The Rapture was a mystery in Old Testament times, but looking back, the concept is there. Paul made it clear in the New Testament, after Jesus Christ was resurrected and ascended, demonstrating how the Rapture would happen. Up until then, only two men, Enoch and Elijah, had been raptured, caught up to Heaven without dying. Enoch, a Gentile, stood for the Gentiles in the Body of Christ. Elijah, an Israelite, stood for the Israelites in the Body of Christ.
Enoch represented the Pre-Trib Rapture. He was taken up before the Flood. Elijah endured many tribulations before he was caught up to Heaven. Jezebel sought to kill him (I Kings 19:2). Therefore, Elijah represents the Pre-Wrath Rapture at the end of the shortened Great Tribulation. Those Tribulation saints will be caught up just before the fiery asteroid impact. They will be saved so as by fire, or as out of the fiery furnace, so Elijah was taken up by a chariot of fire.
Dan 3:25.26 also pictures the Tribulation saints coming forth out of fire. It says, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like THE SON OF GOD (Christ). Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and COME HITHER. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire."
That "COME HITHER" is very similar to what Christ's voice like a TRUMPET says at the Pre-Trib Rapture. At this first "trump of God" (I Thess. 4:16,17), Jesus Christ says, "COME UP HITHER" (Rev. 4:1). When Moses and Elijah are called up to Heaven Mid-Trib, they too hear "a great voice from heaven saying unto them, COME UP HITHER. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud" (Rev. 11:12). Thus we can figure out that the Tribulation saints will hear "COME HITHER," as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego heard, and be raptured, Gr. harpazo, be caught up by force.
The Pre-Trib Rapture is as the days of Noah (Mt. 24:37; Luke 17:26). No fire fell, only water (symbol of the Holy Spirit).
The Pre-Wrath Rapture is as the days of Lot. "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:29).
The two Raptures were prefigured by two silver trumpets. The LORD spake unto Moses in Nu. 10:1-4 saying, "Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them (both), all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee (as the assembly in Heaven, Heb. 12:23) at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes (elders, Rev. 4:4), which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."
In the New Testament, one "trump of God" calls up the Bride of Christ, the wise Philadelphian virgins (Mt. 25:1f; Rev. 3:7-13), and the 24 elders (Rev. 4:4), the 12 patriarchs and the 12 apostles of Israel. When that first "trump of God" sounds, "the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thess. 4:16,17).
When the millennial Day of the Lord comes, the first trumpet will sound again, calling the Bride from one end of Heaven to the other to come to the "general assembly" in Heaven. Mt. 24:31 says, "he shall send his angels with a GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other."
Heb. 12:18-25 explains, "ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched (Mt. Sinai), and that burned with FIRE, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the SOUND OF A TRUMPET, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But YE ARE COME UNTO MOUNT SION, AND UNTO THE CITY OF THE LIVING GOD, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to an innumerable company of angels, TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY and church of the FIRSTBORN, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him (Christ) that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we ESCAPE, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven."
This "ESCAPE" is the Pre-Trib Rapture. The faithful and wise servants will escape. The foolish servants will be left behind. Luke 12:46 says, "The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., CUT HIM OFF, as Christ spewing him out of his mouth in Rev. 3:16), and will appoint him (a believer, but not a wise one) his portion with the unbelievers" (during the shortened Tribulation). Mt. 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (pretenders): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
In the parable of the wedding feast, a man without a wedding garment is cast outside the door. He is cut off. There "shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are CHOSEN" (Mt. 22:13,14). In Rev. 17:14, we see that "they that are with him (Christ) are CALLED, and CHOSEN, and FAITHFUL." They are called up at the first trump, before the Tribulation, when the "ten kings...have received NO KINGDOM AS YET" (Rev. 17:12).
At the 2nd Rapture, both those already in Heaven and those to be caught up from the Earth are called to the general assembly in Heaven. Mark 13:26,27 says, "then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory (the Sign of the Son of Man, Mt. 24:30, where he is seen in the air sitting on his throne, Rev. 6:14f). And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH (the Pre-Wrath Rapture) to the uttermost part of heaven" (those that were caught up earlier in the Pre-Trib Rapture).
Christ is not seen at the Pre-Trib Rapture. He is seen in the Sign of the Son of Man at the Pre-Wrath Rapture.
The catching up of the Tribulation saints at the last trump is seen in I Cor. 15:51-53. It says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We (believers)shall not all sleep (die in Christ), but we shall all (both the Bride, called up to Heaven at the first 'trump of God' [I Thess. 4:16,17], and the Tribulation saints, called up to the heavenly assembly at the last trump), be changed. 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 (all saints) shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
The Pre-Trib Rapture can be discerned in Isa. 57:1-3. It says, "The righteous perisheth (abad, ESCAPES, as translated in Job 11:20, where the wicked 'shall not ESCAPE'), and no man layeth it to heart: and MERCIFUL MEN ARE TAKEN AWAY (acaph, gathered, removed, evacuated, withdrawn, taken up), none considering that THE RIGHTEOUS IS TAKEN AWAY (acaph, taken up, i.e., raptured) FROM THE EVIL TO COME (the Tribulation that follows the first Rapture). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds (in Heaven), each one walking in his uprightness. But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress (Jezebel, Rev. 2:20), the seed of the adulterer (the Beast of Rev. 13:2-10) and the whore" (the harlot church of Babylon, Rev. 17). Thus, when the Bride is caught up, the Tribulation is near.
Not only will the saints "rest in their beds." Psa. 149:5 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds." The Bride sings the new song (Rev. 5:9).
The 144,000 Israelites seem to be the only segment that is added to the Bride group at the "last trump." They too sing a new song. Rev 14:3-5 says, "they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed FROM THE EARTH. These are they which were not defiled with women (i.e., the harlot church); for they are VIRGINS. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the FIRSTFRUITS unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are WITHOUT FAULT before the throne of God."
Christ is The Firstfruit, the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), and the members of the Bride of Christ are the firstfruits. The First Resurrection is in ranks. I Cor. 15:22,23 says, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank): Christ the firstfruits (the Pre-Trib Rapture); afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (the Sign of the Son of Man is seen the same day the Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place).
In I Thess. 4:16-5:11, Paul said, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP OF GOD (i.e.,first trump, the Pre-Trib Rapture): and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo, as Paul was in II Cor. 12:3, 'he was caught up [harpazo] into paradise) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS."
Continuing in I Thess. 5, it says, "But of the times and the seasons, brethren (believers), YE have no need that I write unto YOU. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord (Millennium) so cometh as a thief in the night. For when THEY (Tribulation unbelievers) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY (unbelievers) shall NOT (ou me, double negative, not any more by any means) ESCAPE (ekpheugo, flee out)." There are two Raptures before the wrath of God hits Earth, but when the destruction comes, there is no more escape, no third Rapture.
Continuing, "But YE, BRETHREN (believers caught up in the Pre-Trib Rapture), are not in darkness (the Tribulation), that that day (first day of the millennial Day of the Lord) should overtake you as a thief. YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT, and the children of the day: WE ARE NOT OF THE NIGHT (i.e., not of the Tribulation), nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let US watch (for Christ to come at the first Rapture) and be sober. For THEY that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 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. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation (SOTERIA, DELIVERANCE) by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore COMFORT YOURSELVES TOGETHER, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
The foolish Laodicean virgins are spued out of Christ's mouth at the first Rapture (Rev. 3:16). They do not have on the necessary white robes of righteousness. They are chastened by the Lord (v. 19), but are caught up to Heaven at the "LAST TRUMP." The parable of the ten virgins in Mt. 25:1f, reveals why they are left behind, because they do not have enough oil of the Holy Spirit. They need to use I John 1:9, confess their known sins so God can cleanse them of all unrighteousness. By the time the Tribulation saints get to Heaven at the "last trump," they will have washed their robes in the blood of Christ to make them white (Rev. 7:14).
In Rev. 3:10, Jesus tells the Philadelphians, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from (ek, out of) the hour of temptation (peirasmos, trial), which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
2 Thess. 2:3,4 (WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE): "Let no one deceive you in any way. For it (the millennial Day of the Lord) will not be, unless the DEPARTURE (the Pre-Trib Rapture) comes FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed (second, after the Rapture), the son of destruction, he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God."
Luke 21:25 says, "there shall be SIGNS IN THE SUN, AND IN THE MOON, AND IN THE STARS (astrois, constellations; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea (the wicked, Isa. 57:20) and the waves roaring." The nations are sure perplexed now.
On 1-21-1999, we had the Double Anchor Cross sign in the Sun. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Double Anchor is the symbol of hope. The Single Anchor is the symbol of hope in the Catholic Church. Our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) is that we will be found worthy to escape in the Pre-Trib Rapture.
On 1-9-01, we had the face of a lion cub in the Blood Moon Eclipse over Jerusalem. That reminds us of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
On 6-9-00, we had the Anchor Cross sign in the Constellation Vela, the sails of the ship Argo (which means the company of travelers, i.e., the Bride of Christ). This ship, like Noah's Ark, represents Christ. The travelers are in Christ. A representation of his face is on the ship just above the waterline. Above it, the lion's head is on the prow.
This Double Anchor sign appeared in the same constellation that the new star, Nova Velorum, appeared on 5-22-99, which was Sivan 7, Pentecost.
We have had definite signs. They agree with Gen. 1:14's, "Let there be lights in the firmament (expanse of space) of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and years."
Luke 21:28 says, "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." By these signs and other fulfilments of Bible prophecy, we can tell that the Rapture is near.
Luke 21:34-36 says, "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 (the Rapture) come upon you unawares. For as a snare (trap) shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." The wise virgins are accounted worthy to escape the Tribulation. They have enough oil of the Holy Spirit to keep their lamps burning brightly.
We are running a race to win an incorruptible crown. Those that win the crown will not be CASTAWAYS. In I Cor. 9:24-27, Paul said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a CASTAWAY."
Crowns are mentioned in the message to the Philadelphians. They are wise virgins. Jesus didn't have one word of condemnation for the church of brotherly love. In Rev. 3:11, Jesus says, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." No crowns are mentioned for the Tribulation saints.
We will be adopted children of God. The wise virgins are the Bride of Christ caught up at the first Rapture. The foolish virgins follow her to Heaven later. In Psa. 45:13-16, we can see another Old Testament type. It says, "The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the VIRGINS HER COMPANIONS THAT FOLLOW HER shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace (in Heaven). Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth."
Seven months (Eze. 39:12,13) after the Pre-Wrath Rapture, Christ will return riding the white horse, symbol of the Prince of Peace. This is the Second Advent. "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." This army is made up of all the saints. Zech. 14:5 says, "the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." Christ's feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives. The "mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south" (Zech. 14:4).
At the beginning of the seven months, Gog's army will attack Israel. God's fury comes up in his face and the asteroids of Rev. 8:8,10 impact Earth to stop Gog's army (Eze. 38:18-20). The Israelites will bury the bodies in Israel seven months to cleanse the land for the Lord's return (Eze. 39:12,13). After he and his army return, Armageddon will be fought. It is Satan's last ditch stand, his forces against Christ's forces. At the end of Armageddon, the Beast and False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and Satan will be chained. Then, the world will finally have true peace.
The group of saints "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" in Rev. 5:9 is the group called up to Heaven at the Pre-Trib Rapture. They see Christ given the Title Deed to the Earth. They are in Heaven before the first seal is broken in Rev. 6.
The group of saints that "no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" of Rev. 9,14 are those "which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." They escape between the breaking of the sixth (Rev. 6:12) and seventh seals (Rev. 8).
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