Derek Prince - We Shall Be Caught Up In The Air
This is an excerpt from: Why Should We Be Longing for Jesus' Appearing?
Not only will the coming of the Lord mark the consummation of our union with Him. It will also mark the consummation of our union with one another. If you turn to 1 Thessalonians for a moment, Chapter 4. We'll read just verses 16, 17 and 18. For the Lord himself – I like that. The bride will never be satisfied with anything less than the bridegroom. No substitute for him. Many forms of Judaism today teach that there really won’t be a personal Messiah. There will be a Messianic age. But believe me, no one who is really in love with the Lord Jesus is going to be satisfied with a Messianic age. They want the Messiah. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout. You know what that shout will do? Call forth the believing dead. He alone has the authority.
When he stood in front of the tomb of Lazarus and called Lazarus out, He was very careful to be specific. He said, Lazarus, come out. Because if he just said, come out, all the dead would have marched out. No really! I also have the impression, this is just a thought, that He’s going to call every one of His believing people by name. No matter if there are billions of names, He can do it. As our names are called, out we’ll come. Then there’s going to be the voice of the archangel. I’m sure that must be the archangel Gabriel who, generally speaking, is the one who announces on earth great interventions of God. And then with a trumpet of God— I love the sound of a trumpet. And then the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with Him in the clouds.
I want to comment on that word, caught up, for a moment. That’s the word that gives the noun rapture. And I know there are a lot of different views about the rapture. But a lady said to me once, Do you believe in the rapture? I said, If you mean, do I believe we shall be caught up? I certain do because the Bible says so very clearly. If you’re asking me whether it will be secret, pre-Trib, mid-Trib or post-Trib, that’s another question. Let’s not let all those problems cause us to forget that we shall be caught up. I think we ought to say that: We shall be caught up. Turn to your neighbor and say that: We shall be caught up. All right, OK, now you feel better! It’s an interesting word. It’s a very active word. It’s used, incidentally, of Philip the evangelist when he was on the road to Gaza and he just baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. And it says the Spirit of the Lord caught him away. It’s that same word.
That’s a little proof that the Holy Spirit can catch us up. It’s used, interestingly enough, also when Jesus speaks about the wolf coming amongst the sheep. It says he catches the sheep. It’s the same word. So, in a sense, it’s a sudden, violent grab. That’s how it’s going to be. One moment we’ll be here and the next moment we’ll be somewhere else. No warning. The wolf doesn’t warn the sheep, it just catches the sheep. We will be caught up in the clouds. I think literally it’s: in clouds. Just like Jesus himself ascended in clouds. To meet the Lord in the air.
The Greek word for air is aer. There are two Greek words: one is aer and the other is aither. Aither gives us ether, aer gives us air. Both words are derived from Greek. The interesting thing is that aither is the high, rarefied atmosphere. Aer is the lower air, contiguous with the earth’s surface. The word used here is the lower air. The Lord is going to come very close to earth. And then we will be caught up in clouds to meet Him. Then it goes on: And thus we shall always be with the Lord. That’s what I wanted to bring out. This will be our final, permanent union with the Lord and with one another. No more separations after that. A unity that with our limited perspective we cannot conceive at this time.