For he has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:13 & 14.
Christ in the spiritual realm,
rather than floating up into the sky and not being able to breathe
above our own atmosphere.
We are going to try and discern what the scripture are really trying to convey to us humans.
I Thessalonians 4:16-17 (du Toit, Francois. Mirror Study Bible) 16 The Lord will personally step out of the invisible heavenly realm into our immediate visible horizon with an inciting shout, announcing his triumphant reign in the trumpet-like billowing voice of God; and even the dead will rise from their sleep, since they too are included in Christ! 17 In the wake of their arising we will all be gathered into a large dense multitude of an innumerable throng of people, united as one, like the particles of water in a cloud, and we will encounter the Lord in the very air we breathe and so shall we continually celebrate our I-am-ness in our union with him. (This is the moment redemption declares, where Deity and mankind are married. The Bride and her Groom are united!) 18 The fact that we are all deeply connected in the same source of our ‘being-ness’ causes us to be constantly engaged in this conversation with one another.
Bible translations (du Toit, Francois. Mirror Study Bible) = (Mirror Study Bible) = (MSB)
This is the only scripture reference of the Archangel in verse 16 where Christ descents in the second coming with a great shout, and the voice of the archangel a shout with arch-angelic voices. This is so clear that implication is that Christ himself shouts. Here it is starting the destruction of Jerusalem before 70 AD. His spiritual kingdom is going to close the Old Covenant.
It seems pretty clear that Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, was speaking of a welcoming of the Lord at His coming, this refers to meeting Christ in the spiritual realm, rather than floating up into the sky and not being able to breathe above our own atmosphere.
Greek word translated "meet" here is apantésis. This word refers to going out to greet and receive someone into one's residence, rather than simply meeting someone. In fact, this word is only used two other times in the New Testament: the ten-virgins' parable and Paul's visit to some Roman believers.
In the ten-virgins' parable in Matthew 25:1-13 we find the bridegroom coming and the people going out to meet apantésis or welcome him; note that the bridegroom didn't take anyone away, but came to stay with them. Christ said he would be where we are.
Matthew 25:6-7 (TPT) 6 Then suddenly, in the middle of the night, they were awakened by the shout ‘Get up! The bridegroom is here! Come out and have an encounter with him (meet him or having a meeting)!’ 7 So all the girls got up and trimmed their lamps. Literally all the brides, one new humanity, no Jew/no Gentile, male/female, rich/poor, healthy/sick went to meet Groom.
Matthew 25:10 “While the five girls were out buying oil, the bridegroom appeared. Those who were ready and waiting were escorted inside with him and the wedding party to enjoy the feast. And then the door was locked.
Here we see that the ones that heard in Jesus day at the coming of the Lord, meaning recognized the Messiah, that they would be able to go into the feast. He came into them spiritually and they enjoyed the wedding feast at their bodily death, going to Heaven to meet Christ in the air. The Spiritual kingdom came inside them. They didn’t fly away into the air with their earthly flesh and blood suits. When the consummation of the new covenant with Christ was fulfilled all would be transformed in the twinkling of an eye and be with the Lord.
Acts 28:15 (TPT) When the believers were alerted, we were coming, they came out to meet us at the Forum of Appius while we were still a great distance from Rome (about 43 miles) another group met us at the Three Taverns (about 33 miles from Rome) When Paul saw the believers, his heart was greatly encouraged and he thanked God.
Paul visits the believers in Rome, he didn’t take them anywhere, they came to meet him and invited him into their homes for a visit and stayed. No flying away, no kidnapping to heaven. In the James Strong Concordance you can make clear since of it, that Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 was speaking of a welcoming of the Lord at His coming, rather than a time when they'd "fly away" with Him somewhere.
This perfectly aligns with all the Scriptures regarding Christ's return and the resurrection of the saints which indicate that the Lord would bring His Kingdom to Earth and dwell among men. As for the word "air" Greek word aeros, this is used most often in reference to the air we breathe in this atmosphere.
Acts 22:23 (TPT) While the crowd was screaming and yelling, removing their outer garments, and throwing handfuls of dust in the air in protest,
1 Corinthians 14:9 (TPT) So it is with you. Unless you speak in a language that’s easily under stood, how will anyone know what you’re talking about? You might as well save your breath!
Ephesians 2:2 (MBS) We were all part of a common pattern, swept along under a powerful invisible influence, a spirit-energy that adopted us as sons to its dictates through unbelief.
You must remember where evil really comes from since the fall. Jesus came to tear down knowledge of the tree of God and Evil down. So, we can live by the Tree of the Spirit of Life.
Matthew 15:19 (TPT) You will find living within an impure heart of evil ideas, murderous thoughts, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lies, and slander.
Not knowing who you really belong to draws you to rejection, worthlessness, etc. So, believe what God thinks about you, not your own evil thoughts that stir you up to rebellion and hate. Be like your Father who will never let you go. These are lies you believe about yourself. Papa God doesn’t see you that way. He came on your behalf. All for you making one new humanity.
Greek word aeros = air, breathe
We know Satan wasn't the prince of the power of oxygen, but of the heavenly or spiritual realm, as noted later in Eph. 6. (by Micah Stephens) Though aeros most frequently refers to oxygen, due to the context of this being about the resurrection of the dead and of Christ's coming in His spiritual kingdom. We can see there is a lot more going on.
John 18:36 (TPT) Jesus looked at Pilate and said, “The royal power of my kingdom realm doesn’t come from this world. If it did, then my followers would be fighting to the end to defend me from the Jewish leaders. My kingdom realm authority is not (Aramaic is “not yet from here.”) from this realm. (Greek text is not “world,” but literally “this side,” or “this realm.” The Aramaic word used here can be translated “not of this age.”) voice.”
The truth about mankind’s authentic Sonship and the image and likeness of the invisible Father of the human race is evidenced in me and confirmed in my work of redeeming the human race from the futile ways they inherited from their fathers. (MSB)
By Valerie Rounsfull