The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Yearning for Jesus: Rapture Reference

Christ in Prophecy Panel


Can the word “Rapture” be found in the Bible?

Jesus Christ could be coming back this very year! To ring in this new year, Dr. David Reagan, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries and I discussed on television’s Christ in Prophecy why you should be yearning for the return of Jesus Christ.

Finding “Rapture” in the Scriptures

Dr. Reagan: Quite often people who don’t believe in the Rapture will tell me that the word “Rapture” is not even in the Bible. They believe it’s an unbiblical concept. How do they come to that conclusion?

Dennis Pollock: The word is not going to be in most English Bibles, but the concept clearly is. It comes from the words in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where Paul says that we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with the dead who have been raised to meet Christ in the air. The word for “caught up” come from the Greek word harpazo and the word harpazo means “to grab something, to take something forcefully and almost violently.”

An illustration would be like Nathan handing me his Bible. Just handing it to me, that Bible wasn’t raptured because number one you can see it, but number two he handed it to me. The Rapture is not somebody handing anybody anything. It won’t be a gentle handing away.

But, if that very same Bible was raptured that would mean it was violently grabbed away, and that’s why the word “snatched” is probably the best English word used for the Rapture. In fact, that same word harpazo which means “caught up” is used by Jesus when He said, “I give my sheep eternal life, they will never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand.” Rapture then means “to forcefully grab.” Jesus said that’s not going to happen by anyone else, for He’s got His sheep held tightly in his hand and they will not be snatched away, which is the same exact word in the Greek.

Dr. Reagan: Actually, the word “Rapture” really is in the Bible, isn’t it, Nathan?

Nathan Jones: Yes, harpazo being Greek was translated into Latin which is rapio, and from that word we get the term “Rapture.” So, if you read the Latin Bible which was the only Bible the Church had for 1,100 years, people knew that the term “Rapture” was right there in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It’s just that in our English version we don’t have the word “Rapture,” we have something more easily described which is “caught up.” For me, it isn’t easier to say “the great snatching up” or “the great catching up,” but rather easier just to say “Rapture.”

Dennis Pollock: Yes, and if you don’t like to say “I’m looking forward to the Rapture,” you can just say “I’m so thrilled about the great 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17,” though that might be a little long.

Dr. Reagan: I think I will stick with “Rapture.” You know that I grew up in a church that never taught Bible prophecy, so if you had asked me at the age of 35 what the Rapture was, I would have said, “It’s a sensation you feel when your girlfriend kisses you,” because that’s all I knew about the Rapture.

In the next part of this series on yearning for Jesus’ return, we’ll look at the Bible’s teaching on the timing of the Rapture.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. Nathan E. Jones

As the Internet Evangelist at Lamb & Lion Ministries, Nathan reaches out to the over 4.5 billion people accessible over the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He also co-hosts the ministry's television program Christ in Prophecy and podcast The Truth Will Set You Free.

31 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Sec of Defense Panetta says Israeli strike on Iran may come in spring…

    Could this be the lighting of the fuse leading to Gog/Magog?

    Is our time left on the Earth now down to a matter of months?

    May be…

  • Look forward to the next installment regarding the timing! I believe it will occur in the aftermath of the Gog/Magog battle prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Israel as recorded in Ezekiel 39:29! Israel must be prepared to take the mantle prior to our exit. The Lord will not leave the earth without a messenger of his divine plan of redemption! As I have state previously I am PreTrib, yet I do not endorse the Doctrine of Imminence for the reason stated above!

  • Rodney! Awesome to see your post!!!

    I've been dropping your name in some of my posts in an attempt to bait you into posting in case you were still around. You didn't fall for it…but I had a feeling this topic would draw you back in.


    I think I agree with you on this. I do see Gog/Magog as possibly the next big event that is coming down the road.

    I disagree however that the Rapture isn't imminet (though it is NOT a doctrine to me).

    Here's why… defintion:

    1. im·mi·nen·cy. the state or condition of being imminent or impending: the imminence of war.

    2. something that is imminent, especially an impending evil or danger.

    Here me out…I think both of these definitions apply to Gog/Magog which we thik is a real possibility soon. I think both of us tie the timing of the Rapture into close proximity with Gog/Magog.

    Here's the subtle difference…and I think it comes down to semantics or maybe a slight difference in perspective.

    Since you think Gog/Magog will tip us off to a post war Rapture, then the Rapture is not imminent. However, since you think Gog/Magog is imminent and the Rapture is tied to that event…then you COULD say the Rapture is also just as imminent as Gog/Magog. Is that right?

    I think the Rapture could occur at any time…BUT I also think Gog/Magog is imminent, too. The only difference is I think we MAY be Raptured before Gog/Magog. But I think those events could be very close together.

    So, I really don't think your position of post Gog/Magog Rapture or mine of pre Gog/Magog Rapture are really that different.

    We both see those events are close together and therefore both events can be considered imminent…do you agree or not? Please respond. (Hope I made thoughts clear, not sure if I did)

    In any case…good to see you back, truly.

  • Rodney,

    After further thought (see, your posts make us think, a good thing, huh?)…imminecy does lean towards having a negative connotation to the word. Just on that alone, perhaps imminent/imminency is not the best word to describe the coming of the Rapture.

    Probably just saying it could happen at any time is best or, even better, just say what the Bible says…

    NO human on Earth knows the EXACT hour this will occur and leave it at that. End of story.

  • Billy, to answer your question of me concerning the Rapture, I will ask you a question! If all believing Jews and Gentiles were suddenly snatched away by the Lord, who then would bear the message of the Gospel to the lost? Ezekiel 39:29 which by the way is in the aftermath of the Gog/Magog battle declares that the Lord will pour out his Spirit upon Israel! This corresponds with Joel 2:28,29 which in context occurs just prior to the Time of Jacob's Trouble or Tribulation!

    The Lord God will not leave the earth without a messenger of his divine plan of redemption therefore, we must understand clearly that Israel must be prepared to take the mantle as the Church departs. I always picture the transition of Elijah to Elisha!

  • Rodney,

    I'm on my way out of town so I have to give a quick response without time to look things up.

    (Asked in questions because, like I said I don't have time to research so I'm going from memory). My quick response would be is there not a story in the Bible of a time when Israel was following the commandments of God because they had fallen away and were literally without the Word (that is, text of the Word did not exist as reference). And did not someone then find the Word while doing some renovations on the Temple? And after the Word was rediscovered, did not Israel return to the ways of the Lord?

    In this example…if my memory is correct…wouldn't that example be the same situation of a world suddenly taken away be believers? No one who knew the Word would be around. But unlike then, there are plenty of Bibles that would still exist in book form and internet form. So the Word could be discovered by non-believers just like it was discovered back then and be spread.

    Or how about this alternate explaination (but similar and to me more likely). All believers are are gone but the OT is still known to the Jews. Then Gog/Magog occurs and God saves Israel and they turn to back to God but in an OT way. Hence the rebuilding of the Temple and sacrifices begin again. Then the tribulation plays out. Remember…in the tribulation God will send the two messengers to preach the Word. And an angel will preach the Word all over the Earth. So the Jews will be aware of the Word yet still rejecting of it. But then the end comes and they are near descruction, they remember the Word, believe in Jesus, are called out and are saved then Jesus returns.

    While my first example is a possibility I think the second is the Biblically sound view.

    Gotta go. I'll look for your reply on Sunday.

    God bless and have a good weekend!

  • Rodney,

    Quick correction on my post to you. My sentence "My quick response would be is there not a story in the Bible of a time when Israel was following the commandments of God because they had fallen away…"

    Should have read "My quick response would be is there not a story in the Bible of a time when Israel was NOT following the commandments of God because they had fallen away…"

    No more time to proofread…really gotta go…later

  • Billy, sorry, do not happen to agree with any of those particular scenario's! I will also tell you that we will be here for the Gog/Magog battle simply because the Holy Spirit is not yet poured out upon Israel as outlined in Ezekiel 39:29 and Joel 2:28,29 until the battle is complete!

    Today, the U.N. resolution against Syria was rejected with a Russian and Chinese veto! The United States, N.A.T.O., and the Arab League will not attempt to move unilaterally without U.N. approval in a bid to intervene militarily against Assad! Russia, China, and Iran have prepared for this scenario however.

    Russia at present is mobilizing Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz) to counter Western backed mercenaries, Iranian Revolutionary Guard units as well as Hezbollah temas are being put in place. The situation with Syria at present is the exact scenario that draws the regional powers to the northern border of Israel, the hooks are planted and they are being drawn at this time. Gog/Magog will soon take place, of this I have no doubt!

  • Our Blessed Hope is coming my friends yet as it was in the beginning so will it be in the end!
    Israel will again be provided with an oppurtunity to fulfill their purpose as a nation of Priests unto God and the inhabitants of the earth! As it was that in their rejection the Church was born, it will be that God will again chose Israel to magnify his holy name and the Church Age will end!

  • The first to blow will be Isaiah17 with Damascus a heap, Syria is on a powder keg right now and that’s what will help kick of the Gog war which cant be imminent. Its closing in, but not yet so its not immnent. Elijah and the two witnesses start the job of witnessing to Israel to bring them back to God as well as the 14400k doing there job after the church has gone with the gospel angels flying around. If Israel is saved before the trib starts what are they doing making a 7 year deal with the 666 guy??? No way would a saved Israel fall for that trick.!!! Not just that, but Peter says in 1Peter 2verse 9 it’s the church that are to be the priests (and kings) and John says it Rev 5verse 10. Israel will be #1 among the nations, but it’s the church that’s to be the priests for Jesus in my Bible. The rapture could happen in the next second to get the church judged and spruced up in white duds ready to come back with Jesus and start work with him as priests and kings on earth!!!

  • The Gog/Magog battle can be imminent and is imminent, the Rapture however will not occur until Israel is prepared to take the mantle! There are many scholars that superimpose obscure and out of context passages to dismiss the true order of events and seek to push the Gog/Magog back in some later time of prescribed fulfillment.

    As the false prophets in the days of Israel, they speak of a time of peace and prosperity coming for Israel! If Psalm 83 were an actual conflict then how is it possible that the same God that provided Israel with victory concerning their immediate neighbors, would suddenly bring a larger coalition (Gog/Magog)against them because of their rebellion and for profaning his holy name among the nations. This identifies clearly that what is being produced by these supposed scholars, is nothing more than fables and distortions of the Word of God!

    I caution all to stop following supposed scholars and start searching the scriptures yourselves. These man can only offer their personal opinions of prophetic events yet we can be confident that the Holy Spirit provides the truth to those that diligently seek it! As shown, even common sense dispells such fables as that recorded in Isralestine!

  • I have been removed from posting in several sites prescribed to Bible Prophecy such as: Rapture Forums, Rapture Ready Bulletin Board, Eschatology Today, and the Christ in Prophecy (Facebook) Group! I believe my removal from these sites have a common factor or two! Each of these sites have been visited commonly by Nathan Jones and Sean Osborne! These men defend fables at no end, those that stand in opposition and reveal the truth they immediately cutoff.

    These are evil men that capitalize off fables and the twisting and distortion of scripture. Beware, for even Satan can transform himself as a minister of light! Sean Osborne (Disciple of Bill Salus) in particular, is a fraud that adopts biblical knowledge from others and claims it as his own, yet he still remains ignorant of the truth! It is rather funny to watch them grasp for straws to try and create the illusion that they are knowledgable of the scriptures!

  • Thank you Anonymous for the resolution you provide, it is good to see that at least one has not been persuaded by these fables! To the evil Anonymous that posted after, I will also say thank you a for proof regarding the character of those that frequent this forum, you despise the truth, yet covet a lie! I have offered the truth, yet you call me a Destroyer, it is these men you follow that have destroyed the Holy Scriptures, distorting the truth and leading many astray! How can you ever expect to know Christ if you do not know his Word, for he is the Word of God made flesh!

  • Look! for the gog war to be immenint nothing has to happen befor hand thats what immient means. Well the army doesnt just instantly appear out of thin air and start attacking, they are just people. People have to muster. There will be loads of evidence they are gathering with Gog ready and preparing to march upon the land. this is all before they can start to attack. So that isnit being immenint there is plenty of warning before the war begins in the land and its working up to it at the moment.
    the rapture is difrent to that, there is nothing to see at all, one minute all is normal and the next minute —zap the church is taken up with no warning and its always been true since the Apostle told us about it, even he thought he would go in it. Can't say that about the Gog war as too much has to happen first like Israel had to be back in the land for Gog to be able to attack at all. So its never been imm… thats not what imm… means. best can be said is its getting mighty close the time is running out – – – but zap the church could go as fast as a blink with no warning at any time, that imm…

  • Wow, Rodney!!! Just Wow!!!

    Just when I thot you had learned to moderate yerself in yer civil reply to Billy… – that, BTW, shoulda/coulda/woulda have been worthy of a continuing discussion…

    Guess what?!?

    You bumped…–> or rather, Ramped it up into a condemnation against your very hosts again!!

    And yet here again, – **you** have been given absolute free forum to put forth your interesting perspectives on "Things to Come", and then, within less than 3 more posts, you viciously bite the last forum hand that will have you…

    "…I caution all to stop following supposed scholars…"
    …Nathan Jones and Sean Osborne! These men defend fables at no end…"
    …These are evil men that capitalize off fables and the twisting and distortion of scripture…"

    "…evil men"…fables…capitalize.."?!?

    And yet, they still allow you to come here and call them "…evil men…'!!!


    These areas of your dispute are NOT the *Basic* tenants of Salvation Faith, so you have absolutely no **Godly reason**, nor Any Godly **Biblical** Authority to **accuse & condemn** these brothers in Our Lord as you have done multiple times before!!

    These are all of us receiving bits & pieces of the finer details of **MINOR** issues concerning events in the ME, and are NOTHING to condemn and/or lambast other "students" of prophecy [as all of us so-called "scholars" are actually still, only "students" awaiting further revelation].

    I would cautiously say, in consideration, that you have fully discredited yourself once again amongst your brethren.

  • NoFog, I believe a major tenet of our faith to be the Rapture! The Doctrine of Imminence remains an obvious false doctrine that clashes against the truth of the scriptures. I am no longer concerned about being removed from any forum that supports and defends false doctrine and fables!

  • Anon, there are signs everywhere that the Gog/Magog battle is now in preparation, yet false teachers would have all believe that is impossible, that a supposed Psalm 83 conflict must first occur! They earnestly defend this fable of a great victory of a secular Israel that stands in defiance of the Lord God in seeking to divide the Land to their enemies. False Prophets and False Teachers always promise peace and prosperity while the enemies mass at the gates.

  • Rodney said "The Gog/Magog battle can be imminent and is imminent, the Rapture however will not occur until Israel is prepared to take the mantle!"

    Rodney, Please explain…what does "pick up the mantle" mean?

    Do you mean Israel have to become beliveres in Christ before we are taken away in the Rapture? Or what?

    I don't follow you.


    p.s. Please give Nathan credit for giving you a forum here…something others have taken away from you. At least show some appreciation of that. Thanks for coming back and adding to the discussion.

  • Rodney,

    I just re-read your post "I have been removed from posting in several sites prescribed to Bible Prophecy such as: Rapture Forums, Rapture Ready Bulletin Board, Eschatology Today, and the Christ in Prophecy (Facebook) Group!"

    I missed that you said the Christ in Prophecy FB Group.

    Please clarify…were some of your posts removed or were you banned? I'd be shocked if you were told you can post or comment anymore unless you were overly abusive or getting into personal attack (which I'm NOT accusing you of).

    In the past, Nathan, who is the administration of these site and does have ultimate authority over them, has given clear and fair warnings to people that "because of this I will remove your comments". He's said that to me, Sue, Susie, you and many others.

    He HAS to maintain control under some guidelines. So please give him a break. If you ran a site you'd have to keep it under control and in focus and under certain guidelines, too.

    I don't think I've ever seen a post deleted here over JUST SIMPLY DISAGREEMENT of content ONLY. There is always a reasonible underlying reason and explaination.

  • Billy, it was Gary Smith, Sean Osborne, and Dorothy Phonecie that saw fit to remove me for my disagreements concerning the placement of Gog/Magog! Nathan Jones is well aware of this, for he also defends the fable of Psalm 83 as portrayed by Bill Salus to no end!

  • Billy read the account of the Prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, prior to his exit he passed down the mantle representing his prophetic ministry to the Prophet Elisha, yet the request of Elisha was honored in a form of a double portion.

  • Rodney, our moderators kicked you off the CiP FB group because you were being a jerk to the other members, just as you're being here. I'm sorry you don't see that.

    You don't agree with us – fine. That we disagree doesn't make us apostate. It changes nothing about our salvation. And, it shouldn't affect our Christian fellowship (though you've allowed it to).

    We're not your enemies, Brother. The Church has more than enough external enemies to worry about. Take the battle to the enemy. You need to remember that.

  • Pastor Nate—-I must say I am quite surprised at your use of the word "jerk" to describe a lost member. Hasn't Lamb and Lion allowed further behaviors from other members and without any recourse or name calling? Seems to me dear Pastor that leans on the side of favoritism among your flock,let alone reflects a poor choice of words on your part who should be a greater witness and leader among all. Please think about this.

  • I assure you it's not about sensitivity-it's about practicing what is preached among and leading by example. That is good to know that is how these examples are laid within your ministry, sir.

  • @Anonymous (Rodney?), I won't be pulled into yet another pointless debate as the one dominating the comments above. We can have our differences of opinion on some end time topics, but I refuse to allow Christian fellowship to be broken by any one antagonist. The closer we get to the Lord's return the more it seems we have to deal with self-appointed "watchmen" who spend all their time calling fellow Christians apostates rather than fighting the true enemy out there. We need to remember that, and if that takes reminding someone that they're acting like a jerk, then so be it. That's leading by example.

    And, for the record, I'm not a pastor and this site obviously is not a church.

  • Nathan, to clarify, I am not Anonymous! I have desired fellowship with many hear and other areas for the study of the scriptures yet in many cases there are packs of dogs in these forums seeking to provoke one that is more learned than they are! In their shame they refuse to humble themselves and accept the truth for in their acceptance, they would admit that they have trusted in men and not the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to enlighten them.

  • I am very concerned for this troubled man.His delusions and paranoia could be a sign that he is bipolar himself.(He mentioned this in others) Perhaps its not advisable to encourage his comments in case these add to his problem. Can you take advice from a Medic on this for his own sake?

  • Anon,

    If you've read any of my posts, I've tried to be very patient, pleasant and reasoning with Rodney to try to get him to chill out and be less agressive to his Christian brothers. In fact, I even agree with some of his comments (though never the negative name calling parts of them).

    But based on Rodney's last post I'm afraid to say it hasn't done much good. He is out for confrontation.

    As for Nathan calling someone a jerk…I have to say that is a bit harsh, but sometimes that is what it takes to get someone to look at their own behavior. I've called myself a jerk over some of my posts. Because I WAS acting like a jerk. If Nathan had called me a jerk it would have been valid. But I never got to that point, thankfully, as coming from Nathan that would be very painful.

    As for there being favorites on this site…just ask Sue, Susie and I about our comments on not going to church. Nathan was upset to the point of admonishing us and threatening to censor us and remove our posts. So much for favorites.

    (I knew Rodney wasn't Anonymous. He wouldn't hide behind that tag. If he's got a point to make he makes it out in the open)

  • Rodney said; "Sean Osborne (Disciple of Bill Salus) in particular, is a fraud that adopts biblical knowledge from others and claims it as his own, yet he still remains ignorant of the truth! It is rather funny to watch them grasp for straws to try and create the illusion that they are knowledgable of the scriptures!"

    WOW….!!! There needs to be an emoticon here of a head shaking for disapproval.

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