Rapture Musings

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Prophecy Update: The Rapture! 2/1/2023

The new movie, “Left Behind, The Rise of Antichrist” has caused a stir. First, the movie is a remake from the original Left Behind movie 23 years ago. This was intended to introduce a new generation to the concept of the rapture. Second, I found that many of my students do not understand the rapture. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to teach on the rapture so that people can increase their understanding.  

The rapture is a resurrection. There are several types of resurrections in the Bible. For instance, some people are raised from the dead only to die again. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:38-46) Lazarus was raised as many others only to die again. (there are 21 resurrections in the Bible) Elijah also raised a child in his ministry. 1 Kings 17 tells the story of a woman who God used to feed Elijah during the famine. When her child died, God used Elijah to raise him from the dead. This is a common miracle in the Bible when it comes to a resurrection.

The second type of resurrection is very unusual because it happened twice. This is when a living person is taken to heaven without dying. Enoch is the first one in the Bible who was translated in his physical body straight into heaven. 

“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” 

Genesis 5:24

Enoch is important to the teaching of the rapture. He set the pattern for the rapture of the church. His translation into heaven happened during the sinful run up to the flood. During his lifetime, the Nephilim were on the earth just as the Nephilim will be back in the last days. The Nephilim were the unnatural product of the fallen angels and human females. Genesis 6:1-4 tells us that the sons of God (bene elohim) go into the daughters of men. The contrast is meant to show that fallen angels are doing something they are not supposed to do. 

Satan has a numbers problem. He only convinced ⅓ of the angels to rebel against the Lord so he has to add to his numbers. Invading the earth through corrupting humans is one way to add to his numbers. It solves two problems for him: first, he can corrupt the seed of men so that the Messiah cannot be born, second he corrupts man so that God cannot save them. The book of Enoch mentioned this act:

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ … And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon.” 

Further, we have this mention of the act from the book of Jubilees:

“in [Jared’s] days the angels of the Lord descended on the earth, those who are named the Watchers, that they should instruct the children of men … And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants.”

The Septuagint, which is a 3rd century BC Greek translation of the Old Testament translated bene elohim as angels: “Some copies of the Septuagint chose to translate the Hebrew ‘sons of God’ into the Greek ‘angels of God’. 

God made sure that we understood that Enoch came at the time of the Nephilim because the book of Jude quotes Enoch and corroborates this teaching: 

“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 

But Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 

Jude 6,14-15

Enoch becomes for us the pattern of the rapture before the tribulation. In his case, it was the flood of Noah. Jesus corroborates this when He says in the gospels that it would be like the days of Noah in the last days.

“And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” 

Luke 17:26-27

Elijah sets the pattern for confronting and saving Israel during the tribulation period. When he came Israel was in full blown apostasy. The twenty kings of Israel were all evil, God describes each of them as having done evil like Jeroboam son of Nebat. Ahab the son of Omri did evil more than all of the evil kings before him and 1 Kings 16:31 says that he walked in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat and he married Jezebel a Gentile who worshiped the Baals! Elijah was sent into this mess as he will be sent into an Israeli mess when the Tribulation begins.

Elijah was translated to heaven by supernatural means: 

“As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, and it separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a [fn]whirlwind to heaven.”

 2 Kings 2:11

During Ahab’s reign God sent Elijah to call the nation back to the Lord. Elijah’s greatest showdown came at Mount Carmel when God defeated the prophets of Baal, killed their priests, and demonstrated His power! The nation still did not turn to the Lord! Malachi 4 tells of Elijah’s next ministry:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh. “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land, devoting it to destruction.” 

Malachi 4:4-5 

Once the church is in heaven after the rapture, God will send Elijah back to earth to defend the Temple in Jerusalem and preach and teach the word to Israel, fulfilling the Word of God in Malachi 4. Revelation 11 tells about the two witnesses who preach for 3.5 years and then they are killed and raptured according to Revelation 11:11-12

According to Revelation 11, the two witnesses will ascend to heaven, will prevent rain from falling like Elijah did in 1 Kings 17, employ fire in their judgments like 2 Kings 1, and will minister for 3.5 years like I KIngs 18. Zechariah 4 prophecies of these two men calling them the two olive trees, the anointed ones, and quotes Zechariah 4 in Revelation 11! 

The teaching of the rapture has to start from the battle lines set up for us in Genesis 3:15. God set the seed of the woman against the seed of the serpent, Satan. The seed of the woman includes all of the believers and Jesus specifically. The seed of Satan includes all of the unbelievers and the antichrist. This is where history is going. 

The rapture is described for us in 1 Thess.4:13-18, 

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 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 not precede those who have fallen asleep.For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.Then 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 shall always be with the Lord.Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Notice that Paul did not come up with this by himself, he is very careful to remind us that this came from the Lord! The Word of the Lord to us is that the dead in Christ rise first. This is important to understanding this text, this is the true church being raised from the dead. After they get their new bodies, the living will be caught up—harpodzo—the Greek word for the rapture. It means to snatch up firmly, violently, with force. The Latin version of the Bible translates the word rapture. 

John 14 records Jesus promise that when He comes to get us He will take us to heaven. While there we will  prepare to come back with Jesus to fight at Armageddon. Our seven year training will include learning how we will administer the Kingdom of Jesus on the earth. The rapture of the church has to precede the Tribulation because of Elijah’s ministry. God is going to fulfill His promises to the nations through the nation of Israel.  Israel has to be saved during the Tribulation period to fulfill the Word of the Lord in the prophets. This will fulfill the kingdom promises, bringing Israel to the fulness of the grace and love of God. Romans 11 says, 

For I do not want you, brothers, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,



Romans 11:25-26

God will not break His promises to Israel and He will not break them to you. He is coming to get us soon. Keep looking up, our redemption draws nigh!!

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About Joe

We live in the last days and the Bible commands us to watch for the Lord’s coming. I have a keen interest in history, prophecy and current events. I read widely about political and military developments and write a weekly blog from the things I follow. My special interest is in Middle Eastern affairs.

Since I was in college, I have also studied how God judges nations. It all started in Buck Hatches’ class at Columbia Bible College in 1979.

I fell in love with God’s word and especially the prophets. The results of this interest led me to writing The ‘I’ Judgements: Four Sins that Bring about the Fall of Nations. It serves as a warning to the United States, showing biblically of what we need to repent.

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