Tuesday, January 6, 2015

All the raptures in the bible

I was listening to Tommy Ice on pre-Tribulation rapture on a youtube video last week. It was a long video, over an hour, and I only had time to listen to about ten minutes. I figured I'd get back to it.

But I lost it in the flow of the dozens of music videos I subsequently watched while on vacation. Viva vacation.

All this to say I'm sorry I can't post a link to the video, but here is the part that interested me.

We Christians know about the rapture. We understand that at the moment the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (the full number, Romans 11:25), the rapture will occur and Jesus will descend from heaven. We will vanish from the earth in a moment, a twinkling of an eye. The dead will be no means be left behind, they will also be raised and we'll all meet in the air. Jesus will lead us to heaven. Then, the final 7 years remaining to complete the Old Testament decree regarding the Jews will resume on earth. It will be a time of Godly wrath, unleashed full force.

It's fascinating to think about going on our daily business, driving, washing, feeding the dog, and suddenly we will hear the trumpet of God, and the next moment we'll be airborne! The next moment we'll be in heaven, where no eye has seen nor any ear has heard the things prepared for us!! It is a singular, unique, momentous event!

However as I listened Dr Ice put something together in my mind. There have been several raptures already.

Enoch.

James Tissot, ~1900
Father of the longest lived man on earth, Methuselah. Enoch was the 7th from Adam. He was a prophet. (Jude 1:14). He lived 365 years, then God took him home. He was the only one in a long line of the genealogical record to not have died. "And then he died...And then he died...And then he was not, for God took him." Raptured.

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)




Elijah.

Prophet, servant of God. Slew all the false prophets of Baal by the sword. (1 Kings 18). Mentored Elisha. Raptured.

And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)

Jesus.

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11). Raptured.

Paul, Isaiah.

Paul wrote about "a man" who was caught up to the third heaven. Most scholarly consensus is that Paul is speaking of himself. Note that Paul says "caught up" in some translations it's "snatched up". In the Greek it's the word harpazo. This means snatched up. It is the same word that describes the bride's snatching up, or of being caught up.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. (2 Corinthians 12:2)

Isaiah- This one is more speculative, but in Isaiah 6:1 Isaiah wrote that he saw the throne room. Whether in the body or not...we can't be sure. He described the altar, the train of the Lord, the pillars,the seraphim crying HOLY HOLY HOLY. However after Isaiah exclaimed he was undone, he was a man of unclean lips living among a people of unclean lips, the seraphim took a coal from the altar and touched Isaiah's lips. If Isaiah was not in the body then this is metaphorical, however the word for mouth in Hebrew is mouth, the word used here. My personal opinion is that Isaiah was bodily caught up to heaven as Paul was.

Two Witnesses.

In Revelation 11 we are told that there will be Two Witnesses sent by God to preach to the entire world. This will be during the Tribulation

But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:11-12).

Many people think, and I include myself, that the Two Witnesses are Enoch and Elijah. Since it is appointed for man to die once then the judgment, and they never did, that this means the Two Witnesses are those two men and their death will occur during the Tribulation. Anyway, The Two Witnesses will be raptured.

Philip.

I wrote about his remarkable instant journey from point A to point B in Gaza: here. I have always been fascinated by the practical moments. After Philip was finished baptizing the Ethiopian Eunuch, he was snatched up and set down 20miles away. He wasn't raptured to heaven but to two places on earth, but still, the notion of being bodily taken up by the scruff of the neck like a kitten and plunked down some there else with no warning is amazing. In the sense of a harpazo, a catching away, Philip's experience fills the bill. His snatching up is the same word used on the Bride's rapture: harpazo.

And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:39-40).

We've talked about various raptures in the past. They've all been one man or at most two. The most startling and eagerly anticipated event of all is no doubt

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

This will occur at an unknown time in the future, and it will happen to a large number of dead and alive believers.

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.(1 Corinthians 15:52-53).

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,d that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

While being raptured is not a usual nor a frequent event, neither is it made-up as some like to claim. As we can see in the bible, it has happened before and will happen again. It isn't far-fetched and it isn't an "escape." A catching up or a snatching away of persons or groups of people is an event that God uses in His plan to accomplish the things He wants to accomplish. Simple as that.

How wonderful He is so sovereign He is able to put us where He wants and to take us up when He wants. How majestic are His ways. What a blessed hope our rapture is.

Come soon Lord Jesus!

9 comments :

  1. From a CJFM sermon I heard years ago... Enoch = a type of the Church. Raptured BEFORE the judgment of Noah's day. Noah is a type of faithful Israel, preserved through the judgement. The rest of the world is judged in the flood. Pre trib rapture pictured symbolically through the real events in Genesis.

    The rapture...
    Imminent. Instantaneous. Indescribable!

    Thanks for doing just what the Lord said to do, encourage one another with these words! 1 Thess 4:18

    -Carolyn

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    1. Very interesting, Carolyn. An "ah-ha" moment for me. Thanks for passing that bit of info along about Noah = Israel. Now I understand it better.

      I hope OUR rapture will be SOON! I'm growing weary of this corrupt world. In the meantime, I'm missing out on walking with Jesus in heaven. I can't wait!

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  2. Does it not say we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and not raptured in the twinkling of an eye. If we are to ascend during rapture like all of the others mentioned by Mr Ice then all will see.

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    1. Hi Harry, yes you're right. In some cases, the rapture was fast. Philip was whisked. Elijah's ascent was slower. Also the Two Witnesses. Enoch's seemed fast.

      Here's a clip from the movie Jerusalem Countdown in which the opening scene envisions something more like when Elijah or the 2Witnesses or Jesus ascended.take. The skies open like a scroll, there's an earthquake, suddenly blobs of light ascend, and clothes come drifting down. Personally I think this is what the rapture will be like, just like you said, the change was in a twinkling but the event has a beginning, middle,and end.

      http://youtu.be/bzZqKCh2Vd4

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  3. I've been reading your posts for awhile and have enjoyed them and learned a lot. I'm not one to post comments, but in this post I have to disagree with you that the rapture isn't an escape. Luke 21:36 says it IS an escape: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

    Thank you for your work to expand the Kingdom!

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  4. This was excellent. I like how you organized this blog with the Scriptures and explanations. I had thought about some of that in the past, but never thought about people like Phillip, Paul,and Isaiah being considered as "raptured" but sure enough the Scripture is showing that at moments they were. Good job with that. I'd like to find that Tommy Ice video, he's great at explaining end times topics. Enjoying your blog! Lori

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    1. Hi Lori,

      Thanks so much! I'm aggravated I can't find it. I really enjoyed the first ten minutes and I was looking forward to the rest. I'm sorry I didn't put it in my 'Watch Later" stream. It was an hour and ten minutes long, I think.

      It's also caused me to think further about the mechanics of the rapture. As Mr Harry said in a comment above, we will be changed in a moment, but nothing says the rapture itself will happen in a moment. So...God has used earthquakes to 'speak' to the world at so many momentous points, I really don't see how the rapture would not be accompanied by a quake too. Or at least a shaking.

      The rapture will be one of the world's largest signs of His work in the world, after His Son, the Flood, His Word, and His plan, that I think the rapture will be accompanied by many different parts that will be seen or heard or noticed. The video clip showed the sly opening like a scroll, a great noise, a quake, people disappearing, clothes left behind...

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    2. I will have to go searching, if I find the clip, I'll email ya.
      I can certainly see how a quake could be possible. I was glad that he (mr harry) pointed that out above there too. I need to go back to my notes I took during a presentation Mark Hitchcock gave that I attended. He addressed all of that, he is one of the best scholars along with Tommy Ice and a few others that give really good clear biblical explanations of eschatology/rapture.

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