Run that You May Obtain the Prize
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 "Do you not know that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate [self-controlled] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible [perishable] crown; but we to obtain an incorruptible [imperishable Crown]. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
May we be able to say what the Apostle Paul said;
2 Timothy 4:7-8 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love His appearing."
The Rapture is a glorious event which refers to the sudden removal of the believers in Christ, who are praying and watching for their Lord's return. In the near future, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, will descend from Heaven and catch up His Bride and the Wise Virgins from the Earth. After this gathering in the air, Jesus will take these Saints and return with them to His Father's house, in Heaven. This will be the next major event on God’s Calendar, and it will definitely be the most astonishing event to happen in all of human history!
In John, when Christ, said, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself”, this promise He was giving His disciples was not that they would go to Heaven when they died, even though that would be true, but He was explicitly declaring to them that the day would come when He would personally return to take His living Saints, who were watching for Him, to Heaven. This was a totally new revelation to the Christians; no promise like this had ever been made before!
Titus 2:12-13 "We should live soberly, righteously, and godly ... Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
John 14:2-3 "In My Father's house are many mansions ... 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.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet 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.”
Rapture means to be “caught up", “taken away”, “removed”, "gathered", "snatched", or "seized". The word"Rapture"comes from the Latin word “Rapere”used by the Vulgate, aLatintranslation of the Bible, to translate the Greek word “Harpazo”,which is rendered by the phrase"caught up" in most of ourEnglishtranslations, as in the previous verse. By using the phrase “caught up”rather than the word "Rapture”, people more easily could understand the concept.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 "Behold, I show [tell] you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [imperishable], and we [also] shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality."
What a marvelous promise for Christians, dead or living,to be changed instantly. In a moment, in the blink of an eye we will be changedfrom mortal bodies into beings with glorified bodies.This means a perfect,immortal body like Christ’s body, which can never be hurt, sick, or die again. Then we will be“caught up”into the air to be with the Lord for all Eternity!
Psalm 17:15 "I will behold Your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness."
2 Corinthians 5:8 "We are ... willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
We know that at death our spirit will leave our body and immediately will go to Heaven to be present with the Lord.
Christians, who have previously died and their spirits have been living with Jesus in the “Present” Heaven,will come back with Him from Heaven and theirsouls and spirits will rejoin with their resurrected bodies.Then we who are alive and ready at the time of His return, will instantly have our bodies transformed also,quickened by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us, and we will answer the call to"come up here," and we will be caught up to meet withChrist and the other saints, somewhere high above the Earth! Then Jesus will personally take us all to Heaven into the presence of His Father and our Father, God.
Revelation 4:1 "Behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here."
The "open door" signifies the Rapture. John was caught up into the Throne Room. When a door is opened in Heaven, those who are ready may pass through.
"Son, Go Get My Children..."
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 6-9
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 6-9“That day shall not come, except there come a falling away [departure] first, and that man of sin [the Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he [the Antichrist] sits as God in the temple of God [in Jerusalem], showing himself that he is God [he will claim to be God]. And you know what withholdeth [restrains] that he might be revealed in his time ... only He who now letteth [hinders] will let [He, the Holy Spirit who now restrains will do so], until He be taken out of the way, and then shall that Wicked [the Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall … destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him [the Antichrist], whose coming is after the working of Satan [he will be full of satanic power] with all power and [doing many] signs and lying wonders.”
Falling away in the above verse means departure, and it is a reference tothe Saints departing from the earth at the Rapture. The forces of the Antichrist are restrained on Earth until the Holy Spirit who dwells within God's people quickens their mortal bodies and removes the Saints from the Earth by way of the Rapture. With Christ's Bride and the Wise Virgins removed from the scene, Satan will be released to usher the World quickly into the seven year Tribulation.
Kenneth Wuest, a noted Greek scholar, states in his word studies an interesting point that has much to do with the catching away of the living believers. He states that the phrase “falling away” is a mistranslation of the Greek word apostasia and it should have been translated departure.
According to Wuest, the Apostle Paul refers “to the gathering together of the saints to the Lord at His coming, which is the departure of the congregation from the earth” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1. But in Paul’s previous letter, he had described that event in the words, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”, which also involves a departure from the earth.
The root verb aphistemi is found fifteen (15) times in the New Testament. It is translated as “depart” eleven (11) of those times. Although it is often found translated in similar meanings, the predominant meaning of this verb in the New Testament, “is that of the act of a person departing from another person or from a place”.
Liddell and Scott, in their classical lexicon give as the second meaning of apostasia, “a departure, a disappearance”.
Dr. E. Schuyler Engish, is also an authority for the fact that the Greek word means “a departure”. The Greek noun "apostasis", sometimes translated "apostasy", is a reference to the Rapture and should be translated "departure." Thus, this passage would be saying that the day of the Lord will not come until the "departure of the saints" comes before it.
Romans 8:1 "If the [Holy] Spirit of Him [God] that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you."
Philippians 3:20-21 “We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile body, so that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body."
1 Corinthians 15:41-44, 49 "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star is different from another star in glory. So is the resurrection of the dead ... it is raised in incorruption ... it is raised in glory ... it is raised in power ... it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body ... we shall bear the image of the heavenly [Jesus Christ, Yeshua]."
Romans 13:11-12 “Knowing the time, now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now our salvation [deliverance] is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.”
1 Thessalonians 5:4 "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
This verse shows that the Christians who are watching for the return of Jesus Christ, Yeshua, will know when His Return is getting near!
Let's all look forward to the New Earth and Heavens where we will dwell with
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit for Eternity.
The Order to the Resurrection
(1) Christ, the Son of God, First;
(2) A Firstfruit Resurrection of Old Testament Saints.
(3) A Firstfruit Resurrection and Rapture of New Testament Christians.
(4) The Resurrection of the Tribulation Martyrs before the “Day of God’s Wrath”.
There will be a final Harvest of still living Tribulation Saints before the “Day of God’s Wrath”.
1 Corinthians 15: 41-42 "One star differs from another star in glory ... so also is the Resurrection."
Saints Caught Up to Meet The Lord in the Clouds
"The Lord’s Coming is Near, Even at the Doors." Mark 13:29
“The Spirit and the Bride say, Come” Revelation 22:17
The Scriptures tell us Jesus Will Return Two Times
FIRST "As a Thief in the Night" to catch away His Bride and the Wise Virgins.
1 Thessalonians 5:2,4-6 “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light ... Therefore ... let us watch and be sober.”
SECOND "Every Eye Shall See Him" at the end of the Tribulation.
Matthew 24:30-31 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes [people] of the earth ... see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect [the tribulation Saints] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
“Behold, He cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see Him."
Matthew 24:3-7 & Mark 13:4-8 "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world [age]? Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many [false ministers and prophets] shall come in my name, saying, I am [the] Christ; and [these false teachers] shall deceive many. And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars ... nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes ... these are the beginning of sorrows."
We are now seeing in "2021"current events which match those Jesus said would occur shortly before he returns to Earth. Biblical texts speak of plagues or pestilences such as the current pandemic. Certain other current events can be included in Jesus’ warnings, such as the rise of false prophets and false teachings, anti-Semitism toward Jewish people worldwide, traditional morals becoming less accepted, wars and national conflicts, earthquakes and other natural disasters, famines, the love of many believers growing cold, and people abandoning their Christian faith.
Several events related to Israel and the Jewish people are fulfillment of biblical prophecy and signs of the end times. The rebirth of the state of Israel and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people were fulfillments of prophecies in the Bible. The establishment of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is also a sign of the end times. Another temple will be built in Jerusalem in accordance with a prophecy in Ezekiel, and Christ will return and reign in Jerusalem in fulfillment of God’s promises to David. God has also promised to preserve a faithful remnant of the Jewish people.
The current global pandemic has created interest among churchgoers and nonreligious people about what the Bible says about plagues, disasters, and the end times. Many Christians feel an urgency to help people be ready for Christ’s return, because the vast majority of them believe certain current events are corresponding with prophesies Jesus himself gave about things that would occur right before he returns.
Many signs have been happening for years, but every day now we are seeing the clear visible signs spoken of in Bible prophecy which concern things that will take place during the Tribulation which indicate that Christ will be returning soon to set up His earthly Kingdom of one thousand years. So since the Rapture takes place first before the Millennial Reign, clearly the day He calls us to meet Him in the air has to be near!
The Rapture is followed by the Seven-Year Tribulation that will begin when a seven year covenant with Israel is confirmed (Daniel 9:27). This covenant will allow Israel to build their third temple on the temple mount. This means there is the possibility that a gap of unknown length 'may or may not' occur between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will visibly return to Earth to win the “Battle of Armageddon” and begin His Millennial Reign.
Acts 1:11 "Why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."
Hebrews 10:37 "For just a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not delay."
Revelation 22:20 "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Hosea 6:1-2 "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for ... He will heal us ... and He will bind us up. After two days [2000 years] will He revive us [Israel]: in the third day [during the Millennial Reign] He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight."
2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Paul Taught There was an Order to the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:22-23 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his Own order: Christ, the Firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ's at His Coming.”
Here Paul the Apostle shows that there is an order to the resurrection, if every believer were resurrected at the same instant, there would be no order to the resurrection, and the above Scriptures would be meaningless: "Christ, the Firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ's at His Coming." (There were no commas in the original Greek text, they were supplied by the translator.)
Christ was the First of the Firstfruits, but His Bride and the Wise Virgins will also be part of the Firstfruits. Revelation 14 clearly teaches that there will be a relatively large company of Firstfruit Saints. Then near the end of the tribulation, Christ will send out His Angels to gather up the rest of the still living Tribulation Christians, but they will not receive a resurrected body until after their death. The Spirits of all the Christians who have died during the Tribulation will already be in Heaven, and at this time they will receive their resurrected bodies.
Revelation 14:4 “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes. These [The Bride] were redeemed from among men, being the Firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”