... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)

09
March
2011

"Rapture": to Heaven? Part 1 of 4

“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be d e l i v e r e d, every one who is found written in the book.”
Daniel 12:1 (New King James Version)

Words the angel Gabriel told Daniel. Daniel chapter 10-12 tells us about their conversation. Some believe that before or during this time of trouble, the "rapture into heaven to live with God over there for ever will occur. Will Yeshua Messiah come to gather the saints on God Almighty's feast of Rosh Hashanah? Will this be any time soon?

7 Alas! For that day is great,
So that none is like it;
And it is the time of Jacob's trouble,
But he shall be  s a v e d  out of it.

8 'For it shall come to pass in that day,'

Says the LORD of hosts,
'That I will break his yoke from your neck,
And will burst your bonds;
Foreigners shall no more enslave them.

9 But they shall serve the LORD their God,

And David their king,
Whom I will raise up for them.
Jeremiah 30:7-9


Rapture theory

1 Thessalonian 4:15-17 tells us:
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Whom do we expect coming in the clouds? The Lord, the Jewish Messiah the descendant of King David that will establish an eternal Kingdom of God (Daniel 2) in Israel with Jerusalem as its capital city and whom will bring about the restoration of all things in God's creation.
What does this passage tell us? It doesn't say anything about the time of trouble or tribulation, a period of 7 years before Yeshua Messiah comes, neither about the specific moment when the event mentioned in this passage will happen. This passage does speak of people being caught up in the air, first the resurrected and after them the living. By some called the "rapture", a terminology that is not to be found in biblical scripture. 

The "rapture" theory in short: before, halfway or just before the end of the great tribulation "the church" will be raptured, gathered together into heaven to be with Jesus Christ. Jews are not included in this gathering.

Come to think that Yeshua Messiah also called Jesus Christ was and still is an orthodox Jew who love(d)s his people (Matthew 23:37) and gave his life also for them. Although at the same time he criticized some of the Jewish leaders of his time (Matthew 23:4-36) and told the people to listen to these leaders, but not when it came to following them in their deeds 
(Matthew 23:1-3). Most Israelites at the moment might not identify Jesus Christ as Yeshua Messiah, but they do expect the Jewish Messiah to come. For the prophets spoke of his coming.

The name Rosh Hashanah is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible, Leviticus 23:24, refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as Zicaron Terua: a memorial with the blowing of horns (shofar, trumpet). Numbers 29:1 calls the festival Yom Terua: Day [of] blowing [the horn]. 
When it comes to the blowing of horns (shofar, trumpet), there are different feasts when they are blown. According to Jewish tradition at the feast of Pasacha the first horn is blown. At Yom Kippur the big horn is blown, and at Yom Terua the last blown of the horn. That is the last of the hundred times that the horn is blown to signal the start of the year.

At the time Paul wrote about the last blown of the horn mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52, the only one known was that of Yom Teruah. The seven ones in the Revelation were reveled later after Paul's writings to John on Patmos. So the different blowing of the horns shouldn't be confused.


Time table

Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us:
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these l a s t d a y s spoken to us by His Son, …These Last Days started with the birth of Yeshua Messiah. Towards the end of this period of the last days, in which we live at the moment, there is a period that is referred to as the End Times.

The End times: generally considered to be the last seven years before Yeshua Messiah's return. This time is also referred to as the great tribulation. Although some believe that only the last 3½ years of these seven years should be considered as such.

This time line is based on biblical passages through out both the book of Daniel: 70 year week, the Temple service will be change et cetera. As in that of Revelation: the blowing of the trumpets, purring out the bowls et cetera. I will not elaborate further about this. 
But I want to ad a period at the end of the 7 year period, the last hour.

The last hour, Revelation 17:12: the period of time that the kings, rulers of the earth gather and together they give their power to the Antichrist; leading to the first Gog Magog war which is Armageddon, Revelation 17:12 -14, 16:12-15. Compare with Ezechiel 38, 39. For more about this war you can reed: Kingdom of God: on earth? If there is going to be a "rapture" when will it happen?


The 6th seal: signs

Revelation 6:12-15 (NKJV) tells us:
12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

We should realize that God will give his signs at his given time. So we should not gaze blindly on the information about the moon and the sun eclipses provided by astronomers (whom generally speaking does good work). God doesn't have to act in accordance to those and people can make mistakes or give us for whatever reasons disinformation. How can the sky recede like this, etcetera? The passage does speak of what happens on the earth, could this be the reason we will perceive the sky as described in this passage? Could the events written in Joshua 10 also give us an idea of this event?
12 ... Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, ... as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 
What actually stopped that day? The Almighty Father answered Joshua's prayer, by doing something to the earth and the moon, so all perceived the sun and moon stopped. Whatever he did, it didn't cause casualties either. Except those because of the war that was on. At the time of the flood with one family which survived, the earth itself was also changed, that event seems to had something to do with the position of the earth changing alongside its own axis. It is possible this will happen again, but now not caused by a flood, but by this major earthquake mentioned at the opening of this seal.

Revelation 6:16-17 says:
15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Notice in verse 15 it is first all the kings, the great et cetera that are hiding and later slaves and free man. Is this order just a coincidence? This passage doesn't mention casualties when this event occurs, only people hiding.

And why are all these people so afraid, but not in prayer to God? Instead they are hiding from him, not even from the event itself. Why is this? Are those who are faithful to God and to the Lamb, Yeshua Messiah even aware of the fact that God Almighty is in charge of these events? Do day observe his feasts that he gave to Israel so they can be on alert for events to come? Where are the prayers of the ones who are faithful to God? Maybe this event will be a wake up call to all. For Revelation 8:1-5 speak of the opening of the 7th seal, and it does tell us about the prayers of the faithful. By the way the events described when opening the 6th seal also precedes the 144,000 servants of God, all of the tribes of Israel (except Ephraim but Joseph is mentioned), receiving the seal of God Almighty on their forehead, Revelation 7:1-8.

The restoration of the state of Israel, that is the Fig tree, is also a sign, Matthew 24: 32-33
32 “Now learn this parable from the  f i g  t r e e: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. ...
Restoration, which is still going on, makes clear that we are near the end times as prophesied by God's prophets in biblical scripture.

Revelation 8:1 is intriguing:
1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was  s i l e n c e  in  h e a v e n  for about half an hour.
I wonder, what catches the attention of God, the Lamb and all the heavenly beings that it's so silent in heaven for half an hour? Father knows.

Amazing, how so many people believe Yeshua will be coming any day now while the 6th seal, which tells us about a world wide event that will be witnessed by all peoples, haven't even been opened yet. Let alone that the first of the 7 trumpets (shofars) have been blown. 
But then, there are some who truly believe that the "rapture" as described earlier can happen at any time even before the opening of the 6th seal. Then the faithful will be taken in the clouds with him?


The clouds

We should keep in mind that the place of action for the events to come will be Israel. There is where Yeshua Messiah will touch down, Acts 1:9-12:
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet [a], which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey.
[a: mount Olivet is the mount of Olives]

Where else does biblical scripture speak of Yeshua Messiah coming in the clouds, together with others? And what happens immediately after that?
In the book of Revelation describes the only moment that Yeshua Messiah appears in the clouds in Revelation 19. This event will happen at the time of the first Gog Magog war called Armageddon (the 6th and 7th bowl), Revelation 16:12-21: verses 14-16 tells us about the preparations for the war, and Revelation 19:17- 20:3 speaks of the actual war and imprisonment of the fallen angels.

Revelation 19:11-16 tells us:
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Yeshua Messiah's immediate action after appearing with the clouds will be to go to war and imprison the fallen angels, Revelation 19:17– 20:3. Notice that verse 14 speak of the armies in heaven and it's in Revelation 20:4 that the resurrected people are mentioned. And as we have red before in 1 Thessalonian 4:16-17, the resurrected will be the first ones to be caught up in the air.
Daniel 7:11-14, verses 11 and 12 tells us that beasts were destroyed after which Yeshua Messiah alone comes on the cloud to take his place as ruler, verses 13 to 14:
13 “ I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

In accordance to both passages in Daniel and Revelation, the enemy is destroyed before Yeshua Messiah takes his place as ruler of God's Kingdom.
Daniel 7:9-10 speaks of the Ancient of Days, thrones and the books that were opened. Compare with Revelation 20:4-5. Everything was prepared, brought in readiness for Yeshua Messiah and his elect. After he completed his task (Daniel 7:12) he appeared before the Ancient of Days.

Revelation 1:7 tells us:
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. …

This passage again makes clear that every body will see him coming with the cloud, let's say friend and enemy. By the way, who pierced him? John 19:31-37 speaks of this and notice verse 34 tells us that a Roman soldier pierced him. Compare with Zechariah 12:10. So generally speaking the Romans are the enemy who pierced him, not the Jews, although certain leaders at the time and Judas collaborated to imprison and kill him. When he comes, he goes to war at Armageddon after all have seen him come with the cloud.

But Matthew 24:29-32 tells us: 29 “Immediately  a f t e r  the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 “Now learn this parable from the  f i g  t r e e: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
Notice verse 29 says that he will come immediately after the signs in heaven, the tribulation. And he will gather his elect with a great sound of the trumpet. How can Yeshua Messiah do this, while his first priority is to fight a war? Verse 31 says he will send out angels with the trumpets, they are the ones doing the gathering for him.


Conclusion

Yeshua Messiah comes in the clouds with the armies in heaven, the war at Armageddon will be fought in Israel and the fallen angels imprisoned, after this he receives his position as ruler of God's Kingdom. While he fights the enemy or towards the end of the war he will sent angels out with their shofar to gather his elect world wide in the clouds, the resurrected first and those who are alive afterwards, they will be gathered to meet him in the air and be with him of course back on earth in Israel where Yeshua Messiah's throne is, Revelation 20:4-5.

What is there in Heaven? God's throne. Jerusalem is the city of the great King, the descendant of King David, Yeshua Messiah's throne is there. It is also the city were God Almighty choose to be worshiped.

34 ... heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 
Matthew 5:34-35


So when will people get caught in the air, "raptured" by Yeshua Messiah and God's angels? This will happen after the period of tribulation, and anything before that will be false. Will it? There are buts.

You could say there are more passages in biblical scripture that tells us much more about this event. I agree. And there are more questions to be answered. Like, what will God do for the people who are faithful to him? How will they get through the tribulation period? If you want to go through some of the passages and have more questions answered, I invite you to reed further the next three studies.


God bless you,


Related Articles
Taken, raptured?
Rapture: Knowing! Part 2 of 4
Rapture: to Earth! Part 3 of 4
Rapture: Hidden! Part 4 of 4
End Times: heavenly for Christians or a time of gathering God's people?
Christians will feast after the gathering of the Israelites

Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: Recommended