The Difference Between the Rapture and the Revelation
Things That Are Different Are Not The Same
As we have been showing you all through this series, the Rapture and the Revelation are not the same, because they, in fact,
are two seperate events seperated by a division of at least 7 years. The Bible never meant for them to be the same, and takes
great pains to show how they are different. A casual reading of these passages will blur the lines and make them appear to be
one, but we will show in this lesson that they are not. Listen to Paul's advice to Timothy:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy
The Rapture is of, and for, the Church only
Many people, including Christians, come to wrong conclusions about this event because their starting point was wrong. The
Rapture of the Chuch is wholly and completely seperate from God's Plan for Israel and the Jews. People try to make the
Church fit as the 'replacement' for the Jews (because of their rejection of Jesus) and that doesn't work because there is no
replacement for the Jews or Israel. God has declared the Jews to be His chosen people, and that will never, ever change.
Neither will the day ever come where Israel is no longer the 'apple of God's eye', for He has declared it to be forever so.
God's covenant with Israel and the Jews is unbreakable, unchangable, and everlasting.
"As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. "I will make you exceedingly fruitful;
and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
"Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an
everlasting possession; and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations." Genesis 17: 4-9
These are just some of the dozens and dozens of places where God mentions, affirms and re-affirms His covenant with the Jews
and with the nation of Israel. This relationship will continue through the Tribulation, the Millenium, and throughout all of
Eternity as well. So the quicker you get this idea in your head from the beginning, the easier it will be to understand that
God has one path outlined for the Chruch, and another path for the Jews.
The Rapture, as the Bible teaches is of, and for the Church, which is composed of both Jew and Gentile believers in Jesus as
the Promised Messiah of Israel. Clarence Larkin had this to say about the Rapture of the Church:
"The Rapture is described in 1Thes. 4:15-17. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord HIMSELF shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel (Michael) and with the trump of God; and the DEAD IN CHRIST shall rise first;
then we which are ALIVE AND REMAIN (saints only) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR, and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
From this we see that "The Rapture" will be twofold.
1. The Resurrection of the "DEAD IN CHRIST."
2. The Translation of the "LIVING SAINTS."
This twofold character of "The Rapture" Jesus revealed to Martha when He was about to raise her brother Lazarus. He said to her: "I am the 'Resurrection and the Life, ' he that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he LIVE (First Resurrection Saints); and whosoever LIVETH (is alive when I come back) and believeth in me shall NEVER DIE" John 11:25-26. This twofold character of the Rapture, Paul emphasizes in his immortal chapter on the resurrection.
"Behold, I show 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 trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, and we shall be changed. For this Corruptible (the dead in Christ) must put on incorruption, and this mortal (the living saints) must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that. is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.
O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY? "
The Rapture won't be a secret, but it will be a 'surprise'
We see from this that when Christ comes back it will be when we are not expecting Him. He will come as a thief comes. A thief does not announce his coming. He comes for a certain purpose. He does not take everything there is in the house. He takes only the precious things. The jewels, the gold, the silver and fine wearing apparel. He does not come to stay. As soon as he secures what he is after he departs. So Jesus at the Rapture will come and take away the saints only. The thief leaves much more than he takes. He leaves the house and the furniture and the household utensils. So the Lord at the Rapture will leave
the wicked and the great mass of the heathen behind, for those who will be taken will be comparatively few.
source - Dispensational Truth, by Clarence Larkin
The Revelation, or Stage 2
Again, we turn to that excellent, old-school Bible scholar Clarence Larkin for insight on 'Stage 2', the Revelation of Jesus
Christ, and this time it's for the entire world to see.
At the "Second Stage" of Christ's Second Coming, the "Revelation, " we shall behold His "Glory." When Jesus came the first time He was disguised in the flesh. The "Incarnation" was the hiding of His Power, the veiling of His Deity. Now and then gleams of glory shot forth as on the Mt. of transfiguration; but when He comes the Second Time we shall behold Him clothed with the glory He had with the Father before the world was. The "Revelation" will be as sudden and as unexpected as was the "Rapture." The sun will rise on that day strong and clear. Gentle breezes will waft themselves over the earth. There will be no signs of a storm or of the coming judgment. The people will be buying and selling, building and planting, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. The statesmen will be revolving in their minds new plans for the world's betterment. The philanthropic will be devising new ways to help the people. The pleasure-loving will be seeking new sources of pleasure. The wicked will be plotting dark deeds; and the unbelieving will be proving to their own satisfaction that there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no coming judgment, when suddenly there will be a change. In the distant heaven there will appear a
"POINT OF LIGHT, "
outshining the sun. It will be seen descending toward the earth. As it descends it will assume the form of a bright cloud, out of which shall stream dazzling beams of light, and flashes of lightning. It will descend apace as if on wings of the whirlwind, and when it reaches its destination over the brow of the Mt. of Olives it will stop and unfold itself to the terrified and awestricken beholders, and there will be revealed to them Jesus seated on a "White Horse" (Rev. 19:16) and accompanied with His Saints and the armies of Heaven. Then shall be fulfilled what Jesus foretold in His Olivet Discourse-"Then shall appear the sign (a cloud) of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY." Matt. 24:30.
The Imminency Of The Second Coming
One of the objections to the Doctrine of the "Second Coming of Christ" is the claim that He may come backat any time. Post-millennialists tell us that the writers of the New Testament looked forHim to come back in their day, and that He did not do so, is proof that they were mistaken, and that Paul in his later writings modified his statements as to the imminency of Christ's return. It is a fact that while Jesus said: "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come...Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:42-44), He did not in these passages teach that He would return during the lifetime of those who listened to Him. In fact, in His Parables He intimated that His return would be delayed, as in the Parable of The Talents, where it is said: "After a long time the Lord of those servants cometh. Matt. 25:19. What Jesus wanted to teach was the sudden and unexpected character of His return. As to the Apostles, while they exhorted their followers to be ready, for the "night is far spent, the day is at hand, " and the "coming of the Lord draweth nigh, " their language simply implied "imminency, " but not necessarily "IMMEDIATENESS." And the use of the word "WE" in 1Cor. 15:5 1Cor. 15:1, "WE" shall not all sleep, but WE shall all be changed, " is not a declaration that the Lord would return in Paul's day and some would not die but be translated, for the Apostle is talking about the Rapture and he means by "WE" a certain class of persons, the saints that shall be alive when that event occurs, whether in his day or at some later time.
It was clearly known to our Lord that certain events must come to pass before His Return, but to have disclosed that fact would have nullified the command to "Watch, " therefore He in "mystery form, ' as in the seven parables of Matt. 13, hid the fact that His Return would be delayed. It would take time for the "Sowing of the Seed, " the growth of the "Wheat" and "Tares, " the growth of the "Mustard Tree, " and the "Leavening of the Meal." So rapid was the spread of the Gospel in the first century that the followers of Christ were warranted in looking for the speedy Return of the Lord, but it was true then, as in every century since, that we do not know what the extent of the "Harvest' is to be, and when it will be ripe, so the Lord can return. Matt. 13:30. Uncertainty then as to the "time" of the Lord's return is necessary to promote the "watchful" spirit.
If the early Church had known that the Lord's Return would have been delayed for 20 centuries, the incentive to watchfulness would have been wanting.
By "Imminency" we mean "may happen at any time." For illustration, you hurry to the railroad station to catch a train. You find the train has not arrived, though it is past the hour. Though it is late it is on the way, and it would not be safe for you to leave the station, for it may arrive any minute, but as a matter of fact, it does not come for half an hour. Now if you had known that it would not arrive for half an hour you would have used the time in some other way than "waiting" and "watching." So we see that "Imminency" does not necessarily imply "IMMEDIATENESS, " but does demand "Watchfulness."
It is the firm conviction of the writer that there has been unnecessary delay in the Return of the Lord, caused by the failure of the Church to obey the "Divine Commission" to evangelize the world (Matt. 28:19-20), and it is past the time when He should have returned. Of course, this was foreseen by God, and His foreknowledge has held back the development of the forces of evil, etc., until the "Fulness of the Gentiles" should be gathered in, and the "Harvest" is ripe for the gathering. Rev. 14:14-16. At no time in the history of the Christian Church have the conditions necessary to the Lord's Return been so completely fulfilled as at the present time; therefore, His Coming is IMMINENT, and will not probably be long delayed. Let us be ready and watching." source - Dispensational Truth, by Clarence Larkin
The Blessed Hope Of The Believer
The Second Coming of Christ is "The Blessed Hope." Writing to Titus Paul said-"Looking for that 'Blessed Hope, ' and the 'Glorious Appearing' of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13. Most Christians when speaking of their "Hope" mean their "Hope of Salvation, " but we cannot "hope" for a thing we have and salvation is a present possession if we are trusting in Christ as our Saviour. The Christian's "Hope" then is the "Return of His Lord." Man is a three-fold being, he has a body, a soul, and a spirit; for him to die is to lose his "body." Now he knows that he cannot get his body back until the Resurrection and he also knows that there can be no Resurrection until Christ comes back. Therefore to him Christ's return is "The Blessed Hope, " not only that if he dies he will then be raised, but it is to him the "Hope" that Christ will come back
before he dies and he shall be "caught up" to meet Him in the air without dying. 1Thes. 4:13-15.
"The Blessed Hope" is also a "Purifying Hope." "And every man that hath this hope in him PURIFIETH HIMSELF.' 1John 3:1-3. That is, every one who is looking for the Lord's return will try to keep himself pure. It will make us "Patient." "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the Coming of the Lord. . . . Be ye also patient; establish your hearts; for the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:7-8. It will make us "Watchful." "Watch ye therefore, for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all WATCH." Mark 13:35-37. source - Dispensational Truth, by Clarence Larkin
So there has to be FIRST the Rapture of the Church. This event kicks-off the time of Jacob's trouble, the Tribulation period
of 7 years that Daniel saw. At the end of this 7-year Tribulation period, Jesus will return to the earth, with all the saints that
have been raptured out earlier, and will land at the Mount of Olives in Israel, note the following:
"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall
flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You. [fn] It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD-- Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light. And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be- "The LORD is one," And His name one." source - Zechariah 14: 4-9
See how it says that on "that day" the Lord Jesus Himself will make a physical return to the earth to setup His Kingdom, (which
will last for 1,000 literal, actual years,) and who does He come with? - "Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints
with You" Those 'saints' that He returns with will be those who were raptured out 7 years earlier in the Rapture.
"See, I have told you beforehand." Jesus in Matthew 24:25