The Three Raptures : Vol. I :: By Randy Nettles & Pete Garcia

The Three Raptures – Enoch, Elijah, and the Church: Part I

Mankind has witnessed two raptures in their nearly 6000 years of existence, thus far. These two raptures are similar in that the chosen person is “taken up” into Heaven in a supernatural way by God without ever experiencing physical death. Of course, the soul and spirit never die for they were created to last forever. The new resurrected heavenly/spiritual body will never die either, as it is also made for eternity.

The first rapture occurred during the Antediluvian age in approximately 2973 BC. Enoch, the 7th generation from Adam was born in 3338 BC. He was 365 years old when God raptured him into Heaven. Here are the only verses in the Old Testament that mention the rapture of Enoch: And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah. And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:21-24).

We do not know much about Enoch other than the fact that he “walked with God” for 300 years. Now that is truly amazing. He must have been a truly righteous and obedient child of God. He was the ancestor of another “righteous” believer, Noah. Enoch was Noah’s great grandfather, but was raptured before Noah was born. Enoch was the 7th generation from Adam, while Noah was the 10th. The numbers 7 and 10 are two of the four perfect numbers of God. 7 represents “spiritual perfection” and 10 represents “ordinal perfection”. {1}

This is what the author of the book of Hebrews, in the New Testament, has to say about Enoch and his remarkable rapture: “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” (Hebrews 11:5).

Jude, the brother of James and half-brother to Jesus, said that Enoch was probably the first prophet of God: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 1:14-15).

This supernatural act of God, the rapture of Enoch, occurred nearly 5000 years ago…4991 years to be precise. Why did God do it? Nobody really knows for sure…but we do know this, “he pleased God”.  His walk with the Lord was something special. He turned neither to the right nor to the left, but kept his walk straight and sure, before the Lord….trusting in His word to guide him at all times.

Scripture tells us of the sinful living conditions during the time of the Antediluvians. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). In contrast to this evil way of life, Enoch “walked with God for 300 years”. For this righteous behavior, God rewarded Enoch by rapturing him to Heaven so he could be with the Lord forever. Enoch continues his walk with God into perpetuity. He has been walking with God for nearly 5300 years so far.

The rapture of Enoch took place 987 years after Adam was created. Adam did not live long enough to witness the rapture of Enoch, but his descendants Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech could have. Seth would have been an old man of 857 years old and Lamech would have been relatively young at 113 years old when this first rapture occurred.  Noah had not been born yet. The Antediluvian patriarchs had a 10 times longer life span than we do nowadays. In other words, if someone were 365 years old during the pre-flood days, he would be the equivalent of a 36.5 year old in our time.

Adam’s son, Seth died 14 years before Noah was born. Noah likely knew most of his ancestors personally including Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and his father, Lamech. The stories of Creation (including the original patriarchs, Adam and Eve) and the rapture of Enoch; would have been passed on from one generation to the next. Noah could have heard of these events and other family history/genealogy from Enos himself.  Enos was Noah’s great, great, great, great, great (that is five greats) grandfather. He was the 3rd generation from Adam. “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord’ (Genesis 4:26). Of course, three is another perfect number of God. Three is the second most important number in the Bible, following the number seven, as it represents “divine perfection”. {2}

The rapture is also a warning and/or prophecy to all those that are left behind. They have a choice to make; either follow (walk with) God and survive His coming punishment (tribulation) or turn from God and die in your sin. If one dies in their sin, it will be forever. They will have run out of chances with their creator at this point and will be punished by eternal separation from God.

The antediluvian epoch was a time of great evil upon the earth: “There were giants in the earth in those days: and also after that when the sons of God came unto the daughters of them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:4-9).

Noah, the 10th generation from Adam, walked with God; as did his great grandfather, Enoch, of the 7th generation. God gave Noah a 120-year warning regarding the tribulation that was to come upon the Earth. He also gave him instructions for building an ark and gathering of both animals and crops for food. The animals would share the arc with Noah and his wife, and their three sons and their three wives. Only eight human beings survived God’s wrath when He sent the Great Flood. The flood lasted for about a full calendar year before the earth was dry enough to support life.

Noah was 480 years old when God’s word/warning came to him (120 years before the flood) per Genesis 6:3.  His father, Lamech, was 662 years old at this time; and Methuselah was 849 years old. Shem hadn’t been born yet. All of the other antediluvian patriarchs of Noah’s lineage line had died (Enoch was raptured) by this time. “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13).

Noah was 600 years old and Shem, his youngest son, was 99 years old when the Great Flood came. The Bible does not mention the ages of Noah’s two elder sons, Japeth and Ham.  Methuselah outlived his son, Lamech, by 5 years. Lamech only lived to be 777 years old, which was relatively young to die in those Antediluvian days. Methuselah, whose name means, “his death shall bring”, died the year the great flood came, 1656 years after Adam was created. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old…the oldest man to have ever lived. Cain’s family line and all of the other sons of Adam did not heed God’s “word” to Noah and they perished in their sins.

The rapture of Enoch was a preview of the future rapture of the Church. 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 (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The future rapture of the Church will be different from Enoch’s in that many believers that have already died will be raptured along with the living believers.

The Great Flood was a foretaste of the future Great Tribulation. Enoch was raptured before the flood. He is a forerunner of the living Church, who will be raptured and not experience God’s wrath. Noah and his family were saved through the great tribulation of the flood. The surviving saints (believers) of the future Tribulation time will enter into Jesus’ Kingdom on earth. Noah and his entourage of seven individuals (and many animals) exited the ark and entered a drastically different environment than the one they had previously lived in. The remnant of surviving believers will also experience a completely different environment when they enter into the Millennium Kingdom of the Lord, as the earth will be made like unto the Garden of Eden.

Shem, the 11th generation from Adam, was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood. Arphaxad was the 12th generation from Adam and was the lineage from which Abram was born. Abram (Abraham) was the 20th generation from Adam and was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. From Jacob came the 12 tribes of Israel…God’s chosen people. Twelve is the last of the perfect numbers and represents “governmental perfection”. {3}

The second rapture occurred in approximately 853-852 B.C. This was about 2120 years after the first rapture. The person who was “taken up” was a mighty Jewish prophet of God whose name was Elijah.