(Originally published on November 15th, 2016 on my Facebook page I Don’t Care If Anyone Reads This)
Here is the verses for this study.
1 Thessalonians. 4:16-17 “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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpagesometha) together with them in the clouds, to meet (apantesis) the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
There are going to be 5 sections to this particular study that is referring to these particular verses. When its all said and done, you should see the bigger picture about the timing of the bodily resurrection and why the term “rapture” is not only false but the wrong word to use entirely. The final trumpet is just that, the trump of God. I will also have a second study that is associated with 2 Thessalonians when referring to those “remaining”. It will be on the 153 fish that Peter caught.
(1) Imagine that I was in a canyon hiking with my daughter where it was prone to flooding. It started out to be a nice day and we thought we would enjoy a nice walk. It started to get cloudy and then it started to sprinkle. We weren’t too worried because it was a light rain. We walked a little further and it started to get darker and darker and the rain really started to come down. I told her that we need to get out of the canyon just in case of a flash flood. By the time i said it, it was too late. The waters came rushing like a torrent and we were both swept away. I managed to climb on the edge but she was swept down by this uncontrollable force of water. I ran as fast as i could to get in front of her so i could snatch her out before she drowned, before time would run out and it was too late. I was able to get ahead and violently, with all the strength and force i had, plucked her out of the flood. I broke her arm in the process of catching her up into my arms. Thankfully the worst thing that she had gotten was a broken arm through our trial and tribulation. She was finally safe.
So what is the point of this story? This is an analogy for 1st Thessalonians 4:17. The majority of Christianity sees this word “harpagésómetha” as the “rapture of the church”. It’s defined as “to seize, carry off by force, claim for one’s self eagerly, to snatch out or away”. This snatching away or being ‘caught up’ is from a calamity that has come upon the earth. A great tribulation if you will. Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-22 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Time is short and a seizing by force is needed in order for anyone to be saved. And that doesn’t disqualify anyone from getting hurt to stay alive. It will take the Resurrection in the last day to save those who are alive…just like Jesus said. Just like Paul said. The resurrection is in the last day not the “rapture”. Why would God need to pull you out of a time of tribulation if… according to the pre-trib view, it was to start as a time of peace? He wouldn’t. He only takes us when it is His perfect time and everything comes to an end. That’s why no man will know the day or hour. Only the Father. As a father of a child, i would risk life and limb for my daughter, no matter if i had gotten hurt or she got hurt on the process. As long as she was pulled to safety, there is no issue. Because we would be safe. That’s the same with God protecting those who are His in the last days. If it is His will that we stay protected from persecution, then that is His will. I’m not to question that. So look for that Blessed Hope of His coming. Your going to be disappointed when your still here with us questioning everything you thought you knew.
(2) The original Greek doesn’t actually use ‘harpazo’ (ἁρπάζω), but instead Paul uses the word ‘harpagesometha’ (αρπαγησομεθα). Jerome translated ‘harpagesometha’ (Second person future passive indicative) into the word ‘rapiemur’ (first-person plural future passive indicative) of rapiō,“we shall be snatched, we shall be grabbed, we shall be carried off”. It went from 2nd person to a 1st person plural? But, but, but…isn’t rapture in Latin ‘rapturo’? No it isn’t. Most people will then say that all these words (in Latin) mean the same and it just refers to different tenses and phrasing of the words. Wrong again. Cell doesn’t mean sale doesn’t mean sail doesn’t mean sell now does it? Confused yet? Yeah, they want to make it seem like its not confusing and they are all the same words. I suggest you read the rest of my article here @ https://hiddeninthecrag.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-rapture-definetly-not-our-blessed-hope/
Now let’s look at another word that is connected to harpagesometha. This word is apantesis.
(3) Have you ever had family or friends you hadn’t seen in years, pull up to your house, and instead of waiting that they come to the door, you meet them outside and welcome them…we all have. This is an exciting time when you have anticipated someones visit and they finally arrive. Sometimes you can’t even contain yourself with the joy of seeing them again and you just have to greet them as soon as they get out of the car! Once you MEET them outside if your house you then welcome them back into your house. Right? This is how Paul talks about The Resurrection and the Second Coming of Jesus…not the rapture.
Here is an excerpt from ICA blog regarding this word ‘apantesis’ which is translated meet in English.
“Now here is something very important that many Bible prophecy teachers do not take the time to fully explore. The word “meet” in 1 Thess 4:16-17 is the Greek word “apantesis”, and this word only occurs here and in three other places. In “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, “The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage.” And indeed it does! In Matthew 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of “apantesis”, the escort back is virtually immediate. We don’t have them going out to meet the subject, then going to where the subject came from for months or years, and then escorting the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are — earth.
Zechariah 14:4-5, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.“
In Greek culture the word “apantesis” had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming. For instance, when a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the “apantesis.” The Early Church Father John Chrysostom (347-407) comments on this passage by saying the following: “If he (Christ) is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge…“.”
– ICA ( Midnight Watcher Blog)
(4) A couple of interesting things about 1st Thessalonians 4:17. The word for clouds is νεφέλαις (nephelais) and its used one other time in Mark 13:26. And the word air (to meet Him in the air) is ἀέρα (aera) and its used 5 times. John uses this in Revelation 16:17 “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” After Armageddon. At the 7th vial. And we see a great earthquake. Rev 16:18 “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” I see Zechariah’s prophecy as a literal shaking when Jesus returns on the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:4 “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Is this all connected? I guess it all depends on how your view of eschatalogy is. And here is a good parallel from Mark 13 and Revelation 16 that ties into 1st Thesalonians 5. Mar 13:35-37 “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: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Rev 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” And one last thing that is pretty cool is that the term ‘we will be’ – ἐσόμεθα (esometha) refers to the Resurrection. For some odd reason Strong’s numbered this word as 2071 (and threw in an extra 3842) and the interlinear greek numbered it at 1510 as one word. I have seen strong’s do this a few times before that doesn’t help the translation. When you look at it from the Greek standpoint it makes alot more sense. Either way, the word is “esometha”. Romans 6:5 “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be (esometha) also in the likeness of his resurrection:” and 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be (esometha): but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be (esometha)like him; for we shall see him as he is “.
(5) So I’m assuming you read Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible since you like to throw this “rapture” word around. This is an excellent book on this subject. If you can read the Bible, precept upon precept, line upon line, then you have no need for these books. I only tell you about these books because this man is someone who does read his Bible. “Our blessed hope is the one and only glorious coming of Jesus to resurrect and judge the saints and reward all those He raises with our glorified bodies when we become spirit beings imbued with eternal life. When we receive our glorified body we will remain with Jesus and all His angels as they engage in war and defeat all His enemies whether they are flesh or spirit. Jesus returns to the Earth once, not twice, but once for He will indeed come again, but not again and again…Those who are alive upon the Earth at the one and only second coming of Jesus rise up to meet Jesus in the air and Scripture calls this miraculous event the ‘harpazo’of the believers. The word rapture is nowhere to be found in Scripture because it simply does not belong there for the bible teaches no such thing. One must turn to the Latin Vulgate translation of Scripture to find the Latin word ‘rapturio’which is the translation of the Greek harpazo. This rapture teaching is not reduced to merely a translation issue but oh how I wish it were for then this book would be unnecessary for there is no Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic terms or concepts anywhere Scripture to justify such an apostate theological teaching as rapture. Let’s call it for what it is, a mystical, non-biblical teaching that usurps and twists the resurrection of the believers into a secret and unseen event of whisking them away to heaven for the expressed purpose to avoid end-times tribulation. Even those that teach a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture have departed from Scripture….Simply because a false teaching is popular; is the focus of many profitable books and movies; that does not make it any less apostate.” “The Rupture of Rapture: Our Blessed Hope is Resurrection, Not Rapture” by Michael Bollenbach