are dead, then those who are alive), to that of an incorruptible, spiritual, body. Just as the disciples of Jesus saw Him go up, so will the unsaved world see us do the same in like manner, watching us rise slowly to meet Him in the air. Then God's wrath will be poured out upon this earth, prior to the millennial reign of Christ. The world further will see something else unimaginable, nor discussed (as far as I know), which we'll look at closely in the next article covering the tribulation, the seeing Him who sits on the throne during that time.
"For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (16)"
And that is what He REALLY meant, concerning the Rapture!
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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
(1) From "The Baptism" © 1994 JON C. RANDALL -ALL RIGHTS RESERVED-
(2) Luke 24:50-53
(3) Acts 1:9-11
(4) John 20:18
(5) John 21:1-12
(6) Luke 24:13-35
(7) John 20:19-29/Luke 24:36-49
(8) 1 Corinthians 15:50-52
(9) 1 Thessalonians 5:2
(10) 1 Corinthians 15:20-29
(11) 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
(12) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
(13) John 5:25-29
(14) Romans 8:11
(15) Philippians 3:20-21
(16) 1 Corinthians 15:53-58
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