Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Several Rapture Events Described in the Book of Revelation

Hope and Comfort Promised in 1 Thess. 4 and Titus 2
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For those who malign those of us who hold on to the hope and comfort that we have been given in the promise of the Rapture or catching away described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and Titus 2:11-14, our Blessed Hope is a well-established teaching in Scripture. In fact, there are several clear allusions to the "Catching Away" or "Rapture" described in the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, these allusions to the Rapture refer to events that all appear to happen BEFORE Christ returns to fight the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 18 and Revelation 19.

For example, in Revelation 3:10-11, the Church of Philadelphia or Brotherly Love is told that they will be kept from the "Hour of Trial" that will come upon the whole world. This is referring to the Wrath of God, which is to begin after the Sixth Seal is opened. Christ says this to this Church representing His chosen Bride just before reporting that He is going to come for them quickly, meaning that His coming to catch them away to Heaven will be sudden, swift and unexpected, so they need to keep watch.

The Bride of Christ is an allegorical reference to the Church of Philadelphia described in Revelation 3:7-13. This Bride refers to all believers in Christ that are born again, or baptized with the Spirit of God, and have an intimate relationship with Christ through that same indwelling Spirit. As a congregation of born again believers, the Bride of Christ is called to eagerly anticipate and watch for Christ's coming for them in the Rapture at several places in Scripture, examples of which include Matthew 24:42, Matthew 25:13, and Matthew 26:41.

Then, in Revelation 4:1-2, John the Revelator is caught up to Heaven in the Spirit - where he enters Heaven through an open door. This is another clear description of a catching away or Rapture to Heaven. This doorway leading into Heaven alludes to the bloodstained doorways that protected the Israelites from the Angel of Death at the time of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt. All the inhabitants of houses with doorways marked with the blood of a yearling male lamb on that first Passover were spared from death while all the firstborn of the unprotected Egyptians died.

The bloodstained doorways of the first Passover are symbolic of the bloodstained Cross of Yahshua or Jesus, and it is this symbolic Door that is alluded to in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, which describes the way that those saints who attend the Wedding of the Lamb will be chosen. The Door in this Wedding Parable is shut after the Bridegroom, His Bride, and the Wise Virgins enter the Wedding Feast in Heaven through it. This Door is allegorically referring to the atoning sacrifice of our Messiah Yahshua, Who calls Himself "the Door" or true Shepherd of the Sheep or saints in John 10:7-9. So when this Door is shut, it is referring to the end of the Age of Grace that began when Christ died on the Cross for our sins in a sacrificial death that allowed Christ's Spirit to be sent to seal and guide His servants into the Kingdom of God.

The next inference to the Rapture of the Church can be found after analyzing the events of Revelation Chapter 6. In Revelation 6:12-16, the Wrath of God is described as first visiting the Earth as part of the Sixth Seal Judgment, which I believe will happen right after the Rapture of the Bride of Christ. This can be deduced as the time of the Rapture because, as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, believers are not appointed to suffer God's Wrath, and the Wrath of God is not to be unleashed until the Sixth Seal is opened.

The Rapture can also be deduced as a Sixth Seal event because, right after the 144,000 Witnesses are chosen in Revelation Chapter 7:1-8, a great multitude of saints suddenly appear in Heaven, as described in Revelation 7:9-10. About these saints, we are told: “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.” This is a poor translation, which makes it sound as though these saints have experienced the Great Tribulation - and the Wrath of God. However, the Greek used here for “come out of” can also be translated to read: “These are the ones who come away from the great tribulation...” When translated this way, the Scripture clearly implies that these saints are taken away from having to experience the Great Tribulation, rather than having had to suffer through it beforehand.

As a marker showing how close we are to the Rapture, I wrote another article that explains how the Fifth Seal Judgement is tied to the plight of Yahshua's disciples in Africa and the Middle East, who are being brutally treated and murdered by Muslim Terrorists like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah. Al Qaeda and ISIS. The title and link to an article I wrote about this is below. Please read it for a better understanding of the fact that the Rapture of the Church is imminent, and should occur within the next few years.

THE CONNECTION OF ISIS WITH THE 
FIFTH SEAL CRY OF THE MARTYRS

The fact that the Fifth Seal has likely already been opened shows that the Rapture is tied to the Sixth Seal Judgment, when the Wrath of God is officially going to begin. This means that the saints who are taken in the Rapture will have been taken up after the Tribulation of those days spoken of in Matthew 24. Therefore, they will be taken out of - or away from - the Great Tribulation, which begins with the arrival of the plagues connected to the Wrath of God at the time of the opening of the Sixth Seal.

This is why those taken in the Rapture appear in Scripture right after the Sixth and Seventh Seals are discussed, in Revelation Chapter 7. Right after the choosing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7, there is a passage describing a great multitude that no one can count, which come out of the Great Tribulation. This multitude stands before the Throne of God in Heaven in worship. As I already alluded to, this passage can alternately be translated to read that the multitude "comes away from" rather than "comes out of" the Great Tribulation, which begins with the opening of the Sixth Seal.

At the time of the Sixth Seal, after the saints are removed from the Earth in the Rapture, the first plagues of the Wrath of God will be poured out on the entire Earth. These include a worldwide earthquake, and a possible physical pole shift. This pole shift would explain why the mountains and islands are to be moved out of their places in relation to the Sixth Seal. In addition, a pole shift would simultaneously trigger many worldwide upheavals that will cause much death and destruction. These cataclysmic events will include numerous, violent volcanic eruptions, severe earthquakes, terrible tsunamis and frightening floods that will affect the entire world.

The next allusion to a Rapture event in the Book of Revelation appears in Revelation 11:11-12, when the Two Witnesses are caught up to Heaven immediately after they are resurrected. At the time that this event occurs, a voice is heard in Heaven crying out: "Come Up Here!", which is a divine call for the Witnesses to come up, or to be caught up to Heaven so that they can worship God before His Throne. This same call of "Come Up Here!" happens at the time that John the Revelator enters the open door into Heaven in Revelation 4:1-2. This is why I firmly believe that there may be two or more Rapture events.

I especially think there will be two Raptures: one just before the Wrath of God is meted out that will end the Age of Grace, and one just before the Bowls or Vials of God's Wrath are poured out. This Rapture of the Two Witnesses - and a possible group of Tribulation Saints - will be at the time of the Seventh and Last Trumpet Judgment against the unrepentant wicked described in Revelation Chapter 11. After this, there will be a third event that may be considered as the final part of the First Resurrection, but that doesn't really qualify as a Rapture or "Catching Away". I will explain more about this a bit later.

Then, in Revelation 14:1-5, the 144,000 Witnesses that are chosen from the 12 Tribes of Israel are described as being with Christ on Mount Zion before the Bowls of God's Wrath are poured out. These redeemed saints then sing a new song before the Throne of God and the Cherubim in Heaven. Since they can't sing in Heaven if they haven't been transported there, it's logical to conclude that they are taken to Heaven with Christ, Who has come for them, appearing on the Earth - specifically on Mount Zion - at some point before the Battle of Armageddon. I believe these 144,000 Witnesses may be taken up to Heaven to sing before Gods Throne at the time that the Two Witnesses and a possible remnant of true believers are caught up to Heaven, which happens at the same chronological point as the resurrection of the Two Witnesses.

Personally, I believe that the great multitude in Heaven in Revelation 7 are the saints that were caught up to Heaven before the Sixth Seal is opened and God's Wrath begins to be poured out. I also think this may include the 144,000, who will then be transported back to the Earth in immortal bodies to serve as Christ's witnesses to the lost. This would make sense of why they are brought back to Heaven before the Battle of Armageddon. They will then be among those translated and resurrected saints who will be riding on white horses with Christ when He returns to fight the great battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil described in Revelation 18 and Revelation 19.

There is also the Sign of the Woman Clothed with the Sun in Revelation 12, which many people have pinpointed as a Sign in the heavens concerning the Sun in the constellation of Virgo the Virgin that will precede the Rapture of the Church. A sign that qualifies will happen the day after Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets on September 23rd, 2017. Though there may be a Rapture event connected to this, however, it actually speaks about the history of the Church. This is made apparent by the appearance of the man-child in Revelation 12:5 that the Woman Clothed with the Sun symbolizing the Virgin Mary gives birth to, and that is subsequently taken up to God's Throne, which is a symbol of the birth of Yahshua, as well the Ascension of Yahshua or Jesus into Heaven after His Resurrection.

The description of the Woman fleeing into the wilderness in Revelation 12:6 is not tied to the Rapture, but to the dispersal of new converts to the Christian faith being persecuted by Satan and his henchmen and having to flee into less civilised areas, where they started and established their own thriving communities where persecution was not as apparent. The 1260 days or YEARS of this persecution and need to flee likely marks the number of years from the formation of the Church of Rome in the 4th Century AD to the Protestant Reformation in 1517 AD.

At the time that Yahshua was born in Bethlehem, the Star of Bethlehem was likely the planet Jupiter in conjunction with Venus and other celestial objects, including a conjunction of Jupiter with the "king" star Regulus in the constellation Leo the Lion during an appearance of the Woman Clothed with the Sun on September 11th, 3 BC, which was Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets in that year. I wrote about this sign extensively in my Language of God Series Books. Here is a link to an excerpt from my book "The Language of God in the Universe" explaining why this sign was so significant, and may well have been tied to the time period of Yahshua's birth, although He was likely not born on that day, but several days after:

Book Excerpt: The Divine Timing Of The Celestial
Signs At Christ’s Birth And Their Ties to 
Tabernacles, Chanukah and Christmas 

Each of the aforementioned Rapture events hinted at in Scripture should be seen as stages or phases of the multistage First Resurrection into everlasting life. The last of these phases tied to the First Resurrection comes at the end of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 20, when the martyrs for Christ who die horribly during this terrible time of testing will be resurrected onto everlasting life, and will be allowed to serve God as royal priests. They will do so along with the rest of the born again believers that took part in the First Resurrection (See Rev. 20:4-6). At this time, they will serve as judges, priests and leaders around the world during the Millennial Rule of Christ.

For a better understanding of why I believe that the First Rapture event is going to be a Pre-Wrath event as described here rather than Pre-Tribulation, please read the following article, and the articles linked to within the body of that article that go into more depth explaining my view of key Scripture passages related to the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Great Tribulation:

MATTHEW CHAPTER 24 IS A 
DESCRIPTION OF THIS CURRENT AGE!

MARANATHA! Yahshua our beloved Messiah is coming again soon! First, He will come again to rescue us from mortality and the wickedness of the world in the Rapture, and then He will come again with us all following Him as a conquering King! Hallelu-Yah!

A Bible Teaching from
Your Sister in Yahshua,
Helena Lehman,
Scholar, Author and Artist for
The Language of God Book Series, and
Webmaster for the Pillar of Enoch Ministry Site
Ministry Web Site: http://pillar-of-enoch.com

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