Topic: “Rapture” – What is it? Is it Real?

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If you want to raise hackles about prophecy just bring up the topic of a rapture, it seems to be a touchy subject with many opinions:

  • Argument Against the Rapture being Real:
    • The word “Rapture” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible.
  • Retort:
    • The Rapture is an English word known as the “catching up” of I Thessalonians 4:17 when believers will be gathered together to meet the Lord in the air. The Latin Vulgate uses the word “rapiemur”, which may be translated “we shall be raptured” or “we shall be caught up.”
      • I Thessalonians 4:15-17 says “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep (dead). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be “caught up (rapiemur)” together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall always be with the Lord.”
      • 1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    • However, remember that the Latin Vulgate is also a translation and not the original Greek. The original Greek is the word “harpazō” with Strong’s number g726. So, returning to the original, translated as:
      • The KJV translates Strong’s G726 in the following manner: catch up, take by force, catch away, pluck, catch, pull.
        harpázō, har-pad’-zo; from a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications):—catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

A study of the original word used for rapture: g726 harpazō: Verses of application appear to embrace the concept of force whether by physics, spiritual or of men:

  1. Mat 13:19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
  2. Jhn 6:15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
  3. Jhn 10:12 “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
  4. Jhn 10:28 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
  5. Jhn 10:29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
  6. Act 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
  7. Act 23:10 Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
  8. 2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
  9. 2Co 12:4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
  10. 1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
  11. Jde 1:23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
  12. Rev 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. See illustration below.

Is the “Kingdom of Heaven” and the “Kingdom of God” the same?

  1. Verses which use “the kingdom of heaven”.

2. The verses which use the term “the kingdom of God.”

The kingdom of heaven seems to be directed specifically to Jesus as a Jew and His work toward the Jewish promises on earth, while the kingdom of God encapsulates the kingdom of heaven but also includes the Gentiles and Jesus’ work in the spiritual realm of the heavenlies.

To be concise: The kingdom of heaven is the Millennium on earth. The kingdom of God is the souls who have died and reside with God in the spiritual dimensions, also those who have been raptured. Consider verses below:

  • Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you (the Jews) and given to a nation (the Gentiles) bearing the fruits of it.

The kingdom of God: The Head of the Bride of Christ
The kingdom of Heaven: The King of the Jews, the Messiah

Some verses use “kingdom of heaven” while in another gospel it uses “kingdom of God”. Both are true if they fall in the overlap area of the chart above.

Discussions revolving around whether or not there is a coming rapture is wrapped around whether or not Daniel’s 70th week, the seven years of tribulation, occurred in the past or is coming in the future.

Therefore; it would be incumbent on the scholar to first preview Topic: Seven Year Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week) in order to be comfortable with accepting that the seven year tribulation is indeed in the future.

If however, the reader is already convinced of a tribulation and that it is coming in the future, he should be at ease proceeding forward.

  • Is there a “Rapture”? Yes
  • How is it described? Continue reading
  • Is it a one time event? No. Enoch was raptured before the tribulation.
  • When will it happen?
    • Before the flood? Enoch.
    • Before the tribulation? Yes with the resurrection of the dead
      See: Topic Pre-Trib Rapure
    • In the middle of the tribulation? No, but The Two Witnesses are resurrected from the dead
    • At the end of the tribulation? No, but the converted during the tribulation, those who died are resurrected.

FALSE arguments that there is NO “RAPTURE”:

  • A FALSE STATEMENT “The Rapture occurs at the same time as Jesus’ second coming at the end of the tribulation.”
    • Notice: The two events have two different locations:
      • During the rapture the believers meet the Lord in the air.
        • 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
      • THE RETURN
      • At Jesus’ second coming He comes with the saints (believers), His foot steps on Mt. Olives and the mountain splits in half from east to west. AND He comes WITH the saints who have been resurrected and raptured.
        • Acts 1:9-12 Jesus Ascends to Heaven – 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Mt. Olives), which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
        • Zechariah 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives (Olivet), Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
        • Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
  • A FALSE STATEMENT: Titus was the “Antichrist”
    • This cannot be true for several reasons:
    • Titus was part of the 6th head on the seven headed dragon. The Antichrist is the 7th head.
      • If Titus were the Antichrist we would be in the Millennium.
      • The Millennium lasts for 1,000 years.
        • Since Titus it has been 2,000 years.
        • The Millennium is a time of restoration, peace, prosperity and the rule of Jesus on earth.
        • Jesus is not ruling the world from Jerusalem
        • It is not a time of peace

Note: The first five heads on the dragon are kingdoms who have ruled over the Jews, focusing on the Jews. The sixth head is gentile, called the Age of Grace. The Holy Roman Empire is still in existence and the pope of the Catholic church carries its mantle. The seventh head will also rule over the Jews.

The Antichrist is the last head of the dragon. It is his kingdom. Once again God’s focus is on the Jews.

  • Rome doesn’t show up as one of the “beasts” in Daniel because Daniel’s prayer was for his people, specifically, the Jews. Therefore: There are only four beasts in the book of Daniel:
    • Babylon (beast 1 in Daniel) (head 1)
    • Medes and Persians (beast 2 in Daniel) (head 2)
    • Greece w/Alexander the Great and his four generals. (beast 3 in Daniel which includes 3 of the heads on the dragon) (head 3) Alexander is succeeded by four of his generals. Only two of the four rule over the Jews: One of Alexander’s generals rules Egypt. (head 4) and one rules Egypt (head 5).
    • The Antichrist (head 7).
  • The third, forth and fifth head on the dragon are all part of the bronze kingdom on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. They all originate from Greece, Alexander the Great who ruled over the Jews, then the King of the North and the King of the South who were two of his generals who ruled over the Jews after his death.
  • The sixth head is the Gentile Age of Grace and the Bride of Christ (Gentile with Jewish exceptions).
  • The seventh head is the last kingdom before Jesus’ return. It is the Global Kingdom of the Antichrist who rules in Jerusalem. It ends at Armageddon. It is the head with 10 horns.
    • Daniel 7:24a The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom.
  • The rapture occurs between the sixth and seventh head of the dragon. Symbolically, the rapture occurs after the sixth day of creation to rest in heaven for the seventh day.
  • A verse that makes one consider a potential “hidden” meaning:
    • Zechariah 13:7 “Awake (from sleep -be incited), O sword (Satan, that lays waste, kills, and makes desolate), against My Shepherd (My Son, the Good Shepherd), against the (Son of) Man, (the Valiant Man who prevails) who is My Companion (My Son, My Relation),” Says the Lord of hosts. “Strike (kill) the Shepherd, and the sheep (flock of followers) will be scattered; then I will turn My hand (support) against upon the little (low) ones (despised) – “Upon” root meaning H5927; properly, the top; specifically, the Highest (i.e. God); also (adverb) aloft, to Jehovah:—above, high, most High. To be taken up, be brought up, be taken away.

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