The Importance of a Witnessed Rapture :: By Jeff Van Hatten

Why is it important that the rapture be witnessed?

The witnessed rapture brings glory to Yahweh, whereas an instant disappearing rapture allows Satan to steal glory that only belongs to Yahweh / Yeshua. Let’s examine how that works.

Proving the Prophecies – Advance Notice of Rapture

Enoch and Elijah both had advance notice that they would be taken up to heaven, and both were witnessed as they ascended to the clouds. We find Enoch’s prophecy of “Advance Notice of Rapture” in Enoch 81:5-6 – “You will have one year to teach your children, then the seven holy ones will take you from their midst.” Elijah’s prophecy is a little trickier, as we do not have a source for his “Advance Notice of Rapture” – we only know he did have advance notice because twice in 2 Kings 2:3-5, the sons of the prophets ask Elisha, “Don’t you know today is the day Elijah will be taken?” to which Elisha answers, “Yes, I know!”

Proving the Veracity – The Visible Raptures

2 Kings 2:12 – “While Elisha was watching, he was crying out…. Then he could no longer see him.” Elijah’s ascension was witnessed by both Elisha and the prophets with their own eyes, and eventually, Elisha “lost sight of him.”

Acts 1:9 – “Yeshua was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight.” Yeshua was carried up into heaven while the disciples (and perhaps wives, children, neighbors, etc.) were looking on, and a cloud received him out of their sight. This ascension was so fascinating to those watching that two “men” had to interrupt them and basically tell them to get on with their lives until Yeshua returned! And not to mention that the disciples were in the right spot at the right time to witness Yeshua being taken up, eh? Yeshua’s rapture was witnessed by many.

Revelation 11:12 – “The two witnesses went up into heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them.” The two witnesses are raptured while many enemies watch.

Impact – Seeing But Not Believing

Seeing is believing, we are told, but there are still those who refuse to admit that Elijah’s ascension was witnessed by both Elisha and the prophets with their own eyes, though eventually Elisha “lost sight of him” (v12). But the prophets didn’t believe what they had witnessed – they insisted on going to look for Elijah, spent three days doing so, finally returned without finding him, only to hear Elisha say: “I told you not to go, didn’t I?” (v18). The same goes for Enoch – Enoch’s rapture was witnessed, though many deny this despite his having been taken from the midst of a crowd of witnesses.

Seeing is believing, we are told, but there are still those who refuse to admit that Yeshua’s rapture was witnessed, despite his having been taken from a crowd of witnesses. No doubt the same will happen when the Two Witnesses of Revelation are raptured right before the eyes of their enemies.

Proving the Veracity – The Wedding Pattern

In a Jewish Wedding, when the father tells his son to go get his bride, the son does not step outside his newly built home, blow the shofar, shout ‘Bride, come here,’ and then the bride just disappears from her house and, poof, instant teleportation to the bridegroom’s house. Her “rapture” is accomplished by the bridegroom and his friends carrying her from her house to his.

Impact – Seeing But Not Believing

Seeing is believing, we are told, but there are still those who refuse to admit that the bride’s “rapture” was witnessed, despite all the people who watch her being carried from her house to the bridegroom’s house. But wait, you say, it happens in the middle of the night – who is awake to see it? Humph. If you think the blowing of the shofars and all that shouting both going to and coming from her house doesn’t wake people up who don’t stick their heads out of their doors to see what all the commotion is about, then you don’t know human behavior at all.

Proving the Prophecies – Resurrection Is Not Immediate Rapture

The individuals that were resurrected according to the scriptures that did not instantly disappear are but were seen by many after their resurrection:

  • The son of the widow from Zarephath in Sidon (1 Kings 17:21-22)
  • The son of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:31-35)
  • The dead man placed into the tomb of Elisha (2 Kings 13:20-21)
  • The prophet Jonah (Jonah 2:1-10)
  • The daughter of Jairus who is only “asleep” (Matthew 9:23-25; Mark 5:22, 5:35-42; Luke 8:41, 8:52-55)
  • The only son of a widow from the town of Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
  • Lazarus (John 11:11-44)
  • Dorcas/Tabitha (Acts 9:37-42)
  • Eutychus (Acts 20:9-10)
  • The Apostle Paul who was presumed dead (Acts 14:19-20)
  • Yeshua who witnessed for forty days (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:9; John 20:17, Acts 10:40)
  • The Holy Ones who also witnessed in Jerusalem, likely also for forty days (Matthew 27:50-53)

Two Future Resurrections:

  • The Dead in Yeshua who more than likely may also remain for a short time if the pattern of Yeshua and the Holy ones is followed (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
  • The Two Witnesses of Revelation (Revelation 11:11-12)

Impact – Seeing But Not Believing

Seeing is believing, we are told, but there are still those who refuse to admit that the resurrected who were witnessed after they rose from being dead did not, repeat, did not just disappear – all were seen by many after their resurrection, some for forty days like Yeshua and the Holy Ones, some perhaps even longer. Scripture doesn’t tell us how long many remained alive before they died and were buried, as was the Apostle Paul.

Many Witnesses

Numerous times scripture tells us, ‘You certainly see, but you don’t get the point!’ (Isaiah 6:9; Ezekiel 12:12; Matthew 13:14; Mark 4:12; etc.), and we wonder why Yahweh/Yeshua speaks in parables. I like the way the Complete Jewish Bible translates Jeremiah 5:21 – “Hear this, stupid, brainless people, who have eyes but do not see….” [Am I being too harsh? Humph. I think not. Nowhere near as harsh as Paul when he tells the Judaizers to castrate themselves rather than just perform a circumcision!].

The resurrection pattern, the witnessed rapture pattern, and the wedding pattern all agree – there is no such thing as an instant disappearance rapture. And that is three witnesses, as required by scripture (Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16, 2 Corinthians 13:1, etc.), which establish a fact.

If the resurrection patterns show zero instant disappearance events and the bride in a Jewish Wedding has to literally be carried from her house to the house of the bridegroom’s father in full view of all those who have been awakened by the shofars and shouting of the bridegroom’s friends, isn’t that yet one more pattern of no instant disappearance? If two or three witnesses establish a fact, and Yahweh/Yeshua doesn’t change, then why would the rapture of the Bride be an instant disappearing act? More than likely, the rapture of the Bride will also be fully witnessed and will take more than a twinkling of time to finish.

I believe the rapture from Earth to the clouds may take time – whether short or long, scripture does not specify. Elijah ascended fairly quickly. Yeshua’s ascension may have taken a bit longer, as the witnesses were still staring up to the clouds for quite some time! And yet, once we get to the clouds, the transfer from there to Heaven may be in an instant! Scripture simply doesn’t give us all the details.

Why Is It So Important That the Rapture Be Witnessed?

The Witnessed Rapture Gives the Glory to Yahweh/Yeshua

Deuteronomy 4:24 – “Yahweh your Elohim is a consuming fire, a jealous Elohim.”

Isaiah 42:8 – “I am Yahweh; that is my name; my glory I give to no other.”

Isaiah 48:11 – “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it… My glory I will not give to another.”

Yahweh does not give nor share his glory with anyone, especially not with Satan. That is why the Rapture of the Bride of Yeshua will be witnessed by all. The fully witnessed rapture of the Bride of Yeshua will be hard, if not downright impossible to deny – all will know it was done by Yeshua and will bring great glory to Yahweh.

The witnessed rapture proves Yahweh’s power to do what no other god or magician can do. This pattern is consistent throughout scripture. Here are two examples:

Moses and the Magicians. The magicians were able to perform the first several miracles: staffs into snakes, water into blood, and swarms of frogs (Exodus 7:11-8:7). But from then on, only Moses was able to perform additional miracles (Exodus 8:18), bringing glory only to Yahweh.

Yeshua and the Rephaim. Baal, it is said, promised his fallen minions in Tartarus that he would resurrect them for all to see, and it would only take three days to do so. Scripture, however, says, “they live not, Rephaim [ghosts, shades, the dead] they rise not” (Isaiah 26:14). But it is Yeshua who rises after three days, and Yahweh allows Yeshua to be seen (Acts 10:40). Yeshua even preaches to those in Tartarus (1 Peter 3:19, 4:6), saying in effect, ‘Guess what, guys, I’m outta here in three days, but you are still dead!’ His resurrection after three days brings glory only to Yahweh.

The Instant Disappearance Rapture Gives Glory to Others

An instant disappearing act allows the glory that only belongs to Yahweh / Yeshua to be stolen or denied – not gonna happen! Satan can falsely claim the rapture was done by aliens or some other means. This false paradigm is parroted by many in the New Age and Occult movements. Here are four examples:

  • The instant disappearance rapture depicts people who leave their clothes behind; autos, planes, and boats that are left unmanned and crash; and folks left behind that are in a dilemma as to what happened.
  • The instant disappearance rapture is accomplished by aliens who come from Vulcan, Klingon, Cardassia, Romulus, or some other planet in the Universe. Their spaceships will be able to beam them up via Star Trek Enterprise transporter technology.
  • The instant disappearance rapture, according to New Age channelers, says: “The people who leave the planet during the time of Earth changes do not fit in here any longer, and they are stopping the harmony of Earth.” Therefore, they have been taken by angels, Ascended Masters, or aliens!
  • The instant disappearance rapture takes place because both earth and humanity are evolving into a higher spiritual consciousness. Those who are hindering this evolutionary process will appear to vanish and will be taken elsewhere to evolve at their own rate, while the people remaining will advance into that higher spiritual consciousness.

Impact – Seeing But Not Believing

Seeing is believing, we are told, but there are still those who refuse to admit that the rapture of the Bride of Yeshua will be a witnessed event, just as were the scriptural patterns. The instant disappearance rapture allows Satan to steal glory that is due only to Yahweh / Yeshua – not gonna happen!


The witnessed rapture brings glory only to Yahweh – all will know it was done by Yeshua and no other. Yahweh will not allow the rapture of the Bride of Yeshua to be attributed to anyone other than himself – he does not share his glory with anyone, whether or not those who are witnesses will believe or will deny what their eyes have seen!

An instant disappearance rapture allows Satan to steal glory that belongs only to Yahweh / Yeshua – not gonna happen!

I believe that the entire instant disappearance rapture paradigm is severely flawed and needs a little fixin’ – what do you say?

Final Thought

The witnessed Rapture is extremely important. The prophetic signs are burgeoning and not abating. Time is incredibly short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – so be of great cheer, keep looking up, and keep maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Be sure you are believing The Truth, not The Lie. Be sure Yeshua is your Redeemer, King, and High Priest, and your sins are forgiven.