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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is Revelation 4:1 The "rapture"?

"Revelation 4:1 is the rapture?"

Many have assumed Revelation 4:1 is the rapture, or at least a figure for the rapture of the church.
We will show from scripture what is true, and give many reasons.

Here is the passage in Revelation 4:

After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.  Straightway I was in the Spirit: and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting upon the throne;

1.   Is  “Come up hither”  the same as “caught up” as in 1st Thessalonians 4:17?
(17  then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds

   Here are the two words from the Greek:
 “caught up”  is “harpazo” Def. to seize, carry off by force, claim for one's self eagerly, to snatch out or away  Strongs #726
 “come up” is “anabaino” Definition: ascend , to go up , to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up. #305

The “catching away” is the church remnant being caught up in the twinkling of an eye.
The “come up” hither” is an ascension going up, like smoke.
It may not fit the definition of the “rapture”.
2.    After John went up,  he saw elders, but does it say he saw the churches that he just
  was given a message for in chapter 3 right before going up?

Rev. 3:21   He that overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.
22   He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Next, immediately after being told to write what the Spirit said to the churches, he hears a voice.
3.   Was it a "voice" he heard or a trump that is written that precedes the rapture?

Notice this and ask yourself,  is the "FIRST" voice the "last trump" ???
Rev. 4: 2" and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet"
1Cor 15:52  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
John does not say the voice speaking "come up hither" is the archangel.
He said   the "first" voice is "as" a trump, but is not identified as "the last trump AND a voice of the archangel, as it says regarding the real rapture in 1Thess. 4:16:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shoutAND with the voice of the archangel
4.  Is "Come up hither”  mis-identified a "rapture?

    In the Greek, "come up" is "anabaino", and the rapture is "harpazo".      
     Here  is “anabaino: (
     Definition:  to ascend, to go up, to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up.

5. “anabaino” is never used where there is a “harpazo”.

 Acts  10:9  On the morrow, as they went on their journey , and drew nigh unto the city,
                   Peter went up upon the housetop to pray (anabaino)
Galatians 2: 1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas,
                   2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach
                       (both are “anabaino” ).
  John went up (anabaino)  in the Spirit, but was not raised (harpazo)  up along with the last trump/ the dead raised first/ the clouds, or the numerous signs that accompany the rapture. 

 6.   The Signs.
        Compare “come up hither” with the real "rapture" and the signs that go with the rapture:
        In 1Thessalonians 4: 16
          For  the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shoutAND with
          the voice of the archangel, AND with the trump of God:

    the dead in Christ shall rise first;
       (17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up (harpazo)
          in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

7. The English expressions:
    The confusion is introduced by the translators when they translate two different words into similar
     English expressions
     Our example here of “caught up”, which in the “rapture” verse in 1Thessalonian 4 is “harpazo”,
     is accompanied by many signs.  Harpazo is a sudden seizure, a forceful action. 
  The "pre-trib" folks who want to make "come up hither" into the rapture, but Anabaino is more leisurely like smoke going up, climbing a mountain, arising, or ascending..
   The actions are very different.
8.  Questions:
     In Revelation 4:1, where does the Lord descend?
     Where is the voice of the archangel AND the trump of God?
     Where are the dead that “rise FIRST”?
     Where is the SHOUT?
     Where is “the cloud of witnesses”?

Without any other “rapture” signs that all of the other “rapture” verses mention, any attempt to turn 4:1 into a pre-trib rapture is blatant “twisting”, that is, the “wrestling”  of another meaning into the passage.

9.    At the “rapture” ,  what happens to the physical body?
     In Revelation 4:2 Straightway I was in the Spirit.
The resurrection is not spoken of until Revelation 20:4, in the first resurrection…”

     Compare with 1Corinthians 15:
51   Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52   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.

There is no mention of a resurrection or a “changed” body in Rev. 4:1-2.
10.  Now compare the same word used in the “rapture” texts
       with the same word used in Revelation 4 as “come up hither”. 

Harpazo(to seize, carry off by force to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly to snatch out or away)
Acts 8:39   And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip;
                  and the eunuch saw him no more, for he went on his way rejoicing.
 2nd Corinthians 12:2  I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body,
                                   I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth),
                                   such a one caught up even to the third heaven.
 2 Cor 12:4      how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words...
 1Thes 4:17      then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them
                        be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:...
 Revelation 12:5  And she was delivered of a son, a man child, who is to rule all the nations
                          with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne.

Anabaino:  (ascend to go up , to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up)
Mat. 14:23    After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray
Mat. 20: 17  As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by
                    themselves, and on the way He said to them,
             18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem
John 1: 51    And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and
                    the angels of  God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
John 6: 62   "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before ?

Rom 10:6    But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows :

Eph. 3: 8       Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
            9   (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that
                 He also had descended  into the lower parts of the earth ?
          10   He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens,
                 so that He might fill all ...)
Rev 4:1 …and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me said,
                         "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place …"

11.  And here, incredibly,  “anabaino” and “harpazo” are used --->  in the same verse! <---

Acts 8: 39 39 When they came up out of the water,  (ANABAINO) 
                      the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away (HARPAZO)
                      and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
Do you still want to say John was “raptured” in Revelation 4:1?
 –Clearly, “anabaino” is NEVER used as a “rapture” verb anywhere in scripture.. 


  1. Obviously, John was invited to a VISION of the rapture, not the actual event, because it HAS NOT HAPPENED YET.

  2. People often use Rev. 4:1 as a "type" or figure for the pre-trib rapture. Upon examination and testing, it is not so as the article points out why this text bears no relationship to the pre-trib rapture theory. Please see the article, "Rapture Made Simple" and may you grow in grace

  3. Thanks for this! While I believe in the rapture, I'm still trying to decide whether i believe in a pre-trib or a pre-wrath rapture. The argument i often hear about Rev 4 identifying the timing of the rapture never felt right to me, and your post here really helped reinforce some of the thoughts I'd already had.

    Another argument I've often heard in support of Rev 4 identifying the timing of the rapture is that the church isn't referenced on earth after that, so they must be gone. I find, however, that they also aren't referenced in heaven - Rev 5:11 places angels, the four living creatures, and the 24 elders around the throne, but no "saints", believers in Christ, or the church are to be found there yet.