When is rapture?
The short answer is that no person knows, many have attempted to predict this event throughout history, but no one knows the answer to this question.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is”. Mark 13:31-33
The rapture is the rejoining of the Spirit of a man with his physical body. The body becomes a glorified version of itself, having no blood in it. No blood is also referred to as corruption, meaning decay (1 Thessalonians. 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
Jesus is the “first” to experience this transition, Christians refer to this as the “Rapture” or the “First Advent” of Christ, Jesus’ “first” coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; Matthew 24:40-42; Luke 17:34-36).
In this context, Jesus is also referred to as the “first begotten of the dead”
“From Jesus Christ, who is the faithful and true witness, and the first begotten of the dead” Revelation. 1:5
Jesus being the “first” to be resurrected.
The laws that God has put in place always remain, but there are some laws He creates in order to supersede a law of His own. Man expresses God’s law of gravity in this formula above.
Consider the law of lift, It supersedes the Law of Gravity, as long as you are operating in the law of lift, gravity will not apply, but the moment you cease to operate in the law of lift, you come into immediate subjection to the law of gravity. If a plane loses an engine or power in some way, it will fall out of the sky.
An aspect of death is superseded by the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
However, the application of the rapture is for a small group of people on earth, in a small window of time, that will only be active for the space of a twinkling of an eye, which is to say, it will apply for a fraction of a second, a one off experience if you please.
Other one of a kind moments include the transfiguration, Elijah and Enoch being taken by God, and kept alive for such a long period of time. Jesus being able to go to Paradise and coming out again, all those who were dead and were brought back to life at any time in scripture, are accommodations that God permitted.
The Rapture is distinct from the resurrection because it happens only once and happens to people who are dead, as well as those who are alive at the time of the event. The rapture takes place with dead people first. Both companies go to Heaven in glorified bodies, and both return to earth with Christ during Armageddon.
Those who are raptured are unique in their dispensation, because the living in this group will never experience death like everyone else does. They are transformed alive.
“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 15:52
In some way, this transition must cause physical death and resurrection simultaneously, or within moments of one another. The reason for this assertion is that it is written,
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. Hebrews 9:27
Those experiencing the Rapture alive are unique, having this isolated exception to the way they transition from physical life to Heaven. These will be those who neverentered Heaven in Spirit form without their bodies.
Those from the tribulation, are thought to be reunited with their bodies at the time of the Great White Throne Judgment. This is the only time, according to scripture, that the opportunity is given for such reconciliation.
“And I saw the dead small and great stand before God, and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them” Rev 20:12-13
The sea giving up the dead and death delivering up its dead, refers to the bodies of those dead, being regenerated and given back to those people so they can stand before God, just like the Rapture is played out for the Believers.
Hell delivering up its dead are the Sprits of men who were in Hell all this time having their bodies and Spirits reunited.
When John speaks about,
“the souls of them beheaded for the witness of Christ” Revelation 20:4
He is talking about the people that died during the tribulation and went to Heaven. What John did not say, is that he saw their “bodies”. He used the word “souls”. The Greek word for souls is “Psuche”/ Psoo-Khay, meaning an inanimate breeze, a breath, a sentient in principle only, vitality, life, mind, spirit. The Hebrew word for soul is “Ruwach” meaning by resemblance, breath or unsubstantial, resemblance of a spirit, air, mind, or a breath. Another Hebrew word is “Nephesh”/ Neh-fesh, meaning a breathing creature, ghost, man, mind, will.
This means what John saw were the “Spirits” of those who were in Heaven and the Earth during the thousand year reign of Christ. As such, these people were distinguished from among the other believers as those coming out of the tribulation and did not have bodies. This group is not reconciled with their bodies until after the thousand year reign, and just before the final judgment of God at the Great White Throne. Any other assertion, would be guess work, not Biblical.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” Revelation 16:15
“Behold, I come as a thief”
This refers to Jesus saying that no man knows when he will return, there are two aspects to Christ’s return. The First Advent is the rapture (Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37). Jesus made the distinction that only God alone, not even the Son knows when that is going to occur (Mark 13:32). The Second Advent is the battle of Armageddon (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
“lest he walk naked, and they see his shame”
This refers to those who will go to Heaven out of the tribulation. They will have missed the rapture but are still saved. Being “naked” refers to those who do not have glorified bodies in Heaven or on Earth during the thousand year reign (Revelation 20:4). Those who are saved and come out of the tribulation do not get their glorified bodies until the Great White Throne Judgment when God calls for all the bodies of those in Hell and elsewhere to be reconciled with their spirits. (Revelation 20:13).
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” Revelation 19:20
“And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet”
The Beast is the Anti-Christ.
“These both were cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone”
The important nuance of note is that the False Prophet and the Anti Christ are “alive”when they are cast into the Lake of Fire. They are still in their bodies. When God judges man, we are judged in our original forms as it was always intended. This is why there’s the rapture of the Saints, you must be rejoined with your physical body. Being a spirit in Heaven is an accommodation God made for man because of sin. We are to forever live in our bodies on the Earth. You don’t need your body to be you, but you need your body to be on the planet, ultimately. Even those spirits in Hell, will be joined with their bodies before they are cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:12-15).