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Sight Unseen, Issue #014 -- The Rapture
March 11, 2004
Welcome to Issue #14

-----------The Rapture-----------

This is the most controversial subject in today's church. One day millions of people will disappear from the face of this planet in an instant. That does sound like something straight out of a science fiction novel but the bible is not science fiction. All Christian churches agree that this event will take place. What they disagree on is the timing of the event and the events that follow. Here are the verses that are commonly referred to as "the rapture verses".

1 Thess. 4:13 - 18 13 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 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. 16 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: 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I am going to sum up what I believe is going to happen based on my own studies of the bible and hearing prophetic experts expound on this subject.

First of all, the phrase "the dead in Christ shall rise first" refers to the fact that all believers who have died have decaying bodies rotting in some grave. When they died, their spirit/souls returned to God but their bodies did not. When Jesus was resurrected, he was complete with body,soul, and spirit. He could eat, could transport Himself miles in an instant, and walk through walls. The dead in Christ are incomplete for they have no bodies.

Those who are alive when Christ calls His church home will never experience death. After this event takes place, the age of Grace will have ended. Sometime after this event called the Rapture, the final antichrist will arise and usher in an age of unprecedented peace on earth. This is a false peace though and many will die because of him. This will be during a period of time called the tribulation.

Dan. 8:25 - And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

While the tribulation period is going on, the "raptured" souls will be standing before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ to determine what their responsibilities will be for eternity. The more you do for Christ here on Earth, the more power and authority will be given to you in heaven. It is your reward.

At the conclusion of the tribulation and the Judgment Seat of Christ, Christ will return to earth with his angels and saints (believers) to set up his earthly kingdom whose capital will be in Jerusalem.

Jude 1:14 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

It is impossible to return with the saints unless you have first come for them. Israel will be the capital of the planet and some nations will no longer exist because of their hatred toward Israel. These events are most likely to occur in this century. Be ready.

------------Bible Quiz------------

1. Soon after he arrived in Egypt and made a success of himself, Joseph was tossed into prison by his master, Potiphar, because: A. Potiphar's wife accused him of attempted rape. B. Potiphar's servant accused him of theft. C. Pharaoh discovered he was a Hebrew. D. Pharaoh's minister heard he was interpreting dreams.

2. On his way to Egypt to confront Pharaoh, Moses was nearly killed by God because: A. He had not circumcised his son. B. He tarried too long, trying to avoid his mission. C. He forgot to make a burned sacrifice. D. He considered overthrowing Pharaoh and making himself king.

3. God sent 10 plagues over Egypt to break Pharaoh's stubborn will in refusing to release the Hebrews. Which of these was not one of the plagues? A. Swarms of Locusts. B. Overrunning of Frogs. C. Infestation of Ants. D. Swarms of Flies.

4. As they crossed the desert from the oasis at Elim to Mt. Sinai, the Israelites ran out of food. To quiet their complaining, the Lord provided them with: A. Grasshoppers B. Bread C. Hidden Supplies D. Manna

5. There is only one instance in the Bible where God manifests himself on earth and does not speak. It is: A. When he causes the bush to burn. B. When the seventy elders of Israel break bread on Mt. Sinai. C. When the Israelites fashion a golden calf. D. When Miriam rebels against Moses.

6. Which of these is not one of the Ten Commandments? A. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. B. Honor thy father and thy mother. C. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. D. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.

7. God commanded the Hebrews to establish three national feast days to celebrate annually. Which was not one of those days? A. Passover B. Pentecost C. Feast of Tabernacles D. Hanukkah

8. When the Hebrews settled in Canaan they were unable to dislodge many of the native tribes, and in fact began to make pacts with them in disobedience of God's will. God told them these people would be A. Burrs under their saddles. B. Sand in their sandals. C. Thorns in their sides. D. Grist for their mills.

9. After the death of her husband and two married sons, the widowed Naomi returned to Judah. Her daughter-in-law, a Moabite and also a widow, insisted on going with her, saying: A. Two heads are better than one. B. Life without thee is a curse. C. Whither thou goest, I will go. D. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

10. When the tribes of Israel gathered, Samuel, acting at God's command, picked from the tribe of Benjamin a man named Saul to be the new king, and the people responded: A. God save the king. B. Behold the man. C. Better late than never. D. We are in God's hand.

-------------Answers To Previous Bible Quiz------------

1. Fertility was very important if the blessing was to be passed down from generation to generation, yet most of the women in Genesis were initially barren. Who was not barren? C. Tamar

2. In revealing himself to Moses and the Israelites, God said his name was: C. Jealous

3. Although Abraham is considered the founder of monotheism, it is clear in the Pentateuch that many non-Hebrews worshipped the one, true God. Pick the person who seem notto have believed in God. D. Bera

4. Who buried Moses? B. God

5. Adam's excuse for eating of the tree of knowledge was: B. The woman gave him the fruit.

6. Cain murdered Abel because: A. He was jealous of Adam's affection for his younger brother. B. He was jealous when God chose Abel's sacrifice over his.

7. The Lord made a covenant with Abraham in his 99th year, and as a token ordered Abraham to: D. Circumcise himself and all his men.

8. The angel who was about to destroy Sodom kept hurrying Lot to flee, even taking him by the arm when he hesitated, because: B. He couldn't destroy the town until Lot was safe.

9. God destroyed Sodom because of its rampant: D. Inhospitality

10. Sarah told Abraham to cast out his concubine Hagar and her son, Ishamel, because: A. She didn't want Ishmael to share in the inheritance with her son Isaac.

Copyright 2003 by Gary Goodworth

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