The Rapture—when and where?

I know that millions of people (Christians in particular) are awaiting the rapture. This is the moment when they will be wisked away before all hell breaks loose on planet earth. But, allow me to gently and humbly suggest that this “rapture==>left behind” view is right about the suddenness of Christ’s return, but wrong about what happens next.

This view that millions of people will be standing around wondering where everyone went and headed toward the great tribulation has little in the bible to support it. In fact, rather the opposite, I believe the bible makes it rather clear that Christ coming for his own will be the end of history. I would encourage you to consider these views as “noble Bereans” and test my view against the “rapture==> left behind/tribulation” view.

Rather than the unregenerate being “left behind” for the great tribulation–wondering where everyone disappeared to, I believe that when the “rapture” happens we who remain are changed, meet the Lord in the air with resurrected believers and return to the earth immediately to stand before Christ for final judgment (together with all humanity, those who died apart from Christ and those who lived apart from Christ.) This is the end and death will be defeated right then and there.

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

When we are transformed (i.e. “raptured”) then death will also be ended. Why? Because, all will be raised and all will face final judgment together. That is not what “raptureàleft behind” advocates say. If death is ended at his coming and our rapture, then there is no more “fierce wrath of God” to be poured out on humanity in history. For when that event happens: a) Christ descends, b) we meet him in the air, c) Christ judges the world. End of story. It will be sudden; but there’s nothing I can find in the bible to convince me that anyone will be left behind.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Revelation 1:7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

rapture predicted 1992When he comes, everyone will see him. This is directly contradicted in the rapture/left behind view. Who say that no-one will see him.

At the end of history all the dead are raised—the just and the unjust at the same time.

Revelation 20:11-15 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Matthew 25:31-34 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…. Matthew 25:40-41 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

I believe Christ second coming is the end. There will be nothing after that. So yes, he will come in an instant. But those who are not caught up, will be presently judged immediately. There is no tribulation after his once and final return. There is no secret return.

1 Corinthians 15:22-24 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

In summary here’s the order of events as I read them from the scriptures:

  1. Christ returns (see all relvant texts above)
  2. The dead in Christ are raised (1 Thess. 4; 1 Cor. 15:23)
  3. All the dead are raised (1 Cor. 15:23) “the dead are raised imperishable”
  4. We who are alive and remain are take up (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:17)
  5. Every eye sees him because: (Rev. 1:7)
  6. the sea gives up it’s dead & those un-regenerate non-raptured people witness his descent with us his holy ones (Rev. 20:11)
  7. Jesus judges the nations (Matthew 25:31-45)
  8. Death is no more (1 Cor. 15:54)
  9. Then the end will come (1 Cor. 15:24)
  10. He hands the kingdom over to his Father (1 Cor. 15:24)
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13 Comments

Filed under eschatology

13 responses to “The Rapture—when and where?

  1. It is easy to confuse or mix-up ‘the rapture of the church’ and ‘the return of Christ’.

    1 Corinthians 15:51-55 – the entire chapter 15 is focused on resurrection doctrine. The verses that you cited is Paul’s first ever explanation of the rapture to the church at Corinth. The trumpet mentioned is in direct relation to the “feast of trumpets” which in the Jewish calender represents the prophetic fulfillment of the rapture of the church and not trumpet judgment.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – actually this is clearer explanation of the rapture given to the church at Thessalonica and it starts at verse 13.

    Revelation 1:7 – this event occurs at the return of Christ and is distinct from the rapture. (Bear in mind that those who are raptured are caught up in the air to meet the Lord). All the inhabitants of the earth at this point would most definitely see Him and is preceded by the nation of Israel crying out for her Messiah. Again this is distinct from the rapture.

    Christ’s return would effectively end the period known as tribulation and herald the millennial reign or 1,000 year reign of Christ over all the nations with Israel as the head nation. After which judgment shall take place and a new Jerusalem will descend from heaven and God the Father will reign.

    To summarise:

    rapture and return are 2 separate events

    read the biblical texts in the context in which it is written

    to discern the truth stay clear of bible bingo or choosing particular chapters and/or verses to prove an individual’s point of view

    the order is rapture then return

    To God be the glory through Christ Jesus.

    In grace

    Wesley

    • revtimbrown

      Dear Wesley,

      Thank you for your comments. I have read them twice but beg to humbly differ. I assure you I am not “mixed up.” Rather I am carefully reading the word of God and fitting together what God has revealed. I believe that my view of the revealed chronology is a better interpretation than the dispensational: rapture, tribulation, return, millenium sequence. Please consider the following reasons.

      First, it is not true that 1 Cor. was Paul’s “first ever explanation of the rapture to the church at Corinth” as if 1 Thess is the fuller description or later development/revelation. 1 and 2 Thessalonians were most likely written as some of Paul’s first letters (49-51 AD) from Corinth, while 1 Corinthians was written later (53-55 AD) from Ephesus. So the opposite is true. 1 Thessalonians is the first place where Paul speaks of being “caught up” and he gives a fuller picture in 1 Cor. 15 when he says that we will all be “changed” (another term for the rapture) in the context of the general resurrection.

      Second, I’m rather disheartened to hear you say, “to discern the truth stay clear of bible bingo or choosing particular chapters and/or verses to prove an individual’s point of view.” All you have done in your comment is parrot back the lingo of the dispensational scheme. You have not proven that the rapture precedes the resurrection by any period of time. I am not simply running to verses to “prove my view.” On the other hand you have only assumed your system and applied it by going to the verses you already know. The next points will clarify…

      Third, how shall we settle the difference between the two systems (dispensational v. covenant)? I propose that we need to work from more clear to less clear passages. And allow passages which are more complete to explain the passages which only reveal part of the story.
      In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is speaking exclusively of the hope of believers at the return of Christ. He only speaks of those in the household of faith, not because it is a separate event (the rapture of the church v. the return of Christ), but because he has as his stated goal to comfort those who are troubled because some believers have fallen asleep before the “coming of the Lord” (1 Thess 4:15). This is synonymous with “the Day of the Lord” (1 Thess 5:2), which is to say the return of Christ, the end of the world, the final judgment.
      In 1 Corinthians (on the other hand) Paul has in view the resurrection, which is a more general picture of the final day. In defending the doctrine of the resurrection to the Corinthians who would have been aware of his letter to the Thessalonians (since he had already written 1 Thess. from Corinth), he now shows the fuller picture of 1 Thess on clarifies that at the moment when we are transformed/caught up. What he says here is that these events precede the end. In this passage Paul clarifies that “we shall not all sleep” (clear reference to 1 Thess 4). Notice that this is not at the end of the tribulation (when we are gone), because at that time Christians will be present on the earth to be changed. “This perishable body must put on the imperishable.” It is at this time (the rapture, being caught up) that the dead in Christ will rise, as will all men and women everywhere at the general resurrection, for at this time death will be swallowed up in victory. (1 Cor. 15:50-55)

      What is the proof that this is all one event? The teaching of Jesus himself. In John 5 (where Jesus predicts the resurrection) he says,

      “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28-29

      Therefore it is most clear that the resurrection, which precedes rapture (1 Thess 4), will be of both the righteous and the unrighteous (John 5). There is is right on the words of Jesus! “An hour is coming.” Not two separated events, but “an hour.” In that hour the resurrection of the just and the unjust will occur. There’s no time for a 7 year gap within that hour. Thus, where 1 Thessalonians 4 tells of what will happen to the righteous on that day, and 1 Corinthians tells of what will happen at the same day (of resurrection), are all based on Jesus’ words that “all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out…”

      Fourth, you’re probably wondering,

      “what happened to the great tribulation? Isn’t that is supposed to squeeze in there after all the Christians are raptured out? If there’s one ending, where does that go?”

      The answer again is found of the words of Christ in Matthew 24 where he describes the assault on Jerusalem in 70 AD. This is “Jacob’s trouble” which the house of Israel has endured for rejecting their messiah, as prophesied by our Lord. The great tribulation has come and gone. You’ll have to check out my Eschatology lectures on Matthew 24-25. Online Resources
      Begin with Week 5 of lectures and handouts and go forward for to Week 7.

      Grace and peace,

      Tim

  2. Hi Tim,

    I’m going utilize your approach of selecting clearer passages to support the fact of the rapture and the return being 2 separate events. My approach will begin with the Church. Who or what is the church, when it started, when it ends, what exists before the church age and what would exist at the end of it.

    First it is necessary to identify that the church in scriptures mean a group of invited guests (Christians who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit). This is distinct from the chosen people and would exist for time. It is commonly accepted as a grafting in.

    We will begin with the advent of the church entity.

    Isa 29:9-14

    9 Be delayed and wait. Blind yourselves and be blind. They become drunk, but not with wine;
    They stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep,
    He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers. 11 And the entire vision shall be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.” 13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service,
    But they remove their hearts far from Me,
    And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed.”

    Here we have God speaking prophetically to the prophet Isaiah about the Jewish people and why the church even exists. Note that I will once again deal marvelously with this people, is not good thing.

    There are several other supporting scriptures giving an account of God’s removal of the nation of Israel from prominence to being a scattered people. It was judgment of the nation for their apostasy. Luke 21:24 -24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. This occurred in AD70, the people were regathered from 1948 and continues today.

    I hope you are getting some idea of where I am going with this. Allow me to summarize then –

    1. the grafting in or church age
    2. the reason why the church age began
    3. the judgment of Israel
    4. the age of the gentiles continue
    5. the regathering after the apostasy

    Whilst I have not listed all the other reasons why the church age come into being it does not diminish the fact that a new force (the church) as it were was now occupying the attention of God for a time. Can we agree that there is separate entity called the church which would eventually becomes the bride of Christ?

    Let us go to Revelations 1, 2, 3 and 4 where the time sequence of the church age is established to a point. Ephesus the apostolic church -> Smyrna the persecuted church -> Pergamum the unification of state and church -> Thyatira the dark ages church -> Sardis the reformation church -> Philadelphia the missionary church -> Laodicea the apostate church. I would venture to state with confidence in God’s word that the letters describe a sequential period in the maturing of the church.

    Rev 1:19-20
    19 “Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall take place after these things.

    Here John is being told to write things that are seen (Christ in His Kingly form), the things that are (the 7th church age) and the things after these things or things to come – pre-trib, mid-trib and trib. Since none of the things to come are present today, then we are in the “things that are” stage still.

    I stated that none of the things to come are present because of what scripture says in Rev 4, let’s look!

    Rev 4:1-5
    4 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceed flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
    And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; this implies that the Holy Spirit is with God in His dwelling for a time. But wait! Is not the church made up of those that have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

    So if the Holy Spirit is with God what happened to the Christians who constitute the Church? This is therefore clear evidence that the book of Revelations from chapter 4 onward is not about us (the church) but about the nation of Israel. We will have to look elsewhere in the previous 65 books to gather the evidence.

    I would interject at this point to let you know that we (the raptured) are not appointed to wrath.

    We would begin the building process:
    John 14:1-3
    14 “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “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. 3 “And 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.

    Christ is away from us in His Father’s house (Rev 4) and He would receive us to Himself but it does not say that we would be there forever! There is no evidence of simultaneous return of Christ to take up His Kingly role and judge the nations at this point!

    We now go to Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian church.
    1 Thess 4:13-18
    13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    Why is Paul telling the church to comfort one another? It is because he is answering the question of what becomes of those who are dead in Christ who are at the time the first generation of Christians prior to His return. This is a different type of return, it does not include Christ coming to earth to take up His Kingly role. Note also that the term “caught up” comes from the Greek raptuos and then the Latin vulgate rapio which gives us the term rapture.

    When we are raptured (the dead first) we cannot stand in presence of God in the sinful bodies that we have.
    1 Cor 15:50-53
    50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell 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 trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    Paul said to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord. I wager that the bodies of the living believers as well as those dead in Christ would remain on or in the ground and our new spirit ascends to meet Christ in the clouds and receive our incorruptible bodies that affords us the opportunity to stand in God’s presence. Keep in mind we are 2 pieces – the dead spirit and the corruptible body. When we come to faith our dead spirit is gone but we exist in an incoruuptible body. Both parts then must be fixed, that is why I suggest that our bodies are left behind.

    1 Thess 5:1-11
    5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

    Here Paul speaks of the ‘day of the Lord’ or tribulation and he has also said that we ‘are not destined us for wrath’. What then does Paul mean? This I venture is unmistakable proof that the rapture precedes tribulation which include at its end the return of Christ who will set up His earthly kingdom for 1,000 years (the church would be part of the world rulers), at the end of which satan would be loosed then condemned along with unbelievers who are then raised and judged. On our return with Christ we would be in our new form, are we going to be judged along with unbelievers at this point?

    The rapture therefore is the resurrection of the church or the first resurrection. The second resurrection comes on the day of judgment.

    In grace I give all the glory to God and wish you blessings.

    Wesley

    P.S. Christ has commanded us to rebuke our fellow believers, so don’t be disheartened.

    • revtimbrown

      Dear brother Wesley,

      Thank you for your comments. This is a huge topic which makes online dialogue challenging. We are really discussing two very unique paradigms of biblical understanding (covenant and dispensational).

      You ask, “Can we agree that there is separate entity called the church which would eventually becomes the bride of Christ?” My answer, is humbly no…and yes… Allow me to explain.

      My view is that the church is the plan of God in the present era which is the true expression of God’s people now and forever into the future. Israel will be saved (but not as an Old Covenant styled nation–using the OT sacrificial system or a Jerusalem specific monarchy.)

      Why do I believe this? Because Ephesians 2 CLEARLY teaches that God has made the Gentile believers and the Jewish believers one new man in Christ.

      I know this is a long excerpt but the force of it is so powerful. Please re-read what Paul says about the Gentiles and their relationship to the people of God. Paul is explicit that God has by no means made a separate entity, he has made the two ONE.

      Ephesians 2:11-22 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)– 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

      Those who “were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) are now “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. (Ephesians 2:19). I don’t think language gets any more clear than that! We are now fellow citizens of the same household. I believe if the Apostle Paul would debate you ardently on your mistaken point of view.

      Our differences about with whom God is working dramatically inform our views of when the tribulation occurs (occured) and what the character of the millennium shall be. Let me summarize my views here to show you how different we truly are:
      1. the church is comprised of everyone who is a believer in Jesus (Jew and Gentile)
      2. God has judged Israel for her disobedience once and for all in fulfillment of Dan 9:24f. by destroying Jerusalem (the fulfillment of the 70 weeks) (through the hand of the Romans “times of the Gentiles.”)
      3. This fulfillment happened under Ceasar Nero (Kaisar Neron) his Greek name’s numerology is the number of 666 and was Jacob’s trouble, the great tribulation. [seek Gentry’s outstanding work Perioulous Times]. This was also the message of Christ’s coming to reign which was prophesied by John in Patmos in the early 60’s AD (the book of Revelation) and fulfilled (chapters 4-19) in 64-70 AD.
      4. As a result of Israel’s disobedience, Gentiles were grafted in, so the church became Jew and Gentile, together–united by faith in Christ.
      5. Yet the mystery, is that God still does have a plan for the descendants of Jacob (Israel according to the flesh) Paul reveals that “all Israel will be saved.” I interpret this to mean that Israel (by and large) will repent and believe the gospel and be regrafted into the tree of which they are the natural branches.
      6. The first resurrection (Rev. 20:1-10) is spiritual rebirth (compare to John 5:24 4 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.) The second resurrection is physical resurrection (at the final day). Those who are born again, are therefore not harmed by the second death (final judgment) because they have believed the gospel.
      7. In the mean time, the gospel is going throughout the world and the messengers are gathering the elect from the four corners of the earth.
      8. This is not an age of apostasy any more than the 1st century. The gospel is spreading and growing as rapidly as any other time in history. Yes, there are enemies (remember wheat and tares).
      9. The church is therefore not a parenthesis between God’s two seasons of working with Israel. The church, which began with Jews, and is comprised of Jews and Gentiles together in faith is the ultimate plan of God for the nations to bless the world through the seed of Abraham.
      10. When Israel turns to her Messiah in faith during “the church age” and all Israel is saved, the gospel will spread even more rapidly until glory of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). “For if their rejection (Israel apostasy) is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance (their return in faith to their Messiah) be but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15

      I agree that we are not “destined for wrath,” the obedient believers evaded wrath in Jerusalem by fleeing to the mountains as they were told. Furthermore, we who are raised will be acquitted on that day and judged “righteous” because we are in Christ.

      Lastly, whether or not we have renewed bodies or different bodies at our resurrection is possibly open to debate. I would say that the former option is closer in keeping with God’s purposes to renew us. Jesus had the same body at his resurrection (scars and all) and that was good enough and holy enough for the Father, even though Jesus had become sin for us! I think our bodies, renewed by God will do just fine. Secondly, Paul says that we shall all be changed (1 cor. 15:51-52). He doesn’t say will will all leap out of our bodies or shed them, but that we will be transformed.

      Grace and peace,

      Tim

      • Hello Tim,

        Grace and peace of the Lord be with you. I appreciate the lengths that you have taken to identify and confirm the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles and sinners and God. However I do not believe that I inferred in anyway that an division exists. I recall defining a Christian as anyone who has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and it is understood that the Church is made up of Christians.

        1. Agreed
        2. Disagreed
        3. Disagreed
        4. Agreed
        5. Agreed that God has a plan for Israel, disagreed that all of Israel would be saved.
        6. Disagreed
        7. Will discuss
        8. Disagreed
        9. Will discuss
        10.Disagreed

        Regarding your 2nd point, “God has judged Israel for her disobedience once and for all in fulfillment of Dan 9:24f. by destroying Jerusalem (the fulfillment of the 70 weeks) (through the hand of the Romans “times of the Gentiles.”) The age of the Gentiles will continue after the church age ends (rapture) and will come to its end when Christ returns and the end of tribulations (which are yet to come). If you are convinced otherwise, then I ask, is the nation of Israel the leader of the world?

        Your 3rd point, “This fulfillment happened under Ceasar Nero (Kaisar Neron) his Greek name’s numerology is the number of 666 and was Jacob’s trouble, the great tribulation. [seek Gentry’s outstanding work Perioulous Times]. This was also the message of Christ’s coming to reign which was prophesied by John in Patmos in the early 60’s AD (the book of Revelation) and fulfilled (chapters 4-19) in 64-70 AD.” The mark of the beast – 666 starts with who is John targeting with this scripture? I have concluded that it is the nation of Israel or Jews. Jer 30:7 7 ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.

        I conclude that the text is literal and it represents the numerical value of the beast’s name. Scripture clearly states the beast to come is a man to the world.

        Under the Jewish system of placing a numerical value to their alphabet system they number the first 10 letters of their alphabet 1-10, the second set is numbered 20-100, and the final set 200-400. The beast’s name would most definitely total 666, however the Jewish translation (not the Greek) of the name must first be determined e.g. the Spanish name Jesus is translated to Yeshua in Hebrew.

        In Jewish appreciation of the seriousness of something, repetition is considered somewhat pleasing as well as confirmation on the firmest position. In our culture we use a graduated form like good, better, best and have no appreciation for repetition. In Jewish culture if you mean something you say it once 6, if you truly mean it, you say it twice 66, if there is absolutely no doubt in your mind that this is the firmest view of what you mean, you say it three times 666. The number 6 was chosen to represent the beast because the number 7 represents the completeness of God while 6 would represent the devil, to go further from 7 would spell an infinite number.

        So we have come to the point where the beast is represented by the number 666 and it would be the numerical value of the beast’s name. It is confirmed under Jewish customs being repeated 3 times and therefore no other value would be accepted. The mark of the beast conclusively is 666 and would guide Jews in the time of tribulation to discern the Antichrist from Christ.

        In my next post I will contend with the rest of the disagreed items. Be blessed.

        In grace,
        Wesley

  3. Tim – I hesitate to step into this discussion between yourself and Wesley – I am enjoying your back and forth, but have a question that looks primitive compared to the level of dialog you guys are having…

    After reading your initial post – this question came to my mind:

    Based on your description and illustration of The Rapture – how do we explain what happens to all of the people who have passed away/died?

    I’ve always heard/assumed believers go straight to heaven when they die – but after reading your post – I’m not sure what exactly will happen. Can you shed some light on this for me?

    Enjoying your blog – great topics and fresh and clear thoughts. Another way for me to grow in Christ through Cornerstone EPC and its leaders.

    -Kyle

    • revtimbrown

      Hi Kyle,

      That’s not a bad question at all. (Sorry if the intramural between Wesley and I appeared too intense. I’m still looking for time to reply to him.)
      As far as I know your question would be one that he must also answer (what happens to the souls of those who die in the Lord.) The answer to this, I believe is that believers upon death are present with the Lord (via their spirit/soul) while their body is in the ground.

      At the general resurrection & rapture (both events will happen one moment in my view), the souls of those who have died will be reunited with resurrection bodies and the bodies & souls of believers still living at that moment will be transformed into resurrection bodies.

      Here are a few key texts:
      1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
      This text teaches resurrection and rapture as stated above.

      2 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
      Paul’s words here clarify that when we are in our bodies, we are away from the Lord (not yet in heaven). The hope we believe in is that immediately upon death, when we are away from our bodies, we will then be at home with the Lord. We will be in this state, present in spirit but without bodies, until we experience resurrection.

      Hope that clarifies. Let me know if you have further questions.

      Grace and peace,

      Tim

  4. Thanks for the reply and answer Tim. Excellent message last night as well. You provided great clarity with your presentation of the Christmas message.

    I was starring at the back of your head the whole time (as I was in the choir) but the message still came through great 🙂

    Kyle

  5. Hello Tim and a special hello to Kyle,

    Grace and peace of the Lord be with you both. Kyle I believe Tim and I are having an inspired discussion although we may disagree on some issues its all to the glory of our Lord.

    I contend that the rapture will occur before Christ returns to rule (millennial reign) after which the unsaved would be resurrected and judged. There will be a resurrection prior to the resurrection mentioned; this is what we call the first resurrection. The first resurrection will not be one resurrection but would include the raptured dead in Christ, those alive in Christ at the time of the rapture, the pre-trib saints, the mid-trib saints and believers.

    I needed to develop this points Kyle so that I can identify specifically with your question, “Based on your description and illustration of The Rapture – how do we explain what happens to all of the people who have passed away/died?”

    The dead in Christ would be given new bodies as well as those who are alive when we a caught up or raptured to meet our Lord in the clouds. The first resurrection takes place at this point;1 Cor 15:50-53, 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    Those who are not raptured would be stuck holding the bag so to speak and would be the ones to explain, but who would be their audience? I wager that the left behind folks would most likely be unbelievers, prosperity ministry congregation etc. Remember we are in the apostasy age which is the falling away from true Christian faith.1 Tim 4:1-5, 4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

    Kyle, we live in a world today that people are openly rejecting God and adopting their own belief systems and it will worsen as the time draws closer. I sometimes think that it would be a no-brainer to explain the disappearance of millions of people all at once.

    Tim I look forward to hearing from you soon. Kyle I pray that I have shed some light on your question. Take care and God bless.

    In grace,

    Wesley

    • revtimbrown

      See my comments above. There I clarified my views on Israel and the church, rapture, resurrection and why I have an optimistic eschatology.

      • Hello Tim,

        After some consideration with regard to responding to our disagreements on the rapture and the return, I have summed up my belief in the following; may God bless you and the Holy Spirit guide you through Christ Jesus.

        UPON CHRIST’S ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN, THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED TO EARTH THUS BEGAN THE CHURCH AGE

        CHRIST MEETING THE CHURCH IN THE AIR
        1 Thess 4:15-18
        15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

        This includes Translation Saints and First Resurrection Saints.

        DAY OF SALVATION WHERE THE CHURCH AGE ENDS

        THIS IS DISTINCT FROM CHRIST’S RETURN AS IT CLEARLY STATES THAT WE WHO ARE ALIVE TOGETHER WITH THE RESURRECTED DEAD IN CHRIST WILL BE CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET CHRIST IN AIR. AT THIS POINT CHRIST HAS NOT RETURNED TO EARTH TO BEGIN HIS REIGN, THE TEXT DOES NOT SAY THAT AS WELL THESE VERSES ARE LITERAL, NOT FIGURATIVE OR SYMBOLIC.
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF MAN
        1 Cor 4:3
        3 But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.

        THE REVELATION – OLIVET
        Zech 14:4
        4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
        DAY OF MAN STARTS AT THE ASCENSION AND CONTINUES THROUGH THE CHURCH AGE INTO TRIBULATION AND ENDS AT THE OLIVET

        THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD THE AGE OF THE GENTILES EXIST, IT BEGAN WITH THE BABYLONIAN KINGDOM AND WOULD END WITH THE 4TH KINGDOM OR IMPERIALISTIC RULE. THE CHURCH AGE WILL COME TO END AS BELIEVERS ARE NOT DESTINED FOR WRATH.
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF CHRIST
        Phil 1:6-10
        6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

        JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST – (For Believers Only)
        2 Cor 5:10
        10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

        1 Cor 3:11-15
        11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

        DAY OF CHRIST IN THE JUDGMENT SEAT STARTS AT THE END OF THE CHURCH AGE, CONTINUES THROUGH THE DAY OF THE ANTICHRIST WHICH INCLUDES TRIBULATION AND CULMINATES AT THE OLIVET

        THE REVELATION – OLIVET
        Zech 14:4
        4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF THE ANTICHRIST
        2 Thess 2:1-12
        2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

        DAY OF THE ANTICHRIST STARTS AT THE END OF THE CHURCH AGE, CONTINUES THROUGH TRIBULATION AND ENDS AT THE OLIVET

        THE REVELATION – OLIVET
        Zech 14:4
        4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF THE LORD
        Joel 2:1-5
        2 Blow a trumpet in Zion,
        And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
        Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
        For the day of the Lord is coming;
        Surely it is near,
        2 A day of darkness and gloom,
        A day of clouds and thick darkness.
        As the dawn is spread over the mountains,
        So there is a great and mighty people;
        There has never been anything like it,
        Nor will there be again after it
        To the years of many generations.
        3 A fire consumes before them,
        And behind them a flame burns.
        The land is like the garden of
        Eden before them,
        But a desolate wilderness behind them,
        And nothing at all escapes them.
        4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
        And like war horses, so they run.
        5 With a noise as of chariots
        They leap on the tops of the mountains,
        Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble,

        Zech 14 : 1 – 21
        14 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8 And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

        9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. 10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 And people will live in it, and there will be no more curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

        12 Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 And it will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. 14 And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. 15 So also like this plague, will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the cattle that will be in those camps.

        16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. 21 And every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.

        Mal 4:5-6
        5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”

        Matt 24:21-23
        21 for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. 22 “And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.

        Matt 24:29-31
        29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
        Acts 2:19-20
        19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above,
        And signs on the earth beneath,
        Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
        20 ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness,
        And the moon into blood,
        Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.

        2 Thess 2:1-4
        2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

        DAY OF THE LORD STARTS AT THE END OF THE CHURCH AGE, CONTINUES THROUGH THE DAY OF CHRIST ON THE SEAT OF JUDGMENT, OVER THE ANTICHRIST, THROUGHOUT TRIBULATION TO THE END OF THE DAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OR THE MILLENNIUM REIGN
        ———————————————————–DAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
        Rev 20:1-6
        20 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
        4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

        THE REVELATION – OLIVET
        Zech 14:4
        4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

        DAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS STARTS AT THE OLIVET AND ENDS AT THE SECOND RESURRECTION
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF JUDGMENT (The Great White Throne Judgment)
        Rev 20:11-15
        11 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

        THE WICKED DEAD ARE RESURRECTED AND JUDGED, SINNERS ARE CONDEMNED TO THE LAKE OF FIRE AND THE EARTH IS RENEWED
        ————————————————————
        DAY OF THE SON OF MAN MAKES WAY FOR THE DAY OF GOD
        1 Cor 15:24-28
        24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.

        THE NEW JERUSALEM DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN AND THE SON OF MAN (CHRIST JESUS) HANDS OVER THE KINGDOM TO GOD THE FATHER.

        In grace,

        Wesley

        • revtimbrown

          Well Wesley, I just have one question. How can all your cutting and pasting of the one final judgment comport with Jesus who said:

          John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

          Jesus speaks of an hour (one single point in time) when all will be raised from the dead. This will clearly be both the righteous redeemed in Christ (to the resurrection of life) and the unrighteous who did not have faith in Christ (to the resurrection of judgment). You can label all the descriptions of this day with separate titles, but “the day of the Lord,” “the day of Man,” “the day of judgment” is one day. Your position apparently contradicts the clear words of Christ. Around this passage there is no alternative.

          Tim

  6. Greetings Tim and a happy New Year to you. With regard to your quoted verse “John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

    You have presumed that the one hour is a single point in time, I don’t know how that can be correct when there are terms in the bible referring to time frames but not representative of a single point in time. Daniel’s 70th week is representative of a 7 year period and broken up in two parts. The day of the Lord is a 7 year period and not a single day etc. What is there to suggest that the one hour Christ spoke of is unique? It is quite frankly your opinion.

    I have read the entire chapter 5 in detail and must conclude that there is no evidence to suggest your claim that the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous would take place at the same time. In fact the entire passage gave reference to a total of 4 resurrections;

    1. the resurrection of the lost sinner
    2. the resurrection of Christ Himself
    3. the resurrection of believers (the rapture)
    4. the resurrection of the condemned at the end of Christ’s millennial reign

    I am afraid dear friend that you have not conclusively proven that there is one single point in time or one single resurrection. Since you have favored the gospel of John, I have a verse that you need to explain; John 14:1-4, 14 “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “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. 3 “And 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.

    1. Who is the “you” Christ is talking about?
    2. Where is Christ going?
    3. Where would the “you” be taken to when Christ come again?

    In grace,

    Wesley