Monday, September 22, 2008

The Rapture - is there a resurrection to occur some Years before Christ's Second Coming? Part I

Most believers in the second coming of Christ believe in some form of raising of the righteous at that time. Yet there are those who believe in a raising before that time also. The event of a raising itself is referred to as a "rapture". However some present the idea that there are to be 2 general raptures around the time Christ comes: That Christ will not only have a second coming but also a third coming around that time (before the millennium). This concept of a hidden middle coming of Christ and raising only certain people is referred to by them as "The Rapture".

Those teaching this doctrine (which is gaining in popularity) propose that there will be a seven year tribulation period (I will come to this) before his second (third) coming. Some say that he will come and take the righteous before the seven years and others after three and a half years.

Almost all the Scriptural support quoted for this idea rests in proving the resurrection itself (which isn't in dispute by those not supporting the idea). So this first part of the "evidence" for the pre-rapture concept is like trying to prove that 15-year-olds are too young to drive, by proving that roads exist. Yet a couple of things written in these texts do bear consideration, as there could be some confusion derived from those two statements. I will quote them as a block, and address them all collectively. (This collection were all the New Testament references quoted in the Wikipedia for support, under the subject of the Rapture).

"Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)

"For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever." (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17)

"He [Christ] will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be formed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself." (Philippians 3:21)

"In my Father's house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2–3)

"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left." (Luke 17:30-35)

"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark 13:26-27)

In regard these statements I think it important to set forth the events that are to soon transpire as recorded in Scripture. We have a thousand year period referred to as "the millennium (thousand)", that will commence at Christ's coming to set up a kingdom. At that coming he will destroy the wicked (who will be automatically consumed by his presence). He will take the righteous with him and they will reign in his kingdom. Yet in spite of simplistic comments of sheep and goats we still have people who go on living during the millennium (those who were neither righteous enough to go with him {sheep} nor wicked enough to be destroyed at his coming {goats})(Rev 20:3 & 7-8).

So as some will be left during the millennium and some will be raised at that time, talk of two women grinding etc and one being taken and one left, doesn't prove a pre-rapture. Nor do any of these other texts merely making mention of a resurrection.

Some confusion may exist in that Mark refers to gathering his elect from "the uttermost part of heaven" also. Yet the Scriptures clearly state that many righteous dead were resurrected at the time of Christ (for starters) (Matt 27:52). So, naturally, there are already righteous resurrected people in heaven. Therefore this can't be used to prove a pre-rapture around the time of his second coming, either.

I will quote one other New Testament Scripture that I have seen quoted tongue-in-cheek in support of this concept.

"After this I looked, and, see, 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, and I will show you things which must be hereafter." Rev 4:1

It is claimed that John here represents the church being taken up to heaven for the rapture. However if that were true then this should be written when it is talking just before the opening of the 7th seal (the millennium). Secondly and thirdly not only is there nothing to support such an interpretationn of this verse, but plainly John doesn't represent the church in the rest of the Book of Revelation; thus opposing such an interpretation.

So what does this theory all stem from?

I'll come to that in Part II


Anonymous said...

Don't you mean third coming? I thought the LDS believed there already was a second coming when he showed up in America and talked to the native Americans (who were actually a lost tribe of Israel).

Doug Towers said...


Yes, that is an interesting question. But I would pose that all Bible believers (of which we are one) also believe that Christ came and went for 40 days after his death in Jerusalem (as noted in the book of Acts). He also came to the two on the road to Emmaus. Then he appeared to Paul on the road to Demascus. He appeared to the disciples when they were gathered together in the room. He appeared to mary at the tomb. He appeared to Peter and those with him running to the tomb. And he appeared again with Thomas present. So by the time he came to the Americas I guess as LDS we would have to say that it may have been closer to around his fiftieth coming.

The interesting points of Scripture.

Thomas Atkinson said...

very good stuff u got here :) I think we should have a link to it on the ward website!

Hey I have an idea about something that might interest you aswell...

If you send me an email at, I'l explain in more detail what its about.

Keep up the good work on the blogging!

Doug Towers said...


Glad you find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

To understand what is meant by God in reference to raising people and the various times in which that occurs, we must have an understanding of God's Plan.

And more specifically, the plan He has for our generation to be the one to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Mention made in Isaiah of the Lord suddenly appearing in His Temple definately depicts a precursury event that preceeds the second coming.

So too dose the raising of an elect group of Saints, presupose the First General Resurection of raising the Saints at the second coming.

This is done for the purpose of preparing for that great event.

There are always foreshadowing types to depict an ultimate reality.

The raising of the 144,000 chosen by God to facillitate the building of Zion and accomplishing it's goals, is what others mistakenly believe to be a "Rapture" that removes God's people from harms way by taking them to Heaven.

This is a false assumption. The scriptures tell us that we need to be placed in harms way for the purpose of sanctifying our alliegence to God and our true selves.

But there are a select few among us ( the 144,000 ) who are currently meeting ALL the requirements to prove their alliegance to God.

THEY will be the ones spared the trials to come by already having passed the test.

They at some point prior to the rest of us having to futher prove ourselves to God, will be lifted to Heaven where they will be empowered and commissioned by God to return and assist the rest of us who where less valiant in our testimonies.

It will be a bear for those of us who do not ascend to their level before the great judgements of God come upon the world.

It will be scary and uncertain for us and our only hope is for us to follow those whom God sends from that exaulted level to help us reach their own level through proving ourselves in the trials to come.

Their being lifted to that exhauted level of Terrestrial power, will become the foreshadowing type for the First General Resurection to occur at the Lord's final coming.

If we as members don't understand that this IS what constitutes the Lord's Plan for our generation, then we will find ourselves among those who will be needing assistance.

Doug Towers said...


I am interested in where you have read that the 144,000 will rise before the ushering in of the millenium? I haven't read that anywhere in the Scriptures.

If we are to believe in a final general gathering to a Zion, then some of them would be necessary to protect the women and children. What is more is that we have the question of why God would remove them from their families for any time at all (as an entire group).

I'd also see them as having to have Celesial power, not Terrestial. If these people haven't built the power within them by that time to at least move worlds then when will they?

But I certainly agree that by knowing what God has in mind for us helps us to help others. It also helps us to understand why we should do that which he asks. That helps us in obeying it.

Thanks for the input.

The Rapture said...

The word (From) in Greek is as “out of” (Greek word, ek)

The Bride of Christ

Revelation 3:10
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee (from, Greek, ek- out of) The (hour, Greek, hora- season) of (temptation, Greek, peirasmos- adversity or tribulation) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Saved Now, and From (out of) The Tribulation.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and (keep you (from) evil. AMEN.

The Rapture
I have removed your advert for your site, as while I support your right to say it, I don't support what you are saying.

However, I have kept the rest of your comment intact.

Doug Towers said...

The Rapture

In regard Rev 3:10 _

"I don't pray that you should take them [his followers] out of the world, but that you would keep them for the evil one." John 17:15

This states that Christ isn't into removing his followers from the earth as an answer to coming problems.

"According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." 1 Thess 4:15

So those who are alive won't be raptured before the dead. Note that he states "we". Therefore he wasn't anticipating any early rapture where they would be taken before the resurrection of those already "fallen asleep" (dead).

When giving the parable of the sower Christ says in regard the wicked and the righteous_

"Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather together the tares first, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." Matt 13:30

This presents that Christ will destroy the wicked BEFORE gathering the righteous. It also presents that both should grow TOGETHER (i.e. not be separated until the final harvest).

Matthew chapter 24 contains signs of Christ's second coming. It talks of all the wars, pestilences and earthquakes we should anticipate. It talks of the "abomination that makes desolate" (or "abomination of desolation"). It talks of great tribulation.

Yet before it gets to the tribulation and abomination of desolation to come, it states,

"But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved." (verse 13)

This suggests that the person is already a believer and needs to endure through the whole thing until the end - not to some pre-rapture.

2 Thess 3:3 also has the same rules. You are claiming that God's promise to be with and preserve them has to have him taking them up to heaven. But this still has him separating the wheat from the tares, which won't happen until the final harvest.