FEEDBACK: QUESTIONS ON THE RAPTURE STUDY
We appreciate feedback on the studies posted on this website. It helps us to see if there is anything on this website that does not agree with the Bible.
Below ARE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDY: WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?
THE READER’S QUESTIONS ARE IN ITALICS WITH NUMBERS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
After going through your study "When Is The Rapture?", I have some feedback and questions as follows:
1. I am understanding from your study that the sun and moon will be darkened on May 21, 2011, which is immediately after the Great Tribulation. I am also understanding that the Rapture and the great earthquake will occur on October 21, 2011, which is after the 5 months. Revelation 6:12 teaches that the great earthquake and the sun and moon being darkened are grouped together in the 6th seal. How can the earthquake and the sun and moon being darkened occur at two different times separated by 5 months?
You raise an interesting question. Let's compare Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12:
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
These two verses seem to be saying the same thing about the sun and the moon, but when we look at them carefully, we see that there are some distinct differences. In Matthew 24:29 the sun shall be darkened. However, in Revelation 6:12 the sun became black. The sun can be darkened without being totally black. We see the noun form of this word "to darken" in 1 John 1:6:
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness <4655>, we lie, and do not the truth:
Here is someone who knows something about the Lord Jesus but still lives in sin. He says that he has fellowship with God, but this person walks in "darkness". He is not walking in the light of the Gospel. However, the Gospel has not be completely "blacked" out to him. He knows something about the Gospel. We know this is the case because he says that he has fellowship with the Lord Jesus, but he still lives in sin. This man is "darkened" to the Gospel but he knows something about the Gospel. He has not been completely "blackened" to the Gospel.
We read the same word "darkened" in Revelation 9:2
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened <4654> by reason of the smoke of the pit.
In the earthly illustration, the smoke of a furnace will darken the appearance of the sun, but normally everything will not become completely pitch "black".
The sun being "black" in Revelation 6:12 is stronger than just being "darkened" in Matthew 24:29. It could be like this: On May 21, 2011, the sun is darkened. There is no more salvation. The light of the Gospel is gone. The believers are still here and the unsaved are not yet cast into the lake of fire. So, there is darkness because there is no more salvation, but it is not yet the “blackness” of the Rapture when the believers are gone and the unsaved are cast into the lake of fire.
But, on October 21, 2011 the Rapture comes, the believers are gone and the unsaved are sent to the Judgment Throne. Now, the sun is completely black.
The language regarding the moon is also different between Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12. In Matthew 24:29 the moon, representing the law of God, is no longer giving it's light. The law of God points man to the need for a savior. But, on May 21, 2011 the door of salvation will be closed. The moon, the law of God, will no longer reflect the light of the Gospel that can be found in Christ. But, on October 21, 2011, which relates to Revelation 6:12, the moon is now blood. The blood points to the vengeance of God that has come. The full vengeance of God comes on October 21, 2011, after the Rapture.
Even though the language regarding the sun and the moon sounds similar in Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12, there are distinct differences. The darkening of Matthew 24:29 points to the day of salvation ending on May 21, 2011. The black and blood of Revelation 6:12 points to October 21, 2011 and the Judgment Throne.
Another way you could think about it is this: The first and second seals, in Revelation 6:1-4, cover almost 2,000 years of the New Testament era. We could think of the sixth seal as covering the whole period from May 21, 2011 through October 21, 2011 and the Judgment Throne and the casting of the unsaved into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15). In that case, in Revelation 6:12-17 is covering events that will occur over a 5 month period of time.
2. In regards to chronological events in Revelation, the 6th seal and the 7th seal cannot be chronological if the 7th seal refers to the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the 6th seal refers to after the Great Tribulation.
The 7 seals of Revelation 6 to 8 are not chronological. There is no language that indicates that they are chronological. However, in regards to the 7 trumpets, God has put language indicating that some of the trumpets are chronological. For example we read in Revelation 8:13:
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
In Revelation 8:7-12 we learn that the first 4 trumpets sounded. In verse 13, God indicates that the last 3 trumpets occur after the first 4. The 3 trumpets are identified with the 3 woes. God puts careful language in Revelation 9:12 and Revelation 11:14 that show that the 3 woes, which are the last 3 trumpets, are in chronological order. Other verses also support this truth. This is explained in more in the study:
The link is: http://www.isannihilationtrue.com/rapture1.htm
The section is:
2. GOD HAS TIED THE LANGUAGE OF THE 5TH TO 7TH TRUMPETS INTO THE 3
“woes” WHICH ARE WRITTEN in a very
Most of the book of Revelation is not chronological. However, that does not mean that there cannot be any chronological sequence in that book. As shown in the above study, God writes careful language showing that the last 3 trumpets, linked to the 3 woes, are chronological.
3. I am understanding from your study that the physical condition during the flood points to the spiritual condition at the end of the world and we are not to look at it pointing to a physical condition at the end of the world. Should the literal 150 days during the flood point to a spiritual 5 months at the end of the world rather than a literal 5 months?
The literal 150 days of the flood are referred to as 5 months (17th day of 2nd month to 17th day of the 7 month). Also, we have 5 months in Revelation 9. So, we have two 5 month periods; one in the flood and one in Revelation 9. It is possible that the 5 months in Revelation 9 could be understood in a figurative way. However, since the 5 month period of time, 5/21/2011 to 10/21/2011, comes out of the Bible calendar so exactly and lines up with the 5 months in the flood, many people, including myself, believe that God intends the 5 months to be understood in a literal way. In the study "When is the Rapture?", other reasons are given to believe that 5 months of the flood and of Revelation 9 point to the literal 5 months from 5/21/2011 to 10/21/2011. So, I believe that there is enough evidence that it is not just a coincidence. However, everyone has to make up his/her own mind on this question.
4. What happens at the end of the world to the remaining 220 days of the time of the flood? Should there be an additional, literal 220 days at the end of the world?
That is an interesting question. I don't believe it is necessary that those remaining 220 days have a literal fulfillment. Just because God ties the 5 months of the flood into the timetable of history, does not require Him to tie the remaining 220 days of the flood into the calendar of history. As explained in the study, God identifies the term "last day" with the Rapture, judgment of the unsaved and the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is October 21 in 2011. So, it seems that October 21, 2011 is truly the last day.
5. How do the literal 40 days and 40 nights of rain at the time of the flood factor in to the time line of the end of the world?
I believe the 40 days and nights of rain identify that 5 month period as a time of testing. By mentioning 40 twice, 40 days and 40 nights, God is doubling up. The reference to day and night makes that reference different than the other time references. I believe the reference to 40 is not to be understood in a literal way, but rather it indicates that this time will be a time of testing.
6. Lastly, your study contains a sub-heading labeled "GOD USES PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION AND DISEASE TO REPRESENT MAN'S SPIRITUAL CONDITION BEFORE GOD". I am understanding you are teaching that the physical language of destruction of the unsaved refers not to annihilation but rather to the unsaved spending an eternity suffering conscious affliction. This seems to indicate the physical language pointing to a physical rather than a spiritual fulfillment, which seems not to agree with your sub-heading above.
Thank you and any feedback is welcome.
May God's perfect will be done!
6. Perhaps my choice of the words "physical" and "spiritual" in that title were not the best. The point of that section was to show that God uses health problems and diseases that we experience in this world to point to the "health" of our relationship with God. A good example of that is given in Isaiah 1:4-7:
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
If we check the Bible for the condition of Israel during the time of Isaiah chapter 1, generally their cities and the country were fine. There were not many cities burned with fire nor other desolations. Nor, were the bodies of the people plagued with horrible diseases. Rather, we must keep in mind that Christ spoke in parables (Mark 4:33-34). In Isaiah 1:4-7, God uses sicknesses in the body to describe man sin-sickness in his relationship with a Holy God.
This point goes along with other arguments to show how the destruction of the flood can point to the destruction of man's relationship to God that occurs because of sin and the resulting judgment. A more direct example is given in the next section of the study where the destruction of Jerusalem and the wall is a picture of the destruction in the relationship between God and His corporate people that has already occurred in our day because of the end of the church age.
Thank you for the feedback.