In light of my other comments on the rapture. I thought I’d spell out some other raputres in the Scriptures. First off we have to understand where the word “rapture” comes from. It from the Latin (raptus: meaning carried away) translation of the Greek word harpazo meaning to catch away; take by force; snatch away; to seize. The idea behind it is a friend is about to cross the road and you pull them back by the hair to keep from being hit by a speeding bus: that’s harpazo. This word is used 17 times in 13 verses of the King James Bible. In the case of Philip, that’s what happened in Acts 8:39 “… the Spirit of the Lord caught away [harpazo] Philip…”. While the English word “rapture” doesn’t appear in the Scriptures, it is clear it occurs throughout.
I’ve always been a staunch believer the Church is not meant for wrath and that’s why I stand with the pre-trib idea. However, scripture clearly points out that there are multiple raptures: Enoch, Elijah, Moses’ body, Jesus, Philip (temporary), Paul’s friend, John (temporary), those found worthy, those later found worthy, all that offend, and finally, the two witnesses. Here’s the breakdown:
Raptures in Scripture
Genesis 5:24 (KJV) “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
Jude 1:14-15 (KJV) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Hebrews 11:5-6 (KJV) “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Deuteronomy 34:5-6 (KJV) “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.”
Jude 1:9 (KJV) “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
2 Kings 2:9-13 (KJV) “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;”
Acts 1:7-9 (KJV) “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
Ephesians 4:8-10 (KJV) “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”
Paul’s Friend (temp)
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (KJV) “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.”
Acts 8:39 (KJV) “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.”
Revelation 4:1 (KJV) “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
Rapture of the Faithful Church
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 (KJV) “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
Matthew 23:33 (KJV) “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
Luke 21:36 (KJV) “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.”
Revelation 11:3-12 (KJV) “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
Gather of the Faithful – after the tribulation, those that were not counted worthy before but are now (Luke 21:36 (KJV) )
Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV) “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 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.”
Mark 13:24-27 (KJV) “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”
Gathering of all that Offends
Matthew 13:41-43 (KJV) “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
When & Who
Hard to say, but we are not meant for wrath being under the Blood of Jesus. How can God’s punishment of the world fall on us? If we are the promised Bride of Christ and the body of Christ, then how is it we would be pummelled on the Earth, die, and then have the wedding feast in Heaven? Hence the faithful bride is raptured out before the tribulation.
Ephesians 5:25-30 (KJV) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
John 14:1-4 (KJV) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
Isaiah 26:19-21 (KJV) “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
1 John 3:1-3 (KJV) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Zephaniah 2:3 (KJV) “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (KJV) “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
Psalms 27:5-6 (KJV) “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.”
Whole book of Ruth. Naomi is Israel, Ruth is the Church, Boaz is the Lord. Naomi returns to the Land of Israel, Ruth follows, and marries Ruth’s kindred, just like we will when Jesus returns.
Before war, the ambassador’s are recalled.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (KJV) “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Dogma (A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true) is not bad, but if Scripture must be excluded for it to work, then it’s tradition and a lie.
Colossians 2:8 (KJV) “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
A correct dogma is “Jesus, born of a virgin, died for you, and rose from the dead on the third day, so you can be saved on earth as well as in heaven after death.” With the state of the world the way it is (specifically the USA) one must re-evaluate some of the greyer dogma because of the vile evil so rampant. When the church is statistically inseparable from the world when it comes to addictions and divorce, then I have to wonder if those “Christians” are really Christians. Don’t get me wrong, even real Christians fall and we have an Advocate in heaven for us. But when people don’t even try to live a godly life, as a fruit inspector, I must say they’ve been fed a lie. What’s the lie? “1, 2, 3, pray after me” as if this prayer of words without real repentance (“change of mind” in Greek, about God) can save you. We’ve taken the words of Scripture and twisted them to a single act: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, … thou shalt be saved.” instead of what it really says:
Romans 10:9 (KJV) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, AND shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
A simple pray of faith has been turned by wolves in the church into a false dogma – “Pray this little prayer and you’ll go to heaven.” I can train a parrot, will he go to heaven? How many times have you heard in church “repeat after me”?! The devil has turned US into parrots and allowed unrepentant people to believe they’re Christians.
Luke 18:8 (KJV) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
What does ALL this boil down to? Faith. I groan to live like Christ. I groan for the Church to live like Christ. To make a difference in the world, not give up on it because the “time is short” – it’s been short for 2000 years. Many have rejected any notion that our actions have any weight with God, just like Israel did in the wilderness. David was one of the greatest sinners of all time – killed to have a woman whom he lusted for in his heart! Why was he not killed for it (according to the Law)? Because he had genuine repentance. Sure, he was still disciplined by God. So many times I hear people say “Why am I not blessed? Why is there so much wrong in my life?” There are only two answers: to give God the Glory when it’s all fixed, or we are suffering the consequence of our actions. If I eat all the junk in the world and can’t fit through the front door and become a diabetic, am I to blame God? Sometimes what we point out as judgement by God is actually just the absence of His blessings on our lives because of disobedience. If you’re not killing someone, what disobedience are you committing then? Lack of prayer:
Psalms 32:6 (KJV) For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Psalms 122:6 (KJV) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Matthew 5:44-48 (KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 6:5-7 (KJV) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Matthew 9:38 (KJV) Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Matthew 24:20 (KJV) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Matthew 26:41 (KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 11:24 (KJV) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mark 13:33 (KJV) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Luke 6:28 (KJV) Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Luke 21:36 (KJV) 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) Pray without ceasing.
1 Timothy 2:8 (KJV) I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
James 5:16 (KJV) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The faithful pray. That’s it. There’s no formula, no complicated solution, it’s simple heart-felt, feet-moving prayer. With so many verses that show the need for prayer on our part, couldn’t Paul have just implied “all [the faithful] be changed”? I mean, who else will be changed? Not the ungodly. Pray and have faith, then you’ll be in the rapture; neglect it and you’ll be left behind.
Galatians 3:3 (KJV) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (KJV) Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:20-25 (KJV) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
So to answer my own question, what does Jesus mean in Luke 21:36 (KJV):
Hebrews 2:1-4 (KJV) Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
There is great joy in faithfulness, not easy-believe-ism.
Luke 21:36 (KJV) 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.1 Peter 4:17 (KJV) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
God bless you all!