What Is That Rapture Word? | The Two Resurrections Explained
by Scottie Clarke
The concept and doctrine of the rapture is nothing new. It was not first brought forth by John Darby or anyone in the 1800’s. It was first taught by Messiah Himself and later expounded upon by the apostle Paul. John even gave us more revelation about it finalizing the scriptures.
The English word “rapture” is not the resurrection word as it is commonly misunderstood to be, nor is it the word for changing to incorruptible bodies. It is merely a transportation word that is linked exclusively to the living who are caught up to meet the resurrected believers and Messiah in the clouds after the resurrection of the dead. A careful reading of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 will show this.
Verse 16 shows the resurrection of the dead in Messiah. Verse 17 shows that at that time there will be living believers who are “caught up” or “caught away” immediately after them to a great assembly in the clouds.
The English terms “caught up” or “caught away” in 1 Thess. 4:17 is G726 harpazo, which means to seize, carry off by force, claim for one’s self eagerly, to snatch out or away.
Long before English bibles, harpazo was translated by Saint Jerome in the second century for the Latin Vulgate to “rapio” or “raptus” which is where the English word “rapture” obviously derived from. These Latin words mean basically the same, but of course the contextual meaning is what the original Greek offers us in “harpazo”. So this is nothing new.
The first clear reference to this is in John 11:25-26. Lazarus’ sister Martha was speaking with Messiah just after Lazarus had died. The conversation was about his resurrection.
In verse 25 Messiah states that He is the resurrection and the eternal life. He said, “he who believes in Me, though he dies, he shall live.” This is a direct link to 1 Thess. 4:16 from Paul regarding the resurrection of the dead in the end times.
The next thing He said in John 11:26 is, “And everyone that is living and believing in me shall never die at all.” Read that again. This is a direct link to 1 Thess. 4:17 from Paul about believers who are alive on earth at the moment of the above resurrection before the Tribulation.
Review John 11:25-26 against 1 Thess 4:16-17. Messiah taught the resurrection AND rapture before Paul did! Martha had no idea what He was talking about, but it had to be written for us.
So the word we use (rapture) only refers to the living as a transportation word into the clouds to meet them all in the air as G726 shows. This word is not about being changed to incorruptible bodies either, but of course Paul went into that for us in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. Here a little, there a little. It really is hiding all throughout the scriptures for us to find.
This goes into the greater study of the harvest He is gathering (Mt. 9:37) which is foreshadowed in the old testament. It is called the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:4-5) which is in three parts, first fruits, main harvest and the gleanings.
The second resurrection is the Great White Throne judgement unto death (Mt. 25:11-12; Rev. 20:12-15). It consists of everyone else who ever lived but denied Him (2 Tim. 2:12). They go to the lake of fire.
The harvest of the field begins with a grain offering (First Fruits, Lev. 23:10) which are those who were raised from the dead on the same day Messiah was (Mt. 27:52-53; John 5:25) They are known as the 144,000 (Rev 14:4). He took them to the Father as the grain offering on that Festival Day before returning to prove Himself to His disciples that evening and remaining with them for 40 days.
The main harvest is just before the Tribulation and consists of all believers living and dead in these last 2000 years.
Lastly, there is the gleanings of the field which means “left over” or even “left behind” (Lev. 23:22). Many will become believers during the Tribulation. These are the final part of the harvest. They are harvested at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 14:15-16; 20:4-6). We call them Tribulation Saints.
So there was a resurrection to life which ended the dispensation of the law and began the dispensation of grace (first fruits).
There will be a resurrection AND rapture to life to close the age of grace before the Tribulation dispensation (main harvest).
There is a resurrection to life which closes the Tribulation dispensation before the dispensation of Messiah’s millennium reign (gleanings).
And finally there will be a resurrection unto death to close the millennium reign dispensation before eternity. Resurrections always begin and end a dispensation.
There is even a small resurrection directly in the center of the Tribulation dispensation which is of the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:11-12) which changes this dispensation from bad to worse. Everything is with absolute precision.
Additionally, the precision of these resurrections to life also include the Feast days.
The First Fruits were taken on First Fruits. The Main Harvest will be taken on the Feast of Trumpets. The Two Witnesses will likely also be taken on First Fruits and the Gleanings will be taken on the Feast of Atonement.
I cannot say it enough. Study the Feast Days. NOTHING IS RANDOM OR “WHENEVER”.
Again, the first resurrection to eternal life is in three distinct parts before the millennium reign. The second resurrection to eternal death stands alone finalizing the millennium reign (Dan. 12:2; John 5:25, 28-29).
So the word “rapture” is exclusively for the blessed group that Messiah talked about in John 11:26, “And everyone that is living and believing in Me shall never die at all.” As this relates directly to the very verse that Paul talked about in 1 Thess. 4:17 using this word.
“Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away (G726 harpazo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air – and so we shall always be with the Master.”
I hope this brought clarity on the subject. Thank you for reading and for your support.
Scottie Clarke March 9, 2018
CLICK HERE or the finest faith based personalized and compassionate addiction recovery program – right from the comfort of your home.