But I would not you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say to 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, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain 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.
This awesome event takes place at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the conclusion of the great tribulation period of three and a half years.
Notice carefully the attendant components:
1. The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.
2. The voice of the archangel.
3. The trumpet of God.
4. The dead in Christ rise (are resurrected).
There is certainly nothing secret, silent, stealthy or sneaky here.
Quite the opposite is true. The second coming of Christ is rather a very loud and open event.
Jesus is not a whimp. He is not sneaking around whispering to people. At His glorious appearing He is going to shout; and what a shout this will be. It will be so loud and powerful, it will wake the dead, literally!
A mighty precedent is seen in the following illustration: and remember this is a sign!
John 11:1-44 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again.
His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought he had spoken of taking a rest in sleep.
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
Then Martha said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hast been here, my brother had not died.
But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met him.
The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she arose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
And said, Where have ye laid him? And they said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
Jesus saith unto her, Said not I unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
And they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Psalm 47:5 God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is it say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
T he Voice of the Archangel
Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
The archangel Michael has a very good pair of lungs. God has seen to that. When he utters his voice, it is a voice of command, summons, a call.
He is the angel of war. Together with Gabriel, the angel of revelation, there are supposedly five other great angels: Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.
It is further supposed that Lucifer was another of the great angels.
Michael stands at the beginning of the great tribulation period of 3 1/2 years and delivers the people of God.
The Trumpet of God
Exodus 19:16-19 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
1 Corinthians 15:51,52 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Dedication of the Temple
2 Chronicles 5:12-14 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
A temple is only dedicated when its construction has been completed.
Consider the Christian Church. It is not yet completed. Its dedication, therefore, in anti-typical fulfilment of the temple of Solomon, remains yet future.
Notice the part trumpets play in the precipitation of the presence of God.
The Feast of Trumpets
It is no coincidence that we are living in the fulfilment of the Feast of Trumpets today.
Take the time to understand and appreciate the symbolical teaching of the Feasts of the Lord.
Psalm 89:15 [Amplified Version] Blessed - happy, fortunate and to be envied - are the people who know the joyful sound [who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolised by the feasts]; they walk, O Lord, in the light and favour of your countenance!
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me, a great voice, as of a trumpet.
Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.
The seventh angel sounds his trumpet over a period of time. When he ceases, sounded, the kingdoms of this world become the Lord’s. It is all over. Jesus has come!
But notice carefully, when he, (the seventh angel), begins to sound, the mystery of God is finished! The mystery of God includes the marriage of Christ and His Church and the conception, birth and translation of the manchild to heaven.
Trumpets were used at the coronation of kings. They have many uses and applications in the Scriptures. Check your concordance.
The Dead in Christ Shall Rise
John 5:28,29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Revelation 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Resurrection of the Two Witnesses
Revelation 11:7-12 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
With the unveiling, the revealing, the appearing, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in all His power and great glory, the graves of the saints of all ages will burst asunder. Every Christian will rise from death all around the world: millions and millions of them! There is nothing secret or covert here. From the earth and the sea they will come: millions and millions of them!
What a deafening roar will accompany them!
Some may object to this violent outburst of noise.
There are those who affirm, God is not deaf; there is no need for all that noise. That is true. But then, He is not nervous either!
Meaning of the Word Rapture
The word rapture does not appear in the King James, (Authorised Version of the), Bible.
The English word is derived from the Latin, raptura, which means, about to seize and carry off: Italian and Spanish, raptura, ravishment, violence of any pleasing passion; transport; extreme joy or pleasure; great enthusiasm.
The Greek word is harpazo, and means catch, force, pluck, pull, snatch spoil and take.
It is used 13 times in the New Testament.
The Time of the Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The qualification, alive and remain, identifies the time of the rapture. Who is alive and remains at the second coming of the Lord? It is this category that is raptured.
The rapture occurs at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! When He appears, the Bride of Christ is caught up!
What is required is not interpretation, but analysis, the simple identification of those who meet the criteria. And once identified, the Christian is simply required to believe!
Thirteen Times the Word Harpazo Appears in the New Testament
1. Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
2. Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
3. John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
4. John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
5. John 10:28 And I shall give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
6. John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
7. Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
8. Acts 23:10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
9. 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body I cannot tell; or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
10. 2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
11. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain 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.
12. Jude 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
13. Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.