Pentecost And The Rapture

Q. Most Bible scholars believe that the feast of Pentecost was fulfilled by the establishment of the church. I believe Christ must fulfill all the feasts while He is on earth like He did for Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First-fruits. If Christ left 10 days before Pentecost, how did He fulfill the feast? I don’t buy He did it by sending the Holy Spirit because He said ” I will pray to the Father and He will send the Holy Spirit.” I also believe the Rapture is represented in the Old Testament in Exodus chapter 19 and that will be how Christ fulfills the feast. Can you show me where I am wrong?

A. I can’t show you where you’re wrong because you might be right. In fact if the rapture has to happen on a Jewish feast day, Pentecost is the most likely choice.

But consider these things. Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts in His first coming. Most scholars believe He will fulfill the fall feasts in His second coming. Where does that leave Pentecost? According to your theory He didn’t fulfill it when He was here before and now it’s too late. And if He fulfills the fall feasts at His second coming, He won’t fulfill Pentecost then either because it comes in the early summer.

I don’t believe the rapture has to come on any feast day because the rapture is not for Israel, it’s for the Church. I believe the rapture will happen on the day the Church reaches its full number (Romans 11:25) regardless of what day that is.

I agree with you that Exodus 19 is an Old Testament model of the rapture. But like any model it is necessarily incomplete. Comparing Exodus 19 with Rapture passages like 1 Thes. 4:16-17 and 1 Cor. 15:51-54 will demonstrate this.

Here’s where they’re similar. The trumpet of God and an audible voice are present at both events and both events create a kingdom. At Mt. Sinai the Israelites were redeemed from slavery, at the Rapture we’ll be redeemed from sin. They were consecrated, we’ll be perfected. They washed their clothes, we’ll be given clean clothes. God came to the Mt. top, Jesus will come to the air. At Mt. Sinai Moses and Aaron went up, at the rapture we will go up. At Mt. Sinai Israel was wed to God. At the Rapture the Church will be wed to Jesus. At Mt. Sinai God dwelt with Israel and at the rapture the Church will dwell with Jesus.

And here’s where they’re different. Only Moses and Aaron could ascend the mountain. Anyone else going up passed from life to death. At the rapture we will all go up and everyone will pass from death to life. God promised to dwell with Israel if they obeyed. We will dwell with Jesus because He obeyed. They changed themselves temporarily, God will change us permanently. Theirs was an event accompanied by great fear, ours is an event anticipated with great joy. After all Mt. Sinai was the presentation of God’s Law, and the Rapture is the manifestation of His grace.

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