End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church by BERT FARIAS for Charisma News
There are several resurrections and raptures in the Bible. I cannot understand those who argue that because there is no mention of the word “rapture” in the Bible they do not believe in it. They only believe in the Second Coming of the Lord. Some arguments are no arguments at all. The word “Bible” is not in the Bible either, so does that mean there is no Bible? Quite ridiculous.
Rapture means “a catching away.” Here then are the raptures: In the Old Testament Enoch was raptured (Gen. 5:24), then later Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), which are types and shadows of a pre-tribulation and post-tribulation harvest. We know that Jesus was resurrected and also caught away or raptured, and following Him were the many Old Testament saints who had to have been raptured after they came out of their graves and were resurrected, for no man can physically die twice in the sense of being disintegrated. Philip the evangelist was also translated, which in essence is a rapture. Finally, those in Christ who are part of the firstfruits (Rev. 14:4) will be caught away or raptured before the Great Tribulation, and the elect of God, or the Tribulation saints, will be raptured at the end of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14). And don’t forget the two witnesses who were also resurrected and then raptured for all to see in Revelation 11:11-12. Without a doubt, there are several raptures in the Bible. How exciting!
I believe the Scriptures are clear that just as there was a firstfruits resurrection and rapture of Old Testament saints (Matt. 27:51-53), there is a firstfruits resurrection and rapture of New Testament saints (1 Thess. 4:13-18), and a post-tribulation harvest of saints, called here “God’s elect” (Matt. 24:29-31). The firstfruits are raptured and resurrected before the great tribulation (Rev 14:1-5), and the second company of saints are reaped after the tribulation. They are called “the harvest of the earth” (Rev 14:14-16). These are not Jews as has been commonly taught.
It is also clear that the 144,000 in Revelation 14 are not Israel either. They are before the throne on heavenly Mt. Zion while, in the same chapter, the Tribulation is going on and saints are being martyred (Rev. 14:12-14). Neither are they the sealed 144,000 Israelites of Revelation 7 who are protected against God’s wrath for the day of the Lord. How could they be in heaven and then return to earth to be sealed and protected against God’s judgments? That makes no sense. These are two different groups: the first-fruit saints and the sealed Israelites.