"ἁρπάζω" - appears twelve times in the New Testament, and may be defined as: "to seize, carry off by force; to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly; to snatch out or away" This word, as it is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, is the basis for defending the doctrine of the Rapture. Here are the twelve:
* Matthew 11:12 - "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
* Matthew 13:19 - "When any one heareth the Word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the way side."
* John 6:15 - "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, he departed again into a mountain Himself alone."
* John 10:12, 28-29 - "But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep....And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, Who gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."
* Acts 8:39 - "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."
* Acts 23:10 - "And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle."
* 2 Corinthians 12:2 - "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth); such an one caught up to the third heaven."
* 1 Thessalonians 4:17 - "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 so shall we ever be with the Lord."
* Jude 1:23 - "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
* Revelation 12:5 - "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne."
For further study on the Rapture of the Church, see:
John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Revelation 4:1.
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