For years, I didn't know if I believed in the Rapture or not. So, even when I was asked about it, as recently as three years ago, whilst teaching on the Messianic messages of the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur, I wouldn't teach on it.
But, after that I sought the LORD over the last few years. I asked Him a lot about it and I wanted to also know where I stood with Him; would I be included in the Bride? Was I pure enough? Now, I believe firmly in the Rapture or taking up of the Bride. This is because He has given us three Biblical precedents:
1) The first Biblical precedent is Enoch: (Genesis 5.24 and Hebrews 11.5)
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
In this verse above, the Hebrew word for "took" is "laqach" and it means:
"To take, receive, to be led away, to be captured, to flash back and forth, to gain possession, exercise authority; re: to take a woman means "to marry a wife", to be taken away, to infold, to mingle, to be sent for, winneth." It shares its root with the Hebrew word "leqach" which means: "teaching, instruction, learning" and "liqchi" which also means "to take, to marry."
That sounds so much like the Groom coming to sweep His Bride off her feet and take her to be married, after she has purified herself, through His teaching and instruction, under His blood.
We find this Biblical reference to Enoch being "taken up" in the New Testament (Brit Chadashah) too:
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;
and was not found, because God had translated him:
for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Is pleasing God, therefore, the prerequisite to being translated? If so, what, specifically, does His Word say pleases Him?
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him,
because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight."
(1 John 3:22)
2) The second Biblical precedent is Elijah: (2 Kings 2, verses 1 and 11)
"And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.... as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder;
and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 Kings 2, verses 1 and 11)
The Hebrew word for "went up" here is the same word as "aliyah" and means: "to go up, ascend, rise, to be lifted up, withdraw, to be carried away, to offer a sacrifice; from the base meaning of "rise in elevation" comes the figurative extension "to exalt, honour."
Here is a clue to who will be raptured - those who have sacrificed their lives to the LORD Yeshua. He will carry away His Bride and exalt her to be with Him. What wonder!
On the homepage of this website I write: "When we are called to read the Torah in the Synagogue, we say we are "going up" (Aliyah). When the Jewish people return to our homeland, the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), we say we are "making Aliyah." Aliyah literally means: "to go up, to ascend." And there is a third "going up" happening in the church and in Israel today. To those who believe in the God of Israel, the LORD Yeshua, we are being "called up" to live increasingly holy and focussed lives."
The Rapture is above even this; it is the ultimate Aliyah. And, when I stop and think about it, the Rapture of the Bride is the only way the (non-Messianic) Jewish people could possibly be made "jealous by a foolish people." (Deuteronomy/Devarim 32.21) The Jewish people have been given the Torah, we have the blessings of Abraham, we're the LORD's "treasured possession." What could possibly make non-Messianic Jewish lovers of God "jealous" of the nations with regard to their God of Israel? But without believing Yeshua is the Messiah, they can't receive an early calling to the wedding preparations. But, after this, then they will see....
3) Yeshua: the third Biblical precedent of the Rapture. (Acts 1 verses 9-11)
"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus/Yeshua, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
So, if I am a follower of Yeshua, I will follow His example of leaving this world through being taken up; if I do not die a natural death before then. But the question is therefore, "Am I a true follower of Yeshua?" If we are followers of Yeshua, we will follow Him first, in obedience to the Father, second, in crucifying our flesh and only then, third, being taken up into Heaven just as He was. I cannot get to stage three without living and dying for Him through stages one and two. "The servant is not greater than his Lord." (John 15.20)
So, there are three direct Biblical precedents for being translated up, or raptured: Enoch, Elijah and the LORD Yeshua.
Looking at the relationship each of these had with the LORD God:
Yeshua was without sin, Enoch "pleased God" and Elijah was a prophet of God, who - apart from a brief tired wobble after defeating the prophets of Baal - lived his life fully for God. By the way, Elijah means "YHVH is God." And Enoch means "follower" and his name shares the same root as the Hebrew words for: "trained and trusted person, to dedicate, to devote to God, to train (morally and religiously)" and is the same root from which we get the Feast of Chanukah, which means "Feast of Dedication." That feast is all about the Messiah hidden in plain sight, being "dedicated" to the LORD in holiness and His holy oil cleansing and sanctifying the temple of God. Does that sound familiar to our lives as followers of the LORD?
"Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit...." (1 Corinthians 6. 19-20)
This calls for a level of purity in the Bride, if she is to be ready. This calls for regular repentance, shorter times of asking for forgiveness; asking Him to tell me how He sees me and my sin; listening and obeying all conviction and taking no lax chances with where I stand before Him, on a daily, no, hourly, no, continual basis. It means doing all I can to follow His Word and live in obedience to His commandments through His Holy Spirit. It is obeying His commands in His Word, as soon as I can, and that means correcting my behaviour or attitude much more quickly than I used to previously, asking for forgiveness more and repenting regularly.
It has meant using less time worrying and more time talking to Him and praying; "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Yeshua HaMashiach/Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4.6-7).
It has meant buying gospels for my neighbours and having those difficult but ultimately important conversations with some family members about the truth of the Messiah, it has meant praying for family, friends, neighbours, and people in general more.
It has meant when I cross the line from teaching my children to getting frustrated or unjustly angry with my children, saying sorry to them quickly and teaching by example as best I can: "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." (Colossians 3.20-21).
It has meant obeying His Word when He says; "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." (Ephesians 4.26), it has meant checking my monthly tithe every month - because I am self-employed my income fluctuates - and not holding back any of the "full tenth" (Malachi 3:10).
It means writing this message and doing what I can to prepare myself, my children as appropriate, and those whom I love in Yeshua in fellowship, to be as pure as we can and to be as ready as we can: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4.1-2) This process has been going on for some time now.
To each of us He will be speaking, if we will let Him. But not always in the same way, as He Himself says:
"Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) unto eternal life.
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;
hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
To some, He speaks words of discipline, conviction and holy fear, to others the conviction to be holier comes with gentle healing, compassion and reassurance. In truth, many of us are probably a combination of the two at different times in our lives. But to those of us, who have felt incompetent and have feared we may not either be saved, or are not living well enough, these verses from Jude above are immediately followed by words of comfort, that I believe the LORD is telling me to highlight to some:
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power,
both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 24 & 25)
He is the One Who is able to stop you from falling and present you before the Glorious Presence of God as a spotless Bride, call on Him to help you!
After asking Him often about confirmation of whether I am His bride, I've been having several moments of awake visions, very quick; moments of feeling myself rising off the ground. Hard to describe, it feels like a quick strong, loving force taking me upwards, very rapidly. Sometimes the vision is momentary, my feet just seem to leave the ground, sometimes the vision continues right up to the sky.
But the first time I had this vision, it was different. In that vision, I rose, slowly at first, as if the whole moment was in minute-slow-motion. And I can remember what I felt, as I began to rise. I felt sorrow for those left behind, I felt sorrow for the souls down there as I was being taken up. The only part of me that wanted to stay was the part that wanted to have more time to try to influence people, to give their lives to the only King that there has ever really been. But as I was taken up higher, the pulling-me-up accelerated and I shot up so fast. Even when I felt sorrow, I also knew there was nothing I could do to stop myself rising, because I wasn't the One raising myself up; His is the Creator of all types of Aliyah, including the "Catching Away of His Bride." But I believe He gave me this as my first vision for a reason. I think I was asking too small and too self-contained. I was asking whether I was the Bride but it goes further than that; if I am but others are not yet, what I am going to do in His strength about that? God loves us. Those three words don't even come close to describing His love for my friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, enemies, and all mankind, whether they believe in and live for Him or not.
But, this week, several weeks after the first vision described above, I had another dream. This one was a progression on the one described above. I shot up and I was in heaven. That part was almost instant. I was in a white dress and I was with the LORD Yeshua; I remember clearly we were very much in love. But I was aware that a long way below on earth many were not taken up. I asked the LORD Yeshua, "Why did so many not live for You?" (who would have described themselves as 'christians'). He held out His Hand to me and suddenly I was in a room, a little like a magnificent library, in Heaven with Him and had a book in my hands. Everything around me was gold or white and full of light. I opened the book and to my shock when I opened it, several small frogs appeared from out of the lines of the words. In the Bible, frogs represent evil spirits. ("I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." Revelation 16.13) The pages of the book were white with the writing in small black lines but the frogs were dark. I was a bit scared and closed it immediately. The frogs could not come out and the LORD reassured me that the frogs could not come out and that I had complete control by opening and closing the book. So I decided not to open the book again! But then to my total confusion in the dream, I saw that the book was a bible. And the LORD showed me many, many christians were reading translations that are not holy, that their translations have been infected with man-made slants, which means they are not following Him but following man, their own flesh, and worse, the devil. I saw that many who were not taken up liked these translations because they are not as narrow or hard as the original pure holy words. I realised why, in my life down on earth, He had called me to do a tiny minute part in teaching Biblical Hebrew to the church, to try to keep as close to His original words, which are as pure as He is.
Let me make a distinction here, between those that want to take the easy road on their flesh and those that are deceived without realising it. Even if we love the LORD with every part of us that we know how, we will sometimes be lead astray from the truth of His Word. Imagine His anger when His children are deceived into believing they are following Him, when they are actually being tricked into following a voice that will lead them away from His Truth? If we diligently seek Him, He will always show us our faults in how we allow ourselves to be deceived and He will love rescuing us and reassuring us back deeply into His arms. The more we read a good translation of His Word, and obey it, the less we will be deceived.
Through studying the Hebrew I have seen more and more of Yeshua in the Old Testament, hiding in plain sight. But I have also seen how many modern bible translations are often so far short of the LORD's original language, holiness and meaning. There is more of a holy fear of the LORD, a magnificence, a genius, an awe-inspiring beauty to the LORD God of Israel, the LORD Yeshua, when I read and understand the Hebrew words behind the English.
I also had another vision; I was kneeling down in heaven, with my forehead to the ground, and I was very happy, because I getting to worship the LORD God of Israel, through the LORD Yeshua. Again, everything was very light; a bright holy light and I was very small, kneeling down in front of this incredible white light of the holiness of the LORD God of Israel and the LORD Yeshua. And instantly after the vision, I knew that the LORD was telling me that many don't worship Him as a Holy God, the God of Israel. In this vision, His Holiness was so holy, so magnificent I can't describe it in words. I knew the only way I was there was through the LORD Yeshua. And Yeshua is God; the compassionate Living Person of the Holy Awesome God. Because God is One. And many do not worship the LORD God of Israel, the Holy One. They worship a man-made Jesus; with no Holy Pure Powerful Awesome God within their man-made vision of Jesus. That is the best way I can describe what this vision was telling me.
It takes faith to believe in the Rapture. It may be as silly, in the human mind, as the flood was to the masses before the flood. Noach prepared for the flood diligently for years. And as I was thinking and praying about the Rapture, the LORD brought to my mind the following verse: "Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)
This also goes back to pleasing Him as a prerequisite to being raptured, because faith itself is a prerequisite to pleasing Him!
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
In one of my conversations with the LORD, as I struggled to believe in the rapture of the Bride as a reality, rather than just a really nice idea, I got the distinct impression that if I didn't have faith in its reality through faith, I wouldn't be raptured, precisely because "without faith, it is impossible to please Him."
Revelation 3:10 "Because thou has kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
1 Corinthians 15. 50-52: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1 Thessalonians 4.16-18: "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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
I leave us with a question: Is there any area of our lives in which we have put something above the LORD? Marriage, money, reputation, comfort, happiness, gain, acceptance, family, friends, romance, buildings, time? What about sleep, fear, doubts, judgments, control or worry? LORD forgive me and change me to be more and more like You every moment I have left. Crucify the sin out of my soul and my life, let me live completely for You and Your Kingdom. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit every moment to help me to obey Your Words. Don't let me put anything between You and me, don't let me screw this up. Have mercy on me, in Yeshua's Name. All I want is You LORD, more of You. I love you so much.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of His chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His circuit unto the ends of it:
and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:
the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is Thy servant warned:
and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.
Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:
then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.