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God’s Method of Moving People Around

When trying to understand any doctrine it is good to stand back and gain God’s perspective.  As I mentioned in some of my previous essays understanding Gods word is often hindered by a type of scriptural myopia that some develop when they get bogged down in the minutia of His word.  In my view this is what has happened too many who hold different doctrinal positions on the rapture.  People divide into different camps based upon certain scriptures that they believe prove the validity of their positions while other vehemently oppose them based upon their viewpoint.  The reality of the situation is that neither one understands the underlying reasons for the rapture and thus cannot see the forest for the trees.

In the beginning God had an original plan for mankind that did not include sin. Had Satan not introduced his sin from outside the perfect system God had created Adam and his decedents would have taken a much different path. 

Here is a truth,

“What we term as the rapture is just God’s way of moving people around “

Originally, God determined that man should live forever if he ate of the tree of life.  Obviously, however slowly man procreated, the Earth would eventually become overpopulated.  God’s solution to this was to translate or rapture people who became perfected. At a certain point they would be glorified and live with Him forever in heaven.  This was God’s original plan and is the reason for catching people away.  We see an example of this in this scripture,

“And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

Gen 5:22-24

The rapture is not a single event

The key to understanding the rapture is simply to realize that it is not a single event. Translation is an ongoing method that God uses to transport people back and forth to heaven.  A modified version of it is when God instantaneously shifts people around on Earth.  Viewed in this way, we see many raptures when we examine the Bible.  Enoch, Elijah, Those raised from the dead when Jesus died, Christ at his ascension were raptured. Philip, when he was caught away laterally after witnessing to the Ethiopian Eunuch, was caught away. Possibly Paul, when he visited the third heaven, experienced translation. The Philadelphia church, the two witnesses, the 144,000, the two reapings at the end of time…raptured.  In fact, there have probably been many more raptures that we are not aware of down throughout the ages.

You’re all partially right…and partially wrong

Those who hold pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib doctrinal positions on the rapture are all partially right and partially wrong.  They are right to say that a rapture does occur at these times, but they are wrong to assert that raptures do not occur at the other times.  The only people that are totally wrong are those who decry rapture and say there is no translation at all.

You can never work out the details of a doctrine correctly if you start with wrong assumptions.  You may be very enthusiastic about digging for gold and willing to work long hours, but if you don’t dig in the right place to begin with you will have little success.  This is why we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth. Left to our own natural devices we will not know where to look for it.  After we’ve been led by His Spirit, then we use the tools we’ve been given to uncover His treasure.

We need revelation to understand what God means

Revelation is just that: a revealing of that which is hidden or obscure.  The book of Revelation is a book that reveals who Christ really is.  Christ is the only one worthy to take the little scroll from our Father and loose the seven seals.  The scroll is in fact the lambs book of life. It is written within and without with the names of those who are provisionally saved.  However, the seven seals have to be removed to finally bring about our salvation. This is why you hear in heaven that now has come salvation. 

Most of the book of Revelation is concerned this event and the consequences thereof.  After Jesus looses the last seal, he read the scroll, descends with a shout, and raises the dead.  The shout that Jesus gives at that time are calling out the names written in the lambs book of life. When we hear Him call our name our mortal body is quicken and we are raised from death incorruptible. 

Those which are alive and remain

Those which are alive and remain are raptured together with the resurrected to be with Jesus where He is forever.  After a time we descend with Him into a New Heavens and New Earth (a reverse rapture). We live with Him in His everlasting kingdom.  Raptures will still take place as God has need to move people about according to his purposes.

In conclusion, much of the misunderstanding of God’s word stems from our lack of His perspective. Unless God points us in right direction we will never arrive at His desired destination.  People often times, out of hubris; think they can crack these biblical doctrines through sheer force of their intelligence and hard work.  This is simply not so.  The Bible is constructed so that even a fool need not err therein. However, it is a closed book if the proud try to understand His truth by force.  Our minds, when submitted to God, are valid tools to be used in discovering the riches of His word. Yet, let us never overestimate our grey matter when it comes to actually understanding God’s truth.

I Wish We’d All Been Ready by Larry Norman