All of the promises of God are already yes, and Amen in Christ, including what many expect to be a “rapture”.
I could take the time to debunk the pre, mid, and post, trib theories but I won’t because its all false and convoluted hypotheticals; and it just becomes more confusing than an alternate terminator ending. So I will skip to the truth of it all,
“This to you we say in the word of the Lord, that we who are living–who do remain over to the presence of the Lord–may not precede those asleep, because the Lord Himself, in a shout, in the voice of a chief-messenger, and in the trump of God, shall come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are living, who are remaining over, together with them shall be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in air, and so always with the Lord we shall be; so, then, comfort ye one another in these words.” 1Thess. 4:15-17
The true catching away is not an event in time but a personal and spiritual experience when we SEE that our natural life has been removed and replaced with Him. This work had already begun in some believers even before Jerusalem was destroyed, before the Church as a whole was establish as the house from heaven.
Paul knew what it is to be caught up to God. he wrote,
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one CAUGHT UP (same Greek word as in Thess.4:16-17) to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was CAUGHT UP into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” 2 12:2-4 KJV.
“I knew a man.” Why doesn’t Paul just come out and say I was caught up, it was me? Because in seeing The Lord, we see that we have no life of our own apart from Christ and that he (along with all mankind) had in fact already been judged crucified in the cross.
The voice of the trumpet is the Father speaking the judgement of the cross into you.
He saw the Father from the perspective of being in union within Christ. He saw by Christ’s own sight. So He was not in his own fleshly body or in his old identity. He saw no other body than the Body of Christ. He was in the New Man. He saw He had been taken. He was no more.
In seeing Him we see we are removed, dead with Christ. We see it is in fact “Not I but Christ” who lives in God’s sight. Surely, we live as a soul, but only as a vessel of the Spirit of Christ. So it is established in us that it is in fact “not I but Christ” Who lives. All of Paul’s working comes out from this revelation of Christ.
“We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead” 2 Cor. 5:14 and also,
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20
In seeing Christ, Paul has seen the Person of truth and reality. He is the foundation of reality. Christ in you is Paul’s gospel.
“Having died”, this covenant is completely other than and apart from the letter of the Law. So he saw and heard what was “not lawful” to be spoken. He saw and heard what was entirely by grace through faith in Christ.
This appearing and knowing is beyond salvation because it is the appearing of the salvation that we already have.
This “catching away” wasn’t the same as Christ’s appearing to Paul on the road to Damascus. But it was the appearing of Christ in Paul as the essence of Paul’s only eternal Life. Paul had received Christ formed within until He appeared in Spiritual birth. And after that it was all over for Paul because Christ was all.
“I make known to you the gospel preached by me, that it is not according to man. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it , but by a revelation of Jesus Christ”….”God was pleased, “He having separated me from my mother’s womb” and having called through His grace, (see Isa. 49:1) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him” Gal. 1:11-12,16.
Paul describes being caught up with the trumpet call,
“the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God” Thess 4:16
John also described experiencing the revelation of Christ in the same terms that are today being misinterpreted to be a future rapture event. John also was caught up with the trumpet call.
“I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” Rev. 1:10
“I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, .’Come up here, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter’. And immediately I was in the Spirit” Rev. 4:1-2
The trumpet call of God is Covenant Language. What I mean is that it is about being caught up unto God,
it is above
in the city of Christ: Zion where natural Israel refused to come. It is coming into the New Covenant. It is entering into the relationship in Christ where old Covenant Israel left off, see Ex. 19:16, Deut. 4:12.
John goes on to describe a vision of Jesus “in the midst” of the Churches. This is John seeing the coming of the Lord within the true Church not separated from His Resurrection Body. John saw Jesus in a long robe because Jesus was showing Himself to John as the Great High Priest, as the New Covenant priesthood to the putting away of the old tangible temporal priesthood.
Jesus is also revealing Himself as the New Spiritual temple, The Fathers house, to the putting away of the tangible Old temple.
And so the rest of the book of revelation is about the destruction of the temporal temple and the city of Jerusalem to the establishment of the New. Up until the last chapters. Then, we are shown Jesus revealing Himself as The New spiritual city to the putting away of the Old tangible city.
The Jerusalem above is free.
The temporal city was the Harlot, the Church was seen to already be the heavenly New Jerusalem.
Can you see that the writer of Hebrews has already told us this?
“You HAVE COME to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus.” Heb. 12:22-24 ESV.
We must see Him because He is in you, because He is your Life. He only needs revealed.
He has no intention of showing Himself any where else.
This true catching away is the fulfillment of the ascension of Elijah.
“Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you SEE me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you” 2 Kings 2:9-10.
Here Elijah was a testimony of Jesus and Elisha a testimony of the Church. Notice how it was necessary that Elisha SEE His lord in his ascension before he could receive the double portion. Why? Because we can only walk in that which has been unveiled in the seeing of Faith. The double portion is the portion of the inheritance measured to the firstborn. So also it was with Abraham,
“All the land, WHICH THOU SEEST, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” Gen. 13:15.
The New Covenant is received in view of Christ. It is necessary that the eternal inheritance be unveiled in the seeing of faith to live in Him. The turning of our focus from the natural realm to Him, is necessary in the transformation of the soul. John not only heard the voice like a trumpet but He turned to see that voice.
This testimony is found all through the scriptures.
“Behold, I speak a mystery to you: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in a GLANCE of an eye, at the last trumpet” 1Cor. 15:51-52 LITV.
We are familiar with reading in the “twinkling” of an eye KJV. Translators like Nestle show us that it isn’t about the quickness of the moment, but that we are all being changed in the “throwing of the gaze”. It is about the focus of the eye of our heart. let Him cause you to be fixed on knowing Christ alone.
In the days of Elijah many of the people continued to look for Elijah in the natural realm even when Elisha told them they could not know him according the old way any more. Elijah represents Jesus in His ascension and Elisha His Body the New Church, the New Man. Look at the way they urged Elisha to let them continue to look for Elijah according to the flesh.
“when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not” 2Kings 2:17-18.
How long will we keep looking for Jesus in the natural realm, when He can only be known as the Spirit and Life in His Body the Church?
What was to be known of Moses and Elijah is to be found by Christ in you!
“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me NO MORE; but YOU SEE me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” Jn. 14:19-20
About fourteen years ago the Father began revealing His Son in me. I remember it as an experience in time, but it was as if it was completely apart from me.
I saw Christ and His work as the ultimate end and the goal of the world. I also saw His appearing as the purposed end of spiritual birth, because He appears as Our Life. And as I see Him I see rest.
Any teaching feels so useless now.
The breathing lessons were unnecessary. We don’t need lessons on how to fall out. The pushing was all involuntary. Whenever this Son appears no one needs coached how to rest.
When we see Him He is so other than us, and then again, He is the only Life we have ever had.
I have no words except to say that in seeing Him I saw the apocalypse in me. I saw that to God the apocalypse had already come and it continues to come within hearts that look for Him to appear as He is. For years it has been as if I am unpacking all that was in seeing Him. And even though Bible study did not reveal Him in me, I can find no better words to describe the revelation of Christ than those others have already written. In seeing Him I see that Christ in me has already become the end of the age, even the end of world for me. This is the same Jesus that the writer of Hebrews wrote about.
“Now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through His sacrifice, He has been revealed; and as it is in reserve to men once to die, and with this, the judgment, so Christ, once having been offered to bear the sins of many, He shall appear as the Second, [covenant, creation, man, etc.] to those who are looking for Him, apart from a sin, unto salvation, by faith.” Heb. 9:26-28 ELT.