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The 1st Resurrection, Catching Out of the Saved or the Rapture – Part 1-10


Rapture
  Blog #18
December 31, 2008 - January 9, 2009
This is a 10 part study.
I have listed all of them on this page. 

The 1st Resurrection, Catching Out of the Saved, or the Rapture – Part 1...


Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, indicated he was going to unveil a mystery of the Old Testament that a lot of the Prophets wrote about, but whose writings were to be made clearer to later generations. Isaiah wrote about the mystery using terms which we, having a completed New Testament, can now comprehend more fully.

Isaiah 26:19 + I Corinthians 15:51,52 + I Thessalonians 4:16,17

[19] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. [51] Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Paul “showed” or “clarified” the “mystery,” but John tells us when it will be finished.

I Corinthians 15:51 + Revelation 10:7 + I Corinthians 15:52

[51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the pro-phets. [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

PAUL “SHOWED” THE MYSTERY – JOHN FINISHED IT!

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

WHEN THE 7TH TRUMPET BLOWS THE SAVED WILL BE CAUGHT UP TO HEAVEN FOR JUDGMENT BY CHRIST, AND ALL THAT MAKE UP HIS SPIRITUAL REALM WILL STRETCH FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER. FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL THE SAVED OF ALL THE AGES WILL BE IN HEAVEN.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

While the nations on earth are angry because of the seven vials of wrath that are being poured out following the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the time of the dead, who have suddenly been resurrected for judgment before Christ, occurs in this heavenly scene of Revelation 11:18. While the saved are being judged for rewards in heaven, God’s seven vials of wrath are destroying those who are responsible for the destruction of morality on the earth. However you interpret this scripture it paints a heavenly scene where the resurrected dead are being judged for rewards in heaven, and it follows the blowing of the 7th trumpet. It has to be what Paul outlined in II Corinthians as describing Christ judging all the saved after the rapture.

II Corinthians 5:2,3,10 – For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: [3] If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

In Revelation 9:13 we read that the sixth trumpet has sounded, so we know that the next trumpet to sound will be the seventh in a series of seven.

Revelation 9:13 – And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

In the first verse of the following chapter we are introduced to a mighty angel from heaven with tremendous authority from heaven. He is an archangel and may well be the seventh angel who blows the final trumpet in a series of seven.

Revelation 10:1 – And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

He has direct authority from God to speak for Him, and to give an oath in his name. He then tells the reader that the time of the earthly church age of the Gentiles is about to end.

Revelation 10:5,6 – And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, [6] And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

I cannot tell for sure in the Greek of verse seven whether he is referring to himself, or is merely telling us what will happen when the seventh angel blows his trumpet. But, in either case, in this verse we are definitely informed that:

(1) The seventh angel has a voice.

(2) The seventh angel will one day blow his trumpet.

(3) When he blows it the mystery, surrounding the rapture of the saved, will be finished, as it was foretold by the Old and New Testament prophets.

Revelation10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I believe the voice of the archangel and the trump that is blown in II Thessalonians 4:16 is the same as found in Revelation 10:7 and 11:15.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

I also believe that the last trump of I Corinthians 15:52 is the last in a series of seven that is sounded in Revelation 11:15.

I Corinthians 15:52 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

And I am convinced that the dead in this verse are the dead in Christ who are resurrected to stand before Christ’s judgment seat in heaven to be judged for rewards and/or the lack of them.

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

I do not anticipate going through the vials of God’s wrath that follow the blowing of the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 16:1 – And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

For a long time I kept silent on what I believed about the rapture, and went merrily around the world presenting lectures on the geological upheavals the Bible indicated would occur during the last 3 and ½ years of the Tribulation Period, and the Five Signs of His Coming, and The Antichrist, and From Now to Armageddon. It was possible for me to do this series of four different lectures without telling people what I really believed about the rapture and Daniel’s 70 Weeks. As long as I did this I could present what I believed would happen during the last 3 and ½ years of the Tribulation Period, the signs that would precede it, and what would happen during the blowing of the first six trumpets. In other words, I could present what I was convinced God’s children would soon experience. I was prince charming to many attending the lectures. I truly believe I did was I was supposed to do. I did not lie to people. I just did not address directly in DETAIL the rapture or Daniel’s 70 Weeks. Well, old prince charming has done what he was supposed to do and, since passing age 67 is now completing age 76, doing what he believes he is supposed to finish. In so doing he has been changed from a fast moving young prince into an old frog in a punch bowl. I know that I must face Christ at His judgment seat, and I would much rather appear there as an old frog who told God’s people what he knew in his heart was going to happen to them, rather than showing up as a charming young prince who only told them what they wanted to hear.

Revelation 6:9-11 – And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 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, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

These are the martyred souls of the saints of the ages, and they are very anxious for the mystery of the rapture to be fulfilled, when all their brethren on the earth will be in heaven for Christ’s judgment seat, knowing that after they are judged, they will return to reign with them and with Christ for 1000 years on this present earth. The white robes are the reward for a willingness to die for the word of God and the testimony of Christ they gave from it. It is very important to note when the fifth seal is opened their fellow servants and brethren are still on the earth. Their brethren still on earth will remain there up to the time of their martyrdom before or at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Then both groups will be in heaven after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. White robes are part of the eternal outer garment of the saved that were faithful. The souls under the altar were faithful unto death. There will be many saved men and women who will be faithful unto death in the tribulation period. Some will be faithful, but will not be required to give their lives. They will also wear the outer robe as a garment forever, but the unfaithful saved will not wear the outer garment in heaven. The “little season” they are told to wait in rest is the time left before their fellow servants and brethren come up to join them when the seventh trumpet sounds, after which God will perform their request to “judge and avenge our blood on them (the lost) that dwell on the earth.” Some saved in heaven will not receive a robe because of unfaithfulness.

Revelation 16:15 – Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

“Naked” did not mean completely uncovered to John. It meant to be covered by the inner garment without an outer garment. All the saved will go out on the seventh trumpet, both faithful and unfaithful, and all will be judged in heaven for rewards following it.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Chapter 12 in Revelation is a parenthetical chapter, and the remnant in the midst of the woman Israel, being the remnant of her Son Jesus Christ, will have his testimony and keep his commandments in the Negev. The woman Israel will flee into the Negev wilderness 1260 days prior to Armageddon with her Seed’s remnant in the midst of her, and the Seed’s remnant, the 144,000, will be taken up when the seventh trumpet sounds. The two men who are the witnesses of God will be among the 144,000, but will be caught up immediately before the blowing of the seventh trumpet. They will be among those who “should be killed as they were” in seal five, Revelation 6:11.

Revelation 12:5,6,17 – And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. [17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 7:4 – And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Revelation 11:7-9 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Revelation 11:12 – And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


THE OPENING OF THE SIXTH SEAL - Part 2...

The Last 1260 Days of Tribulation Begins

Revelation 6:12-14 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

The sixth seal catastrophe begins with an earthquake, and marks the time antichrist attacks Israel, driving them into the Negev and leaving them there for the last 1260 days of the tribulation period. This earthquake is the first earthquake in the book of Revelation, and it opens 1260 days of tribulation before Armageddon. The last earthquake in Revelation is the greatest of all, and it closes the tribulation period at Armageddon. There will be countless numbers of earthquakes of great intensity between these two, but these are the first and the last in the tribulation period, occurring on the sixth seal opening, and the empting of the seventh vial. They will a part of God’s judgment upon both the lost and the unfaithful saved during the seals and the trumpets, but those earthquakes occurring from the seventh trumpet to the last vial will be much greater in intensity because they are a part of God’s wrath on the earth.

Revelation 16:16-21 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. [17] And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. [18] And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. [19] And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. [20] And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. [21] And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The fifth is about to be played out under the throne by the souls of the martyred saints found in Revelation 6:9-11. I would not be surprised at all if the sixth seal opens at some point in time between 2010 and 2015. It will open, but WHEN is just OPINION on my part.

The sixth seal gives John a preview of what will happen when the seventh seal is opened and the seven trumpets begin to sound. I believe that the sixth seal contains a fore view of the events that will occur when the trumpets are blown and the vials are emptied. The opening of the sixth seal sets the stage for the sounding of the first trumpet – and then remains unsealed up to the pouring out of the seventh vial.

When God showed John the events of the end times, he first showed him a generalized picture of what would be happening on earth and in heaven during the period that proceeds the tribulation period, in what Matthew and Mark called “the beginning of sorrows.” This picture was presented in the opening of the first four seals. The fifth seal is a heavenly scene of souls in heaven anxious for God to take action against those who spilled their blood, and for the rapture. When the sixth seal is opened, God gives John a preview of what the last 1260 days of the tribulation period will be like. But it is an overview, and the specifics are not revealed until the seventh seal is opened, all seven trumpets sound, and all seven vials have been emptied. The sixth seal is a broad outline of what God intends to do during the time span from the seventh seal, through the trumpets, and up to the last drop of the seventh vial. The trumpets and vials are the specific events within the broad outline of the sixth seal. The trumpets and vials are interlaced, and picture the same events. Each trumpet announces the beginning of an event, and its numerically corresponding vial closes it. The sound of the trumpet heralds the start of a phase, and when the last drop of the corresponding vial is poured out, the phase is finished. Trumpet number 1 is the judgment of God until it phases into Vial number 1, at which time it becomes the wrath of God. Trumpet number 2 shows the judgment of God until it phases into Vial number 2, at which time is becomes the wrath of God. This sequence is true through all seven trumpets and seven vials. The trumpets represent the judgment of God on both the saved and the lost. The vials represent the wrath of God upon the lost. The sixth seal gives a preview of the trumpets and vials. It first previews the judgments of the phenomena which are going to be unleashed by the trumpets in Revelation 6:12-14, and then gives a preview of the wrath of God that will be unleashed by the vials in Revelation 6:15-17.

Revelation 6:12-17 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens 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 that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [17] For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Verses 12 to 14 are God’s judgment. They basically tell what will be produced during the time of the trumpets. Verses 15 to 17 are God’s wrath. They basically picture what will be produced on mankind by the vials.

God’s wrath will come after the sounding of trumpet 7, when vial 1 of his wrath, which corresponded to trumpet 1, is poured out. Trumpet 7 sounds in Revelation 11:15.

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

God’s “wrath is come” after the seventh trumpet sounds, while the saved are being judged in heaven after being taken up at its sounding, and are at Christ’s judgment seat for rewards for works done during their time in their physical bodies.

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.


HISTORICAL RAPTURE TEACHINGS - Part 3...

As a young man I developed an interest in certain historical eras of time, especially the period of time associated with the castles of ancient England. In December of 1961, after I had traveled for some three years from north to south and east to west across England, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published my lengthy discourse on “Forecasting Rain Stratus in the Midlands of England.” During those three years I examined most of the ancient castle earthworks found standing after the rampage of Cromwell across England. England is the land of very old books and the meticulous maintenance of these books is carried out rigorously at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. So if you really want to know for sure when a particular Biblical interpretation first came into print, these two institutions should be the place to begin your research.

From my earliest days I had an avid interest in all publications that interpreted Biblical passages concerning the second coming of Christ. When I first began lecturing in churches, seminaries, universities, and colleges in 1978, I had no idea that my travels would take me to more than 700 of these institutions, and that I would be in the immediate vicinity of most of the major colleges and universities in the U.S. The vast majority of our institutions of higher learning began as small institutions under the control of a church or churches. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most of them individually broke away from their sponsoring churches to become the independent centers of higher secular learning today. The majority of books in colleges and universities in early years were religious books, but after they lost the influence of the sponsoring churches they gradually became more and more secular in their teaching and accredited degrees, so they had to decide what to do with their very large volume of religious books. Some were sold, some thrown away, and some placed in specially created archives. I know I am a sixth generation Missionary Baptist because of the material I collected from just such an archive in Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Its archives documented that Henry McElmurry, of whom I am a direct descendant, was the missionary-pastor of three of our early churches in southeastern Missouri from 1834 to 1839. Some of the books in the archives of these colleges are so old and fragile, that they have a designated person to open the pages for you to prevent the book being damaged.

So why have I labored on so long about old books. I wanted to know when various teachings were published concerning when the Lord would come, particularly in reference to what is called the tribulation period, a period of time that ends with the battle of Armageddon. So, as I traveled, I went to these archives and searched for this information. All of the old books I examined were quite definite that the tribulation period would close with the battle of Armageddon. But the time of the beginning of the tribulation, how long it was to last once it started, and when the first resurrection occurred in reference to it, was quite another matter. The first resurrection, which has taken on the popular title “the rapture,” has been one of the most vigorously debated theological subjects in the Word of God for some 215 years. So, because it still is, I intend to present as accurate a documented history as I am able from my research. I will attempt to show when several beliefs concerning this much debated subject first appeared on the scene in published books.

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the first process of printing from separately cast metal types, used for moveable type, the era of book publishing was soon to begin. By 1450 he had a press in Germany financed by Johann Fust. In 1455 Fust had the first printed Bible in history well under way. Slowly the publishing of books by press immerged. Many of the first books published were interpretative expositions of Biblical scriptures, and among those were expositions of scriptures about the first resurrection. After the 1611 KJV was published, expositions on Christ’s second coming started appearing in books based on the interpretation of passages found in it.

The first printed work that taught a rapture (first resurrection) before the blowing of the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation was published in 1788. The teaching appeared in a book written by a well-known Baptist preacher of the eighteenth century, Morgan Edwards. It was titled “Two Academic Exercises on Subjects Bearing the Following Titles: Millennial and Last Novelties.” The book was published by Dodson and Lang, Second Street between Market and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In my archive search to discover the first printings of various positions held on the time of Christ’s coming, in relation to the end of the tribulation period, I had only found two published positions prior to the War of 1812. The vast majority of all the publications put Christ’s coming at the very end of the tribulation period, and a definite minority placed it at the blowing of the seventh trumpet, just before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth in seven vials. However, Morgan, for the first time in history since books began to be published, taught that a rapture of the saved would occur 3 and ½ years before the end of the tribulation period. There is no record of any printed book historically published prior to 1788, as far as I have been able to discover, that taught a rapture prior to the last 3 and ½ years before the final battle of Armageddon in the tribulation period. I don’t say that such a book or books do not exist, but if they do, they are a drop in an ocean of books.

Dr. Thomas Chalmers, a Presbyterian minister of the Church of Scotland, and the man who first introduced what is known as the “Gap Theory,” had an assistant named Edward Irving. In 1827 Reverend Irving began to teach that Christ would first come for His saints, and then after a period of tribulation, He would come to destroy antichrist and to reign. In 1830 in Port Glasgow, Scotland, a 15-year-old young lady, named Margaret MacDonald, announced that she had received a prophetic vision from God concerning the coming of Christ. Her revelation may be found in a book by Robert Norton entitled “The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets” in the Catholic Apostolic Church, (London, 1861). In his book he declared that from her vision it could be seen that Christians would be taken out before the time of tribulation.

J.N. Darby, a leader among the early Plymouth Brethren, was known to have visited her during the time Margaret was having her visions. The teaching of a 7-year tribulation period came after these visions. The idea of the tribulation period consisting of two 3 and ½ year periods was put in print after John Darby began preaching the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory. Prior to that time you will find no publication was ever printed that showed two boxes joined together to form a 7 year period, with the first box representing a period of 3 and ½ years of peace, and the second box representing a period of 3 and ½ years of tribulation. The 7-year theory was developed by proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory. It was developed by letting the “he” in Daniel 9:27 refer to the antichrist rather than Christ. Before 1788 they taught that the “he” of Daniel 9:27 was Christ or Antiochus Epiphanes, but in view of the new revelation in 1788, it eventually became necessary to justify it, and by 1832 a series of new Scripture combinations began to appear, and they were used to teach what came to be known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Position. It was the grand joining of the “70th Week of Daniel” prophecy with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory that finally launched today’s popular teaching under a wind filled sail. J.N. Darby taught that the rapture occurs before the last 7 years of the prophecy of 490 years found in Daniel 9:24-27. In Volume 3, page 424, of Darby’s letters, he wrote: “Let it be remembered now that we have no date for the rapture of the church – that the dates BEGIN with a week of Daniel 9, and half a week when the sacrifice is made to cease. But this does not affect the general testimony of Matthew 24, which may begin the week, and be carried on among the Gentiles during the great tribulation at Jerusalem.”

J.N. Darby visited America seven times between 1862 and 1877. Cyrus I. Scofield, minister of a Congregational church, became a student of all the writings of J.N. Darby, and then forever popularized his Pre-Tribulation Rapture position by placing it in the Scofield Reference Bible notes of his 1909 publication. Most of the Bible teachers of Scofield’s day did not accept his new found position, but it was so appealing to religious groups that it spread across the country like wildfire as an exciting new revelation, which taught God’s children would never go into the tribulation period. By the time I was saved in 1944, you were often considered a heretic if you believed anything other than a rapture 7 years prior to the end of the tribulation period.

When I wrote my last two books, Tribulation Triad and Birth Pangs from the Bottomless Pit in the late seventies, I was what was known as a “Mid-Tribber.” In the early eighties I changed my position on when the first resurrection occurs in relation to the end of the tribulation period. Could the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Position be correct? Yes, if God chose to wait some 1788 years after Christ’s birth before letting it first appear in a printed book exposition of Biblical scriptures by a man named Morgan Edwards. Could the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Position be correct? Yes, if God chose to wait some 1830 years after the birth of His Son before letting it first appear in a printed form. To my knowledge, there was never a published printed book prior to 1788, which explained the scriptures found in the Bible about the rapture by advocating a Pre or Mid Tribulation Rapture.

I have read the letters of the early church fathers to see if any such teaching was clearly spelled out in context in their writings on a Pre-Tribulation rapture. And, in so doing, I have searched hoping to find such a reference, but have not found a reference in context that justified such a position with sufficient clarity to be certain.

I did find two that may advocate such a position, but the only thing I can be sure of is that they are more likely to simply refer to the rapture as being pre-millennial, not specifically pre-tribulation. The references were by Irenaeus and Hippolytus, written on scrolls in about 180 AD.

There was also a document reported by advocates of the pre-tribulation rapture position as being genuine and written by Ephraem the Syria in 373 AD. However, the document is classified by the antiquity experts as being Pseudo-Ephraem (Pseudo means false). It was titled “On the last times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World.” But the problem with it is threefold: We can’t be sure that Ephraem wrote it, or if the copier made it up himself, or WHEN he copied or wrote it. I do at least know it was written before 1890, because German Professor Caspari wrote a German commentary on the Latin manuscript in 1890, and he was one of the few who thought it was written by Ephraem.   

If you think I didn’t want to find such a reference, you are quite wrong. Failure to agree with the Pre-Tribulation position only gains you great unpopularity with most of the brethren and, being carnal in the flesh, and desiring their acceptance, I certainly hoped to find such a position issued prior to 1788, but found none of which I could honestly state: Yes! This teaches a Pre-Tribulation rapture. Could I be wrong in the position I hold? Certainly! And I will continue to search for the prophetic truth on this subject. I have not changed what I was taught as a youth concerning doctrines on salvation, baptism, the local church, and its two ordinances, but I have changed my mind about the position of the Lord’s coming in reference to the battle of Armageddon and, quite frankly, will change my mind again if I find a better case than the one you find in these BLOGS on the rapture. Any man who is not willing to change his position on the time of Christ’s coming, in relation to the end of the tribulation period, makes it a doctrinal position. There is only one real doctrine concerning Christ’s coming – HE IS COMING. When he comes, in relation to the events stated as occurring in the tribulation period, is a matter of opinion, not a matter of doctrine.

So how do all these different positions affect me? They don’t! In our work we have “first of the weekers,” middle of the weekers,” “last of the weekers,” “seventh trumpers,” “split rapturers,” “triple rapturers,” and “progressive rapturers.” It would be ridiculous for me to make what my brethren believe about the rapture a test of fellowship. The doctrine of Christ’s coming is that He is coming. If you don’t believe that you are a heretic, and I don’t want your fellowship. I have a very simple Biblical principle that I follow to be ready when he does come. I know I will be taken because I am saved. So I daily attempt to be faithful to Him in one of His new testament churches, in order that I will be prepared to stand before His judgment seat whenever He comes.

I do not believe we have a full week of seven years left to fulfill in Daniel’s 70 weeks of 490 years (See 10 Part BLOG series on Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks). I am persuaded Christ is coming on the blowing of the 7th trumpet in Revelation 10:7, 11:15, and 11:18, but I live my life like it could be today. I am “watching” daily for that time, whenever it is. I have been told that one cannot do such a thing. Well, just hide and watch me! If it does occur 7 years before the battle of Armageddon, then I will be caught “watching” for His coming.

The material contained in this particular BLOG has been taken from many old books I have perused in the U.S. and overseas during my many years of travel, and a portion of it came from the research of John L. Bray, a Baptist Minister who was born in 1921 in Macon, Georgia, and was ordained as pastor of a Baptist church in Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 18. He was educated at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, John B. Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and, if he is still living, would be some 87 years in age. By 1990 he had spent 30 years as a pastor of Southern Baptist Churches, and completed 21 years as a full time evangelist. I am indebted to him for the extractions I took from his writings in compiling this update, as well as to others from which some material was quoted.   

ARE YOU READY FOR THE RAPTURE? - Part 4...

HAVE YOU BEEN SHOWN THE MYSTERY? – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. (I Corinthians 15:51)

ARE YOU READY FOR THE MYSTERY TO BE FINISHED? – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)

ARE YOU READY FOR THE VOICE & TRUMP OF ANGEL 7? – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (I Thessalonians 4:16)

ARE YOU READY FOR HIS KINGDOMS ON THE 7TH TRUMP? – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

ARE YOU READY FOR THE LAST TRUMP IN A SERIES OF 7? – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:52)

ARE YOU READY TO BE JUDGED AFTER THE 7TH TRUMPET? – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18)

HIS 7 VIALS OF WRATH COME ON THEM AS WE ARE JUDGED? And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (Revelation 16:1)


WHEN NO ONE CAN HELP THE ANTICHRIST! - Part 5...

He has returned from Egypt to Israel to set in his command post on the Jerusalem Temple Mount and direct a final attack upon the remnant of Israel in the Negev Wilderness.

Daniel 11:45 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The inspired word for “tabernacles” is “ohel,” which always means “tents.” The “ohel” in the wilderness was a “tabernacle” that was a huge tent. These tents house the many millions that will have come to Israel for the final onslaught against the small Jewish remnant in the Negev, which the Scripture identifies as the battle of Armageddon. He will issue a call to all the nations of Europe, Eurasia, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to come and join him in this great battle, and the demonic frog spirits of the father, son, and unholy false prophet will influence them to come to this final battle of Armageddon.

Revelation 16:13-16 – And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. [14] For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. [15] Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. [16] And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Daniel 11:45 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The inspired word for “palace” is appeden, and it appears only once in this particular form throughout the Bible. At the time this Scripture was written all the great kings carried portable command post buildings with them when they went forth to conquer. They included a royal throne, on which the king would set issuing the commands to his troops in the field. This is what an “appeden” is – a portable command post from which the king issues battle directives to his troops in the field.

The king of the north, the antichrist, will set his command post on the glorious holy mountain, which is Mount Moriah, the center hill of the three hills of eastern Jerusalem. This Mount lies between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. His millions of troops will blanket all of Israel north of Beersheva, with the heaviest concentrations filling the two valleys that join at the Tel of Megiddo, the Plain of Esdraelon and the Jezreel Valley. Most of the incoming troops will disembark at the port of Haifa, then proceed southeastward down the Esdraelon-Jezreel Valley into the Jordan Valley, and hence southward to Jerusalem and the border of the northern Negev. Millions will stand in place and await the command of antichrist to start the attack on the small remnant of Israel in the Negev.

One would be inclined to think that the antichrist, with millions of troops behind him, would be absolutely unstoppable, and that God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, would be killed to the last man by this massive onslaught. That is what makes the last part of this verse so strange, as Daniel states: “yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”

I remember that several years ago, a dear departed friend of mine, Dr. I.K. Cross, who was presenting a message at the annual Pastors and Missionaries Conference in Texarkana, delivered a sermon titled “We’re Gonna Win.” And the crux of his message made clear that the reason we were going to win was because of what Christ had already done, was doing, and would do in the future. It is Jesus Christ, returning to the earth with all his power, that will use His earth, atmosphere, and universe to forever destroy the antichrist, his false prophet, and his vast army. I believe the following Scriptures attest to that fact:

Revelation 16:16-21 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. [17] And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. [18] And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. [19] And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. [20] And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. [21] And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Zechariah 14:12 – And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL AND THE 7TH TRUMPET

With what you have just read in mind, please consider the following verses.

Daniel 11:45 to 12:1 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. [1] And at THAT time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

The antichrist will sit in his command post on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem and issue the command for his millions of troops to attack the remnant of Israel in the Negev. It is “at that time” that Michael stands up for Israel, and the last trump, the 7th trump of Revelation, sounds to announce the arrival of the 7 vials of God’s wrath. This is when the first resurrection, the rapture of the saved, occurs. Those “written in the book” are from “a book of remembrance” found in Malachi 3:16 to 4:3, with 3:16-18 telling the saved they will return to earth, and 4:1-3 advising them what shape the physical earth would be in at the time of their return.

Malachi 3:16-18 – Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. [17] And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. [18] Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. [1] For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. [2] But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. [3] And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

When antichrist returns to Jerusalem, he will sit on the Temple Mount as Daniel’s abomination of desolation, and the sixth trumpet will blow to begin the second woe. The second woe will end with a great quake that drastically affects Jerusalem. It will cause a reverential fear to sweep across the Israeli remnant in the wilderness, and they will begin to turn to Christ and give glory to his name.

Revelation 11:13,14 – And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. [14] The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

The three woes are the blowing of the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets.

Revelation 11:14,15 – The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. [15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

After the rapture of the saved in Revelation 11:15 they are then judged for rewards in heaven in verse 18 while the seven vials of God’s wrath are being poured out on the earth.

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

While all of the saved are being judged in heaven for rewards, Michael is standing up for the remnant in the Negev, and the vials are being poured out on the antichrist and his followers. I suspect this time of absolute terror will last more than one month, but less than two. Believers will not be on this earth when it occurs.

Daniel 11:45 to 12:1 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. [1] And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

When Michael stands up, the 7th trumpet sounds, and the saved are delivered up to heaven to be judged for rewards. While they are being judged in heaven, what is happening on the earth in Matthew 24:21,22 corresponds to what is described as the time of trouble that occurs after Michael stands up.

Matthew 24:21,22 – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

By God’s grace He has elected to bring a small Jewish nation through this brief period. It will consist of Israelis that shall come through this terrible time, still alive in the flesh, to begin to rule over the physical section of Christ’s kingdom during His reign of a thousand years.


Revelation’s Seventh Trumpet Associated Events - Part 6...

I have been asked to give a brief, compact version of the seventh trumpet rapture position, so here it is – For a more thorough dissertation consult Parts 1 to 5 in our previous BLOGS.

The Rapture Mystery is Finished at the 7th Trumpet!

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

The 7th Trump is the Last in a Series of Seven!

I Corinthians 15:52 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

It is the Last Day in the Flesh for the Saved of this Age!

John 6:39 – And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

It is Their First Day in Glorified Bodies in a Heaven Kingdom!

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The 7th Trump Sounds Before God’s Vials of Wrath Occur!

Revelation 16:1 – And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The Saved Will Not Experience God’s Wrath!

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Saved in Heaven Are Judged for Rewards During the Vials!

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

After the Vials They Return to Earth With Christ!

Jude 14 – And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

And Reign With Him in Proportion to Degree of Rewards!

Revelation 1:5-7 – And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, [6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [7] Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 2:25-29 – But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. [26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. [28] And I will give him the morning star. [29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:21,22 – To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

ASSOCIATION OF THE WOES AND WRATH WITH THE RAPTURE

THREE WOES AND THE RAPTURE OCCURS AS THIRD BEGINS

I EXPECT TO BE HERE TO SUFFER WOE BUT NOT TO SUFFER WRATH

THE SAVED WILL SUFFER WOE BUT NOT GOD’S WRATH!

THREE TRIBULATION WOES THAT WILL BEGIN ON THE EARTH BEFORE THE SAVED LEAVE IT IN ADVANCE OF THE WRATH OF GOD ON THE LOST!

Revelation 9:1,2,12 – The First Woe – And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. [2] And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. [12] One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Revelation 9:13-15 – The Second Woe Begins – And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, [14] Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. [15] And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay THE THIRD PART OF MEN.

Revelation 6:8 – Where Most Deaths Will Occur – And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto THEM over the FOURTH PART OF THE EARTH, to kill with SWORD, and with HUNGER, and with DEATH, and with the beasts of the earth. (“GES” IS TRANSLATED AS “EARTH,” AND IS NEVER ASSOCIATED WITH THE NUMBER OF THE POPULATION KILLED, BUT WITH THE SIZE OF THE PORTION OF THE EARTH WHERE THEY WERE KILLED)

I believe that most of the Tribulation Period deaths will occur in the Eastern Hemisphere to the north, south, west, and east of the Euphrates River zone.

Revelation 11:13,14 – The Second Woe Ends – And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. [14] The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

Revelation 11:15 – The Third Woe Begins – And the seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

I Corinthians 15:51 – The Mystery is Described – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Revelation 10:7 –The Mystery is Finished – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I Corinthians 15:52 + I Thessalonians 4:16 – [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

AND ALL OF THE SAVED, WHO LEFT THE EARTH ON THE 7TH TRUMPET, ARE BEING JUDGED IN HEAVEN WHILE THE WRATH OF GOD IS POURED OUT ON ALL UNBELIEVERS

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:18 + 16:1,2 – [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. [1] And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. [2] And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

THE BELIEVER’S FAITH WILL BE HEAVILY TESTED BY THE WOES. IT WILL MAKE ALL BELIEVERS MORE ANXIOUS FOR CHRIST’S COMING FOR US, AND VERY THANKFUL WE WILL NOT SUFFER HIS WRATH IN HELL OR DURING THE VIALS OF WRATH.

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,


Groundwork for the Many Rapture Positions - Part 7...

When was the Groundwork Laid for them?

When I worked as a meteorologist in England for three years in the late fifties and sixties, I discovered it to be the land of many ancient writings. The Commentary by Theodore Beza, in the 1599 Geneva Study Bible, said the three “he’s” in Daniel 9:27 were the Messiah, Jesus Christ, rather than antichrist, which reflects the view of the preachers from the first books ever published, and this belief was the majority opinion up to 1900.

The basic groundwork for the many different rapture positions was spaded up by the attacks of the Protestant Reformers on doctrines of the massive Catholic Church. They were so disgusted with most of its teachings, that many proclaimed the Catholic Church itself to be the antichrist prophesied by Daniel and John the Apostle to come in the latter days. Many believed they were living in the latter days. When the Catholic Church met at the Council of Trent in the fifteen hundreds, the bulk of the discussions focused around how to restore credibility to its tarnished authority among the masses by losing its accused position of being the antichrist. One of the ways it lost its undesirable title was through the publication of a commentary on the book of Revelation in 1690 by a Jesuit priest named Francisco.

He is the father of what came to be known as the “futurism” approach to prophetic interpretation. He introduced the idea that the prophecies in the book of Daniel, and the book of Revelation, did not apply to the church, but were only focused on the final seven years of this age. He did not believe in a rapture at the beginning of the seven years, nor did he divide it into two periods of three and one half years. He said the Bible’s warning about the antichrist could not possibly apply to the Catholic Church, but only predicted the appearance of a very evil man who would govern during earth’s final years. John Darby is often identified as the first to teach the rapture doctrine, but Morgan Edwards was teaching it in 1742, some 58 years before John Darby was born into the world. But John Darby, who was an Irish lawyer and Anglican preacher, did develop the method of Biblical teaching in which he included the futuristic views of Ribera. He was perhaps the first to fully describe a rapture seven years before the Second Advent of Christ, in which Christ came in the air, viewed only by the saved he came to take out, and left the lost behind to be ruled by an evil antichrist for a period of seven years. John Darby is also the man who created many of the first diagrams now commonly associated with the seven-year pre-tribulation rapture position. But Morgan Edwards taught only 1260 days of tribulation remained, and that the rapture occurred when it began, 1260 days before Armageddon.

So, in reality, Edwards wasn’t a genuine “first of the weeker,” but what one would call a “mid-tribber” today. Clarence Larkin, a skilled master diagram artist of the World War I era, created the most elaborate series of diagrams and charts on the pre-tribulation rapture up to that time, and most of today’s branch off from his in one way or another.

As far as the first person to ever venture away from a rapture prior to the seven vials of wrath or the absolute end of the tribulation period, I have found no published printed material before Morgan Edwards in 1742 during my research, such that the context allowed me to be sure of it.

You will find more historical information on the rapture, and the view I hold, in Parts 1 to 6 in our Archive Blogs.

The 19th Century Revision of the Time of God’s Wrath

In the early part of the 1800’s, or perhaps even as early as 1742, the tribulation period began to be divided into two sections, each one 1260 days in length, for a total tribulation period of 2520 days. The first half was a time of peace, and the second half a time of trouble, so it was only natural that the last 1260 days came to be known as the “great tribulation.” This interpretation was justified using Matthew 24:21,22.

Matthew 24:21,22 – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

I certainly agree there will be tribulation during the last 1260 days of the tribulation period, but the intensity time of it being “great” has been shortened, and it will not last for the full 1260 days, but will be confined to the pouring out of the vials of God’s wrath during the latter portion of it, perhaps during a period of some 45 days. I do not believe the archangel Michael stands up for Israel until the antichrist is setting on the temple mount in his palace (appeden – command post) claiming to be God just prior to Armageddon, and that is when the “great” part of the tribulation begins, after which Israel is delivered, every one found written in the book.

Daniel 11:45 to 12:1 – And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. [1] And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

So when does the “great” tribulation come on the earth in the tribulation period? In Revelation 6:12-17 God gives John a preview, an overview, of what will happen from the opening of the sixth seal to the pouring out of the contents of the seventh vial of his wrath. However, the true wrath of God does not begin until the pouring out of the first vial of wrath in Revelation 16:1.

THE PREVIEW OF HIS COMING WRATH!

Revelation 6:12-17 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens 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 that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [17] For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Verses 12 to 14 are the judgments of God upon the earth from the six seal through the seven trumpets.

Verses 15 to 17 are the wrath of God poured out on the lost following the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS COMING WRATH!

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, AND THY WRATH IS COME, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

THE ARRIVAL OF HIS WRATH UPON THE LOST!

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Revelation 15:1,7 – And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. [7] And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 16:1,2,16,17 – And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. [2] And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. [16] And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. [17] And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.


Can We Actually Know the YEAR of Christ’s Coming? - Part 8...

Please Consider the Following!

I Corinthians 15:51,52 – Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

When Jesus spoke to his first church during the Olivet Discourse, he made it clear that no one on earth, at that time, was able to know the season of the year, the month of the year, the day of the year, or the hour of the year he would be returning to establish his kingdom.

Matthew 24:36 – But of that DAY and HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 25:13 – Watch therefore, for ye know neither THE DAY nor THE HOUR wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13:32 – But of THAT DAY and THAT HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Acts 1:6,7 – When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore AGAIN the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know THE TIMES (phases of the moon that marked the months of the year in their calendar and the time of the feasts) or THE SEASONS (spring, summer, fall, and winter) which the Father hath put in his own power.

All of these Scriptures clearly state that we can never know the hour or day of Christ’s coming, the month of it, or the season of the year he would arrive. But the Greek word for year was “eniautos,” which simply means year, and this word was most assuredly well established, and commonly used by Jesus, at the time of the writing of the New Testament, but it was never used by Jesus when he referred to the time of his coming. It would have been madness for men to guess at the year of his coming until Israel came back into the land after the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, and there is no way under heaven it can be positively known at present. It can only be guesstimated at best. But when Israel is attacked from the north, and only one third of its population survives to flee to a place of safety, the year of his coming will be more than speculation, I believe it can be known at that time to occur at some point in the last 1260 days that follow the attack, most likely in the final year of that period. If I am still alive when Israel is attacked from the north to begin the last 1260 days of the tribulation period, and I am still on this planet in a body of flesh and blood, then I will believe the rapture will occur during the last year of that period, but until that time anything I guesstimate as to the year of his coming is pure speculation.

Revelation 12:6 – And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1260 days).

Zechariah 13:8 – And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

I Thessalonians 5:3,4 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But YE, brethren, are NOT in darkness, that THAT DAY should overtake you AS A THIEF.

God’s children are not to be completely unaware, shocked, or surprised when sudden destruction arrives to pre-herald the Lord’s coming. We are not children of darkness, we are children of light, but if we do not study prophecy or have no interest in it, we are unable to read the signs of his coming because we are not enlightened. Children of light will not experience the wrath of the seven vials of God’s wrath, but they will still be on this earth during the trumpets of his judgment.

I Thessalonians 5:4-9 – But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. [6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. [7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. [8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. [9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Luke 21:34 – And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so THAT DAY come upon you unawares.

Revelation 3:1-4 – And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. [2] Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. [3] Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee AS A THIEF, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. [4] Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

I don’t know for certain, but when we BEGIN to see the beginning of the woes on the blowing of the fifth trumpet, we can know the year we will be taken out when the seventh trumpet sounds, because it will be less than a year between the two trumpets. I am of the opinion the saved will still be here in the woes, but taken out as the third one begins. I believe Luke 21:25-28 contains both the woes and the wrath of God, with the sounding of the seventh trumpet separating the two. The sixth seal marks the beginning of 1260 days of Tribulation, which intensifies into the woes on the fifth trumpet and the wrath of God on the pouring out of the first vial.
 
FIRST THE RAPTURE! - Part 9...

Daniel 7:13,14 –I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came WITH THE CLOUDS of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and A KINGDOM, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

I Corinthians 15:51,52 – Behold, I shew 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 trump: for THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 10:7 – But in the days of THE VOICE of the SEVENTH angel, when he shall BEGIN to sound, THE MYSTERY of God SHOULD BE FINISHED, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I Thessalonians 4:16,17 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with THE VOICE of the archangel, and with THE TRUMP of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them IN THE CLOUDS, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Revelation 11:15 – And THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the KINGDOMS of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

THERE WILL BE A RAPTURE ON THE 7TH TRUMPET AND A RUPTURE ON THE 7TH VIAL!

THE 7TH RAPTURE AND THE 7TH VIAL RUPTURE

IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED THAT CHAPTER 14 OF REVELATION IS A PARENTHETICAL CHAPTER. IT SHOWS BOTH THE RAPTURE AND THE RUPTURE.

THIS IS THE 7TH TRUMPET RAPTURE WHEN ONE LIKE UNTO THE SON OF MAN REAPS THE RIPE WHEAT SOULS FROM THE EARTH

Revelation 14:14-16 – And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. [15] And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. [16] And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Please note in Revelation 14:16 one like unto the Son of man “thrust his sickle ON (epi) the earth,” as one would grasp a handful of wheat at the top and draw his sickle in a horizontal stroke at the base of the wheat to reap it. The Greek word “epi” means ON or UPON – it means the sickle did not go into the earth but across it to reap the “saved” wheat.

But please note that in Revelation 14:19 the angel, which follows the Son of man’s reaping in verse 16, thrusts his sickle INTO (eis) the earth, as if to cut out the roots which nourish the grapes of wrath. The Greek word “eis” means the sickle made a penetration into the earth to end the life of the vine.

THIS IS THE 7TH VIAL RUPTURE WHEN THE ANGEL OF VENGENCE ENDS THE LIFE VINE OF THE LOST OF THE EARTH.

Rev. 14:17-20 – And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. [18] And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. [19] And the angel thrust in his sickle into (eis) the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. [20] And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.


PLEASE CONSIDER ARCHIVE BIRTH PANG 16 FROM 2001

THE GREAT WINEPRESS OF GOD

September 28, 2001

Revelation 14:19,20 – And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. [20] And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

This particular angel thrusts his sickle INTO the earth. We are advised in verse 20 as to WHERE the sickle makes its earthly penetration; somewhere in Israel “outside the city,” which is the city of Jerusalem. The word used for winepress is “LENOS,” which means: “a trough dug in the earth, a ditch or canal, or anything shaped like a tub.” The winepresses with which John was familiar were rectangular in shape and made of, or dug out of, the rock of the earth. Blood-red wine was made from grapes. The ripe clusters were carried in baskets and thrown into the press. The winepress consisted of a shallow trough built above the ground, or excavated by chipping it out of limestone rocks in the earth. There were also village and household winepresses, but since the one to which John refers is one in a vineyard field, one made by chipping out a rectangular trough in limestone rock, I will limit my discourse to that type. One end of this type was made lower, such that the blood-red liquid from the grapes would flow into it, after being pressed out by the feet of humans in the shallow end. So both the upper and lower sections of the winepress presented a view of a blood-red trough in the crust of the earth.

John, in his vision, looks down upon the earth and, from this aerial view, recognized the city of Jerusalem, a city he had looked down upon many times from the Mount of Olives. He beheld “without” (outside) Jerusalem, to the east, the greatest winepress ever seen by human eyes. He saw a trough (lenos) in the earth 1600 furlongs (185 miles) in length. The opening of the earth caused by the angel’s sickle had caused blood (haima) to come up “out” (ek) of the winepress to a depth of about five feet (“unto the horse bridles”). The Greek word used for blood is haima, which can mean real blood, or any object taking on a blood red color, or any liquid that has a blood-red hue. The Hebrew word for blood is also used to describe a blood-red liquid rather than body blood, as we find stated in Genesis 49:11 – “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:” The moon will not turn to real blood in the Tribulation Period, but it will take on a blood-red hue, as is described by the use of the word haima in Revelation 6:12 – “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” Before this Birth Pang is completed I will carefully pull together everything previously stated, and thereby put together a full exposition of Revelation 14:19,20. But for now I must take time to describe one of the most terrifying creations of God in the distant past: a flood-basalt plain.

In the distant past, six major rips in the crust of the earth have produced six great basaltic flood plains. These great cleavages of the earth’s crust occurred in zones along the dashed lines of Figure 3. They represent old magma extrusions associated with the initial stages of continental drift. Dr. W. Kenneth Hamblin, in his standard geological text, The Earth’s Dynamic Systems, states: “Where the rift system passes beneath a continent, the continental crust is split and great volumes of basalt are extruded and spread out over large areas of the continent. These great floods of lava fill the lowlands and depressions in the existing topography.” The rift system that passes beneath the continent from the Gulf of Aqabah northward through Israel is a prime candidate for the sudden creation of a raging flood basalt plain. The following quoted material, concerning flood basalt plains, was extracted from Volcano, volume 2 of A 1982 Time-Life series that examines the workings of the planet earth: “Flood basalts are generated atop the upper mantle. When tension opens fissures in the crust, the fluid magma spurts directly to the surface. The sheer volume of it dwarfs all other volcanic activity: a week long flow can release 360 cubic miles of lava, 10 times the volume of Mount Rainier. Extremely fluid magma suddenly spurts to the surface through a line of hundred of offset dikes, each one as much as 15 miles long and fifty feet wide. The lava from such individual fissures, about five cubic miles per day, is so hot and runny that it speeds down the slightest slope at speeds up to 10 miles an hour, creating a lava sheet as much as 100 miles wide. A standard textbook notes, “sooner or later they must recur.” This liquid rock can hit the surface at temperatures from 2300 to 2900 degrees Fahrenheit. This is double the temperature required to cremate a human body. At these temperatures, the flesh would disappear from the body before it hit the ground, were it directly exposed to the initial air heat flash surge near the crack through which the magna extruded. All that would remain would be a human skeleton. At the same time that the Mount of Olives cleaves in its midst, and all the land in Israel from Geba to Rimmon is lifted up, what follows will happen to the antichrist’s army in the Jordan River Valley, as indicated in Zechariah 14:3-12.

Zechariah 14:12 – And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

At some point in time, near the end of the Tribulation Period, the great rift valley of Israel will suddenly rip open from one end to the other. For a period of time after this ripping a vast flood basalt plain will be created along a 1600 furlough (185 mile) section of the valley. Looking down on it from heaven in his vision it looked like a north-south winepress. It was east of Jerusalem, along the Jordan River Valley, as a long rectangular trough in the crust of the earth filled with blood. Tremendous tectonic changes will completely restructure the entire valley from the Gulf of Aqabah to Lebanon. The fissures will close abruptly at the end of the Tribulation Period from the southern end of the Dead Sea to Lebanon. However, limited volcanic activity will continue south of the Dead Sea, in what once was Idumea, throughout Christ’s Millennial Reign from “generation to generation,” according to Isaiah.

Isaiah 34:8-10 – For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. [9] And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. [10] It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

Now, considering John’s description of the great winepress in Revelation 14:19,20, in light of one of God’s fantastic creations in the earth, let us compare God’s linguistics with God’s science. What John saw looked like a great lenos (trough or ditch or canal) about 185 miles long. I call your attention to Figure 24, Part A, which is an excerpt from a 1970 diagram by Dr. Fruend showing both sides of the Dead Sea Rift. The long dashed black lines that run north and south along both sides of the Dead Sea, from the Gulf of Aqabah through Israel, are great fissures in the crust of the earth. These fissures erratically weave down through the crust of the earth to eventually make contact with great undersea lakes of magma. Part A of Figure 24 gives a picture of these fissures as though you were looking down on them from a satellite, while Part B pictures the same fissures as though you were deep within the earth looking northward, and could see their downward progression into the earth. These fissures are where they should be to comply with the description by John. They are “without the city,” which is Jerusalem. And the word lenos does fit the characteristics of the Jordan River Valley, which is a great trough in the crust of the earth.

John saw haima come up out the lenos to cover an area some 185 miles long. John viewed a blood-red liquid (haima), which we call lava, spread across the great trough (lenos) to fill what we know as the Jordan River Valley. And the blood-red liquid filled the valley to a depth of about five feet (height of a horse bridle). Please note that, on Part A of Figure 24, a lone fissure veers off from the main trough, then extends northwest past the Tel of Armageddon, and finally goes on to Haifa, where it meets the Mediterranean Sea. If you measure northward from the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqabah to the point of departure by the fissure that extends to Haifa, you will discover it is 1600 furlongs, or 185 miles. I believe this 185 mile section of the Jordan River trough is the great winepress that John saw filled with a blood-red fluid as he looked down upon the earth in his vision.

Please observe Figure 25. God, for some time, has brought an unbelievable tonnage of hot flowing rock upward into the Red Sea Fault. As this liquid rock makes contact with the water- cooled Red Sea floor, it solidifies into new basaltic crust. This new crust is forcing two great plates, the Arabian and African, to move away from one another at a rapid geological rate. This particular segment is moving faster than others in the Middle East. Please note that, on Figure 25, while the Red Sea section of the fault is spreading rapidly, the great Rift Fault running up both sides of the Jordan Valley, is locked tighter than a drum. Long ago God pushed together these two great tectonic plates, which are separated only by the Jordan Rift Valley between them. God’s horizontal pressure fused both sides of the valley floor to these plates, like one would push together two pieces of clay. It is this horizontal pressure that locks the fissures in place and prevents magma from spurting to the surface on both sides of the valley. The locked section, (See Figure 26), is held together by a strong tensional force placed there by God. In the Red Sea section of the rift God is generating a force that is in direct opposition to His tensional force that locks the section through Israel. Tensional forces are building in the Gulf of Aqabah, and soon the southern opposing force will end a long struggle by ripping apart the northern section to form a flood basalt plain. It will be sudden, abrupt, and horrifying. God will suddenly create flood basalt plains 185 miles long that begin at the Gulf of Aqabah, and then extend up to the east end of the Valley of Jezreel. On both sides of the Jordan River Valley hot fountains of blood-red liquid, now confined by pressure below the fissures of Figure 27, will suddenly shoot hundreds of feet into the air. And a heat flash will blast toward the west to reach the foothills of the mountains of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, and toward the east to smash against the bluffs of the mountains of Moab and Ammon. I believe Figure 28 is what John saw from the air in Revelation 14:19,20. When the angel, who has authority to say when fire is to be released on the earth, tells the angel that has the sickle to stick it into the earth, then as the sickle goes in, the vine of the of the earth (the antichrist’s army) will feel the wrath of God. God does not have to use the creations of man to fulfill his prophecies. As he did in the flood of Noah, he will destroy man “with the earth,” but this time it will be fire from the earth, rather than water on the earth.

The harvest of the wheat is one of withered wheat that should have already been harvested before the rapture. The Greek word translated ripe in Revelation 14:15 is “exeranthe”, which means “dried up,” or withered. These are the last gleanings of an unfaithful generation.

THE RAPTURE OF THE RIPE (Withered) GRAIN

Revelation 14:15 – And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

THE RUPTURE OF THE FULLY RIPE (Come to the full) GRAPES OF WRATH

Revelation 14:18 is the destruction of overripe grapes fitted for destruction on an ungodly vine. The grapes are not plucked off because they are unfit for eating. They are destroyed with the vine that produced them. The Greek word translated FULLY RIPE is “ekmasan,” which means “to come to the fullness.” This is the destruction of mankind which has come to the fullness of its iniquity. These are the lost like the Amorites of Genesis 15:16, who God waited more than 400 years to destroy because they had not reached “the fullness” of their iniquity. They are the ones of the last verse in Revelation 11:15,18.

Revelation 14:18 – And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are FULLY RIPE.

Genesis 15:15,16 – And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. [16] But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites IS NOT YET FULL.

Revelation 11:15,18 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. [18] And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; AND SHOULDEST DES-TROY THEM WHICH DESTROY THE EARTH.

For what it is worth, the word translated “DESTROY” in Revelation 11:18 just happens to be translated as those who have “CORRUPT MINDS” and are destitute of the truth in I Timothy 6:5. The last phrase in Revelation 11:18 may legitimately be translated as “them which CORRUPT the earth,” without violating the KJV translation.

I Timothy 6:5 – Perverse disputings of men of CORRUPT minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.


THE RAPTURE AND SECOND ADVENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT - Part 10...

Isaiah 26:17-21 – Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord. [18] We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. [19] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. [20] Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. [21] For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Isaiah 26:17 – Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.

Israel has, is, and shall experience Birth Pangs. She has experienced them ever since she became a nation by way of Jacob’s offspring in Egyptian bondage. She felt birth pangs under Roman bondage when Jesus came at his first Advent as her God-sent Messiah.

Isaiah 26:18 – We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

Israel had the physical appearance of a woman with child, but all that came out of her was wind. She rejected her Messiah as an unloving mother would reject her own child. She was to bring forth deliverance to men, but she rejected the one sent to bring it. The inhabitants were to fall, to succumb, to her testimony of the living God, but Israel’s actions had wrought no deliverance in the earth. And even the great majority of Israelis failed to see the deliverance in Christ at his First Advent. Very few residents of Jerusalem recognized the baby Jesus as the one who would bring deliverance to Israel and the other inhabitants of the earth, the Gentiles.

Luke 2:25-38 – And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. [26] And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, [28] Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, [29] Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: [30] For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, [31] Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; [32] A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. [33] And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. [34] And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; [35] (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. [36] And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; [37] And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. [38] And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Soon he is coming again at the First Resurrection, the “catching out,” the “rapture” of the saved, which will occur on the sounding of the last trump in a series of seven, returning again later at his Second Advent when the last of God’s seven vials of wrath have been poured out on the earth.

Isaiah 26:19 – Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

This is a first resurrection, a rapture of the saved, because the body of Isaiah is to be among them. It is a song of rejoicing as the souls of the saved are reunited with their new glorified, sinless, resurrected bodies. Bodies arise from the dust, to which they returned at physical death, as spiritually glorified bodies for union with their saved souls. Like crystal clear, pure condensation drops of dew on herbs suddenly appear on herbs at sunrise, as if from nowhere, so will the new resurrected bodies also appear when they are cast out of the earth by the power of God.

Isaiah 26:20 – Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

“My people” refers to Isaiah and the nation of Israel, who are advised to hide in a suitable place to protect themselves from both enemies and the terrible shaking to come on the earth.

The “little moment” refers to either the last 1260 days of the Tribulation Period or the time when the seven vials of wrath are poured out on the earth during the latter portion of the 1260 days. The final battle of Armageddon will terminate on the last day of the 1260 years, at which time “the indignation” will be past.

Isaiah 26:21 – For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

This is Christ coming out of his heavenly seat as high priest to pass judgment on the earth’s unsaved inhabitants, during the later portion of the Tribulation Period, for their great iniquities. The “slain” in verse 21 are the “saved” dead, who the earth cast out in verse 19 before God’s wrath began in the pouring out of his seven vials. The earth no longer covers them when the seven vials of wrath are poured out. All the saved, both living and dead, are caught up on the sounding of the seventh trump, and are not here when God’s wrath occurs, but are being judged in heaven for rewards or the lack of them.

The earth’s blood (her blood) is not human blood it is the blood of the earth herself. There is no “haima” or “dam” liquid human blood left in the earth. The Greek word used for blood is “haima,” which can mean real blood, or any object taking on a blood red color, or any liquid that has a blood-red hue. The Hebrew word for blood is “dam,” which is also used to describe any blood-red liquid rather than only body blood, as we find stated in Genesis 49:11 – “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:” The moon will not turn to real blood in the Tribulation Period, but it will take on a blood-red hue, as is described by the use of the word haima in Revelation 6:12 – “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” (See the BLOG we issued at noon on January 7, 2009 for more information on the usages of “haima” and “dam,” as well as the Tectonic Chaos Series in our Prophecy Update Archives).

Revelation 11:15 is the “casting out” of the dead in the earth to be “caught up” to heaven (Isaiah 26:19). For the first time in history, all of the “saved” are in heaven to be judged, such that the spiritual kingdoms of the earth have become the spiritual kingdoms of the Lord.

Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:18 is the judgment of all those “saved” caught up in Isaiah 26:19, whose bodies are no longer covered on earth, since they are being judged in heaven while the blood red liquid lava pours out as the blood of the earth, along tectonic plate boundaries covering thousands of miles on the earth’s surface.

Revelation 11:18 – And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Isaiah 29:6 – Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

Acts 2:19 – And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

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01.   Rapture