An In-depth Look at the Rapture – by Alan Yusko


Note from Kate: Before you read Mr. Yusko’s study, let me clarify the Pre-Tribulation viewpoint. Post and Mid Trib proponents claim that the Pre-Trib theory was only recently “invented,” however, please note the year that Pseudo-Ephraim wrote this Pre-Trib statement in about 300 AD:

All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.

-Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627)

Now on with Bro. Yusko’s study:

Start with Dan 9

– This lays the foundation for all Bible prophecy

– If a person understands the 70 weeks prophecy they will not be confused with all the wrong views of prophecy “out there”.

– We will cover the 70 week prophecy and see where the rapture fits in.

Daniel 9
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

**Note: notice that the 70 weeks are ‘determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city’. This is the Jewish people of Israel and Jerusalem. (not the Church)

Notice that 70 Weeks of years (490 years) are determined upon the people of Israel accomplish these 5 goals:

– finish the transgression (between God and Israel)
– to make an end of sins
– to make reconciliation for iniquity
– to bring in everlasting righteousness
– to seal up the vision and prophecy
– to anoint the most Holy (The Lord Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom)

All this has NOT yet been fulfilled. It will yet be fulfilled upon the nation of Israel just like Daniel was told.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

These verses are talking about the 7 weeks and 62 weeks of years which add up to 69 weeks.

Verse 26… at the end of the 69th week the Messiah will be cut off.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Points to consider:

– The prophetic 70 weeks stopped at the rejection and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Messiah.

– That occurred after 69 weeks or 483 years.

– There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week. Unknown to Daniel but known to us today

– The church began at Pentecost where the Holy Spirit infilled believers. Believers became the body and bride with the Lord Jesus as the head.

– God has been using the Church (invisible body of Christ) during this gap as the salt of the earth and the restrainer of evil. The antichrist cannot rise to power with the church in the world.

– After the rapture the restrainer of evil is removed and the antichrist rises to power and Israel enters their 70th week. This time is also referred to as the time of Jacobs trouble or the Tribulation period. The restrainer is the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church.

– The Holy Spirit is omnipresent and cannot be removed. The Church is not and will be removed at the rapture.

– The existence of the church in the world prevents the 70th week from beginning. If the antichrist cannot rise to power the 70th week cannot begin.

WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?

What exactly is the rapture and what does the Bible say about it?

Most Christians have heard the term and the unsaved don’t know what a Christian is talking about.

Here are the foundational verses in the Bible that describe the rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4
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.

What is the rapture? The answer is this: It is a description of an event that will occur when God removes His Church supernaturally from the earth. Christians will literally disappear as they are called up to the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. There will be one generation living on earth that will not know physical death but will be instantly translated into the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the rapture each Christian will be transformed and receive their eternal resurrection body.

Lets look a bit more closely at the Scriptures previously quoted about the rapture starting with 1 Thess 4:

1 Thess 4
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.

This verse is by the “word of the Lord”. The event of the rapture is a fact and it is coming by the authority of the Word of the Lord.

Next, we are told that there will be some Christians alive when the Lord Jesus returns at the rapture. This verse also mentions Christians that are asleep or who have previously died.

This hints at a great reunion at the rapture. Those living will meet their Christian loved ones and friends who have previously died.

There is also an order to the rapture where God will honor the dead in Christ first. The order is this:
1) first the dead in Christ are resurrected
2) second those who are alive on earth are resurrected.

The Lord is very detailed. The rapture will occur very fast. In just a fraction of a second, it will be over. Yet the Lord will order those who will be raptured/resurrected first and second. This shows the amazing precision of the Lord as He exercises His almighty power.

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:

Here we are told that the dead in Christ will be given their eternal resurrection bodies first. Remember the order of events hinted at in verse 15 First the dead in Christ then secondly the living.

We are also told that the Lord Jesus will come Himself and will give a shout – a command: possibly ‘come up hither’ see Rev 4. The rapture occurs as a result of a command from the Lord.

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.

We are told that Christians still alive will be given their resurrection body as well in the rapture. All the raptured Christians (alive and previously dead) will meet in the air in the clouds. There Christians will meet the Lord Jesus and have a great reunion with each other.

This verse also uses the term “caught up” when referring to the living Christians in the rapture. What does ‘caught up’ mean? It literally means to be caught up, to snatch out, or to seize. God will use His almighty power in the rapture!

Here is another thought to consider. Some may say that the word ‘rapture’ is not found in the Bible therefore, it cannot be true. Consider this, the word ‘Bible’ and the word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible either. However, the concepts certainly are found in the Bible. The rapture describes a Biblical event. The concept of the rapture is found in the Bible even though the actual word ‘rapture’ is not. In verse 17 above the rapture is described by the words “caught up”. A person would be correct by calling this Biblical event the catching up of the Church. However, the term rapture is shorter and it describes the same concept.

In the rapture, the Lord Jesus will not set foot on earth but will rather call Christians up to Himself in the clouds to meet Him there. This can be contrasted with His second coming when the Lord will set foot on earth at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. At that time everyone saved and lost will see Him return. However, at the rapture, only blood bought Spirit reborn saved Christians will see the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds. As a result, we clearly have two separate events

1) The rapture when Jesus meets the Church in the air and takes them to heaven and
2) The Second Coming which occurs at the battle of Armageddon. At the battle of Armageddon, the Lord Jesus comes back to earth at the mount of Olives in Jerusalem and sets up His Kingdom.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

-This teaching of the rapture is a comfort to God’s people
– comfort in trials of all kinds
– comfort with the death of loved ones

Next, lets look at the rapture in 1 Cor 15:

1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

The rapture is a mystery that God through the Apostle Paul has revealed.

The next question is: What is a mystery? Well a mystery is a new truth. Something not previously known or revealed. Further thoughts on the mystery of the rapture are:

– Could the mystery be the second coming of Jesus? No as the disciples and Christians already knew that Jesus would return again. Look at Acts 1:9-11 where the Lord Jesus is taken to heaven. The Lord will return in like manner, bodily, physically. His Second coming is nothing new.

– Could the mystery be the general resurrection of all believers? No! God had already revealed that: See Daniel 12:2, Heb 11:17-19 Job 19:25-27. It was general knowledge that there would be a general resurrection of the righteous and the damned.

So then what is the mystery, the new truth that God through Paul is revealing? Verse 51 tells what the mystery is. ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed’.

1) We shall not all sleep. This means there is a generation of believers that will not die physically but will go straight to heaven. That is certainly new and unrevealed information!

Here is an interesting point….. What does sleep mean? Why did the Lord Jesus and His disciples use the term sleep as opposed to dead? Well the word sleep in their culture also included the fact that the dead person had a future. Death is not a final thing but there is a glorious future for the believer after physical death.

2) we shall all be changed. This literally means we shall be transformed. All born again, blood bought Christians will be given a new body. It will be a resurrected body of flesh and bones. The believer will have a heavenly body just like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection.

So to sum up verse 51…. what is the mystery? The mystery is that there is one generation that will not die physical death but will be instantly transformed into their resurrection body as they meet the Lord in the clouds at the rapture. What a glorious way to go to heaven!

If you had a choice, which way would you prefer to go to heaven?…by death or rapture? What a glorious new truth and a blessed hope!

Lets look at another aspect of the rapture: How long will the rapture take?

Verse 52 answers this question:

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

How long will the rapture take? The rapture will be just a moment or a twinkling of an eye. How long is a moment or a twinkling of an eye? It will be so quick that the time frame cannot be humanly divided. The rapture will be instant in a small fraction of a second! For example take 1 second and divide it up into 1000 tiny sections of time. The rapture will be faster that 1 of those small sections of time! Remember the precision of the rapture.

RAISED and CHANGED

The dead = raised
We the living = changed

We are given new resurrection bodies suited for heaven

A body just like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection.

Therefore: rapture is joy and a hope.
– new body (no sickness, pain, death)
– Forever with the Lord and see Him face to face to face!

Lets read further:

1 Corinthians 15
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Our new bodies will be eternal, incorruptible, and glorious! This is compared to our current mortal and corruptible bodies prone to sickness, pain, and death.

Death will be no more. This is what that statement “Death is swallowed up in victory” means.

The rapture is a blessed hope and the rapture is going to occur soon!

WHO WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE RAPTURE?

The answer is simple. Only those who have trusted/accepted the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will be a part of the rapture. In this world there are only two types of people: SAVED or LOST. Which category do you fit in? Only the saved people will be going up in the rapture.

John 3
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Notice that only those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus are saved.

All others are lost and will die in their sins and perish forever in the lake of fire. The rapture is only for saved people who have their sins washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus. Saved people have trusted in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation!

So, all saved people will be included in the rapture. The lost will be left behind to go through the terrible reign of the antichrist and all the judgments of God found in the book of Revelation.

Only requirement for the rapture is salvation. All saved people will be raptured

1 John 1
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

– Look at the word … all
– what does all mean
– how many sins were future when the Lord Jesus died

Rom 4
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

– this talks of imputed righteousness
– The Lord Jesus bore our sin on the cross – we have imputed righteousness.
– we all stand before God because of the merits of the Lord Jesus

WATCH AND BE READY! NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR

The Bible speaks of an unknown time when the Lord Jesus will return. Many will be found asleep and caught by surprise. These people thought the Lord would delay His coming and got distracted with the things of the world such as: the quest for wealth and money, love of entertainment, and other worldly pursuits. The end result is the sudden return of the Lord Jesus!

Here are some verses that describe the unknown time of the return of the Lord Jesus:

Matthew 24
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

– datesetter warning
– fancy date model, plug in stuff out comes a date (always wrong)

37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

– rapture will be on a routine day
– the battle of armageddon will not be routine after the 7 seals 7 trumpets and 7 bowls of God’s wrath are poured out upon the earth.

down to verse 42

42 WATCH THEREFORE: FOR YE KNOW NOT WHAT HOUR YOUR LORD DOTH COME.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

– watch and be ready
– do not be caught sleeping with eyes on worldly affairs, affections, or treasures
– like the arrival of a thief

This command to watch and be ready is repeated again and again. The Lord does not want His people to be caught by surprise. Therefore, God’s people are warned to watch and be ready.

Matthew 25
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.

v36 another warning not to be found sleeping

Here is another point that the Lord reveals in the below verses.

Luke 12
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find [them] so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 BE YE THEREFORE READY ALSO: FOR THE SON OF MAN COMETH AT AN HOUR WHEN YE THINK NOT.

Notice verse 40. The Lord warns that He will come at a time when He is not expected. This means life will be routine when the rapture occurs.

The Lord will not come in the midst of a nuclear war when things are falling apart and massive numbers of people are dying.

Instead, the Lord will return on a routine day. People will get up after a night’s sleep and get ready for the activities of that day. They may work, buy, sell, marry or whatever. Others will still be sleeping in the middle of the night! Life will be normal and routine. The strong warning from the Lord is to watch and be ready because on such a day He will suddenly return to rapture home His people.

– Verse 37 above says “Blessed” are those servants who are ready and watching when the Lord suddenly returns. This means that not everyone will be sleeping and caught up with worldly pursuits. Some of God’s people will be wide awake and watching for the return of their Lord.

To those people the Lord says: Blessed!

A CROWN FOR WATCHING FOR THE RAPTURE

– after the rapture — resurrection and great renuion
– bema reward judgment (not for sins – the blood covers that)
– crowns are one such reward

Paul speaking…
2 Tim 4
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The above verse states that everyone who watches, waits, and loves His appearing will receive a crown of righteousness. This is a great blessing from the Lord! All that is required to receive this crown is for Christians to watch, wait, and look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus.

– I want everyone to get that crown at the bema judgment!

SEE THE DAY COMING!

Below is another unique promise in the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 5
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6. Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us WATCH AND BE SOBER.

– verse 4 where we are told that that day (the return of the Lord) should not overtake us like a thief. Here is what it means. Even though we cannot know the exact day, we can see the day coming. As we look at Bible prophecy and world events we can see the final prophecies getting ready to be fulfilled. This means the rapture must be very close!

Christians have great incentive to stay awake and watch for the return of the Lord because Christians can see the setups of the end time Bible prophecies. All this points to the nearness of the rapture. Therefore, watch and be ready!

1 Peter 4
7 BUT THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND: be ye therefore sober, and WATCH UNTO PRAYER.

CONCLUSION

We covered:
– basics of the rapture including Dan 9
– how long will it take
– who will be included in the rapture
– the exhortation to watch and be ready because the rapture will occur suddenly and unexpectedly.

THE RAPTURE IS OUR BLESSED HOPE

Titus 2
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

The rapture is a blessed hope to the Christian. Watching for and expecting the rapture is a blessed hope that encourages a person to stay close to the Lord.

A person watching daily for the rapture will go on with life but be constantly looking for the return of the Lord each day. This blessed hope also has a purifying effect. A person will not get caught up in worldliness or wrong things if he thinks His Lord could come back at any moment.

This message covers the blessing for a Christian who will be found by the Lord watching when the rapture occurs.

The Lord calls that person, “blessed”! I would say it is a good personal goal for ones life! Make it your hearts goal and desire to be ready and watching when the rapture occurs. This way you will not be caught by surprise when the rapture occurs in the very near future!

Rev 22
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Closing…

Prov 14
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The time is short! Feel free to post this on web pages, to mail it to people, print it, publically teach it, or to send it into email newsgroups on the internet. This means it may be freely posted, printed, or transmitted in any way. Use it for the glory of the Lord!

Get the message out! Judgment is coming and it has already started! It is long past time to repent and get right with God! The Lord Jesus (second person of the Trinity and God in human flesh) is the Only Saviour. Come to Him today before it is too late for you!

An in-depth look at the Rapture!
By Alan Yusko

– feel free to copy, print, or to use this sermon outline as a sermon message.

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About Maranatha

Desire to be a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ and to lead others to Him!
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One Response to An In-depth Look at the Rapture – by Alan Yusko

  1. Deby says:

    I am Rapture Ready as of Sept 30th last year (it’s on my blog).
    Praise the Lord.
    Deby

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