(1Thess. 4:17 keywords: caught up) The Greek word for the term caught up is harpazo. (Luke 23:38 keyword: Latin) The Latin word for the term caught up is rapio or rapturo. Both words are defined to snatch up in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. (Acts 8:39) “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip” (2Cor. 12:4) “How that he was caught up into paradise,”. The English words caught up translated from Latin rapturio is rapture (a feeling of intense pleasure or joy) so it is proper if some people want to use the word rapture when describing (1Thess. 4:17) the catching away of the true church.
Why would I put this here where it seemingly is at odds with the text content? Because I have personally seen red-faced, glaring eyes and curled lip arguments; “Yur wrong ’cause the word rapture ain’t in tha Bible!” the answer; “It means tha same thang!” And on and on. It is a perfect example of contentions, strife and divisions. I do know when I am caught up to meet Jesus in the air it will be with a feeling of intense joy for me to meet my Lord Jesus and to know my travail in this world is finally over! The word trinity which so many people use is not in the Bible (John 15:23-26, 1John 1:1 & 5:7 keyword: three) but the word three is. So you contentious folks can go argue against God’s word concerning that subject!
There is even a great disagreement concerning the timing of the catching away of the church; pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation. Good grief! (Gen. 6:11-18 esp. V.15 keyword: Noah & 19:5-22 esp. V.5 keyword: Lot and Luke 17:27-37 esp. V.27 keywords: “Noe (Noah) entered into the ark” then V.29 keywords: “Lot went out of Sodom”) Jesus used these two men as examples that God had removed His people before He sent His judgment upon where they were.
Many times, Jesus spoke in allegories, parables and etc. and in this one Jesus even identified the location in His allegorical way. (Luke 17:22-25) (V.22) Jesus was speaking to the disciples (V.23) The first thing Jesus said was not to follow those people who through false visions, false documentation, ancient calendars and etc. set the date when the catching away will happen (V.24) because only God knows. (V.25) Then Jesus told them how that generation of the house (the nation) of Israel would reject Him and then he went on with His prophecy. (Luke 17:37-38) The disciples asked; “where Lord” Jesus answered (V.38) “Wheresoever the body is, thither (there) will the eagles be gathered together.“
BEFORE THE CATCHING AWAY: (1Cor. 12:27) The church is the body of Christ. Think! Jesus took His body with Him when He went into heaven. (Acts 2:1 thru 10:48 and on) We, the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word are the only body (individual Christians) Jesus has with which to accomplish His works! If no Christians had performed works for God the church would have long ago disappeared. I am extremely grateful to the old, weather and work worn, tanned and wrinkled, poor and joyous, hillbilly nobodies who worked hard to keep the little wooden country church doors open so I could attend church and receive salvation. (Luke 8:46 keyword: somebody) Praise God for they are Jesus’ somebodies.
(Luke 17:37-38) The eagles gather in the sky! (1Tim. 3:16) Through the inspiration of God (the Holy Spirit) (1Thess. 4:1 esp. V.13-18 thru 5:13 esp. 5:9 keywords: For God hath not appointed us to wrath) Paul explained Jesus’ statement, (Luke 17:38) “Wheresoever the body is, thither (there) will the eagles be gathered together.”, (1Thess. 4:16-17) “For 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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (sky): and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
If the catching away of the church comes on Sunday can you imagine a church (Matt. 24:37-44) where some are taken and some are left sitting in their pews? (Matt. 7:21-29) Can you imagine a church where nobody gets taken and they read or hear about the great disappearance on the national news that afternoon? Imagine being at a cemetery, the last prayer is being said and the deceased disappears from the casket and some of the graves around you erupt, then some of the attendees disappear. How would you feel when the thought blazed through your lost person or apostate Christian brain; “OH GOD I’M LEFT BEHIND!” THINK ABOUT IT!
(Luke 24:1-3) The grave, a thorn, could not contain the KING OF THE THORNS. (Luke 24:5-7 esp. V.6 keywords at Jesus grave: He is not here, but is risen) And death, a thorn, could not hold the KING OF THE THORNS. (Heb. 2:14 & Rev. 12:1-9 keywords in both: the devil) The KING OF THE THORNS destroyed the thorn of him who held the power of death (1Cor. 15:55) and PURE LOVE’S presence shouted his victory over that thorn; “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” (Heb. 2:8-15 esp. V.11 keyword: brethren) (V.15) “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
(Matt. 28:5-9) Jesus was resurrected from the dead. (John 8:12) Light had come back into the world. (John 20:25-29 esp. V.26 keywords: eight days) The Light of PURE LOVE came to visit His friends on the eighth day (Luke 1:59) which is the day of naming (John 20:28) and Thomas named the King of the Thorns; “My Lord and my God”.
(Acts 1:3-11) And after forty days, (Luke 2:22-24) the fortieth day, the day of showing and presentation, (Luke 24:50-53) the KING OF THE THORNS went to heaven for His showing and presentation there (Heb. 4:14-16 esp. V.16 keyword: throne) where PURE LOVE seated himself upon the throne of grace at the right hand of His Father. (Matt. 5:14 & Luke 24:46-49 then Acts 2:1-41 and Eph. 1:13-14) And the KING OF THE THORNS, the light of the world, PURE LOVE, sent His light, the Holy Spirit, back to the world to live in the hearts of people who trust Jesus as their Saviour.
And yonder in heaven PURE LOVE the KING OF THE THORNS (Acts 7:55-60) is ever at the right hand of God, (Heb. 4:16) sitting on His throne of grace, because PURE LOVE shared all of our life from birth through death. The KING OF THE THORNS, PURE LOVE personified, (Heb. *4:14-16) (*V.14) Jesus, the Son of God is our great high priest (*V.15) because He knows the feeling of our “infirmities (feebleness of body and soul, moral frailty, sickness, weakness: thorns); but was in all points (something that pricks, sharp tips: thorns) tempted (tested) as we are, yet did not sin.”
(John 5:22-27) (V.22) The Father (God) judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jesus). (V.27) “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” The KING OF THE THORNS, PURE LOVE personified, knows how it is with us, you and me, because He lived as a man!
He knows! He understands! He felt the same things, thorns, we do! He has lived the thorns of our struggle, our travail, our temptation, our weakness, our pain of body and soul, (John 11:35) He has felt our tears on His own face, (Luke 22:44) He has felt the agony of anxiety and He can have compassion and help our feebleness. He loves us with everything He has, body, soul and spirit (Phil. 2:6-8) because He gave it all and He understands. Yipeee! Yahooo! Yawwww! He knows!
That’s why (*V.16) the KING OF THE THORNS has a throne of grace. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” THE KING OF THE THORNS HAS THE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OUR BATTLE AND HE CAN, WITH LOVING KINDNESS AND TENDER PITY, REMOVE THE THORNS OF OUR NEGLECT, FAILURES, IGNORANCE, FOOLISHNESS AND SIN AND HEAL US THROUGH HIS GRACE (1John 1:7 thru 2:2 esp. 1:7) WITH THE POWER OF HIS BLOOD!
THE SPIRITUAL THRONE OF GRACE
(Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31 & John 4:24) #1 God-spirit-essence of life itself/Creator, (John 4:29-42 esp. V.42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-26) #3 Holy Spirit-God’s soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily. (Dan. 3:25 keywords: and the forth is like the Son of God, Matt. 17:1-3 esp. V.2 keywords: was transfigured before them, Josh. 5:13-15 key: an angel would not have accepted Joshua’s worship & Matt. 3:15-17 key: three different places at the same time) God’s power is without limit and he can present Himself any way, any time, any where He pleases.
Please think of an earthly judicial system with three personages, three offices and three manifestations of power but only one man. The allegory: One person is #1 Judge (God), #2 defense advocate (Jesus) and #3 Sheriff (Holy Spirit). I will use a scriptural, physical, earth time court system to illustrate the instantaneous spiritual High Court of heaven below. I am using a physical allegory to explain the spiritual aspect of my, and hopefully your, relationship with PURE LOVE.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS: It is a process of time for each individual to either refuse of accept God’s salvation. (Prov. 15:3 & Heb. 4:13) God, through the Holy Spirit, adapts (John 6:44 & 12:32) His drawing to fit the individual’s personality and circumstances, (John 3:14-18 esp. V.16 keyword: whosoever &1Tim. 2:4 keyword: all) yet He is fair to all people who have ever lived. If you do not believe God is fair, please read the one article commentary Is God Fair and you will be shocked!
EXAMPLES: In the article About the Writer, it took me about two years of going to church to finally approach the throne of grace in heaven to ask for salvation. Other explicit, exciting and amazing examples are in the articles Mans Conscience, CHOSEN VESSELS Part 2: Old Walter: A CHOSEN VESSEL, #4 Where is the Holy Spirit Part 2: THE LIGHT, the Holy Spirit is Truth Part 2: Jesus, My Daddy and Me and CHOSEN VESSELS a bit over half way down the text to the sub-title THE HAT all are located in the menu of this commentary. YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT GOD’S POWER AND LOVE WHEN YOU READ THEM!!!
(John 6:44 & 12:32 keyword: draw & 2Cor. 3:17) The Judge, in his robes, issues a warrant to draw you to court. The Judge (God) takes off his robes, (John 16:7-9) puts on his Sheriff’s uniform, becomes the Sheriff (Holy Spirit) and serves the warrant in your soul and thoughts drawing your attention to church and Jesus which eventually draws you to court (physical church and spiritually the throne in heaven). The Supreme Court of heaven is a strange place because you have never felt so loved in your life; “Love in a place like this when I am on trial for my life? Is this some kind of Pure Love Supreme Court?”
You will remember later there was no sense of evil there. You will realize Satan was not allowed to be there and spoil it for you. You folks who are Christians think about it! Was evil Satan there when you accepted Jesus as your Saviour?
When you come to court the Sheriff takes off his uniform, (John 10:30 & 1John 2:1-2) puts on the defense advocate’s suit and introduces Himself; “My name is Jesus and I will defend you If you want me to.” And somehow you cannot look up because you are shy and unclean for this court appearance; “I’m too dirty to be here, too many thorns.”
You feel a beautiful, unexplainable PURE LOVE radiating from Him then you raise your head to really get a good look at Him and you are shocked. As your eyes travel upward, they are suddenly riveted on His badly scarred (thorns) hands that are holding your arrest warrant and the charges against you.
His shirt has fallen open and there is a huge puckered scar (thorn) in His side, back, on his sides and the front of His shoulders are scars (thorns) where He has been whip cut to the bone and the scars (thorns) around His head look like some kind of crown of pain and horror had been jammed there. You finally work up the nerve to spiritually look into His eyes and a look of unutterable Love, sympathy, kindness and gracious compassion is in their depths.
For some reason you ask a stupid question; “Are you the only advocate available?” Look up the Biblical Greek definitions of these on your computer: (Acts 17:16-18 keywords: disputed, idolatry, philosophers of the Epicureans and Stoicks: meaning: man thinks he can create his own societal utopia on earth through meditation, mindfulness, political correctness and etc. and Col. 2:8-9 keywords: Beware, philosophy, vain deceit, tradition of men, after the rudiments: defined: beginning= evolution of the world: ALSO Christless religions) “There are also many other advocates available (Acts 4:10-12 esp. V.12 keywords: none other name) but I’m the only legitimate, genuine advocate. The rest are counterfeits.”
Sudden realization flares through your whole being; “I want You!”
Your advocate starts a counseling session with you; (Luke 19:10) “You are lost! (Rom. 3:23) Look, here is overwhelming evidence of your guilt (sin). (John 6:44 keyword: draw) You have been spiritually arrested (2Cor. 5:10) and your sin account has come due. Your sin must be removed before you can be saved from being lost and you can face your judgment here in this life with Me as your advocate OR (Rev.20:11-15) you can face your judgment alone after your life here is done!”
You see yourself with new eyes, your sins are like infected thorn wounds putrid, repulsive, shameful and you are unclean. (1John 4:8 &16) The magnificent PURE LOVE that bathes that eternal courtroom is beyond description as it swirls around you and bathes you.
(Acts 5:15-17) “You need a gift because you are destitute and you cannot pay your sin account. (Prov. 28:13 & John 3:3-5) You cannot go back and undo your sins. (Psa. 25:11) You cannot live pure enough from here on out to deserve salvation (John 10:1-5 esp. V.5 keyword: stranger: defined: different, another’s, foreign, hostile, strange) and you are not strong enough to just take salvation by some other religion and force your way into heaven just the way you are. Your sentence will be (Rev. 20:15) eternal banishment in the fire!” He lets you think about that for a while; (Luke 16:23-26 & Rev. 20:14) “Man, that sentence is pure hell and then I go to a worse place, forever.”
Your voice is a hoarse, trembling, sobbing whisper; “Sir, is there any way for me to escape this awful sin debt?” He sets a golden bowl of blood on God’s golden altar; “This is the gift; I can wash away your sins (thorns) in this blood and your sins will be gone.” “Wh, wh, where, where did this blood come from?” With a tiny smile He whispers; “Your sins are like thorns and they have wounded you many times.” (2Cor. 5:21) He touches his scars; “This blood came from my thorn wounds when I took the punishment you deserve but I am the KING OF THE THORNS.”
(John 6:44 & 12:32 then Eph. 2:4-9 esp. V.8 keywords: gift of God) Jesus speaks again; “I started drawing you to me through the High Sheriff of heaven, my witnesses and my church. As time passed you did not realize I was giving you the gift of faith by helping you realize and understand the reality of My existence and to understand the reality of your situation.” (Heb. 11:1) “Faith is the substance (the underlying reality of all things) of things hoped (a burning expectation) for, the evidence (proof that reaches a legal conclusion, convict) of things not seen.” “My gift of faith has become your reality and that is why you are here.”
“Now you know all you need to know and it is the time for us, you and I, to come to a conclusion concerning your need.” SO:
(Rom. 10:8-13 esp. V.9 keywords: believe in thine heart: believe: is defined: to trust the truth of God’s word, to trust Jesus for your salvation and entrust Jesus with your spiritual well-being) is the scriptural method of achieving salvation.
The magnitude of His love and sacrifice have caused you to fall on your knees. Your sobbing nearly drowns out your voice; “My Lord and my God I’m so sorry I’ve sinned, please cleanse me in your blood, (Jer. 29:13 keywords: whole heart) I’ll do anything if you’ll just save me!” (1John 1:7) It was fast, fast beyond reckoning, as Jesus cleansed you of your sins. The infection of sin is healed (Rev. 7:14) and Jesus’ blood has washed you white as snow. You have been judged! and Jesus speaks; “This is the evidence that his sins (thorns) are gone.”
It all happens at one breathless instant! So fast you cannot see your advocate (Jesus) is gone and He has on his Judge’s robes; “You are saved and you are now free!” (Eph. 1:12-14 esp. V.13 keywords: sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise and V.14 redemption of the purchased possession) “You have been redeemed, you are a purchased (bought with Jesus’ blood) possession (acquisition, preservation). Which means (Rom. 8:10-17 esp. V.16 keywords: children of God) you are now part of God’s personal family.”
Again so fast you cannot see Jesus has on the uniform of the High Sheriff of heaven (the Holy Spirit) and somehow (John 14:23) He is within you, is a part of you, you are filled with love to overflowing and He gives you a spiritual pardon written in the blood of Jesus, the KING OF THE THORNS; “NO CHARGE! PAID IN FULL”!
(Luke 15:10) You did not see it but when you repented (the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition and regret for past wrongs, a change of mind, to turn) the KING OF THE THORNS expressed joy (cheerfulness, great gladness) right there in the presence of the angels. And you know the angels were smiling when He did. If you wish to read about my personal salvation experience please read the article About the Writer to the left of the commentary titles.
NOTE: Please, if you have lost friends or loved ones, give them a copy of the one article Breath of Life commentary or send them a link to it or put the link on your Facebook. ALSO: do the same thing with BACKSLIDING: THE FAILURE PRINCIPAL. It is good for Christians to read and lost people can see that God provides a way out of sin for His Christians. I carry them in notebooks and give them out everywhere I go. It is all based on God’s word with the scriptures given. If they will read them the Holy Spirit can go to work in their soul because it is based on God’s word with the scripture location given. I have seen them result in #1 salvation and #2 renew and return to God many, many times. Thank you and God bless you. END OF NOTE.
(Matt. 24:13) “But he who shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I’m saved! I’m saved! I’m saved!” Then you sinned; a thorn struck you down! (1John 1:8-10 keywords: we, us, our sins–> Read it: John included himself and the other apostles) It is inevitable! The Holy Spirit helps you; God’s word guides you but somehow you blew it. You are beginning to learn you are in a THORN war with (Gal. 5:17) yourself, (Eph. 6:11-12) the devil (1John 2:15-16) and the world.
(Heb. 4:14-16) (V.15 keywords: in all points) The KING OF THE THORNS knows how it is because He shared all of our life from birth through death (V.16) and He keeps His throne of grace open for His people (Christians, God’s children) and lost sinners all the time, 24-7-365. So it starts again. (Eph. 4:30 keyword: grieve: defined: make sorry, to distress, to be sad, cause grief, be sorrowful) The grieving High Sheriff of heaven (the Holy Spirit) serves another warrant on you. BUT you are so interested in self you do not see the grief on his face as he serves the warrant; “You have sinned!”
He spiritually escorts you back to heaven but it is different this time, just over there is a place of darkness swirling with malice. (Rev. 12:10 keywords: the accuser of our brethren) Spiritually there is a prosecuting attorney present. Satan, the devil, speaks with great sneers and scorn; (2Tim. 2:15 & 3:16) “This moron did not study your word, I tempted him with a little nothing and he fell for it hook (catches you like a thorn), line (holds you) and sinker (and drags you down).”
When you realize how easy it was to hook, thorn, you an even greater shame sets in and you slouch along in dejection until the last few steps you take to get to the throne of grace the seat of your spiritual britches is dragging out your spiritual tracks BECAUSE (Prov. 15:3) you realize your defense Advocate, Jesus, was right there through the Holy Spirit, (Eph 4:30 keywords: “grieve not the Holy Spirit”: grieve: defined: sorrowfulness, distress, sadness and grief) and He was grieving, (Prov. 15:3) hearing, smelling and looking at you while you sinned.
Your defense Advocate looks at you (2Pet. 3:9 keyword: longsuffering: defined: patiently endure) with sorrowfulness, distress, sadness and grief but patiently enduring the pain of sorrow and grief because He loves us, you and me. It breaks your heart when you realize how you and your sin, a thorn, have hurt Pure Love and driven your thorn into Him. Pure Love always hurts. The prosecuting attorney, the accuser, Satan, reads the charges; “blah, blah, blah”.
Your defense advocate looks at you in sorrow; “Are those charges true?” “Oh, my Lord and my God yes! I am so sorry. I am so sorry.” Your advocate, Jesus, simply looks sad and is silent. (John 14:26 keyword: teach) Your teacher, the Holy Spirit, the High Sheriff of heaven, nudges you and whispers; (2Tim. 2:15) “You did not study your Bible, did you?” You feel even guiltier than you had before. (Heb. 4:14-16 esp. V.16) “Listen Dummy, you are back at the throne of grace, (Rom. 8:15-17 esp. V.17 keywords: joint heirs with Christ) God spiritually adopted you through me, you are a child of God now and a joint-heir with Jesus.”
(Heb. 4:16) The High Sheriff spiritually quotes scripture; “Let us therefore come boldly come to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” He continues; “There is only one place for a Christian to find grace and that is at Jesus’ throne of grace. It is where you go to find help in time of need. Just like the rest of the earthly children of God you must have help because you have the greatest need of all. You have sinned, brought spiritual thorns into yourself, and have deeply hurt, spiritual thorns driven into, PURE LOVE. (1John 1:7) Ask Jesus to cleanse you with His blood. I am tired of listening to the prosecutor.”
With shame and sorrow, you drag yourself up to the throne of grace where you were saved from being lost. You repent and beg forgiveness and quicker than thought the KING OF THE THORNS with matchless love and grace (1John 1:7) cleanses you of your thorn wound with His blood and gives His verdict to the Judge. “The thorn of that sin is gone!”
The Judge pronounces: “YOU HAVE NO SIN! YOU ARE FREE TO GO!” Satan slinks away in defeat. The High Sheriff of heaven brings you another pardon written in the blood of JESUS, PURE LOVE the KING OF THE THORNS; “NO CHARGE! PAID IN FULL!” (Heb. 4:14 & 1John 1:1:7 thru 2:1) Sin will happen many times (1Pet. 2:1-12) while you grow in God’s word and in your Christian walk with Jesus (Heb. 13:5) but Jesus said; “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Through and by the love, kindness, grace, mercy and power of the KING OF THE THORNS WE WIN!
NOTE: AGAIN: In the Sin in Church commentary table of contents is the article Backsliding: The Failure Principal. It is also a highly blessed, scriptural article that will help growing cold Christians or Christians who have quit church renew their covenant with Jesus and it is good for lost people to read because sooner or later Satan will put into their thoughts; “There is no use to start going to church right now, just wait until you can live perfect so you won’t be like those hypocrites in church, OR in that church, OR next door, OR in your family, OR that bunch down the road OR etc. The article explores the personal relationship Jesus desires with His Christians and how the High Court of Heaven works. Please share it with a physical copy, a link or by Facebook. Again, thank you and God bless you. END OF NOTE.
What about Lucifer, the anointed cherub that did not guard and protect, the serpent, the anti-anointed, Satan, the devil, our accuser? Later, (Rev. 20:10) just like Goliath, (Ezek. 28:14-19 esp. V.19 keywords: never shalt thou be any more and Rev. 20:10) Satan will not be around us any more forever.