Who is Really “Left Behind” and who is “Taken”
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Once I actually started studying the Word of YHWH for myself, the layers of lies that I had been taught just started to peel away. When I was in the church, I always saw contradictions between what I read in the Word and what the pastors would teach. This never sat right with me, but I’d just sweep my questions and feelings under the rug because after all, these people went to Bible College and surely they knew more than me. NOT.
I believe that the pre-trib rapture is a very dangerous doctrine and is rooted in pride and arrogance of the church. It’s a feel good, tickle the ears doctrine that is not rooted in Scripture. Please tell the precious believers that are being persecuted every single day for their belief in Yeshua that they will escape the tribulation and be raptured away. They face tribulation every day. Their villages are burned and the women and children are raped and murdered. They are set on fire, beheaded, and tortured beyond belief. If that’s not tribulation, I don’t know what is. The reason this lie is so easily believed here in the United States is because we have never faced the kind of persecution that other countries have. What will those who believe in the pre-trib rapture do when that kind of persecution does come onto our soil? If you think it will never touch us, you are sadly mistaken. Who does the Western church think she is to think she is above persecution? Who does she think she is to believe that she is so special as to not have to go through tribulation? That’s pride and arrogance on her part. Tribulation is what refines us and tests our faith. Tribulation is for our good. Tribulation is for YHWH’s people. When the pre-trib rapture fails to happen, millions will be shaking their fists at YHWH and lose their footing and faith.
Let’s let Scripture speak for itself and let’s see what it has to say about whom exactly is left behind and who is taken away. Let’s peel away the lies and false doctrines that we have been taught.
First off, what does Yeshua say in Matthew 24:29-31?
Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
When are the elect gathered? …After the days of tribulation, not before.
Let’s examine the Scriptures more closely to see who is left and who is taken. In Matthew 24:37-41, Yeshua says, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
So, who is left behind? …The righteous (Noah and his family). Who is taken? …The wicked.
Also, let’s examine the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30 to see if there is a second witness to this.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
What harvest is being spoken of? …The end time harvest. Again, who is taken? …The tares (the unrighteous).
Let’s get another witness to the above. Matthew 13:36-43 says,
“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
So again, we see the tares (unrighteous) being taken and the wheat (righteous) being left to shine forth.
Let’s look at another witness to this. Luke 17:23-37 says,
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so also it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, until the day Noah went into the ark. And the flood came and destroyed all. And likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; but on the day Lot went out from Sodom, YHWH rained down fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed all of them.
According to those things, it will be in the day the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who will be on the housetop, let him not go down to take his goods from the house. And likewise, he in the field, let him not return to the things behind. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life, he will lose it. And whoever will lose it, he will preserve it. I say to you, In that night two will be on one bed; the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two will be grinding together; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two will be in the field, the one will be taken and the other will be left. And answering, they said to Him, To Where our Master? And He said to them, Where the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Again, who is taken? …The wicked. Who is left? …The righteous.
Proverbs 10:30 says, “The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
Matthew 24:15-22, Yeshua says:
And when you see the sign of uncleanness and desolation, that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, which will stand in the holy place. He that reads let him understand. Then let those in Judea flee into the mountains; the one on the roof, let him not go down to take anything out of his house; and the one in the field, let him not turn back to take his garment. But woe to the ones having a child in womb, and to those nursing in those days! And pray that your flight will not occur in winter nor on the Sabbath. For there will be great suffering, such as has not happened from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.
And except those days were shortened, not any flesh would live. But on account of the chosen, those days will be shortened.
Do you see that the elect ARE going through the tribulation?
After peeling back the false pre-tribulation doctrine, are you really certain you don’t want to be “LEFT BEHIND”????
To further establish my point, let’s consider where the word rapture comes from. Instead of thinking of the “rapture”, think of the “appearance, or the coming of Christ”. The idea around the rapture as North American Christians have understood it, was a theological development around the time of John Nelson Darby in the 1800’s, which have inspired Christian dispensationalist in the U.S., which gave rise to the “Left Behind” series of books by Tim Lahaye. The rapture theology is not necessarily a New Testament concept, and even if it was understood literally, it is only mentioned once, as opposed to other New Testament issues which are mentioned numerous times, such as the resurrection. The word “rapture” does not occur in the Bible. Rapture is the English translation of the Latin word rapiemur.
From the Latin Vulgate Bible, 1st Thessalonians:
4:17 deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus
And rapiemur is the Latin translation of the Greek word “Harpazo”, which means to catch away by force.
Translated to English as:
1st Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we be always with the Lord
The word that evolved into ‘rapture’ was ‘rapiemur’. That’s the first person plural, passive, of the verb ‘rapio, rapere’, which is translated as ‘we….shall….be caught up…’
The parts of the verb are rapio, rapere, rapui, raptus. Its meanings are ‘drag off, snatch, destroy, seize, carry off’. The future participle (English does not have an equivalent) is ‘rapturus’, one form of which is ‘raptura’. The future participle translates roughly as ‘about to carry off’. From ‘raptura’ it’s a short jump to the English transliteration ‘rapture’.
1 Corinthians 15:52 is often quoted as being relevant to the rapture to
“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”
A more insightful look at the concept of being changed in the twinkling of any eye may be to look at the transfiguration of Jesus (Yeshua), in which two apostles were taken up to a mountain and got a glimpse at Jesus (Yeshua) in his full glory that was to come at the resurrection.
CONTEXT: Look at the surrounding Scripture to better understand the text. In many cases, the context is related to other verses in Torah (at times making direct and/or indirect references) Let’s look at the surrounding Scripture for the “Rapture” texts. As we’ve established based on the earlier verses listed via Matthew & Luke the context of the verses shows that the people “taken” are not taken to heaven, but are taken away to the brimstone. And the people “left” are those who are saved, left to enjoy eternity.
And what about the context of the 1 Thessalonians passage?
1 Thess 4
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
I have heard Rapture teachers cite 1 Thess. 4:18 in defense of their doctrine: “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” Rapture teachers claim that there would be no “comfort” in Paul’s teaching on the Rapture if Christians could not escape the Great Tribulation under the Antichrist.
Again, context! To what “comfort” is Paul referring? He states it clearly in verse 15. The Thessalonian Christians misunderstood the doctrine of the resurrection. They were afraid that their friends who died would miss the return of Christ. Paul assures them that “the dead in Christ will rise first,” and then believers who are still alive on earth will join them in meeting Christ. That’s where the “comfort” applies, not on the matter of the Tribulation.
So, in short, the answer to the question,
“Who are the ones taken?” Unbelievers.
“Who are the ones left?” Believers.
Once you really study YHWH’s Word, the Truth is easy to see. Stop buying into the false notion that your pastor knows more about the Word than you do. They go to Bible school to learn all these false doctrines and many of them know they’re wrong but the Truth doesn’t tickle as many ears or bring in as much money, so they abandon truth for lies. Study The Word for yourself to show yourself approved. Take YHWH at His Word, not your pastor’s commentary on His Word.
The “Mark of YHWH” vs the “Mark of the Beast”
We are told the mark of the beast will be in the hand and/or the forehead. With today’s present technology we know that a microscopic computer chip can be placed under the skin. But is scripture talking about a tattoo or a microchip? Or is this a spiritual reference? The hand represents labor, physical activities, and actions. The forehead represents knowledge, understanding, to serve, an oath, and what we believe. To understand this we must turn to the Tanach (Old Testament) to discover what the “Mark of YHWH” is.
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day keep a feast to YHWH.
Unleavened bread shall be eaten the seven days. And leavened bread for you shall not be seen; yea, no leaven shall be seen among you in all your boundaries. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, It is because of what YHWH did for me when I came out from Egypt.
And it shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and a memorial between your eyes, so that the Torah of YHWH may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand YHWH brought you out from Egypt. And you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time, from year to year.
And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, And you speak to the sons of Israel, charging them, only My Sabbaths you shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you for your generation; to know that I am YHWH your sanctifier. And you shall keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you; the profaners of it shall surely be executed; for everyone doing work in it, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of his people. Work may be done six days, and on the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to YHWH; everyone doing work on the Sabbath day surely shall be put to death. And the sons of Israel shall guard the Sabbath, to observe and do the Sabbath for their generations; it is a never ending covenant. It is a sign forever between Me and the sons of Israel; for in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.
Hear, O Israel, YHWH our Elohim is YHWH echad. And you shall love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. And you shall diligently teach them to your sons, and shall speak of them as you sit in your house, and as you walk in the way, and as you are lying down, and as you are rising up. And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand; and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and on your gates.
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart not be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other Elohim, and bow down to them; and the anger of YHWH glow against you, and He shut up the heavens, and there be no rain, and the ground not give her increase, and you perish quickly from off the good land which YHWH is giving to you. And you shall lay these Words up in your hearts, and in your souls, and shall bind them for a sign on your hand. And they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your sons by speaking of them as you sit in your house, and as you walk in the way, and as you lie down, and as you rise up. And you shall write them on the side posts of your house, and on your gates, that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied in the land which YHWH has sworn to your fathers, to give to them, as the days of the heavens over the earth.
And I also gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am YHWH who sets them apart.
I am YHWH your Elohim, walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them. And guard My Sabbaths to keep them holy, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am YHWH your Elohim.
So, we see that there is a clear distinguishing mark of YHWH that is in the hand and in the forehead of those who keep His Commanded Feasts. It is not a tattoo or a microchip but is instead the act of obedience to His Commanded Feasts, which includes the weekly Sabbath. By keeping His Feasts we have in our hand and in our forehead the “Mark of YHWH”.
In contrast let’s compare Daniel 7:25 – “He will speak words against the Most High and will harass the set apart ones of the Most High. He will think of changing times (Feast Days) and Laws (Torah) and they will be delivered into his power for a time, times, and half a time.”
So the enemy will change Passover to Easter (Ostara). He will change the birth of Yeshua from the first day of Sukkot to Dec. 25th. He will change YHWH’s seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week and teach that “Jesus nailed the Torah (Law) to the cross”.
Then we find this reference to a mark in the hand and upon the forehead in Revelation 13:15-16 – “And it was given him to put life into the image of the beast; and to cause that all they who would not worship the image of the beast, should be slain: and to cause that all, great and small, rich and poor, bond and free, should receive a mark on their right hands, or upon their foreheads;”
Does this mean the beast will not use a tattoo or a microchip? Not at all! He can use all means to counterfeit the “Mark of YHWH”, especially with those who are not aware of or do not understand the “Mark of YHWH”. If it is not obvious enough let’s clarify that the mark of the beast is the anti-thesis of the “Mark of YHWH”.
YHWH declared the seventh day as a holy, set apart day. The Sabbath is a day of rest; a memorial of the creation (yes, we celebrate the creation every Shabbat). But the world religious system (anti-Messiah) changed YHWH’s appointed Sabbath to the first day of the week to honor pagan sun worship. Christianity has chosen to have “church” on Sun-day which, upon examination, is not a Sabbath at all. Just look at all the Christians running to the restaurants, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, cutting the grass or painting the house after “Church” on Sun-day. The truth is that Christianity has no true Sabbath.
Rather than observing and keeping holy YHWH’s Passover, Christianity has chosen to honor the pagan holy day of Ostara (Easter). They have even incorporated the very same pagan egg laying rabbits as the fertility symbolism of this pagan holy day.
Christianity changed the date of Messiah’s birth from the first of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) to the birthday of Tammuz, Sol Invictus and a host of other pagan deities. But, this is not a Moed (set apart Feast) of YHWH. Nowhere in scripture are we instructed to observe the birth of anyone. How are we instructed to remember Messiah? …Through His death and resurrection, during the Feast of Passover.
The vast majority of Christian denominations do not observe, preach, nor understand the seven Holy, set apart Feasts of YHWH, all of which point to Messiah. This religious world system has totally created their own holy days while pushing aside YHWH’s set apart times. It is man trying to dictate to Elohim how and when man will worship the creator as opposed to man observing and honoring how YHWH has instructed us to approach Him. This has clearly become the religious system of anti-Messiah with a distinct mark in the hand and in the forehead. So please, explain, what is there about Christianity that comes even remotely close to having the “Mark of YHWH”?
This is a call for Christianity to return to the faith once delivered to the Set Apart believers (Jude1:3) and to reject the mark of the beast – the worldly man-made religious system that defies the living Elohim.
April Morasco via FGT