7/23/2009 | Posted in ,

Apantēsis (Strongs Greek 529) Is a technical term that refers specifically to the practice of sending a delegation outside the city walls and gates to receive a dignitary who was coming. This was the practice when a king and his army were returning from war. All the people would pour forth from the city gates and welcome them with pomp and circumstance. The people would meet them outside and then usher them back into the city with shouts of joy and acclamation.

W.E. Vines says “It is used in the papyri of a newly arriving magistrate. It seems that the special idea of the word was the official welcome of a newly arrived dignitary"

I would like to look at every instance this word is used in scripture (which is only 3 places):

Matthew 25:1 - Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 25:6 -And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Matthew 25:10 - And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

We can note three things about this word "meet" (apantesis)

1 - The bridegroom is going to the marriage feast.
2 - The virgins go out to meet him.
3 - They continue on to the marriage feast, the original destination.

The bridegroom certainly does not fetch them from where they are waiting and whisk them off to some far away location. Rather, while the foolish virgins are away buying more oil, the bridegroom comes and enters into the marriage feast with the five wise virgins. The foolish virgins return to their original location to find the door already shut.

Acts 28:15,16 - And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Again, we note three things:
1 - Paul is traveling toward the city of Rome.
2 - The brethren meet him.
3 - Paul and the brethren continue on into Rome, the original destination.

I Thessalonians 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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This does not say anything about the Lord returning, then reversing direction and heading back to Heaven.
Verse 17 says “And so shall we ever be with the Lord”. We can’t follow Christ back to Heaven and “Ever be with the Lord” when He isn’t going to be there forever.
He’s setting up His kingdom here on earth!

When the dignitary approached a city, the elders of the city would go out to meet him and escort him back into the city. In no case does the one being met reverse direction and return the way he came. On the contrary, it is the people meeting the dignitary who change direction.

Once again, we note three things:
1 - The Lord descends from heaven [toward Earth].
2 - After the dead rise first, we who are alive go to meet him in the air.
3 - We accompany the Lord back to Earth, which he was originally approaching

Based upon this (among other things I’ve already mentioned in the book), I am persuaded to believe that the return of Christ and the rapture of the church take place simultaneously.


5 responses to "Apantesis"

  1. Ma ~ On July 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    What a buzz killer!;) I know what you are saying, but in Revelation 19:

    11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

    12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

    13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

    14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

    Who are the armies and if they are the Church it seems like they were in Heaven before coming back with him.

    Also in Jude:

    14And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

    Now I know the latter doesn't rule out a meeting in the air, but the former seems to indicate some time passing between the two events. Any thoughts?

    I have followed your blog and know that you have struggled with the rapture timing (as have I).

  2. Kingdom Studies On July 24, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    Excellent! Excellent!

    THIS is the type of dialogue I’ve been looking for.

    Yes, these verses bring up questions and demand clarification.

    I’m going to do a separate post on this.
    Thank you for bringing this up!

  3. Anonymous On September 5, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Huh? I don't get it. I thought to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord. If you are a believer then the YOU part of you is your spirit, not the flesh. The "flesh counts for nothing". The rapture is about the body becoming incorruptible and immortal and not about the spirit. The dead are given white robes in Revelation 6:9-11 at the fifth seal. They are the "souls that were slain". Slain means killed. In common speech that means you are dead. Also look in Revelation 19:7-8 where it talks even more about white robes right after it says the "wife hath made herself ready". Guess what happens when the wife has made herself ready? That's right, it's time go get her! "Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." Just like the parable of the wise virgins. Just like Jewish wedding custom. What type of pre-trib idea could confuse this clear picture?

    Why people get taken up in this pre-trib rapture stuff is beyond me. Where is it in the Bible?

    You guys know that 1 Thessalonians 4:14 is central to eschatology right? "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

    "will God bring WITH him"
    Where is the confusion?

    Still, I think apantesis had a connotation similar to what you have said, but it does not seem to be a technical term the way you have described it.

    See here:

  4. Mick Alexander On August 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Luke 17 shows clearly that when the Lord returns He will Rapture the church and then pour out God's wrath.

    The following link has a chart on the passage -

    God bless,

  5. Anonymous On April 13, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
    This verse is just letting them know that when he was coming it would be quick.
    25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
    26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
    27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
    V 26 & 27 liken those days to the time of Noah. In Noah’s time. The wicked were destroyed first and gods people were left on earth. Similar to the story of the wheat and the tares the wicked were destroyed first by fire and the wheat (righteous) were left on earth in Gods barn. It said so shall it be at the end of the world. That word in the Greek is age. As in the old Mosaic covenant age.
    28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they build-ed;
    29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
    The wicked including Lot's wife for disobedience were destroyed first by fire. Gods obedient people survived.
    30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
    31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return..
    If this is a rapture then why would God be telling them not to go back to their house to get their stuff and if you are in the field not to return and then say remember lots wife unless he is referring In 70AD during the Jewish Roman war the wicked were destroyed by fire and Gods people escaped to Pella where they survived on earth. In the scripture in Luke that says to watch for the abomination of desolation which he said would be soldiers surrounding Jerusalem . That is was what they were suppose to watch for. That was there sign. The reason for this was Roman Soldiers surrounded Jerusalem and 3 and half years later burnt it to the ground.
    32 Remember Lot's wife.
    33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
    34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

    35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    The first is always the wicked and destroyed , from the parable above. Just like Noah, wheat and tares Roman seige Those taken were the ones that were destroyed,.
    37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
    The word eagle here is suppose to be vultures . Gods answer Wheresoever the body is, thither will the Vultures be gathered together. The vultures were gathered around the dead bodies of those who died in 70 AD. So the answer was Jerusalem. Also, the wedding feast took place when this happened.because Gods old covenant bride was gone and he was free to marry his new covenant Jew & Gentile bride. REV. 19:17-19

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