TRANSLATION AND RAPTURE
Enoch was not found. God took Him. Moses was raised from the dead and taken to heaven. Elijah went up in a whirlwind. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
The three men first mentioned above were translated to heaven. They were not raptured. The only Person who has been raptured is the Lord Jesus Christ.
In translation flesh and blood is taken to a prepared location in heaven and preserved by the power of God. In rapture flesh and bones without blood is glorified that is perfected and lifted to heaven.
Translation involves the living. Rapture involves both the dead and the living. Jesus typified both. “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, 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, who also said, ‘men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:9-11 NKJV)
Enoch was brought back as Melchizedek. He has died and will participate in the rapture of the church.
Moses and Elijah will be brought back towards the end of the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period. They will prophesy for forty-two months. “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. (Rev 11:3-4 NKJV). They will be killed by the Beast and raptured three days later, a couple of days before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Moses and Elijah shall sit on the right and left respectively of Jesus Christ at the Supper. John the Baptist will sit behind Jesus backed by 144,000 ‘male virgin’ evangelists chosen 12,000 each from the twelve tribes of Israel.
Saints are perfect but they need to be perfected to be eligible to be with Christ permanently in heaven. Rapture is the method of entering heaven in a glorified state. Apart from Jesus Christ no one, including those who died in Christ, has attained that status yet.
However, those who died in Christ are better than those who are living in Christ. The former have the assurance of participating in the rapture of the church. Nothing can change their status. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Heb 9:27-28 NKJV).
Saints who are alive and remain are subject to the wiles of the kingdom of darkness and can fall away. “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Cor 9:27)
May that never be your portion in Jesus’ name!
Rapture has eligibility criteria. That is the reason for the exhortation to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” As long as you continue to look up to Jesus, by abiding in Him and obeying His commandments, you shall not be found wanting on the day of reckoning.