It is so good to hear from you. Yes we do believe in the catching up or gathering together, what the church calls the “rapture”.
However I do not believe the same way the traditional church believes. The traditional doctrine is only 200 years old and originated with a woman named Margaret McDonald from Glasgow, Scotland. There are many Scriptures in the Bible that speak of this event but none put the time frame on it that the traditional church does. Matt 24:29-31 NKJV sets the sequence of the catching up or gathering together to Him for us.
We are told in “Matt 24:29 NKJV “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” The further ref in the Gospels are (Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28) as follows.
Mark 13:24-27 NKJV “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
Luke 21:25-28 NKJV “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Matt., Mark, and Luke are in perfect agreement that it will be after the Tribulation of those days, and by the way I believe those days are close to being on us now. But let us go to further into the Scriptures, 1 Corth. 15:51-58 NKJV “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – This Scripture plainly tells us that we cannot go before the dead and it sets the timing at the last trumpet of Yahveh. Believe me I would love to be wrong on this one but the Scriptures are just to plain. The truth is this doctrine feels so good that we are tempted to never question it. Let us go on to -1 Thess. 4:13-18 NKJV “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 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.”- Paul was very clear in 1 Thess. About the timing of the rapture cannot precede the first resurrection. We shall be caught up in the air to meet Him and then we will come right back to earth with him and we are going to rule and reign with Him a thousand years and after that we will ever be with him; Never to be separated again. The next Scripture I want to talk about is so often misused and misunderstood.
“1 Thess 5:1-11 NKJV 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. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” Verse 9. of the above Scripture is so often mistakenly used as referring to the tribulation. But the wrath of Yahveh is much different than the “trying of our faith” or the Tribulation. The wrath of Yahveh is the destruction of the wicked with the brightness of His coming and the sword of his mouth. Of course we are not appointed to destruction with the wicked, but we are ruling and reigning with him at his coming. If all the saints are gone, what faith is left to try? For my last Scripture I would like to go to – “2 Thess 2:1-12 NKJV Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The Thessalonians had the same problem that much of the Church is having today. They were ignoring some very important things that Paul had told them. Being that the son of perdition must sit in the temple as God there by deceiving many, particularly those who had not received the love of the truth that they might be saved, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. We cannot be raptured out of this earth until the Antichrist sets himself up as god to be worshiped as Yahveh. Yes I do believe we will be caught up to meet Yahshua in the air just not as the traditional church teaches it.
As for Elijah and Enoch I believe they will experience death because it is appointed to every man to die once: Heb 9:27-28 NKJV 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 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. These are the only men in the Bible that did not experience death however I believe they will experience death. In the book of Revelation there are two prophets who lie dead in the street for three days. I believe these prophets are Elijah and Enoch. – Rev 11:7-13 NKJV When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of where we are coming from. I really appreciate you inquiring of us and not just ignoring us and not having fellowship with us. I believe we can honestly disagree on certain subjects and still have fellowship with one another. May the Blessings of Yahveh and His Son Yahshua be on you. Most tenderly yours in Yahshua.