Understanding Harpazo. Is it the Rapture?

The Greek word harpazo is use used 13 times in the New Testament:

Matthew 11:12: “suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 13:19: “
the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
John 6:15: “
they would come and take him by force, to make him
John 10:12: “and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the
John 10:28: “
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them
John 10:29: “
and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Acts 8:39: “
water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch
Acts 23:10: “
the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them,”
2 Corinthians 12:2: “
I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third
2 Corinthians 12:4: “
How that he was caught up into paradise,”
1 Thessalonians 4:17: “
we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in
Jude 1:23:
“save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating
Revelation 12:5: “
and her child was caught up unto God, and to his

metetheken is the Greek word used to describe Enoch being taken up / translated to heaven in Heb. 11:5 “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God”

The word rapture was first used to describe the coming of Christ in the 1850’s when John Darby wrote his book, “The Secret Rapture.”  Prior to that the word ‘rapture’ was unknown for the purpose of the return of Christ.

The word ‘rapture’ isn’t in the Bible, however the Greek word that many claim is the word for ‘rapture’ is ‘harpazo.’   Harpazo has several different contexts and meanings as can be seen in the thirteen verses listed above.  Although there are many verses using the word harpazo, only one verse of these is given the modern ‘rapture’ meaning.  This claim is a result of John Darby’s writings in his book, “The Secret Rapture.”

I’m not stating that the doctrine of multiple returns of Christ wasn’t suggested prior to Darby.  What I’m stating is that the word ‘rapture’ wasn’t used to describe the return of Christ prior to John Darby coining it in the 1800’s.  Darby needed a word to separate the return of Christ into multiple returns.  As a result, he coined the word “rapture” to differentiate between the multiple returns. From that day a large percentage of the church is now awaiting the “rapture” rather than the “second coming.”

Did Darby conjure up another return?  If there is multiple returns then there also must be a separation between the descriptions of them.  There can only be one element of surprise…  “Like a thief…” or, “of that day, no man knows the day or the hour…” can only fall on the first return.  The first return would announce the second, especially if there were a set time frame, such as seven years, between them.   However, ALL of the elements of surprise fall on the second coming.   “of that day, no man knows the day or the hour…” Which day?  The one described in the previous verse (Matt. 24:35,36) where heaven and earth are destroyed.  Peter describes this event at the second coming in 2 Peter 3:10.  So no man knows the day or the hour of the second coming.   Jesus states that He is still coming as a thief… for the second coming… 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15.


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