Commentary By: Gordon King
(Revised 5/30/20 from: “Enoch and Elijah, both taken by God, both raptured, neither one died, but both ascended into heaven!” to “Enoch and Elijah, both taken by God, both raptured, neither one died, but both were taken up to heaven!”)
I’ve heard it said time and time again that the word “rapture” isn’t even written in the bible, that the rapture of the church is just a man-made concept. These people often use this as a reason to doubt that the bible is even the truth.
Actually, if you look in the bible written in Latin then the word “rapture” most definitely is written in the bible!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.“
The English translation is “shall be caught up”, in the original Greek the word used was “harpagēsometha“ or “harpazo”. This Greek word translated into Latin is the word “rapiemur”, translated into English: “rapture”! This is where the word rapture comes from, and it is most definitely in the bible just not written in English!
We cannot merely read the bible in English and say that something is not true just because it isn’t written in English, that’s being arrogant at best! There are times when we must search and study further for a more detailed explanation. This my friends is what it means to be a Berean! The bible was not originally written in English my friends, not in English!
Many people both secular and Christians don’t believe in the rapture of the church, they say that it isn’t written in the bible, they go as far as to say that it is a concept which was developed during the 19th century. Really?! If that’s the truth then why did the apostles even mention it?
The apostle Paul wrote about the rapture of the church two thousand years ago, not only in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, but also in the book of 1 Corinthians, he tells us a mystery.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
The apostle Paul tells us that we shall not all sleep, meaning that not all of us will die, but that we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
Paul is reiterating what he told the church at Thessalonica, that we will be changed and made incorruptible, he is speaking about those who are a part of the church, and he is referring to the rapture in both instances!
Another thing that many Christians get caught up on is “the last trumpet”. There are many trumpets spoken of in the bible, they are not all one and the same my friends, not one and the same! Many believe that this last trumpet is the last trumpet of the judgments in the book of Revelation, however I strongly disagree. These trumpets are a part of God’s judgment upon the world, and as believers in Jesus Christ we are not appointed to wrath or God’s judgment upon the world!
No, I believe that this last trumpet spoken of by the apostle Paul is actually the voice of God Himself! The first trumpet of God is spoken of in the book of Exodus.
“And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.”
This is no ordinary trumpet but what I believe is the voice of God!
The old testament prophet Zechariah also spoke of the trumpet of God.
“Then the Lord will be seen over them,
And His arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Lord God will blow the trumpet,
And go with whirlwinds from the south.”
The apostle John also spoke of the trumpet of God in Revelation 4:1, saying that he heard a voice like a trumpet speaking to him.
‘After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” ‘
I believe that this verse is speaking of John being caught up to heaven, a symbol of the rapture of the church, and that this trumpet is the voice of God Himself! The same trumpet that was spoken of in the book of Exodus, Zechariah, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians, all one and the same trumpet, the voice of God!
Another very important thing that most people overlook is that the seven trumpets in the book of Revelation beginning in chapter 8 are sounded by angels and not God! This is very, very important, yet overlooked by many if not most people including Christians!
The book of 1 Thessalonians tells us that this trumpet is the trumpet of God, chapter 4 verse 1 of Revelation tells us that the voice like a trumpet told him to come up here and He will show him things which must take place. Who is it that is revealing these things to the apostle John anyway? It’s none other than Jesus Christ Himself, God!
In the first chapter of the book of Revelation John says that God’s voice was as a “trumpet”!
‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” ‘
My point is that we are not to mix up the trumpets in the bible, they are there for specific reasons, and God’s voice is in fact like a trumpet, at least in several different occasions.
It’s God who is calling us up at the rapture of the church! It is God’s voice speaking to the apostle John telling him to come up here, what I believe represents the rapture of the church. And if this is so, which I believe with all of my heart that it is, then the rapture is also pre-Tribulation!
Jesus even tells us that those who hear His voice follow Him, and when He calls out for us to come up with His voice, with the trumpet of God, we shall be changed, in the twinkling of an eye!
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
The rapture is real, it will happen, and we even have instances in the bible of others being raptured before us. Enoch and Elijah, both taken by God, both raptured, neither one died, but both were taken up to heaven!
God bless my friends! Maranatha!