FEEDBACK: WILL THE RAPTURE BE ON OCTOBER 21, 2011?
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Below IS A QUESTION about REVELATION 9 AND WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?
THE READER’S QUESTION IS IN ITALICS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
You said that the events of Matt 24:30,31 do not have to happen immediately after the tribulation but could take place at a latter date.
I suppose we could conjure up many different scenarios. Salvation ends May 21. Rapture happens August 4. Universe annihilated October 21. But what really is bothering me is why you would go through the trouble to entertain all of this nonsense.
The timeline is solid. May 21, 2011 begins the Day of Judgment. The Bible says that it will consist of a period of days in which the unsaved will experience great torment such that they will seek death. (Luke 23:30) Revelation (6:15-17) (Rev 9:6)
The particular kind of death they are seeking in Rev 9:6 may be salvation but look at the preceding verse. Verse 5 describes the Day of Judgment as a time of torment such as the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. Clearly, this 5 month period is a time of great torment on earth. We can know without a doubt, that the elect are not to endure this torment and will be raptured immediately after the tribulation. (Matt 24:29-31)
I am also reminded that it was on the 17th day of the 2nd month in 4990BC when the door of the ark was shut and the destructive powers of the flood were unleashed. It will be 7000 years to the day when the great earthquake occurs to begin the Day of Judgment. While the shutting of the arks door typified the end of salvation, it was also on this day that the world began to experience great physical affliction.
Thanks for your response.
Thank you for the dialog.
You mentioned the word “nonsense”. If you read the whole study, “When is the Rapture?”, you will see that there are 4 groups of passages that give strong Biblical arguments for the Rapture occurring after the 5 months.
I don’t want to recite the arguments in detail here because they are explained in the study. God has clearly defined the 5 months as the 5th trumpet / 1st woe. Yet the resurrection of the true believers and the Rapture is the last or 7th trumpet which is tied to the 3rd woe. God has carefully tied the 5th to 7th trumpets to the 1st to 3rd woes, and has put careful language in the 3 woes that shows that they are chronological events. God has tied the resurrection of the true believers, which coincides with the Rapture, as the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles with is at the end of the 5 months, on October 21, 2011 and there are more arguments than these. There are a lot of Biblical arguments to support the Rapture at the end of the 5 months, on October 21, 2011.
If you can find any weakness in the arguments given in the study, please let me know. A blanket answer that the arguments are “nonsense” is not addressing the Bible verses given.
I would like to address your statement “The time line is solid”. I agree with that statement. I have personally checked all of the dates used in the time line of history and found them to be accurate. May 21, 2011 identifies with the 17th day of the 2nd month, 7000 years after the flood. This is the date that the ark was shut.
However, the problem is that people assume that the ark being shut identifies with the Rapture. The time line is solid. The problem is with people’s interpretation of the events that occur in the time line of history.
People talk about the time line pointing to May 21, 2011 as identifying with the shutting of the door of the ark on the 17th day of the 2nd month. However, no Biblical proof is given that this identifies with the Rapture. The focus is on the date and no solid Biblical justification is given that the Rapture is on May 21, 2011 rather than 5 months later on October 21, 2011.
People talk a lot about the time line of history and May 21, 2011, but they do not provide solid Biblical arguments for the Rapture being on that date as opposed to being on October 21, 2011.
You gave arguments in your email for why people say that the Rapture is on May 21, 2011. Let’s look at them closely.
You talked about the 5 months being a time of “great torment”. One of the arguments for that is based upon Revelation 9:5. Let’s look at that verse:
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
The “scorpion” refers to satan or his people, the unsaved, as we read in these two verses:
Ezekiel 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Throughout the history of the world, the unsaved and satan have always been “tormenting” or afflicting mankind to some degree.
We can read the phrase “the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man” and think of horrible pain. However, we have to remember that Christ spoke in parables. The “scorpion” represents satan and his people. God is not talking about literal scorpions biting people during the 5 months. God is talking about satan afflicting mankind.
We understand what God means by a word by seeing how that same Greek or Hebrew word is used elsewhere in the Bible.
This same Greek word translated “torment” in Revelation 9:5 is also found in 2 Peter 2:8:
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed <928> his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
We want to remember that God
defines words by how He uses them. The “tormenting” of Revelation 9:5
does not need to be anymore severe than the conscious affliction that Lot
experienced by seeing the sinful deeds in
If we are trying to do it
God’s way and are around a lot of sinful people, we get the sense of the “torment”
or “vexing” that
We also find this same Greek word translated “torment” in Revelation 11:10. We read there:
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented <928> them that dwelt on the earth.
Revelation 11:10 is talking about the two witnesses that represent the true believers throughout the New Testament era as they brought the Gospel to the world, to those that “dwelt on the earth”.
Using the same Greek word, God says that these two witnesses “tormented” the people of the world. It is a “torment” or conscious affliction for unsaved man to hear about the Gospel. Unsaved man does not want to hear that he is a sinner and is under the wrath of God.
Again, this Greek word translated “tormented” does not signify a super horrible suffering in Revelation 11:10. It is an affliction, but does not have to be a super horrible affliction.
These two verses with the same Greek word “torment” from Revelation 9:5 show us that this Greek word does not have to mean some kind of great and horrible pain. It can mean the kind of conscious affliction that both believers and unbelievers experience in this world today.
Therefore, the language of “torment” in Revelation 9:5 in no way requires the believers to be already raptured to avoid it. In fact, in 2 Peter 2:8, God indicates that true believers in this world are already “tormented” or “vexed” by sinners around them.
So, when we examine how the words in Revelation 9:5 are used in other parts of the Bible, we find that this verse does not require a horrible conscious pain. It could be not much different than the true believer experiences today being around great sin.
Following the Biblical rule to compare Scripture with Scripture and remembering that Christ spoke in parables, we find that Revelation 9:5 does not have to describe a horrible condition in which the true believers have to be raptured to avoid.
We talked about the “seeking death” in Revelation 9:6. The best fit for that is to “seek the death of Christ” which is salvation as we read in Romans 6:3-5.
Throughout the history of the world, people have sought the death of Christ. That is, people have sought salvation.
The point of Revelation 9:6 is that during those 5 months, it will not be possible to find the “death of Christ”. It will not be possible to become saved because the door of the ark, the Lord Jesus, will then be shut. This is the most horrible condition that this world has ever known. It is a horrible spiritual condition but does not require the believers to already be raptured.
Throughout the history of the world, if someone sought the death of Christ which is salvation, there was always the possibility of finding that death. However, Revelation 9:6 is saying that during those 5 months, it will be impossible to find that death. It will be impossible to become saved.
This fact does not mean that the true believers have to be gone. They can still be here. Their salvation is secure.
You mentioned two very interesting passages: Revelation 6:15-17 and Luke 23:30. We read there:
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
Luke 23:30 ties into Revelation 6:15-17.
Let’s look at Revelation 6:15-17 carefully. Notice what the people at Judgment Day are requesting in verse 16. The people “said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us”. These people want the mountains and rocks to fall on them.
The people want to be annihilated. If anything can annihilate someone, having mountains and rocks fall on him will do it.
So, we know that at Judgment Day, the unsaved will want to be annihilated.
However, they will not be able to obtain their desire to be annihilated. We know this because the people “hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” as we read in verse 15. They are hiding from God.
They are trying to be hidden “from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”. The unsaved want to be annihilated to hid themselves from the wrath of God. The fact that they are hiding shows that they are not able to obtain their desire to be annihilated.
If annihilation is true, then someone can easily annihilate himself by destroying his body. He could hang himself, stab himself, shoot himself, jump off a cliff. In fact in our day with medicines it is even easier to destroy the body.
So, if annihilation is true, then the unsaved at Judgment Day do not need to hide “themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” to get away from God. They could simply destroy their bodies. There are many ways to do that.
On Judgment Day, the unsaved will desire annihilation as indicated by their request as they say “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us”. The unsaved will desire annihilation, but will not be able to obtain it because they are hiding from God. This is one passage that teaches that the unsaved will not be annihilated at Judgment Day.
If you are interested in this subject, there is more information on this passage at this link:
Getting back to your point in relating Revelation 6:15-17 to Revelation 9.
Revelation 6:12 talks about a great earthquake. We do not read about an earthquake in Revelation 9. People say that there will be a great earthquake on May 21, 2011, but Bible does not talk about an earthquake in Revelation 9.
God talks about an earthquake in Revelation 11:13 which ties in the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe. Revelation 11:13 is after the 5 months. The 5 months is the 5th trumpet / 1st woe.
In Revelation 6:12 the fact that the sun is darkened and the change in the moon means that there is no more salvation. That applies to both May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011. We cannot tell from this language which date God has in view.
The language of Revelation 6:12-17 may sound like the time of the Rapture. However, there are differences between the language of Revelation 6:12-17 and Matthew 24:29. So, Revelation 6:12-17 cannot be used as a proof text that the true believers are raptured on May 21, 2011.
You made reference to the horrible destruction during the flood as a proof that there will be horrible physical destruction beginning on May 21, 2011.
We read about a horrible physical destruction like the flood and conclude that means that the 5 months will be a time of horrible physical destruction.
However, God uses horrible physical destructions as a picture of spiritual destructions.
For example, God sent Nebuchadnezzar in 587BC to destroy
Were all of the church buildings destroyed in 1994? Do we see any physical destruction of the corporate people of God since 1988 or 1994? The answer is no.
Yet, God uses the physical destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 587BC as a picture of the spiritual destruction of the corporate people of God in 1994. Physically, we see nothing wrong with the corporate people of God in our day. But, there is no salvation possible in their churches. That is a great spiritual destruction.
In like manner, God can use the physical destruction of the flood to point to the great spiritual destruction in a world in which there is no salvation possible.
If we say that the flood in
4990BC requires a great physical destruction on May 21, 2011, then to follow
through on that line of reasoning we have to say the destruction of
With the help of the
Therefore, just like the physical destruction of Judah in 587BC pointed to no salvation for the churches in 1994, the physical destruction of the flood in 4990BC points to no salvation in the world on May 21, 2011.
We see other examples of how God uses the language of physical destructions to represent the spiritual condition of man before God. For example in the study “When is the Rapture?”, Isaiah 1:4-7 is cited. Isaiah 1:4-7 is speaking about the present condition of the corporate people of God during the Great Tribulation of our day. God says that their cities are “burned”, “devoured” and “overthrown”. The people themselves have awful diseases. In Isaiah 1:4-7 God is using the language of physical destruction and sickness to describe the spiritual condition of the corporate people of God in our day.
In Revelation 11:8, God talks about the corpses of the 2 witnesses lying in the street. That is talking about the first part of the Great Tribulation during the 2300 days from 1988 to 1994. Again, God uses the physical language of a corpse to describe a spiritual condition.
In 2 Chronicles 35:25 God
indicates that the book of Lamentations was written upon the death of Josiah in
609BC, the last good king of
Here are some examples of the language of the book of Lamentations that is talking about the present state of the corporate people of God with the Holy Spirit being removed:
12 ¶ Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.
14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.
15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my
mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to
crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of
16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger
all the horn of
4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.
5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed
6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of
the daughter of
9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
10 ¶ The elders of the
11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.
There is more language like this in Lamentations, but I wanted to keep this email shorter. With the help of 2 Chronicles 35:25 and the time line of history, we know that this is talking about the present state of the corporate people of God since 1988, the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
God uses much language of disease and sickness in the body to speak of the spiritual condition of His unsaved corporate people. Also in these passages we see language of destruction. God uses physical destruction to point to man’s spiritual condition before God.
There are other examples of the use of a physical destruction to describe the spiritual condition between man and God in the Bible.
So, when we read about the horrible flood, we have to remember that God uses the language of a horrible physical destruction, like the flood brought, to describe the spiritual condition between God and man. A time when there is no more possibility of salvation is a horrible spiritual condition. However, there is nothing in the Bible that says that the believers will not still be here at that time.
So, if we let the Bible guide
us in understanding how God writes, then we can see that the 5 months of the
flood can point to 5 months of a horrible spiritual condition of no salvation.
Just like the destruction of
Thank you again for the discussion.