Michael Pearl: All right, let's get back. This is our fourth lesson on the Rapture. What does the Bible say about the Rapture? What scriptures do we have that support the idea of a pre‑tribulational Rapture? We've been talking about that. Now, let's look in one Corinthians, Chapter 15 this time. We're just hitting the high spots here. We could take many, many hours if we wanted to cover this in detail. In one Corinthians, Chapter 15 he speaks of the Rapture and the Second Coming in a very clear way.
Now, let's start down in verse 49. He says, "For as we borne the images of earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. For this I say, brethren, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Neither doeth corruption inherit incorruption."
Basically, what he said here is that no one gets into the Kingdom of God, gets into Heaven, with their natural bodies. Natural bodies don't go to Heaven. It takes a special kind of body.
"Behold! I show you a mystery!" Here's going to be the Rapture. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye..." That's this. [chuckles] That's all it's going to take for the Rapture to take place. It's going to be sudden, unexpected, like in the days of Noah. There will be eating, drinking, merry, giving, and marriage, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away. So shall the coming of the Son of Man be. It will be a very quick thing.
In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump... Now, the reason he says, "last trump" is Jewish feast days, holy days, Sabbaths were inaugurated by the blowing of a trumpet, not just one blast, but several blasts, seven blasts. It was the last blast that was the point at which the time was established for the feast day, or the holy day. So, the last trump would be a series of blasts, and at the point of the last one, that's when it will all take place. "For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Now, this is similar to our one Thessalonians passage. We have the dead being raised first, and then we which are alive are caght up.
So, we go back to our chart here. Paul said that those of us who are alive will not prevent, as in go before, those which are asleep. So, my daddy's in the grave here. My momma was placed in the grave about three weeks ago, so she's now there. My stepfather is in the grave. My mother‑in‑law is in the grave. So, all of them are waiting there, their bodies in the grave. While their spirits are present with the Lord, their bodies are waiting in the grave.
So, what will happen is the grave will open first, and those which are dead in Christ will rise as their spirits have joined their bodies, and come up in the air. Now, he said then, after they are caught up, those of us which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, so shall we ever be with the Lord.
If you were standing beside the grave of your saved loved one when the Rapture takes place, you might hear a trumpet, and then another trumpet, and look around to see what's making the noise. And then, about that time, the last trump sounds. When it does, right in front of you, the grave opens up. The dirt is thrown back. The lid of the casket is blown off. Grandma comes out. She won't have that crippled old body she used to have. She'll have a glorified young body.
She'll come out, and maybe catch your eye as she's going up. You'll see the bottom of her bare feet as she ascends up into the heavens. And then, you're propelled off the ground, rocket jet fired right off the ground. You're caught up, and you join Grandma. Then, you look around and you see that the heavens are sprinkled with the saints, rising like snow off the ground. Rising in white robes to meet Christ in the air.
Crowds of millions meet him in the air and are taken to be in His presence. That will be followed, then, by the manifestation of the Antichrist and the coming of the Great Tribulation preceding the 1,000 year return of Christ to the Earth and setting up His Kingdom.
Back to the text again. Here in one Corinthians I, Chapter 15. "In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the last trump for the trumpet shall sound. The dead shall be raised, incorruptible." Not capable of corrupting. "And we shall be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
So, that which can rot will put on that which can not rot, and that which can die will put on that which can not die. "So then, when this corruption 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.'"
Victory takes a big bite of death, and death goes down in its gullet, and death is no more.
"O, Death..." He's celebrating here. This is poetry, this is a song. "O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be unto God which gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abiding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
So, that is a beautiful picture of the Rapture of the Church. Being taken out, getting our glorified bodies. You notice there's no Antichrist in this. There's no Great Suffering, there's no Judgments, none of that. This is strictly the taking of the saints out of the Earth to the Judgment Seat of Christ. It's a different event from the Second Coming, which will take place seven years later.
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