THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST

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The Rapture is an event taught by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18, and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, pertaining to the flesh and blood not inheriting the Kingdom of God, and we who are alive will not prevent those who are asleep when the trump blows.    

The Apostle John wrote of two of the three parts of the “First Resurrection”, (Rev. 20:5-6) in the book of Revelation using the term, “come up hither”, (Rev. 4:1-2, 11:12).    The third time this phrase is used can be found in Proverbs 25:7, noting there are three parts to the “First Resurrection”.   The passage in Proverbs is a notable proverb with its own application.  The fact the phase “come up thither” is used Three Times is the point.

 The Apostle Matthew records the very first part of the “First Resurrection” in (Matt. 27: 52-53), “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”  When added to Rev. 4:1 and Rev. 11:12 the “First Resurrection” of Rev. 20:5-6 is complete.

There is three parts to the “First Resurrection”;

1. OT Saints, those in Abraham’s Bosom, (Luke 16:21-25, Matt. 27:52-53),

2. The Church, The Bride of Christ, (1 These. 4:11-18),

3. The Tribulation Saints (Rev. 7:12-14), “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.   And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  (Rev. 11:12),  “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.”    

To summarize these three events the Resurrection of the OT Saints, the Rapture of the Bride of Christ, and the Resurrection of Tribulation Saints, once concluded make the First Resurrection of Rev. 20 complete.  Those involved in these three Resurrections are all Saints. You can see from 1 Cor. 15:20-24 the three events “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits;(OT Saints); afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (the rapture of the Church)  Then cometh the end, (The Tribulation Saints), when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,” (Emphasis Mine)

There is a question concerning the OT Saints raised, when Jesus was raised from the dead, The text says they went into the city.   (Matt. 27:52-53). “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”  The question is did these saints “Die Twice” or stick around 40 days when Christ ascended into heaven?  Acts 1:9. “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

I know the Lord is accustom of doing things according to plans he has laid out and for the student of his word, it is possible to have his plan made known to them (2 Tim. 2:15).  In this case the mystery of the “Rapture of the Church” is knowable!  Perhaps not the day nor the hour, ( Matt . 25:13), but certainly the times and seasons  (1 Thess. 5:1), are.  These two references are speaking of two different times and two different groups of people.  The first one is speaking to Jews in the Tribulation and the other speaking to the Church before the tribulation!

Another way we can be sure of when the “Rapture” takes place is to rely on what God gave Israel to follow every year which, were her “Feast Days”, (Lev. 23).  Christ fulfilled the first four feasts to the day and the hour and will fulfill the last three the same way.  (See the Feasts of Israel, parts 1 & 2 in this blog).   Now these “Feasts Days”, belong to Israel only and not to the Church.   However, like I said earlier, “the Lord is accustom of doing things according to plans”.  In case of the “Rapture” the plan the Lord is following is taken from the Feast Days of “Firstfruits and Pentecost”.   Firstfruits is according to Christ being the firstfruits from the dead, (Passover), and Pentecost, (50 days after Passover), being the birth of the Church, when three thousand souls were saved, and the day when the major part of harvest is done, representing the “Rapture” of the Church.

The Three Parts of the Harvest,  Firstfruits, Harvest, Gleanings.   All of this coincide with the Feasts of Israel (Lev.23).   First-fruits AD 30, Pentecost AD 2020?, and the Feast of Trumpets AD 2022?, The lines in yellow are the years when the rapture is most likely to happen.          By Gavin Finley MD – endtimepilgrim.or

The lines in yellow show the dates when “The Feast of Trumpets” would sound that the Rapture would happen.   While some scholars think the rapture would happen  according to this timing.  We see in the chart the first two dates in yellow are past, leaving the years 2020,  2022, and 2025 left.   However, while these lines in yellow, denote the year.  These dates, May 31, 2020, June 5-6, 2022,  June 8, 2025,  are possible dates  for the Feast of Pentecost and that the Rapture would happen for the Church.   The lines in yellow are the dates in which the feast of trumpets would sound for Israel and the two witnesses of Rev. 11:12.  The two witnesses (Moses and Elijah), were told to “come up hither”, representing the rapture of Tribulation Saints, as does the Apostle John in Rev. 4:1&2, was told to “come up hither” representing the rapture of the Church.  

It was Moses and Elijah who were the two witnesses known by the description said of them in Rev. 11:6. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”   Others have suggested Enoch was one of the witnesses since he never died.  However, Enoch serves as a type of the christian who does not die, a raptured saint who changed in the twinkle of an eye! 

These two events, the Rapture of the Church, and the Resurrection of Tribulation Saints, are separated by at least 3.5 years.  As the old saying goes “timing is everything” as in the case of when the rapture happens and Daniel’s 70th week starts. (Dan. 9:27).   “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Before this event happens,“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:”, the Church would have heard the “Last Trump: (1Thess. 4:13-18)).  We are living in those times now when it is possible for a peace agreement can be made with Israel.  Therefore, When Satan, through the Antichrist, makes the covenant with Israel, the temple goes up, Israel begins her sacrifices until the Antichrist puts a stop to them in the midst of that seven year period, 3.5 years.  The two witnesses will be prophesying during this same time, 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.”   Israel’s calendar is based on a 30 day lunar cycle, therefore, divide 1260 days/30 days =  42 months/12 months = 3.5 years.

The starting of The Seven Year Tribulation Period, Daniel’s 70th Week, will commence on the day the Covenant is signed with Israel!     The Rapture of the Church will take place before that day!   The resurrection of Tribulation Saints will happen 3.5 years after that day!

A POSSIBLE SCENARIO

  1. May 31, 2020,  The Rapture of the Church on the Feast of Pentecost
  2. March/April 2021?  The 7 Year Tribulation Starts.  The Covenant is signed
  3. Sept. 24, 2025,  The Feast of Trumpets,  The Tribulation Saints Resurrected 

Working backwards from the Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints 3.5 years, you have the signing of the Covenant with Israel and Antichrist.  Then according to Gavin Finley MD – endtimepilgrim.org the Feast of Pentecost happens on May 31 in the year of 2020, in which, the Rapture of the Church will take place!   This is derived from two assumptions.   1. The Rapture will occur on the Feast of Pentecost, The Celebration of the Harvest, not the Feast of Trumpets as Gavin Finley suggests   2.  The Song of Solomon/Songs 2:8-13

“The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.   My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.   My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.   For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

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The Bridegroom calling for his Bride

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