So he carried me away in the spirit

Revelation 17:3; 21:10

The Bible speaks about being ‘carried away’, using other terms, like ‘translation’, ‘translated’, ‘caught up’, and so on, in respect to . 

We can ‘get carried away emotionally about something, or we can carry something away from one place to another.

Often, in delight, parents with their little children will pick them up from one point of place and whirl them around and run off with them to another place with squeals of delight (or crying) all around.  Many children have never known that joyous experience from their parents.  It was not my experience as a child.  But I have been able to bless my own children in this way when they were little and some of my granchildren too.

Written or spoken language can be translated into another language or dialect.   When this happens, there is usually a unique change in sound and  expression in the new language spoken.  But the meaning of the original and target language words, remains the same.

Paul speaks about being translated from one kingdom to another – Acts 26.  He speaks of this to King Agrippa before whom he had to give his defense.  Paul relates to the king what the Teacher – Jesus of Nazareth said, who though killed and was buried under Pontius Pilate, rose from the dead by the power of God. 

Paul says that Jesus appeared to him and told him to preach to the Gentiles in order – “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. ”  Acts 26:18

 

To the Colossian believers Paul writes of God’s work for, and in them – “who delivered us out of the authority of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” Colossians 1:13. 

Here the word translated can also mean – carried away, transferred.

Jesus has Himself spoken to us and through His prophets and apostles about a coming day when those who truly hold fast to Him in faithfulness will be gathered –  transferred into His Father’s house, where eternal glory and joy, love and peace abide without end.  Are you ready for that moment of translation?

Two things must be made perfectly clear at this point.

1.  Jesus  said – Be ready for in an hour you think not the Son of Man comes.

2. At a set point in time – and ‘soon’ to happen (it is now May 2015), the saints in Jesus Christ will be gathered unto Him, first those who have died in Him, then immediately aftewards, those who are yet alive.  And these will be forever with their Lord.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Summary of these two facts:

…we MUST get ready and STAY ready for Jesus

…because on a particular day and hour (which no man can know), those who are ready for Jesus Christ will be suddenly gathered to Him and will never be separated from Him.

The date and time, and all the factors before and after are secondary matters. 

JUST BE READY AND STAY READY!

In Acts 8:38 we read the account of Philip, who, after testifying of Jesus being the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa 52-3), to the Ethiopian Eunuch and after  baptizing – immersing** him (in Jesus name) in a body of water, Philip was caught away from that spot by the Holy Spirit.  The Greek word here for caught away is harpadzo from which some say we get the word harpoon.  A harpoon when triggered is sent swiftly to its target – a whale, or stingray etc.  Then because a chord is attached the harpooned object can be retrieved.

One moment Philip is with the Ethiopian, the next instant he disappears from sight, and is later found at Azotus, an ancient Philistine city known as Ashdod.  No cars or airplanes in those days.  It was a supernatural miracle worked by God.  There are some other instances of God working this way with His people.

Those who are deep in the occult know that such things can happen in the spirit realm.

The point is that by the use of the word harpadzo for a particular purpose, it shows Philip is seized, taken hold of, snatched, and removed – away, not in a malicious but protective manner, physically and totally in an instant from one geographical place to another.

In 2 Corinthians 2:4 we read where Paul is talking about a certain man known to him, but does not identify him, who is caught up into Paradise – a Heavenly dwelling place.  Here again Paul uses harpadzo.  Whoever the man was, he was seized and instantly transferred from one place to another different place in a different dimension, whether only in spirit or, physically Paul did not know.

In 2 Kings 2 we have the account of the translation of Elijah.  The prophet knew that the day had come that he would be taken away and ascend into Heaven.  Elisha also knew this, either prophetically by the Holy Spirit, or by Elijah telling him.  But the Lord was to come and snatch Elijah physically** from the land of Israel, and translate, carry him away into Heaven.  This was an extremely rare event.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ will come suddenly for His people who are eagerly expecting Him and preparing spirutally for His appearance.  Hebrews 9:28 – “so Christ having been once offered “to bear the sins of many,” Christ shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation.”

When Bible scholars translated the Bible from Greek to Latin, they used the Latin word ‘rapturo’ for the Greek word harpadzo (1 Thessalonians 4:17 – “caught up together’).

English words derived from the Medieval Latin rapturo; (and ealier) -raptus, from past participle – rapere to seize:

rape – as a noun or verb, also a kind of cruciferous plant (Brassica napus). Canola plant was called rape pre 1978.

rapt – Late 14C – carried away in an ecstatic trance.

enrapt (ured) – carried away by (prophetic) ecstasy. ‘en’ – ‘make’ or ‘put in’.

rapture – carrying off, snatching away, rape.

raptor – ravisher, abductor.

I include the above examples simply to show that while the word rapture is not in the English translations of the Bible, the word and its related words are embedded in our English language.   So it is not entirely ‘wrong’ to use it in connection with what God has promised in Paul’s letters.

Everybody is caught up with something or other in life; caught up with sports, movies, science fiction, dancing, making money, cooking, religious pursuits of various kinds, politics, and so forth.

But all these things are passing away – they are decaying and will disappear. If you hang on to something that is ‘passing away’ you are hanging onto death.  You can’t hang on to a loved one who has passed away; you must bury or cremate the deceased according to common decency, and any prevalent laws.

When you inhale air, you can’t keep hanging onto that lungful of air indefinitely.  You must expirate it, otherwise you will become unconscious.  People who die, cease to breathe.  Their breath leaves them and it returns to God who gave it.  The breath of a person is connected to their spirit.  The breath or spirit of the one dying is pulled from them at the time appointed. 

“For what is the hope of the ungodly when He cuts off, when God pulls out his soul?”  Job 27:8 – (LITV)

“Then shall the dust (man of dust; Genesis 2:7) return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” Ecclesiastes 12:7.

“There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death.”  Ecc 8:8

The Hebrew word for spirit (ruach) is the same word for wind and breath. Likewise the Greek word for spirit (pneuma) is also the same word for wind or breath.

None of us know when that moment will be.  If we are not right with God, if we have not made peace with God before we die, we will never be able to make peace afterwards.  The Roman Catholics are taught by their priests that purgatory exists as a place of purifying after being purified they then may enter into Heaven. 

There is NO SUCH PLACE AS PURGATORY.  It is wishful and foolish thinking.

God says it is appointed unto men (each man and woman, young or old) ONCE to die, and after that the judgment.  Hebrews 9:27.  After you die you don’t get another shot at it.

Paul says that for a believer in Jesus Christ, who dies, they are absent from the body but present with the Lord – “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:).  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5:6-8.

AND YOU THEN, BE READY!

FOR IN  THE HOUR YOU THINK NOT,

THE SON OF MAN COMES.”

LUKE 12:40