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1Let us remain standing and open our Bibles to 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to read from God’s Holy Scripture. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which 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. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
2Let us pray. Dear Father, we come to you tonight not only as our loving Father, but as the Great God and comforter of Your Children, “the God of all comfort”. And we have read from Your Holy and Eternal Word this evening concerning a promise you have for your elect, and that is that You, Yourself, have come down with a Shout which is a Message and there are many things that You are doing in the midst of Your elect, but we know that of all of the things you are doing, you have come to gather Your elect unto Yourself with a Message. Grant to us a special awareness of what that really means, to be gathered together by Your message, Lord, for we ask this in Jesus Christ’s precious name, the name which You not only gave Your Son Jesus by inheritance, but also Your whole Family in Heaven, and in that name we pray, amen. .
5In other words, we are talking about the great departure from “The Faith”. I call it “the great departure” not because it is a great thing, but the number that depart are great in number. In other Words, most who come Into the Faith will also depart from The Faith, as we see by various parables that Jesus taught, and also by the example that the first Two Exoduses have shown us, knowing that the Third Exodus is no different than the first two in nature.
6Now, over the years we have shown there is only One Lord, as the apostle Paul declares in Ephesians 4, and that when Jesus quoted David saying, the Lord said unto my Lord, he is not saying there are two Lords, but the actual Hebrew he was quoting from shows that one of them was Elohim and the other was Adonai. This is the same Scripture that Peter quoted on the day of Pentecost when he addressed the crowd and quoted David saying, “The Lord said unto my Lord,” and he showed that it was fulfilled in God making Jesus both Lord and Christ. So God is the all in all, and he made His Son Jesus to be head of the church.
7Secondly, the next “Great Departure” will be the Departure of the Bride from this Earth. This is what we call Rapture. This is what Paul was speaking of in 1 Thessalonians 4 that we read for our text this morning and also from 2 Thessalonians 2 which we read from last week.
11This evening we will briefly look at this teaching on the Rapture of the Church for outside this message the entire Christian world lies in error concerning the understanding of what is referred to as the Rapture or what Scripture refers to as the catching away.
12Now, from His sermon, the Rapture William Branham taught us that there are three events that constitute the Rapture. He took his thoughts from what the Apostle Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:38 to 18 which we took for our text for this message.
13Now, you will notice that the Apostle Paul tells us that there will be much ignorance concerning these events, but that we are not to be among those that are ignorant concerning the Shout, Voice and Trump which he speaks of in verse 16. Now, let’s read it again.
142 Thessalonians 4:13-18“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (So we see that those which have no hope are ignorant concerning these events he is about to mention, and he does not want us to be like them, ignorant.)
15Now, in verse 14 I want you to notice that Paul is very specific here that it is God that will bring the dead forth, even as he brought forth His first born son Jesus. Notice now, 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
16Well, how did Jesus raise from the dead? There are 18 Scripture that tell us that God raised him from the dead. So here he tells us that just as Jesus rose from the dead, So will God bring those that slept in Jesus will He, God bring with himself. Now, where mainstream Christianity has been off is that because they have not understood the Godhead, they believe that when it says that God will bring with him, they believe the (him) is Jesus the Son himself. But that is not what it says. It says God will bring these ones up from among the dead. God Himself is the resurrection and the Life.
19The Apostle Peter referred to this on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
20Also we see the apostle Paul speak of this as well in Acts 13: 26Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30But God raised him from the dead: 31And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
32Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
37Now, I’ve just read 18 Scriptures or more that speak of God as the one who raised up Jesus from the dead. Therefore, God himself who Resurrected his first born Son, He is the One that is the Resurrection and the Life. And it was He that was dwelling in His Son Jesus when he spoke for Lazarus to come forth. Remember, but we also know that when he wept, your prophet taught us that, that was the man Jesus, the Son of God who wept. But when he said, “Lazarus come forth”, He said that was more than a man, that was God in His Son. So when he told the woman, “I am the resurrection and the Life” we know that had to be God in His Son that was speaking. That was that duality we speak about. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. And it is this same God that Paul tells us will come down with a Shout, and with a loud voice that will raise the dead.
38Now, in getting back to 2 Thessalonians we see Paul say, 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the parousia of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself (he did not say the Lords, nor did he say the Lord themselves, but THE Lord, there is One Lord, The Lord shall come down, and who is this Lord that shall come down? God Himself.) and God shall descend from heaven with a shout, (remember that is a Message) with the voice of the archangel, (remember, Brother Branham said the same Voice that raised Lazarus from the grave will be this Voice that raises also the dead in Christ) and with the trump of God (and also remember the trump of God is always said to be the Voice of God) and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
40Questions & Answers 64-0823 1M Now, the Bible said ... And if you call me a prophet, I don't say I am; but if you call me that, remember, I'm saying to you in the name of a prophet (see?) - in the name of a prophet, the resurrection and rapture will be general all over the entire world! No matter where you're at, when that hour comes, you'll be caught up to meet Him! That's all! There's nothing going to stop you, no matter where you are. And I only hope that I'm there, one of them. I just only trust and hope in God that I'll be one of them and each one of you will be in the - in the same.
4124 Questions & Answers 64-0823 1M Across the world, they won't be gathered in one place to have things in common. But little groups of them will be scattered all over the earth. I believe, maybe if the Lord permits, this is a little group of It. Maybe another little group in Asia, one down in Germany, one down somewhere else. When I seen a vision of the Bride the other night, They was made up from the international. See? So the Bride won't be gathered from one place, It'll be gathered from all over the world.
4225 Letting Off the Pressure 62-0518 Can't you see we're at the end time? It's all over. The next thing will be a sweep of getting that little group together, and in a month or so she'll be gone - as soon as she's gathered together. We're at the end; there's no hopes left anywhere. Run to Christ, people!
4326 Seven Church Ages 54-0512 "Behold He cometh with clouds." Now, let me stop here just a moment. Clouds doesn't mean that He's coming on a big thunderhead as mama, bless her heart - she's sitting here somewhere. I remember her voice, she used to set and tell me, said, He's coming on a great big cloud, gonna raise someday and God's gonna come on. Now the Cloud that He's coming is, if we just had the time to get this back, and get the real background and the whole thing. Now the Cloud He's coming in is not a cloud, like a thunderhead, but it's a Cloud of Glory He's coming in. See? Now, when Jesus was overshadowed by God on Mount Transfiguration, Clouds overshadowed Him and His raiment. See? And when Elijah would come down, a cloud come down and received him up, not a not a thunderhead, but a Cloud of Glory. His great glorious Presence will strike the earth. He cometh in Clouds! Oh, I love that.
44Clouds, there'll be wave after wave of His Glory will come across the earth - and the resurrection of the saints shall come. That blessed Holy Spirit that's lived in their hearts and they're dried with their corpse laying there and the pierced veins over their cheeks and things like that and they're placed back in the graveyard. A great wave of that same Spirit and a sshhewww, wave after wave - He that was last will be the first. He that was first will be last. I'm kinda see that way...that's the order of the resurrection. I won't know nobody in the generation before me or the generation after me. I'll know those in the generation with me. Every generation will come successfully right as it went down. They which were last will be first. Sure, that's me. See? I'll know my people, the next time my dad and his people, my grandfather and his people, on down like that, wave after wave after wave after wave. And the saints will rise from everywhere.
45Won't that be wonderful, Amen. That makes the old people feel young again, yes. Now notice closely, for I come to you in a Cloud, and every eye shall see Him, no matter how far back they died, they'll see Him.
46Mother's Day 59-0510M 86 As that great light begins to spread all - as we begin to look around, and the great circle will be getting greater and greater; it's all just reflecting the approach of Jesus. And after while, as the song said, And I shall we see Jesus at last. He will be waiting for me, Jesus so kind and true, On His beautiful Throne, He'll welcome me Home After this day is through. Then as we see Him...and we'll not be as we are now. We'll know how to love Him more. We'll not stand back with a little fear, because we'll be like Him. He'll be more of a relative to us than He is now. We'll understand Him better, because we're so far away in the mortal bodies. Then we'll have a body like His glorious body. We'll know how to worship Him.
47And when we see what the Presence of His Being has done to us, changed us, the old back young, all the deformed straightened out, oh, we'll understand then why His power healed us. The questions that's been in our mind, "How can He do it? What would this?" somehow, mysteriously, they'll all fade away. The knots that's been tied in the back of our minds, "Will it be this? How could it be?" somehow, or another, majestic fingers will just untangle, unravel those knots, and it'll all fade into the one big crown of love.
48Jehovah Jireh #1 - 62-0705 And then, remember, if we go before He comes, we will be up and in His Presence, or, raised before the others are changed. "The trumpet of the Lord shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which alive and remain shall be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, and be caught up together with them, to meet the Lord in the air." Look at the order of the resurrection. See, God knows that we long to see our loved ones. And if we got there to meet Him first, we'd be looking around to see if mother or dad and the rest of them was there. But see how, the Holy Spirit in His wisdom? We meet one another first, and then when we get there and sing "Amazing Grace," that's when there's going to be a time of worship.
49Now, in closing we will read from verse 17Then we which 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. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
50Questions & Answers - 59-1223 Just now, Brother Mercier said he got the best out of the meeting where we explained that when that Holy Spirit came into the meeting and broke Itself up, and God dividing Himself amongst His people... Well, that's just what It does. And then, when God's people begins to gather back together, there's unity, there's power. See? And whenever God's people gets together completely, I believe the resurrection will take place then. There'll be a rapturing time when the Holy Spirit begins to gather it up. It'll be in the minority, of course, but there will be a great gathering.
51At Thy Word, Lord - 51-0928 "One of these glorious daybreaks Jesus shall come and all sorrow will be banished and tears wiped away. Those immortal souls that's resting yonder in paradise shall come forth, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We shall appear here on earth and then be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air."
52Invisible Union - 65-1125 There will come forth a resurrection day which the first will be last, and they which are last will be first. The old prophets will come breaking forth first, and they see that procession going marching up in the air, and we which are alive and remain shall not hinder them which are asleep, for the Trumpet of God shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we will fall right in line with them going in! Hallelujah! All down through the age of Luther, Wesley, Methodist, Presbyterian, on down to the last age who receive the Word in their age.
53Uniting Time & Sign - 63-0818 We find that now the time comes when the Trumpet sounds, and those sleeping saints back there that could not be made perfect without us (there's many of those Hebrew brethren), and when they come together, they unite with the living ones. The Church uniting with the Word, then the Church and the Word uniting together, being come one. The dead saints with the living saints uniting together to be one; and all going together to unite with Christ yonder, for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. And to think of us standing, (in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, when the world won't know what's going on), but all of a sudden, you'll see appear before you, your loved ones that's gone on has come to unite with you again. And we'll be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye; and be caught up, together, to meet our Lord in the air. Let's get ready Let's get ready for this midnight cry. It's coming in a hour when you think not. There'll be a cry, not amongst the unbelieving world; it'll be a secret.