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Nine Biblical Raptures

Definition: Rapture

n.

1. The state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy.

2. often raptures An expression of ecstatic feeling: raptures of joy.

3.

a. The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven, by supernatural means. 

b. Rapture An event in the eschatology of certain Christian groups in which believers in Christ will be taken up to heaven either prior to or at the Second Coming.

 

~ from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. The blue words are this blogger’s emphasis.

 

Definition: Harpazo

v.

1. to seize, carry off by force

2. to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly

3. to snatch out or away

 

~ from Thayer’s (New Testament Greek-English Lexicon)

 

 

In biblical numerology, 9 is the number of Divine Completion, Finality, and Judgment. Biblically speaking, there are 9 generations from Adam to Noah (cf. Genesis 5). Since the Flood judgment happened in Noah’s time, then the 9 generations from Adam to Noah indicate a cycle of finality. Similarly, there are 9 generations from Shem (Noah’s son) to Abraham (cf. Genesis 11:10-32). In the Word of God, there are 9 recorded special widows, 9 recorded stonings (stoning was standard biblical method of judicial execution), 9 recorded people afflicted with blindness, and 9 recorded people afflicted with leprosy. In Haggai 1:11, there are 9 recorded drought judgments on: the land, hills, grain, new wine, oil, what the ground brings forth, men and cattle, and all their labors. In Matthew 5:3-11, there are 9 beatitudes. The Lord died on the Cross at the 9th hour, which is 3:00 in the afternoon (cf. Matthew 27:46-50). In Galatians 5:22-23, there are 9 manifestations of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (humility), and self-control (self-discipline). Lastly, in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 there are 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit:  the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. 

Based on the above information about the biblical number 9, it is important to note here that major biblical events and chief biblical prophecies often have patterns that repeat themselves again and again until the original pattern ultimately is divinely fulfilled or divinely completed. Once again, the number 9 in biblical numerology symbolizes Divine Completion, Finality, and Judgment. This truth is why, no doubt, there also are 9 recorded Translations/Raptures that are in the Word of God, some of which have yet to take place. These 9 exclude Ezekiel, because he was not bodily transported from one place to another, but rather he was carried within the visions God gave to him, like when he still sat among Judah’s elders (cf. Ezekiel 8:1-3).

 

The 9 recorded biblical Translations/Raptures are as follows:

 

1. Enoch (Pre-Flood Translation/Rapture)

Hanokh walked with God, and then he wasn’t there, because God took him. ~ Genesis 5:24, CJB; Hanokh is Enoch.

By trusting, Hanokh was taken away from this life without seeing death — ‘He was not to be found, because God took him away’ — for he has been attested as having been, prior to being taken away, well pleasing to God. ~ Hebrews 11:5, CJB; Hanokh is Enoch.

 

2. Elijah (Translation/Rapture)

Suddenly, as they were walking on and talking, there appeared a fiery chariot with horses of fire; and as it separated the two of them from each other, Eliyahu went up into heaven in a whirlwind. ~ 2 Kings 2:11, CJB; Eliyahu is Elijah.

 

3. Jesus (Pre-Outpouring of Holy Spirit Rapture/Ascension)

‘But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Y’hudah and Shomron, indeed to the ends of the earth!’  After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight. ~ Acts 1:8-9, CJB; epairo is the Greek word for “was taken up,” which is the passive voice, and passive voice means Someone other than Christ Himself is causing the Ascension—Someone else is doing the lifting/raising/pulling, which in this case the Someone else is Father God’s Spirit.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, the one who will rule all the nations with a staff of iron. But her child was snatched up to God and his throne; ~ Revelation 12:5, CJB; harpazo is the Greek word for “snatched up,” which indicates the Lord suddenly and supernaturally is “taken up” or  “taken up” or “carried up” to Heaven.

 

4. Philip (Translation/Rapture)

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch saw no more of him, because he continued on his way — full of joy. But Philip showed up at Ashdod and continued proclaiming the Good News as he went through all the towns until he came to Caesarea. ~ Acts 8:39-40, CJB; the underlining is this blogger’s emphasis.

 

5. Paul (Translation/Rapture)

I know a man in union with the Messiah who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the third heaven; whether he was in the body or outside the body I don’t know, God knows. And I know that such a man — whether in the body or apart from the body I don’t know, God knows — was snatched into Gan-‘Eden and heard things that cannot be put into words, things unlawful for a human being to utter. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, CJB; reference here is to apostle Paul’s Rapture event.

 

6. John (Translation/Rapture)

After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.’ Instantly I was in the Spirit, and there before me in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne Someone was sitting. ~ Revelation 4:1-2, CJB; underlined passage is this blogger’s emphasis.

 

7. Body/Bride of Christ (alive believers) (Pre-Tribulation Rapture)

then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:17, CJB

 

8. Two witnesses of Revelation 11 (Mid-Tribulation Rapture)

‘Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.’ …When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them; and their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the g’eat city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is ‘S’dom’ and ‘Egypt’ — the city where their Lord was executed on a stake …But after the three-and-a-half days a breath of life from God entered them, they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then the two heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here!’ And they went up into heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. ~ Revelation 11:3, Revelation 11:7-8, and Revelation 11:11-12, CJB; also see Zechariah 4:12-14.

 

9. 144,000 of Revelation 14 (Pre-Wrath Rapture)

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Tziyon; and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. …They were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living beings and the elders, and no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who have been ransomed from the world. These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been ransomed from among humanity as firstfruits for God and the Lamb; on their lips no lie was found — they are without defect. ~ Revelation 14:1, Revelation 14:3-5, CJB; see also Revelation 7:1-8; the underlined passage is this blogger’s emphasis.

 

There can be no denying that the Word of God describes different Raptures, meaning different times when someone supernaturally is suddenly and forcibly removed or raptured or translated off the Earth and taken to Heaven. Furthermore, even though many believe-in-Christ people argue that the Old Testament’s Translations/Raptures weren’t “types” of the New Testament’s Raptures, because only ONE person is translated or raptured at a time, Enoch and Elijah’s Translations/Raptures are indeed “types” that definitely point to the Bride of Christ’s Rapture. Here’s why. Although the Bride of Christ is made up of many members, as a whole She is just ONE Bride or ONE Body. Therefore, what God has done before, translating or rapturing one person at different times, He definitely is going to do it again!

In the Old Testament, a supernaturally removed off of the Earth and no longer seen anymore person is someone who has been translated, which again is what happened to Enoch and Elijah. The Old Testament’s Hebrew words used to describe Enoch and Elijah’s translations (removals, transfers, disappearances) are laqach (to take, to get, to lay hold of, to seize, to snatch, to take away) and `alah (to go up, to ascend, to depart, to come before God, taken away, taken up).

Now, how believers know that both Enoch and Elijah were translated is because the Hebrew word laqach, which is used to described what happened to Enoch, also is used in 2 Kings 2:3 and 5 to describe Elijah’s prophesied supernatural yet literal bodily removal from Earth, which is exactly what happened to him. Then too, the writer of Hebrews 11:5 says that a “translation,” or the literal bodily removal of a person who is taken supernaturally from Earth and placed in Heaven, is exactly what happened to Enoch. For sure, the Greek word in Hebrews 11:5 that is rendered in the AKJV English as “translation” is Metathesis (transfer, as from one place to another), and the Greek word for the AKJV “translated” or the CJB “took…away” and “taken away” is Metatithemi (to transpose, to transfer, to change, to go or pass over). Bottom line then is that God’s “taking” of Enoch, who wasn’t seen anymore, and making Elijah “go up” to Heaven by a whirlwind both are equivalent to what the Greek New Testament word harpazo means.  

Furthermore, there can be no denying that both Enoch and Elijah fulfill the ‘two witnesses’ principle, in this sense: Enoch is the first “type” who points to the Bride of Christ’s Rapture, and God supports Enoch’s witness with the second “type”—Elijah. In essence, both Enoch and Elijah give witness to the biblical Divine Truth that with God it is absolutely possible for alive men and women to be taken into Heaven! Put differently, God always provides corroborating evidence in His Word, which proves whether someone is indeed promoting a falsehood about what is or is not in His Word.

Proof positive, Jesus the Christ Himself uses the ‘two witnesses’ principle, for example, when He instructs His disciples on how to settle disputes among believing brothers and sisters. The Lord tells His disciples that when dealing with an unrepentant sinning fellow believer it might be necessary to confront him with two or more witnesses “…so that every accusation can be supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Matthew 18:16, CJB). Another example of the ‘two witnesses’ principle is when John the Baptist sends two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He is the prophesied Messiah. Jesus the Christ tells John the Baptist’s disciples, who had just watched the Lord perform miracles, to go “…tell Yochanan what you have been seeing and hearing: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking, people with tzara‘at are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, the Good News is being told to the poor” (Luke 7:22, CJB).

The point here is that, as earlier stated, the Body of Christ/Bride of Christ as a whole equals just ONE Body/ONE Bride who will be raptured. Thus, what God has done before He will do again. The same ONE person at a time supernatural yet literal bodily removals of Enoch and Elijah, and the same ONE person at a time supernatural yet literal bodily removals of Jesus the Christ, Philip, Paul, and John will be the same supernatural yet literal bodily removal of the ONE Body of Christ/ONE Bride of Christ, and this removal will happen before the Tribulation Period begins!

For the record, even the Lord and His first-century apostles teach in the Word of God that disciples (followers or believers) of Christ Jesus are supposed to be ONE, just like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ONE! That is to say, every one of Christ Jesus’ disciples (followers or believers) to this date either has been made ONE or is in the process of being made ONE, which is what the Lord prays to God they would become. Jesus the Christ asks the Father to make all of the Lord’s disciples/followers/believers ONE (cf. John 17:20-21). Thus, by the power and mighty workings of Father God’s Holy Spirit who baptizes EVERY new proselyte into the Body of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13), Father God will have made every Bride of Christ member ONE whole Bride or ONE whole Body by the time the Lord comes on a cloud to RAPTURE Her!

For this last reason, even though the last 2 of the 9 mentioned Raptures happen at different times during the Tribulation Period, the separate Raptures of the two resurrected witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who are sealed on their foreheads with the mark of God (see Revelation 11:2-5; Revelation 7:2-8 and Revelation 14:1-5) also only equal two separate but equal ONE-Body Raptures, because they are the Tribulation Period’s Elect.

As it has been established, there really is no biblical evidence that can support anyone who denies that the Holy Bible is replete with Raptures. Undeniably, is the fact that where the six abovementioned already have taken place Raptures are concerned, six are described as literal and bodily, three are described as visible, and five either directly or indirectly are described as instant! Of the six already happened Translations/Raptures, there is no one who is identified as an onlooker at Enoch, Paul, and John’s, but based on all of the information provided for Elijah, Jesus Christ, and Philip’s it would stand to reason that there probably were onlookers at least for Enoch’s Translation/Rapture. Moreover, of the six already happened Translations/Raptures, only Enoch’s isn’t described directly or indirectly as happening suddenly. Once again, based on all of the information provided for the other five already happened Translations/Raptures, it would stand to reason that his Translation/Rapture happened without warning, as well.

Be that as it may; what is obviously clear in the Scriptures about the six abovementioned already has happened Translations/Raptures is that Enoch’s was a literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man; Elijah’s was a sudden literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man that Elisha witnessed; Christ Jesus’ was a sudden literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man that His original disciples witnessed; Philip’s was a sudden literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man that the newly saved Ethiopian eunuch witnessed; Paul’s was a sudden literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man; and apostle John’s was a sudden literal bodily (physical) removal of a righteous man. Furthermore, right before apostle John’s Rapture took place, he heard a voice from Heaven, and this voice seemed to sound like a trumpet to him!

The main thing is this: Where all biblical Raptures are concerned, whether they already have happened or will happen in the future, the first two of the following three elements absolutely are necessary in order for any Rapture to occur, and the third element is necessary to prove the similarities between the first entire world judgment (the Flood) and the prophesied second entire world judgment (the Tribulation Period). For an event to be a Rapture, there must be:

1. A literal bodily removal (an act of the Holy Spirit)

2. A sudden disappearance of a faithfully righteous/saved person

3. An impending godly judgment/wrath

Of the total nine abovementioned Translations/Raptures, where Elijah, Christ Jesus, Philip, Paul, and John’s Raptures are concerned, there was NO impending godly judgment/wrath. Therefore, Enoch’s Translation/Rapture is the one that provides a strong, solid precedent for every future Rapture event. Without doubt, Enoch’s Translation/Rapture proves that since God in the past has removed off of the Earth Enoch, a faithfully righteous individual, long before the Flood’s devastation happened, and since God even kept the faithfully righteous Noah (Enoch’s great grandson) safe in the Ark during the Flood so that he and his family could not be harmed, it stands to reason that if God did it before, He will do it again.  Enoch’s Translation/Rapture is the pattern that God will follow to Rapture the Bride of Christ, which is ONE Body. To a certain degree, Enoch’s Translation/Rapture also is the pattern that God will use for the Raptures of Revelation’s two witnesses AND the 144,000.

That the Word of God has Rapture events in it means that no human is responsible for inventing a Rapture lie! Moreover, because Rapture events are in the Word of God, the majority of those believers who maintain that the Rapture of the Bride of Christ is a lie don’t really have any biblical way of disproving what the Word of God Itself proclaims about this or any Rapture. These indisputable truths mean that if the Rapture scoffers only are believing what they “like” in the Word of God, then that means they are not believing in an unadulterated Word but rather they are believing in themselves—mainly their own intelligence, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge!

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Amen!