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A Summary of the Pre-Rapture Sign Posts

(Excerpted from The Millennium Prophecy - - with revisions)

Before we continue on with the rest of the Revelation, we should take some time out and review briefly the signs or warning events that precede the Rapture. This is a major event in the life of the Christian Church as well as secular human history so I would like to nail down the pre-Rapture event order one more time before we continue. The critics will love this list because it makes it easy to chew on my written opinion and start the spitting contest. Anyway, let’s review the things that Scripture says will have to happen before the Rapture takes place and the order in which they will happen.

A graphic representation of the time line outworking of the Six different Seal events/event sets would look something like this - - roughly:

First Seal } .————————-————————————| Rapture Day

Second Seal } ———————————————| Rapture Day

Third Seal } ———————————| Rapture Day

Fourth Seal } ——————| Rapture Day

                       Fifth Seal } .————| Sixth Seal ?

Sixth Seal } | Rapture Day

Please forgive my typeset “art” but it’s easier to see graphically how the Lord unleashes the Seal events sequentially but they end up over lapping each other and playing out simultaneously - - in repetitious “waves”. With the different pre-Rapture signs adding together during the End Times things can get a little confusing. But conceptually it’s not that hard to see what’s going on. Remember, heavy changes arrive when the Sixth Seal event list erupts because those events will be grabbing everyone’s attention forcibly - - very intrusive in people’s lives. Then on Rapture Day the only way to describe it is that E V E R Y T H I N G changes as the Christian Church is removed from Planet Earth.

1.) The appearance of false Christ’s and false teachers. Matthew 24:5; Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8;

Note: Although false teachers have been a problem for the Christian Church since the first century, for some reason there seemed to be a rise in this type of spiritual “challenge” in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries so that it is more common now.

2.) First Seal: An increase in war and threat of war (“rumors of wars”) between nations and groups. Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7, 8; Luke 21:9, 10; Revelation 6:2.

Note: Most likely this 1st Seal was broken with the outbreak of World War I and then followed by World War II and all the subsequent wars and skirmishes of the twentieth century - - a major war in every generation of the 20th century.

3.) Second Seal: A worldwide increase in capital murder, personal anger, ethnic rivalry, and community unrest. Revelation 6:4.

Note: From the best that I can tell, the 2nd Seal was broken with the 1994 eruption of ethnic violence between the Tutsi and Hutu people in Rwanda - - ending with 800,000 to a million murders. The violence between these two groups was different from the more familiar government sponsored mass murder of prior years… Turkey (Armenians), Russia, China, Germany, Cambodia, etc.. After Rwanda the ethnic and community unrest has continued erupting in numerous other places… East Temor (Indonesia), Iraq, Macedonia, United States (school campus, postal and corporate shootings), Bosnia, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Spain, England, Darfur, the never ending drama that surrounds Israel and the new waves of unrest in North Africa, Egypt, Iran and the Middle East.. Historically, government sponsored revolutions, abortion programs, race wars and mass murder efforts do kill larger numbers of people (especially so where socialism gets involved), but the more recent spontaneous eruption of ethnic and community unrest is something characteristically different. It seems to generate more from the people themselves - - a “grass roots” sort of thing.

4.) Third Seal: A shortfall in worldwide grain production that selectively affects wheat and barley but not oil or wine (olive and grape) production. Revelation 6:5, 6; Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:10, 11.

Note: The initial movement unusually high wheat prices began in December, 2007 and maxed out in February, 2008 at about $25 per bushel on the Minneapolis Exchange. Barley shortages followed thereafter and prices peaked in July, 2008. Prices for both grains came back down in the following months but will climb again as Wormwood squeezes world grain production with weather problems and production short falls. Wheat and barley will be in extremely short supply when the 6th Seal events start to play out and panic buying results in extremely high prices for these grains. It will put a major price squeeze on producers of bread, soup, chicken feed, pasta, breakfast cereals and beer. And the coming high prices will be compounded by monetary inflation issues.

5.) Another best guess I would insert here is the occurrence of earthquakes in various places as Wormwood gets closer to our orbital position. At various phase positions or “sweet points” the gravitational and EM fields will interact in such a way that old fault lines here on Earth are stressed enough to trigger earthquakes from plastic mantle deformations and tectonic/crust slippages. Some of the quakes will show up in odd places that have not had quake activity for long periods of time. There may also be more quake-related killer tsunami events (Sumatra, December 26, 2004; Samoa, September 29, 2009; Japan, March 12, 2011 - - with more to come). Also look for various types of crop failures as a result of changing weather/rainfall patterns with attendant food shortages. Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, and Luke 21:11.

6.) Fourth Seal: A combination of war, famine, disease pandemics and the animal kingdom out of control and directly attacking and killing people that is confined to an area defined somehow geographically as “a fourth of the earth”. Revelation 6:8; Luke 21:11.

Note: The applicable section of the Earth based on time zones where these types of activities and event seem to be happening is covered in The Millennium Prophecy but basically seems to be situated in the six times zones east of the Prime Meridian. At the very least this portion of the world needs to be watched carefully.

7.) Fifth Seal: The persecution of the Christian Church. Revelation 6:9 – 11; Matthew 24:9 – 14; Mark 13:9 – 13; Luke 21: 12 – 19; 1 Timothy 3:2 – 13.

Note: The persecution of the Christian Church has come in waves throughout its history. With the breaking of the Fifth Seal, the Lord points toward the martyrdom of His believers as a reason for breaking one of the Seals around The Book of Judgments and Worldwide Rulership Rights that was awarded to Him in Revelation 5. It means we can expect more Christian martyrs to be gathered in front of the Father’s throne as predicted. From the best that I can tell, this is where we are now in 2011 with the Seal events as warning signs.

8.) Sixth Seal: A combination of massive tectonic shifting (with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) coupled with a simultaneous and prominent display of meteor and meteorite events as a Wormwood node ring grips the earth shakes things up. Also look for the moon to take on a red-orange color as Wormwood throws iron oxide dust into the atmosphere or as it enters the space between the Earth and the Moon. There will also be at least one major pyroclastic explosion similar to Mt. St. Helens (May, 1980). This sign also marks the end of the Fifth Seal persecution of the Christian Church. Rev 6:12 – 17; Joel 2:30, 31; Matthew 24:7, 17; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; 2 Peter 3:2 – 4.

Note: See the http://www.millenniumprophecy.com/sixthsealeventlist.php page for a more detailed discussion of this event list. There are some specific events/items that must be completed to validate the breaking of the Sixth Seal.

We should add item 8-B in here (depending on how the timing works out) that would be the announcement of a new 7 year Peace Accord / Treaty between Israel and the various Palestinian political factions (Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO, Jordan, et al). The Treaty may be countersigned by the various nations that are participating in the current negotiations but pay special attention to the participation of Jordan. Look for a provision that will allow the rebuilding of another Jewish Temple complex on the temple mount and probably some change of citizenship status for Palestinian people. The Treaty has to be made before it can be broken at the midpoint of the Tribulation by the newly formed anti-Christ. The question arises as to whether the announcement will occur before or after the Rapture of the Christian Church. It should occur on or about the same time but exactly which comes first is a good question. There might be announcements of progress before the Rapture and a full signing ceremony afterwards or the signing ceremonies may precede the Rapture. The anti-Christ (Beast) then breaks the Peace Accord Treaty at the 3½ year midpoint of the Tribulation in 2012 and commits the Abomination of Desolation in the newly reconstructed Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The most recent formal treaty efforts continued at Annapolis under the Bush administration but will continue in various places under the Obama administration until a formal treaty is in place at/near the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.

9.) A short period of worldwide (near) dead calm in the weather as the approach of Wormwood hits a phase position or “sweet point” for solar wind, solar capacitive charge effects. The main prevailing winds and jet streams just stop and the weather calms down as a result. Revelation 7:1 – 3.

10.) The marking of the 144,000 replacement witnesses - - a process that the Church will observe here on Earth for two weeks. Revelation 7:4 – 8. The formal seven-year Tribulation starts when the first replacement witness receives the mark on his forehead.

Note: This is the final preparation process before the Christian Church is removed from the Earth. The seven-year Tribulation time clock is officially ticking when the first replacement witness receives that first mark (the names of God the Father and God the Son) on his forehead. The marking process takes a couple weeks. The Christian Church is still on Planet Earth during this marking process and we get to meet some of these young men - - the ones who happen to be living in or traveling through our respective areas. If you happen to meet one of these Israelite young men, you should get to know them. Invite them home for lunch/dinner and ask how you can help advance their ministry. If they are a little confused about who they are, why those marks are on their forehead and what their ministry is all about, take some time to explain it to them using The Revelation and supporting scriptures. In my book, The Millennium Prophecy, I have written a special chapter, Those Marks on Your Forehead that explains the situation for them. You might want to have them look at that particular chapter. If you are a genuine believer in Christ Jesus for your soul salvation, then on Rapture Day you have to leave Planet Earth. The replacement witnesses will be staying behind to take the place of the Christian Church and continue preaching/teaching “the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9; 12:17; 19:10; 20:4;) to the people still lost in sin. Do everything you can to help advance their ministry. You have to leave on Rapture Day. Your house, your car, your bank account, your job, your retirement funds - - everything you have here on Planet Earth - - will be left behind when you leave this world to be presented before the Father’s throne. Pass the baton TO these men so that they can continue the Lord’s ministry during the first half of the Tribulation. Again, pass the baton TO them. Don’t just throw it at them or drop it on the ground and make them pick it up. Use any/all your earthly resources to advance the initiation of their ministry of God’s word during the Tribulation. It will be a rough time. Do whatever you can to help them get started properly.

Then on Rapture Day - - Two Weeks into the Tribulation “Time Zone”:

11.) A loud announcement shout by an archangel and a series of trumpet sounds that are sounded out on “the trumpet of God” and heard all around the world. 1Corinthians 15:52, 1Thessalonians 4:16.

Note: There could be 7 trumpet sounds. There could be 12 trumpet sounds. There could be 44 trumpet sounds - - or 87 trumpet sounds. However many there are there just are. St. Paul does not specify how many trumpet sounds there are going to be (and neither do any of the other apostles). God’s trumpet may be sounding continually for several minutes or for several hours. We just don’t know how long the process will take to retrieve the Christian believers from their grave sites around the world on Rapture Day. However long the retrieval process takes, it just takes.

12.) The resurrection of the Christian dead. 1Thessalonians 4:16

Note: Opening all the grave sites of the many generations Christian dead so that they can be resurrected and formally reunited with the Lord might take a little bit of time. If you are visiting a cemetery on Rapture Day (where a Christian loved one is buried) and you happen to notice that God has already raised up your believing relative, but nothing seems to be happening for you - - DON”T GET TOO EXCITED. The angels have to “dig up” a lot of folks who have been scattered around the landscape over the previous 20 centuries. What if they got buried under roads or shopping malls or large buildings or something else? The Lord has to arrange for each one of them to be released. Maybe some concrete or tarmac has to be broken up. Anything that holds His people captive in the grave has to be broken up, demolished or broken through so that the members of His Eternal Family can come out of their graves and join the party. Remember, the Christian believers who died while in a valid faith relationship with the Lord get to go FIRST. The empty graves are not a sign for believers. They are a kind of witness to the unbelievers who are being left behind. The open grave sites of the Christian believers will be very difficult for secular unbelievers and government hacks to “explain away” although they probably will try. Political and bureaucratic hacks are like that - - not properly connected with objective reality. It will get even more interesting if there is major damage to large buildings, roads, bridges or other expensive construction sites as the graves of believers are opened on Rapture Day. Imagine the confusion if the angels have to stop traffic to rip a bridge or a tall building apart to open a grave site. It won’t happen as much with modern construction since the building sites are generally excavated before the site is used for construction purposes but it is just about guaranteed to happen a few times as the Lord gathers His Church to Himself. No one who died in faith will be left behind - - NO ONE.

If you are a Christian believer who is still living on Rapture Day, then you have to wait until the Lord has secured all those who died in faith. So don’t get impatient about the resurrection-rapture scheduling. A lot of graves have to be emptied before you get to join the celebration. The Apostle Paul told us that the dead would rise first so that means that the dead will indeed rise first and THEN we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with the former generations of believers to meet the Lord in the air. OK, so be patient. If you have a valid believing faith in Christ then your turn will come but the truth is that the living will be the LAST ONES to join the party.

Actually, come to think of it, visiting a graveyard on Rapture Day where a lot of genuine Christians are buried would be an “interesting experience”. You would see a lot of graves suddenly being opened and those people being transformed into new glorified bodies before they are gathered up to meet the Lord. It would be an interesting experience that can never be repeated. Those of you who have video cams should get some good video pics of the graves being opened and the believers being issued new eternal bodies - - to leave as a video testimony for those who have been left behind. That would seriously torque some jaws if people could see a video like that. Of course the graveyards would be a mess and the maintenance people would be upset but, hey, we’re leaving! We have a PARTY to attend and we’re running “a little late”. Sorry about the mess. You can recycle most of those empty grave sites if you want. We won’t need them any more.

13.) Whenever the last trumpet sound is finally sounded out AFTER all the biologically dead Christian believers have been located and released from their grave sites, that’s it! It’s Rapture Time for the living believers and we’re out of here! As that last trumpet sound is finally sounded out the Rapture of the remaining living believers happens and the Christian Church is removed physically from the Earth. The Church age is then complete and the seven-year tribulation will already be under way by 14 or 15 days. 1Corinthians 15:50 – 56; 1Thessalonians 4:17; 5:9;

Note: Yes, we will be rescued from the “time zone” of the Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). And no, we will not have to suffer the “judgments” of the Tribulation (1Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 7:9 – 16). The true genuine/proper Tribulation “judgments” (starting with the Incineration Event) begin right after the Christian Church has been removed (Revelation 8:1, 2; and 8:6 – 13). Remember, The Revelation is in the correct serial presentation order as given (for the most part) and that’s how the events will unfold in real time - - as given in The Revelation presentation order.

14.) As the Christian Church vanishes from the face of the Earth, simultaneously, the Two Witnesses are dispatched from the throne room in heaven and appear in the City of Jerusalem to begin their prophetic ministry for the next 1260 days - - Revelation 11:3.

Some Comments About Biblical Interpretation:

1.) I get a fair amount of communications from well meaning people who seem to get very bent out of shape with my views on Bible, End Times prophecy and Rapture related opinions. To be fair, I should let people know where I am coming from on these conceptual issues. So bear with me for a bit.

The two major theological contenders for general Biblical interpretive modeling are covenant theology and dispensational theology. The Revelation and related prophetic scriptures then have two other interpretive camps, the preterist and the historical. If you are not familiar with these different modes of scripture and prophecy interpretation, there are plenty of sources that can help enlighten you with the different approaches and the related issues. Dig in whenever you’re ready.

Basically covenant theology sees God’s grace as the general operating principle sort of tying everything Biblical together in a cohesive system across Adamic history. But the covenant people also view unfulfilled prophecies in a somewhat “spiritualized” sense rather than as literal predictions that will require physical out workings to be resolved/fulfilled. Many of the amillennial people who believe there be no millennial kingdom here on Planet Earth come from the covenant and preterist interpretive camps.

Dispensationalism follows a plain hermeneutic (meaning/interpretation) whenever possible and sees the outworking of God’s plan for mankind on Planet Earth as coming in progressive stages through history. With each stage God reveals more about Himself, His divine nature and His requirements for mankind on Planet Earth. It maintains a strict division of divine administration between the Age of Law and the Age of Grace (Eph 1:10) with the cross and the resurrection as the hard dividing line. Where a prophecy requires a physical fulfillment to make plain hermeneutic sense, Dispensationalism is very comfortable with real physical fulfillment as the resolution means.

The interpretive model I use (with some slight modifications) is the dispensational model or more specifically the dispensational futurist model (where The Revelation and unfulfilled prophetic items are concerned). It seems to fit well with the general scriptural format and harmonizes well with physical fulfillment of prophecy. It is the interpretive approach that makes the most sense - - at least to me.

But where The Revelation and End times scheduling are concerned, I do take some exceptions to some of the popular teachings commonly held in evangelical dispensational circles. Personally I subscribe to the notion that the Lord Jesus presented The Revelation in the correct presentation order to St. John - - how it would play out in real time history. John wrote down each of the vision/experience segments as the Lord gave them to him and when they are fulfilled physically, they will unfold in successive order just as Jesus presented them and just as John wrote them down. We might have to do a little bit of serious thinking in order to make sense of St. John’s descriptions and use of symbols but that’s OK. The consecutive “presentation order” thing also shows up in the synoptic gospels so that the short accounts in the gospels and the long version in The Revelation all run in parallel sequential order and can be mapped/correlated by anyone who will take the time to compare the different versions. (Hint: Align the short and long versions using the abomination of desolation as the centerline/harmonizing anchor point - - time wise.)

Exactly why there seems to be such disagreement about the sequential plan form of The Revelation and its applicability to how things will unfold in real time history I don’t know. I suppose people are free to take their cues from other prophetic books and synthetically extend that same pattern of thinking to The Revelation and the Olivet Discourse but when they do so they do the Lord’s very accurate thinking and presentation efforts a disservice. The Lord did not receive the prophetic word in disjointed/disconnected segments like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Daniel. The Lord was prophesying DIRECTLY from His own mind as God the Son what He already knew would happen and the order in which events would unfold in real time history. Did He use St. John to write them down for us? Yes. But the long list of vision (event) segments that St. John saw on Patmos was quite different from the occasional “word of the Lord” that the prophets usually received in Old Testament days and sometimes there were years in between divine encounters. The process was very direct from the mind of God and rather intense as St. John went through the different successive vision segments. Some seers will tell you that a genuine “vision” feels as real as a fully awake life experience itself. Also, St. John told us that he was basically little more than a visual scribe (observer) in the process. The real credit for the numerous vision segments belonged to the Lord Jesus who set up the presentation. John made it very clear in Revelation 1:1 that he was writing down the revealed information (The Revelation) of Jesus Christ. These were not a series of ordinary dreams. It was a long intense set of vision segments (some with spoken information) broken down into bite sized chunks and presented to John in a specific order. The process could have taken days to finish - - maybe more than a week. We don’t know how long it took to write it all down. St. John wrote down what he saw and heard in consecutive order after each vision segment was presented to him (Rev 1:11, 19; 4:1 “After these things I looked”; 5:2 “And I saw”; 5:6 “And I saw; 5:11 “Then I looked”; 6:1 “Then I saw”; 7:1 “After this I saw”; 7:2 “And I saw”; 7;4 “And I heard”; 7:9 “After these things I looked”; 7:13 “Then one of the elders”; 8:2 “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal”; 8:5 “Then the angel took the censer”; 8:13 “Then I looked”; 9:13 “Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard”; 10:4 “When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them." (With this verse the Lord Jesus shows us that the presentation process and the writing process were happening sequentially together - - first a vision segment, then John recorded what he just saw or heard.); 10:5 “Then the angel”; 10:8 “Then the voice”; 11:1 “Then there was given to me”; 11:15 “Then the seventh angel sounded”; 12:1 “A great sign appeared”; 12:3 “Then another sign appeared”; 12:6 “Then the woman fled”; 12:7 “And there was war”; 12:10 “Then I heard”; 13:1 “Then I saw”; 13:11 “Then I saw”; 14:1 “Then I looked”; 14:6 “And I saw”; 14:9 “Then another angel”; 14:13 “And I heard”; 14:14 “Then I looked”; 14:18 “Then another angel”; 15:1 “Then I saw”; 15:5 “After these things I looked”; 16:1 “Then I heard”; 16:4 “Then the third angel”; 16:10 “Then the fifth angel”; and so on. Basically the Lord Jesus did the segmented sequential revealing and the Apostle John did the sequential writing - - so that we could share the vision experience with them. This was not the ordinary “word of the Lord” type of prophetic experience for St. John. It was very different.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, I feel very comfortable that the Lord could deliver the vision segments in their correct presentation order to the Apostle John because He had a history of doing that as recorded in the synoptic gospels and because as God the Son He carried that prophetic time line map with Him where ever He went… whether here on Earth or at the Father’s side in heaven. It didn’t matter where He was. The information was always with Him - - inside His head or in His consciousness. The information was going to be the same since the events of Earth’s history would only unfold one way and the Lord knew ahead of time exactly how that unfolding format would happen. As God the Son, it is safe to assume that the Lord Jesus is pretty smart. Actually, it’s probably safe to say that He is one of the three most intelligent Persons in the universe. So what are the chances that He made any mistakes in His presentation of the vision segments of The Revelation to St. John? None. He wouldn’t have made any mistakes in His presentation to John. It’s probably also a pretty safe bet that St. John wrote the descriptions down sequentially as they were presented to him. John followed the Lord’s lead with the writing. So would they be out of order? No. If the Lord Jesus knows what’s coming and St. John wrote down the information as it was given to him, then can we count on the order of presentation in The Revelation to be accurate and in correct sequential linear order as those described events will physically play out in real time history future? Answer: Yes. Indeed we can. Now here we are in the End Times and the events the Lord Jesus showed to St. John are indeed unfolding sequentially just as the Lord predicted. Surprise, surprise.

2.) In The Millennium Prophecy, I devote a separate chapter (The Rapture... Can We Know the Day or the Hour?) to reducing the confusion about the timing (schedule) of the End Times, Rapture Day, the Tribulation, and the Millennial Kingdom. The references commonly used to defend the idea of not knowing the day or the hour of the Lord’s return for His Church are covered in that chapter along with other time frame explanations. Misapplying those references has caused a great deal of confusion and grief over the years for the Church - - a process that still continues.

Some people will object to a presaging list like the Pre-Rapture list above since it basically negates the theoretic “doctrine” of the “imminent return of the Lord” for His Church. That’s correct. It does - - sort of. Technically, the only people who can believe in the imminent return of the Lord are the pre-Trib Rapture people. In my opinion, that is a faulty doctrinal position and has been since the early days of the Christian Church. It started becoming more popular in the early 1900’s in evangelical circles along with Dispensationalism. It’s a good way to live your life in light of the Lord’s return to collect His Church. The day will come that you will be presented before Him and you will have to review your life with Him. That can be a powerful motivator that sometimes helps you avoid the entanglements of sin (Hebrews 12:1). But with respect to Rapture timing it’s not a good way to interpret The Revelation. In my opinion, the correct interpretive approach - - as outlined above - - is the “Beginning Trib”, “pre-Judgment”, “pre-Wrath” or “pre-Incineration” Rapture. Take your pick. Any label will do but we will be inside the “time zone” of the Tribulation a couple weeks and we will be removed BEFORE the first Trumpet Judgment is unleashed - - where one third of the Earth is incinerated by Wormwood’s methane ice collection pouring in from the sky. When that First Trumpet Judgment is unleashed, it will be intense. It will be messy. It will be deadly. Millions of people will be burned to death. But the Christian Church will NOT be here on Planet Earth. The Lord Jesus will NOT incinerate His Church. Repeat. The Lord Jesus will NOT incinerate His Church. The Christian Church is His bride not His adversary. Civilization here on Earth is expendable in the Wormwood judgment process (Isaiah 40:15 – 24). The Christian Church is not. So the Wormwood driven judgments of Revelation 8 will not fall on the Christian Church. The first Trumpet Judgment (the Incineration event) does fall on the unbelieving world and it is a serious event. But it does NOT fall on the Christian Church.

I suppose with respect to the Christian Church this interpretive opinion could be called the “Precision Return of the Lord”, the “Pre-Judgment Return of the Lord”, the “Prophetically Accurate Return of the Lord”, the “Very Public and Open Return of the Lord”, the “Glorious Return of the Lord”, the “Guaranteed Return of the Lord”, the “Rapturous Return of the Lord”, the “Powerful Return of the Lord”, the “In-Your-Face Return of the Lord”, the “Beginning Tribulation Return of the Lord”, the “Out Loud Return of the Lord”, the “It’s Definitely Going To Happen Return of the Lord”. Make up any label you like. The Lord is going to take His Christian believing Church home to meet the Father (John 14) and there is NOTHING that Satan can do about it. Repeat. There is NOTHING that Satan can do about it.

The position I take with this Beginning Trib view is that there is nothing hidden, stealthy or surprising about the Lord’s return to claim His Church. It’s BLATANLY OPEN with a long list of presaging events, world wide dead calm weather, two weeks notice with the marking of the 144,000 Israelite witnesses, angelic shout and trumpet blaring. It’s LOUD - - the archangel shouts loud enough and the trumpet sounds out loud enough so that everybody around the world can hear it. It is AGGRESSIVE in the sense that the Christian believers are “Raptured out” - - forcibly removed - - literally “ripped out” of Satan’s domain of dark influence (Planet Earth). There is nothing hidden or secret about it. The Lord is not going to “sneak up” on us or leave us in perpetual doubt until He gets here. He doesn’t have to. He’s the Lord of the Universe and He loves His believing Church. On Rapture Day He arrives to collect His bride exactly like He said He would (John 14). The graves are opened - - a physically observable event (if you happen to be near the grave of a Christian believer). The dead in Christ are forcefully removed - - against Satan’s will. Then the remaining living believers who are still alive on Rapture Day will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air - - against Satan’s will. And so shall we ever be with the Lord - - against Satan’s will. And the fact that Satan will suddenly lose his ability to beat up on God’s people may not set well with him but I find such a notion very attractive and encouraging. Knowing that the Lord Jesus is going to win and that He will win decisively is very comforting - - in my opinion (1Cor 15:54 – 58; 1Thess 4:13 – 18).

So forgive me if I am not a fan of the doctrine of the “secret imminent return of the Lord some day - - maybe”. I prefer the “Absolutely Certain Return of the Lord to receive His Church”. And I like the idea that the Lord could give us so many specific things to look for as the time for Rapture Day approaches. Not only can we know for certain that He is coming back to receive His Church unto Himself but we can also figure out just about when He is going to get here and do the receiving. And yes, I like that idea - - a lot. Just follow the sequential Revelation event list and it turns out to be very clear, very easy to understand and very precise. And it really is amazing that the Lord could give us a sequential event order that is accurate to + or – 24 hours across a 2000 year time span. That’s pretty good prophetic shooting if you ask me. Actually, it’s pretty good prophetic shooting if you don’t ask me - - either way.

Side Note:

Please feel free to copy this Pre-Rapture material and share it with your friends - - as many as possible. Just be careful to tell them where you got it so that they can check it out for themselves and think through these impending issues. When the Sixth Seal event list erupts and starts to play out in real time history, there will be a lot of very scared and disoriented people. Faulty teaching will leave them questioning what they thought they were supposed to believe about the End Times and Rapture Day. They will wonder why they are seeing things they were told that they would never see. The process of belief reorientation tends to be confusing and disorienting. The Lord’s information wasn’t faulty but our interpretive views of His revealed information can be. When better interpretive information arrives the confused folks can reorient their thinking. Confusion, fear, doubt and disorientation are then replaced with confidence in the Lord. In my opinion confidence in the power of Christ to do what He said He would do - - and in the consecutive order that He said He would do it - - makes more sense than confusion, doubt or fear. So spread the word.


Gilbert Eriksen