The Rapture :: By Pete Garcia

Over the years, I’ve read close to a thousand articles pertaining to the Rapture of the Church. I’ve watched hundreds of videos of speakers expound on this topic. I don’t know where to begin on how many sermons I’ve listened too…and to many of those teachers and preachers…we (those of us who benefit from their diligence) are indebted. God has blessed many Godly men in putting to terms things many of us have missed or maybe not understood. And just when I thought I’d heard them all, God reveals something new about this subject to me.

The Marriage

First, the Rapture must be distinguished from the gathering by the Angels that is found in Matthew 24:31 “Olivet Discourse”. The Olivet Discourse was given in three of the four Gospels because of their intended audience. It is not given in the Gospel of John, which many experts understand is the Gospel written to the Church. The Church does not go through the Tribulation, hence instead of an Olivet Discourse; we have the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-17).

In Paul’s epistle to the church in Thessalonica, Christ Himself descends in the same manner in which He ascended (Acts 1:9-11) and gathers the Church unto Himself…He doesn’t have the angels gather His Bride. Since we can model Christ’s return for His Church along the lines of a Jewish wedding, would a Jewish groom send his servants to gather his bride…or would he do it himself?

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

A Shout: The three times that the New Testament records Jesus shouts in the New Testament, notice what happens:

-One man, Lazarus resurrected (JN 11:43)

-Many tombs opened and dead saints resurrected (MATT 27:46, 52)

-Millions resurrected. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Christ’s verbal command is powerful enough to raise the dead because Christ, having been resurrected, holds the keys to death and hell and is singularly able to command death to obey His voice.

Voice of an Archangel: Daniel 10:21, 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7 refer to a powerful Archangel named Michael. In Daniel 12:1, Daniel is told…“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;”

Since Scripture has mentioned that there are fallen angels who hold their demonic sway over places on this planet (ie…prince of Persia and Grecia), there are is also angelic ones. Michael the Archangel, the most powerful angel, stands guard over Israel. Scriptures do not say what he has done these last 2,000 years, but at God’s command, he stands his post over the tiny nation. This is just some holy speculation on my part, but at the Rapture, as the Church goes up, Michael’s announcement that is shouted from the Heavens, could be to the nation Israel that Daniel’s 70th week is about to begin. Or, it could be as Clarence Larkin has suggested that similar to when Michael and Satan contended over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9)…a command is given to the heavenly armies to keep the enemy at bay while the Rapture transpires. According to Paul, Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:1-3) and as would be the case, we would be transitioning right through the heart of enemy territory.

Trumpet of God: We can see in Exodus 19:12-20, that at the blast of the ‘trump of God’, the Israelites were assembled for the first time as a nation before Moses went up the smoking, trembling mountain. Later, in Leviticus 23:23-25, Moses is explaining the Feast of Trumpets, which would begin on the first day of the seventh month. With the first three feasts literally fulfilled in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the remaining four feasts in the prophetic calendar are waiting, yet to be fulfilled. Although the Church is not tied to any particular feast, it would not be surprising though if it did transpire on or near the Feast of Trumpets (September).

In Numbers 10:1-8, two trumpet blasts meant it was time for the Israelites to pick up and move. When our Trumpet blasts, it will be time for us to leave and head to our eternal home. I can’t help but think that the Rapture will not only signal it’s time for the Church age to end, being called to move out of this world, being assembled in the sky, for the purpose of entering into our Sabbath, which is found in Jesus Christ.

The Living Saints

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the ‘harpazo’ primarily deals with answering the troubling question about what happened to those brothers and sisters in Christ who had already died. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he primarily deals with the instantaneous transformation of the living. We in our fleshly tents cannot enter heaven; our bodies could not physically survive it. We have to be transformed into our glorified bodies. In fact, instead of using the letter to comfort one another, Paul ends this Corinthians letter an almost exuberant declaration….”Death is swallowed up in victory.”

The Magnet

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3

A magnet works in a loop, with the magnetic field (electrons) constantly flowing out of the north pole and into a south pole. It is amazing to watch a decent size magnet being hung over a pile of nails and watch them get yanked up to meet the magnet. A compass needle is a free-floating magnet, and will at every turn, point to magnetic north. In a way, I think that our sealing by the Holy Spirit has something to do with this. Our spiritual compass will always point us to God, no matter which way we try to turn. We may continue on the wrong path, but the needle doesn’t lie. When Christ stated that He would ‘receive us unto Himself’, we are made of the same Spiritual material through the Holy Spirit, being caught up as those nails are to an irresistible magnet that draws us unto Himself. When that Shout, Voice, and Trumpet call out to us believers (alive and dead), we will be snatched up to meet the Lord in the air.

As we await the return of our Lord and Savior, think about how God longs to once again walk amongst His people, as it was in the cool of the day in the garden. Then, consider the longsuffering and patience of God, delaying His return so that as many will come, will turn and seek Him as their salvation. As we see the signs approaching with ever increasing intensity and frequency that mark the beginning of the Tribulation, lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh and then we will hear…

Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past. Isaiah 26:20


Thanks to Pastor Tim Fellure (Victory Baptist Church), JD Farag (Calvary Chapel Kaneoehe), and Clarence Larkin in which much of this material comes from. Thank you gentlemen for your insight into the Scriptures!