By: Gordon King (Updated 4/19/2015; Isaiah 26:20-21; the Jewish wedding feast)
Many Christians believe that Jesus will return in the clouds and take his church (Christians) up from the earth to meet him. They shall ascend into heaven with the Lord until Jesus is ready to return on earth for his second coming! The rapture is not the second coming of Christ. Jesus never touches down on earth, but meets the believers in the clouds.
This is known as “The Rapture of the Church”.
Although the Bible does not mention the word “Rapture”, it does speak of Jesus coming in the clouds to take those in Christ with him. And that they shall remain with him forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an arch angel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
When the New Testament was written in Greek (I don’t know the language of the 1st writing) it used the word “harpagesometha”, translated into Latin is “rapere”, translated into English is “rapture”. The meaning of which is “shall be caught up”. That is where the term “The Rapture” came from. So even though the word rapture is not mentioned in the Bible, it has the same meaning as “shall be caught up”.
I believe that God has given us enough evidence that supports the rapture of his church. Whether or not it is Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation or Post-tribulation we shall soon find out. I am not writing this to argue the point or to judge anyone for their belief. Only to point out that the bible clearly states that God will rapture the church. I do however, believe in a Pre-tribulation rapture. No one knows for certain. We do see the signs all around us. That is why we must be ready at all times!
Why do I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture of the church? These are my scriptural reasons.
I believe that in Revelation chapter four when the voice John heard (like a trumpet) called him up to Heaven, that this represents the rapture of the church (Pre-Tribulation).
Revelation 4 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
2 “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”
The first three chapters of Revelation refer to the churches. After that the saints are not mentioned as being on earth until chapter 20. Revelation 4:1-2 seem to be referring to John being raptured to Heaven. The voice was like a trumpet, and I will show you what must take place after this (after the rapture). Could this represent the rapture of the church? I believe that it is.
The voice told John in Revelation 4:1,
“Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
Things which must take place “after this”. “After this” is referring to what I believe to be the rapture. What else would it be? After what else? Nothing else occurred before that. His body was changed into a spiritual body and then he ascended into Heaven. That is exactly what will happen to the church at the rapture.
1 Corinthians also tells us of a mystery, the rapture of the church. However, just because it mentions “the last trumpet”, does not mean that this is the seventh trumpet in Revelation. As a matter of fact it is not, as I will show you there are other trumpets mentioned throughout the bible.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV)
51 “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Revelation 1:10 tells us that God has “a loud voice as of a trumpet”.
Revelation 1:10 10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and,“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia.”
This trumpet of God is also spoken of in Exodus 19, and in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
Exodus 19 (NKJV)
Israel at Mount Sinai
16 “Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain[a] quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NKJV)
16″For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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 thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.“
These trumpets spoken of are the voice of God Himself, not of the seven trumpets sounded by the seven angels in Revelation.
The trumpet of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is the same trumpet in Revelation 4:1. It did not state that it was one of the seven judgment trumpets of Revelation beginning in chapter eight. It said the voice like a trumpet. Revelation 4:1 said that John heard a voice like a trumpet call him up; the trumpet of God or the voice of God. The trumpets beginning in Revelation 8 are seven trumpets blown by seven angels as part of God’s judgements not God’s voice, that is the difference.
Also, Paul says to “comfort one another with these words”, well, if we are to be raptured after or during the tribulation, how is that a comfort. What I believe he means is to comfort one another because Jesus is going to come and rapture the church before the tribulation. That is comforting to know.
Revelation 4:4 also mentions “24 elders with white robes and crowns of gold”. Sounds to me like Christian elders. If so they must have been raptured or they would not have robes or crowns yet. They shall not receive their robes or crowns until the Judgment seat of Christ, which will not take place until all of the believers are together with Christ. This event could not have happened yet unless the rapture of the church has taken place already.
4 “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
The apostle Paul and John both tell us that we are “not appointed to wrath“, that we will “be delivered”, and “kept from the trial which shall come upon the whole world”.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 “and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 9″ For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
Revelation 3:10 10″ Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
If Jesus delivers us from “the wrath to come” and keep us from “the hour of trial upon the whole world” then we will not be on earth. How else will we be “kept from” or “delivered from”? And where would we be kept or delivered to? The only thing that makes any sense whatsoever is that we are no longer here on earth.
Once again, in Revelation 6:11, saints who were slain for the word of God were given white robes. This will not happen until “all” of the Christians are together with Christ. However, we must realize that there will be new convert Christians at the end of the tribulation period. However, they shall not be changed into immortal bodies because they must repopulate the earth for the one thousand year reign of Christ.
Revelation 6:10-11 9″ When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
These were Christians murdered for their beliefs in Christ. They were given white robes. Will we receive white robes at any time in heaven, or will we receive them at the judgment seat of Christ? I believe that we will receive them after the rapture of the church as you will see below in Revelation 7:9-10.
First Seal: The Conqueror, Second Seal: Conflict on Earth , Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth, Fourth Seal: Widespread Death. Well, I see these things happening now.
Revelation 6:12-17 12″I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
These verses talk about the Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances. This has not happened yet. Notice the bold words “every slave and every free man” hid themselves from the face of God and the wrath of the Lamb. This could not include Christians for they would welcome God not hide from him. The rapture has had to of occurred before the sixth seal.
Revelation 7:9-10 9″ After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
These verses are very obvious and are speaking about the saints, Christians in Heaven. The rapture has definitely taken place. These verses are after the mention of the sixth seal, before the sounding of the trumpets or pouring out of the bowls.
Revelation 7:13-17 13″Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Once again, the mention of the saints in Heaven. They came out of the great tribulation, therefore they are not going through the great tribulation.
We only need to read and study scripture to find out how God does things. Many of the things yet to come are a reflection of things gone by, a shadowing of past events. The following verses speak of God’s people entering chambers to hide from the wrath of God.
“20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.
21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.”
Verse 20 of Isaiah 26 tells God’s people to enter their chambers, shut the doors and hide themselves until the Wrath of God is past. If you know anything about Jewish weddings, after the initial wedding ceremony the groom and the bride spend seven days in chamber (chador) to consummate their marriage. I believe that this “seven day” period also represents the seven year tribulation period.
Verse 21 of Isaiah 26 tells us of God’s wrath upon the world. During this time the church has already been removed from the earth for the wedding ceremony of Jesus and His church!
When the groom is asked when will you arrive for your bride, he always responds: “Only my father knows the time”. Jesus also tells us that only His Father in heaven knows the time. The ancient Jewish wedding is a representation of the wedding of Jesus Christ and His church or His bride. Why would He do it any differently? This gives us many clues as to when the rapture of the church will be, and when the wedding and feast will occur.
“10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
This page will be updated periodically. So check back once in a while to check for updates. Studying the word of God is a process in which new information is revealed and understood. We shall never truly know all regarding God’s word, but we should not keep from trying. God Bless and continue searching His word.
*Revelation 1-3 John addresses the Churches.
*Revelation 4 John raptured into Heaven.
*Revelation 4-19 No mention of the church only saints in Heaven.
*Revelation 5-11 Scroll with Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets are executed.
*Revelation 7 Sealing of the One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand.
Mark of the Beast
Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes (Jesus).
Great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns (Lucifer, the fallen Angel).
Beast with seven heads and ten horns (World Empire led by Satan).
Scarlet colored beast (possibly the Apostate church).
Beast with two horns like the lamb, but speaks like the dragon (Anti-christ)
*Revelation 14 One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Redeemed.
*Revelation 15-16 Introduction to and Pouring out of Vials ( Wrath).
*Revelation 17-18 The judgment of “the great whore.” ( Babylon ).
*Revelation 19 Marriage to the church.
*Revelation 20-22 Millennium and Eternity.
God Bless! Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior! 😉