Nothing elicits more discussion in Christianity than the concept of the "Rapture". This is evidenced by the record retail sales of the book series "Left Behind". From the Bible we read:
26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe
entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted,
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away:
and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lotís wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the
other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever
the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke:17)
One of the keys to understanding this scripture is the first verse: "As it was in the days of Noah (Noe), so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man." In other words, the world would be as corrupt as it was in the days of Noah. We also know that, prior to the flood, there was a "rapture" of sorts that took place with the "City of Enoch". This city had become so righteous that it was translated and taken from the earth. It is believed that the world of Enoch will be reunited with this world once our world is cleansed by fire from all wickedness. In fact, there are many that believe that the return of Enoch's world (Planet X, Niburu, etc.) is what will cause the major earthquakes and other judgments coming on this earth.
In order for mankind to progress to the next level there must first be a physical change that takes place with this mortal body. We carry with us the sins of multiple generations that manifest themselves through our genetic code as predispositions, tendencies or physical/mental weaknesses. One example is alcoholism. The tendency to become an alcoholic is a genetic one, and can be traced back through the individual's family tree. Of course, the alcoholic still has his agency and can choose to follow the natural tendency; or he can choose a higher path.
These tendencies have to be first overcome, and then removed, if we are to progress to the next level. We overcome these weaknesses through our reliance on a higher power than ourselves. It takes great effort on our part and the realization that our efforts are not enough, to overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. Prayer, meditation, scripture reading and humility all play a major role. First, we must realize that God gives weaknesses to all men, not just us. We are not alone in our struggle. Each and every man receives according to his ability to resist and/or overcome.
For those that refuse to put forth the necessary effort in this life, a place awaits them in the next where they will be forced to confront their individual demons. Death is not an escape from our responsibility to progress spiritually. I have seen what is on the other side and I can tell you that it is much harder to learn the lessons there than it is in mortality. Lessons that take years in this life will feel like an eternity in that one.
There are five types of beings mentioned in the Bible:
1. Spirits: Individuals that have not yet come to mortality to receive a physical body. Or, individuals that have died and been separated from their mortal body.
2. Mortals: That would be us.
3. Transfigured Mortals: IE, Peter, James and John on the Mount of "Transfiguration". They undergo a temporary physical change that allows them to stand in the presence of God. This permits them to receive a specific message or messages.
4. Translated Beings: These are individuals that undergo a permanent change to their bodies that makes them immune to pain, temptation and death. examples include Enoch and his world; Melchizedek; and John the Beloved (Revelator). Tradition holds that he was banished to the Isle of Patmos by Nero after many unsuccessful attempts to kill him.
5. Resurrected Beings: Individuals that have been reunited with their glorified and perfected physical bodies, never again to be separated.
Note that Jesus Christ is a Resurrected Being and that many others were resurrected with him. I will now share with you a vision from another individual:
Armin A. Wolff
I found myself in a meeting with a number of believers. The meeting hall looked like some kind of a warehouse and there were fewer than 100 assembled. The talk seemed to center on the increasing persecution they were experiencing. All of a sudden Jesus appeared and most, but not all, were instantly transformed from mortal beings into Immortal. Also, at the same instant, some other Holy Ones appeared who had walked with God in ages past, both in New and Old Testament times. All of the ones who had, in an instant of time, received their new bodies were able to recognize and converse with the Holy Ones from times past. I heard someone exclaim: "I thought You are coming in the clouds to take us away." The reply was: "I am coming in the clouds and... My reward is with Me Behold, here they are, My Holy Ones of all time, My faithful witnesses, those who loved not their life, and thus received it. They are the clouds and my reward, My reward for what I endured on the cross for all."
I heard another question asked of the LORD, by one of the Transformed Persons, whether He would now take them with Him out of the tribulation they were experiencing. He replied: "No, you must remain here for another 40 days and nights, just as I was on Earth for another 40 days after My resurrection and minister with Me to those who were not ready. After the 40 days and nights you will come with Me into the skies above Jerusalem and we will leave from there to have a celebration, a banquet in My Father's house, a feast that has been planned before the worlds were made."
The ones in the assembly, who had remained in their mortal bodies, lamented and cried to the Transformed Ones to help them, but were told: "It is now too late. The Bridegroom has come for us and there is nothing we can do for you, in this regard. However, if you will not love your own life, not bow to the will of the sin-man and take that seal of his, you will join us after the celebration. You will be sealed by your death and kept in the throne room for the LORD."
In what seemed a moment later, I was in another similar assembly in (maybe) another country. There also, the instant transformation had taken place of many. I was told that this same event had happened all over the Earth and all born again, Spirit filled followers of Jesus had been thus transformed, at whatever spot they happened to be in that instant, and were joined by many of God's Holy Ones, from the dawn of creation up to the present time.
Just then, some heavily armed police, or soldiers, burst into the meeting and proceeded to beat, shoot, and arrest the believers. A little blonde Transformed lady stood-up to one of the large men, and refused to move when told she was under arrest. Five or six huge men tried to drag her away, but could not move her any further than they could have moved an ancient redwood or oak tree. This infuriated the police and they started to beat her, and to start shooting their weapons. The bullets went right through the Transformed Believers and made holes in the walls, or in some cases, struck and killed some of the mortals standing behind them. The blows seemed to go through also and have no effect whatsoever on the new resurrection bodies. The remaining mortals were dragged off to prison, along with some of the Transformed Ones who chose to go along. There was no sure way to tell at first glance, who was mortal and who lived in a transcendent resurrection body.
I was then also in a prison, and saw how the Immortals were comforting the anguished souls who were to be executed unless they denounced the name of Jesus. The guards and all governmental authorities were furious that they could do absolutely nothing to prevent the Glorified Believers from coming and going and ministering anywhere on Earth, wherever Jesus told them to go. No wall could hem them in, and no weapon, or human force, could oppose or harm them. One of the Transformed Saints who had lived ages ago on Earth spoke: "Within forty days, all who refuse to accept the seal of the evil one will be killed and kept safe by the Father, personally, in the throne room. Those who give in, will suffer in the Terrible Wrath beginning after the last saint is murdered. This Wrath is the LORD's Last Effort to get rebellious mankind to repent."
At this point, I awoke and as you can imagine, was quite agitated. In fact, my heart rate was considerably above the normal resting level. The clock said 5:05am. Needless to say, I could not go back to sleep. Over time, I may forget the details of this dream, or vision, but one thing I'll never forget is the anguish, wailing, and heart-rending lamentations of those who had to remain here. I do not know how many of these chose to be killed rather than take the seal of the antichrist.
Scripture does speak of a group coming out of the Great Tribulation, but whether some are from those who were left behind, or not, was not made clear to me in this vision. [The conclusion of Armin A. Wolff's dream and postscript remarks.]
I am convinced that all men, whether they be Moslem, Hindu, Buddhists etc. will be judged on the light they were given and their obedience to it. All men will have an equal chance at progression based on their obedience to conscience, light and truth. I am also convinced that adherence to the principals embodied in the 10 commandments will form the basis for future progression. Thus all men everywhere are placed on an equal footing regardless of creeds, religious practices or place of birth. To think that God would favor one man over another because of his or her opportunities at learning is a false principal and has nothing to do with true religion, which states, we are all brethren
Do what is right and you will have nothing to fear.