The Harpazo (Catching Away) of the Bride of Christ

Last Updated: 04/26/2023 18:46    | Print This Page | |

This is a Bible Study of the catching away of the bride of Christ, the harpazo. In short, it is a supernatural event that comes directly after the resurrection of the dead in Christ in the near future. After their resurrection, those who are still alive and in Christ are changed in the blink of an eye and are given their immortal bodies. Then both the resurrected and the changed are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. The resurrection of the dead is central to the Christian faith as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:12-24.

There are many different perspectives in the church regarding this topic from the denial of it to the belief that it can come at any second. Understanding of the Word of the Lord will not come by quoting one or two verses, but by building on a solid foundation of the Word, taking God for what He says and in context. It is also interspersed throughout the text of the Bible, here a little and there a little. Isaiah 28:9-13 I interpret the Bible with the Bible so that I leave as much of my own errors out of the equation and rather trust in the Word to define for me what must be understood. In this way, symbology is not randomly assigned from a 21st century English perspective, but from a Biblical perspective. The Bible was written by Hebrews for the Hebrews until the work of Christ on the cross brought that Truth to the Gentiles and all with ears to hear. This causes one to view the Bible from a more Hebrew perspective and define words from the Hebrew and Greek for deeper meaning as well as seeing a broader picture of God’s plans for the future.

I would also like to say before beginning that I understand this is a very divisive subject for some and much passion is displayed regarding this teaching because of perceived deceptions we are warned about and concern for a falling away from God resulting from things not turning out as expected. As true believers, absolutely nothing can separate us from God. It shows an extreme selfishness and pride for one to turn from God because their perceptions of reality limited by their lack of knowledge not coming to pass as desired. Job was answered by God as to how little we know of the whole picture in Job 38-40. There is One Truth and history will unfold in one way, that which God has laid out for those that love Him to understand from His Word, the Holy Bible. Only He knows the end from the beginning and He has shared the future with us. That is the focus of this Bible study on the harpazo. I believe that if we all trust the Word of God we will be on the same page, speaking the same language as the words haven’t changed nor what the words mean. Do not take my word for this or any other study presented. Rather search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Acts 17:11

What is the “harpazo?”

The term “rapture” is more commonly used than harpazo and is not found in the Bible. While you will not find that exact word through a word search, the meaning of the words that are written remains the same and conveys the same idea. The term “rapture” comes from the Latin verb rapiemur which means “to seize, snatch, carry away.” This is the same meaning behind the Greek word that is found in the Bible, harpazo. It is found in the following scripture, which is the “harpazo” passage.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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 [G726 harpazo] 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.

So while the word rapture is technically not in the Bible, the idea behind that Latin word represents the same idea of being caught up together to meet the Lord in the air as stated in scripture. I have decided to move away from using the term rapture in exchange for sticking with the original Greek word spelled out in English as “shall be caught up.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Behold, I show 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So what could this “changing” be like? Here’s an interesting show with Barrie Schwortz & Jerome Corsi on the Shroud of Turin. (2 hours long below) Barrie is a Jew and one of the scientists of the only scientific study ever done on the shroud of Turin. It is fascinating to hear his description of the details of this shroud and some of the things science can’t explain. One day we will be changed as Yeshua was and from what I heard of this scientist, the shroud of Turin is the real deal and what science cannot explain, the reality of the resurrection and our future changing is an exciting thing to think about in our anticipation of the future.

Also included is an interview by Michael Boehm of the Youth Apologetics Training Podcast with Russ Breault of Shroud Encounter. This interview ends in a decidedly more Christian perspective of the Shroud of Turin that I really like. Who’s to say if the shroud is the real deal, but the message of the shroud if you believe the Gospel is still represented. The linen lying in the tomb was the first evidence of the resurrection. If Yeshua is not risen, he’s dead and a dead Yeshua can offer us nothing after life. In the cloth, we can see the price that was paid. So Russ suggests there are four words that describe the Shroud of Turin. Bought, purchased, redeemed and ransom.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost 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, which are God's.

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Peter 1:16-21
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Matthew 20:27,28
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

All four words are words of transaction, a payment has been made on our behalf. When you go to the store and buy something, the cashier always gives you a proof of purchase, a reciept. And on that receipt is the price that was paid. When Peter and John ran to the tomb and saw the linen there? The saw the proof of purchase, the receipt. And when they opened it up, they saw the price that was paid. The shroud is a receipt, a proof of purchase.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So salvation is a free gift. Yeshua met the terms of the ransom and He paid the price that was required, His own life, the life of the Son of God. Because He was obedient unto death, He purchased salvation for us and then presents it to us as a free gift. And if anyone questions this gift, here’s a receipt.

You can’t buy a gift, you can’t earn it. All you can do is receive it.

John 1:11-13
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Yeshua is the gift. God the Father is the giver of the gift. The shroud is a receipt that a gift has been given. We don’t “worship” the receipt, we “worship” the gift and the giver of the gift. Whether or not the Shroud of Turin is THE burial shroud, the linen left after the resurrection is the first evidence of the resurrection, and what would that shroud look like? Whether or not this is the shroud of Christ, the message is still the same. We were bought with a price paid for us as a free gift.

12/17/2009 | Barrie Schwortz: The Shroud of Turin

09/03/2014 | Russ Breault: The Shroud of Turin of Shroud Encounter

Shroud of Turin

Who is the harpazo for?

The harpazo is the catching away of those who have a personal relationship with Yeshua the Christ, those who call themselves by His title/name, Christians. The catching away to meet the Lord in the air is our blessed hope to anyone who has accepted Christ as their savior. Titus 2:13 Sin is transgression of God’s ways, His Law, and as a righteous God, He cannot exist with sin and we are therefore separated from Him. Yeshua died for all of our sins and rose again, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for remission of all sins for those who accept Christ and follow His Commandments to love God and love each other to the end that we would be in God’s presence with Him for eternity.

The kingdom parable of Matthew 25:1-13 explains this time in more detail and coincides with ancient Jewish wedding tradition. In this parable, only five of the ten virgins actually go to meet the bridegroom when He comes. The others are unprepared and without oil, which is the Holy Spirit. This oil gives them the fuel for the flame, which lights the path.

Psalm 119:103-105
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

In the parable, only 50% of those who were virgins waiting for the bridegroom actually had oil, the wise virgins. The foolish virgins had the door to the marriage shut on them and the Lord says He doesn’t know them. This sobering division of those who call Yeshua Lord reveals that a true Christian doesn’t just accept Christ, they repent (change mind) and obey God’s Word. Then they can have communion with the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit, the oil that we are anointed with which reveals the Word of God to us so that we are not in darkness! And the first comment the Lord makes after He says He knows them not?

Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

It is at His coming that we are removed, or caught up, to meet Him in the air. It’s interesting because there are many scriptures about Christ coming “like a thief in the night.” When a thief comes, he takes something he deems valuable. If the Lord is coming like a thief, what is it that He finds valuable? His bride! And it is His bride that is going out to meet Him in the air as He steals them from the earth because we are not of this earth but chosen out of it. John 15:17-19 This will also fulfill the promised escape from the destruction of the day of the Lord as well. Luke 21:34-36

All we have to do to be a part of this group, is to believe that Yeshua is God in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3) who died and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) so that we could be forgiven our sins and be with Him forever. Our resurrection to eternal life is central to the belief of a Christian. (1 Corinthians 15:12-30) The harpazo is that point of resurrection for the Christian. The dead believers will be resurrected, part of the first resurrection. We must also remain obedient to God’s Word. There is no condemnation for them in Christ, yet to remain in Christ we must be obedient and repent of our sins. John 14:21 Let us walk after the spirit and not the flesh. Romans 8:1-8

Why is there a harpazo?

The reason for the harpazo is to catch up the church, Christ’s bride, (Ephesians 5:23) to the marriage that takes place while God’s wrath is poured out on the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:1-20) This hints to the timing which will be covered in greater depth later.

I’ve come across many people who try to attach guilt regarding a Christian’s desire to be caught up while people left behind go through the great tribulation on earth. I address that further here. I believe this view comes from a lack of understanding on what the harpazo is all about, the why. There is nothing unfair about it because the free gift of salvation and relationship with Christ is ours if we want it. We all have the choice to do our own things or listen to God through His Word, the Bible. He is coming for those who are watching and who take His Word seriously, loving Him with all their hearts and following His ways, which requires obedience to His Word. He has warned us to watch and that the destruction would come suddenly like a thief in the night. He is our Creator and Savior, able to keep us from eternal separation from God’s love. Accepting Christ is not just about saying a prayer, but about obedience, living God’s ways of love toward Him and each other.

Matthew 7:13-23
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I believe the above speaks to the importance of developing a personal relationship with Christ. How do we “know” someone? We must communicate with them, learning more about them with every encounter. God has given us His Word to understand history and the future, but He has also given us the Ruach Hakadosh (Holy Spirit), our Comforter who teaches us all things. John 14:15-29; John 15:14-27; John 16:4-11

One of those things learned through the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit is that the church is the bride of Christ. This is a special breed of people to God that live now by faith in Yeshua the Christ and His promises for them. They are not special because they’re so good and religious, they are special because the Creator of the universe wants to become one in spirit with them as symbolized through the marriage of a man and woman. It is this bride that Yeshua is coming for, to take her to the marriage of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7-8

They aren’t defined by belonging to a church, but their church is defined by belonging to Christ, members of His body whereas He is the head and directs the body. They give their lives over to His control, letting go of their own desires to submit to His will for their lives, trusting Him in all things. They will be the ones looking for Christ’s return and they will be the ones taken in it unto salvation upon His sudden return. We are being taken out of this world before God’s wrath is poured out on it because we are not appointed to wrath. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

When does the harpazo happen? And can we know exactly when?

Christ came the first time presenting Himself to the Jews as their Messiah almost 2,000 years ago, knowing He was also coming to save the world. The Bibles says He will come again at His second coming and I believe scripture splits this into two times. I will explain scripturally why I believe this.

1st “second coming:” For His bride to take to the wedding (Revelation 19:7-8)

Now there is no one passage I’m aware of that lays it out, but if you know Bible prophecy, there are certain truths depicted in this passage that must line up with other prophecy. 100% of scripture is accurate. 2 Timothy 3:16 For this reason, we must take the whole council of God into account to determine truth about any topic. If any scripture denies possibility, then the theory it denies is faulty. I believe the pre-wrath page lays out the various scriptures that point to this first phase of Christ’s coming to gather the elect to the marriage. (how does the harpazo parallel Matthew 25 and ancient Jewish marriage customs?)

2nd “second coming:” To destroy the gathered armies at Har Megiddo “Armageddon” and to take the kingdoms of the world. (Revelation 19:11-21)

Revelation 19:11-21
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 20 follows with the “first resurrection” happening after Christ has already returned. This only works with a “first resurrection” happening prior to Christ’s return in glory as Luke 17 lays out.

So immediately after the time of Jacob’s trouble, “great tribulation,” comes the sixth seal. Since we as the bride are not appointed to God’s wrath 1 Thessalonians 5:9, which starts at or just after the sixth seal, at the day of the Lord. At least one church, Philadelphia, is promised to be kept from this time of trial or temptation. Revelation 3:10 We should take Luke 17:24-37 for what it says and expect that Christ will return for His bride after the falling away and the man of sin is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5

I believe the Lord is coming to take His church into the clouds 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 at the same time changing us from mortal to immortal. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 It will be fast and we will be taken away from this earth to New Jerusalem as best as I can read. John 14:1-4 At some point prior to His return, we will be married to Christ. Revelation 19:7-8 We will become one, us the body and He the head. Ephesians 5:23 We will be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, and then we will be gathered from one end of heaven to the other Matthew 24:31 and follow Christ when He returns at the end of the 70th week. Revelation 19:11-14 Prophecy will be fulfilled when every eye sees Him coming in great glory. Revelation 1:1-8 Some will see Him from below, and His wife, the church, from behind when He destroys the gathered armies Revelation 16:13-14 at Armageddon and takes the kingdoms Revelation 11:15 to rule with a rod of iron Revelation 19:15 for 1,000 years Revelation 20:4-7

However there are many different perspectives in the Christian community regarding the answer to this question. I have researched this topic myself extensively and I have documented what I have found in my research. I’m not asking anyone to agree with my perspective, but rather ask that you take the Word of God for what it says and then the answer will be revealed from the text itself.

Mark 13:30-37
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke 21:34-36
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Revelation 3:3
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

We are told to watch many more times in scripture:
Matthew 24:42 | Matthew 25:13 | Mark 13:33-34 | Luke 12:37-39 | Luke 21:36 | 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 | Revelation 3:1-6 | Revelation 16:15

This tells us in that while we don’t know exactly when, day or hour, God has not left us in the dark.

Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

harpazo can’t come before...

So when does it happen according to scripture? We don’t know the day or the hour, but this first passage tells us that the harpazo cannot come before two events happen.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except

  • there come a falling away first, and
  • that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The church of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Christ was at hand, the day of the Lord. I’ll get to that in a moment. Paul writes to alleviate their fears by telling them that that day would not come until  two things had come to pass, the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin at the abomination of desolation. According to Christ, Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the 3½ year reign of the antichrist and the 3½ year time of great tribulation. For a further defining of the timing according to scripture, this is “in the midst of” the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years God appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.

harpazo can’t come after...

While the timing of the harpazo isn’t found in relation to the great tribulation, it is found in relationship to God’s wrath and according to the Bible, the harpazo will come before the day of the Lord. I’ll get into the scriptures further down, but several promise that we will not be here for God’s wrath. It is not for them that obey God, but for the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:1-11

In a show of God’s character towards them that love Him, in Genesis 18:17-33, God told Abraham what He was going to do with Sodom, which prompted Abraham’s questioning about how many righteous would prevent God’s destruction. He got to 10 before stopping. God would not destroy the cities with His wrath if there were 10 righteous in the cities. God’s wrath is coming again and it will arrive suddenly as the world is living life as normal, planning for the future and unaware of the day the Son of man will be revealed.

Luke 17:26-37
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

So according to this passage, the Son of man is revealed at a time of sudden destruction and the story of Lot is also connected to this explanation when the Son of man is revealed. Notice that Lot and his family, the only righteous in the city, were removed before the wrath came, just as Noah was placed above the destruction of the wrath of God’s flood on the earth. So it shall be in the coming of the Son of man. Matthew 24:36-39 This all tells us that in order to be gathered to meet the Lord in the air as explained above in scripture, He must be here, and His coming is connected to the sudden destruction of the day of the Lord.

Now there are several different opinions as to when the catching away of the bride takes place in relationship to the great tribulation. If you have not read that study please do, even if you have studied this before. The full understanding of what is said regarding the great tribulation in scripture changes many aspects of how one interprets other scriptures. It is a precept that must be understood before other precepts are built from it. This short explanation of this perspective is called pre-wrath.

Of the following four main views, three of them center their timing on the 3½ year great tribulation. I list them here in order of timing where the pre-trib harpazo can happen at any moment to a post-trib harpazo where we as the bride of Christ will spend the whole time of the great tribulation here on earth. I will get into my perspectives using the Bible on each of these in the links below and why I hold the pre-wrath viewpoint.

  1. Pre-Tribulation harpazo | There is actually only one scripture, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, that I believe eliminates this possibility and upon further study of the two divisions of the great tribulation, I believe there is only a minimum of 30 days difference between the
  2. Mid-Tribulation harpazo | This view is the tribulation-focused perspective I hold, but prefer the pre-wrath term because that is clearly given as a timing element for our meeting the Lord in the air.
  3. Pre-Wrath harpazo | After personal study this is the term I feel most accurately describes the timing of the harpazo of the bride to meet the Lord in the air.
  4. Post-Tribulation harpazo | This view of harpazo timing has the most problems with it when viewing it in light of scripture. While many scriptures can be quoted for this view, there is also a lack of focus on certain other scriptures and a series of assumptions that are built upon to support this view. I believe as time goes on, this view’s foundations will continue to be shaken in light of coming prophetic fulfillment.

After the harpazo

The answer to this question varies somewhat because of different views on timing of the harpazo. Of course this will be a biased opinion based on my beliefs from study, but it’s what I read from the Word of God regarding Bible prophecy. Don’t just trust what I have to say without searching the scriptures though.

The bride of Christ

Isaiah 26:19-21
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

This shows our harpazo to heaven before the indignation comes on the children of disobedience who have rejected Christ to follow their own paths.

John 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

We’re going to be taken into New Jerusalem, the Father’s house with many mansions, where we will wait a little while while God pours out His wrath on the inhabitants of the earth. It is also at this time that we will be taken to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:5-8
And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

According to ancient Jewish wedding tradition, the marriage supper was about seven days after the marriage. This is when the groom presented His wife to the gathered guests. So we are being caught away to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb in our Father’s house with many mansions (our new home) while God’s wrath is poured out on the children of disobedience. This is the shaking of the heavens. Isaiah 13:10-13 The following is an article written regarding what Christians should expect after the catching away.

The children of disobedience

For those who have rejected Christ, they will remain on the earth during the remaining almost 3½ years of great tribulation during which God’s wrath is poured out in the sequence of seven trumpets and seven bowls described in the book of Revelation. If you go through those Bible studies, you will get a good perspective on what is coming for those who reject Christ.

Ultimately during this time a spiritual battle will rage as Satan tries to take as many humans down with him in his final time of power on the earth before Christ’s return in glory. The mark of the beast will be implemented, and anyone that takes the mark will have made their choice in whom they put their trust. The choices are men, or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

How close is the harpazo?

Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13:32,33
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Nobody can know for sure how close it is, but once the abomination of desolation takes place, we should expect it at any moment.

Here are some charts regarding the harpazo in the time line of Bible prophecy. I find that charts help me to view things more clearly using scripture. I pray you find them useful as well.

Pre-tribulation Harpazo

Biblical Reasoning For:

Biblical Reasoning Against:

  • We’re given 2 signs that come before the day of Christ and therefore before the coming of our Lord and our gathering to Him. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
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  • The great tribulation is the 7 years of the 70th week of Daniel.
  • The70th week is only for the Jewish Nation.
  • Mathew 24 is written specifically for the Jews.
  • The 70th week of Daniel is not for the church, it is focused on Israel.
  • Revelation 4:1 signifies the harpazo.
  • The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer 2 Thessalonians 2:7.
  • A Great Revival takes place during the tribulation.
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Pre-wrath Harpazo

Biblical Reasoning For:

  • God’s wrath is for the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:1-8
  • Wrath of God affecting the whole earth. Luke 21:34-36 | 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
  • The day of the Lord begins the wrath of God. See here
  • Christ comes and is revealed on the day of the Lord/Christ coinciding with sudden destruction.  Matthew 24:36-39 | Luke 17:26-30
  • Some escape God’s wrath, instead standing before the Son of man in heaven. Luke 21:34-36
  • Those who wait for Yeshua from heaven are delivered from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  • Rest for the troubled is coming when Yeshua is revealed from heaven with vengeance against the disobedient to the Gospel. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10
  • We are not appointed God’s wrath. It comes on the day of the Lord, like a thief in the night, as sudden destruction from which those on the earth do not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
  • We are saved from the wrath by Yeshua. Romans 5:1-11
  • Some of the church are kept from “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10
  • The church at Thessalonica were afraid the day of Christ had come. Paul wrote them “by [concerning] the coming of our Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,” that they shouldn’t be worried that the day of Christ was upon them because the apostasy and the abomination of desolation precede the coming of the Lord. The abomination of desolation begins the great tribulation and our gathering comes after that. (cannot be pre-trib) This shows the Biblical teaching of pre-wrath Paul was telling them. They thought they had missed the promised escape before the wrath. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
  • The repentant of the church are not cast into great tribulation when unrepentant are. Revelation 2:22
  • An example of Joshua (same name as Yeshua in Hebrew) saving Rahab and her family from Jericho before it’s impending destruction. Rahab helped Joshua and the spies, therefore she and her family were saved. They did not destroy the city until they were taken out of it. Joshua 6:22-25
  • Abraham, before Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed, asked the Lord whether God would destroy 50 righteous and kept asking until 10 righteous. Each time the Lord said He would not send the destruction if there were that many righteous. We later see that proven out when Lot and his family escape the destruction of God’s wrath. Genesis 18:20-33
  • The day of the Lord follows the sixth seal. Joel 2:31
  • The sixth seal is immediately after the time of Jacob’s trouble ends. Matthew 24:29 More detail here
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Biblical Reasoning Against:

  • Noah and Lot were protected on the earth through God’s wrath. Matthew 24:36-39 | Luke 17:26-30
    • Counter-point: Noah and Lot both escaped the destruction of God’s wrath just as we’re promised to. Luke 21:34-36 The first time with Noah was by water and the second time yet future will be by fire as with Lot, only this time global in scale. Noah and Lot both represent the manner in which God’s wrath came, suddenly catching those who weren’t listening to the warning by surprise. Noah and family were lifted above the destruction of the flood on the earth’s surface, entering the sky by buoyancy when entering through the door that God shut on the ark before the rains and the fountains of the deep opened up. Yeshua is our door to heaven that no man can shut. John 10:1-11 | Revelation 3:7-13 However, the Messiah had also not come through the lineage from Noah yet and mankind’s salvation was not completed, so Noah and family remained on the earth to repopulate and bring in the Messiah. In the second instance, Lot is removed from the destination of God’s wrath before it came, only this time the wrath was not world-wide in scope even though it was by fire and brimstone from heaven as it will also come in the future. So there was no need to remove Lot and family from the earth. In the future, the day of the Lord brings God’s wrath and comes as a destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:6-13
  • If the church is not present after this point then there can be no Christians present after this point, as all Christians are part of the body and therefore part of the church.
    • All Christians are the bride like all women are a bride and salvation is through Christ alone, not the church. So all of the bride of Christ are Christians, but not all Christians are the bride of Christ. There is a point of escape that comes when Christ does and those left behind miss the time of escape from God’s wrath. Luke 21:34-36 The marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven before Christ returns in glory, Revelation 19:7-14, so it is not possible that all saved by the blood of Christ are the bride of Christ since there are some resurrected who are justified in Christ after the marriage is over and after Armageddon. Revelation 20:4 These are the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb on the earth during the millennium.
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I don’t think it is possible for Christ’s return to be at the 1290-day point because at His return at Armageddon the antichrist and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 19:20 This ends his 1260-day reign that began at the abomination of desolation beginning the 1290-day period. So if he only has power for 1260 of the 1290 days, then that leaves 30 days from Christ’s return at Armageddon until the end of the 1290-day period. Since the AoD is the common beginning for the 1260 day great tribulation and the beginning of the 1290 days, that 30 days exists beyond Christ’s return.

The 1335-day period begins also at the abomination of desolation and has a blessing attached to those who wait and come to this point in time. Now this is hardly definitive, but there is another blessing in...

Revelation 19:9
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

The marriage supper of the Lamb is on the earth and is where the bride is presented traditionally. There are guests, the bride and the groom. The focus of Daniel 12 is approximately the second half of the 70th week beginning at the abomination of desolation and ending with the 1290/1335-day periods connected to that AoD.

In that one chapter, there are three time periods given 1260 days (Daniel 12:7), 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) and 1335 days (Daniel 12:12). The first is regarding the great tribulation’s length, which begins at the abomination of desolation according to Christ. The second also begins at the abomination of desolation, but extends 30 days past the end of the great tribulation. The final number extends 45 days beyond that. Since we know the antichrist’s reign (the great tribulation) ends 1260 days after it began and Christ’s return in glory marks the destruction of the antichrist, we know that Christ’s return in glory is 30 days before the end of that period of time. The last verse of Daniel 12 states, “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

This speaks to a resurrection after a time of rest to stand in his lot at the end of the days. The blessing attached to the 1335 days is for those who “waiteth,” or “to adhere to.” The dead are asleep until resurrected and cannot adhere to or fall away from a teaching as they are no longer in that capacity in death. So it would seem the end of the days attached to the resurrection is in regards to Daniel 12:11, the end of the 1290 days. I believe this is the resurrection of Revelation 20:4-5 following Christ’s return in glory at Armageddon and the destruction of the antichrist and his kingdom.

In this way, Christ would return in glory with His wife and about a month later the dead in Christ who were not caught up and were martyred during the great tribulation for His namesake will be resurrected. These are the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb and so must be resurrected before that time. The blessing is attached to those who adhere to God’s ways during this time that ends 1335 days after the abomination of desolation. This is 45 days after the final resurrection of the just following Armageddon. So those resurrected will sit with Christ and the bride at the marriage supper of the Lamb during the millennium after Satan is bound.

This is one of those points that I feel there is a strong logic behind this timing, yet it is admittedly built on assumptions and so I will state it as such. I can’t be dogmatic about this, but it all fits with what I feel I can be dogmatic about and is clear. I believe it also fits with the whys of some things as well.

Also, Israel is protected, Revelation 12:14, for the same time the antichrist has power, Revelation 13:5, yet we know the dragon gets the woman upon being cast from heaven. This is why Christ warned those in Judea to flee at the abomination of desolation, because Satan is come with great wrath knowing his time is short and 2/3 of Israel will be killed during the time of Jacob’s trouble.

So the first <30 days (time cut short) is not the time of Israel’s protection. This places Israel’s protection beyond the time of Christ’s return in glory by about 30 days. Of course she doesn’t need to remain in the wilderness to be protected from the dragon after Armageddon because the dragon will be locked in the bottomless pit, but she will be protected from him nonetheless. That time would then end about the time of the resurrection of Revelation 20:4,5. So in this way, all the just will be resurrected/gathered prior to the end of the 70th week of Daniel such that Israel will be in the Promised Land, probably divided up for the millennium already, standing in their lot after being resurrected. Then after a month and a half, all the just will gather to the marriage supper of the Lamb to meet the bride and dine with the Creator of the universe! I can’t even imagine!

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Post-tribulation Harpazo:

Biblical Reasoning For:

  • Scripture only speaks of one future coming of Christ.
  • There is only one resurrection, the “first resurrection,” when Christ returns in glory. Revelation 20:4
  • “Saints” are enduring the tribulation and God’s wrath so the harpazo cannot be before that.
  • The wrath of God is poured out at Armageddon.
  • Day of the Lord is at Armageddon.
  • Daniel 12 - the resurrection of the just and unjust appears to occur on the same day, the day of the Lord (at the time the AC meets his end- Dan 11), and Daniel is told he will rise to receive his reward at the end of the days, another term for the day of the Lord.
    • Revelation 20:5 states that the unjust don’t live again until the millennium is over. (this can be resolved in my opinion by a 1,000-year day of the Lord - 2 Peter 3:8-10 | Psalm 90:4) With that also, being raised “at the last day” would be at the beginning of the 1,000 year day of the Lord. If the day of the Lord is God’s wrath, our harpazo before it would fit well being raised “at the last day.”
  • John 6 - Jesus states that He will raise believers on the ‘last day’, the last day being another term for the ‘end of the days’ and the day of the Lord.
    • I agree, I just place that in the midst of the week because it is “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” which are focused on Israel as seen in Matthew 24:15-22, Daniel 12:1, and Jeremiah 30:4-7. These all talk about an unparalleled time of great tribulation and all focus on Israel, Daniel’s people, those in Judea, Judah, and “Jacob’s trouble.” Being that they are the focus of this “tribulation of those days,” and that they are protected for 1260 days, Revelation 12:14... it follows then that this unparalleled time they (Israel, the woman of Revelation 12) are saved out of upon it being cut short can only be 30 days long at most, making the sixth seal which immediately follows it occur about one month after the abomination of desolation in the midst of the week. (Daniel 9:27 | Daniel 12:11)
  • John 11 - Martha states to Jesus that she knows Lazarus will be resurrected at the last day.
    • Revelation 20:5 states that the unjust don’t live again until the millennium is over. (this can be resolved in my opinion by a 1,000-year day of the Lord - 2 Peter 3:8-10 | Psalm 90:4) With that also, being raised “at the last day” would be at the beginning of the 1,000 year day of the Lord. If the day of the Lord is God’s wrath, our harpazo before it would fit well being raised “at the last day.”
  • Matthew 24 - Jesus states that the elect will be gathered after the ‘time of distress’, when the sun and moon are darkened, consistent with the day of the Lord as described in the OT (Joel 3, Zechariah 14)
  • 1 Corinthians 15 - Paul states that concerning the resurrection, Christ is the ‘firstfruits’ and ‘when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father...’ Paul equates the resurrection with Christ’s coming and the ‘end’, the day of the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul also discusses the harpazo and associates it with the resurrection.
    • There is more than one resurrection of the just. Christ is the firstfruits, then those at His coming, which is connected to the sudden destruction we escape from like the days of Noah and Lot. Matthew 24:36-39 There is another resurrection in Revelation 20:4,5 that is focused only on those who went through the mark of the beast and beast worship time. The rest of the dead don’t live until the 1,000 years are completed. (great white throne judgment)
  • 1 Thessalonians 4-5 - Paul discusses the harpazo and the discusses timing- ‘about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.’ Paul again makes a direct association with the harpazo/resurrection and the day of the Lord.
    • I agree, but the timing of the day of the Lord is after the sixth seal in the midst of the week. Matthew 24:29
  • 2 Thessalonians 2 - Paul discusses Christ’s return- ‘Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter, supposed to have come from us, saying that the Day of the Lord has already come.’ Paul again appears to be making a direct association between the coming of Jesus and our ‘gathering’ to Him and the day of the Lord.
    • I agree, but the timing of the day of the Lord is after the sixth seal in the midst of the week. Matthew 24:29
  • According to Zechariah 14 and Joel 3, which both appear to describe Armageddon, the day of the Lord occurs as Jesus returns to fight for Israel at Armageddon, there is not a time prior to that known as the day of the Lord.
  • Revelation 16:15 says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Therefore, the day of the Lord, which comes like a thief at a time we don’t know must be after the sixth bowl.
    • We are promised escape from God’s wrath, Luke 21:34-36, the sixth bowl is the last part of God’s wrath in the seven bowls and so our removal must be before that point. Revelation 15:1
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Biblical Reasoning Against:
  • Scripture is clear we are to escape God’s wrath, see pre-wrath above. That wrath cannot begin at Armageddon because Revelation 15:1 clearly places the seven bowls as the filling up of the wrath of God and it is the sixth bowl when the armies are gathered to Har Megiddo, Armageddon. Revelation 16:12-16
  • There are two distinct “comings” of Christ. First is suddenly and unexpectedly like the days of Noah and Lot bringing the wrath of God. This is the point of removal for the bride of Christ to attend the marriage of the Lamb in heaven. The second is at Armageddon when Christ returns in glory with His wife following Him to take the kingdoms and destroy the antichrist and false prophet. These are mutually exclusive according to the Biblical definition of God’s wrath:
    • At the very least, the six bowls are the wrath of God and complete it. Revelation 15:1 However, the armies aren’t gathered to Armageddon until the sixth bowl. Revelation 16:12-16 If Christ’s coming with God’s wrath must be before the first bowl, then His coming at Armageddon must be after that, which specifies two comings of Christ.
    • If Christ comes only once and we don’t know the day or hour, then there is a contradiction in scripture because Revelation 13:5 speaks to the antichrist being given power for 1260 days (42 months). This begins the great tribulation at the abomination of desolation. Revelation 19:20 places the end of the antichrist’s reign at Armageddon when the beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. From the abomination of desolation to Christ’s return in glory, we know the number of days.
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  • 7th Trumpet is the “last trump,” the “trump of God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 | 1 Corinthians 15:50-54
    • No Biblical connection of the 7th trumpet of judgment (3rd woe) to the “trump of God” or the “last trump” except that out of seven judgments the seventh is the last and a trumpet is blown. Given the overwhelming scripture regarding the removal coming before God’s wrath and therefore before the seven trumpets, this assumption does not stand up to Biblical scrutiny.
  • The “first resurrection” of Revelation 20:4 is not preceded by any resurrection/harpazo
    • “First” can mean 1,2,3,4,... and it can also mean first/last. The resurrection of Revelation 20:4 is not the first resurrection as in none came before it. This is clearly disproved in the resurrection and harpazo of the two witnesses well before it and after the sixth trumpet. Revelation 11:3-15
  • Noah and Lot were protected on the earth through God’s wrath. Matthew 24:36-39 | Luke 17:26-30
    • Revelation 7 shows two groups in the chapter placed after the sixth seal and before the trumpets. At this time, angels given to hurt the earth and sea are told to hold back until the 144,000 of Israel are sealed. The second half shows a multitude from every nation, tribe and tongue standing before the throne and before the Lamb as promised in Luke 21:34-36.
  • The 7th seal, trumpet and bowl are describing the same event (lightning, thunder, rumblings, earthquake, hailstorm), and the timing of the seals, trumpets and bowls would then occurring somewhat in parallel. The listing of these 5 events in a sequence, and then repeating the events and sequence twice, would make it much more likely that scripture is describing the same event 3 times. If scripture is describing the same event 3 times, the seals, trumpets and bowls run in parallel.
    • Lightning, thunder, earthquakes are repeatable events even today. Revelation 8:1,2 states the seven trumpets aren’t
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