BIBLICAL TYPES FOR THE RAPTURE
God is unique in many ways, so it is not surprising that His Word would have "a unique style." I am told that a good literary critic can read a single paragraph from an established writer's work, and immediately identify the author. Bible students used to be able to do the same, but now there are so many Bible versions that it is difficult to recognize the Word even when I am following along with my trusty KJV. The Word of God contains parables, "pictures," and "puzzles," designed to limit the understanding of some, and to produce humility in all. Parables were intended to prevent religionists from understanding (Matt. 13:10-17). "Puzzles" is my way of describing my limited capacity to comprehend His revelation. For instance, It puzzles me that there is one God, but God is three Persons. It puzzles me how there could be something, or Someone before matter existed. And perhaps the greatest puzzle is that the Creator of the Universe would die for such a mess like me.
"Pictures" in the Bible are known as "types." The Feasts of Israel are perfect examples of biblical types. Christ's first advent is pictured in the first three feasts, His second advent is pictured in the last three, and the fourth, the Feast of Loaves (Pentecost), is a picture of the Church, which only exists upon Earth between the first and second advents of Christ. That in itself is evidence of the Rapture. There are no Christians on Earth at that time.
There are four Bible characters that provide types for the Rapture. The first is Enoch, who was the great-grandfather of Noah. Genesis 5:24 tells us that Enoch did not die, but that he was taken up to be with God. I believe the reason he was removed was so that He could be one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-12. I believe the other witness will be Elijah. We are told in 2 Kg. 2:11 that he did not die, but was taken up to heaven. Enoch would be a witness to the Gentiles, and Elijah would be a witness to the Jews. There are no Christians on Earth at that time.
The other two individuals would later die, but when God's judgment was about to fall upon man, they were taken up to safety above the carnage below. Noah was permitted to take seven members of his family and to escape the flood below the ark (Gen. 7:17). Lot was permitted to take three members of his family out of Sodom to a mountain overlooking the destruction below (Gen. 19:17). So two of the four removed from God's pending judgment did not die at all, and two died long after the event from which they were rescued. Isn't that a picture of the Rapture? We are told in 1 Th. 4:116-17 that "the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them...." What follows is the seven year Tribulation; the judgment of God upon the Gentiles and the Jews. There are no Christians on Earth at that time. Hallelujah!