“Behold I Shew You a Mystery”…The Taking Up of the Church

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1013561_30930609The taking up of the church happens before the seven years of the Tribulation.

The confusion that is stirred up because of improper interpretation of the New Testament leads many sincere students of the Word to the wrong conclusion.

The passage in Matthew 24 gives detail of what happens after the Rapture. The truth to be told there is no reference to the taking up of the church in the books of Mathew, Mark Luke nor the Old Testament. The New Testament disciples were looking for their position in the Lord’s future Kingdom as evidenced by the request in Matthew 20:21; Mark 10:35-37.

The request for a sign as to when Jesus was going to establish His earthly Kingdom came from the disciples to Jesus.

John 14:2-3 gives the first reference to the Church being taken up commonly called the Rapture. The Apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to give more details of the church mystery of being caught up, in I Corinthians 15:51.

Bob Shelton wrote, “Because the disciples knew the truth of Isaiah 1:26-“I will restore thy judges as at the first”-when they heard Christ say, “Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28), they were certain that the day would come when Christ would rule over Israel and that He would use them as judges in His theocracy. When they asked for sign, Jesus answered their question by giving them many events that will occur before His return to earth to set up His kingdom. There are no signs that must be fulfilled before Christ comes to catch His bride away, but many signs will be fulfilled before His revelation.”-Bob Shelton, Prophecy in Context A Look At The Olivet Discourse (Greenville, Journey Forth Books, 2008) 7.

John Walvoord and Roy Zuck wrote, “These two questions prompted the following discussion by Jesus, commonly called the Olivet discourse (Matt 24-25). The questions related to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, and the sign of the Lord’s coming and the end of the age. They have nothing to do with the church, which Jesus said He would build (16:18). The church is not present in any sense in chapters 24 and 25.)- John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983), 76.

Paul Lee Tan writes, “The Rapture event is described under two important Bible passages: (1) I Corinthians 15:51-52 and (2) I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Corinthians passage describes what happens to living Christians when Christ returns. The Thessalonians passage describes dead Christians at the rapture. Both complete the picture of this wonderful event.”-Paul Lee Tan, A Pictorial Guide to Bible Prophecy (Garland, Bible Communications, INC.1991), 65.

J. Dwight Pentecost writes, “Inasmuch as many passages in the New Testament such as Ephesians 3:1-6; Colossians 1:25-27 make it clear that the church is a mystery and its nature as a body composed of Jew and Gentile alike was unrevealed in the Old Testament, the church could not have been in view in this or any other Old Testament prophecy. Since the church did not have its existence until after the death of Christ (Eph. 5:25-26), until after the resurrection of Christ (Rom. 4:25; Col 3:1-3), until after the ascension (Eph. 1:19-20), and until after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost with the inception of all His ministries to the believer (Acts 2), the church could not have been in the firs sixty-nine weeks, which are related only to God’s program for Israel, it can have no part in the seventieth week, which is again related to God’s program for Israel after the mystery program for the church has been concluded.”-J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House, 1958) 195-196.

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