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consider this (rapture)

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Wildfire, Jan 15, 2003.

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  1. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    My spirit has been grieved over understanding the 'rapture' and listening to those who debate over it; when it will happen, and who it will happen to.
    Upon listening to my pastor reassure a whole congreration that they had nothing to worry about, since they would all miss the coming tribulation, I prayed to God for some insight.
    Now, I am no bible scholar and I am not seeking an argument here with this post. I only ask those who seek to understand the truth, to consider what I am going to write. What seems to be so complicated and uncertain, has been made simple and clear.

    (when) is the rapture?

    There is only one part of Revelation that speaks of such an event, and it is found in chapter 11, AFTER the two witnesses are killed by the 'beast'.

    It says: And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
    And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN IN A CLOUD; and their enemies beheld them.

    The book of Thess 1 writes a passage similiar:

    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:
    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.

    Corin. 1, 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 incorruptable, and we shall be changed.

    When is the last trumpet sounded? After the sixth angel loosed the four angels which are bound in the river Euphrates; after a third part of men were slain, after the seven thunders uttered their voices, and it is declared that time is no longer.

    Back to the two witnesses; who are they? They are the two candlesticks which are before the God of the earth. The SAME two candlesticks spoken of the the beginning of Revelation; the two churches (not buildings, or historical places but CHRISTIANS) who are found worthy, spotless, and clean by God himself.

    Very important to understand this.

    ((Because)) these two witnesses, after their testimony, are KILLED, but they are GIVEN LIFE after three and a half days. They are GIVEN LIFE. So after they martyr themselves for God, they are ressurected, and raptured.

    This is a large group of people who are slain; that is why their bodies are not buried, and the world rejoices over their death.

    Here is the rapture.

    I know this will be rejected, because christians don't want to believe that death comes first, then the rapture; but it is laid out for us to see, and we need to mentally and spiritually be prepared. That is why the disciples spoke of the coming tribulation; because it was so great, like the world has never seen.

    That is why we are told to comfort one another with the words spoken in Thess: why would we comfort one another if we were going to be removed.

    There is more I would like to post with this, but cannot now.

    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. JesusServant

    JesusServant do not stray too far left nor right but CENTER

    Interesting view wildfire and quite possible.  When I first read that part of Revelation I thought there would be a mid-trib rapture at that point and then that's when Satan would break the seven year agreement.  But more study of Revelation and Daniel makes this harder to believe. 

    Are you basically saying the two witnesses are the Protestant and the Catholic churches?  Or maybe even Jews and Christians?
  3. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib New Member

    Rapture is not in the Bible. It was from Latin word.

    Rapture is 'caught up'.

    Early Church does not use word, 'rapture' to use for Eschatology doctrine for many centuries.

    Rapture was appeared during 19th Century. It was developed by John Nelson Darby.

    Many churches in America adopted Darby's new teaching.

    Today, Rapture is very popular in America.

    Early Church does not teach on split comings, or two phases of the Second Advent.

    Early Church taught only ONE future coming.

    Two witnesses of Revelation represent Christians in Great Tribulation.

    Because we are candlesticks- Rev. 1:20.

    We are persecute under Gentiles(unbelievers) for 42 months - 3 1/2 years in Rev. 11:2.

    Great Tribulation is not 7 years. It is only 3 1/2 years, according to the Bible saying so.

    Antichrist will reign for only 42 months - 3 1/2 years in Rev. 13:5.

    Rapture will not come till after tribulation - Matt. 24:29-31.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
  4. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    posttrib; you are correct 'rapture' is not in the bible, and I cringe from using it; but it is a word christians recognize. Thank you for your post.

    Jesusservant; you asked if the two witnesses are catholics, jews, protestants or christians. Revelation tells who they are in in chapter 11:4: These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of this earth.

    Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are warnings sent to each church; or (candlestick) that they must repent, or God will remove them from his sight. Only two candlesticks are not reprimended and they are the church of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia.

    2:10 Fear none of theose things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto DEATH, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
    Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even AS I ALSO OVERCAME, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

  5. JesusServant

    JesusServant do not stray too far left nor right but CENTER

    Guess I better buy a sackcloth because of Rev 11:3 ;)
  6. stumpsitting101

    stumpsitting101 Senior Member

    Hi Wildfire: May I suggest a book which may help. It compares the three major views with each other by allowing teachers who support one view, to present what they consider their views strong points and critic the other weak points without interruptions. Be sure to read the preface and forward, it shares information which does not come up in many discussions.
    "The Rapture--Pre, Mid, Post-Trubulational? by Richard R Reiter Published by Academie Books--Zondervan Publishing House. It will help one to see where all others are coming from. Its a start, but keep searching the scriptures.

    Hey JesusServant see you got your "pong" working.
  7. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    Hi Jesusservant, yes, sackcloth (was) used long ago for mourning, however, in this case it may be a spiritual clothing that the two witnesses are wearing.

    We are told to wear our armour:

    Ephisians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God , that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
    against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
    And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
    Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

    Great example of spiritual clothing, remember how we are told to keep our garments? This is it.

  8. Gideon4God

    Gideon4God Regular Member

    Other Religion
    The Last Trumpet - Post-Trib Research Center, look it up on the net. (I can not post web links yet, not till I'm 15 or more posts)
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    How did you come to the conclusion that 2 witnesses = symbolically to large grps of people??

    arent you contradicting yourself twice? the whole purpose of a rapture is to provide a way of escape. what escape is there if you have to suffer and die first??
    second contradiction: you speak of comforting one another, but how is this a comfort to me, that i got to die first and be seen by all b4 i can be raptured? you tell this to a Christian and he's supposed to rejoice?

    you shld listen to your pastor, he's right :)
  10. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib New Member

    You must to be realized the book of Revelation have lot of symbols and figuratives.
  11. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    Good morning Andrew; you are right, a christian won't rejoice over my post, I expected that.
    I will try to answer your questions, with what knowledge I have.

    You aked; how did I come to the conclusion that the two witnesses are symbolically two large groups of people;

    Letsa go to the book of Revelations and see what it says:

    Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
    This goes perfectly with chapter 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

    This happens directly BEFORE satan is released on the earth.
    During this time, the witnesses are giving their testimony; this will be heard loud and worldwide because we are told in 11:10 that the world rejoices over their death because they tormented them that dwell on the earth.

    The book of Joel tells us that there will be an outpouring of the holy spirit upon all flesh in the last days; young men will see visions, sons and daughters shall prophesy, before the great and terrible day of the Lord. 2:28. I hope I am correct by saying this event will take place during the 3&1/2 years of the two witnesses' testimony.

    Who are the two witnesses; Rev 11:4 tells us they are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

    In the beginning of the book of Revelation, John addresses seven churches, who are symbolized as candlesticks. Only TWO of those churches (candlesticks) are not reprimended, but are seen as being in favor of God. These two churches are Smyrna and Philadelphia. Now, if you read the description of each church, you will see that is describes seven bodies or (types) of christians; God warns five of them to repent, or else he will remove their candlestick. We (as christians) need to know which candlestick we belong to.

    If you read through chapter 2 and 3, you will see that God warns those churches less worthy, that they will be thrown into tribulation. This is still a near future event.

    The two candlesticks that I mentioned (Smyrna and Philadelphia) will take a stand when God calls them, and rally the world to repentance. They are protected during ther testimony; which last three and a half years.

    Then satan comes.

    And makes war with them, and overcomes them and kills them. God allows this to happen. Why?? So the world could see his power and greatness when these bodies of christians are resurrected! Just like Christ was resurrected. Faith in God, will seperate those christians from the rest of the world. These are the five virgins that were prepared. Because when God puts life into them, and they stand on their feet, this marks the beginning of the latter half of the tribulation.

    Read Rev 11:18 And the nations were ANGRY and thy WRATH IS COME, and the time of the dead, that they should be JUDGED, and that thou shouldst give REWARD unto thy servants and prophets, and to the saints, and them hat fear thy name, small and great: AND SHOULD DESTROY THEM WHICH DESTROY THE EARTH.

    Notice that the dragon in chapter 12:17 was WROTH, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    This shows that after the witnesses are resurrected (ascended in a cloud to heaven) that there will be those on earth who will turn away from worshipping of the beast, and give their heart over to God. This will be a troublesome time for those people, and the bible doesn't say much about them; except woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth. Revelation does move quickly during this time, so I imagine it isn't very long because we are told (satans time is short)

    Hope this helps
  12. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib New Member

    Excuse me, I accidented it by post. I was not finish yet.


    I used to believe two witnesses are Elijah and Moses for a long time.

    John does not saying who are the identify of the two witnesses.

    Most Christians believe two witnesses are Elijah and Moses, because they appeared to Jesus in the mountian when three disciples - John, James and Peter was there. They might have good reason, that they are two witnesses.

    Also, another reason, they believe Elijah must be one of two witnesses in Malachi 4:5.

    But, now I believe two witnesses represent Christians who witness the gospel to the world, because we are candlestick - Rev. 1:20. Also, we are Olive Tree - Romans 11:17, & 24-26.

    Notice Rev. 11:7 saying, Antichrist will war against them. Do, the Antichrist fight against just two persons? I believe Rev. 11:7 must be refer with Rev. 13:7- Antichrist will war against the saints.

    You have to read Rev. 11:1-2 first then you will able to understand what the two witnesses are talking about.

    "Temple of God" is not literal physical buildijg of the temple in Jerusalem. It represents Church. We are temple of God - 1 Cor. 3:16-17; and 6:19-20.

    Rev. 13:6-7 telling us, three things, Antichrist shall blasphemy against:1. God 2. God's people in heaven(who already died) 3. Tabernacle.

    What is tabernacle?

    Tabernacle represents temple - Church.

    That means Antichrist will blasphemy against God's people(Christians) who are alive on the earth.

    Then, Rev. 13:7 tells us, Antichrist shall war(persecute) against the Christians.

    That what Revelation chapter 11 is talking about.

    Rev. 11:3 telling us, we have power to witness the gospel to the world for 3 1/2 years, NOT 7 years.

    After we done with the gospel, Antichrist persecuted us, many of Christians will be killed, the world will be joy to see millions of Christians died anywhere in the world, not just in Jerusalem only, also everywhere. When Christ comes, we will be caught up(rapture) at the seventh trumpet(last trumpet) of 1 Cor. 15:52 - Rev. 11:12;15-18.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
  13. JesusServant

    JesusServant do not stray too far left nor right but CENTER

    John rejoiced and he was boiled.  Peter rejoiced and he asked to be crucified upside down because he didn't feel worthy of dying like Jesus did.  Peter and Paul rejoiced after receiving lashes on their backs.  I could go on and on.  If you are looking for comfort then you're in the wrong faith.  Christians will suffer not be comforted as you should know in RL.  We suffer little things every day.

    Actually, if you can't admit wildfire has a point worth looking into, then I wonder if you are just set in your ways.  What he is saying does hold some weight.

     (Revelation 1:20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

    Now, when we are told what a word or words represent symbolically in scripture we cannot at a whim change the meaning of that word later in the same book unless we are told to do so in the scripture.  Jesus reveals that the candlesticks are the churches.  Now read ahead to Revelation 11:3-4 and keep in mind that we are not told to change the meaning of candlesticks...

     (Revelation 11:3) And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

    (Revelation 11:4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

    Now in Revelation 2 and 3 Jesus has nothing bad to say about the church of Philadelphia and the church of Smyrna.  Two churches. 

    This kind of makes me think of the three wise men.  Never in the Bible are three wise men mentioned, but assumed because there were three gifts.  Assuming the two witnesses are two men is another assumption.  No one can argue that churches are not witnesses in this world.  I haven't studied on this theory long enough to have a better understanding of the possibilities once you push aside the assumption that they are two men.  This is what I was told for a long time and I assumed it as well, but Wildfire does bring up a point worth exploring.
  14. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    Amen to (both) of you for seeing what I have asked God to explain; it is nothing that my own mind brought forth; trust me, I have been reading Revelation for years, and <<without the holy spirit to show the truth>>, I would have nothing here to say. Praise Him; and let us continue in strengthening one another, for we are told, that God is in the midst of us.

  15. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member


    It's the witness of the Holy Spirit that tells me your views are wrong.

    Clue: if you want to identify the leading of the Holy Spirit, go with the life and peace. If you can honestly tell me that a sermon that tells the brethren they are going to have to go thru wrath and die, b4 they can be raptured will edify them, encourage them and fill them with peace and joy, then i dont know what else to say.

    so no point quoting scriptures to me cos this is something i already know in my spirit. you see you can quote and argue and i can quote and argue and we can still not come to an agreement. So i urge you to know and then follow the witness of the Spirit to determine what is truth. get that leading right first b4 looking at scriptures.
  16. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

    Hi Andrew, I never claimed to be right, only God is. My post is titled 'consider this' because the 'rapture' many christians are looking for, is stated in Rev 11, after the death of the two witnesses.

    I never said the 'raptured' christians will have to go through wrath. Rev. 11 tells us that the two witnesses will prophesy for 3&1/2 years, unharmed. It is when their testimony is finished; that satan is released, and overcomes and kills them.

    It is the identifying of those two witnesses, that is so important to understanding who 'they are' because after 3&1/2 days, they are given life by God, and ascended are to heaven in a cloud.

    Rev 11 tells us they are the two candlestcks, and two olive trees that stand before God of the earth.
    There are two candlesticks (or churches) in chapter 2 and 3, that God does not reprimend; but shows favor to, because of their faith and patience and strength.
    I wanted to show that these two candlesticks may be the SAME two candlesticks spoken of in chapter 11; because they testify of Jesus Christ to the world.

    I'm sorry if my post has upset you, I never want to discourage anyone.

  17. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Member

    No one really knows.

    If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour the rest does not make that much difference anyhow............
  18. Mr. John

    Mr. John New Member

    Very good, DeputyDan, very good.

    Mr. John
  19. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    I personally don't believe the raising and ascension of the 2 witnesses is the 1st resurrection and rapture because their raising and ascension is completed before the 7th trumpet even begins to sound, and is part of the 6th trumpet (or 2nd "woe"), which is an entirely different "woe" than the 7th trumpet (Revelation 11:11-15, 8:13, 9:12). I don't believe the 1st resurrection and rapture of the church will take place until after the "last trump" sounds (1 Corinthians 15:52, compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

    I don't believe the 7th trumpet is the "last trump" because the Lord won't return and sound the last trump until "after the tribulation" (Matthew 24:29-31), the final stage of which I believe is the 7 vials. Between the 6th and 7th vials, Jesus exhorts us to hold on (Revelation 16:15). I believe this is the same blessing as Daniel 12:11-12, so that we must wait the full 1,335 days, not just 1,260, for the 1st resurrection and rapture.

    I don't believe Christ will come to gather us up until the 7 vials are finished, for when Christ comes the Antichrist is destroyed (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8). The Antichrist isn't destroyed when the 2 witnesses arise, for he is still gathering his armies after the 6th vial (Revelation 16:12-16), and isn't destroyed until the 2nd coming (Revelation 19:19-20), after the vials (Revelation 16).

    Note that they only beheld the 2 witnesses rising in Revelation 11:12; they didn't behold the coming of Christ or the rapture and resurrection of the entire church. None of these are found in Revelation 11:12, just as none of these are found at the "come up hither" spoken only to John in Revelation 4:1.

    I don't believe the raising of the 2 witnesses is the 1st resurrection for the same reasons raisings in the past weren't the 1st resurrection. I believe the 2 witnesses are merely resuscitated back into their mortal bodies like Lazarus or those many after Christ's resurrection were raised (John 12:9-10, Matthew 27:52-53), and translated in their mortal bodies into heaven like Elijah and Enoch were taken into heaven (2 Kings 2:11, Genesis 5:24).

    I believe the one candlestick (or lampstand) and the "two olive trees by it" in Zechariah 4:2-3 are the Lord himself and "the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD" (Zechariah 4:14), and that they are the same as "the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks (or lampstands)" of Revelation 11:4, which represent the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3, who I believe are the two men who stand by the Lord at the transfiguration in Luke 9:30. So we see the same two men in the OT, in the NT gospels, and in the NT tribulation; they don't change.
  20. postrib

    postrib Well-Known Member

    Note that no scripture says that the purpose of the rapture is to provide a way of escape.

    I believe we should all be praying that we might be counted worthy to escape the coming tribulation: "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" (Luke 21:36). But note that Jesus is speaking to the same believers, the same "ye," in Luke 21:8-35 that he is speaking to in Luke 21:36.

    I believe we will escape the entire tribulation and stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36) only if we die before the tribulation starts (Isaiah 57:1, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:21-23). Many of us Christians will go through the tribulation (Luke 21:31; Revelation 6:11, 7:14, 9:4, 12:17, 13:7-10, 14:12-13, 15:2, 16:15, 18:4, 20:4).

    How will we be "counted worthy to escape" the coming tribulation (Luke 21:36)? Note that&nbsp;a Christian must be counted worthy to suffer for Christ: "When they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name" (Acts 5:40-41).

    A Christian that does not take suffering upon himself now to follow Christ is not worthy of Christ: "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:38).

    A Christian is counted worthy of the kingdom of God by suffering for it: "We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer" (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5).

    "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

    "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12).

    "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer" (Philippians 1:29).

    "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

    "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer" (2 Timothy 3:12).

    "Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:8).

    "That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation" (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4).

    "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).

    "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:16).

    "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12-13).

    "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7).

    "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).
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