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CAUGHT UP As we have pointed out, the word "rapture" nowhere appears in the Bible, although its synonym "caught up" does. The word used in the Greek New Testament is HARPAZO. Its literal meaning is "to take something or someone firmly, quickly, or rapaciously." It is a derivative of HAIREOMAI whose meaning is "to take for oneself." It conveys the idea of an act quickly done by someone of great skill and strength - thus, TO SEIZE. From this Greek word HARPAZO comes our English word "harpoon," an instrument used to catch or seize whales. The English word "rapture" comes to us from the Latin word RAPERE meaning "to snatch." Our word "rape" also comes from this Latin term and is used in English literature according to its proper meaning of "taking by force." The following are the scriptures where the word HARPAZO is used: "...and the violent TAKE IT BY FORCE (SEIZE IT)" (Mat. 11:12). "...then comes the wicked one, and CATCHES AWAY (SEIZES) that which was sown in his heart" (Mat. 13:19). "...and the wolf CATCHES (SEIZES) them, and scatters the sheep" (Jn. 10:12). "...neither shall any man PLUCK (SEIZE) them out of My hand ... and no man is able to PLUCK (SEIZE) them out of My Father's hand" (Jn. 10:28-29). "...with fear, PULLING (SEIZING) them out of the fire" (Jude 23). "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows:) such an one CAUGHT UP (SEIZED) to the third heaven" (II Cor. 12:3). ". . and her child was CAUGHT UP (SEIZED) unto God. . . " (Rev. 12:5). And finally, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP (SEIZED) together with them..." (I Thes. 4:17). HARPAZO does not of itself indicate any particular direction, such as being caught UP, but, of course, the context of the passage under consideration does lend it that meaning by adding the qualifying words: "Caught up IN THE CLOUDS, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR." The message is clear - we do not ascend, we are CAUGHT UP, SEIZED, SNATCHED, LAID HOLD UPON by a power beyond ourselves. This is not a self-projection into the "spirit world" as the soulish psychics and metaphysical people try to do it, nor can we in any way force ourselves to be spiritual or unilaterally overcome the lower realms. You cannot self-induce experience with God or make yourself have a revelation. There are no formulas for man to operate for lifting himself up by his own bootstraps. It is written, IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN US BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO OF HIS GOOD PLEASURE, and it is that sovereign action initiated by HIM that shall catch us up into new dimensions of divine life and glory. We must be so completely SEIZED BY OUR LORD, with such divine power, that we never again respond to the gravitational pull of the flesh. The preachers love to proclaim that Jesus is coming to "rapture the saints to heaven" or to "catch His waiting bride away." But the Word of God never says that. Nowhere within the pages of God's blessed Book are we told that the return of Jesus is to evacuate His people off of planet earth to relocate them in some astral location far above the Milky Way where there are no battles, no tribulation, and no antichrist. When the Bible speaks of being "caught up," it is not speaking in terms of miles or light-years away. Let us consider II Cor. 12:1-4. "It is not expediate for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows:) such an one CAUGHT UP TO THE THIRD HEAVEN. And I knew such a man, how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." Where did this friend of Paul's go? Physically, his body went nowhere. He said he was "caught up" to the third heaven; but remember this: when he was caught up into God's glory, he was actually right here on the earth. He never left the ground for a minute, and thus I think it will be for all God's elect people. So completely overwhelmed was he, so utterly were his faculties under the control of the Holy Spirit that he was not sure whether he was "in the body, or apart from the body." God carried him into that realm of life that is known as paradise, the third heaven. Heaven is not a location, but a realm of spirit in which we touch, experience, and know God. The first heaven corresponds to the first gate or entrance into the Tabernacle that brings us to the brazen altar, where Christ the Lamb is slain for us, giving to us His life. This is our initial "salvation" experience. The second heaven corresponds to the door into the second realm of the Tabernacle, the sanctuary, wherein dwells the candlestick and the golden altar of incense. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit brings us into this second supernatural heaven in Christ where the Holy Spirit fills us and becomes the light of our life, as the oil fills the candlestick and gives light to the Holy Place. It is there we truly partake of the bread of God and offer up the incense of spiritual praise and worship unto God. This is our second experience in God, the second heaven God has brought us into. The man of whom Paul wrote had already ascended into the first two heavens in regeneration and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. But now "in spirit" the Lord carried him for a brief moment into that realm of life, that dimension of glory, that third heaven of HIS FULLNESS which is our inheritance in Christ, typified by the Shekinah Glory of God beyond the veil in the Holiest of all. Moffatt's translation says, "In the body or out of the body? I do not know. I simply know that in the body or out of the body (God knows which) this man was caught up into paradise and heard sacred secrets which no human lips can repeat." In this marvelous experience it was not important to him to know whether or not his body was caught up into that higher realm. But he had been into that third heaven. He knew it was there. And he knew that in God's due time he would have an abundant and permanent entrance into that realm of glory, by the resurrection power of Christ, CAUGHT UP. There is abundant truth in Eph. 1:3 where we read that God has blessed us with "all spiritual blessings IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST; according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." That's a heavenly place. And the heavenly places are not out beyond the stars somewhere - they are IN CHRIST. No need to purchase a ticket on a jetliner or book passage on a spaceship to get there, my beloved. When the Bible says that "He has raised us up together, and made us sit together IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS," it speaks not of a physical ascent into space, but about a spiritual ascent. Our hearts are often filled with unbelief and carnal ideas about physical bodies soaring through the rain clouds because of the errors tradition has taught us. How much more real and blessed the precious truth: "Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and H-A-S TRANSLATED US into the Kingdom of His dear Son" (I Cor. 1:13). How much more beautiful and meaningful it all becomes when the blessed Spirit of truth opens our eyes to see the truth as it is, that physical rapture, which figures so largely in modern preaching and teaching, is simply a figment of the imagination, without foundation in scriptures, and without purpose or meaning in God's great plan. Many spiritual realities are beyond the witness of the flesh. For example, Jesus said the new birth cannot be evidenced by the physical senses of man (Jn. 3:8) but no believer would, on that basis, deny the REALITY of it. Alas! vast numbers of saints entertain the mistaken and foolish notion that the only reality is PHYSICAL. Just the opposite is the truth. Reality is SPIRITUAL. To be "caught up" is to be lifted to a higher realm in the Spirit, a realm of spirit life where all is glory and life abundant. Through many years and deep dealings God has been changing me. He has transformed my ministry into an instrument that is designed to lift people out from an earthly consciousness into a heavenly (or spiritual) consciousness. As a result of this, God is quickening great numbers of saints and making them aware of His emphasis in this hour to cause our consciousness to be raised to the level of understanding we had in our beginnings. Before ever man was lowered into this gross material realm and here made a "living soul" (Gen. 2:7), he had been created in pure spirit essence in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). That is man's true and original state of being, and the revelation of God's eternal heritage for him within and without himself, prior to the time he was separated from it. History is replete with the record of wars, hatred, bloodshed, suffering, sorrow, famines, pestilences, sin, sickness and death. Truly God has lowered us into the bondage of corruption, but not without a promise of restoring us into a full God-consciousness and state of being of wholeness again. This is what redemption is all about!

  • COMENTS ABOUT JOHN DARBY Date: 01 Sep 2003 Time: 08:52:26 Comments Darby was, of course a spiritual moron. But the important spiritual truths that dispensationalists fail to recognize are also unrecognized by preterists. Theologians of every stripe appear incapable of understanding the two most important facts of the Bible, namely, that the hopelessly fallen natural nation of Israel was spiritually regenerated in the moment of Christ's resurrection in the spring of AD 30, when the new and spiritual and eternal Israel appeared, and that the hopelessly fallen natural world was spiritually regenerated in the moment of the resurrection of the dead in Christ at his parousia at the end of the true first century (in autumn of AD 96), when the new and spiritual and eternal world of Rev. 21 and 22 appeared. The spiritual judgment of the world at the end of the first century fulfilled the natural judgment of the world by the flood at the end of Noah's last 100 pre-flood years. Unfortunately, spiritual regeneration holds no appeal for the natural mind of the scholar. Date: 12 Sep 2003 Time: 10:22:08 Comments I find the post above dated "01 Sep 2003" and stating "Darby was, of course a spiritual moron" demonstrates the true character of thought that is typical of spiritualizers. This vain impression of one's own "spiritual" insights into things is the "puffing up" and "vain philosophies" that Paul warns us about. Paul tells us to hold to sound doctrine, doctrine is derived from study and study is at the heart of scholarship. It is sad that what is passing for spirituality today finds no value scholarship. Judging from this person's disparaging characterization of "the scholar" (i.e. Darby) and subsequent launch into subjective and unverifiable claims about the “spiritual” fulfillment of all things, it is no wonder that he/she thinks of Darby as a moron. Date: 23 Sep 2003 Time: 20:11:33 Comments "Sound doctrine is derived from study," says he/she. But study of what? The lies of Darby and Scofield and their present-day successors? Sound doctrine is derived ONLY from an understanding of complete and consistent typology. Everything else is subjective. Without any supporting evidence, Scofield blatantly claimed that only the first four of the seven feasts of Lev. 23 were fulfilled in the first century. That's false, Christ-demeaning and terribly harmful. All seven of the feasts were fulfilled in the first century. But dispensationalists have no interest in studying those matters. They read "The Late Great Planet Earth" and some of the notes that Scofield had the nerve to print on the pages of the Bible and they become instant experts on the Bible. Sounds spiritually moronic to me. Date: 30 Oct 2003 Time: 16:58:06 Comments "There is not one single thing in your heart with which God could link Himself. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." There is nothing in heaven your (adamic) nature would like."....... "The cross of Christ has closed the history of the old man, and of all its associations." Now beloved friends, are your hearts ready to accept such a Chistianity? The flesh clings to what the flesh likes--clings to the world and that which Satan has power over us by,... Date: 03 Nov 2003 Time: 05:58:05 Comments I'm not living in this world, I'm dying in it. Date: 23 Apr 2004 Time: 12:53:04 Comments It is interesting that psycho-babel can take up so much of ones time meanwhile people enter a Christless eternity! Does that help your debate any? Date: 02 May 2004 Time: 06:15:40 Comments What!!! How can anyone glibly dismiss a scholar such as Darby as being a spiritual moron? There is an obvious ignorance of Darbys valuable contribution to the theological realm of the 19th century and the Body of Christ eternal. Could we even count how many souls have been saved as a result of Darby's work and love of the Lord? really please... come on. Date: 10 May 2004 Time: 12:21:29 Comments Proposal for solving REVELATION l3:l8 (666) -- NEBEKEDNESSER, that is, the Greek letters: Nu (50) + Eta (8) + Beta (2) + Eta (8) + Kappa (20) + Eta (8) + Delta (4) + Nu (50) + Eta (8) + Sigma (200) + Sigma (200) + Eta (8) + Rho (l00) = 666. The variant numbers are 606, 6l6, 646, 665, and 747 . . . respectively, that would be Bael Marduk, Kaisar Theos, Amil Marduk, [Hebrew Numerical Values: Tav + Resh + He + Yod + Nun = 665 ("beast")], Heir of Marduk. My REASONS: l) The Jewish HOUSE OF JESUS (See SEPTUAGINT, Ezra 2:36) was captive/exiled in 6th century b.c. Babylon. 2) The Book of Daniel 4:l6. 3) The 2nd century b.c. apocryphal word titled JUDITH refers to Nebuchadnezzer variously as "Lord of the whole world.", "Who is God except Nebuchadnezzer?". 4) Midrash Rabbah Canticles refers to Rome as "ROME-BABYLON." {Walter C. Cambra)