What can you tell me about the Doctrine of the Rapture? ( Part 2 of 6 )
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Answers to Bible Questions
(Q) What can you tell me about the Doctrine of the Rapture? ( Part 2 of 6 )
( Written by Robert C. Brock )
(A) (12) 1 Cor. 4:5, “Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord
comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and
reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come
The time frame of this verse is the Rapture and the Judgment Seat of
Christ that will take place after the Rapture. The Greek word for ‘coming’
is the general Greek word ERCHOMAI, used hundreds of times in the New
Testament. But it is to be noted that this verb is used in the subjunctive rnood
of possibility, so that it can be translated ‘until when the Lord may come.’
The Greek of the New Testament contains two basic moods: (1) the
INDICATIVE MOOD of fact; ( 2) the SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD of possibility.
Both moods are used of the Rapture. The doctrine of the Rapture is a fact;
it is going to take place regardless of what we might think about it. The Rapture is
also to be seen as being imminent, that is, it could happen at any time. This is
the emphasis of the subjunctive mood. Because of this imminency on
the part of the Lord’s corning, we should be ready at any time for this
Important; event. This is what Paul calls, in 2 Tim. 4:8, ‘loving His
(13) 1 Cor. 5:5,“deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the
flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.”
The person mentioned here is the man of verse 1, the one who had his
father’s wife for sexual reasons. What made this so bad was the fact that
this man was a believer, a member of the Corinthian church. And to make
matters worse, the Corinthian believers of that church refused to judge this
person in telling him that he did wrong.
But Paul knew what to do and he didn’t have to be in Corinth to do it.
He told them to deliver this one to Satan for the death (or destruction,
ruin) of the flesh, so that his spirit would be saved in the Day of Christ.
Satan does have the power of death (Heb. 2: 14; Job 2: 6) . This particular
believer deserved to be punished for his heinous sin. (Because of what Paul
wrote in 2 Cor. 2:6-8, some believe that this man repented of his sin).
The Day of the Lord Jesus is a reference to the Rapture and the events
associated with it. This man will receive a resurrection body, so the
destruction of the flesh only means that his life on earth would be shortened.
The phrase ‘that his spirit may be saved’ is language that pertains to a believer.
We do not speak of unsaved people this way. The unsaved are not
associated with the Day of the Lord Jesus.
Can we do today what Paul had the authority to do back during the Acts
period? I don’t believe so. The Apostles had the ability to do many miracles
and mighty works that were necessary until the Word of God was completed by
Paul around 67 AD. The one miracle that God performs today is that of salva-
tion when a sinner believes the Gospel of the grace of God. That is the most
important miracle in any person’s life.
(14) 1 Cor. 11 :26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you
proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
This verse is a part of the communion service given to the Apostle Paul by
the risen Christ for the Body of Christ, to be observed during this Dispensa-
tion of grace. We are to do this until ‘He comes.’ This is a reference to
The verb ‘comes’ is in the subjunctive mood of possibility, indicating
that this event can happen unexpectantly. It will take us by surprise,
especially if we are not looking for it. Remember, it had been mentioned
earlier that both Greek moods – the Indicative and the Subjunctive – are used
of the Rapture, either as a FACT or as a POSSIBILITY. Here it is looked at
as an event that could happen at any time.
Dispensationalists who do not believe in observing the communion service
(or ‘the Lord’s table) teach that the ‘coming’ of the Lord in verse 26 refers
to the Second Coming of Christ back to earth. (Covenant theology also refers
this ‘coming’ to the Second Coming, even though they observe the communion
service). The Lord’s table that Paul wrote about is supposed to be identical
to the one that the Lord Himself instituted in Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25;
Luke 22:17-20, which is why they do not observe it.
(15) 1 Cor. 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
There are two contrasts in this verse: (1) the partial light of a mirror
now, and the full light when we see Him face to face; (2) partial knowledge
now, and full knowledge when we are with the Lord.
The underlined phrases (face to face) refer to the time of the Rapture. ‘Face to face’
speaks of the time when we will meet our lord in the air (1 Thess. 4: 17 ).
When we arrive in glory, there is going to be tremendous illumination
and enlightenment when we are with Him in resurrection bodies. The Greek
word for ‘know’ is EPIGNOSKO, a verb meaning ‘to know accurately,
to have correct, precise knowledge.’ It is used twice here. Our knowledge then
will be accurate knowledge, like God’s knowledge is now.
The next passage contains four verses, and the number will be put with each verse.
1 Cor. 15:51-54,“Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at
the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put
on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when
this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on
immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
This passage explains the Rapture passage of 1 Thess. 4: 13-17, using a
different vocabulary that is consistent with the subject of resurrection.
(16) Verse 51. Paul introduced our resurrection by calling it a ‘mystery’ or,
secret. ‘ The use of this word by the Apostle takes it out of the
category of ‘order’ used in verse 23 of chapter 15.
You see, the truth of the Lord’s coming in the air for His church, the
Body of Christ, is unique to the Apostle Paul. It is not related to the
first resurrection that Jesus spoke about in John 5:29. Paul is the only
one who wrote about the Rapture, it being a ‘secret’ until the risen Christ
revealed it to him.
Sleep refers to the physical death of a believer, whether Jewish
believers, as in Matt. 27:52; Acts 7:60; 2 Peter 3:4, or members of the Body
of Christ (Jews and Gentiles), as in 1 Thess.4:13,14,15. But
he says that Nor ALL are going to sleep (or die), teaching that the excep–
tions to this will be those who are alive when He comes. However, ALL OF US
are going to be ‘changed,’ which is mentioned twice. The Greek word for
‘changed’ is ALLASSO, meaning ‘to make other than it is, to transform,
change.’ It is used 6 times in the New Testament, the other 4 verses being
Acts 6:14, Rom. 1 :23, Gal. 4:20, and Heb. 1 :12. ALL OF US who know the Lord
Jesus Christ as Saviour are going to be ‘transformed’ by the power of God
when Jesus comes for the Body of Christ.
The reference to Romans 1:23 were ALLASSO is used by the Apostle is very
interesting and significant. The vocabulary of Rom.1:23 is very similar to
what Paul wrote here in 1 Cor.15:49-54. Notice the underlined words in
Rom. 1:23: “and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an imagemade
like corruptible man–and birds and four footed animals and creeping
things.” Romans describes the human race in its early days. The four under-
lined words are also found in this resurrection passage.
However, in 1 Cor.15, Paul wrote, through the Holy Spirit, that God has
REVERSED this work of the Devil.He is going to do it in relation to the
Body of Christ. The corruptible person (referring to saved people only) is
going to be changed into an incorruptible person with a restored image of
the Son of God. This will take place at the Rapture.
(17) Verse 52. Our transformation is going to be in an instant. The Greek
word for ‘moment’ is ATOMOS, used only here in the New Testament. It
refers to the smallest possible amount of time. The English word ‘atom’
comes from ATOMOS. Atoms are so small we need a high-powered microscope to see them.
Another word is also used to describe this sudden transformation. It is
the word ‘twinkling,’ used only here in the New Testament. It refers to a
rapid movement, such as the wink of an eye. We wink or blink our eyes
hundreds of times during the day without even realizing it.
We are going to be called by a ‘ trumpet. ‘ There is much unnecessary
controversy in Christendom over this ‘trumpet.’ So many Bible teachers
have tried to link this ‘trumpet’ with the seven trumpet judgments in the
book of Revelation (Rev. 8:2 – 9:21; 11:15-19), thereby only causing con-
fusion among believers. The’ trumpet’ of 1 Cor.15: 52 is the same trumpet
mentioned in 1 Thess.4:16, ‘the trumpet OF GOD.’ The’ trumpets’ in the
book of Revelation are not called ‘the trumpet(s) of God,’ but instead they
are the trumpets of angels (Rev. 8: 2).
The Apostle Paul referred to a ‘trumpet’ just 4 times in his letters to
the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:8; 15:52(twice); 1 Thess. 4:16). In Bible times,
a trumpet only had two or three notes that were used for signaling.
It was not considered as a musical instrument like it is today.
Trumpets were used for military signals, signals to call a civic or
religious meeting, and to call sheep. And this is its purpose in 1 Cor.15
and in 1 Thess.4, to CALL as a signal those from the dead who belong to the
Body of Christ. Only members of this Church are affected by this trumpet.
The trumpet that will be used at the Rapture is called ‘the last trumpet.’
This phrase is only used here. It is ‘last’ because there is only ONE
TRUMPEI’; it is not called the ‘first trumpet’ because that would imply other
trumpets or another trumpet (‘first’ is used at the beginning of a series).
Rather, the Holy Spirit has inspired the word ‘last’ to indicate that there
are no more trumpets to follow. Our Father God is going to give only one
signal to those who have died in the Lord.
When this unique trumpet sounds, the living members of the Body of Christ
will become incorruptible. The Greek word for ‘incorruptible’ is APHTHARTOS,
an adjective meaning’ imperishable, indestructible, not liable to
death, incorruptible.’ It is used 7 times in the New Testament (Rom. 1:23;
1 Cor.9:25; 15:52; 1 Tim.1:17(immortal); 1 Peter1:4,23; 3:4). It is used
once of God (Rom.1:23) and once of Christ (1 Tim.1:17).
Our resurrection bodies will not be subject to corruption, decay or
destruction. There is no decay or destruction in the spiritual realm of the
Fourth Dimension. They will be ours forever. Our transformation as new
creations in Christ will be fully realized at this time. Divine truth like
this can come only from our Father God. Praise God that our new natures can
accept this truth and help us give comfort to those who need it.
(18) Verse 53. This verse refers to the Body of Christ as a whole. It speaks
of the dead and of the living members of this Body. There are four words
used here to describe this:
(1) CORRUPTIBLE – refers to dead believers, those who ‘sleep in Jesus’
(1 Thess. 4: 14 ) • The Greek word for ‘corruptible’ is PHTHARTOS, an
adj. meaning ‘perishable, corruptible.’ It refers to that which is
subject to decay and destruction, like our bodies, for example. Used
6 times in the New Testament (Rom.1:23; 1 Cor.9:25; 15:53,54; 1 Peter 1:18,23).
(2) INCORRUPTION – refers to the resurrection body as not being subject
to decay. The Greek word is APHTHARSIA, a noun meaning ‘incorruption.
‘Used 8 times in the New Testament (Rom.2:7 (immortality) ; 1 Cor.
15:42,50,53,54; Eph.6:24(sincerity); 2 Tim.1:10(immortality); Titus
2: 7 (sincerity). It is used here instead of ‘immortality’ in order to
show us that those who died will never die again.
(3) MORTAL – refers to Iiving believers at the time of the Rapture. The
Greek word for ‘mortal’ is THNETOS, an adj. meaning ‘mortal, human,
liable to death;’ used 6 times in the New Testament (Rom.6:12; 8:11;
1 Cor.15:53,54; 2 Cor.4:11; 5:4(mortality). This word is used of
the human body.
(4) IMMORTALITY – the state of being free from the principle of death.
The Greek word is ATHANASIA, a noun meaning ‘deathlessness, not able to die.’
Used 3 times in the New Testament (1 Cor.15: 53,54; 1 Tim.
6:16). It is part of God’s nature, which He will share with us.
Immortality is clearly associated with resurrection and eternal life.
Those who experience this sudden change from ‘being mortal’ to immortality
will have cheated physical death. They will go from physical life to spiritual life in an instant!
‘Incorruption’ and ‘immortality’ are going to be ‘put on.’ The Greek word
for ‘put on’ is ENDUO, a verb meaning ‘to dress, to clothe oneself, to put
on.’ The Greek form of ENDUO used here speaks of a completed action done all
at once. ENDUO is also used twice in verse 54, following. OUR resurrection
glorified bodies are going to be clothed with incorruption and immortality.
(19) Verse 54. This is a repeat of verse 53 for emphasis. There are two
‘time’ words here, ‘when’ and ‘then.’ When the transformation of dead
bodies and living bodies takes place at the Rapture, then it can be said
that ‘death is swallowed up in victory.’ There is no death in the spiritual realm
of the Fourth Dimension.
Paul borrowed a phrase from Isaiah 25:8 to describe our victory over death
at the Rapture. Isaiah 25 is a chapter devoted to Millennial blessings. The first half
of verse 8 is: “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord
GOD will wipe away tears from all faces ••• ”
We must notice one important fact – what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15: 54 does
not fulfill Isaiah 25:8. The Greek word for ‘to fulfill’ in relation to
prophecy is not even used here. What is ‘brought to pass’ at the Rapture is
a condition similar to another condition mentioned in Isaiah 25:8. Just
remember, Old Testament prophecy is NOT being fulfilled during this Age of
grace. Paul borrowed a number of phrases from the Old Testament that
describe what he wanted to say (which makes for another Bible study), and
every time he quoted from the Old Testament he always had in mind the prin-
ciple of ‘rightly dividing’ the Word of truth, an example of which we find
here in 1 Cor. 15:54.
(20) 1 Cor.16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be
accursed. 0 Lord, come!”
Paul closes the letter of 1 Corinthians with a reference to the Rapture.
The last word in the KJV is ‘Maran-atha.’ This is an Aramaic word that
means ‘our Lord comes.’ Just before the Apostle was killed, he wrote some-
thing similar to this in 2 Tim. 4:8, the last part of the verse: ” ••• but
also to all who have loved His appearing.” Loving the Lord Jesus Christ
and loving His appearing go together.
(21) 2 Cor. 1 :9-10, “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we
(22) should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,  who
delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we
trust that He will still deliver us.”
Paul could be comforted by the fact that his God raises the dead to life.
Heathen gods could not do this. It is important that the kind of faith the
Lord looks for seems to be always of the resurrection variety. Abraham
exhibited this kind of faith (Heb.11:17-19). This kind of faith is seen in
Rom. 10:9, and is also involved with 1 Cor.15:1-4. As we are finding out,
resurrection is something to look forward to. All members of the Body of
Christ have this hope.
Verse 10 is a beautiful picture of the three tenses of salvation – past,
present, and future deliverance. Even though the context of chapter 1 here
seems to be dealing with the events of Acts 19: 8-41, where Paul spent over
two years at Ephesus, the deliverance from tribulations and persecutions is
very similar to what the Lord does for us in a spiritual sense. The end of
verse 10 ‘He will still deliver us,’ can refer to the Rapture of the Body of
Christ. There will not be any tribulations and persecutions for the Body of
Christ after the Rapture.
(23) 2 Cor. 1: 14, “( as also you have understood us in part), that we are your
boast as you also are ours, in the Day of the Lord Jesus.“
This particular ‘Day’ of our risen Lord refers to the Rapture of the
Church. The Apostle began his first letter the same way by referring to
this event (1 Cor.1:8). Believers need to live their lives in the light of
The ‘boasting’ mentioned here is in relation to the Judgment Seat of
Christ. The Corinthians were the converts of Paul and they could say that
they were taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles. Can we also produce fruit
that will earn rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ? Don’t forget, we are
saved to serve.
(24) 2 Cor. 4:14, “knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also
raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.”
There are two future events spoken of here that are related to the Body of
Christ: (1) Our resurrection through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘With Jesus’ is not the best translation. The KJV has ‘by Jesus,’ and it can
also be translated ‘through Jesus,’ since the Greek preposition is DIA,
meaning ‘through’ and ‘by’ in the genitive case, as here. Being’ raised up
with Jesus’ is a spiritual truth that is found in Eph. 2:6, Col. 2:12 and 3:1.
That is not the focus here in 2 Cor. 4:14, which refers to a physical raising
up at the Rapture; (2) The ‘presentation‘ of the Body of Christ to the risen
Christ, is taught also in Eph. 5:27. It is difficult to say for sure whether
this event comes before or after the Judgment Seat of Christ. But it is NOT a
wedding ceremony, as some Bible teachers believe.
( END OF PART 2 of 6 )