Theme In Common:
The following passages describe the same incident; despite the slight differences in linguistic form brought about by two "layers" of translation, the "lest any man deceive you" warning (eg.the substance)rings loud and clear.
Matt 24:3-4 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the
disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these
things be? and
what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And
Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive
Mark 13:4-5 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
A passage relating to this deception, 2Cor11:14-15, testifies to the ability of satan and his evil spirits to disguise themselves to preach a perverted gospel to those who are biblically illiterate.
2 Cor 11:14-15
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (KJV)
Strong's definition of KJV "transformed":
from 3326 and a derivative of 4976; to transfigure or ; figuratively, to apply (by accommodation):
KJV-- transfer, transform (self).
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
[Note:That letter, possibly amongst others, being 1Thes4:13-18 ]
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
[The theme of Mark 13, Matt 24 and Luke 21 (see above) is The Lord's admonition to us that we not be deceived in these end times. At this time the only soul already judged to perdition is satan the one and only 'son of perdition'.]
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
[further description of who is coming BEFORE The Day of The Lord. Check out Isaiah 14:12-16]
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
[Note:Dr. Moffat renders ....he who now letteth... as "he who at present restrains it is removed." 'it' refers to the mystery of iniquity; remember in Biblical Hebrew & Greek... Static, explicit subject and object; see also Rev 12:7-9]
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Matthew and Mark or indeed ANY passage of God's Word, are best appreciated in context. Full context of course is knowledge of what transpired in the garden in Genesis through the resolution thereof in Revelation (ref.Matt24:32,Mark13:28).
The concept of being "caught up" is very much scripture documented by Pauls words.
16 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: 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)
In disputing the current teachings of the rapture, to say "The word rapture isnt in the manuscripts" is weak and irrelevant, specially if you are facing a competant bible student; the word "trinity" isnt in the manuscripts either, yet, there is a triune Godhead. So too, there is a "rapture" as well; it's just not taught correctly too often.
There will be a "catching up" as Paul documents as well as:
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.
This is a literal gathering, or catching up by angels of the elect, to be taken to meet Christ. Not to meet in the "clouds" per se but as a large group of people transfigured in spiritual bodies and brought to Mt Zion as per Revelation 14.
The issue then is not what the words mean but WHEN and HOW and WHO will be "raptured" or better put to avoid confusion, "gathered together".
There will be no pre-trib or mid trib gathering and those two are the worst examples of the current rapture teaching. Post trib is accurate because not only are the elect gathered after the trib, but all, "living and dead" will be changed (transfiguration ? )
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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. (KJV)
If therefore we are to use a term to describe the scriptural truth of the gathering, it would be a post trib gathering or "rapture".
It boils down to this: Will there be a "rapture"? Yes
Use that word or gathering or whatever, yes, there is one.
Will it occur before or during the trib? No.After the trib? Yes.
Will we be in our flesh bodies ? Absolutely not !Keep in mind scripture:
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.
Its WHO and most importantly WHEN that matters in understanding this verse. This "harpazo" takes place, which I think too many forget in their good intentions to leave the doctrine of pre and mid trib raptures behind.
We can substitute the word in this verse as well:
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 [raptured] to the third heaven.
How that he was [raptured] into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The word "rapture" may carry negative connotations from its misuse but this is still an accurate translation. The word "taken" could also be used and it would still carry the proper meaning.
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.
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord raptured Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
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.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was [raptured] unto God, and to his throne.
Again, the point is NOT the word rapture, or caught up...its WHEN rapturists teach this will happen and to WHOM. The concept of being physically moved or spiritually moved is not unscriptural.