We will be examining Revelation Chapter 11, which speaks of the seventh trumpet sounding, and comparing it with Revelation 4 the much acclaimed Pre-Tribulation Rapture chapter — “come up hither”. But before we do we need to pinpoint what scripture teaches concerning what we are to be looking for — according to Scripture — at the time of rapture.
I have been writing a series of articles with an emphasis on Jesus’ warning to us in Revelation 22. The warning “if taken seriously” by teachers within the Christian Faith could have a far reaching impact on the unity within doctrine.
Jesus may well have had His own prayer [(John 17) for unity] in mind when He made His warning in Revelation 22. It is profound to consider, so let’s view it one more time.
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (KJV)
It is a serious thing when it is determined by one to speculate beyond what is written in this book. Of course it is not speculation but learning, teaching and wisdom, if we interpret these words in light of the scriptures own teaching. In the case of the Rapture, there are really only three passages of scripture that we can all agree are in consideration for the subject of Rapture outside of Revelation itself. I am going to list them, and then examine our two chapters from Revelation in light of them.
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: 4:17 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. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)
For the purpose of our study it is important to know why comfort was felt to be needed when Paul penned this. So I am adding his stated purpose for this writing.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (KJV)
Paul is saying “look, there is hope for us beyond the grave”. His second passage concerning the Rapture is in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.
Just as in the first passage Paul’s motive for writing was not the Rapture, but his main focus was for our need of immortality of body. We must all be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (KJV)
Often we think of the Rapture as the main focus of scripture beyond our salvation. But it is part of our hope not all of our hope. There are other passages dealing with Rapture in Jesus’ own words. We will look at just one, because they contain the same message.
Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
We will begin by looking at the things that are the same in each of these passages. We need to know if they agree. And if they don’t where do they not agree? There is no question that Paul is writing concerning the same event in both of his letters. There is little agreement And much argument as to the timing of Jesus’ passage being the same. Many say that it is only for Israel.
All three passages speak of Jesus Coming
With Paul both passages speak of a Trumpet, although in Corinthians it is called the last Trumpet. Jesus mentions no trumpet, but coming with great power and Glory.
All three involve resurrection
And all three speak of a gathering from earth or what has become taught as rapture.
So the things on which all agree are: the Coming; the Resurrection; and the Rapture. Paul’s passages both require a trumpet.
So you could be saying about now we know this stuff, and we also know that it is taught that these are two different rapture events. And I know “that teaching” also, but I have my reasons for showing all of it here. Bare with me.
So, Let’s compare Revelation 4 and Revelation 11 with this list of we’ll call them rapture essentials.
First, is there a Trumpet?
Rev 4’s chapter has no trumpet; Rev 11 tells that this is the Seventh trumpet. It is the last recorded in the Revelation. It meets both of Paul’s teachings. Without adding to or taking away.
Second, the resurrection must occur in order for the Rapture to follow. In Rev 4 the voice is speaking to John alone to come up and to be shown what must come hereafter, john then sees a throne and God upon the throne. But the most telling statement of Rev chapter 4 is in this verse:
Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (KJV)
This God, who is still on His throne, is still to come. He is not yet come. Each of our scriptures on rapture emphasize the coming of the Lord. In Rev 11, we read:
You will notice that this verse omits, or does no longer proclaim that the one is still or yet to come. He was and He is and we know from this that He has come. We also know this because it is stated that His wrath is poured out and it is time for judging the saints – his bond servants, whom we are if you read chapter one of Revelation. None of this is true in Revelation 4, where seals are yet to be opened thus wrath is yet to come, resurrection is not mentioned. But in Paul’s rapture teaching, resurrection has to have come before Wrath was poured out, and in chapter 11, because we will not experience His wrath, then rapture and resurrection are understood. Both chapter 4 or 11 speak of a form of Rapture or a catching up. In chapter 4 it is John who is caught up to God who is yet to come. In Chapter 11 the Two witnesses are resurrected and caught up to God at a time when there is no longer any mention that He is yet to come, and at a time that we are told that wrath is poured out or has come.
“and came the wrath of thee” “and the time of the dead to be judged”. This has to mean that this verse is describing what is taking place after the bowls of wrath are poured out in Revelation 16, bringing the events required by those bowls, which would include as stated there Armageddon, and Jesus’ promise to come as a thief.
Jesus stated that nothing is to be taken from or added to this book. And if we truly believe Him, nothing need be taken from or added to this book in order to understand what His angel has been sent to tell us.
We are told by men, each using his own perceived scenario, that the rapture is in these verses. Some of these teachers are adding to or taking away from these scriptures in order to make their case for the timing. Are you one of these? Please Read this entire series. It is posted under: (Seeing Revelation Through Jesus’ Warning), for there is much more proof in the Revelation concerning the rapture’s timing.
May God bless you as you study.