FEEDBACK: WILL THE RAPTURE BE ON OCTOBER 21, 2011?
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Below IS A QUESTION about REVELATION 9:6 AND WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?
THE READER’S QUESTION IS IN ITALICS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
In your study When Is The Rapture, you stated that there was no language in Revelation 9 which would indicate severe affliction. You gave an explanation for verses 4,5, and 10, but somehow you managed to skip verse 6 which describes this 5 month period as a time of torment so severe that men would seek death and not be able to find it.
It is inconceivable that you would make the assertion that there is no language indicating severe affliction without giving an explanation for verse 6!
Given the fact that verse 6 does indeed describe a 5 month period of severe affliction, we must conclude that the elect will be raptured immediately after the tribulation (Matt 24: 29-31) and will not be on earth to endure this time of torment.
Thank you for reviewing the study and thank you for the feedback. I can see from your feedback that you have carefully read the study.
Revelation 9:6 is an interesting verse.
When we read the phrase "in those days shall men seek death" in Revelation 9:6, it makes us think of people committing suicide. If people are committing suicide, then there must be horrible conditions in the world. For example, when the stock market crashed in 1929 there were reports of investors jumping out of windows of tall buildings and committing suicide. Those people sought death and found it in suicide. And there are other examples of horrible conditions in peoples’ lives in which they committed suicide.
So, this phrase, “in those days shall men seek death”, seems to indicate that those 5 months will be a horrible time in which people are committing suicide.
However, let's look at the whole verse:
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
It says that people will seek death, but shall not find it.
Then God repeats the point by saying that people shall desire to die,
but death shall flee from them. That is, they will not be able to die.
This does not describe a world in which people want to commit suicide.
If someone wants to commit suicide generally he can do it. If people want to commit suicide, then they will be able to find death. They can hang themselves or cut themselves or stab themselves or shoot themselves or take poisonous substances, etc.
If people want to commit suicide, there are many ways in which they will be able to find death. However, Revelation 9:6 says that they will not be able to find death.
So, when we read the whole verse, we find that Revelation 9:6 does not fit for describing a time when people want to commit suicide.
However, there is another way that we can understand the reference to death in Revelation 9:6. We read in Romans 6:3-5:
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:3-5 is talking about when we are saved we are identified with the death of Christ. Verse 3 says that we are baptized into Christ’s death. Verse 4 says that we are buried with Christ by baptism into death. Verse 5 says that we are planted together in the likeness of His death.
In Romans 6:3-5, God describes salvation as being identified with Christ’s death.
The beginning of the 5 months identifies with the door of the ark being shut. The ark points to the Lord Jesus. If the door is shut that means there is no more salvation. That means that we can no longer be identified with the death of Christ, as indicated in Romans 6:3-5.
This agrees with the statement that men will seek death but will not find it. After the ark is shut, after the possibility of salvation has ended, people will seek salvation, but they will not be able to find it. In seeking salvation, they are seeking the death of Christ, as indicated in Romans 6:3-5, but that death will flee away from them.
The unsaved will desire salvation. In that sense, they will desire to die. They will desire to be “buried with him by baptism into death” according to Romans 6:4. But, that death, the death of the Lord Jesus that provides salvation, will flee away.
The fact that people will desire salvation and yet there will be no possibility of obtaining it does not require that there be horrible physical conditions in the world. We can enter the 5 months on May 21, 2011 without any changes in the physical conditions of this world, yet the possibility of salvation has ended.
In that case, people will seek salvation, the death of Christ, but shall not find. The death of Christ that comes with salvation shall flee away.
There is no requirement for any changes in the physical conditions of this world in order to fulfill Revelation 9:6 when we understand that the death in view in that verse is the death of Christ that comes with salvation.
The understanding that the “death” in view in Revelation 9:6 is the death of the Lord Jesus that brings salvation fits all of the language of the verse and agrees with the fact that the door of salvation closes at the beginning of the 5 months.
The language of Revelation 9:6 best fits to the teaching of no possibility of salvation during the 5 months and that in no way indicates any kind of physical calamities in the world. Revelation 9:6 does not require any physical calamities in the world that would necessitate the Rapture of the believers at the beginning of the 5 months.
Revelation 9:6 can simply mean that there will be no more salvation possible in the world during those 5 months. That does not mean that the believers have to raptured to avoid being on earth during that time.
Matthew 24:29-31 does not say that the Rapture is immediately after the tribulation. It says that immediately after the tribulation, “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”. This language includes the fact that there is no more salvation, which agrees with the explanation of Revelation 9:6 given above. The Rapture is not indicated in this verse.
The events of Matthew 24:30-31 do not have to happen immediately after the tribulation. They could happen at a later time, like at the end of the 5 months.
Thank you for bringing up Revelation 9:6. I will add an explanation of this verse to the study “When is the Rapture?”
The link to that study is: