Rapture Part 4, Old Testament Clues

John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

In this passage, Jesus is talking with His disciples. Some translate “dwelling places” as “mansions”. Bottom line, Jesus is building a really nice place in Heaven. We know where He is now (July 2014). He is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33, 1 Peter 3:22). Then He states He will come again to get others. Since He is in Heaven, He will return to “receive” or paralambano (original Greek word). Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: to take or join with one’s self. The grammar indicates this is a future event that is certain to happen. He will certainly take people to join Him in Heaven. Note, there is no mention of His physical return to Earth. This is an event where He gathers people to meet Him in Heaven.

Now why would Jesus take people away from Earth? What purpose does that serve? The Old Testament has answers…

Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walked in his upright way.

The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart… A just and lawful man dies or ‘abad in the original Hebrew. The word ‘abad can also mean perish, exterminated, or destroyed per Strong’s Concordance. The response from the culture, “Who cares”.

and devout men are taken away, while no one understands…These men are taken away or ‘acaph in the original Hebrew. The word ‘acaph can also mean: collect, to gather (an individual into company of others), to bring up the rear, to gather and take away, remove, withdraw. These men did not die. They have been gathered into a group and taken away. They are withdrawn and removed from bad and evil. The response from the culture is a lack of understanding or discernment.

For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace… God’s people, dead or alive, are removed from bad and evil. Their destination is “shalom” not “sheol” or the grave, which is the place for the dead. Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Strong’s Concordance defines shalom as: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship of human relationships, and friendship with God especially in covenant relationship.

This stuff is in the Old Testament! It has always been there. It is consistent with the message in the New Testament.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

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