And What Do the Scriptures Say About It?

The following text is via an email from One Path Publishing and skillfully summarizes this doctrine of the Rapture of which we at The Jerusalem Channel have made many video recordings:

… I felt compelled to write on this subject this week in case others have the same question. … I was surprised to discover that up to 25% of Christian pastors today are teaching their congregations that the rapture is not real. At first, I was shocked, but then realized that the great apostasy has already been sweeping through the churches as Christ and Paul said would happen and that the majority of Christians today do not follow the Bible and are only Christians in name. (Matt 7:21-23) The scriptures tell us that this specific heresy will be taught in the churches in the end-days saying, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4) This is yet another sign that we are in the end-times and time is short for us.

Where do we get the word Rapture since [supposedly] it’s not in the [English] Bibles?

Our English word Rapture is referring to the word harpazo (ἁρπάζω) which is used 13 times in the Textus Receptus which means to be: (1) caught up; (2) by force; (3) caught away; (4) catcheth away; (5) pluck; (6) catcheth; and (7) pulling. In essence, it means to seize or claim for one’s self eagerly. It refers to when our Lord, Jesus Christ, physically returns (symbolized by “in the clouds”) and claims us and takes us away from the Earth to be with Him.

Jesus explains why he is leaving, and that He will return for Us

Jesus first says to his disciples “believe in Me” and then explains to His disciples that he will be going away and prepare a place for each of us and that he will return for all of us so that we can be with Him (John 14:1-3). The disciples and Jews understood the reference Jesus was making and the analogy that we are the bride of Christ, and that after our betrothal (we give our lives to Him), there is a period of time before the wedding where the groom will leave the bride and build a place for his bride to live (our new heavenly bodies) in his father’s house (in heaven). The groom’s father will then tell him when to go get his bride and that is why we must always be ready and why no-one knows the date or time of his return except the Father in heaven. His return for us parallels our betrothal to Him where we need to always be preparing for His return and keep ourselves pure as a bride would for her groom before the wedding day. (Eph 5:27; Matt 22:1-14; Matt 25:1-13; Rev 19:1-14)

After Jesus ascends into heaven in sight of his disciples, two angels appear with them and confirm that Jesus will return saying “… Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) [He ascended physically into heaven into the clouds (Acts 1:9), and when he returns he will likewise come physically from heaven through the clouds (Acts 1:11).]

We must keep ourselves ready for His return or risk separation.

In my humble opinion, Jesus gives the Church of today one of the most important parables applicable to us and the time in which we are living, especially with all the deception being taught from the pulpits as to whether people are “saved” or not and whether they must live for God or not to go to heaven. Jesus is referring to the betrothal of a bride (us, the church) with the groom (himself) and the time when they are separated, typically for a year, before he returns for his bride. I am referring to the parable of the 10 virgins where 5 did not wait for the bridegroom and when he came, they were left behind and not taken and consequently locked out of heaven. This should be an extreme warning to us today:

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 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. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matt 25:1-13)

Oil is symbolic of following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The foolish brides initially desired to follow the Lord but didn’t follow through and let their oil run out, and hence, returned to the world. When the bridegroom came, it was not possible for them to change their mind and say “we’ll follow the Lord now” because there is an appointed time just as it was in the days of Noah. When the floods came, I’m sure there were millions that changed their mind in a moment and wanted on the Ark but of course they couldn’t as the time to follow the Lord had passed and they all perished. Our Lord will return for us and when he does, we need to be ready. This is what makes this “demonic doctrine” (1 Tim 4:1-3) of denying the Rapture, or return of Christ, so horrible as it manipulates Christians so that they will no longer believe in the Rapture and they will not be prepared when Jesus returns. Satan will have accomplished his goal to have the “pretend Christians” who aren’t ready to be with him in the lake of fire for eternally.

Matthew & Paul describes the event when Christ returns
Matthew briefly describes that this is a worldwide event by showing that on one side of the planet where it is nighttime, people will be raptured, at the same time on the other side during the daylight others will be raptured. It is an event will everyone on earth will see Him coming (Matt 24:27-51).
Paul tells us that when Christ returns for us, we will be transformed in a moment given new bodies that will be incorruptible (1 Cor 15:52). He also tells us that we will meet him in the Clouds (indicating his physical return just as he physically left in Acts into the sky) and we will always be with Him. Paul says: “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.” (1 Thes 4:13-17).
Interestingly, a Jewish Galilean wedding has the bride sitting in a chair and is “flown in the air” to meet her coming groom and they did not realize that their very ritual matched the pattern by which our Lord will return in the clouds as we will meet him in the sky.
Don’t be left Behind – He will return, and we must Follow Him Now.