[Class #2 Notes] The Rapture vs. The Second Coming

Did you watch the second class of Living in the Last Days: A Course on the End Times? Watch the full lesson and review the notes below!

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Rapture Definition

  • There are no signs of the rapture, but there are signs of the second coming of the Lord
  • Rapture – of Latin origin – from rapio, a Latin verb that means “to catch up” 
    • If the Bible says caught up in English, in Latin that is the same as the word rapture 
  • Rapture means to be caught up or taken – happens in the Bible a number of times

Rapture Examples

  • EXAMPLE #1: ENOCH 
    • Gen. 5:22-24 – “22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” 
    • Enoch’s name in Hebrew is Chanowk חֲנוֹךְ (S:2585)
    • The first two letters in Enoch’s name spell Chen חֵן (S:2580), the Hebrew word for grace – life in the fence 
      • The first letter Chet ח was a picture of a fence
      • The second letter Nun נ was a picture of a seed, speaking of life or activity 
    • The third letter in Enoch’s name is Vau ו, a picture of a nail
      • A conjunction, speaks of union 
    • The last letter in Enoch’s name is Kaph sofit ך, a picture of the palm of the hand
    • Enoch’s name literally speaks of grace (life and purpose in the fence), and the hand of God comes along and takes him up
    • Enoch represented the rapture 
      • Old Testament names often spoke of their purpose 
  • EXAMPLE #2: ELIJAH
    • 2 Kings 2:9-12 – “9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more…” 
      • Elijah was taken away (v. 9, 10), went up (v. 11)
      • Elisha saw it happen (v. 12)
  • EXAMPLE #3: JESUS 
    • Acts 1:9-11 – “9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” 
      • Jesus was taken up (v. 9, 11), went up (v. 10) — raptured 
      • They beheld (v. 9), looked (v. 10)
      • v. 11 – a reverse rapture, coming back 
  • EXAMPLE #4: TWO WITNESSES (PROPHETS) 
    • Rev. 11:10-12 – “10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
      • Two witnesses, two prophets, preach and fight against the antichrist, the beast, the false prophet and they get killed (Rev. 11:3-9)
      • These two are laying in Jerusalem dead, and everyone in the entire earth is able to see their dead bodies laying there (v. 9)
      • They ascended up to heaven in a cloud – were raptured – and their enemies beheld them 

Rapture Summary – Taken & Seen

  • In every rapture where it speaks to what happened, the people around them were able to see and watch them as they were raptured, taken up, ascended into heaven 
    • Even though Jesus was God, the Bible doesn’t just say He went up under His own power; He was taken up (Acts 1:9, 11) 
      • The Bible also wants to let you know about the rapture 
      • In the rapture, you don’t just float away – somebody is taking you up, the one whose hand you’re in 
        • No man can pluck us out of Jesus’ hand (John 10:28-29) 
        • If we’re saved, we don’t have to wait for God to reach His hand down to rapture us – we’re already in His hand and all He has to do is take us up 
    • In the rapture, those who are saved are TAKEN, but in the second coming, those who are saved are LEFT 
      • In the rapture those who are not saved are left behind, and in the second coming, those who are not saved are taken
  • In every vocal scripture, the people present saw the Rapture take place
    • Elijah told Elisha he’d get a double portion if he saw him go up (2 Kings 2:9-10)
    • They beheld Jesus until He went out of His sight – they kept gazing, saw Him go, looked (Acts 1:9-11) 
    • The people, kindreds, tongues, and nations, everybody all over the world, gets to see Him, hear the voice of God, and behold as they’re taken up (Rev. 11:9-12) 

The Second Coming Overview

  • The rapture is about God taking folks; the second coming is about the Lord Jesus coming to earth to reign on earth 
    • Scriptural references for His second coming – Mat. 24; Luke 17; Rev. 19 Cp. Isa. 34-35, 65-66; Eze. 39; Dan. 7:14; 12; Joel 3; Zech. 14 
  • During the second coming of Christ, if you’re here, you want to be LEFT
    • The church should already be gone 
    • Luke 17:30-37 – “30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” 
      • v. 37 is important because what he’s talking about is from Rev. 19:17-18, 21
    • Rev. 19:16-18, 21 – “…17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great… 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
      • When the Almighty comes back – Jesus is not coming back as a little boy born into a manger, but He’s coming with the wrath of the Almighty God
      • This is describing the battle of Armageddon – the fowls come and feast on the bodies of all the people that get killed fighting against Jesus
    • Luke 17:37 is talking about the second coming of the Lord 
      • Those who die in the battle (whose bodies are eaten by the fowl) are in the armies of those who fight against Israel and are destroyed by Jesus 
      • The disciples ask, “Where, Lord?” to understand what He was referring to with one taken, one left 
  • In the second coming, you want to be left 
    • You really want to be raptured, but if you don’t make it, you want to be left 
  • Zech. 13:8-9 – “8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” 
    • During that time of the second coming, with the ones referred to here, two parts shall be cut off and die, but the third part shall be left 
    • The third part, which is left, is refined and tried, and they call on His name
      • After the rapture, there will be people that are saved because of His Spirit, His name, and His blood 
    • 1/3 of the people here, the part that is LEFT, are saved at the second coming
      • At the rapture, the ones left are unsaved 
  • Zech. 14:1-4 – “1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” 
    • v. 2 all nations against Jerusalem to battle – the battle of Armageddon 
    • v. 4 the LORD’s feet shall stand upon the mount of Olives and it shall be cut in the middle 
  • Zech. 14:16-18 – “16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” 
    • After the rapture and the second coming, people live and inhabit the earth and they still have requirements 
    • v. 16 in the second coming, the ones that are left are saved 
  • Joel 3:2-3 – “2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.” 
    • Valley of Jehoshaphat (v. 2) – also referred to as the valley of decision (v. 14) 
      • Decision that has to be made at the second coming: Whose side are you on? The Lord’s side or the side of those fighting against Israel? 
      • People refer to two men in one bed, and two women grinding but He gets them out (Luke 17:34-35 ) – one goes to hell, and the other ends up being saved because they’re refined by what they go through in that period and call on the name (Zech. 13:9) 
        • v. 3 is similar 
    • v. 2 “I will also gather all nations” — cp.  Zech. 14:2; Luke 17:37; Rev. 19:17-18; etc. where all nations are gathered at the battle of Armageddon in the valley of Jehoshaphat 
      • These nations are gathered together against Israel, but He still wants to save them 
      • Not His goal to kill and punish people, because He’s a merciful God 
    • The things that are going on – “they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink” (v. 3) 
      • They use boys as prostitutes, whores in this time 
      • They don’t have a use for the girls – more interested in wine 

No Signs of the Rapture

  • There are no signs of the rapture 
  • 2 Pet. 3:12 – “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 
    • Speaking of the refining of heaven and earth – when they’re both caught on fire and He makes a new heaven and earth that overtakes the current one 
  • After the rapture, in scripture, there are still messengers, a message, the Spirit moving, and the Name saving 
  • Phil. 3:20-21 – “20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” 
    • Greek is an inflective language – each word has a specific meaning depending on the use 
    • v. 20 “we look for” – Greek verb
      • Greek First Person Plural (We)
      • Used in the PRESENT tense
    • Paul was saying that he and the church of Philippi were “right now” looking for Him to come at any moment and get them — expecting the rapture any time 
      • They had no clue when the rapture was going to happen 
      • We have signs that indicate when the second coming will happen 
  • Titus 2:13 – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” 
    • Looking – used in the PRESENT tense 
  • They were looking for the rapture to happen, expecting and leaving room for it to happen at any time 

The Rapture of the Church

  • 1 Thess. 4:13-18 – “13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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.”
    • Doesn’t want you to be ignorant – ignore 
    • v. 16 the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout 
      • Zech. 14:4 & Rev. 19 He descends from heaven with His FEET 
        • Stands on the mountain and it splits in two
        • That is the second coming of the Lord to the earth 
      • When He comes for the rapture, the Lord descends from heaven with a SHOUT 
    • The order of what happens (v. 16-17) 
      • The Lord comes, descends from heaven with a shout 
      • The dead in Christ shall rise first
        • Those that hear His voice rise from the dead 
      • Those who are alive shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air
        • This is how we’re able to come back with Him after the tribulation 
    • v. 14 “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” 
      • When Jesus comes back, He’ll bring back the ones who died – their souls
        • He’s not coming to earth in this passage
        • Rev. 6:9-11 souls under the altar 
          • When somebody who is saved now dies, their soul goes to heaven and their body goes in the grave
      • When Jesus comes back in the rapture, He’ll bring back the souls of the saints that are dead 
        • He’s coming back to get the dead in Christ, so He brings their souls with them 
        • The dead (their bodies) rise from the dead and their body is reunited with their souls 
  • 1 Cor. 15:51-52 – “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.” 
    • v. 51 sleep – dead in Christ 
    • Our change will happen in a moment
      • Moment = atomoo (S:823) – uncut, indivisible 
        • Atom – smallest division of a particle
        • An “atom” of time – The smallest division of time
      • The Bible doesn’t say rapture will happen quick like that; the CHANGE will happen “in a moment” (v. 52), instantaneously 
    • People will get up and rise from the graves, because the change happens 
      • v. 52 the trumpet shall sound — 1 Thess. 4:16 the trump of God
      • v. 52 the dead shall be raised incorruptible — when they get up out of the grave, they’re not coming out like a corpse; they’re coming up changed 
      • The dead are changed, those alive are changed, and we all get caught up together in the rapture to meet the Lord in the air 

Signs of the Second Coming

  • The signs spoken of in the Bible are not signs of the rapture; they’re signs of the second coming of Christ 
  • Luke 17:26-30 as it was in the days of Lot and Noe (Noah) so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man 
    • v. 28 – “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;” 
    • What was going on in those days? 
      • People gratified themselves – drunkards, whoremongers, etc. 
      • Those are signs of the second coming of the Lord 
      • Men marrying men – giving in marriage to men, loving men 
      • Women burning for women 
    • The day we’re living in has the signs of the second coming 
  • The disciples asked, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3)
    • There are no signs of the rapture 
    • The Lord is coming back and there will be a renovation of the sun, moon, stars 
    • The sun will be black, the moon will drip with blood (Rev. 6:12), the earth will catch on fire (2 Pet. 3:7, 10), there will be new heaven on earth (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1)
    • The disciples’ question IS about more than one thing but it is NOT about the rapture
  • He addresses their question – “7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24:7-8) 
    • He says, these are just the beginning of sorrows (v. 8)
    • The media supports sin, but follow the word of God 
    • Ex. Homosexuality rampant like in the days of Lot and Noah and fornication 
    • Ex. Pestilences – diseases like COVID 
    • The signs of the second coming are already happening, which are the beginning of sorrows
      • The rapture in scripture has to happen before the second coming
      • We know, as we’re seeing signs of the second coming, the rapture has to happen first 
  • Matt. 24:11-21 – “11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” 
    • v. 13 before and during the second coming, there are people who will be saved 
      • He’ll go after Israel who did not believe He was the Christ 
        • When the antichrist sits in the temple that Jesus is supposed to be sitting in, the Jews will realize he’s not the one, and start calling His name and will be saved 
      • There will be saints saved by the name, blood, spirit, water after the rapture 
    • Signs are found here, in Luke 17, Zechariah, Joel of the second coming of Christ coming back to earth
    • These signs have nothing to do with the rapture, but because the rapture happens before the second coming, we know if we see the signs of the second coming, His coming in the clouds is nearer than we first believed 
  • Matt. 24:27-30, 33 – “27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. … 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” 
    • If this was talking about the rapture, we would sit and say the rapture is not happening yet because we don’t see any of what is described 
    • The church will be gone in the rapture, but when the ones still here on earth, see these things happening, “know that it is near, even at the doors” (v. 33) 

Summary

  • 2 Thess. 2:1-8 – “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. 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; 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. 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. 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:” 
    • v. 2 Don’t trip like the day of Christ is at hand
      • It’s not at hand – Jesus is not about to come back on earth to reign yet 
    • This is NOT talking about the rapture – “that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 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.” (v. 3-4) 
      • There are still things that have to happen first before the second coming
    • What is stopping the devil’s plan, stopping Satan from reigning right now? The body of Christ (v. 6-7) 
      • We have to be TAKEN out of the way (RAPTURE – v. 7), then Satan can have his way, then the Lord will come (SECOND COMING – v. 8)
    • Letteth – preventing  
      • He can’t be revealed yet – it’s impossible now 
  • Jesus is coming back for His bride, His church, the ones who have His spirit, His name, His blood 
    • When He comes back for us, He’s really just getting Himself, the members of His body, all together 

Jesus is coming! Let’s explore the Word of God concerning living in the last days & the events of the end times! Dig in with 5 classes & 12 interactive lessons including questions, cross-references, present-day application, and more! Get started TODAY!

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