1 And it came to pass, when the LORDwould take upElijahinto heavenby a whirlwind, that Elijahwentwith Elishafrom Gilgal.
2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
3 And the sonsof the prophetsthat were at Bethelcame forthto Elisha, and saidunto him, Knowestthou that the LORDwill take awaythy masterfrom thy headto day? And he said, Yea, I knowit; hold ye your peace.
4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
5 And the sonsof the prophetsthat were at Jerichocameto Elisha, and saidunto him, Knowestthou that the LORDwill take awaythy masterfrom thy headto day? And he answered, Yea, I knowit; hold ye your peace.
6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
11 And it came to pass, as they stillwent on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariotof fire, and horsesof fire, and partedthem bothasunder; and Elijahwent upby a whirlwindinto heaven.
As we study the example of Elijah's rapture we find that Elijah, Elisha and the prophets all knew ahead of time that Elijah was to be taken a certain day. The LORD inserted some very interesting information for us. Elijah is the one to be raptured. But Elisha and the 50 prophets were also involved within this scenario. As always, numbers within the Bible have meaning. Elisha and the 50 prophets equals 51 persons. This is the 1/3... representing God's people. We see this number configuration in a few other instances...
* The Church Age was represented as 153 fish within the net (John 21:11). Yet 1/3 of the people (3 horns - Daniel 7) left the Church in the midst of this Final Great Tribulation starting in 1994. One third of 153 is 51... God's true believers.
* We are given another instance in 2 Kings 1 with Elijah. King Ahaziah of Israel sent a captain with 50 soldiers (51) three times to Elijah. Elijah called down fire from Heaven and destroyed the first two captains with their 50 soldiers but the LORD had mercy upon the last captain with his 50 soldiers. When we add all three captains with their 50 soldiers it equals 153. The LORD had mercy on the last 1/3 of them which were 51. So, the LORD is clearly showing us that the 1/3 is represented as 51 of the 153.
And yet another mention of the captain of 50 is mentioned in Isaiah 3:3 as one of the things taken away from Judah due to their wickedness.
Another interesting note is that Elijah and Elisha traveled to three locations before he was raptured. This matches all three great tribulations as God's people go to the Promised Land in their third part. As we have realized years ago, whenever we see the number three in the scriptures it always represents God's plan and/or purpose.
Now, back to Elijah's rapture. The historical story of 2 Kings 2 all happened within the same day. They all knew the exact day but did not know when... the hour. Verse 11 declares Elijah was unexpectedly taken as he and Elisha were walking and talking. Elijah, Elisha and the prophets were all within the same local territory. All within the same time zone. They did not have to deal with the world as a whole. Therefore they were all able to know the day but not the hour. Unlike our scenario where the final Rapture will be on a grand global scale entailing 24+ time zones. It appears we may know the date yet not the day nor hour just like the Bible clearly teaches.
STUDY POINT: Elijah/Elisha/the prophets knew not the hour but all knew the day of Elijah's rapture.
It appears that the Elect can not know the hour but can know the approximate day of His return (the date).