Recorded in his own words, gospel preacher, singer and award-winning song writer, Bishop Carroll McGruder (UPC): "Oh, I can't hardly wait 'till I hear the call of the trumpet saying, 'Come on up higher my people.'"
He adds: "I'm ready, I'm watching, I'm waiting. Why, I wanna tell you something, you could slip daylight past a rooster easier than you can get the rapture past a believer."
The word rapture, not found in the KJV Bible, means: ecstasy, delight, joy, bliss, seventh heaven and cloud nine. To the born again, sanctified, Holy Spirit-sainted Christian believer, all above meanings apply! Amen! (John 3:16). The word joy totally describes it. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." "Enter in to the joy of the Lord." "It is joy unspeakable and full of glory."
More properly described is the catching away of the glorious Church, Bride of Christ. This happens "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." 1st Corinthians 15:51-52: "Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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."
In the context of 1st Corinthians Chapter 15, we find a translation of our redeemed souls by Christ's blood, and human terrestrial bodies to that of celestial body transformation (see 1st John 3:2). Matthew 24:26-27: "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
The description of lightning is mentioned in scripture numerous times in regards to the manifested glory of Jehovah God. "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven. This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11).
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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 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."
1st Thessalonians 5:1-3: "But of the times and the seasons, brethren ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not
Isaiah prophecies of a virgin conceiving and bringing forth Immanuel, meaning God is with us. Mary travailed and brought forth her first born son Jesus, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes in a manger. As we wait Jesus Christ's second return in the clouds, we also travail in body mind and spirit (see Romans 8:21-23).
In type and shadow of a glorious rapture or catching away, we see Enoch, the seventh from Adam: "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: (365) And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." He was caught up without seeing natural death) (Genesis 5:23). "By faith Enoch, was translated that he should not see death and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation (to heaven), he had this testimony that he pleased' God" (Hebrews 11:5).
Jude's epistle recalls Enoch in verse 14: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." There is an ancient volume of books called "Book of Enoch," which has the complete transcendental prophetic time line for Almighty Jehovah God's plan for mankind.
Enoch and Elijah did not experience a natural death. They are the two witnesses and olive trees in Revelation. They will then experience natural death and resurrect after witnessing 1,260 days. "It is appointed for men once to die, after this the judgment." Much speculation abounds today, concerning the second coming of Christ. Will His catching away of the Church be pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post tribulation? Personally, I hold steadfast to a pre-tribulation, pre-millennial second coming.
Song of Solomon portrays Christ and His Bride in allegory as an elopement. Chapter 2 verse 9: "Behold he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice." In verses 10-13 he is calling: "Arise up my love, my fair one and come away."
Christ purchased the church with his own blood. As his church/bride we are to be without spot, wrinkle or blemish. God's fierce wrath will be upon the whole Earth to those who receive the mark of the beast.
Christ's elect will not experience these judgments and tribulation. The Lord will safely secure us in his heavenly bridal chamber. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him," (1st Thessalonians 5:9-10)). Isaiah prophecies in chapter 26:19-11: "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
"Come, my people (His elect), enter thou into the chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment (seven years on earth of great tribulation), until the indignation be over past. 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." The anti-Christ, that wicked possessed by Satan himself, cannot not be revealed to deceive the world as long as the Holy Spirit and Bride remain on Earth.
2nd Thessalonians 2: 3-12: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (Or catching away, rapture. Many now cease to attend church by falling away); and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (We are close.) For the mystery of iniquity (all unrighteousness) doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (The Holy Spirit's presence within the Church, is presently restraining the Man of Sin's personal emergence.)
"And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Revelation 1:7: "Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." (see Zechariah 13:6). Post-rapture eternal joy for Christ's elect include a marriage supper, the judgment seat of Christ and returning to Earth on white horses, for a thousand-year reign where every eye shall see Jesus. (Revelation 19:11-21. "And the Spirit and bride say, Come."