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#3.3 THE RAPTURE WHEN JESUS DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN
This bible study uses a Unicode Greek font and is printable.
Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.
Part of the false teaching about a pre-tribulation rapture is that when Jesus comes first (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), he does not come to the earth, but stays in the clouds. However, if we examine the words from heaven (Gr. ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ, Gtr. ap' ouranou) we can show that their reasoning is false from the very scripture that they use to promote their error. This bible study gives scriptural evidence that Jesus comes down to earth in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7.
|Greek - 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 - English|
|τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν λέγομεν ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας||15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep.|
|ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ καταβήσεται ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον||16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven1 with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.|
|ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα||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: so shall we ever be with the Lord.|
|Greek - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - English|
|καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς θλιβομένοις ἄνεσιν μεθ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τοῦ κυρίου ἰησοῦ ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ μετ᾽ ἀγγέλων δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ||7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven1 with his mighty angels,|
|ἐν πυρὶ φλογός διδόντος ἐκδίκησιν τοῖς μὴ εἰδόσιν θεὸν καὶ τοῖς μὴ ὑπακούουσιν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ||8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:|
|οἵτινες δίκην τίσουσιν ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς δόξης τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ||9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;|
Note: There are two similar prepositions in Greek that are frequently translated "from". The first is ἐκ (Gtr. ek) which means "out of" or "out from", and refers to "motion from the inside of something to the outside of it" when used with a verb of motion. The second is ἀπὸ (Gtr. apo) which means "from" or "away from", and refers to "motion away from the outside of something to somewhere further away", again when used with a verb of motion. "Ek" and "apo" can mean the same in many cases, but we may also consider the preposition "apo" to be an extension of "ek". "Apo" can begin where "ek" finishes, and is therefore a far more accurate word to use when we wish to indicate a complete separation from something. Bearing this in mind, when "ek" is used with a verb of motion of things coming "from" heaven, they arguably always come down to the earth. Here are the facts:
Gr. ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, (Gtr. ex ouranou) = "from heaven" or "out of heaven", occurs 15 times (Matthew 21:25;
28:2; Mark 11:30; 11:31; Luke 3:22; 11:13; 11:16; 20:4; 20:5; John 1:32; 1 Corinthians 15:47; 2 Corinthians 5:2; Galatians 1:8; 2 Peter 1:18). One case which could be seen
differently by some is Luke 11:13, where the word translated "heavenly" (Gr. ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, Gtr. ho ex ouranou) refers
to the Father. However, as he is God, and is omnipresent, he must be in heaven and on the earth also, even as he dwelt in Jesus (John 14:10-11; Colossians 2:9), and in
all born again Christians (John 14:23; Ephesians 4:6). This is an exception, when it is used of an omnipresent Father, and without a verb of motion.
Gr. ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. ek tou ouranou) = "from heaven" or "out of heaven", occurs 38 times (Matthew 16:1; Luke 10:18; John 3:13; 3:27; 3:31; 6:31; 6:32 (2); John 6:33; 6:38; 6:41; 6:42; 6:50; 6:51; 6:55; 12:28; Acts 2:2; 11:5; 11:9; 22:6; Revelation 3:12; 8:10; 9:1; 10:1; 10:4; 10:8; 11:12; 13:13; 14:2; 14:13; 16:21; 18:1; 18:4; 20:1; 20:9; 21:2; 21:3; 21:10).
We have now listed every reference where the words ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, (Gtr. ex ouranou) and ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. ek tou ouranou) appear in the New Testament. Every reference here used with a verb of motion refers to something coming down to the earth, and this being so, how much more would the use of the word "apo" refer to something coming down to the earth? Everywhere the words "from heaven" occur, using the preposition "apo", they also indicate something coming down to the earth. Here are the facts:
Gr. ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. ap' ouranou) = "from heaven" or "away from heaven", occurs 7 times
(Luke 17:29; 21:11; 22:43; Romans 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:12).
Septuagint (Job 7:9; Daniel 4:14 (4:10 in the Septuagint, Brenton's version)).
When Job spoke about clouds vanishing "from heaven" (Septuagint Job 7:9), they do this by pouring themselves down on the earth as rain (Job 36:27-28).
Gr. ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. apo tou ouranou) = "from heaven" or "away from heaven", occurs 4 times (Matthew 24:29; Mark 8:11; Luke 9:54; Acts 9:3).
Septuagint (Genesis 8:2).
The stars referred to (Matthew 24:29) may well be angels (Revelation 1:20; 9:1), but they definitely come down to the earth (Revelation 6:13; 12:4; 12:9).
We have now listed every reference for ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. ap' ouranou) and ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Gtr. apo tou ouranou) in the New Testament, and possibly every one in the Old Testament also. In both of the scriptures which we are examining (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7) the words translated from heaven1 are the words "ap' ouranou", showing that Jesus comes "away from" heaven, and therefore to the earth (Zechariah 14:4). He cannot stay in the clouds, because the clouds are in heaven (1 Kings 18:45; Job 35:5; Psalm 147:8), as is also indicated by the phrase "clouds of heaven" (Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Mark 14:62). Clearly the second of these scriptures (2 Thessalonians 1:7) points to Armageddon when Jesus comes, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God," (2 Thessalonians 1:8), and until that time he will remain in heaven:
(Acts 3:20-21) "And he shall send Jesus Christ, ... Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things."
As this restitution of all things does not take place before the tribulation, so Jesus cannot return until the end of the tribulation. This bible study has given evidence that the rapture and resurrection occur on the last day of this present age, and so refutes both of the false teachings about a pre-tribulation rapture, or a mid-tribulation rapture of the church, and supports a post-tribulation rapture.
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