The Rapture Is NOT ‘The Mystery God Revealed To Paul’!

Have you been told a pre-tribulation ‘rapture’ is the ‘mystery of God’ which was revealed to the Apostle Paul? That is NOT how the Bible portrays the mystery Paul preached!

The mystery of the ages
Have YOU unlocked ‘the Mystery’?

 

by Paul Benson

(NOTE: I felt led of the Lord of rework this article a bit and republish it at this time. Why not share it with your pre-trib believing friends or family? It may be the eye-opener they need to start questioning the correctness of their beliefs! -P.B.)

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:9

The Apostle said that as followers of Christ we are joined together in the fellowship (partnership) of a great mystery. Many folks seem to be confused as to just what that mystery is; and the devil is most assuredly at work to obfuscate the beautiful reality of it. He is constantly at work to lead us away from it with deceptions and distractions.

But it is the will of the Father that this mystery be revealed to those that love him. And through the enlightenment of his Word and his Spirit that wonderful treasure chest of mystery is opened; and the precious contents can now become our possession! Let’s look at what the Bible really teaches about that mystery hidden in God since the creation of the world.

It is getting more and more common to hear preachers and teachers refer to the concept of a pre-tribulation rapture as ‘the mystery of God revealed to Paul’. We are led to believe that this concept has somehow been hidden away from the world (and apparently from the Church for 1800 years) but is right there in the Word of God as plain as day for all to see. And that we need only a little guiding (and a proper understanding of God’s plan) to see it for ourselves. But should we take the bait and swallow that hook, or swim right around that notion? Could a catching away of the Church before the time of great tribulation possibly be the great mystery of God revealed to Paul?

What Is The ‘Mystery Of God’ Revealed To The Church?

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.  Isaiah 26:19

As we shall see the mystery of the ages revealed to Paul had nothing to do with a supposed ‘rapture’ of the Church before the time of tribulation; but was referring to the resurrection of the dead. Namely Christ’s resurrection; and our personal association with it. That in a similar manner as he was raised up into an immortal glorified body, so shall we be!

The concept of a pre-trib rapture is NOT an inherent part of the Gospel of Christ. It is a notion which has been added in by man. Peter used the expression ‘cunningly devised fables’ in his writings (2Peter 1:16). This is an accurate description of the pre-trib rapture theory. Although many facets of that doctrine are outright foolish, and quite easy to discern and refute, other elements of the pre-trib theory do evidence a real cunning in the promotion of that error.

But before you can preach a Gospel that the pre-trib rapture is a part of, you first have to INSERT it into the Gospel. Like a person takes yeast and kneads it into the dough of a loaf of bread they take the notion of a pre-trib rapture and knead it into the Word of God to try and convince you it is an integral part of the Gospel. Many different tactics are used to accomplish this feat. Attempting to establish the pre-trib theory as ‘the mystery revealed to Paul’ is merely one of them. But developing a proper understanding of just what the true ‘mystery’ is will keep that pre-trib leaven from rising, and tainting your beliefs.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 1Corinthians 15:51

The idea that the pre-trib rapture is the ‘mystery hid from ages and from generations’ (Col. 1:26) comes from a misrepresentation of this verse from 1Corinthians. This verse is claimed by many folks to be referring to the catching away / rapture, but it is absolutely not! We’ll look at that in-depth a little later, but first let’s see if we can get a handle on the concept of what the Bible refers to as the ‘mystery of God’.

The word mystery is used 22 times in the New Testament in a variety of applications ranging from ‘the mystery of iniquity’ in 2Thess. 2:7, to the ‘blindness in part which has happened to Israel’ in Romans 11:25, to the mystery of ‘Babylon the Great’ in Revelation 17:5. And many of these usages of the word have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

But there is a very evident focus in the Scriptures on the matter of a mystery involved in God’s dealings with mankind to bring about a fulfillment of the promise of inheritance and eternal life. We are talking about a mystery concerning the salvation revealed to us in Christ!

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Mark 4:11

The revelation of this mystery is only for those who will be the recipients of this promised inheritance and never-ending life. It remains veiled to those who do not have a ‘need to know’.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 1Corinthians 2:7

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Romans 16:25

This hidden wisdom which lies in the preaching of the Gospel is not something God just dreamed up as things progressed. He has had only one plan to redeem mankind from the beginning of the world. (The Church is not Plan B as dispensational theology teaches!)

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)…  Ephesians 3:3-4

Here Paul explains how he came about a knowledge of the mystery of God. He does claim it was given to him by revelation (as the rapture theorists do correctly state). But please notice here he calls it ‘the mystery of Christ’. It is crucial to our proper understanding that we grasp that the central focus of this mystery is not a ‘rapture’, but a person! And that person is Jesus Christ! Paul goes into greater depth to help us understand this wonderful mystery in the next passage.

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:26

Notice carefully here, Paul said it was a mystery made manifest (revealed) to the Saints of his generation: the early Church. He does NOT give the understanding this ‘mystery of God’ is a doctrine (pre-trib rapture) that will be only revealed to the end-time generation as we are being led to believe by many deceived and deceiving teachers today. Again he points, NOT to a ‘catching away’, but to our Christ. And the deeper understanding of this all concerns Christ indwelling the believer. Christ in you! This is the glory of the mystery, and thus carries the hope of the believer. That our salvation will come about as a result of Jesus living IN US!

Now back to the passage the rapture theorists attempt to twist into a promotion of their false doctrine.

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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Corinthians 15:51-53

Here is where the deception comes in: the pre-trib teachers try and garner support for their notion by INSERTING their ‘rapture’ into this passage where Paul is specifically referring to our transformation at the Resurrection as the mystery revealed to him. And now (in their amended version) the teaching of the pre-trib rapture becomes the great ‘mystery God revealed to Paul’ instead of the resurrection!

[SIDE NOTE: Rapture teachers would have you believe both our resurrection and catching away are one event that transpires instantaneously. There is absolutely NO biblical support for this ‘POOF! – we are gone!’ idea. Resurrection and ascension are two separate events. Was it only one event for Jesus? No, it was not. His resurrection and his ascension were forty days apart! Our resurrection and catching away are two separate events. Exactly how much time will separate them? I do not claim to have that information.

Some believe the two will transpire in rapid succession while there are some who teach a period of as much as forty days between the two. We have no Scripture to give us that specific information, so all we can do is speculate. But what the Scriptures do clearly state is: …the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds (1Thess. 4:16-17). If one event happens, and THEN another event happens, they are NOT the same event!]

But let’s establish an important fact here: The catching away of the believers is not mentioned even once in the entire chapter of 1Corinthians 15! That is not the focus here. These are NOT ‘rapture’ verses! The subject here is the resurrection and transformation of the believer. That is our hope: that Christ in us will on that Resurrection Day bring about a transformation to us and then we shall be as he is! That is the end result of God’s plan; that is the fulfillment of the mystery. We will have the same immortal body he does!

The phrase ‘in a twinkling of an eye’ has been hijacked from its context by the pre-trib crowd, and craftily used to promote their ‘POOF! …now the Church is gone’ idea. But that phrase has been deceptively applied to their theory. The Bible says it is the resurrection / transformation of the believer that takes place in the twinkling of an eye, not our catching away to the clouds. I believe our ascension will mirror that of the Lord Jesus. Here’s why:

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus…  Hebrews 6:20

…leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  1Peter 2:21

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Romans 6:5

Christ our forerunner has gone ahead and left a path of his footsteps for us to follow. Our experience is to be in the likeness of (look like) his! Why should we think the catching away of the Body would look any different than the catching away of the Head? (see Acts 1:9-11 for a biblical description of ascension.) I go into this in greater detail in my book ‘The Pre-Trib Rapture: A Bucket Full of Holes!. Help yourself to a free copy if you like.

The rapture, or catching away as I prefer to call it, is described clearly in 1Thess. 4:17 where it says after the dead rise the living believers: “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air”.  This short trip is relatively minor when compared to the amazing transformation of the resurrection and the eternal consequences that change will bring our way. Our journey from earth up to the sky is NOT the mystery of the ages; it is Christ in you the hope of glory, and the fact we shall become as he is by the resurrection of the dead. Let’s get it right, shall we?

The Last Trump!

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. Revelation 10:7

There are those who claim the seventh and last of the trumpets in Revelation is not the ‘last trump’ associated with the resurrection of the dead in 1Cor. 15, or the trumpet that shall sound when we are caught up to meet Christ in 1Thess. 4. But only because they are forced to say so, for to admit they were all the same last trump would prove the pre-trib theory false! They have to disassociate these passages to protect their doctrine.

Should we believe God would confusingly place multiple ‘last trumps’ in the end time puzzle; last trumps that transpire at different times? (The same folks who would have us think so also tell us there is a pre-trib resurrection BEFORE the ‘First Resurrection’ of Revelation 20:5 which includes those martyred during the tribulation! That pesky passage also reeks havoc with their wayward theory.)

But just as we saw in 1Corinthians 15 that it is the Resurrection that brings about the fulfillment of the promise of the mystery of God, so also here in Revelation 10 we have he very same testimony of the completion of that mystery. When? At the Second Coming! For that is the event that is being portrayed here. The Resurrection of the Just and our catching away take place at the Second Coming of Christ. There is no prior ‘rapture’! The notion is a hoax!

Actually the pre-trib rapture crowd are shooting themselves in the foot here by calling the rapture the mystery of God. PLEASE GET THIS: If the pre-trib rapture was the mystery of the ages it would have been finished seven years earlier at the (supposed) pre-trib event! It would NOT be detailed as being finished here at the Return of Christ to earth as the Bible clearly states in Rev. 10:7!

What testimony are you going to believe about this ‘great mystery’ revealed to us the believer? That of the Bible, or that of the pre-trib rapture theorists? I’m going with the Bible!

There is NOT ONE place in the Bible that refers to the catching away as the mystery of God revealed to the Church, and it is deceptive to say that it is! When rapture teachers try to muster support for their theory by saying the pre-trib rapture is the ‘mystery of God revealed to Paul’ they are furthering a lie.

The pre-trib theory is not correct doctrine. If you are believing that falsehood you have been deceived; and if you are teaching it to others you are a deceiver! It is a lie, and therefor it is to be repented of, and turned away from. Will you join the countless others who have woken up, and rejected the errors of the pre-trib rapture myth?

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,  8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: Psalms 95:7-8

May the Lord bring us all into a full and proper understanding of the great ‘mystery of the ages’ revealed unto us his people:

Christ in you: the hope of glory!

Paul Benson

http://www.paulbenson.me

 

I welcome your input!

If you have comment or criticism please use the section below. Overly long comments may be edited for length.

Thank you for visiting my site.

 

 

Author: Paul Benson

My Website is at www.paulbenson.me. My blog 'Let's Get It Right!' is at pbenson.me.

10 thoughts on “The Rapture Is NOT ‘The Mystery God Revealed To Paul’!”

  1. Many try and warp the book of Revelation and place the birth of the man child and then the man child being caught up to the throne of God, Rev 12:5 as a pre tribulation rapture. This is not so based simply on the three woes which are aligned with the last three Trumpets and when they occur. It is important that one understands, that the mention of the word trumpet or trumpets in the book of Revelation, is only in relationship to the seven angels who sound the seven trumpets that are given them, Rev 8:2. With this in mind, a careful reading of the rest of the 8th chapter you will find that the three woes are aligned and linked to the 5th-7th trumpets. Why is this important? Many associate the Revelation wonder or sign of the woman, Rev 12:1&2, with the rapture. Since the third woe, Rev 12:12, follows the birth of the man child, Rev 12:5. The birth of the man child takes place in the middle of the tribulation, before the seven last plagues are poured out.

    Revelation 8:13 KJVS
    [13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

    Let’s look at where these three woes occur.

    Revelation 9:11-12 KJVS
    [11] And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. [12] One woe is past; and , behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
    Revelation 11:13-14 KJVS
    [13] And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. [14] The second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
    Revelation 12:12 KJVS
    [12] Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

    The third woe, which is linked to the seventh trumpet, Re 8:13, takes place seven verses later than the birth of the man child in the 12th chapter of Revelation. In regards to the pre tribulation rapture doctrine, is hard to believe that 3 1/2 years transpires between verse 12:5 and 12:12, because Re 11:14 states the second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly. There is a continuation of a theme within the narrative of the book of Revelation, the three woes which are aligned with the 5th-7th trumpets, which unfolds in a linear chronological fashion in the 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th chapters. Re 11:14&15 in particular demonstrates the continuation of this theme and sandwiches the seventh trumpet between the 2nd and 3rd woes.

    Revelation 11:14-15 KJVS
    [14] The second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly. [15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

    No matter how you slice and dice the word of God, 2 Ti 2:15. No matter how you make charts and timelines, counts days and try to assign feast days to fixed points in time. The body of Christ meets the Lord in the air when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. Scriptures are quite clear in this regard. I think the problem that exists, is that the meaning of the mystery of God, is only given to whom God would make known what this mystery is. You either understand the importance of it, or you don’t.

    Colossians 1:27 KJVS
    [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

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    1. Hi Luke;
      You make some great points there, and I agree with your sequence though probably not your timing. Many try to back that sequence up to fit a mid-trib rapture theory which is contrary to the truth. Any theory that presents a ‘rapture’ or coming of Christ for the Church before the Second Coming is a multi-rapture theory and not correct doctrine as I explain in this article:
      https://pbenson.me/2017/09/12/the-rapture-puzzle/
      It is provable by the Scriptures there can only be ONE Return of Christ and ONE catching away to meet him. Any other theory falls out of sync with the Word of God. The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord at the Second Coming. That is the Last Trump.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Blessings;
      Paul Benson

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    2. Paul, nice to hear from you. I see you have a WordPress site. You might want to download the Plugin RefTagger. (EDITED FOR LRNGTH P.B.) We are likely not going to come to a agreement regarding this matter. But I will present my take on the matter. The Greek word translated into the English word after in Mark 13:24.
      G3326
      (EDITED FOR LRNGTH P.B.) One could very easily translate this word as amid in Mark 13:24. Later Paul.

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    3. Luke;
      Hi again brother. You need to pray through on this matter and not stubbornly hold on to your mid-trib position. Seriously. That theory is unworkable for a myriad of reasons. Please read my other articles and free books and you will see plenty of proof for this statement. If you have a love for the truth let the truth speak to you and show you the obvious conflicts to God’s Word that doctrine presents.

      As to your view on Mark 13:24 being a possible reference to a mid-trib event because the Greek word for after can also mean in the middle of: Matthews use of the same Greek word would seem to put any such notion to rest. He wrote: Immediately after the tribulation… clearly showing the Coming of Christ is AFTER the tribulation.
      Telling the Church they will not face the onslaught of Antichrist because Christ will come for us before hand is a very serious matter and needs to be repented of! If you read nothing else of my work PLEASE read this article: The Curse of the Pre-Trib Rapture.

      May the Lord guide us into all truth;
      PaulBenson
      P.S. WordPress.com sites like I use are not allowed to install plugins like WordPress.org sites. But thanks for the tip. It would be a nice feature to have.

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  2. This is exactly what Paul talked about when he said there will be doctrines from the devil.
    This man is teaching there will be no catching away for those who believe in the gospel. Stray away from these teachings, are Lord is coming for us!!! Very soon.

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    1. Hi Frank;
      No one who actually took time to read this article would come away with the impression I teach there will be no catching away. I clearly state the biblical and proper timing of the catching away is at the Second Coming and NOT at a prior event man has dreamed up. SO apparently (in a typical closed-minded fashion of someone who lacks ears to listen) you did not even bother to read the article or pray over it before commenting on its contents.

      Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

      The doctrine that is of the devil is the one that says the Church will not face the onslaught of the Antichrist in the final great persecution of the believers.

      In Christ Jesus;
      Paul Benson

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  3. If the saints all got snatched away, how are we going to have the multitudes that were beheaded for not taking the mark before the throne. If they all got snatched who would be around to refuse. That never made sense.

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    1. I guess that great multitude must be the supposed tribulation saints who supposedly got saved without the Holy Spirit to draw them to Christ and to regenerate them. And now they are stuck without a body because the rapture/catching away has supposedly already happened! I wonder how they feel about attending the supposed seven year wedding supper in heaven (or are they even worthy)? It sure would be embarrassing being a lowly ‘second-string’ martyr without a glorified body when all those ‘first-string’ players, who were supposedly whisked away from the persecution of the tribulation, are all walking around in one.
      Blessings;
      Paul Benson

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    2. There are two seed of the woman in the 12th chapter of Revelation. The man child, verse 5, and the remnant of the woman’s seed, verse 17, who Satan wars with for the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation which would match those multitudes you mention, Rev 20:4, who also reign with Christ for a thousand years. The book of Revelation is a tough book in terms timing for when the Saints are gathered unto the Lord. Since you clearly have two groups who are resurrected at different times, and said that they will reign with Jesus Christ, Rev 11:15&20:4&6. Rev 11:15 coincides with Rev 10:7. One could view Rev 10:7 as nonspecific because it states “in the days”. Might that allow leeway in regards to the passage of time?

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    3. Hi Luke;
      Thanks for the comment. Although some interesting thoughts, you have inserted MUCH presupposition into the verses you quoted. I am very wary of any doctrine proposed by the wording of the book of Revelation that has no solid confirming witness in the teaching of Christ and the Apostles. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

      You have erroneously separated the woman’s seed into two seeds which the Scriptures do not bear out. It reads the man-child and the rest of her seed meaning the manchild is part of that same group. Pre-trib theory (as well as mid-trib) forces a twisted reading of that verse. There are a great many who believe that manchild is Christ Jesus. I lean in that direction because of the wording of 1Corintians 15 on the resurrection of the dead.

      There are only two groups of Chritians raptured at different times if you read that theory into the text. Please study 1Corinthians 15:20-24. The resurrection is truly two part: Christ the first fruit and then ALL that are his at his Coming. First the Head then the Body. Clearly stated. The resurrection and rapture of all believers from all time take place at his Coming (Greek Parousia).

      A study of all the descriptions of the Coming/Parousia shows it to be the post trib Second Coming of Christ. There is only ONE rapture/ catching away of the Church. Two or more are expressly stated no where in the Bible; and actually the notion is a contradiction to the Bible. Two descriptions of the catching away in Revelation do not constitute two separate catchings away anymore than multiple descriptions of other events indicate plurality.
      Blessings;
      Paul Benson

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