Missler says that the two most important letters eschatologically are the two letters to the Thessalonians. Certainly these are very important, but there are many important passages in scripture eschatologically. The puzzle is put together utilizing all the parts.
The first Thessalonians letter he says is about a separate event from Jesus coming back to earth. It is about the Rapture. He then says that there was a second letter which was a forgery, and that the third letter 2 Thessalonians was a rebuttal to that forgery.
So what does Thessalonians tell us? 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. (this point is about resurrection). The dead will come back with Jesus. This return will begin with the souls of the dead, who are right now in paradise. Notice those still alive on earth are not present. But listen:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
So the dead souls have returned with Jesus meeting up with their bodies and we who remain are Raptured to meet them. So when does this occur?
Here Missler lists 7 Raptures– Enoch, Elijah, Jesus-(Rev.12, acts 1), Philip, Paul, the Church, and John (Rev. 4:1).
Harpazo (meaning Rapture to Missler), is only used in four of these , it is not used with Enoch, Elijah, or John in Rev. 4:1. Why not? The Holy Spirit knew that this debate would be raging, why did God not identify Revelation 4:1 to John an us as Rapture if it is to represent Rapture?– because it is not the time of “the Rapture”. Of course it can be argued that Mark 13:27 does not use the term Rapture either. But listen for the 1
Thessalonians Rapture certainly is there even in the midst of resurrection: “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”; this obviously describes the Resurrection and Rapture.
So our question would be does Revelation 4:1 describe and therefore represent the Rapture accompanying the Resurrection, since the word Harpazo is not used there? We need to ask this question because Missler believes in several Raptures.
Revelation 4:1-2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. (Rev. 4:1-2 NASB).
Immediately I was in the Spirit; there is no evidence of a resurrection, no evidence of anyone accompanying him up. More importantly there is no meeting in the air, this is his being caught away into Heaven, just as Paul discribes that he was caught into heaven. There was no coming of the Lord for John. There was no trumpet, but a voice as a trumpet. God has a loud voice when He wants to speak. Even His still small voice comes across as loud to the heater.
Missler further says that Jesus’ Harpazo in Rev 12 could be speaking to the church as the body of Christ, for it is presented before the 70th week spoken of in vs 6. This would be a consideration if it were not for the fact that the body (the offspring of the woman (Israel) is still present after Vs 6. Revelation 12:6, 12, 14, 17 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
If these children whom Satan makes war with are to be exclusive of Gentiles and all Jewish, then it would be impossible for them to be holding to the testimony of Jesus. For even the Dispensationalists believe and teach Paul’s message that once the last gentile is saved, that then it is that God begins to deal with the salvation of the Nation Israel.
If the woman is Israel and Israel is being protected until that time, then her offspring or children who keep the commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus would have to be the body of Christ; those who keep the commandments and overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb. Israel is being protected but is not yet saved, and when she is saved she will be among those who are over-comers, and she will be shocked:
Isaiah 49:3, 6, 12, 14-16, 20-22 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” “Behold, these will come from afar; And lo, these will come from the north and from the west, And these from the land of Sinim.” But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. “The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room for me that I may live here.’ “Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone; From where did these come?’” Thus says the Lord God,“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
Then Paul when speaking of our resurrection from the dead in 1 Cor. 15 states that when we see Him we shall see Him as He is; yet the picture that pre-Trib scholars offer of the Rapture which is preceded by the resurrection is in Rev. 4, where we see Our savior represented as a slain Lamb, yet, this is not the way we will see Him as He is upon His return. We now know Him as our savior the Lamb of God, but then we shall know Him as King of Kings.