- Invisible return? I don’t remember ever reading that!
The following is a modified excerpt from the book ‘Escape or Passover’.
by Paul Benson.
A Secret Coming?
I have heard many a speaker proclaim a secret invisible Coming of Christ to ‘rapture’ the Church’ as an integral part of the teachings of God’s Word, but I have never heard anyone quote a passage which actually says such a thing! Try as they might to garner Scriptural support for this notion, there is none. There is not one passage in the Bible which explicitly puts forth this concept. It has to be presupposed, and then collaborated by bits of verse pulled out of context. Let’s look at what the Scriptures really do have to say about the Return of Christ.
The Coming Of Christ Will Be Visible!
When the Scriptures speak of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ there is a reoccurring theme which is quite evident. The plain truth that his Coming will be out in the open, and visible to all, is taught in a great number of places. But what is not taught in the Bible is a secret non-visible coming of Christ as proposed by those preaching the ‘pre-trib rapture theory’.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7
And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:4
When Jesus was giving us the rundown on end-time events, he gave us a wealth of information on the subject of his Return. He made some comments on this issue that many have purposely chosen to ignore. They just don’t jive with their story.
Accept Only A Visible Coming
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 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; Matt 24:26-27
When Jesus was teaching about these things he gave us some very straight-forward instruction about the possibility of someone coming to us who would be trying to convince us of a secret appearance of Christ. He said, “Believe it not!” He was telling us not to believe ANYTHING other than a completely visible event. If Jesus instructed us so clearly not to believe in a non-visible Coming; what in the world are people doing preaching such a thing? They do so in direct disobedience to his words!
His Coming will be as visible as a flash of lightning! But the ‘pre-trib rapture’ doctrine has us vanish to meet an invisible Jesus in a ‘secret chamber’ for a 7 year wedding feast. (I hope you’re hungry!) This is just the type of falsehood Jesus was warning us of.
Plus don’t you think the Father would wait to throw a wedding feast for the Bride and Groom until the Bride has completely arrived? There are going to be believers on earth right up until the Second Coming! Only after the great tribulation and the Return of Christ could the wedding supper rightly take place.
The ‘pre-trib’ teaching has part of the Bride missing out on her own wedding feast (although some actually teach the Old Testament and ‘tribulation Saints’ are not a part of the Bride of Christ and don’t rise in the Resurrection of the Just. They say they are Jehovah’s Bride. Yes, they teach God has two Brides! You might be surprised at all the elements of dispensational theology you never hear about because of the controversy preaching them causes!)
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1Thessalonians 5:2-4
When preachers are using the phrase ‘like a thief in the night’ to teach their ‘rapture’ they seldom include these last two verses. That is because they describe sudden destruction immediately following the catching away. That doesn’t fit the rapture story, but is does fit the true teaching of the Resurrection and catching away taking place at the Second Coming. Jesus will visit this world with sudden destruction at his Return!
And also the passage says Christ’s Return will not take the awake believer by surprise; the Bible says we are not in darkness that that day should sneak up on us! That doesn’t fit their fable either. Jesus gave us a great number of indicators to watch for that would herald his Return. We CAN know the season (though not the day nor hour). Here are a few Luke listed:
The Signs of Christ’s Coming
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:25-28
A similarity many prophesies concerning the Lord’s Return share is their description of the signs in the sun, moon, and stars. Some unbelievable things are going to take place that are going to literally scare people to death! These signs are always given as preceding the Coming of Jesus. When does our redemption arrive? When we SEE him coming after the signs he gave us. That is NOT a pre-trib rapture!
Notice that when Jesus gave these signs he said when you see them look up for your redemption draws near. He said when you see them because we will be here to see them; and look up because that’s where he will be: visible in the sky! Not a secret coming of an invisible Jesus, but a visible Return in the clouds for all to see!
His Coming Will Be The Reverse Of His Departure!
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. Acts 1:9-11
The angels were very specific in pointing out the fact that when Jesus descends again it will be a visible event. Please take a moment and think about something here. If the pretrib rapture theory was correct, and it is the event we are to be looking for, would not the angels at this time have commented on that event, and not on a visible Return the Church would not be on earth to look for (if the pre-trib theory were true)?
What would be the sense of describing something believers wouldn’t be here waiting for, while giving no information on the event that they (supposedly) would be seeing? The angels in Acts 1 would not have spoken the way they did if there was going to be a pretrib rapture! They were saying, “Here’s what to expect when he returns again; the reverse of what you are seeing here! He rose visibly, and he will descend visibly.”
Believing What The Bible Says Not Man
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. Matthew 24:29-30
We can thumb through the Scriptures and find verse after verse after verse which give us an account of a visible and glorious Return of Jesus to this earth; and the Church being resurrected and caught away at that time. But any passages thoroughly expounding on the aspects of a secret non-visible non-return seven years earlier? Zero, zilch, zip, nope, nyet, notta single one!
Why should we be believing a teaching you cannot find in the Bible?
The answer? We should not!
Here is a list of my articles on the pre-trib rapture myth. I examine the various elements of that doctrine thoroughly, and the conclusion is always the same. There is no such teaching in the Word of God! It is an invention of man. It is a theory that has to be presupposed, and then inserted into end-time narrative by deceitful means.
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