Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Rapture Mistranslation

Jesus never said anything about the rapture. The verses found in Matthew 24:40-42 and Luke 17:34-36 are often used to prove that he did. I like Luke best because the two men are sleeping in bed while the women are grinding, showing that the women are always having to work. (Unless the men and women are grinding in bed!) Anyway Jesus give the explanation of who were the twins taken up in Luke 17:37, namely the ones who were food for the vultures (not exactly heaven!).

It is Paul that people believe has come up with this concept of rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.

But is this what he is really saying! Actually he is talking metaphorically about the Sunday service (perhaps still on the Sabbath Saturday). "Heaven" is the upper platform of the Church. It can be called "air", since it has an opening to the sky. (The equivalence of "air" and heaven can be seen in Revelation 16:17). This is row 7 below and the edge of the upper platform above where the priest officiates.

See the figure that I drew from Dr. Barbara Thiering's specifications of the layout of the Church (See Figure 19. Cathedral with Heavenly Man (3D))

Next the word "dead" stands for those not yet entered into the Church, suffering spiritual "death", since entry to the monastery gave "life" (1QS 3:7).

The "dead in Christ" are those who have not yet fully joined the Church: the uninitiated.

What Paul is describing is the time at the end of the regular service being announced by trumpet when the priest ("Lord" meaning the representative of Jesus) leaves the platform. The uninitiated, who were sitting in the back pews, rise as the lay ministers ("clouds" derived from Exodus that lead the way) go up to the upper platform to act as priests. The uninitiated are then allowed to be re-seated directly below the ministers and thus next to "heaven". It is a great honor.

1 Cor. 15:51-52 tells a similar story. The word "mystery" confirms that it is metaphoric.

Both Paul and Jesus still believed in the coming down of the New Jerusalem in Revelation as the triumph of Christians bringing God to earth. 

But sorry evangelists those buried rotting corpses do not get to live again in heaven and nor do the living people in their bodies. Also, Paul has not given us an easy ticket to heaven.