Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Date of the Rapture

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

Here recently a man by the name of Harold Camping guessed wrong at the date of the Rapture. His first guess was that it would take place in 1994 and his last guess was on May 21, 2011. If anyone researches this man's beliefs, you will see that he is a heretic and cannot be taken seriously. That being said, I do not believe it is wrong to guess at the date of the Rapture. In fact, there has been some godly, saved men to guess wrong at the date of the Rapture. Harold Camping is a heretic not because he guessed at the date of the Rapture, but because of his other false doctrines, such as believing Michael the archangel is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many Christians use the below verse to prove that it is wrong to guess at the time of Christ's coming. Keep in mind this verse is not referring to the Rapture, rather the Second Coming, which is around 7 years(Tribulation) after the Rapture if the Tribulation starts right after the Rapture. The events in order are: Rapture, 7 year Tribulation, Second Coming.

Mark 13:32 "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."

The above verse says that not even Jesus Christ knew the day of His coming, but keep in mind that was when Jesus Christ was on the earth in human flesh. When Jesus Christ was in the flesh his humanity was not omniscient about everything. I believe that right now Jesus Christ who is on the right hand of God knows the day of His coming.

After Jesus' earthly ministry, He met on the mountain top with his disciples. His disciples asked Him then if the time of His coming had arrived. Jesus responded with the below verse. Notice that Jesus does not respond by saying He does not know.

Acts 1:7 "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

At that time, the disciples did not know the times or seasons, but later on Paul reveals something to the Christians. Paul tells them that they CAN now know the times and the seasons for Christ's coming.

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."

So it is obvious that things have changed since Jesus Christ was in the flesh on the earth concerning this subject. If this is hard for you to understand then here is an example. Say I sent you an e-mail that said that I did not know the time when I could visit you. Then time passed and I sent you another e-mail that said that you can know the time when I am visiting you. It is the same way with Jesus telling us that he did not know in the flesh, but later revealed to Paul that we CAN know the times and seasons.

We know that 1 Thess. 5:1-6 teaches that we can know because Jesus says that we are to watch for His coming, so that if a person knew the time then Christ would not overtake that church as a thief.

Matthew 24:42 "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."

The church of Sardis is warned that if they do not watch for the coming of Christ then Christ would overtake that church as a thief.

Revelation 3:3 "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."

Then going back to 1 Thess. 5:1-6, Paul warns them to watch for the coming of Jesus Christ and not to let Him overtake them as a thief. When he said that he told the Christians to be aware of the times and seasons, which means we CAN know them now.

The only way a Christian can know the date of the Rapture is by using the King James Bible, which is inspired by God himself. We are told that the Father knows the time of His Son's coming (Matthew 13:32). If we are saved, we KNOW the Father through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:27 "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

What Jesus Christ said about no man knowing the hour of His coming was referred to in a parable.

Luke 12:40 "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?"

Then in John 16:25, it tells us that everything that Jesus spoke about the Father would no longer be in parables, rather shown openly to Christians.

John 16:25 "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father."

So as Christians we know the Father and the Holy Spirit reveals to us what the Father says through His word, which is the Bible (1 Cor. 2:20, John 14:24-26, 16:13-15).

2 Peter 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

With all that said, man ALONE cannot know the date of the Rapture, but a saved man with the Holy Spirit inside him, who knows the Father through the Son can know the time of Christ's coming by searching the scriptures.

By just reading Mark 13:32 alone, one would think that we could never know the date of the Rapture, but when comparing scripture with scripture it is proven that we can know.

Even though God has concealed some things, searching the scriptures to find it out is the honor of a Christian. It is not wrong or cultish to try to find things out, such as the date of the Rapture, especially when it is done by using the King James Bible.

Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."

Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."

Enoch knew the timing of God's judgment, right after his son died, who's name is Methusaleh, which means "when he dies judgment will come" in Hebrew (Genesis 5:22). The sons of the prophets and Elisha knew the exact day that Elijah would be raptured (2 Kings 2:1-3). Then Daniel 9:25-27 deals with the time of Christ's coming and Daniel's Seventieth Week. If you would like to study Daniel 9:25-27 in depth, I recommend checking out Clarence Larkin's books called "Dispensational Truth" and "The Book of Daniel".

I do not know the exact date of the Rapture, but what I do know is that it is very close because of the prophecies of the last days of the Church Age are already here. The prophesies are given in 2 Timothy 3:1-13. Take the time to read the verses and you will see that those days are already here. Another thing that tells me that the Rapture is close is that we are in the last church age called the Laodicean church age, which started in 1900 A.D. We know this is the Laodicean church age because Laodicean means "civil rights of the people". Not only that, but the church is described as apostate, worldly and brags about being rich with goods, while they are poor spiritually.

Revelation 3:14 "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

A sign of the end days of the Church Age is also apostasy and people not enduring sound doctrine. Right before the Rapture people will turn to fables instead of the truth. That is right now!

2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Before the Rapture, there will be a falling away first and that is happening now. We know this is referring to the Rapture because it is called "our gathering together unto him".

2 Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

The below verses are a reference to the the Rapture of the Bride, which is the Church. Verses 11-13 tell us the months it could take place. Verse 11 tells us it could not be winter, so that cancels out December through February. The rain is over and gone, so it's not April. Verse 12 says the flowers appear on the earth. There is a saying that goes like this, "April showers bring May flowers." Verse 13 shows that it will be in late spring leading into summer (Matthew 24:32). So it is very possible that the Rapture will be in either May or June.

Song of Solomon 2:10 "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; 13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Something to know when trying to figure out when the Rapture is coming is to realize that the verses in Matthew 24 are not referring to the Rapture, rather the coming of the Second Advent. Many people get this confused and believe these signs are for the Rapture. It is clear that this chapter is talking about signs that happen during the Tribulation. The Church is already raptured before the 7 year Tribulation. Matthew 24:31 refers to a Tribulation Saint Rapture, not a Church Age Rapture.

Matthew 24:21 "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

I believe the Rapture is one of those things to come that the Holy Spirit can reveal to us, if we search the scriptures hard enough.

While we are talking about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will mention one of the crowns that can be received at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). The Crown of Righteousness is given to people that love the Lord's appearing. If you are happy that Jesus Christ is coming back one day then you will receive this crown. This crown will be given to the people that pray "..Even so, come, Lord Jesus."(Revelation 22:20)

2 Timothy 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."

Finally, it is hard to guess the date of the Rapture because we do not know if our calendar is right or not. When one studies the history of calendars, they will see that our calendars are not always accurate. People in the past like Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory have realigned the calendars to different dates, so it is hard to know if a guess is right or not. Either way, I hope the Lord Jesus Christ comes to get us soon. If you are lost please trust the Lord Jesus Christ today before it is eternally too late. If you are saved please witness to your lost friends while you have the chance because time is running out. In the days of Noah, I am sure the people of his time thought he was crazy when he talked about a flood that would destroy the earth. The next event is the Rapture and if you are not saved, you will be left behind to go into the Tribulation and the chances of getting saved then are very slim. If you get left behind do not take the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:17, 14:9-10). People today think that the Rapture and Tribulation is crazy talk, but both are Bible truths that will come to pass just like the flood of Noah.

Revelation 22:20: "..Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."