Rapturemeans to be “caught up", “taken away”, “removed”, "gathered", "snatched", or "seized". The word "Rapture" comes from the Latin word “Rapere” used by the Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Bible, to translate the Greek word “Harpazo”, which is rendered by the phrase "caught up" in most of our English translations, 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 changed from 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 their souls 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 with Christ 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.
Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD . . . for He has clothed me with the Garments of Salvation,
He has covered me with the Robe of Righteousness."
Put on the whole Armor of God
Matthew 6:19–21 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 "By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them."
Salvation comes by faith in Jesus Christand is afree gift from God, not from doing works. But as a child of God, we do the works that Christ has commanded us to do. Grace means "unmerited favor." It is God doing good for someone who does not deserve it. God is gracious, full of mercy, love, and kindness, therefore, He has reached out through His Son Jesus Christ to save us. The word "saved" emphasizes what has been done for us. We do not save ourselves by our works, God saves us. Before God saved us, we were dead--completely cut off from God, under the devil's control, and doomed as sinners facing God's judgment. His grace brought us from death to life. We must have faithto receive God's gracious offer of salvation. Notice that we are God's workmanship. It means "a work of art, a master piece." In Christ, we receive God's grace through our faith and become His work of art. We are God's workmanship to do His good works. God has saved us to serve.
James 2:14, 17-18, 24 & 26 "What does it profit if a man says he has faith, and has no works? Faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. A man may say you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James is giving a very specific teaching that so-called "faith" which does not result in good works is phony. At no point does James require works to earn salvation, or to keep it. Rather, James points out that what we do is the result of what we truly believe. Simply claiming to have faith in Christ is meaningless; saving faith is a faith which results in action. The works a person does are the proof of the nature of their faith. Saving faith produces works, and those without works fail to show evidence that they are saved. At no point does James disconnect salvation from faith. On the contrary, this entire passage is about the fact that we are only saved by faith—but while works do not save, those who are saved will, naturally, demonstrate good works. How one acts—their ''works''—are a sign of the kind of ''faith'' they possess. It is meaningless to believe, or ''wish,'' a poor person to be well, if such an opinion leads to no action. James never says that faith is not essential for salvation. He never claims works are required to obtain or keep salvation. He is, however, crystal clear that truly saving faith cannot be separated from the evidence of good works.
Colossians 1:9-10 "We do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; So that you will walk worthy of the Lord … being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men, so they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
John 9:4 "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night (Tribulation) comes, when no man can work."
1 Corinthians 15:58 "Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."
1 Timothy 6:18-19 "Be rich in good works."
Luke 9:23 "Take up your cross daily, and follow me."
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."
Mark 13:33-37 "Take heed (be alert), watch and pray: for you know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and gave to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch therefore: for you do not know when the master of the house may come, in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning, Lest coming suddenly He find you (spiritually) sleeping: And what I say to you I say to all, Watch!"
Luke 12:35-40 "Let your loins be girded about (be in readiness, dressed as for a journey), and your lights burning; And you yourself be like men who wait for their Lord … That when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him immediately. Blessed are those servants, who the Lord when He comes shall find watching … And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman (Servant of God) of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ready also: for the Son of Man comes at an hour when you think not."
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."
Christians confuse the Bride of Christ with the Body of Christ
How wonderful to be part of the Generation who will see the Return of Jesus.
Let’s look for His Coming!
Ephesians 6:10-18 Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand(resist) against the wiles (trickery) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (human opponents), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (different ranks of evil spirits). Wherefore take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication (requests)in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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 near!
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."
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him.
Revelation 3:2 "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain ... "
Revelation 3:3 "If you do not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come ... Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent."
Revelation 3:5 "He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment ... "
Revelation 2:26-27 "He that overcomes, and keeps (does) my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And He shall rule them with a rod of iron."
1 John 2:28 "Abide in Him; so that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming."
Hebrews 9:28 "To them that look for Him shall he appear the second time ... "
Revelation 3:4-5 "You have a few … who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment ... "
Revelation 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from Me gold tried in the fire: and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness do not appear (be seen by others); and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see."
Revelation 16:15 "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
The Bride is always on continuous watch for the coming of the Bridegroom because she knows His Return is Imminent. The Bride keeps her spiritual garments of salvation and righteousness white with prayer and by obeying all His commandments. Take heed lest you be found walking with your garments defiled [polluted], and suddenly find that you have missed the Rapture. To miss the Rapture is the shame a person will feel when other people question why they are still here when they were expecting to be Raptured.
Matthew 22:8-9 "Then said He to His servants, the Wedding is ready, but they who were invited are not worthy. Go therefore to the highways, and as many as you find, bid them to the Marriage."
Understanding The Rapture
The Saints Caught Up to Meet The Lord
"The Lord’s Coming is Near, Even at the Doors." Mark 13:29
“The Spirit and the Bride say, Come” Revelation 22:17
Christ calling His Bride to Arise and Come Away
Psalm 27:5 "In the time of trouble He shall hide mein His pavilion."
Matthew 16:27 "The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every manaccording to his works."
Acts 10:34-36 "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he [anyone] that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him." [Man, Woman, or Child]
Romans 5:9 "Being now justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
1 Corinthians 3:8 "Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor."
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 "Every man's work shall be made manifest (revealed): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Thessalonians 5:9 "God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
Revelation 3:8 & 10 "I know your works: Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Because you have kept the word of My patience, [my command to persevere], I also will keep you from the hour of temptation [the Great Tribulation], which shall come upon all the world, to try [test] them that dwell on the earth."
Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne."
Matthew 5:11-12 "Blessed are you, when men shall revile [insult or despise] you, and persecute [harass] you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My [Jesus] sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven."
Matthew 5:14,16 "You are the light of the world ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:19 "Whosoever ... shall do and teach them (these commandments), the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
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."
All of these 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, and these indicate Christ will be returning soon to set up His earthly Kingdom of one thousand years. Since the Rapture will take place first before the Tribulation and the Millennial Reign, it is near!
The Rapture will be followed by a Seven-Year Tribulation Period that will not begin until 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. 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."
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.”
The Bride now as the Queen is brought to King Jesus, and the other Virgins, the Saints who did not hearken to the “Call for the Bride”, follow the Bride/Queen into the palace with gladness and rejoicing.
Mark 12:30 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second (commandment) is this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Romans 13:10 "Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
Mark 16:15 "Jesus said, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 6-7“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 as God sits 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 ... him, 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 to the 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.
Paul Speaks of a First-Fruit Rapture and Out-Resurrection
Song of Solomon 2:9-13 "My beloved [Christ] ... stands ... He looks forth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice. My beloved [Christ] spoke, and said to me [the Bride], Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in our land; The fig tree [Israel] puts forth her green figs ... Arise, My love, My fair one, and come away."
This is the call to the Bride and the Wise Virgins at the Rapture. It is clearly Springtime and perhaps Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, the same season as when Christ ascended into Heaven. Christ was the first of the Firstfruits, and this would be perfect timing for the rest of the Firstfruits to be gathered from the Earth.
Song of Solomon 4:7 & 6:3, 8, 9 "You are fair, My love [the Bride]; there is no spot in you. I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine ... There are sixty queens, and eighty concubines, and Virgins [Christians] without number ... My undefiled [the Bride] is but one ... The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yes, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her."
(Notice that the Bride and the Virgins are all Christians but they are not the same group.)
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.”
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!
Her fine linen is not something given to her during the marriage feast but it is something she has made herself during her time on earth by walking in righteousness. When God is speaking about the marriage or the Marriage Supper of the Lamb there is one word that keeps repeating itself over and over again and that is the word "Ready". An understanding of the "Bride of Christ" and what it means to be "Ready" is one of the greatest motivational factors to wake up, and take your walk seriously and get real with 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.
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."
The Bride and The Wise Virgins abide in the Lord, excited for the Lord to return, reaching out to tell others about Christ, doing for others with a giving heart and love for the lost. They produce fruit because they are doing the things Christ said to do. These Saints are alert and discerning, ever watching for the Bridegroom.
Until the Rapture takes place, any Christian can prepare to be in this called out group. The door is open, but once the Rapture takes place, the door will be shut, and a large remnant of Christians will have to endure the Tribulation that will then come upon the entire World to try them and test them to see if they will choose to live for Christ, even to their death. It will be marvelous to make Heaven your home, but there will still be sadness to find that you missed out on God’s best for you.
Millions of Christians and Jews will be killed during the tribulation for their belief in Jesus. It will eventually become so bad, that the Bible says blessed are those who die in the Lord from that point in time, and the moment they die for not denying Christ, they will immediately be in Heaven.
King Jesus with His Bride as the Queen
The Wise Virgins, Her Companions, Follow
Paul Taught There was an Order to the Resurrection
Ephesians 5:25, 27 "Christ ... loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
2 Peter 3:14 "Be diligent [strive, work hard] that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
The next verses reveal that many are called to become Christians, but few are chosen to become His Bride.
Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few [are] chosen."
Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
Revelation 14:4 "These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed [chosen] from among men [mankind, male and female], being the Firstfruits to God and to the Lamb."
Revelation 17:14 "He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
Paul put his all into reaching for this prize and he highly encouraged all Christians to do the same.
Philippians 3:11, 14 "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead [from among the dead] ... I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Study both the text and context carefully. Pauldeclares he was putting forth every effort to be in the out-resurrection. The Greek original reads "the resurrection from among the dead." It was a prize that Paul eagerly sought. But was all this effort put forth by the Apostle simply that he might be in the general resurrection of the righteous in which every saved person will participate? "No!" Paul's salvation was settled long ago. As to his personal salvation and assurance of a part in the first resurrection, Paul said;
2 Timothy 1:12 "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He [Jesus] is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day."
Paul was not seeking salvation by some strenuous and prolonged effort so that he might have a part in the general resurrection. Paul was after the prize of the out-resurrection!
Of this, Paul said . . .
Philippians 3:8 "I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung [rubbish], that I may win Christ ... that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection."
We too may seek for the prize of the Out-Resurrection. Christ is coming for His Bride! Paul was running the race to obtain an imperishable crown! Every young Greek in the days of Paul had a special understanding of the Bema. It was the seat of reward on which the umpire of the games sat, and from which he crowned the winners of events. Salvation is a free gift, it is not a prize that is won by our efforts. We run to obtain a prize, a special Crown. Paul was striving for this higher honor, to be in the Bride of Christ.
Revelation 19:7-9 "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the Marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Wife has made Herself ready. (With the Holy Spirit's guidance, the Bride shares in the responsibility for making herself ready.) And to Her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness (acts) of Saints ... Blessed are they who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb."
Promises Jesus Made to His Bride
The Bride Keeps The Bridegrooms Commandments
Notice in Revelation 19:7-9 that the "Bride" [Men and Women] are arrayed in fine linen, clean and "White" for the Marriage, and then in Psalm 45, after the wedding, they are portrayed as the "Queen" arrayed in wrought "Gold" made in raiment of needlework.
Revelation 14:13 "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth (from this day forward): Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works will follow them."
In the following verses, Christ is Warning His Church to take heed, watch, pray, be sober, abide in Him, look for Him, keep their spiritual garments of salvation and righteousness, because He is coming for the Overcomers, the Saints who have kept themselves from the things of the world, and once the Rapture has taken place, the Lord will shut the door.
Matthew 25:10-12 "The bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came the other virgins (Foolish Christians), saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said … I know you not."
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity (wickedness)."
Luke 13:25 "When once the Master of the house is risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and He shall say to you, I know you not ..."
Matthew 24:40-42 "Then shall two [servants] 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. Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come."
Notice, the two who are in the field and the two at the mill are all His Servants, Christians, they both know their Lord will return! They both are busily doing their Lord’s work … but only one in each group was ready. Just like the Ten Virgins, this parable also shows that only half of those Christians laboring for the Lord are ready to go in the Rapture.
Isaiah 26:20-21"Come, My people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors behind you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation [the Tribulation] is past. For, behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity."
Isaiah 57:1-2 "The righteous perishes [disappears from the Earth], and no man layeth [ponders] it in their heart: and merciful men are taken away [Raptured to Heaven], none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come [the Tribulation]. He [the righteous] shall enter into peace: they shall rest ... each one walking in his uprightness."
This verse is a beautiful description of the righteous being taken in the Rapture away from the evil Tribulation that will come upon the earth. The Saints are walking in Heaven in their “Garments of Salvation” and their “Robes of Righteousness”.
Revelation 3:11 is a clear warning from Jesus Himself that shows a Christian can lose their Crown! Not our Salvation, but we can lose our Rewards. Our page entitled "The Judgment Seat of Christ" has an in-depth study of our rewards.
There is the teaching in most churches that everyone who is saved will participate in the Rapture. The Scriptures teach us just the opposite. It is the responsibility of each of us to Study God’s Word to see if what we are being taught is correct.
The coming Rapture will not only surprise the world, but it will also catch countless Christians completely off-guard. Many Christians assume it may be years before Jesus returns, so they do not pay heed to the many signs that would tell them His Return is near. Others, who attend church regularly, have been taught that all Christians will be a part of the "Bride" of Christ, so as mentioned previously, they believe everyone will be going in the Rapture.
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!
Psalm 45:6-7“Thy throne, O God [God the Son], is forever and ever: the Scepter [Royal Rod] of Your kingdom is a right Scepter [Scepter of Righteousness]. You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: Therefore God, Thy God [Your Father], has anointed You [King Jesus] with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.”
Psalm 45:8-9 “All Your garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made You glad. Kings' daughters were among Your honorable women: upon Your right hand did stand the Queen [The Bride] in Gold of Ophir.”
I 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 are no commas in the original Greek text, and they must be supplied by the translator.)
Christ was the First of the Firstfruits, but His Bride 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.”
Run that You May Obtain the Prize.
A Serious Warning Jesus gave to His Bride
Revelation 3:11 "I come quickly: Hold that fast which you have,
so that no one takes your Crown!"
Millions who simply assume that all Christians go in the Rapture have never felt it was important to keep on the alert. They think, “We are Christians, we believe in His return so why do we have to be vigilant? After all, when Jesus comes, won’t He just take every Christian anyway, no matter what we are doing, or are not doing, or whatever our belief is as to when we believe He is or is not coming. We have accepted Him as our Savior, so that should ensure that we will go in the Rapture.” It will be a serious mistake to think it does not matter if we are expecting Christ’s soon return, OR waiting to see the Antichrist come on the scene, OR waiting to see Israel sign/confirm a seven year treaty, OR just waiting to see Christ return to win the Battle of Armageddon. Once the Rapture has taken place, we will find that what we believe does matter!
Even many "Ministers" do not have the knowledge of how serious their misunderstanding of "the importance of the Rapture" is. One Minister joked about the fact that if he was wrong about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, he would apologize on the way up. Another Minister laughingly said he would explain it to all those people on the way up. Another said, we don't need to worry about it, everything will "Pan Out". Others say being a Christian makes them a "First Loader". If our Ministers jokingly laugh about these things, it is easy to understand why many Saints are confused. Make sure you are not among those who suddenly realize Jesus has come, and the door has been shut, and you are left behind to endure the hardships of the Tribulation.
Matthew 25:10 "The Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut."
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study [the Bible] to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly (accurately) dividing (understanding) the Word of truth."
Psalm 119:130 "The entrance (revelation) of Your Words gives light (wisdom); it gives understanding (discernment) to the simple (straightforward person)."
2 Peter 3:13-14 &16-17 "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Therefore … be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. As also in all his (Paul’s) epistles … in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable (in the knowledge of God’s Word) twist, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. You therefore … beware lest you also, be led away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness."
Hebrews 5:12-14 (By this time) "You ought to be teachers, but you have need that someone teach you again the [elementary] first principles of the oracles of God [God's Word]; and you … have need of milk, and not strong meat. (Comparable to a baby who needs milk and cannot eat solid food.) For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the [God's] Word of righteousness: for he is a baby. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age [spiritually mature], even those who by reason of use [trained by practice] have their senses exercised to discern [distinguish] both good and evil."
When Christians are asked "Who is the Bride of Christ?" almost everyone answers, "The Church", because we are called "The Body of Christ", meaning that they believe all people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior are included in the Bride. The Bride is part of the Christian Church, but they have kept themselves ready, watching, praying, and studying His Word everyday to build a deeper relationship with Jesus. The Bible indicates that the Bride will be taken out of the Body of Christ. There is a group within the church group that make up the Bride of Christ, the Firstfruits to God.Nowhere in the Bible is the Church called the Bride of Christ. The Church is called His Body, but the Body and the Bride are not the same as many Christians have assumed. The consequences of this are very important, because our rewards and positions of leadership for eternity, are forever determined by what we do here in this present life.
Romans 12:5 “We, being many, are one body in Christ."
1 Corinthians 12:27“Now you are the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 1:22-23“[God] ... gave Him [Jesus} to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is His body."
Ephesians 4:11-12“He gave some, apostles ... prophets ... evangelists ... pastors and teachers ... for the edifying of the body of Christ."
Colossians 1:23-24“I Paul ... now rejoice in my sufferings for you ... for His body's sake, which is the Church.”
The Scriptures tell us Jesus Will Return Two Times
Luke 12:45-47 "If that servant says in his heart, My Lord delays His coming … The Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and … will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers(hypocrites). And that servant, who knew His Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten ... "
Matthew 24:51 Adds that "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Notice that the Lord was nottalking to unbelievers when He said, “will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” He was warning the Christians that they could be in danger of being left to endure the Tribulation with the unbelievers. If the servant were already an unbeliever, he would have expected to be left! These are Christians who do not expect to be left!
Luke 21:34-36 "But take heed to yourselves (be alert), lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness (the pleasures of food and wine), and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 "But you … are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep (spiritually) as do others; but let us watch and be sober (clear-headed)."
1 Peter 4:7 "But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober (clear-headed), and watch with prayer."
Song of Solomon 6:10 “Who is she (She is the Bride of Christ) that looks forth as the Morning, (She is like the sunrise in all of its glory) Fair as the moon (She reflects the Righteousness of Christ) Clear as the sun, (She is clothed with the sun with pure spotless beauty) and terrible (majestic) as an army with banners?” (She is set as an army in spiritual warfare against the powers of evil)
Psalm 45:10-11 “Hearken [listen], O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people, and your father's house; So shall the King [Jesus] greatly desire your beauty: because He is Your Lord; and worship thou Him.” This is the call to all Christians to leave all behind and win the prize of being a part of the Bride.
Psalm 45:13-17 "The King's daughter (God is our Father) is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought Gold. She [the Queen/Bride] shall be brought unto the King [Jesus] in raiment of needlework: the Virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto Thee (also). With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King's palace." [They, the Saints] shall be Your children, whom You [God] may [shall] make Princes [Rulers] in all the Earth. I [God] will make Your name [Jesus] to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise You forever.”
Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen