Christians believe in this term called the rapture, I am going to show you that the theme of the rapture is all throughout the scriptures.
Many people are more focused on the fact that the actual word, “rapture” is not even mentioned in the Bible. There are many translations of the Bible and actually the Latin word for “rapture” is rapturo, which means, “caught up.” It is interesting to note that the word “bible” is also not mentioned in the Bible, but both arguments are circular and go nowhere. The main focus is to know how the Bible is laid out. Many stories in the Bible are mentioned because they are actually a foreshadow of things to come in the future. This is so that when they happen, people will recognize it for what it was and believe. An example of this is Prophecy. Prophecy is mentioned in the Bible to prove that God exists and to make people believe. The mathematical odds of Bible Prophecy are high on purpose because only God could make high odds occur with 100% accuracy!
So where is the Rapture of the church mentioned? Well, like I said, it is through many stories that are found in the Bible that are symbolic of it. One of those stories is that of Noah and the Ark. We all know the basic story, Noah is told by God to build an Ark. Noah builds the Ark and warns people. No one listens to Noah and it rains for 40 days and 40 nights and there is a world-wide flood.
As Christians, we need to pay close attention to detail. Noah is symbolic of representing God’s chosen. Noah is mentioned as being the only “righteous” one at that time. This term refers to being found righteous in God’s eyes. Righteousness is knowing God’s commandments and obeying them, fully submitted one’s own life to God. The other people are symbolic of the “world” (ungodly people) that don’t know God and don’t care to know Him. The Ark is symbolic of Jesus and the covenant that He would make with mankind to bring salvation. Jesus would use His own righteousness to cover our sin so that when God looks upon anyone that accepts His Son, He will see that they are righteous through Jesus!
The Ark had a door that God told Noah He would shut. The door of the Ark is symbolic of Jesus. Jesus also refers to Himself as a “door” in scripture. In John 10:9 it reads, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” The Ark was symbolic of God’s righteousness. This righteousness could only come through having faith in God. Likewise, we are found righteous only through Jesus Christ and how He paid for our sins on the cross because we have faith and believe that His blood covered all our sins. Noah had to have faith to believe what God was telling him to do, which he did! Then, once he entered the Ark, Noah and his family were safe in God’s righteousness and protection from the judgement of the world.
God Always Removes His Righteous People Before Judgement is unleashed on the Unrighteous. Always.
After Noah and his family were safe in the Ark, God brought down the rain and opened the flood gates of the earth’s water as well. Water is always symbolic of judgement in the Bible.
You will not find a story in the Bible where God unleashed His Wrath on His own righteous people. Do not get confused with discipline. Throughout the scriptures, God had to discipline the children of Israel many times, but discipline is different from judgement and punishment. Those that are judged are not children of God and those that are disciplined are children of God and that relationship is very evident. Before God brought judgement, He always gave a warning first. He always allowed His people that were considered righteous to be removed from the judgement.
Another example is the story of Lot when he was in Sodom and Gamorrah. In Genesis 18, we read the account where God was telling Lot how severe the sins were of that city and His plans to completely destroy it. Abraham asked the question everyone in the world wants to know about the rapture. Notice the question Genesis 18:23. “Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? This question is key to understand God’s sovereign justice system and judgement. Abraham was asking God if He would judge the righteous along with the unrighteous people with the same judgment. This answer alone, stands true to God’s nature because the answer (after much questioning by Abraham) shows that God only pours out His wrath on the unrighteous, never does He pour His wrath on the righteous. Let’s read Abraham’s questions and notice that Abraham knew the two cities well and kept going down in number. Abraham himself was not sure that he knew of anyone righteous in that city, except his nephew, Lot.
“What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteousand the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Lot continues to go from 50 to 10, asking the Lord if He would still destroy the city if even a few righteous were left. God answers Lot, “He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it” Genesis 18:32.
In this story, there were NONE that were righteous in God’s eyes, only Lot and his own family and it was Lot and his family that were spared of the wrath of God. Again, the same was the case in Noah’s time, none repented and all were judged by God through the flood, except Noah and his family. The Lord was still faithful to take Lot out of the city by sending two Angels to rescue him and his family, just as He was faithful to take out Noah and his family before the judgement would even begin. The same is going to be at the rapture. God will take out His Bride before the wrath of God is poured out on all of humanity.
Elijah is considered one of the Major Prophets of Israel. He was considered righteous because He had faith in God and completely depended upon God for everything! He also used intense prayer with faith to have God perform miracles. Elijah was used by God to raise the first person from the dead in the Bible. He was used mightily by God to be able to stop the rains from coming and to call down fire from heaven. When God had finished using him upon this earth (for his time period), God sent a chariot of fire, which “caught up Elijah” and took him away to heaven – this was a form of the a rapture in the Bible. In 2 Kings 2:11, it reads, “As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind.”
Paul mentions the rapture of the church (the righteous believers in Christ) that will be taken up into heaven. Like Elijah, these believers will proceed the dead in Christ. Paul is very explicit to mention that first the dead in Christ will be raised from the dead (just like Jesus was raised from the dead). “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise” I Thessalonians 4:16.
Then, the believers that are alive will follow after them and go up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. “After that, we who are alive and remain 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” I Thessalonians 4:17. Just like Elijah was alive and caught up and taken to heaven, so will there be some that are alive and are righteous believers in Christ (Christians) that will also be caught up to go into heaven.
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, His body was a transformed body. He was able to cross dimensions like being able to appear in a room, without having used a physical door, yet still having a body. In Luke 24:36-39 Jesus appears to His disciples. They were terrified, thinking He was some kind of a ghost (a spirit form) because he appeared out of nowhere. Jesus tells them that He is of flesh and bones. “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you. They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” So the body that Jesus had was a supernatural transformed righteous body that was able to cross our 3 dimensional, physical world. He still had skin and bones, but was in a different (glorified) form than before, when he was in an all physical form.
Paul mentions that we too, will be transformed into the same type of body as Jesus, at the rapture. Our corrupted, physical bodies will be transformed into righteous bodies that can dwell in a heavenly dimension, just like Jesus’. It is mentioned in I Corinthians 15:51-54, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Another example is that of the Prophet Daniel. When the Babylonians captured Israel, Daniel and his friends were captured and were later promoted. Daniel was promoted to the royal court and Daniel’s friends were promoted to administrators of the Babylonian province. In this incidence, Nebuchadnezzar made a gold image of himself and decreed that all should worship it. Daniel was not mentioned in this story. Here, Daniel represents a foreshadow of the church. Daniel’s friends represent a foreshadow of Israel. Daniel’s friends are thrown into the furnace. In this story, fire represents God’s radiant glory. The three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, represent a foreshadow of Israel. Although the world (Nebuchadnezzar) is using the fire in the furnace as a punishment and judgement, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego still must go through the fire ( Jacob’s trouble in the 7 year Tribulation), but ( Israel) will not be consumed by it, God will save a remnant through of His people through this final future judgement. Daniel is not included, or “taken out of the judgement like Christian believers will be and during the 7 year Tribulation, Israel’s remnant will be preserved through the fire just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego we’re.
The last example is that of Enoch. Although, the book of Enoch is not part of the canonized scriptures, he is mentioned in the Bible. In Genesis 5:23-24 we read, “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” The Hebrew word for walk is halak and the meaning for walk is both literal and figurative, according to Strong’s Hebrew definition #1980. If you take the same word for halak and spell it backwards, you get the word Kalah. The Hebrew word for Bride is spelled with two l’s, Kallah. The meaning of the word Kallah comes from the root word Kalah, which means “to finish, complete, prepare, make perfect, and to consume” (strong 3618 and 3634). It is a feminine noun and is a perfect example of the Bride of Christ (the church). Like Enoch, he walked with God and was considered righteous (just as a Bride is because she is a virgin and pure). Enoch was found to be made perfect and God took him one day or raptured him from this Earth, so he never experienced death, but was taken alive to heaven. Scripture tells us that there will be many that die in Christ that will be buried, but when the rapture happens, their spirit and body will be reunited first, their graves will open up and they will be raptured first. Then, the one’s in Christ that are alive and have not experienced death, will also be “translated” into a righteous body, just like Jesus was and will meet Jesus in the clouds at the rapture of the Church. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise” I Thessalonians 4:16. “After that, we who are alive and remain 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” I Thessalonians 4:17.
We can see the parallels throughout scripture, all foreshadowing future events. As Christians, we look forward to seeing the Lord and being removed from the very near judgement that is soon coming. Please read my posts on “The Galilean Wedding” and “Parallels between Jesus, Moses and the Rapture” to further understand scripture and God’s near future events that are to take place very soon!
In Revelation 4:1-2, it reads, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” This is an obvious rapture that occurred to John. After this, the church as a whole is not mentioned in the rest of the book of Revelation. John hears the trumpet of God first, then is raptured up into Heaven. An event we as Christians, look forward to.