When studying our Bibles, we have to look at what else happened in a given location to understand the full dimension of its spiritual and theological significance. That being said, let’s look at some of the people who were raptured and some who were resurrected:
Genesis 5:21-27—And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
A couple of interesting points in this reference to note here is that for starters, Enoch walked or fellowshipped with God.In others He knew God and He obeyed God despite the world that was in contrast around him. From the very beginning, God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that found them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day”
Genesis 3:8—And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
So God created man for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. Prior to the rapture of the Church, the Church must be doing so likewise. Here is the interesting part: Enoch must have discovered something even Adam may not have experience. He pressed into God until he learned how to commune with God through every facet of life. To find that dimension of relationship certainly required an intense spiritual pursuit, and then when he found it, the Lord made a graphic statement by taking him up to heaven.
As we walk with Him, he will open the Scriptures to us through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and reveal to us the light of the glory of God that is to be found in Him.
When we walk with God, we enter the dimension where God unfolds the secrets of his kingdom.
Deuteronomy 29:29—The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (in this case, law = the teaching and instructions of God.)
Matthew 13:11-16— He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For this people’s heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
These are the paths that the Old Testament Patriarchs travelled before us. Noah knew the secret of walking with God:
Genesis 6:9–These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Although he was not raptured, Noah and his family were spared from the judgment which was in the form of the global flood. Abraham also knew the secret of walking with God.
Genesis 24:40— And he (Abraham) said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house….
Even Daniel understood the secret things of God:
Daniel 4:7-9—Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them, but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream, saying,
9 ‘O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen and the interpretation thereof.
As New Testament believers, we are instructed to “walk,” by faith:
2 Corinthians 5:1-7–For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Through Christ, we can explore the glorious riches of knowing God like they did—and to even a greater degree because of the Spirit which has been given to us! The mysteries of God are always unveiled to the faithful Church. In preparing for the return of the LORD, there are three specific mysteries which must be unveiled in order to fully comprehend the end-time events that are to come. They are:
1. The mystery of Iniquity:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-7–Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if from us that the Day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come, unless there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth as God in the temple of God, showing himself to be God. 5 Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth back will hold him back, until he is taken out of the way.
2. The mystery of Israel and the Church
Romans 11:25-32—For I, brethren, would not have you be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 For this is My covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins.” 28 Concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as in times past ye have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief, 31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
3. The mystery of the Rapture itself:
1 Corinthians 15:51-58— Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
In addition, it merits mentioning here also that for those who do not comprehend the mystery of faith, the mystery of the Gospel and the mystery of Christ, they may not truly comprehend the mystery of the return of Christ:
1 Timothy 3:7-9—Moreover he must have a good reputation with those who are outsiders, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be serious, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy lucre, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
Ephesians 6:18-20— praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 19 And pray for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds, that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 3:1-6— For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles— 2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you, 3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, 4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,
Now getting back to Enoch. It is very important to know that the Bible clearly tells us in addition, when Enoch was raptured, his son, who represented the next generation lived for 969 years which is close to 1,000 years. We know that the name Methuselah means, “when he is dead it shall be sent.” Notice that after the Rapture, ultimately the next generation that will continue into the Millennial Kingdom will also last 1,000 years. As grim as this may sound, in addition, after the Rapture of the Church, death will be sent as the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgments in the Book of Revelation come to pass.
Revelation 6:4— And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Revelation 6:7-8—7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
(To be Continued…)