I have a simple question, all the great information (and it is a lot) on a "rapture," or "caught up" or "harpazō " is there any proof of this phenomenon taking place in the natural? Or is this a Charismatic and Fundamentalist interruption and assumption that this event will happen?
Holding my breath
Many saw that the RCC persecution of dissidents (later called Protestants) throughout the Church Age was the persecution of the saints portrayed in the book of Revelation. It was commonly believed that the Papal system itself was "Antichrist," the "little horn" coming out of the great iron (Roman) beast in Daniel 7:20.
The Roman Church was, of course, stung by this criticism. They could not deny their policy of burning dissidents at the stake, for this was openly discussed even by Roman bishops, cardinals, and the popes themselves.
Neither could they deny the fact that the Roman Church was an extension of the Roman Empire, for the Church assumed power when the old Roman government fell in 476 A.D. The Protestant reformers were quick to point out the Papal boast of having the power to overrule the precepts of the apostles and of Jesus Christ Himself. These papal decrees were a perfect match with what Daniel wrote about the "little horn" in Dan. 7:20, " that horn [governmental power] which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts." But what about for example Tabernacles.....?
To deflect all that criticism a Spanish Jesuit wrote a book that places the rapture in the future. That way it's impossible that RCC is the beast system.
Regardless how good or bad the RCC is it's not a church in the Biblical definition. congregation, not the organization or the building.
One of the main flaws of many "theory builders" is that they have little knowledge of the Jewish feasts. And if they do they dismiss them as "done away" laws.
But in reality the 3 harvest feasts are 3 prophesies of His coming. The first one Passover everybody knows about (under the pagan name Easter).
That was His first coming.
YLT1 Thessalonians 415
for this to you we say in the word of the Lord, that we who are living--who do remain over to the presence of the Lord--may not precede those asleep,16
because the Lord himself, in a shout, in the voice of a chief-messenger, and in the trump of God, shall come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first,17 then
we who are living, who are remaining over, together with them shall be caught away in clouds to meet
the Lord in air, and so always with the Lord we shall be;
The verse shows an order. First the dead and then (next) those who are alive. The big question is when is "next"? 1 second later? A day? A month? A year?...
Many have a opinion on that. But based on what? Doctrine or a bunch of verses?
Meet (in Greek) means 'meet and return with an escort'.YLTMatthew 251
`Then shall the reign of the heavens be likened to ten virgins, who, having taken their lamps, went forth to meet the bridegroom;2
and five of them were prudent, and five foolish;3
they who were foolish having taken their lamps, did not take with themselves oil;4
and the prudent took oil in their vessels, with their lamps.5
`And the bridegroom tarrying, they all nodded and were sleeping,6
and in the middle of the night a cry was made, Lo, the bridegroom doth come; go ye forth to meet him.7
`Then rose all those virgins, and trimmed their lamps,8
and the foolish said to the prudent, Give us of your oil, because our lamps are going out;The virgins are talking with each other. They are in the same room.9
and the prudent answered, saying--Lest there may not be sufficient for us and you, go ye rather unto those selling, and buy for yourselves.10
`And while they are going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those ready went in with him to the marriage-feasts, and the door was shut;The 5 foolish virgins returned to the same room but the door was shut11
and afterwards come also do the rest of the virgins, saying, Sir, sir, open to us;The groom was INSIDE the room. Maybe the wise virgins walked a mile to the groom with their lamps but that's not the point. They are now back in exactly the same place they were before. It's the groom that's at another place.
So if that represents the rapture it isn't the wise going to Jesus but Jesus going to the wise....
A similar situation in this verse:YLTActs 2815
and thence, the brethren having heard the things concerning us, came forth to meet us, unto Appii Forum, and Three Taverns--whom Paul having seen, having given thanks to God, took courage.
Paul (the groom) came from Jerusalem. The believers (the 5 virgins) came from Rome (=the room) and took Paul back to Rome.
The whole point of meeting Jesus in the air is that the believer go to Jesus to escort Him back to earth.
Another verse that is used to support the idea that saints are raptured away before the tribulation starts:YLTRevelation 714
and I have said to him, `Sir, thou hast known;' and he said to me, `These are those who are coming out of the great tribulation, and they did wash their robes, and they made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb;
==>The verse simply states they come out of it. Not that they escape it. In fact to come out of something you have to be in it.
Just read the blue parts of the verses below.YLTMatthew 2429
`And immediately after the tribulation
of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken;30
and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth smite the breast, and they shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the heaven, with power and much glory;31
and he shall send his messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his chosen from the four winds
, from the ends of the heavens unto the ends thereof.
Below another set of verse that is used to prove saints are raptured away. But proves the opposite...
It are the ones that were eating, drinking and marrying that were took away by the flood. Not believer Noach.YLTMatthew 2437
and as the days of Noah--so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man;38
for as they were, in the days before the flood, eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, till the day Noah entered into the ark,39
and they did not know till the flood came and took all away; so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man.40
Then two men shall be in the field, the one is received, and the one is left;YLTGenesis 224
therefore doth a man leave his father and his mother, and hath cleaved unto his wife, and they have become one flesh.
==> The groom leaves his parents not the bride...
The whole point of the so called rapture is that Jesus returns to earth to establish His kingdom. The overcomers see Him approaching and run to Him to walk Him to earth. Those who have a dog and where away a few days will understand that principle. The dog will celebrate the feast of