TO BE CAUGHT UP

By Dan Luehrs

 

This is an article about being "caught up" unto the Lord Jesus Christ and what I believe is false doctrine in the church that will cause many believers to be unprepared for the coming of the Lord. I do believe in what the Bible calls "being caught up, and not being caught away!" However, because time is short, without trepidation I will be forthright in saying what I see coming to pass soon. My desire is that you will be prepared for His soon return in power and glory.

 

In March of 1999 the Lord awakened me with a vision of Scripture verses, Luke 17:20-32. He said to me, "My coming is soon. Preach this!" That same day I was leaving to speak at a church and believed that this was the message the Lord was giving me for this time. At times you wonder if these dreams and visions are from the Lord or from yourself, but in time they will either prove true or false; the truth will become evident whether or not we have heard from the Lord.

 

Later that month I was staying at my friend's home in Minnesota and the Lord woke me up, saying "One hundred days!" He repeated this three times before I was fully awake. I asked, "One hundred days what?" He replied, "In one hundred days Mark and Mindy will sell their house!" I thought that was strange. Was that really you God? The only way to find out if it was really Him was to wait and see. This time I would really know, as I could not hide this prophecy! So we looked on the calendar, counted off the days and sure enough, it sold on the one hundredth day!

 

My next question to the Lord was, "Why did you tell me this about the house?" He answered, "I want you to know that the first dream you had about My coming soon is true also!" He had my attention!

 

"For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day" (Luke 17:24).

 

The spiritual darkness on the earth today shows us that "HIS DAY" is dawning on the horizon. But what will it be like? Will I be ready or will I be as 99.9% of the Jewish people were when He first came? Only Simeon and Anna were ready because they were seeking Him daily! Please hear me. If history repeating itself is true, MOST OF THE CHURCH WILL NOT BE PREPARED FOR HIS COMING! This does not have to be. But because the church doesn't know the Lord intimately, combined with the false teachings on His coming, the people are deceived. Israel, too, was deceived by false doctrine because they thought they knew exactly how it was going to happen based on Jewish traditional teachings.

 

RAPTURED OR BEING CAUGHT UP?

 

Many people in the evangelical church today are looking for what they call the "Rapture of the church," defined as, "the physical disappearance of the believers from the earth when Jesus comes." Even though the word "rapture" does not appear in the Bible, they use it as if it was there and deceive the masses with such language. When in fact rapture means, "to be happy!" Oh yes, when Jesus comes it will be a happy day for the prepared, but a very dark day for the unprepared. When a phrase is taught and used over and over, whether it is true or not, people begin to believe that it is true because they have heard it so often. Tragically, they have never really sought the Lord on this teaching for themselves.

 

Much of the church is looking for a physical catching away. But I believe it is going to be a spiritual catching up to where Jesus is in the maturity of the Spirit of God, all within a split second! On what Scriptures do I base this? I'm glad you asked!

 

"However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven" (1 Corinthians 15:46-47).

 

To understand the Bible we must first understand that the Old Testament is the natural, physical order of things, and not spiritual. Paul the apostle used many of the Old Testament stories to relate New Testament spiritual truths to us. The physical enemies of the Old Testament are now real spiritual demons in the New Testament. The natural must come before the spiritual, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians. Now understanding this, read this next verse.

 

"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God" (Hebrews 11:5).

 

The story of Enoch is found in the Old Testament. It physically and naturally happened, but it is a spiritual truth as well and an experience that will happen to us. First of all, we see that Enoch was taken up by faith. No one will go anywhere without first having faith for it to happen. And unless the truth is sent to them, how will they believe without the Holy Spirit to explain truth to them? In other words, if I am right about the catching up being a spiritual event and you know nothing of this truth, you will not have the necessary faith for it because you have never heard of it.

 

The second truth we must understand about Enoch is that he cheated death because he was taken up to a spirit realm in God. The last enemy to be destroyed on the earth is death. (See 1 Corinthians 15:26). This means that literally people will never die that have been changed by the power of God. Once a person is in that heavenly realm, a person can never die. This is why it is written, "But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Corinthians 15:54). There will be no more natural death to those who are changed!

 

"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).

 

We have an outer man (flesh) and an inner man (spirit). At the coming of the Lord the inner man (Christ) is going to take over and we will be completely restored back to God. In other words, everyone will see what we possess on the inside; the real you! Either the light and character of God's glory will shine forth or the darkness of soul will be seen. The life, power, and presence of God inside of us will swallow up (or consume) the death and decaying fleshly nature. "For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life" (2 Corinthians 5:4). "Death is swallowed up in victory!" For years I have wondered about these verses and its meaning of being "swallowed up." When we think of being swallowed up we might think of a large shark or a whale eating us. But in this context our spirit man has grown to be one with God and will swallow up our old sinful flesh. Hallelujah, what a day that will be! Now read the next verse. "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Corinthians 5:5 NIV). This must come to pass because God has promised it. We have been given a foretaste of His Spirit through the baptism of His Holy Spirit because God created us for this purpose.

 

According to the book of better things to come, the book of Hebrews, Enoch was taken up because 1) He had faith. 2) He was pleasing to God. 3) Death was to be cheated.

 

Now the question is, "How do we please God?" The answer is found in Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Enoch believed that God was there and obeyed Him as if He stood before him. Faith simply put is obedience to God. For if we really believed, we would obey in all things and spend time with Him. Paul said, "Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake" (Romans 1:5).

 

It is interesting to note that Enoch's name means, "To be dedicated, discipled, trained up." I believe God named him this to show us that to be taken up into a higher level of His glory, we too, must be "a dedicated, trained up disciple." Not everyone that names the name of Jesus pleases Him and will enter into the glorious kingdom of God. Only those who do the will of the Father will enter in and inherit the kingdom. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). His will is for us to know Him, by spending to with Him!

 

 

 

OUR UPWARD CALLING

 

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

 

There is an upper heavenly calling and there is a lower fleshly calling. Which one are you obeying? As a believer in Jesus we have already been raised up to a spiritual level in the heavens. "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). "And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). Notice that there are heavenly places, not just one heavenly place. We are already raised up into a higher realm than where the fleshly man lives. But there are even higher places to be obtained than must of us are seeing. We must keep seeking God as it greatly pleases Him very much. We must press toward the goal of being changed into His likeness and this will only happen if we are seeking Him. "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (Hebrews 9:28).

 

At some point, those who have proven their love to Him on the earth are going to supernaturally be changed into His likeness. "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2). What a day that will be!

 

A BIRTHING MUST TAKE PLACE

 

"And she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." -- "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne" (Revelation 12:2, 5).

 

For some time now the church has been with child; she is in great agony of soul. The baby she is carrying is the glory, nature, power, and authority of God. Everything in the spirit must either be birthed or aborted, just as it is in the natural. Most praying people sense that something is about to break forth and many believe it is going to be another great awakening. This is true, but it will be much, much more! This male child will rule the nations! Some would say that this is Jesus who is born in this verse, but according to Revelation 2:26-27, it is the authority of the overcomers. Jesus said, "And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father." Jesus is saying, "Just as I received all authority from my Father, these shall have My authority to do My works in the earth." "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18). The sons of God will be "caught up" to the throne. The throne speaks of the authority given to this people. We are now to be sitting in heavenly places with Him, but then we will be "caught up" to an even higher level in the Spirit where He is. Unless we do this we will not have the character to handle the power!

 

"And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come..." (Revelation 12:10)

 

Notice, "Now the salvation and power of the kingdom have come!" I thought we had salvation? We do, but this is talking about great deliverance power coming forth to set mankind free from the power of sin, bringing restoration to the world. "That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21). “As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” (Isaiah 66:8b).

 

Peter and the writer of Hebrews wrote about this full salvation. "Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (Hebrews 9:28). This time, His power and glory is going to be revealed through His body, the church.

 

CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS

 

"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 thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

 

This is obviously the most well known Scripture on being caught up. Many however, only look at this with their natural understanding, never rising high enough to really see with the eyes of their spirit. First, let's look at what spiritual "clouds" are in the New Testament and then we will look at what the "air" means.

 

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).

 

"These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted" (Jude 1:12).

 

"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever" (2 Peter 2:17 KJV).

 

What are the clouds? Or should I say who are the clouds? According to these three different New Testament writers, people are the clouds spoken of here. This is the evidence of two or three witnesses. I believe those in heaven are considered clouds because they are above in the heavens and are many; covering the earth just like the natural clouds and bringing their bounty of blessing with them. So it will be when they come again with the Lord; not as the false witnesses (clouds) that bring no life through their life and ministry.

 

The Scriptures do not say that Jesus is coming "on" or "out" of the clouds, but "with" and "in" the clouds of heaven. People teach as if Jesus is one day going to peak out of the clouds and blow a trumpet and then we're gone. I have written down many Scriptures to give you understanding in this.

 

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30 KJV).

 

"Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64 KJV).

 

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him" (Daniel 7:13 KJV).

 

"And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN" (Mark 14:62).

 

BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen" (Revelation 1:7).

 

The word "behold" means, "to know or understand" this truth because it is very important. He is coming with and through His saints and we must be prepared!

 

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 1:14).

 

"So that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints" (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

 

We must be very careful in how we interpret Scripture. Otherwise we too, mislead people with church tradition and doctrine. We then become the clouds without water, having no eternal seed of God's word planted within ourselves and therefore nothing to offer His people.

 

 

 

 

CAUGHT IN THE AIR

 

"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 thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

 

Just as people have interpreted the clouds in this verse to be natural clouds, so have they interpreted the word "air." Those that believe in the "rapture" paint pictures of people being taken up and out of the earth's atmosphere, saying that we are leaving this world. They say, "He is coming and I'm going!" But I say, "If He's coming, I'm staying!" I want to be where He is! If the word "air" is understood as the natural air, then we would only be caught up as high as the about 15,000 feet, because that is where the "air" to breath runs out! If you go much higher you must bring your air with you.

 

In Bill Britton's book called, A Closer Look at the Rapture He writes:

 

WHICH WAY IS UP?

 

Of course your answer would be given to that question by pointing over your head, into the sky above you.  But the man in Australia, or China, or Palestine, would say otherwise.  If we all went "up" physically in relation to where we are, the people of earth would all be flying off in different directions.  If you point up today at noon, then twelve hours later at midnight, the part of the universe you pointed to at noon would now be down, not up.  Actually, this physical universe is so created so there is no such a place as "up" in the universe.  We can go farther out from the earth, and send space ships to the moon, and Mars.  But the earth is constantly turning, and so is the entire universe.  That's what causes day and night, summer and winter.

 

We point at the clouds above us and say that is up.  But to folks a few miles away, those clouds are not up, they are down over the horizon.  Stratocumulus clouds range from ground level to 6,500 feet high, a little over a mile.  Altocumulus clouds go from 6,500 feet up to 23,000 feet high (over 4 miles high).  The cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds, the highest order of clouds, range from 16,500 to 45,000 feet high, less than 9 miles high.  That's not in outer space, like the evangelists preach.  While flying across the nation to California, I looked out of the plane window at the clouds below.  We were high above all the clouds, but with a vast sea of clouds below.  I thought to myself that if those were the clouds Jesus appeared in or with, then I would have to be "caught down" instead of being "caught up".  But that is contrary to Bible principle. -- (End of quote).

 

 

WHAT IS THE AIR?

 

In Ephesians 2:2 Satan is called, “The prince of the power of the "air;" the place where he has dominion. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 it says of us, "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 thus we shall always be with the Lord." Do you see where we will always be with the Lord? In the "air," or the heavenly realm of authority. This is what the word "heaven" means: the place of authority. Adam gave this realm of authority to Satan in the garden by obeying him rather than God. Satan has been using it to control and dominate mankind ever since. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).

 

Make no mistake about it! We are going up to be caught up in spiritual authority to rule "over" the earth. "And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations" (Revelation 2:26). Spiritual authority is greater than earthly authority and this is what Satan has. "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19).

 

I believe we will have the place or seat of authority that Satan and his demons have had and even more, for he will be cast down. "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (Revelation 12:9).

 

Now we are in training for reigning with Jesus. What we do now in obedience to the Lord will assure our places with Him upon His throne. Right now our bodies are that small cosmos of the earth and God is commanding us to rule and reign over it with His authority. As we overcome the power of the flesh, devil, and the world with the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Name, and the word of God… we will be victorious! Onward Christian soldiers!

 

"He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3:21).

 

 

Dan Luehrs

PO Box 341

Intercession City, FL 33848

www.churchinhispresence.org