- Religion and Philosophy
The Rapture - Part 3 - Is The Rapture Scriptural
If you haven't read Parts 1 & 2: Click below to read them:
Is the Rapture Scriptural?
After wrestling with scripture and praying on this, I came to the conclusion that “The Rapture” has scriptural support and is even promised by God. Some call it, “The Blessed Hope”. As previously mentioned, I believe that several New Testament scriptures suggest that this event will happen just before a Great Tribulation period of seven years. This news is a great hope for believers, to know that God loves his believers so much that He keeps the from harms way.
Many who study the Bible and specifically Bible Prophecy, will point to the allusion that the word “Rapture” is never mentioned in scripture and they are absolutely correct. The word “Rapture” is a derivative of the word” Raptura”, which is Latin for “Harpazo”, which is the original Greek word that is used. “Harpazo” means: “to seize; carry off by force; to seize on; claim for one's self eagerly; to snatch out or away”. Rome was the fist non-Greek speaking culture to translate the original Greek text into their own language, “Latin” (which some formal Catholic priests still use today)
So the word Rapture (Which is the English Derivative of the Latin “Raptura”) is never mentioned in the English translation of the Old Testament or the New Testament because King James had the original Greek (not Latin) translated into English, The Greek word “Harpazo” was translated as “caught up” or “caught away”.
This word Harpazo is used in every case where someone is caught up/away. Take for instance in Acts 8:39, Philip is baptizing a Eunuch and immediately after the baptism, he is immediately caught away. Then in II Corinthians 1-4, Paul is telling his readers about someone he knew (likely himself) who was caught up into Heaven. Then again in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Paul actually uses the phrase to explain the Rapture itself. The Greek word used for caught away or caught up is always the same in every case, “Harpazo”. Here are some examples below:
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:39.
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. II Corinthians 12:1-4
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. I Thessalonians 4:17
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. Revelation 12:5
So are there specific scriptural references, alluding to a supposed Rapture?
In the following paragraphs, I list several passages of scripture and follow each passage with my interpretation of that passage. I have listed each passage in the order that they are listed in the New Testament.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-at the doors! "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. Matthew 24:31-50 (KJV 1611)
Although, many Christians believe that this scripture is referring to the final day when the Lord returns to put an end to all unrighteousness, I believe this scripture is referring to the Rapture and let me explain why. First, Jesus tells his disciples that the end times will be like the days of Noah. If we go back to Genesis 6 it states:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:5-13 (MKJV)
So we find that the Earth was filled with evil thoughts, corruption and violence—not much different than the world we live in today. Then the Lord removes His elect (Noah and his family) from harm’s way, kept from His wrath.
Then immediately Jesus points out that two men will be working in a field; one will be taken and the other left. And he goes further to explain that two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and the other left. What does that mean? What people are to be taken and who is left behind? Where are they taken to? These are some of the questions we find ourselves asking. Jesus does not point out whether the people taken are the “Elect” or not, but it does follow the story of how Noah was removed from harm’s way prior to the flood. If we follow the logical order of thought here, it makes reasonable sense that those taken are like Noah and his family. Is it possible that those taken are saved from God’s coming wrath? It is quite possible. Some believe that those who are taken will be “snatched up” to meet the Lord in the air…. “in the twinkling of an eye.”, as I will point out later. This will be a worldwide mass disappearance which will leave the Earth in complete and utter confusion and hysteria. Could you imagine the above scenario? This would be the most terrifying experience to happen to the people of Earth since Noah’s flood.
Jesus follows up by stating that no one will know the hour of or even expect his coming. If there is a Tribulation of seven years and no Rapture, Christians would certainly know the time of his coming, the end of the seven years, following all the signs in Revelation. That would not be much of a surprise for the Christians, but Jesus states that his return will be a surprise and only his true servants will be ready, because they will be doing what He expects of them, even when He is not expected. So I believe the Christians will have to be taken when they are least expecting Jesus’ return, prior to “The Great Tribulation”. Although, no one will know the day or the hour, we should know the general time according to the signs of the times, which Jesus tells us when referring to the “Lesson of the Fig Tree” He points out, “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” So, it appears that believers should at least be paying attention to the signs of his return.
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22 (MKJV)
In this verse, Jesus is telling his disciples that in the end times there will be false prophets that will be able to perform signs and wonders that could deceive even the elect, ”if that were possible.” First of all, as far as I can see, there have been many false prophets in the past, but none that have been able to perform miracles or signs that could deceive God’s “Elect”. I emphasize the fact that Jesus states, “…if that were possible.” There are many schools of thought about this. Some believe that if you are God’s “Elect”, you would not be able to be deceived because the Holy Spirit is with us and will not let us be deceived.
There is one major flaw with this concept. I can see where someone may believe this idea to some extent, but I find myself wondering, “why would Jesus say that some of these false prophets would be able to deceive, even the elect, if that were possible?” If we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are the “Elect” and I do not think Jesus meant that his followers could not be deceived. In fact, I believe the opposite is true. We are deceived almost every day in our “Spiritual walk” by Satan and his demons. We still have flesh and flesh can be easily deceived. How many times are we tricked into sin or tricked into ungodly worldly thinking. Even Paul says that we have a sinful fleshy nature, so with that said, I believe we, the “Elect” can be deceived.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 7:14-25 (KJV 1611)
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