Pro and Con 712

Posted 3-16-01

Incoming email

Re: harvest time rapture.
Our baby boy Nicolas was born last Sunday morning,everyone is doing fine,his weight was 9 pounds 13 oz,s.I have another possible sighting on a rapture verse in the book of Malachi 3:17 which says, (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).Verse 18 says, (then shall ye return).My thoughts about the end of this age.When I,am raptured it will be the end of this world for me.Strong,s concordance (aion), also means course, which denotes a particular period or interval,a fixed or (special occasion). My neighbors have a First and second cutting with a wheat harvest,how ironic.A pre-trib rapture harvest and pre-wrath rapture harvest.My number one priority is to have my name found written in the book of life and that it stay,s in there,each passing day I need to give an account of my time to the Lord.One last thought about the planetary alignment of May 2000,after that time we had many forest fires.We need to keep a close watch on this 50 day countdown of the Omer, which could culminate with the rapture this coming spring.Marilyn I was sorry to hear about your fall on the street,I hope your not too sore.

My reply

Congratulations. That is one big baby. I know, David was 9 pounds 11.5 ounces. The nurses called him my football player.

> > that day when I make up my jewels;and I will spare them

Because of 3:2 and 4:1, this seems to be the Pre-Wrath Rapture, but it might apply to both Raptures. After both of them, we see that the wall of New Jerusalem has 12 foundations, the 12 apostles. And "the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones," jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, cyrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth and amethyst. "And the twelve gates (the 12 tribes of Israel) were twelve pearls" (Rev. 21:19,20). Both groups are characterized by jewels....Agape

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From: CAPS...
THE RAPTURE--WHEN?--PART 14, LUMP OF DOUGH AT PENTECOST
In Romans 11:16 Paul writes this principle: For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Paul's discussion in this chapter was in the context of the CORPORATE nation of Israel being cut off and the CORPORATE Church being grafted in. It is my opinion that Paul is talking about 2 different entities , the Church and the nation of Israel. The first phrase "For if the FIRSTFRUIT is holy, the LUMP is also holy" IS APPLICABLE to the Church.

The 2nd phrase, notice the word "and" which would seem to confirm the discussion of 2 ideas, "and if the ROOT be holy, so are the BRANCHES" IS APPLICABLE to the nation of Israel.

Paul then goes on to discuss the 2nd of these principles about the ROOT AND THE BRANCHES. He does not develop the subject of the First Principle re the "FIRSTFRUIT AND THE LUMP." The reason is that the concept or principle of the "firstfruit and the lump" applies more specifically to the CHURCH.

Here is how. Christ is the FIRSTFRUIT and the "LUMP" is the completed church at the offering up of the 2 loaves at Pentecost. Christ's resurrection and ascension at the Festival of Firstfruits is our guarantee of our own Glorification and Rapture at the Feast of Pentecost. What is true of the "Firstfruit" as a sample MUST be true also of the whole "batch of dough". The word "lump" (Greek, phurama), denotes" that which is mixed or kneaded, hence a 'mass of dough '(W.E. Vine).

Here is what the JFB commentary has to say about this verse:
ROMANS 11:16. "For--"But" if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy--The Israelites were required to offer to God the first-fruits of the earth--both in their raw state, in a SHEAF of newly reaped grain (Leviticus 23:10,11), and in their prepared state, made into cakes of dough (Numbers 15:19-21)--by which the whole produce of that season was regarded as hallowed. It is probable that the latter of these offerings is here intended, as to it the word "lump" best applies."

In Leviticus 23: 10,11 we see the ORDER for waving the "SHEAF of the FIRSTFRUIT." Immediately following, in verses 16 & 17, we see the ORDER for making the mass of dough into 2 Loaves of bread and waving them before the Lord. What is true of the "Firstfruit" (Christ), is also true of the Two Loaves of bread--the Church.

The Logic and Intent of this teaching of the scriptures is clear. Since Christ's resurrection and ascension is TYPIFIED by the "Sheaf OF the Firstfruits" waved on the Feast of Firstfruits, THEN, of course, the Church's resurrection and rapture is typified by the "batch of dough" (the lump,of bread) waved at Pentecost!!

Christ's resurrection by the Spirit of God is the guarantee of the Church's resurrection/rapture by the Same Spirit who indwells it. Again, Christ's resurrection served as the Firstfruits guarantee of the Greater Harvest to come at Pentecost.(Likewise, since Pentecost is also a "Day of Firstfruits" it is representative of an even Greater Harvest YET TO COME in later Feasts.) Paul develops the theme that the Holy Spirit that indwells the Church TRANSFERS the "Firstfruits guarantee" from Christ to the Church.

Romans 8:11,23 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, which means, the redemption of our body.
Thus by the Agency of the Holy Spirit the Church is the "Harvest of Firstfruits" awaiting the redemption of their bodies.

No wonder that in I Thes. chapter 4 Paul says in verse 14 "For IF (OR SINCE) we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Paul then connects this same thought or condition to the rapture of those who are still alive. Note that "if we believe that Jesus died and rose again" then we are BELIEVERS and therefore saved and therefore HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US AS THE GUARANTEE OF THE RAPTURE.This is why Paul call Him the "Holy Spirit of Promise."

This theme is also discussed by Paul in Ephesians 4:30.
4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The analogy is this. At our believing ,as a Corporate Body--represented by the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit on Sunday the Feast of Firstfruits when Jesus was Ascended and Glorified--we received the Holy Spirit. Remember on this day Jesus "breathed on (Greek word means to BLOW INTO) the disciples and said "Receive the Holy Spirt." Immediately afterwards He said "whosoever sins you REMIT, etc. " Note that the "remission of sins has to do with the NEW BIRTH.

We as a corporate Church were SEALED by the Holy Spirit on that Sunday , the Feast of Firstfruits.......awaiting the Redemption of the Body at Pentecost. Brethren, the Sealing has already taken place at the receiving of the Holy Spirit. We are "sealed UNTO the Day of Redemption...." I believe that Day is Pentecost. No doubt this is why it is important to realize that the First receiving of the Holy Spirit was on the Feast of Firstfruits and not on Pentecost. Pentecost has a different purpose in the plan of God. It is the "Day of Redemption." God Bless.

My reply

When I went back to read Rom. 11:16 again, I decided I'd better read the whole chapter. All the way through, Israel and the Gentiles are contrasted. "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew...at this present time also there is a remnant (of Israel) according to the election of grace...Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (of Israel) hath obtained it, and the rest (of Israel) were blinded" (11:2,5,7).

Verse 15 says, "what shall the receiving of them (that present remnant of Israel) be, but life from the dead?" Then v. 16 mentions that if the firstfruit (Christ) be holy, the lump is also holy." At Pentecost, there are two lumps of dough, baked with leaven. The heat kills the leaven after the loaf has risen enough. Wouldn't the first loaf represent that present remnant of Israel, the 120 that were in the upper room on Pentecost in 30 AD? They received the sealing on Resurrection Day, as you said, and on Pentecost, they received POWER. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told them, "ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

If one loaf represents that present remnant of Israel, wouldn't the other loaf represent the Gentile saints? The dough might be one lump until ready to be shaped into 2 loaves. Both loaves represent saints in good standing because of the Spirit of Christ that is in them. It seems that Paul gave us another example to be sure we could understood what he was saying in the 1st part. Both that present remnant of Israel and the Gentiles that were grafted in seem to be represented.

In Rom. 11:16-20, Paul added, "and if the root (Christ) be holy, so are the branches (that get the sap from the root). And if some of the branches (of Israel) be broken off, and thou (Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them (Israelites), and WITH THEM partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree (partake of the Spirit of Christ). Boast not against the branches (of Israel). But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root (Christ), but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off (of Israel), that I (a Gentile) might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they (Israelites) were broken off, and thou (a Gentile) standest by faith."

Christ is the Firstfruit on the Feast of Firstfruits. Like you, I think he will come to the firstfruits Bride group, one Body made up of Jews and Gentiles, on Pentecost.

Christ ascended on Firstfruits and on Ascension Day 40 days later. Then he came back as the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) on Pentecost. He came to that present remnant of Israel on Pentecost in 30 AD. He is very likely to come to the Bride group of our days on Pentecost. Those 2 loaves may picture 2 fulfillments of Pentecost as well as Jews and Gentiles. God usually has more than one reason for doing things the way he does. He doesn't miss a chance to plant clues.

> > the Sealing has already taken place at the receiving of the Holy Spirit. We are "sealed UNTO the Day of Redemption...." I believe that Day is Pentecost.

I agree.

Re: wheat harvest. Mt. 13:30 says, "Let both (wheat and tares) grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them (probably the OWG and the 10 regions of the world): but gather the wheat into my barn." This pictures the 2 reapings with sickles of Rev. 14:14f. First the Pre-Wrath Rapture, then the rest are thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God. Fire falls on them. Both are on the same day.

Therefore, there IS a wheat harvest on Tishri 1. However, it does NOT mean that there is wheat harvested continually all summer. You are right that the wheat harvest ENDS on Pentecost. How can both be so? Keep in mind that there are 2 Raptures, 2, and only 2, times that the trumps of God call the wheat to Heaven. Lev. 23:22 says, "when ye reap the harvest of your land, THOU SHALT NOT MAKE CLEAN RIDDANCE of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, NEITHER SHALT THOU GATHER ANY GLEANING of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God." I should have seen that long ago. I'm thankful that you made me see that the wheat harvest ends at Pentecost. It HAS to end on Pentecost. Those left behind in the corners of the field (world) will not be raptured until the Feast of Trumpets that begins the Millennium. Now I see through the glass more clearly, thanks to you. Sometimes I need another pair of eyes to see through. Agape

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I continue to try to absorb the scope of what you share on your website. Thank you for all your efforts.

Questions I am getting tripped up on:
1- Mt. 13:30: Why does the word "first" appear when referring to gathering the tares together BEFORE the wheat is gathered into the barn? I thought that the believers would be "gathered" at the (pre-wrath) rapture BEFORE the tares.
2- Rev. 1:10 uses the phrase "on the Lord's Day"---does this simply refer to Sunday or to the Day of the Lord?
3-Assuming your thoughts about two raptures are correct: is there any significance to 1 Cor 15:51,52 (pre-wrath rapture reference) being directed at the Corinthian believers---who Paul considered immature and carnal---and 1 Thess. 4:17 (pre-trib rapture reference) being directed at the Thessalonican believers---who Paul considered loyal and steadfast? Both churches during that time were considered "Christian", but Paul seemed to have a very different attitude (and message) towards them. Is this a stretch?
...Talking about two raptures gets met with reactions that this is "kooky", but it makes alot of sense when you think about it. (I don't understand why this isn't a more common theory being debated among Christians. It makes more sense than some of the common interpretations of prophecy.)...
6-Mt. 24:33 in the NASB states "door", not "doors"; do you know why? As you know, KJV and NKJV state, "doors", but I thought that NASB was a reliable translation--am I wrong? I think that the singular vs. plural is highly significant, so this seems important. 7-could you clarify "outer darknes" mentioned in Mt. 25:30 and elsewhere. Unprofitable servant seems to be the ineffective Christian, not the unbeliever, right? If that is true, then unprofitable believers will face consequences beyond just missing rewards.
8-Mt. 22:11-14: again mentions outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth from the improperly dressed wedding guest. Does this apply to a believer or unbeliever? Also, could you expand on the meaning of "many are called, but few are chosen".... What an exciting time to be alive! May you and your family be blessed!

My reply

> > 1- Mt. 13:30: Why does the word "first" appear when referring to gathering the tares together BEFORE the wheat is gathered into the barn? I thought that the believers would be "gathered" at the (pre-wrath) rapture BEFORE the tares.

The unbelievers are tied together in bundles to be burned later. This may refer to the One World Government and its 10 regions. When the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord comes, the wheat is gathered first, then at noon, the fire falls on all that is left behind.

> > 2- Rev. 1:10 uses the phrase "on the Lord's Day"---does this simply refer to Sunday or to the Day of the Lord?

I am uncertain whether it refers to Sunday or the 1st of the 2 Days of the Son of Man, which are the 2 Raptures. I am sure that it does not refer to the millennial Day of the Lord. It is in the Preview of the Pre-Trib Rapture presented in Rev. 1.

> > is there any significance to 1 Cor 15:51,52 (pre-wrath rapture reference) being directed at the Corinthian believers---who Paul considered immature and carnal---and 1 Thess. 4:17 (pre-trib rapture reference) being directed at the Thessalonican believers ---who Paul considered loyal and steadfast?

Yes. God never misses a trick. He directs what his servants say in the Bible. In I Cor. 1:8, he wanted them to "be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (the Rapture). In 3:1-3, he said he couldn't speak to them "as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ....whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not CARNAL, and walk as men?"

To the Thessalonians, he said, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that YE WERE ENSAMPLES TO ALL THAT BELIEVE" (I Thess. 1:3-7)....

> > I don't understand why this isn't a more common theory being debated among Christians.

Me either. It is so clear to me, I can't see why it isn't that clear to others. For one thing, if we think about it rationally, we know that the Lord would not abandon the Tribulation saints. The foolish virgins and Laodiceans would have accepted Christ in this era. All the promises are not suddenly made of none effect because they are living during the Tribulation. In John 14:3, he said, "if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." He promised, and he will keep his promise, even to the foolish lukewarm Laodicean virgins....

> > 6-Mt. 24:33 in the NASB states "door", not "doors"; do you know why? As you know, KJV and NKJV state, "doors", but I thought that NASB was a reliable translation--am I wrong?

Green's Interlinear has "doors." The original Bible was perfect. Translations are not always perfect. That is why I learn something every time I go through a different version. The translators choose different words and something will pop out that I didn't see before. I enjoy reading the NASB, but keep the KJV before me as my study Bible. I switch from time to time, but right now, I am carrying the NASB with me to read at odd moments.

> > 7-could you clarify "outer darknes" mentioned in Mt. 25:30 and elsewhere. Unprofitable servant seems to be the ineffective Christian, not the unbeliever, right? If that is true, then unprofitable believers will face consequences beyond just missing rewards.

It means outside the doors darkness, just as it does in the parable of the marriage feast in Mt. 22: 13. It is the same as when the Laodiceans are spued out of Christ's mouth (Rev. 3:16). The unprofitable servent is still a servant, a believer. However, he/she can be a "castaway" (I Cor. 9:27), i.e., cast outside the Rapture door the 1st time. According to Luke 12:46, they will have to endure their portion with the unbelievers, i.e., 2300 days (Dan. 8:13,14) of the Tribulation.

> > 8-Mt. 22:11-14: again mentions outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth from the improperly dressed wedding guest. Does this apply to a believer or unbeliever? Also, could you expand on the meaning of "many are called, but few are chosen".

It applies to a believer who is not wearing a spiritual white robe of righteousness. The few that are chosen are the Bride group, the good shepherd's little flock. Luke 12:32-37 says, "Fear not, LITTLE FLOCK....where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning (i.e., have plenty of oil of the Holy Spirit); And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding (ek gamos, from the place of a marriage festival, Thayer, i.e., from Heaven); that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them."

In v. 36, the ASV says, "be ye yourselves like unto men looking for their lord, when he shall return FROM THE MARRIAGE FEAST (i.e., from the place where it is ready); that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may straightway open unto him." That ties in with the parable of the "marriage feast" (gamous) in Mt. 22:2,9. We know that someone was cast outside the doors at that feast. Therefore, both references to this marriage feast apply to the time of the first Rapture, and not to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb....Agape

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Re: Thanks You
I just wanted you to know that God has really blessed me with your site. Although I have had computer experience through jobs for several years, I didn't go "online" until last fall. I know that the primary reason for it was to keep up with Bible prophecy, and your site has been one that I check each day. I look forward to the P & C, even though I get a little uncomfortable when people get confrontational with you. I am a 44 year old who was saved in Bible school at eight. I was raised and still believe in the infallibility of scripture. The two Rapture teaching is new to me, but it helps me toe the line, believe me! I wish to go "in the first load," as they say! Your site helps me keep my priorities straight, and I thank you so much for that. Looking forward to seeing you in May! :o) Agape!

My reply

I am glad you enjoy my site. I too want to go in the first load. To wish otherwise is unthinkable. Paul was running the race to win the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14), and so am I. Agape

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Re: Thanks for recommending Bible Plus Program
Burning the midnight oil making scripture memory cards. It was so much easier having downloaded Bible plus!

Just looked up the references. Cut and paste...and...voila. Praise God. Because time is short we all need technology to help us. God is so good to us isn't He?

Are you feeling better? Prayed for you also for protection claiming protection of Psalm 91 for you.

Agape and CU soon. It will be fun to meet everyone in heaven who has corresponded with you. We all share so much in common. The remnant Philladelphia church is alive and well on planet earth! Bless you.

My reply

Thanks for letting me know you like Bible Plus. That is a big plus for me in changing from the Mac to the PC.

I appreciate your prayers on my behalf. Agape

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Re: DIFFERENT TIME ZONES.
I have been reading your p & c everyday. Although I find some of the material difficult as I am only a very christain I find it very interesting to read and to go back to my bible to back up everything that I read and pray about it.

The date you now say to be the date of the rapture 28 May, 2001 is not far of at all and I was wondering. What should we do on that day. Wait and see what happens go to work do our normal thing. I have just looked on my calendar and the 28th May in Australia will be a Monday. Does this mean it may happen then or when ever the 28th May happens on the Jewish calendar.

I want to be at home with my family on this great day and don't want to be at work and away from my family.

Could you please explain about the time and day differences between the countries and what this effect may be on everybody at all different time zones in the world. Thank you.

My reply

Jesus said to occupy until he comes. To me, that means go about our normal life. We can't be sure enough of the hour anyway even if we think we know the day. The Bible is using Jerusalem time. I am 10 hours behind them here in California. There is a World Time Zone URL on my Link page if you need to figure time in different zones. Agape

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Please visit our ministry website at: www.the-two-witnesses.org and read our testimony. Thank you. Yours in Christ, William and Frances

My reply

I differ with you on your belief that there will be no Pre-Trib Rapture. I expect you will change your view fast enough when the Pre-Trib Rapture takes place. I think that will be soon too.

Be certain that you have repented and confessed your sins (I John 1:9) so it can't catch you unprepared. Luke 12:46 tells us that some foolish servants (i.e., foolish virgins) will be left behind when the Bride group is caught up. It 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), and will appoint him his portion (2300 days of the Tribulation; Dan. 8:13,14) with the UNBELIEVERS." 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." This is illustrated in Mt. 22 by the man being cast out of Heaven's door because he did not have on a wedding garment. Mt. 22:13,14 says, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. For many are CALLED, but few are CHOSEN."

We must be called, and chosen, and faithful. Rev. 17:14 says that "they that ARE with him (with Christ in Heaven during the Tribulation) ARE CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL." Will you be with Christ in Heaven during the Tribulation? Are you one of the few that are "CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL"? If you are, then why wouldn't you be among the "CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL" ones in Heaven with Christ during the Tribulation? If you are with Christ in Heaven during the Tribulation, you won't be on Earth during the Tribulation.

> > Many Christians believe Jesus will return and take them away before the Tribulation (the Rapture), but Jesus will not return until it is time for Armageddon, the battle between God's kingdom and Satan's kingdom that precedes His reign on Earth.

I believe that there will be two Raptures (one Pre-Trib for the Bride group and the other Pre-Wrath for the rest of the Body of Christ) plus the Second Advent, all BEFORE Armageddon. Zech. 14:5 says, "the LORD my God shall COME, and ALL the saints with thee." Therefore, all the saints must be in Heaven before they can come to Earth with Christ. If you are on Earth, you can't be among ALL the saints in Heaven. Therefore, you would not return with Christ. If you think you will be one that is "CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL," you will be with Christ in Heaven, and can return to Earth as he returns to Earth.

> > During the Tribulation: I. The Holy Spirit will be completely removed from the world... > > even Christians will become less godly, though the Holy Spirit will not leave them.

Which way will you have it? No Holy Spirit during the Tribulation, or "the Holy Spirit will not leave them"? The two things you said are diametrically opposed to each other.

II Thess. 2:6-8 says, "now ye know what withholdeth (the Holy Spirit in the salt-of-the-Earth saints) that he (the False Prophet) might be revealed in his time (the Tribulation). For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let (Old English for he who hindereth will hinder), until he be taken out (ginomai, arise, be taken out) of the way. And then (tote, at the same time) shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Even though the Holy Spirit takes us up to Heaven he never completely leaves Earth. It would fall apart. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. Rom. 8:9 says, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Heb. 1:3 says of Christ, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and UPHOLDING ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."

> > The Opening of the Seventh Seal - September 27, 2000

None of the seals can be opened until Jesus is given the "book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals" (Rev. 5:1). That has not yet taken place, because the Pre-Trib Rapture has not taken place. Also, the 70th week of Dan. 9:27 has not yet started, because it starts when the 1st seal is broken on the "book" (the title deed to the Earth).

In Revelation, the Tribulation (70th week of Daniel) starts when the 1st seal is opened in Rev. 6 and the Beast comes to power, probably over the One World Government and the United Religions. All that is written before that point happens before the Tribulation. In other words, Revelation chapters 1-5 happen before the Tribulation begins.

After John is shown a Preview of the Rapture in chapter 1, he is told, "Write the things which thou hast seen (things before the Rapture), and the things which are (at the time of the Rapture), and the things which shall be hereafter" (hereafter" the Rapture; Rev. 4:1) (Rev. 1:19).

In the Preview of the Rapture, Jesus Christ speaks. He says, "I am Alpha AND Omega, the beginning (LORD of the Old Testament) AND the ending (Lord of the New Testament), saith the Lord, which is (at the Rapture), and which was (at the First Advent), and which is to come (at the Second Advent), the Almighty."

When Christ will be revealed to us is at the Pre-Trib Rapture. Therefore "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 1:1) is written as if the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in both the first and last chapters (1:3; 22:10). Jesus signs off with "Surely I COME QUICKLY." He comes quickly at the Rapture.

In the Preview, Jesus is seen in Heaven with the 7 candlesticks (churches; 1:20) all around him. He has the star achievers still in his right hand, because he has just snatched them up (1:12-16). As he begins his monologue to the 7 churches, he tells the 1st church group, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY (maybe 10 days later; 2:10), and will remove thy candlestick out of his place (in Heaven), except thou REPENT (2:4). In his message to the Philadelphians (brotherly love), Christ said that he had set before them the "OPEN DOOR" (3:8). That open door is Heaven's door that opens at the Pre-Trib Rapture (4:1). In 3:10,11, Jesus says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM (ek, out of) the hour of temptation (peirasmou, trial, i.e., the Tribulation), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I COME QUICKLY: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

John is one of the 24 elders (12 patriarchs of Israel and 12 apostles). He and 23 other elders are seen seated in Heaven in Rev. 4:4--AFTER THE RAPTURE. Therefore John is not the only one to be caught up to Heaven when the door opens in Rev. 4:1. The Philadelphians go up. If the elders are crowned in Heaven, we will be crowned in Heaven too. Hebrews 11:40 says, "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." The Bride group is made up of the saints seen in Heaven when Christ receives the "book" sealed with 7 seals. They are "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." The elders are all Israelites. This group is from every nation. It seems that the elders are our appointed Representatives in the government of Christ. Agape

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