The Second Flood
Perhaps the most famous rapture passage is Matthew 24:
Matthew 24:37-41 – and as the days of Noah – so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man; for as they were, in the days before the flood, eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, till the day Noah entered into the ark, and they did not know till the flood came and took all away; so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man. Then two men shall be in the field, the one is received, and the one is left; two women shall be grinding the mill, one is received, and one is left. (YLT)
The second part of this passage is where the “Left Behind” books and movies came from. However, they take the passage out of context. Look at the first part. This compares the second coming to the flood in Genesis. The people eating and drinking are clearly the non-believers. They get taken away by the flood, while the overcomers remain. This interpretation can be confirmed in these verses:
Proverbs 2:21-22 – For the upright do inhabit the earth, And the perfect are left in it, And the wicked from the earth are cut off, And treacherous dealers plucked out of it! (YLT)
Habakkuk 2:14 – For full is the earth of the knowledge of the honour of Jehovah, As waters cover [the bottom of] a sea. (YLT)
Proverbs says that the perfect were left on Earth, while the wicked are cut off. Habakkuk says that there will be a second flood, but instead of actual water, this flood will be a spiritual flood of knowledge from the Holy Sprit. In other words, a baptism by fire, in which there will be an outpouring of the Spirit. The knowledge of God’s truth will be made known on a level that has yet to happen on Earth, and only those that prepared before hand will be able to withstand it. So, while the rapture theory is that the believers are taken, the actual meaning of Matthew 24 is that the non-believers are “taken.” This can have a variety of meanings. Those that are not ready for God’s wisdom will suffer physical and spiritual consequences.
New Heaven and Earth
Another picture of what will happen during the second coming is in these verses:
2 Peter 3:10-13 – and it will come – the day of the Lord – as a thief in the night, in which the heavens with a rushing noise will pass away, and the elements with burning heat be dissolved, and the earth and the works in it shall be burnt up. All these, then being dissolved, what kind of persons doth it behove you to be in holy behaviours and pious acts? waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heart shall melt; and for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise we do wait, in which righteousness doth dwell; (YLT)
Revelation 21:1-2 – And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth did pass away, and the sea is not any more; and I John, saw the holy city – new Jerusalem – coming down from God out of the heaven, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband; (YLT)
Peter says that the second coming will be like a thief in the night, because it will be unexpected to the majority of people who are non-believers. Then heaven and Earth will be burnt up by fire and a new heaven and Earth will take its place. However, it is more likely that this is spiritual than literal. Remember from the Lake of Fire that God likes to use the word fire symbolically to mean purification and restitution. So a “New Earth” does not have to mean a new planet, but it can mean a new world order. This new order would no longer be under man’s leadership, but would be under the will and mind of God. The old order will be consumed by the fire of the divine law, which will cover the Earth like a flood.
The Order of Melchisedek
This new world order is not just something I made up. It is described in the entire chapter of Hebrews 7. Here is an exert:
Hebrews 7:11-17 – If indeed, then, perfection were through the Levitical priesthood – for the people under it had received law – what further need, according to the order of Melchisedek, for another priest to arise, and not to be called according to the order of Aaron? for the priesthood being changed, of necessity also, of the law a change doth come, for he of whom these things are said in another tribe hath had part, of whom no one gave attendance at the alter, for [it is] evident that out of Judah hath arisen our Lord, in regard to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet more abundantly most evident, if according to the similitude of Melchisedek there doth arise another priest, who came not according to the law of a fleshy command, but according to the power of an endless life, for He doth testify – Thou [art] a priest – to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek; (YLT)
This passage talks about an order that exceeds that of the priests in Leviticus. Verse 12 says that this change from priests of Levi to priests of Melchizedek will involve changes in the law. Verse 16 says these new priests will have endless or immortal life. These are the same priests that are mentioned in Revelation 20:
Revelation 20:6 – Happy and hold [is] he who is having part in the first rising again; over these the second death hath not authority, but they shall be priests of God and of the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (YLT)
So the overcomers will be these new priests of Melchisedek that will have more power than the previous priests and will reign with Christ for a thousand years in the Age of Tabernacles. So how will these priests minister to people? Take a look at Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 44:17-19 – And it hath come to pass, in their going in unto the gates of the inner court, linen garments they put on; and no wool cometh up on them in their ministering in the gates of the inner court and within. Linen bonnets are on their head, and linen trouserse are on their loins, they are not restrained with sweat. And in their going forth unto the outer court – unto the outer court unto the people – they strip off their garments, in which they are ministering, and have placed them in the holy chambers, and have put on other garments; and they do not sanctify the people in their own garments. (YLT)
This passages says that priests must wear wool clothes in the outer court and linen clothes in the inner court. This “changing of clothes” is similar to what Jesus did after his resurrection. Jesus could choose between a spiritual body and a physical body when He appeared to His disciples. (Luke 24:37-41) Moses also used a veil to cover his face after he spoke to God, because people would not be able to withstand the glory of God from within him. (Ex. 34:33-35) Similarly, the overcomers will appear in spiritual bodies with God’s full glory to those capable and qualified. However, the overcomers will appear as normal people with wisdom to others who are not yet ready.
In conclusion, the rapture and tribulation theory does not fit with the Bible and the God’s overall plan. At the second coming, the overcomers will meet Jesus Christ in the air and escort Him back to Earth. They will then rule with Christ in a new world order with new laws. This new order will cause some kind of tribulation due to transition, but not in terms of physical destruction or natural disasters. It will be a political and spiritual battle of the laws of man vs. the laws of God.
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