New Covenant Ministries RAPTURE WHEN? Index of Articles Relating to the Rapture Doctrine
I wonder if you have heard of, or perhaps believe in, a doctrine that has become very popular in evangelical Christendom in the last century? It's called the RAPTURE teaching. According to the Bible, when Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) returns to the earth, the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones or true believers) who are alive will be literally taken up into the air to meet Him. This simple Bible teaching has been extended by many churches and groups to mean that all true believers will suddenly be whisked away into the air BEFORE Messiah returns and BEFORE the period of anarchy which the Bible calls the 'Great Tribulation', a seven-year period of terror during which a world dictator (called the Anti-Christ) reigns supreme.
Typical pre-rapture art. The woman is sorrowing because she 'missed' the rapture and is going to be left behind during the tribulation. This kind of escapism has done untold harm to the Body of Christ.
There have always been several 'theories' which are shown below. Do you know which is the correct one?
Pre-tribulation Rapture - the theory that most have been deluded into believing
Post-Tribulation Rapture and Immediate Return - THE CORRECT BIBLICAL TEACHING
The false No-Rapture-At-All theory - the meeting in the clouds is "symbolic" only
The false Seveth-Day Adventist teaching - the earth will be a wilderness for 1,000 years
The logic of the pre-tribbers is actually quite good but rests on at least ONE major FALSE ASSUMPTION - namely, that they believe that the MESSIANIC COMMUNITY or CHURCH and ISRAEL are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES when they are NOT. Accordingly their reasoning goes something like this:
Since there is no mention of the 'Church' during this important prophecy about Israel, then it 'must' not be on the earth any more. But what if the 'Church' and Israel are one and the same? Then the 'Church' would be on the earth the whole time. The fact of the matter is that the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is a fruit of the false Replacement Theory whereby the 'Church' is presumed to have 'replaced' Israel when it comes to Tanakh (Old Testament) blessings (but not, oddly, its cursings, which are condescendingly 'given' to the Jews).
When it is clearly understood that Israel (not the Israeli Republic - see Jacob's Trouble) and the 'Church' are one and the same, the need for a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine to explain the 'Church's' supposed 'absence' simply vapourises. We do not need the convoluted arguments of the pre-tribbers to explain a very simple biblical doctrine - indeed, they are forced into the murky realm of 'mysteries' to explain their teaching as illustrated below:
Thus the pre-tribbers are forced to somehow merge two supposedly different 'strands' of prophecy in order to 'explain' why there are 'saved' people during the tribulation. They have major problems understanding where the Torah or 'Law' fits into the picture which they assume has been abrogated entirely, and accordingly they arrive at a model as shown below:
The concept of a 'Church Age' is not a biblical one and is based on certain Protestant assumptions about the nature of the 'Church'. In actual fact the word 'church' (which is not a biblical word, even though our translations use it) derives from the Latin Circe, meaning a 'CIRCUS'. It is more accurate to describe it as an 'assembly' or a 'fellowship'. It is therefore meaningless to talk about a 'Fellowship Age' or an 'Assembly Age' since Yahweh's people have always been an 'assembly' and a 'fellowship', the word 'church' implying more than these concepts. To speak of a 'Law Age' and a 'Church Age' is therefore highly misleading.
Once we understand that there is no such thing as 'the Church' but only the Assembly of Israel in either the Old or New Covenant dispensations it becomes easier to resolve the rapture problem. The true 'Church' is in fact New Covenant Israel made up of New Covenant Israelites. At present they are scattered throughout the 'churches' but soon are to be gathered into One Assembly of Yahweh. The 'circus of the churches' will come to an end.
The rapture of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) includes the resurrection of the just. In the pre-trib model they are escaping tribulation to be with Elohim (God) but in the scriptures these are the spotless Body of Messiah (Christ) refined and purified through their suffering.
But even if you have problems rejecting the 'Replacement Theology' teaching, the scriptures are still sufficiently clear to show that ALL the Messianic Community (Church) - the true qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) - will pass through the tribulation. There are millions of evangelical Christians who have been deluded by the false pre-tribulation rapture doctrine which is not biblical and who, because they believe they will be spared the difficult times ahead, have grown spiritually lazy.
The articles in this register look at the history of this teaching (a doctrine unknown in early Christianity in either the apostolic or sub-apostolic times) and at the Bible teaching. The first 7 of these are written by others evangelical Christians outside this ministry and so reflect some of their assumptions about Israel. The fact that they see the unscripturality of the pre-trib doctrine should make those who do not, wake up and think again.