It is the hope of every born again believer that we will one day, whether alive and changed in the “twinkling of an eye” (I Corinthians 15:52), or whether we have already fallen asleep and are suddenly resurrected from the dead and changed incorruptible, that we are going to “be snatched away” to be with our Lord, Savior, and King Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
After all, this is what His promise was: “ Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3 Jubilee Bible)
And again: “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, where goest thou? Jesus answered him, Where I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards”. (John 13:36 Jubilee Bible)
So, it is clear from these scriptures, and others, that Yeshua is going away to a place where we, at this time, cannot follow, but He is preparing a place for us so that we will be with Him in some future prepared place and time.
Most Christians believe that we go to be with Him in Heaven immediately upon death. Likewise, they believe that sinners go to an eternally burning hell immediately upon death. However, this is not a correct assumption. Please see my teaching “The Thief On The Cross."
What did Yeshua promise and what did His disciples, of the first century, expect out of Him? What did all the prophets prophesy about the Messiah? If we know the answers to these two questions then we will know where we are going when the “snatching away (rapture)” takes place.
Messianic understanding during the first century as well as during the times of all of the prophets, was that a Messiah (Anointed) King, from the lineage of David, was going to come and restore the Kingdom to Israel. This King would rule from His throne in Jerusalem. This Jewish King would also rule over all of the earth. They further foretold and understood that this Kingdom would last forever and that there would be peace throughout the whole earth. Furthermore, they believed that the dead would arise during this time and God would judge those still living and all of the dead. The righteous dead would live forever in this Kingdom. The wicked dead would be destroyed along with the corrupted world and God would “renew” the world and the heavens. This is why the disciples kept asking Yeshua (Jesus) about the “restoration of the Kingdom” or about “a Kingdom where He was ruling”:
“Then those that were come together asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put under his authority only.” (Acts 1:6-7)
“They replied, 'When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right hand and the other on your left.'” (Mark 10:37 New Living Translation)
This is all going to take place at the second coming of Yeshua. When He returns in the clouds, as foretold in Acts Chapter 1, He will at that time restore the Kingdom to Israel as their Jewish Messiah. He will rule and reign over all of the earth and bring peace upon the entire earth. He will also sit upon His throne and bring judgment. It is during this time that the dead will also resurrect and the living righteous will see their bodies changed into incorruptible bodies. The righteous saints will rule and reign with Him as foretold in numerous Scriptures. It is this time that the Apostle Paul was referring to when he penned these words:
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as the others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who sleep in Jesus will God also bring with him. For this, we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself shall 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; 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 so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Jubilee Bible)
Where are we going when this happens? We will be going to where “HE IS” just as He promised to take us. Where is He going to be? He is going to be ruling and reigning in Jerusalem. Where then will we be going? We will be going to rule and reign with Him in Jerusalem. We are not going to Heaven. We are going to Jerusalem.
After the 1000 year reign of Messiah the Re-Newed Heaven and Earth will be revealed where the righteous will live eternally. This is the place that He “went to prepare” for us. We read about this in Revelation chapter 21. Notice that this is coming down out of Heaven. Where will we be living eternally? Here on this re-newed earth. We will not be going up to Heaven at any time to live.
In Acts Chapter 3:19-21 we read about this future restoration:
“ Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, for the times of refreshing of the presence of the Lord are come; who has sent Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you, whom it is certainly necessary that the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the age began.” (Jubilee Bible)
Notice that the above scripture indicates “that the heaven must receive”. He is in Heaven now until the time of the restitution of all things has come. When that time comes then He will return to set up His Kingdom on earth and “gather” His children, or as they are called prophetically “the dispersed of Israel”, to Himself so that they may rule and reign with Him from Jerusalem.
For more teachings on this controversial topic, please see my teaching, "Do You Want to Be Left Behind or Taken?" (Hint: you want to be left behind)
It is our job to be ready for His return, by repenting from our sins. Whether He returns while I am still alive or if I have already fallen asleep, I await the day of my redemption. This has been the long awaited event since the fall of mankind.
Even so, Come LORD Yeshua!
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