Speaking of rapture, many people think that when the Lord returns, followers in the Lord will be directly raptured into the air to meet with the Lord, according to the verse of 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.” But have we considered that the word “meet the Lord in the air” is spoken by Paul, and not by the Lord Jesus? Has the Holy Spirit spoken about it? Since the Holy Spirit hasn’t spoken about it, can Paul’s words be taken as the proof that we will be raptured? Does the rapture in the Bible truly mean that we will be caught up into heaven from the earth as we imagine? What is the true meaning of rapture? We’ll explore this topic in the following fellowship.
Does the rapture truly mean that we will be caught up into heaven from the earth as we imagine? This question is directly related to whether we can welcome the Lord and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. If we do not take the Lord’s words as the proof but just wait for the Lord to rapture us into the air according to Paul’s words, we will easily lose the chance to welcome the Lord. The Lord Jesus has never said that He will rapture us into the air when He returns but clearly told us, “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). From this we can see that except for God, no one has ascended up to heaven, because heaven is God’s dwelling place. How can we corrupt mankind be raptured into heaven?
Actually, God’s will is to make man live on earth but not to rapture man into heaven. From the fact of God’s former work, we can see this. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve with the dust on the earth and put them in the Garden of Eden, allowing them to manage all things and live on earth. After mankind was corrupted by Satan, the earth was filled with violence and God destroyed the evil world with a flood. God didn’t take the family of Noah up to heaven to escape the flood but asked Noah to build an ark on earth. After the flood, the family of Noah survived by the protection of God and still lived on earth. When it came to the Age of Law, Jehovah God decreed the law and commandments through Moses, leading the people of Israel to live on earth. At the end of the Law of Age, as man was corrupted more and more deeply and was in the danger of being put to death by the law, the Lord Jesus came to earth in the flesh and was crucified for mankind, redeeming them from sin and telling them how to follow His teachings on earth. There are many such examples. From this, we can see that from the beginning, when God created mankind, He has been doing work on earth and leading the whole mankind to live on earth, making man follow His will on earth and love and worship Him. He has never caught man up into the air. This is the fact that no one can deny. But we always think about being taken up into the air. Isn’t it going against God’s will?
In addition, the Book of Revelation clearly prophesies that in the last days when the Lord returns, He will build His kingdom on earth. Just as what it is said in Revelation: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:2–3) and “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). The prophecies mention “new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,” “the tabernacle of God is with men,” and “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.” All these show that in the last days, God will build His kingdom on earth and He will lead man to continue living on earth forever. This is a certainty.
From the fellowship above, we can see that from the beginning to the end, God allows man to live on earth and the destination God predestines for man is on earth, not in heaven. In the last days, God will build His kingdom on earth and He will live with man on earth and the kingdoms on earth will become Christ’s kingdom. But we always think about being raptured into heaven and meeting with the Lord in the air. Isn’t it running against the Lord’s words? Therefore, our belief that in the last days when God returns, He will take us up into the air to meet Him, is untenable, is purely man’s notion and imagining, and is not in accordance with God’s words and the fact of God’s work.
Since the rapture is not taking man up into the air as we imagine, what’s the true meaning of rapture? We will understand it after reading a passage of God’s words. God’s words say, “‘Being caught up’ does not mean being taken from a low place to a high place, as people might imagine; that is a huge misconception. ‘Being caught up’ refers to My predestining and then selecting. It is directed at all those I have predestined and chosen. All those who are caught up are people who have gained the status of firstborn sons or sons, or who are God’s people. This is most incompatible with people’s notions. Those who will have a share in My house in the future are all ones who have been caught up before Me. This is absolutely true, never-changing, and irrefutable. It is a counterattack against Satan. Anyone I predestined shall be caught up before Me.”
From God’s words, we understand that the true rapture means that we can follow the footsteps of God’s work and accept God’s new work. That is to say, when God comes to do a new work, those who accept His new work have been caught up before His throne. Only this is the true meaning of rapture. For example, at the end of the Age of Law when the Lord Jesus came to work, those who walked out of the law and accepted the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus had been caught up before God. Take John, Peter and Matthew for example. After they heard the Lord Jesus’ words, they ascertained that the Lord was the Messiah who had come, and thus followed Him. They had been caught up before the Lord. Similarly, in the last days when the Lord Jesus comes to do the new work, all those who can follow God’s footsteps and accept God’s work in the last days are ones who have been caught up before God’s throne and attended the Lamb’s marriage supper. Only this is the true meaning of rapture.
So, how can we welcome the Lord’s return and be raptured before Him in the last days? The Lord Jesus has long ago told us, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). The Book of Revelation 3:20 prophesies, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). The Lord’s words clearly told us that in the last days when He returns, He will utter new words to all churches and look for His sheep through words. When we hear some people testifying that the Lord has returned and uttered new words, we should be wise virgins who listen attentively for God’s voice and seek and investigate with an open mind. As long as we are sure these new words are God’s voice and the expression of the truth, we must waste no time in accepting the Lord’s return. In this way, we have followed God’s footsteps and been caught up before God’s throne.
Nowadays, the Lord Jesus has returned as Almighty God incarnate. Almighty God has expressed millions of words and performs the work of judgment beginning in God’s house and leads man into all of the truths in order to thoroughly purify and save man. This precisely fulfills the prophecies in the Bible, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). And it says in 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.”
Almighty God is the embodiment of the Spirit of truth. All the words Almighty God expresses are the truth, are the expression of the Holy Spirit and are “what the Spirit says to the churches” mentioned in the Book of Revelation many times. Now, Almighty God’s words have been published online, publicly testifying to all nations of the world that Almighty God is the returned Jesus the Savior. After many people who thirst for God’s appearance have read the words expressed by Almighty God, they find these words are the truth, are God’s voice and thus return before God one after another. They are wise virgins who are taken up before God’s throne, receive the judgment and purification of God’s words and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. This completely fulfills the prophecy of Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”
Those who accept Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days are wise virgins. They have been caught up before God’s throne, accept the judgment and purification of God’s words, gradually understand the truth and gain the truth, have their corrupt dispositions purified and are eventually made into overcomers by God. After God makes a group of overcomers, He will depart from the earth and return to Mount Zion. Then, He will send down all manner of disasters, rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. Those who resist and condemn Almighty God’s work in the last days will fall into the disasters and be punished. Those who are purified and perfected by God will be protected by God and survive the disasters and enter into God’s kingdom. Then, Christ’s kingdom will be completely realized on earth. This is complete fulfillment of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3–4).
Therefore, to be raptured before God’s throne and approved and blessed by God, we should drop our notions and imagining and seek and investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days immediately. As long as we read more of Almighty God’s words and see whether what Almighty God expresses is the truth, is God’s voice, and accept and obey once we recognize it is God’s voice, then won’t we welcome the Lord and be raptured before God’s throne? If we stubbornly cling to our notions and imagining and do not pay attention to listening to God’s voice to welcome the Lord, we will become foolish virgins and be eliminated by God in the end.
Editor’s Note: After reading this article, we should understand the true meaning of rapture in the Bible. If you feel this article has been helpful to you, please share it with others, so that they too can find the way of being caught up before God’s throne. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us via our online chat buttons. We are online 24 hours a day ready to answer your questions.