The previous page, (Further details on events), contained an explanation of the Rapture for those who are not familiar with this event. We saw that the word Rapture came from the word “harpazo” in 1st Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
To further explain and demonstrate the scriptural meaning of this word, let's look at even more scriptures that use the same word “har-pa-zo”, with the same meaning:
The story of Philip and the Eunuch in the book of Acts, chapter 8... We read in verse 39, “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” Same word “har-pa-zo”. So Philip was snatched out right in front of the eunuch's eyes and was transported instantly to another place.
The story of a vision into paradise in the book of 2nd Corinthians, chapter 12, verses 2 and 4... “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 knoweth;) such a one caught up “har-pa-zo” to the third heaven.
“How that he was caught up “har-pa-zo” into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
And there are more scriptures using this same Greek word in various context that mean “catching away” listed below.
Now here's the passage of scripture again that speaks directly of the rapture (or the catching away” of the church referred above:
1 Thessalonians, chapter 4 and verses 16 and 17:
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (“har-pa-zo”) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
There's our scripture right here... speaking of the rapture. So again, how much clearer can this word meaning be?
In the days of Noah
Now let's look at Matthew 24, verses 36 to 39 where Jesus Himself speaks greatly and specifically on the end times:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Now watch this, stay with me, I'm getting somewhere with this...
Interestingly, here in this scripture where Jesus refers to Noah's Ark, He uses the word “took” them all away...
that word “took” is a different word from the “caught up” in reference to the rapture.... this particular word here is “airō” (pronounced i-ro)... which means:
-- to raise up, elevate, lift up; to raise from the ground; take up: stones to raise upwards; elevate; lift up: the hand...
So as we can see, we can trust the Word of God to use accurate words to mean exactly what He says –
the ark was not caught up “harpazo” in the air... it was taken up “airo (i-ro)”, elevated, lifted up from the ground... in this case by water,
but next time God takes out His people from extreme judgment, it will be in the air:
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians, chapter 4 and verses 16 and 17:)
More scriptures illustrating the meaning of “harpazo”:
Revelation 12:5 -- “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up (harpazo) unto God and to his throne. (Speaking of Jesus the Messiah who came to earth the first time).
John 10:28 -- And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out (harpazo) of my hand. (Here the Lord is saying that nobody can “har-pa-zo” snatch us out of His hand... only He can do that.
John 10:29 -- My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them (harpazo) out of my Father's hand.
Matthew 11:12 -- And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it (harpazo) by force. (to seize, carry out by force).
Matthew 13:19 -- When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away (harpazo) that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
John 6:15 -- When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take (harpazo) him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
John 10:12 -- But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth (harpazo) them, and scattereth the sheep.
Act 23:10 -- And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force (harpazo) from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
Jude 1:23 -- And others save with fear, pulling them (harpazo) out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Revelation 12:5 -- And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up (harpazo) unto God, and to his throne.
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