The American Wisdom Series


The Rapture Theory

There is no more fitting way to begin an examination of the Rapture theory than with the words of  the great scholar, E.W. Bullinger, in his Introductory to "How to Enjoy the Bible", pg. 6, American Christian Press, New Knoxville, Ohio.

"When we come to ask ourselves, and say, 'Where did I learn this?' 'How did I get this?' 'Who taught this to me?' it is astonishing to find out how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.

"All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God.  Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination."

So what is this Rapture theory?

What makes it so popular?

And why is it a major doctrine in the majority of the Christian churches?

Today there is considerable disagreement among Bible theorists
(those are people who develop their own doctrines and
then look for scriptures to support them) as to when this Rapture occurs.

We have the Pre-trib, Mid-trib, and Post-trib theorists ("trib" is short for tribulation).

The Pre-trib theory is the most prevalent
and states that Christ returns before the tribulation of beast in Revelation chapter 13
and "takes away" His church.

Furthermore, this event could occur at any moment
(which is the reason my Grandma said I should always wear clean underwear).
The beast of Revelation is then left free to wreck havoc and destruction upon the earth,
something akin to a WW III.

Sound reasonable to you?
Hey, sounds great!
We just fly up in the air before the battle and save our own "skins"?

Do you for one moment think that men and women of God are afraid to take a stand
and face losing their lives (in the flesh) if need be to defend their loved ones?
They have proven time and again they are not afraid, else we would not be free today!

To make matters worse, many Christians are told
that when the beast is here they are going to be flown to a place of safety!

It is embarrassing that our brothers and sisters want to "flee into the wilderness"
(most are told they are going to Petra) to be protected by a bunch of rocks.
They've been listening to people with rocks in their heads, promoting a sick woman's dream.

We don't need sheltered caves to protect us!
We're men and women of God, Christians!
Our ROCK is around us at all times.

Besides, the beast is not going to be firing bazookas and bullets at us anyway...
he's going to firing lies at us,
those fiery darts of deception (Eph 6)!

We need to wake up and quit listening to the uneducated!

Remember what E.W. Bullinger suggested in the opening of this study.

Put this Rapture theory to the test of common sense and scripture.

If you can document it in God's Word then by all means hang onto it.
But if it comes up short then forget it!
Be thankful to drop it like a "hot potato".
YOU must decide for yourself based upon your consultation with the Word.

I suppose what is most amazing about the Rapture theory
is that the Bible is not unclear at all about when Jesus Christ returns.

He returns at the seventh trump, the last trump,
after Satan has been standing in Jerusalem claiming he is God.

Paul explained this so thoroughly and simply
that there is no way we can misunderstand who comes first.

2 Thes. 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,
The subject is "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering unto Him".
[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Paul is saying "don't be confused about when Christ returns,
whether someone tells you to believe their 'version'
or some Bible thumper twists chapter 4 verses 16-17 of my first letter to you, 1st Thessalonians."
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Jesus Christ IS NOT returning until the great apostasy (falling away) occurs
AFTER Satan, the son of perdition (meaning the son who will perish), is revealed.
[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The spurious messiah, Satan,
will have all the credentials necessary to convince the world
that he is in fact the Messiah come.

This will happen at the sixth trump,
BEFORE Christ returns.

[5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
Paul is reminding them that he covered all this when he was with them,
but false teachers had been up to "no good".
[6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Every Rapturist I know claims that the "he" in "he who now letteth will let,
until he be taken out of the way" is the Holy Spirit.

In other words, the Holy Spirit will be taken away in the Rapture
along with the saints
and then Satan will be left to do his destructive thing.


That's such poor scholarship they ought to be ashamed.

But they are not.

They are blind and they are leading the blind.

They have a theory and they twist a poor translation to make it fit.

It won't fit.

If you are fortunate to have a Companion Bible it will document the subject and the transitive verb used here, which requires that an object be supplied. For simplicity sake, and if you do not have a Companion Bible, just know that it will document that the following translation (though not recommended as a regular study Bible) is correct and quite accurate concerning these verses.

2 Thes. 2:6 (Living Bible) And you know what is keeping him from being here already; for he can only come when his time is ready.
Keeping who from being here?

Satan, the son of perdition.

He is the subject being discussed.

This is so simple.

[7] As for the work this man of rebellion and hell will do when he comes, it is already going on, but he himself will not come until the one who is holding him back steps out of the way.
This man of hell, Satan himself,
is coming IN PERSON when the one who is restraining him let's him go.
[8] Then this wicked one will appear, whom the Lord Jesus will burn up by his presence when he returns.
So who, pray tell, is the one who is holding Satan back?

That's a "no brainer".

It's Michael, the archangel, the prince of Israel.

Rev. 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, [8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
You didn't know Satan was in heaven?

Well that's where he is right now and Michael and his troops have him restrained.

Satan was here, in person, in the garden of Eden and at the time of Job.

But the last time he was here, in person, was when he tempted Christ,
who upon overcoming his temptation, put him behind Him.

And that's where he is now.

Satan's evil spirit is here,
just as the Holy Spirit is here,
but neither Satan nor Christ are presently here, in person, yet.

They are both coming soon and Satan,
as Paul explained in Thessalonians, will arrive first.

When he and his angels are let go
(cast out by Michael and his angels)
"then will that wicked one be revealed".

Make no mistake!

Let no man deceive you!

Believe our Father's Word.

For that day, of our gathering back to Christ,
will not happen until AFTER Satan, as the false-christ, has reigned.

What happens to our bodies at the last trump?

Would you like to know a secret or mystery?

The apostle Paul is about to show us one.

In 1 Cor. 15 (read the entire chapter) Paul explains that you have two bodies, a flesh body and a spiritual body.

1 Cor. 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
There is a natural (flesh) body,
and there is a spiritual body.

He's talking about you and me.

When our flesh body dies we are changed into our spiritual body
and go to be with the Lord.

Absent from the body, present with the Lord.

This is basic Christianity 101.

Now for the mystery!  Paul is speaking...

1 Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;
Pay close attention here! This is a mystery (Gk.= musterion, secret or mystery) to most people.
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
Here's how Dr. Moffat translates it:
1 Cor. 15:51 Here is a secret truth for you: not all of us are to die, but all of us are to be changed -
Hold that thought for a moment...
"not all of us are going to die,
but all of us are to be changed".

Question - Changed to what?

Answer - To our spiritual bodies!

When and how are we going to be changed?

We return to the King's James translation:

[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
What happens at the last trump,
which is the seventh and final trump,
since there are only seven?

Jesus Christ returns and we "who are alive and remain" are INSTANTLY,
in the twinkling of an eye,
changed from our flesh body to our spiritual body.

Not after Christ has been here awhile,
but instantly at the sound of the trump!

Now, we learned earlier that the son of perdition,
Satan, the spurious messiah, comes FIRST,
at the six trump.

Do you know what that means?

You guessed it!

If you are still in the flesh,
if you still bleed when pricked with a pin,
then Jesus Christ hasn't returned.

Now you know the secret!

Never forget it!
You are still in the flesh when Satan shows up here on earth, claiming to be Christ, i.e. during the tribulation but are changed instantly into your spirit body the moment Christ really returns!

I repeat,
If you still bleed when pricked with a pin you are still in the flesh,
meaning, the real Jesus Christ still hasn't returned.

We are now ready to weigh the scripture of scriptures
upon which the entire Rapture theory hangs in the balance.

1 Thes. 4:17 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.
What does this scripture mean?

It stands here all alone, pulled out of context.

Do you know what subject is being discussed here?

The return of Christ?


You can't guess at these things.

They are too important
and they affect the very salvation of the souls of men and women.

To arrive at the subject being discussed here we must back up to verse 13.

Let's look at both the King James and the Moffat translations together.

1 Thes. 4:13 (KJV) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1 Thes. 4:13 (Moffat) We would like you brothers, to understand about those who are fallen asleep in death; you must not grieve for them, like the rest of men who have no hope.


The subject is "where are the dead?"

Paul doesn't want us to be ignorant about where the dead are.

The Sadducees were running around telling everyone there is no such thing as a resurrection,
i.e.  there is no life after death.

Those who believe that lie have no hope.

Too bad!

[14] (KJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

[14] (Moffat) Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then it follows that by means of Jesus God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.

That makes sense!

If we believe that Jesus died and rose again then we must also believe
that our loved ones who have died,
knowing Jesus,
rose also (changed of course into their spiritual bodies) to be with Him,
and so they are with Him.

So when Jesus comes back He will bring them with Him.

I like it!

[15] (KJV) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

[15] (Moffat) For we tell you, as the Lord has told us, that we the living, who survive till the Lord comes, are by no means to take precedence of those who have fallen asleep.

That makes sense.

How could we precede those have died and are already present with the Lord?

We can't, they are already with Him.

[16] (KJV) 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:

[16] (Moffat) The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a loud summons, when the archangel calls and the trumpet of God sounds; the dead in Christ will rise first,

Stay with me here.

If you've come this far you are no longer ignorant.

That's the purpose of Paul explaining this...
"I don't want you to be ignorant concerning where the dead are."

So..... Quiz time!

Where are the dead in Christ?


They are already with Him.

So don't let your mind think about people "rising" from graves.

They aren't there.

They are already with Christ.

Take your Strong's concordance (if you don't have one, get one published by Hendrickson, not Nelson) and check out the Greek word and its prime roots for "rise". It means to stand-up or present.

So the "dead in Christ",
those who have died believing in the Lord,
who are with Him now,
will present themselves or stand-up first when Christ returns.

[17] (KJV) 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.

[17] (Moffat) and then we the living, who survive, will be caught up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall be with the Lord for ever.

Do you remember the secret truth we learned earlier, the "mystery" Paul showed us?

Then let's play Final Jeopardy! Today's category is (Christ's Return). Your Final Jeopardy answer is:

At the sound of the Seventh Trump, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, He changes everyone's flesh bodies into their spiritual bodies.
First contestant: Satan, the spurious messiah

Alex: No, I'm sorry, "Satan" isn't the correct answer. He only performs illusions in the sight of flesh men and women promising to Rapture them away soon. And I see you wagered your soul on that. It'll cost you everything!

Second contestant: !@#$%^&

Alex: Oh, so sorry! I see you couldn't come up with an answer. Looks like you're still ignorant of God's Word. Better start studying before it's too late. I see you also risked it all. Too bad.

Third contestant: Jesus Christ

Alex: You are right. You're a champion of your people. You shall receive rewards.

Let's look again at 1 Thes. 4:17

[17] 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.
"In the clouds" is an expression that means "in a group".

In other words,
we are going to gather together as a group with the saints
that are coming with Jesus when He returns.

Paul uses the same colloquial expression in Hebrews 12:1
when he refers to a great cloud of witnesses,
meaning a group of witnesses.

Christ is returning to the Mount of Olives where He will stand.

That is where we gather to Him, not up in the sky in clouds made of water vapor.

There is so little scholarship given to the Bible today that it is shameful.

There are many figures of speech, analogies, metaphors, etc.
that the Holy Spirit uses in the Bible as tools of communication to better teach us.

But they are often ignored because of ignorance.

I guarantee you that if a verse in the New Testament read "The apostle Paul got into hot water" that we would have churches whereby in order to be in good standing you would have to get into a tub of hot water. Then there would be great discussion as to how much water you should get into and what temperature is considered to be hot. This would go on in spite of the FACT that the verse had nothing to do with water at all. It is a common expression in our language meaning he "Got into TROUBLE", not water!

Well, we are going to gather to Christ as a collective group,
NOT in clouds (unless you have your head in the clouds).

There is one more word you need to look up for yourself.

Don't take my word for it.

I'm not going to be there at your Final Jeopardy round.
I'll be playing Wheel of Fortune.

The word is "air" in verse 17.

This verse really sounds like we are going to fly into the clouds,
up, up and away into the air.
The Greek word in the original text is "aer" and it has nothing to do with the "air" we find up in the sky.

The Greek word translated "air" is aer, which also means to breath or respire.
It refers to our spiritual body, our "breath" of life body.
Remember the secret?
We gather back to Christ, along side our brethren who passed away earlier and are already in their spiritual bodies. Now we are going to gather with them and Christ in a group, we also being in our new spiritual bodies.

It has nothing to do with clouds and oxygen.

Do you feel better?
Paul thinks you should !

1 Thes. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free...
free from worry,
free from anxiety, free from the bondage of the traditions of men,
free from to love and please Him.

I know it is not popular to teach against such a widespread doctrine as the Rapture.

But we don't conduct any opinion polls or focus groups here
to see what pleases the people
and then stroke them with lies to keep them coming back. 
(The Felt Lined Plate; Remember!)

If you believe in the Rapture Theory,
for the safety and concern of others,
when you are traveling in "mixed" company,
by all means let a non-believer drive.

When you take a trip there are two things you can pretty much count on:

1.) Your motel room will have a Gideon Bible       and
2.) the payphone booths will have cartoon rapture pamphlets.

These pamphlets will contain graphic illustrations of catastrophes
caused by Christians disappearing from the driver's seats
and/or cockpits of cars, buses, trains and planes.

Normally (let's say you're a non-believer) you just browse through the pamphlet
and put it back down,
but this time you're placed on hold so you decide to read it (as entertainment of course).

You can't imagine that God, if He is a loving God,
would do something as preposterous as yank a driver out of a moving vehicle
that contains passengers and let it crash.

Your common sense tells you it doesn't make sense.

Then a logical thought hits your brain.

"If He's all powerful then He could at least stop the car engine first or land the plane."

The on-hold music continues so you read on!

You next come to Biblical documentation supporting the catastrophes.

You are told the Bible says it's actually going to happen!
Yep, right here in Matthew 24 it says
"Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

You conclude the Bible really says that!

The music abruptly stops and the party that had you on hold returns to the conversation.

You put down the pamphlet, finish your call and leave.

However, subconsciously you have doubts about God's Word.

What about Matthew 24?
Does it support the Rapture theory?
Let's examine it and rightly divide the Word.

Jesus is continuing to answer the question asked of Him by the disciples in verse 3.

The question is:

Matthew 24:4 ... Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Christ has just given us the seven seals
and instructed us to learn the parable of the fig tree to be able to identify the final generation.
 live link-Parable of the Fig Tree

Then He cites an historical event,
in which occurred some corrupt acts
 that will again take place just prior to His return.

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Wow! It's going to be like the days of Noah!
Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
I guess we better know some Old Testament scripture in order to understand the New.

Who was marrying and giving in marriage?

Let's go to Genesis chapter 6 and find out.

Genesis 6:1-2 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, [2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
In specific, the word "men" in Hebrew contains a definite article
and should be read "Adam", not "man" as in "mankind".

Never-the-less, it was the sons of God,
i.e. angels, that took them to wives the daughters of Adam.

So pervasive were the "fallen" angels in their marrying with Adam's offspring,
that after several generations only one family, Noah's, was left untouched.

In Gen. 6:9 you'll find that Noah was "perfect" in his "generations",
i.e. he had a pure, uncorrupted pedigree.

This is extremely important in order to understand what it will be like in the last days.

It would be through the generations, the offspring, of Adam and his wife, Eve,
that the Messiah would be born.

Satan repeatedly, throughout the Old Testament, tried to thwart God's plan,
even from the very beginning, in the garden of Eden.

At the time of Noah,
 only eight pure-blooded adamic souls were left unblemished,
uncorrupted by the angels,
through which Jesus Christ could be born.

The rest had intermarried with the angels,
the offspring of which produced giants.

God caused the flood of Noah to rid the earth of these giants and maintain a pure strain of humans not contamnated by the angels from whom Christ would be born.

Here's how the Moffat translation records Gen. 6:1-4:

Gen 6:1-4 Now when men began to multiply over all the world and had daughters born to them, [2] the angels noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any one of them that they chose... [4] (It was in these days that the Nephilim giants arose on earth, as well as afterwards whenever angels had intercourse with the daughters of men and had children born unto them; these were the heroes who were famous of old.)
There was another influx of these angels after the flood as well.
Goliath, who was 13 feet tall, was the last of those giants that we read of.

We now come to verse 39 in Matthew, as we continue to read in context.

Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Who was it that KNEW NOT and was "taken" away?

Noah and his family, God's servants?


It was those who were partaking in the marry and giving in marriage.

It will be just like that prior to Christ's return!

[40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

[41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Again, who is being taken away?

Those who KNOW NOT,
those partaking in the marrying and giving in marriage.

Marriage with whom?

Yes, marriage with the fallen angels that are cast to the earth with Satan, the false-christ.
Only this time it's spiritual marriage!

These are same angels of Gen. 6 we just read about.

Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
There is another "flood" coming!

Did you know that?

Only this flood is a flood of lies spewed forth by Satan himself.

Rev. 12:15-16 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. [16] And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
What are we supposed to do so that we are IN THE KNOW
and not "taken" by the flood of lies that is soon coming to overflow the earth?
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

[43] But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

We are to be watchmen, to be on guard.

Though we don't know the precise moment,
we can know the "season" and the sequence of events
and not be the first one "taken".

Paul told us exactly the same thing in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5.

1 Thes. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
It comes as a thief in the night ONLY to those not watching!

Read on.

[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
They will not escape,
they will be TAKEN by Satan,
the false Messiah!
[4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
We are the children of light.

We won't be taken by Satan, passing himself off as Jesus!

We'll wait right here, working "in the field",
waiting for the true Messiah, thank you!

Live Link to->>> Those who endure until the end are the ones who will be saved.

[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. [6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

[7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

They will be eating and drinking and giving in marriage.
They KNOW NOT what's coming.
[8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. [9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
God has not appointed us to wrath,
i.e. He is not angry with His children.

He loves and protects them/us.

[10] Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. [11] Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
These are comforting words.

He's our Father, He loves us, and He has all Power in heaven and earth.

There is much more that could be "brought to light" concerning the Rapture theory.

It is, by far, the most dangerous doctrine of mainstream Christianity, for it gives false hope, and a false sense of security to those who are not in the KNOW, i.e. those who are not familiar with God's Word.

The Rapture theory cannot withstand the test of scripture.

It cannot be documented in the Bible.

It can only be made to "appear" Biblical
if you take verses out of context and twist them.

The Rapture theory is found "wanting" and should,
as E.W. Bullinger stated at the beginning of this series,
be thankfully discarded and replaced by the truth of scripture.

Furthermore, our Father hates false doctrines,
and in particular those who "hunt the souls to make them fly". Read Ezekiel 13:20.

Finally, if perchance you are not convinced
and still wish to cling to the traditions of men
and hold onto the Rapture concept then always remember this.

For the safety and concern of others,
when you are traveling in "mixed" company,
by all means let a non-believer drive.

You can be plucked anytime from the back seat and not cause an accident!

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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Rhine Publishing Co.