THE "HARPAZO" OF THE BRIDE OF YAHWSHUA HA MASHIACH
The following is a serious Scripture study of the catching away of the bride of Mashiach, called the "harpazo" in greek terms. In short, it is a supernatural event that will come directly after the resurrection of the dead in Mashiach in the near future.
After their resurrection, those who are still alive and in Yahwshua 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 Him in the air.
The resurrection of the dead is central to the true faith in Mashiach as Shaul/Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:12-24. There are still many different perspectives (and erroneous) among the called-out people regarding this topic ---ranging from the denial of it to the belief that it can come at any second.
Understanding of the Word of Yhwh will not come by quoting one or two verses, but by building on a solid foundation of the Word, taking Yhwh for what He says about a theme throughout the entire Scripture and in context. It is also interspersed throughout the text of the Scriptures, "here a little and there a little." Isaiah 28:9-13
We must let the Ruach Ha Kodesh interpret the Scriptures with the Scriptures so that we leave as much of our own private interpretations out of the equation and rather trust in the Kodesh Word that it will suffice to define for us what must be given and understood.
In this way, symbology is not randomly assigned from a 21st century English perspective, but from a Biblical perspective. The Torah was written by Hebrews for the Hebrews and the foreigners among them until the work of Yahwshua on the cross brought that Truth to the scattered and heathen Gentiles and all with ears to hear. This causes one to view Scriptures the from a more Hebrew perspective and define words from the Hebrew and Greek for deeper meaning as well as seeing a broader picture of Yhwh's plans for the future.
I would also like to state before beginning that I am aware this is a very divisive subject for some and when approached, much passion is displayed regarding this teaching ---mostly because of perceived deceptions we are warned about and for concern for a falling away from Yhwh resulting from things not turning out as expected. As true believers, elected by mercy and grace before the foundation of the earth, absolutely nothing can separate us from Yhwh and the love of Yahwshua.
It shows an extreme selfishness and arrogant pride for one "called-out" to turn away from Yhwh simply because his perceptions of reality limited by his lack of knowledge not coming to pass as desired. Job was answered by Yhwh 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 Our Abba Yhwh has laid out for those that love Him to understand. Only He knows the end from the beginning and He has shared the future with us. That is the focus of this study on the harpazo. If we all trust the Word of Yah we will be on the same mindset and with the same Ruach of Yhwh, speaking the same language as the words haven't changed for centuries nor what the words mean.
I always say, do not take my word for this or any other study presented. Rather search the Scriptures daily like our brethren the noble Bereans to see whether these things are so. Acts 17:11 And we should always ask our Abba Yhwh for guidance when studying...
Yhwh, please guide always our study of Your Kodesh Word and reveal to us through Your Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit only those things You would have us understand. Please do not allow any false Ruach/Spirit to influence our perception of your Kodesh Truth. Give us a greater hunger for Your Kodesh Word as we bring myself closer to you in obedience to what we already have received and know to be true. Teach us your Sound Kodesh Doctrine from Your Word as we submit to your plans and design. We ask you in the name of Your beloved Son Yahwshua Ha Mashiach. Be it so (amen).
What is the "harpazo?"
The erroneous term "rapture" is more commonly misinterpreted than "harpazo" and is one not found in the Scriptures. 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 basic 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.
"For this we say unto you by the word of Yhwh, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Mashiach shall not preceed them which are asleep. For the Yahwshua himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of Yhwh: and the dead in Mashiach shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up [G726harpazo] together with them in the clouds, to meet the Mashiach in the air: and so shall we ever be with Yawhshua. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Tessalonians 4:15-18)
So while the word "rapture" is technically not in the Scriptures, the idea behind that Latin word represents the same idea of being caught up together to meet our Mashiach in the air as stated in scripture. I have decided to move away from using the so-often-misunderstood term "rapture" in exchange for sticking with the original Greek word spelled out in English as "shall be caught up."
"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."(1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
So what could this "changing" be like? Here's an interesting radio show from Coast to Coast AM 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 Yahwshua was and from what I heard of this scientist, the shroud of Turin is authentic and is proof of what science cannot explain, the reality of the resurrection and our future changing--- an exciting thing to think about in our anticipation of the future.
WHO IS THE HARPAZO FOR?
The harpazo is the catching away of those who have a commited, personal, deep and exclusive relationship with Yahwshua Ha Maschiach, those who call themselves and upon Him by His title/name/essence, Yahwsha the incarnated Son of Yhwh. The catching away to meet Him in the air is our blessed hope to anyone who has accepted Yhawshua as their savior. Titus 2:13
Sin is transgression of Yhwh's ways, His Law, and as a righteous and totally Kodesh Elohim, He cannot co-exist with sin (unrighteousness, unholy) and we are therefore separated from Him by sin. We are not to live lives of sin after being called, because we are called out OF SIN. Yahwshua died for all of our sins and rose again, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for remission of all sins for those who accept Yahwshua and follow His Commandments to love Yhwh and love each other to the end that we would be in Yhwh'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 deceived into having taken their wedding for granted while in reality they were unprepared and without oil, which is the Ruach Ha kodesh/ Holy Spirit. This oil gives them the fuel needed for the flame, which must light the path all the way to the end.
"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." (Psalm 119:103-105)
As this important parable clearly illustrates, only 50% of those who were virgins and were waiting for the bridegroom actually had the required oil, the wise virgins.
The remaining five "foolish virgins" had the door to the marriage shut on them and Yahwshua responds to their pleading calls that He doesn't know them. This horrendous, sobering and very true division of those who call Yahwshua Master reveals that a true follower doesn't just accept Him as Mashiach or call Him "Master" by mouth: they actually truly and deeply repent (change mind) and obey Yhwh's Word to FOLLOW YAHWSHUA IN AN EXCLUSIVE AND INCONDITIONAL WAY. Then they can have communion with Him and receive the Ruach Ha Kodesh---the oil that we are anointed with which reveals the Word of Yhwh to us so that we are not in darkness! We receive the Spirit of Yahwshua, which is "the true Spirit of Prophecy." And the first comment Yahwshua Ha Mashiach makes after He says He knows them not?
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:13)
It is at His coming that we are removed, or harpazod, to meet Him in the air. It's interesting because there are many scriptures about Yahwshua coming "like a thief in the night." When a thief comes, he always comes for and takes something that he deems most valuable.
If Yahwshua is coming like a thief---like indeed He is, THEN WHAT IS IT THAT HE DEEMS VALUEBALE? His bride! And it is His bride that is going out to meet Him in the air as He snatches 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 fearful and dreadful "Day of Yhwh" as well. Luke 21:34-36
All we have to do to be a part of this elite group or remnant, is to believe that Yawhshua is Elohim in the flesh (1John 4:1-3) who died and rose again (1Corinthians 15:1-11) so that we could be forgiven our sins and be with Him forever. Our obedience to His commandments and belief in the resurrection to eternal life is central to the belief of a genuine and true follower. (1Corinthians 15:12-30)
The harpazo is that point of resurrection for the called, chosen and faithful follower. The dead believers will be resurrected, part of the first resurrection. As previosuly mentioned, we must also REMAIN obedient to Yhwh's Word. There is no condemnation for them in Yahwshua, yet to remain in Mashiach 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
The reason for the harpazo is to catch up the approved kodeshim of the Kehilah/ekklesia , Yahwshua's bride, (Ephesians 5:23) to the marriage that takes place while Yhwh's wrath is poured out upon the children of disobedience from the nations and from Israel alike. (Ephesians 5:1-20) This hints to the timing which will be covered in greater depth later.
In my years of study, I have come across many people who try to attach guilt regarding a follower's desire to be harpazod while people go through the Great Tribulation on earth. I believe this view comes from a lack of understanding on what the harpazo is all about, the real why. There is nothing unfair about it because the free gift of salvation and relationship with Yahwshua Ha Mashiach is ours if we want it.
We all have the choice to do our own things or to listen to Yhwh through His Word, the Kodesh Scripture. Yhwh sets before good and evil, and lets us choose freely. He blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked.
Yahwshua 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 Yhwh's love. Accepting Mashiach is not just about saying a prayer, but about obedience, living Yhwh's ways of love toward Him and each other.
"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, Adonai, Adonai, 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, Adonai, Adonai, 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." (Matthew 7:13-23)
The above passage speaks to the importance of developing a personal relationship with our Savior Yahwshua. How do we "know" someone? We must communicate with them, learning more about them with every encounter. Yhwh has given us His Word to understand history and the future, but He has also given us the Ruach Hakodesh (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 Yhwh revealed by the Kodesh Spirit is that the Ekklesia/Kehilah mentioned continuously in the Berit Hadasha is the actual and ONLY bride of Mashiach. This is a special breed of "called" people to Yhwh that depart spiritual Egypt (end time Great Babylon) and live now by faith in Yahwshua Ha Mashiach, proving their faith ALIVE and not DEAD by doing the works of the faith that Yhwh made for them to walk in before the foundation of the earth, and live for and by His promises for them.
They are not kodesh nor special simply because they're so good and religious, they are special and kodesh 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 Yahwshua 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/synagogue/kehilah or congregation, but by how close their church/synagogue/kehilah or congregation is defined by belonging to and obeying Yahwshua, by being members of His Body whereof He is the head and directs the body.
These brethren give their lives over to His control, letting go of their own desires to submit to His will for their entire lives, trusting Him in all things. They will be the ones looking for Yahwshua'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 Yhwh's wrath is poured out on it because we are not appointed to wrath! 1Thessalonians 5:1-11
When does the harpazo happen? And can we know exactly when?
It will be fast and we will be taken away from this earth to the New Jerusalem as far as the following passage has us understand. (John 14:1-4) At some point prior to His return, we will be married to Yahwshua. (Revelation 19:7,8) We will become wholly ONE, us the body and He the head. (Ephesians 5:23)
We will be arrayed in fine pure linen, clean and white and gleaming, and then we will be gathered from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31) and follow Mashuach when He returns at the end of the 70th week. (Revelation19:11-14)
Let us all take the Word of Yhwh for what it says and then the answer will be revealed from the text itself.
"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." (Mark 13:30-37)
"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." (Luke 21:34-36)
"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." (Rev 3:3)
All of this tells us in that while we don't know exactly when---day or hour (and this literally day or hour ONLY)---Yhwh has not left us in the dark.
"Surely the Yhwh Elohim will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
HARPAZO CAN'T HAPPEN BEFORE...
So when does it happen according to Scripture? We don't know the day nor the hour, but this first passage tells us that the harpazo cannot come before two events happen.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Adonai Yahwshua Ha Mashiach, 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 Mashiach 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 (of) Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
The Kehilah/Ekklesia of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Mashiach was at hand, the day of the anger of Yhwh. Shaul/Paul writes to them 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 Yahwshua, in Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation at "mid-week" during Daniel's 70th week 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 what scripture describes as "in the midst of" the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years Yhwh appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.
HARPAZO CANNOT COME AFTER...
While the timing of the harpazo isn't found in relation to the Great Tribulation, it is found in relationship to Yhwh's wrath and according to the Scriptures, the harpazo will come before "the Day of Yhwh." The fearful "Day of Yhwh" (caled in some versions "the Day of the Lord") is not for them that obey Yhwh, but for the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:1-11
In a show of Yhwh's character towards them that love Him, in Genesis 18:17-33, Yhwh told Abraham what He was going to do with Sodom, which prompted Abraham's questioning about how many righteous would prevent Yhwh's destruction. He got to 10 before stopping. Yhwh would not destroy the cities with His wrath if there were 10 righteous in the cities. Does this mean He cannot destroy the wicked living there? Of course not! Our righteous and wise Abba Yhwh first REMOVES those faithful "ten" from the city, and then proceeds to destroy only the wicked remaining in it. Yhwh'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.
"And as it was in the days of Noah, 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 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, Master? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:26-37)
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 Yhwh'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 groom 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 Yhwh."
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 topic 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.
After the harpazo
The answer to this question varies somewhat because of different views on timing of the harpazo.
The bride of Yahwshua
"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." (Isaiah 26:19-21) This shows our harpazo to heaven before the indignation comes on the children of disobedience who have rejected Yahwshua to follow their own paths.
"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." (John 14:1-3) We're going to be taken into New Jerusalem, the Father's house with many mansions, where we will wait a little while while Yhwh 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.
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise Yhwh Elojim, 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." (Revelation 19:5-8) 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 harpazod to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb in our Father's house with many mansions (our new home) while Yhwh's wrath is poured out on the children of disobedience. This is the shaking of the heavens. Isaiah 13:10-13The following is an article written regarding what believers should expect after the catching away. Be advised it employs some christian words.
For those who have rejected Yahwshua Ha Mashiaj as sole Rabi and Teacher, they will remain on the earth during the remaining almost 3½ years of the Great Tribulation during which Yhwh'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 Yahwshua.
Ultimately during this time a spiritual battle will rage as Ha-Satan tries to take as many humans down with him in his final time of power on the earth before Yahwshua'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 wish to put their trust. The options ate two: either in men--- or in the Elohim of Abraham, Yitzaac and Yaacob.