To begin with, what is prophecy? It's the study of future events. There are those who think that the rapture has already taken place, and that Jesus has already set up His kingdom on earth. I'm here to show that this type of thinking was the same in Paul's time.
Lets look at 2nd Thessalonians, 2:1-5. A letter had been forged in Paul's name and was sent to the Church stating that the rapture had already taken place. 2nd Thes 2:1-5 "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, nether by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you. The church here at Thessalonia was upset, for they relieved a false letter in Paul's name, they were sad because, they thought that they were lost because they believed that the church had already been raptured. What a blow that had to be on these people, waiting on Jesus to return and take them home and then hearing that He had already come and gone. Isn't that what were hearing today? Prophecy has to take specific time lines that were set up by God.
There are over 230 prophetic verses in scripture that have to line up and be fulfilled before the rapture can take place. Unless otherwise noted, prophecy must be taken literally to be understood. There are two distinct fazes, listed in scripture, may I say, more than once, The first is the rapture and the second is the glorious appearing. Some reference for these are, Mth. 24:29-31, 25:31-46., Dan 2:35-44., Rev. 19:11-21. Look at John 14:1-3., 2nd Cor. 5:8-10 and Rev 19:1-10, These last three should be read in conjunction with each other. As you've noticed a lot of prophecy times are lined up with each other in one or two single verses. That is the reason we have to look carefully at each verse to see weather there are more than one event taking place.
Here are some of the rapture passages listed in scripture. John 1`4:1-3 Phil 4:5 1Tim 6:14, Jude 21, Heb.9:28, and these are just a few. As you can see, God in His wisdom gave us the tools and information to decipher prophecy, and if it was important for God to install these prophecy passages, we should try to understand them.
The second coming passages or Glorious Appearing passages are just as long and start from Dan 2:44-45 thru Rev 22:7,12 and 20. This is just the beginning of the study of the rapture and by no means are we even half way thru. Lets look at Daniel and the entire 70 weeks in retrospect. Daniel 9:24-27. 1st we have the Babylonian captivity, Cyrus decree to rebuild Jerusalem, then we have the restoration of 49 years, rebuilding the temple and the city walls under two different men. 1. Ezra and 2. Nehemiah. Next we have the 434 years of silence, or 62 heptads until Messiah shall be cut off but not for Himself. And Jesus crucified, this is 483 years. That leaves 1 heptad or 1 seven year period of tribulation for the Jews, which is called in Jer. 30:3-11, the time of Jacobs trouble. End of 1st Lesson
Temple of Spirit & Truth Ministries
A.R. Smith Sermons International