The Rapture

·  Many people think that the notion of a Rapture is uniquely Protestant and that the Catholic Church does not teach it at all. We are going to show that it is part of the Doctrine of the Church which is derived from the Sacred Scripture. Indeed, many messages given by Our Lord and Our Lady given to authentic Catholic Seers mention the rapture of a great many Catholic Faithful who belong to the Remnant Church before the coming Great Chastisement.

  1. Let's examine 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-16 "For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them who have slept through Jesus, God will bring with him. For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them, who have slept. For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice or the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead, who are in Christ, shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Christ in the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord." (Douay-Rheims Bible, 1883).

First, we should establish the context or circumstance that this quotation refers to. Here it does not refer to the Final Judgment since not all the dead shall rise but only those dead faithful, namely "them who have slept through Jesus" and "the dead, who are in Christ". Those people who died through the redemption of Jesus Christ or died in Sanctifying Grace (with the Indwelling of the Holy Ghost at the time of their death) are said to die in Christ (or in union with Christ). They were saved and they only will be resurrected. So the Biblical quotation has to refer to the Second Coming during the Great Chastisement (a form of great judgment) but not to the Final Judgment in which all dead people will be resurrected to be judged by Christ.

The above verses do not specify whether all the faithfully departed or only those who die during the Great Tribulation preceding the Three Days of Darkness will be resurrected. But this is clearly specified in Apocalypse 20: 4-6 "And I saw seats. And they sat upon them: and judgment was given unto them. And the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God and who had not adored the beast nor his image nor received his character on their foreheads or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not, till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. In these the second death hath no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ: and shall reign with him a thousand years."

The above tells us that only those who are martyred by the Anti-Christ will be resurrected to live with Christ in the Reign of Peace on earth which will last for a limited time symbolized by "a thousand years" before the Final Judgment. The rest of the dead were not resurrected until the Reign of Peace was completed. So the first resurrection is the resurrection of the martyrs died during the reign of the coming Anti-Christ. The second death occurs after the Final Judgment when sinners go to Hell to suffer the "death" of both soul and body. Actually, in Hell, after the Final Judgment, there is no literal death of body or soul.

1 Corinthians 15: 21-28. "For by a man came death: and by a man the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But every one in his own order: the firstfruits, Christ: then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming. Afterwards the end: when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father: when he shall have brought to nought all principality and power and virtue. For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet. And the enemy, death, shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet. And whereas he saith: All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

The verse "Then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming" understood in connection with the three preceding verses clearly establishes the first resurrection of those who die believing in the Second Coming of Christ before the Final Judgment which is indicated by "Afterwards the end: when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father: when he shall have abolished all principality, and authority, and power."

The Reign of Peace is indicated by "For he must reign until he hath put all things under his feet." Again, The Final Judgment is referred to as the period "when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." Thus, the Son must reign for a time then He subjects Himself to the Father after the Final Judgment.

After the Final Judgment, "the enemy, death, shall be destroyed." Thus no more death, literal death of the both and soul, after the Final Judgment.

After the resurrection whether during the Rapture or during the Final Judgment the body will become "spirit-like", called spiritual body, so that the fire of Hell will not kill the body (much less the soul). It is so because both body and soul are subjected to eternal torments without making them die. If the human body in Hell remains in the form of an animal body as when we are alive, it will die. The supernatural fire in Hell is thousands fold hotter than the fire on earth.

1 Corinthians 15: 35. "But some man will say: How do the dead rise again? Or with what manner of body shall they come?"

1 Corinthians 15: 42, 44. "So also is the resurrection of the dead ... It is sown an animal body: it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be an animal body, there is also a spiritual body."

1 Corinthians 15: 52-53. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality."

After the resurrection, our body becomes spiritual body possessing immortality. So whether we are sinners or saints we will become immortal. The body of sinners will not die because it is now a spiritual body. Yet, this suffering is so great that is likened to death. Compare this with 1 Corinthians 15: 30-31 in which St. Paul says of his sufferings from persecution, "Why also are we in danger every hour? I die daily." Conversely, for the saints in Heaven, their body will not die due to the overwhelming happiness because now it is spiritual and immortal. Many seers who have seen Hell reported that if Our Blessed Mother did not give them grace and strengthen them they would have died. Death by only looking at Hell! Likewise, many seers also stated that when God showed them Heaven, they would have died out of overwhelming happiness if God did not provide them with great grace to keep their weak body in tact. Just imagine that we can die only by looking at Heaven! Indeed, Psalms 38: 6 "My substance is as nothing before thee."

Moreover, the body of saints becomes glorified because "we shall be changed." The saints in Heaven will be like angels even with their body. Whereas the body of sinners will not be glorified; it only becomes spirit-like and immortal, as is indicated by 1 Corinthians 15: 51 "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed." The sinners in Hell will resemble demons even with their body.

Thus, during the Second Coming of Jesus, those who do not receive the Mark of the Beast, do not adore the Anti-Christ, and are killed by him for bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, will be resurrected and taken up into the air to meet Christ.

  1. Next, as to the rapture of the living faithful, the crucial phrase is "we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Christ in the air." The quotation in Latin for 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 is "Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur SIMUL RAPIEMUR cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aera, et sic semper cum Domino erimus." "Rapture" is the English noun derived from the Latin verb "rapiemur," which is closely related to the Greek word "Harpasdo". This word is used by St. Paul and also used by St. John in Apocalypse 12: 5: "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God and to his throne." So "rapture" is equivalent to be caught up or to be taken up into the air to meet the Lord. (Note: the Latin quotation and explanation comes from Rev. John W. Tombler and Rev. Hubert J. Funk, The Rapture: A Catholic View of the Latter Days and the Second Coming, Trumpet Press, Inc., East Orange N.J., 1977. Both authors are professors at Seton Hall University. Fr. Tombler is also an Associate Pastor at Our Lady of All Souls Church in East Orange, N.J. According the authors, The Rapture of the Church is a "very much neglected Dogma of the Catholic Church" (p. 73)).

But that's is not all. Let's examine the very words of Our Lord in Luke 17: 34-37 "I say to you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left: two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. They answering, say to him: Where, Lord? And he said to them: Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be gathered together." (Douay-Rheims Bible, 1883) The crucial word is "taken." Our Lord's disciples asked "Where, Lord?" or "Where to, Lord?" Our Lord answered "wherever the body shall be." Our Lord referred to those people who were taken as eagles and the eagles would gather wherever the body shall be. So, who are the eagles and what is the body? The Greek word for eagle is aetios. The eagles are those with Sanctifying Grace soaring upward. For, for the living, to be taken up means to be saved. The Body is the THE BODY OF THE SLAIN LAMB, i.e. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, a great many of the living faithful will be taken up, together with the martyrs, into the air to meet Christ.

  1. It appears that 50% of the faithful are to be raptured, the rest have to go through the Three Days of Darkness and the Great Nuclear War. But they will be protected by Our Lord and Our Lady from the effects of all calamities. That is why between 1/4 and 1/3 of 5.4 billion people will survive.

What is the condition for being taken up in rapture? According to the Messages given to Dr. Mary Jane Even on April 1 and May 1, 1997, those who have completed the penance for their sins or have completed their Purgatorial suffering on earth before the Great Chastisement (Three Days of Darkness) will be raptured.

As we all know that every sin must be atoned for and repaired either in this life or in the next. If one dies with unconfessed mortal sins on our soul we go to Hell. If we die with venial sins we go to Purgatory to expiate, to atone for our sins there, before we can be admitted to Heaven. To avoid Purgatory we have to do penance and reparation for our sins in this life. This is called suffering Purgatory on earth. Doing penance, atonement, reparation, expiation for one's sins in this life can be such form as doing our duties, sickness, sufferings, prayers, almsgivings, fastings, abstention, mortifications of the body and soul, going to daily Mass. When we do our daily duties, perform any good works, suffer any adversity or sickness, we offer them to God as an atonement of our sins.

The Church helps us reduce the length of our stay in Purgatory by granting indulgences to good works such as prayers.

  1. In the new Handbook of Indulgences issued by the Holy See June 29, 1968, an indulgence is defined as the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, a remission which one of the faithful, properly disposed and under certain definite conditions, can acquire through the Church which as minister of the redemption authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasure of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.

An indulgence is plenary or partial, depending upon whether it frees one from the whole or from a part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

    1. A partial indulgence is granted to one of the faithful who, in the performance of his duties and the bearing of the burdens of life, raises his mind to God in humble trust, adding -- even it only mentally -- some pious invocation. Some invocations are:

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love Thee, save souls.

Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.

All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to God the Father.

In all things Thou art blessed, O Lord, we bless Thee; we praise Thee; we give thanks to Thee; we implore Thee, O Lord Our God.

We justly praise Thee, O Lord Our God, and thank Thee at all times.

Thy will be done.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.

More invocations can be found in the article on prayer.

To turn our work into prayer, every time we do something, say "For the love of Thee, O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the salvation of souls, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." This prayer was taught by the Angel to the three Children of Fatima.

    1. A partial indulgence is also granted to one of the faithful who, animated by a spirit of faith and with a merciful heart, gives himself or his goods to the service of the brethren who are in need.
    2. A partial indulgence to one of the faithful who in a penitential spirit of his own accord abstains from I something permitted and pleasing to him.
    3. There are numerous prayers and good works to which a plenary indulgence is attached. For instance,
      • saying the rosary in church or public oratory, or in the family, or in a religious Community, or in a pious Association. By the rosary is here meant at least five decades. For the gaining of the plenary indulgence the rosary must be said continuously, without interruption; to the vocal prayer there must be added devout meditation on the mysteries.
      • Reading Sacred Scripture with the reverence due to the divine word for at least half an hour, as spiritual reading.
      • Making the Way of the Cross.
      • A visit of adoration to the Blessed Sacrament for at least half an hour.
      • A visit to the cemetery and some prayers there for the poor souls on each day from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.
      • And many more...
  1. To live in the Reign of Peace on earth is equivalent to live in Heaven. This means one has to be free from sins and all punishment due to sins. The rapture will start immediately after the Great Miracle for those who will have completed their Purgatory on earth. The rapture will continue up to the Three Days of Darkness. As soon as one completes his/her Purgatorial suffering on earth, he/she will be raptured. However, some who have completed their Purgatorial suffering, may be chosen by God to stay on to help others who have not finished the penance and have to undergo the Great Chastisement which includes The Three Days of Darkness. They belong to the group of remaining faithful who will be protected during this terrible event. The manner of protection provided to this group is described by Our Lord in John Leary's visions. Therefore, all those who will survive the Great Chastisement and enter The Reign of Peace will have suffered their Purgatory on earth.

Marian Cross

The End Days

"Who is like unto God?"

Created July 16, 1996. Eleventh update August 6, 1997 Feast of The Transfiguration of Our Lord.