Bodies and Clothing—What Will Happen at the Rapture?

Left Behind

I love the Left Behind[1] series of books.  I’ve been fascinated by the Rapture for many years now.  However, there are a couple of details that I think they’ve gotten wrong: the antichrist will come from the ancient Roman Empire, but not from Europe.  Many Bible scholars are now saying that he will be a Muslim from the eastern part of that empire.  And there is very good evidence for that belief.  The other thing is the part about people being raptured out of their clothing.  I think the authors got that from the fact that Elijah left his mantle (2 Kings 2:13).  But Elijah wasn’t raptured out of all his clothing, just his mantle (which is like a coat).  The mantle was a symbol of Elijah’s anointing, which Elisha had asked for—and got.

“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather,” Matthew 24:27-28 (emphasis mine).

I had always read these two verses as though they appear in separate paragraphs.  The original Greek (Greek is New Testament, Hebrew is Old Testament) has no punctuation.  Punctuation was invented centuries after the New Testament of the Bible was completed, so the punctuation and paragraph separations are ours.  Both the New International and the King James Versions of the Bible have these two verses in the same paragraph.  But it wasn’t until this morning that it finally dawned on me that when we are raptured, we might leave our mortal bodies behind.

I had read The Christ Clone Trilogy[2] by James Beauseigneur.  He has a pre-Tribulation Rapture scenario in which all the believing Christians just die.  When I read that I rejected it immediately because of Enoch and Elijah.  If Enoch’s body had been left, then how would those around him have known that he had been taken by God?  Wouldn’t it just look like he had died?  And the other prophets went to look for Elijah after his rapture, but they couldn’t find him.  If he had left his body behind, they would have found it (2 Kings 2:15-18).

Clearly, both Enoch and Elijah were raptured away in their bodies.  But that might be because they will be the two witnesses in the Tribulation who are going to be killed after preaching and prophesying for 1260 days (Revelation 11:3).  (The reason I say that it will be Enoch and Elijah is because Hebrews 9:27 says that humans die once.  I know many people saying that they will be Elijah and Moses because they appeared together on the Mount of Transfiguration.  And with Moses and Elijah you have the Law and the Prophets, which seems right.  But Moses died, God buried his body, and the people mourned (Deuteronomy 34:5-8).  So it can’t be Moses because he has already died once.  The only two people in the whole Bible who never died are Enoch and Elijah.)

But after reading Matthew above this morning, I double checked it with Luke 17:34-37:

“I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather,” (emphasis mine).

Then I realized (perhaps divine revelation) that perhaps The Christ Clone scenario is the correct one.  After all, there has never yet been a worldwide mass Rapture before.  Enoch and Elijah were raptured in their mortal bodies for a specific purpose.  But the Word says that flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50—which interestingly comes just before Paul describes the Rapture).  Between that and the “carcasses and vultures” statement of Jesus, I now think it’s a good possibility that we will leave our bodies behind.

Our lifeless bodies will be yet another factor in the chaotic aftermath of the Rapture.  I have already described what I believe that aftermath will be like (see The Rapture and the World Left Behind).  In a nutshell, it’s going to be major chaos, violence, bloodshed, looting, and so forth.  And there will be no modern communications of any kind—at least not initially.

So we will leave our clothing behind if we also leave our bodies behind.  And, really, who cares about all that?  I’m looking forward to my extra-dimensional (glorified) body and my wedding day.  God is good!

[1] (The Left Behind Collection, 2014)

[2] (The Christ Clone Trilogy, 2006)

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