First and foremost, we must appreciate how the rapture is an occurrence the Christian community believes will mark the end and the defeat (of the fear) of the first death, and its sting – sin (I Corinthians 15:55): there is, therefore, of necessity a second death, the very reason for the rapture in the first place. The rapture provides the primary break permitted by divine wisdom to institute the separation of the “sheep from the goats” – overcoming (the fear of) the first (physical) death, demonstrated as the “admission” into the Church, done through water baptism to fulfill the admission into eternal life: that is what the Christian salvation is all about – and the final judgment of God, which is classified into eternal life and eternal damnation (not condemnation – condemnation is self-inflicted). It is taught that this event will involve the redemption of the first part of “the redeemed of the Lord”.
It is also believed that the rapture will be significantly expressing the removal of divine grace from those who do not partake in it, whose ultimate salvation will be paid for, this time, not upon the provisions of Jesus Christ, but through severe perseverance in personally surviving in the great tribulation with eyes focused on eternal life: it is “making heaven” without receiving the insignias certifying the spiritual authority of the Antichrist, making them the second part of the redeemed of the Lord.
Indeed, this is a mystery, and mysteries are only unraveled by he who was sent to take from Jesus Christ, and to show us of “the things to come”. From the foregoing, it is easy and simple to understand that the rapture is a huge hope for the Church on earth, a hope every Christian convert, upon who the conviction of the Holy Spirit rests, looks up to, on one part; and the commencement of his “continuous work” of building the spiritual bodies (of Christ): those he convicts, persuades and indwells. It is through these two works of the Holy Ghost that a Christ-devotee becomes blessedly assured, and it is at the point of this “blessed assurance”, when the heart finally rests on Jesus, does he appreciate that “Jesus is (mine)”.
The major understanding here is to note that the rapture is meant for the Church, and in the Church, it is a phenomenon the Christian convert undergoes through the work the Holy Spirit, done upon his soul in order to help him understand his commitment to his mental non-conformity to the world, and for him to appreciate how he needs to strive to attain the renewing (not renewal) of his mind: this is an unending work of the Holy Spirit in a believer; such that makes us say “nothing can and shall separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus”.
It is at this point that I have chosen to answer the question the subject matter asks. I will also answer the question with another question: in all the works that the Holy Spirit does in Church and amongst believers, how many has been noticed or noted to have happened under a physically “bang”, pulling the attention of even the next person around, talk less of pulling the attention of the entire world? I have explanations to make here, and I would not fear making them.
What humans tend to forget is how exciting and deceitful the sense of sight is. We easily believe what we see. We must remember that before Adam claimed to “see” he had always been naked and it did not bother him, but when he claimed to “see”, he saw obtusely, in a distortion. We must be careful of the lure to see, the eyes see wrongly. Three aspects of the human creation was distorted and overtaken by the spirit of Lucifer: the sense of sight, the sense of taste, and the sense of judgment.
There are therefore no arguments whatsoever that “the rapture” is the hope the Church has in a life of “blessed assurance” that “open heaven” is a portion available. The rapture is therefore a believer’s access to heaven. To clearly understand this, we will take an ordinary look at the evolution of the Church. The theory of evolution is a part of divine knowledge; it only crashes when the natural mind handles such knowledge. Yes evolution is scriptural and its scriptural principle is our next advance in this article. We are looking at the evolution of the Church and to examine how at each level the rapture was demonstrated. This is all about the Church.
THE FIRST CHURCH:
Genesis 28:22 is very awesome. Very, very awesome! “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so”, we are who we are by the abundance in our hearts and the words of our mouths. Jacob Isaac Abraham is the third generation Patriarch of the “Chosen generation”. He grew up as a very crafty young man. He supplanted his elder brother and fled from home. On his first night of his flight, scripture says, he came to a certain place and chose to spend the night there. He had a dream in which he saw “a ladder ‘set up on the earth’”, hear it again “set up on the earth and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it”.
As Jacob set up his bed to sleep that first evening of his flight, he picked up “a stone” from the place and made it his pillow. It was the most peaceful uninduced sleep in the whole of creation, apart from Adam’s, which brought Eve, and that of Abraham, which got us an everlasting covenant in the communion of bread and wine. That dream Jacob had, with his head upon a stone, was what led him to understand how God deserves a “house” on earth, and anointing the stone upon which he had the dream, he declared it “the house of God” and “the gate of heaven”. He called the place of that divine construction “Bethel”. The whole story is captured in Genesis 28:11-22. His vision also captured and insisted on the need for the tithe in the Church. The first Church on earth was therefore a “dead stone” consecrated by reason of its anointing.
It is God that grants dreams, isn’t he? However, “before” the anointing of a sizeable stone as the established route that grants access to God in heaven, and “after” the event of the destruction of the entire earthly structure by the flood of Noah’s time, men gathered at Babel and took up the challenge to build the access that should allocate to men the access to God. This shows that “access to God” was a severe human need on earth. It was this need that God met in Jacob’s dream, and gave the hope that the Church must of necessity enjoy “the rapture” – the access to God by the believer through the ministration of angels.
THE CONFIRMED CHURCH
The picture conveyed in Jacob’s dream was nothing more than “a ladder set up on earth and reaching up to open heaven” with Jacob’s head (mindset) at the foot on earth, the almighty God at the top in heaven, and “angels ascending and descending on it”. Now at the accomplishment of time, when “all righteousness” was “fulfilled”, Jesus was baptized and made able to die: if Jesus was not baptized, no man would have laid hands on him. While his baptism gave him up to die, it gave us the hope of eternal life. At a point in his ministry, at the time he was assembling his apostles, Philip had alerted and brought Nathaniel to Jesus.
In admitting Nathaniel to ministry, Jesus told him “verily, verily I say unto you, hereafter, you shall see angels ascending and descending on the son of man” (John 1:51). This confirmed that the ladder which Jacob saw in his dream was actually the symbolism of the body of the Christ upon who God has apportioned divine angelic ministration to ensure the access into the heavenly sanctuary by mortal men. If the rapture is “ascension into heaven”, then I am sure a better sense, made common by divine wisdom, is herein been made.
But more than “ascending into heaven”, since that is the “throne of God”, and not the habitation of men, there is also a “descending from heaven” by angels over the body of believers with Christ as the “first born”. This is why the minds of believers only undergo a “renewing” and not a “renewal”, like his “tender mercies and his loving kindness”, they are “new every morning”. This is how a “dead stone” evolved into a “living stone” in the man Jesus Christ. Therefore sealing the confirmed Church as a “living soul” dedicated for the service of the temple of God. The rest is made very clear in Peter 2.
THE REDEEMED CHURCH
At the close of his ministry, when he was preparing the minds of his apostles for the persecution ahead, he told them “unless a grain of seed falls to the ground and dies, it abides on its own, but if it dies, it multiplies”. This is how we all, as believers have become “living stones” in the last class of the evolution of the Christian Church. Note should be taken that the Church preceded the giving of the law by not less than 500 years, why should the law then take preeminence over divine manifestations of divine predeterminations?
From these foregoing, it is clear to understand how the rapture is the ministration of angels in the Church and upon each and every believer who has obtained the blessed assurance that makes Jesus his, and finding physical expression and nurture in, and of unseen realities. We shall exhaustively treat Matthew 24 and I Corinthians 15 at the appropriate time, and this will be to unveil from where the present system of churches got the idea of the rapture been a “physical bang”. They have some explanation to give, just like I have.
God bless you.