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WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?

Updated – 8/4/11

 

 

A careful study of the Biblical timeline of history yields two significant dates, May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011.

 

May 21, 2011 is significant because the year 2011 is exactly 7,000 years after the flood of Noah’s day. Also, May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar which matches the reference given in Genesis 7:11 as the day that Noah and his family entered the ark and the day that flood began.

 

Also, May 21, 2011 is very interesting because it ends a Great Tribulation period of exactly 23 years or 8,400 days which started on May 21, 1988. For these and other reasons, May 21, 2011 is a very interesting date.

 

October 21, 2011 is also an interesting date because it is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in 2011. The year 2011 is very interesting for the above reasons, and therefore the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in the that year is also interesting.

 

Another interesting fact is that there are exactly 5 months between those two dates, according to our calendar which is based upon 12 months per year. That makes us think of the 5 months of Revelation 9 verses 5 & 10.

 

These facts lead to the important question: “When is the Rapture?”

 

That is, upon which of these two dates, May 21, 2011 or October 21, 2011 will occur the Rapture or catching up of the true believers?

 

 

Many are talking about the Rapture occurring on May 21, 2011. When we listen carefully to the arguments for the Rapture occurring on May 21, 2011, mostly they center around the fact that the time line of history that leads to that date.

 

 

There is much information from the time line of history that points to May 21, 2011 as a significant date, but not necessarily that this date is the Rapture.

 

In this study, we will examine the arguments for May 21, 2011 as the day of the Rapture. We will also examine Bible verses that point to October 21, 2011 as the date of the Rapture.

 

 

Reasons given for May 21, 2011 being the DATE of the rapture

 

 

One argument given for the Rapture being on May 21, 2011 has to do with the numbers “17” and “722,500”. We will examine this argument now.

 

It is said that the number 17 identifies with heaven. Also, a careful calculation of the number of days from Friday, April 1, 33AD when the Lord Jesus was crucified to May 21, 2011 is 722,500 when both the starting and ending dates are included in the count. It is noteworthy that the number 722,500 breaks down as follows:

 

 

722500 = ( 5* 10 * 17 ) * ( 5 * 10 * 17 )

 

 

The fact that the numbers 5, 10  & 17 appear twice places extra emphasis on them. The number 5 identifies with the atonement that the Lord Jesus provided on Friday, April 1, 33AD, the Passover. The number 10 identifies with the completeness, and people argue that the number 17 has to do with heaven. Based upon all of this, it is said that the appearance of the number 17 in this calculation is a proof that the Rapture will happen on May 21, 2011.

 

We will check this line of reasoning against the Bible.

 

 

The church Age lasted for 1955 years from 33AD to 1988. The number 1955 breaks down as follows:

 

1955 = 5 * 17 * 23

 

The number 5 identifies with the atonement. The number 17 appears again and as stated it identifies with heaven. The number 23 identifies with judgment.

 

The 1955 years of the Church Age could be understood this way. The atonement of the Lord Jesus (represented by 5) brought salvation or heaven (represented by 17) to those that became saved and brought additional judgment (represented by 23) upon those that turned away from the Gospel and never became saved.

 

 

There is a commonality between the numbers 1955 & 722,500. They both have the number 17 in them.

 

 

When we came to the end of the 1955 years of the Church Age, were all of those that were saved immediately taken to heaven in the Rapture?

 

 

No. Those true believers did not experience the Rapture when we came to the end of the 1955 years.

 

 

Therefore, we cannot say that just because a number in the time line of history has the number 17 in it, that this means that it points to the date of the Rapture.

 

 

Rather, the number 17 in the number 1955 points to the fact those that became saved during the Church Age are on their way to heaven. They are guaranteed to be taken to heaven. The number 17 does not point to the Rapture. Rather, it really points to salvation and a future promise of being caught up in the Rapture.

 

 

Because 1955 has 17 in it and yet the Rapture did not happen at the end of the 1955 years, God has shown us that just because 722,500 has the number 17 in it, this cannot be used as a proof text that the Rapture will happen at the end of the 722,500 days.

 

 

If we say that the number 17 in the number 722,500 proves that the Rapture comes at the end of the 722,500 days, then applying that reasoning to the 1955 years of the Church Age, we would have to say that the saved people at the end of the 1955 years would have to be caught up in the Rapture in 1988. However, that did not happen.

 

 

Just as the Rapture did not occur at the end of the 1955 years, it does not need to happen at the end of the 722,500 days.

 

 

There is a better understanding for the number 17.

 

 

The number 17 identifies with salvation, the promise and assurance of heaven to come.

 

 

We some more examples in the Bible in which God uses the number 17 to represent salvation and the promise of heaven to come, but not the actual fulfillment of that promise as of yet.

 

We read in Genesis 37:1-2:

 

1 Ά And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

2  These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

 

In verse 2 we read that Joseph was 17 years old. As we study Joseph, we find that he is a wonderful example of a true believer, and also a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The number 17 identifies Joseph as a true believer, someone who is bound for heaven. However, Joseph was not already in heaven. The promise of salvation and of heaven were eternally secure for Joseph, but he was not yet in heaven.

 

We find another usage of the number 17 in Jeremiah 32:9. We read in Jeremiah 32:6-9 & 41-44:

 

6  And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

7  Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

8  So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

9  And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

 

…

 

41  Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

42  For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

43  And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

44  Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.

 

In Jeremiah 32 we read about God commanding Jeremiah to buy a parcel of land for 17 shekels of silver. This is another important usage of the number 17. The passage is long. To save space, only a few verses were copied. At the time of the purchase of the land, the Babylonians were just about to conquer Judah and take all of the land. Nevertheless, God commanded Jeremiah to buy the land even though the land was about to be taken by the enemy. God explains that the land was purchased to show that God would again bring back the people to the land and the Jews would again possess the land. This land represented the Kingdom of God and the fact that the Jews owned it pointed to salvation. So, the purchase of the land for 17 shekels was a picture of the promise of God that salvation would again come to the Kingdom of God. The salvation of God brings the promise of heaven. So, the number 17 points again to the promise of heaven. It does not mean that the true believers are already in heaven. Rather, in Jeremiah 32 God is using the number 17 to point to salvation and the promise of heaven to come.

 

 

We have examined a key number in the time line of history that has the number 17 in it, namely 1955, and found that it points to the promise of heaven to come. Also, God uses the number 17 in Genesis 37:2 and Jeremiah 32:9 to point to the promise of heaven to come in the future.

 

 

Therefore, when we examine how the Bible uses the number 17, we find that it does not point to the Rapture, but to a future promise of heaven to come. As a result, the number 17 in 722,500 does not point to the Rapture coming on May 21, 2011. Rather, it points to the promise that all of those that became saved will finally come to heaven in the future. 

 

 

 

Another argument given for why the Rapture occurs on May 21, 2011 is because of the destructive language that we read about the flood in Genesis 7.

 

In Genesis 7 we read about mankind and the animals dying and their corpses being destroyed. Also, that great flood would have caused great destruction upon the land.

 

The Bible does emphasize a period of 5 months during the flood (Genesis 7:11, 8:4). This ties into the 5 months of Revelation 9, verses 5 & 10.

 

When we read the very destructive language of Genesis 7 it is easy for us to think that God is teaching that we will see a very literal destruction in 2011.

 

However, we have to remember a few Biblical principles.

 

 

GOD USES PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION AND DISEASE TO REPRESENT MAN’S SPIRITUAL CONDITION BEFORE GOD.

 

 

Let’s consider what we read 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.

 

Isaiah 1:4-7 is describing the present conditions of all of the churches and local congregations throughout the Great Tribulation. When we read the book of Isaiah carefully, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we find that Isaiah 1:4-7 is talking about our present day.

 

In Isaiah 1:4-7 we see how God is using the language of a very physical destruction to describe the condition the present standing of the unsaved corporate people of God today.

 

Regarding the people, God says that “whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” in verse 5. About the people in our day, we read that “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.” in verse 6.

 

God is describing the present condition of the people as having great sicknesses and diseases.

 

 

Regarding their country and cities, we read “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.”

 

God is describing countries and cities that are ruined.

 

Isaiah 1:4-7 is talking about our day. Yet, it uses the language of the people having great diseases and their land being destroyed. In reading this kind of language, we are reminded that Christ spoke in parables (Mark 4:33-34).

 

We see similar language in the book of Lamentations. The book of Lamentations is talking about the condition of Judah after the last good king, King Josiah died (2 Chronicles 35:25). The death of Josiah was the start of the 70 year tribulation for Judah which is picture of the Great Tribulation of our day. For this and other reasons, we can know that the book of Lamentations is talking about our day. It uses language similar to that of Isaiah 1:4-7.

 

With the help of Isaiah 1:4-7, Lamentations and other passages in the Bible, we learn that God uses the language of great disease and destruction to describe the present standing of God’s corporate people in His sight. This is because, it is a great disease and destruction for mankind to be separated from God. This separation comes because of man’s rebellion against God.

 

This subject is covered in more detail in the study at the following link:

 

 

DOES THE FREQUENCY OF WORDS LIKE "PERISH", "DEATH", "DESTROY", "CONSUME", ETC. TEACH ANNIHILATION?

 

 

Because God uses the language of great disease and destruction to describe the present condition of the unsaved, we cannot use that kind of language found in Genesis 7 as a proof text that the 5 months of 2011 will have the type of physical destruction of the flood.

 

 

Another argument concerns the fact that Genesis 7 talks a lot about death and the destruction of the unsaved and of the animals. It is argued that since Genesis 7 talks a lot about death then we can conclude that during the 5 months in 2011 that there will be many corpses spread across the earth.

 

The answer to this argument is in part given by the response above. We also must remember that God spoke in parables and that God uses destructions in this world to picture the present condition of unsaved man in relationship to God.

 

We examine the verses that are used to support this conclusion in many of the studies at the following link:

 

 

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENTS GIVEN FOR ANNIHILATION

 

 

The following study can help in understanding what God is teaching by the references to “death” in Genesis 7:

 

 

WHAT IS DEATH FOR MANKIND?

 

 

 

God uses horrible physical destruction as a picture of spiritual destruction.

 

It is argued that because the flood brought horrible physical destruction that the 5 months of Revelation 9 must also have horrible physical destruction. However, when we compare Scripture with Scripture, we find that God uses physical destructions as a picture of the spiritual destruction of the Gospel being removed.

 

For example, God sent Nebuchadnezzar in 587BC to destroy Judah and Jerusalem, which he did. The walls were all thrown down. The cities were burned. God uses that physical destruction as a picture of the spiritual destruction of the churches and congregations in 1994. The time line of history links 587BC to 1994 by the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11.

 

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, God’s judgment is upon 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 God’s judgment is upon it. 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 Judah in 587BC requires a great physical destruction of the churches in 1994. But, that did not happen. With the help of the destruction of Judah in 587BC we see that God uses physical destructions to point to spiritual destruction.

 

We see other examples of how God uses the language of physical destructions to represent the spiritual condition of man before God. 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 Judah. That was the beginning of the 70 year tribulation for Judah which is a picture of the 23 year Great Tribulation in our day. The time line of history links the death of Josiah in 609BC with 1988, the beginning of the Great Tribulation of our day. In 2 Chronicles 35:25 God is linking the book of Lamentations to the beginning of the Great Tribulation in 1988. In Lamentations, God uses the language of physical destruction to talk about the spiritual condition of the unsaved corporate people of God.

 

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:

 

Lamentations 1:12-17:

12 Ά 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 Judah, as in a winepress.

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.

17  Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

 

Lamentations 2:2-11:

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 Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

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 up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

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 Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.

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 Ά The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

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. 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.

 

 

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. Just like the destruction of Judah in 587BC, the flood of 4990 BC points to a horrible spiritual condition.

 

 

In summary, we see in a variety of passages that God talks about disease and destruction to refer to the present condition of unsaved man before God. That is because it is an awful present disease and destruction for mankind that he is separated from God who created him. Therefore, the presence of this kind of language in Genesis 7 is not a proof of literal destruction during the 5 months of 2011. We also have to keep in mind that the flood is applied in a parabolic way to Judgment Day. There will not be a literal flood of water at Judgment Day.

 

The destructive language of Genesis 7 would be like the language of Isaiah 1:4-7. Isaiah 1:4-7 is describing the corporate people of God without salvation.

 

 

Does the language in Revelation 9:1-11 teach a time of horrible conscious affliction during those 5 months for the unsaved?

 

Another reason that many people think that the Rapture will be at the beginning of the 5 months, which is May 21, 2011, is because they have applied all or almost all of the verses that speak about conscious affliction as a punishment for sin to that 5 month period. However, when we read about the 5 month period in Revelation 9:1-12, we do not read about horrible conscious affliction for the unsaved. For some people, whenever they read a verse about horrible conscious affliction for the unsaved, they apply it to that 5 month period even though the passage may not give any indication that it is directed to that period of time.

 

In Revelation 9:4, 5 & 10, God talks about conscious affliction that the unsaved will experience during those 5 months. We read in those verses:

 

4  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

 

5  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.

 

10  And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

 

In verses 4 & 10 God says that the unsaved will be “hurt”. In both verses, it is the same Greek word.

 

The Greek word translated “hurt” in those two verses is used to indicate an affliction, but not necessarily a severe affliction. We see an example of this same Greek word in Matthew 20:13:

 

But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do <91> thee no wrong <91>: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

 

In Matthew 20:13 this same Greek word is translated “to do wrong”.

 

In this passage the servant who worked the whole day was complaining to the master because he received the same pay as the person who worked only 1 hour.

 

Then the master says in Matthew 20:13 that he has done this servant no “wrong” using this same Greek word. This statement implies that the “wrong” could be the difference in pay, something that may not be a serious affliction.

 

 

Therefore, this Greek word translated “hurt” in Revelation 9:4 & 10 does not necessarily indicate severe conscious affliction.

 

 

Let’s consider another verse in Revelation 9 that seems to teach that the 5 months will be a time of great conscious affliction.

 

 

Is Revelation 9:5 teaching that those 5 months will be a time of great conscious affliction?

 

 

People have said that the 5 months of Revelation 9 will be 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 (Mark 4:33-34). 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;)

 

Lot’s soul was “vexed”. This is the same Greek word translated “torment” in Revelation 9:5. We can see from this verse that Lot was a true believer. Lot’s soul was “tormented” by seeing the sinful actions of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

We want to remember that God defines words by how He uses them. The “tormenting” of Revelation 9:5 does not need to be any more severe than the conscious affliction that Lot experienced by seeing the sinful deeds in Sodom. If we are sensitive to sin, we can get a sense of how Lot was “tormented” by seeing all of the sin around us in the world today.

 

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 Lot received. It is a conscious affliction, but it is not something so severe that would require the Rapture to deliver the believers from it.

 

In fact, Lot, along with other true believers throughout history, have had to go through the “torment” of being around those that sin. We want to remember that God defines words by how He uses them.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Does Revelation 9:6 teach that during those 5 months the conditions will be so horrible for the unsaved that they will be committing suicide?

 

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 language in Revelation 9:6 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 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. 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.

 

 

Therefore, as we examine the language of Revelation 9:1-12 in describing the final 5 months, we do not read about horrible conscious affliction.

 

People read in other parts of the Bible about horrible conscious affliction that the unsaved must endure as punishment for sin and they apply that to those 5 months. However, no proof is provided that those references to horrible conscious affliction apply to that 5 months of Revelation 9:1-12.

 

The problem is that it is assumed that those 5 months, from May 21, 2011 to October 21, 2011, will be a period of horrible conscious affliction, fulfilling many Bible promises of conscious affliction upon the unsaved. However, no proof is given that links those promised horrible afflictions to the 5 months.

 

Based upon the assumption that the 5 months beginning on May 21, 2011 will be a time of horrible conscious affliction, it is concluded that the believer’s cannot be in this world to experience this time. Therefore, it is concluded that the Rapture must be before the 5 months.

 

 

However, this line of reasoning is based upon unproven assumptions. The assumption is that all of the negative language of suffering in the Bible applies to the time period of May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011. This is stated, but not proven.

 

 

However, when we read God’s description of the 5 months which is given in Revelation 9:1-12 we find that it involves some conscious affliction, but we do not read any language of severe afflictions nor do we read anything about horrible natural disasters or anything of that kind.

 

 

 

Now we will consider another argument.

 

 

DOES MATTHEW 24:29-31 TEACH THAT THE RAPTURE WILL HAPPEN “IMMEDIATELY” AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION, ON MAY 21, 2011?

 

We read in Matthew 24:29-31:

 

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:

30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

In verse 29 we read the phrase “Immediately after the tribulation”.

 

We understand this date to be May 21, 2011, the end of the Great Tribulation.

 

Then, people read verse 31 and identify that with the Rapture and conclude that “Immediately after the tribulation” is the Rapture.

 

However, in doing this people have overlooked a very important word in this passage. It is the word “then” in verse 30.

 

 

This Greek word “then” indicates a follow on event but that event might be at some later time.

 

 

When we see the word “then” we might think of it in the sense “at this present time”, tying the preceding and following events as being simultaneous events. However, we have to search the Bible to see how God defines this Greek word “then”. We will look at 4 passages with this same Greek word “then” to see how God can use this word:

 

We read in Matthew 2:14-16:

 

14  When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

16 Ά Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

 

This Greek word “then” is found in verse 16. Verses 14-15 talk about how Joseph took his family into Egypt to protect the child Jesus from Herod.

 

Verse 16 talks about how Herod was angry when he realized that the wise men had not come back to tell him where the baby king was. Verse 16 occurred sometime after verse 15. It would have taken Herod a while to realize that the wise men were not coming back to him.

 

There is nothing to indicate that verse 16 occurred immediately after verse 15. In fact, it would have required some time for Herod to realize that the wise men were not coming back to him. Verse 16 could not have occurred right after verse 15. Rather, verse 16 is the next event in the progression that God is describing.

 

 

We read in Matthew 3:1-5:

 

1 Ά In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

4  And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

 

Verse 5 has this same Greek word “then”.

 

Verses 1 to 4 describe the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist and tell us some things about him.

 

Then, in verse 5 God talks about the next event that He wishes to describe, which was the coming of people to hear John. However, verse 5 did not have to happen immediately after John came into the wilderness. It is just that sometime later, the next event that God wants to describe, is that people came out to listen to John.

 

Verse 5 did not necessarily happen right after verses 1 to 4. 

 

 

We read in Matthew 3:12-13:

 

12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Ά Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

 

Verse 12 ends the warning from John the Baptist to the unsaved. Verse 13 has this same Greek word “then”. Verse 13 describes the coming of the Lord Jesus to John to be baptized. That could have been some time later. Verse 13 gives the next event that God wants to describe, but it did not necessarily happen right after John gave his warning.

 

 

We read in Matthew 9:13-14:

 

13  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

14 Ά Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

 

Verse 14 has the same Greek word “then”. Verse 13 ends the response by Jesus to a statement made by the Pharisees to His disciples. Verse 14 starts a new situation in which the disciples of John came to Jesus with a question. Verse 14 begins a new subject matter. It could have been some time later.

 

 

 

The Gospels describe 3 ½ years of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus. Yet, there are only a few hours of dialog contained in the Gospels. So, there was much time between the events and conversations that are recorded in the Gospels. These separate events are frequently connected by this Greek word “then”.

 

The four Gospels contain the information that God wants us to know. There were many more events that occurred over those 3 ½ years that are not recorded. However, God uses this same Greek word “then” to separate those distinct events that occurred over that 3 ½ year period which God wanted recorded. So, there would have been time between the events that are separated by this Greek word “then”.

 

 

These are 4 example passages with this same Greek word “then” found in Matthew 24:31. These 4 examples show us that this Greek word “then” can mean the passage of some time before the next event.

 

 

Mark 13:24-28 has the same Greek word “then”. We read there:

 

24 Ά But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

 

This passage is similar to Matthew 24:29-31 with some differences.

 

Mark 13:24-25 talks about the time right after the Great Tribulation which ends on May 21, 2011. People identify verse 27 with the Rapture. However, with the word “then” in verses 26 & 27, God is telling us that sometime later the events of verses 26-27 will occur. That time can easily be October 21, 2011 at the end of the 5 months.

 

 

Let’s look at Matthew 24:29-31 again:

 

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:

30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

 

Verse 29 talks about events that occur “Immediately” after the Great Tribulation ends on May 21, 2011.

 

 

However, Matthew 24:30 begins with this same Greek word “then”. Following the rules of proper Bible study, this means that the events described in verses 30 & 31 could easily happen some time later, on October 21, 2011.

 

 

 

Let us consider another relevant passage, Matthew 24:37-41. We read there:

 

37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

 

People identify verses 40 & 41 with the Rapture. The one taken is the true believer that is taken in the Rapture. The one left is the unsaved person left behind for judgment.

 

We also read about Noah and his family entering the ark in verse 38. The entering of the ark was on the 17th day of the 2nd month, which points to May 21, 2011. Since verses 40 and 41 are in the same context as verse 38, people conclude that the Rapture (represented by verses 40 and 41) will occur on May 21, 2011.

 

However, in making the connection between verse 38 (the closing of the ark and May 21, 2011) and verses 40 and 41 (the Rapture), people have overlooked an important word, the word “then”. This is the same Greek word, “then”, that we studied above and is found in Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26 & 27. We saw four passages above in which God uses this same Greek word “then” to describe an event that occurs later in time. Therefore, when we see this word “then” we cannot conclude that the following event happens immediately after the preceding event. There may be some delay before this event occurs.

 

 

Matthew 24:38-39 describe the closing of the ark which identifies with May 21, 2011. Next, God begins verse 40 with the word “then” indicating that verse 40 may describe a later event. In this case, verses 40 & 41 describe the Rapture that occurs 5 months later on October 21, 2011.

 

 

 

God gives help in seeing that there is a time space between the end of the Gospel proclamation and Judgment Day.

 

 

GOD TELLS US THAT THE SUN AND MOON WILL BE DARKENED BEFORE THE GREAT AND THE TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD

 

In fact, God tells us that the sun and the moon will be darkened before the Rapture and the Day of Judgment in which God will execute His full wrath upon the unsaved. We read about that in these two verses:

 

Joel 2:31  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

 

Acts 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

 

Both of these verses tell us that the sun and moon will be darkened, which goes along with the end of the Great Tribulation, before the Rapture and the Day of Judgment when God will execute his full wrath upon the unsaved.

 

 

If we casually read Matthew 24:29-31 we can get the idea that the Rapture will occur “Immediately” after the Great Tribulation. However, if we read the passage more carefully, examining how God uses the Greek word “then”, we find that the Rapture can occur sometime later.

 

Also, Joel  2:31 and Acts 2:20 teach that there is some time from the end of the Great Tribulation to the Rapture and the Day of Judgment.

 

 

 

 

Let’s consider another argument that is raised.

 

 

DOES THE LANGUAGE OF A “SMOKE OF A GREAT FURNACE” INDICATE THAT THE RAPTURE WILL BE AT THE START OF THE 5 MONTHS?

 

Let us look at Revelation 9:2 again:

 

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 by reason of the smoke of the pit.

 

We read the phrase “smoke of a great furnace”.

 

Some have suggested that this language means that the Rapture has to happen at the start of the 5 months and that this 5 months is the full and complete experience of the wrath of God.

 

The phrase “smoke of a great furnace” has to do with the wrath of God that is coming. The fires of the wrath of God have already been kindled because of the sin of mankind as we read in Deuteronomy 32:22:

 

For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

 

The fires of the wrath of God are already kindled. The great furnace is already burning in that sense. The fires of the wrath of God are already burning because of the sin of man as we read in Jeremiah 17:4:

 

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.

 

Because of our sins, the fires of the wrath of God are already kindled. They are already burning. The furnace of the wrath of God is already burning. In Jeremiah 17:4 God indicates that we have kindled those fires because of our sin.

 

In fact, God uses language similar to the phase “smoke of a great furnace” in Exodus 19:18:

 

And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

 

The language of the “smoke of a great furnace” from Revelation 9:2 is very similar to what we read in Exodus 19:18. Both verses are talking about the same furnace, the furnace of the wrath of God.

 

Exodus 19:18 is describing when the 10 commandments, a summary of the law of God, were given. Finally, the whole Bible is the law of God. The giving of the 10 commandments represented the giving of the law of God. The law of God brings the wrath of God, the fires of the wrath of God, because man violates the law of God.

 

The 10 commandments, as described in Exodus 19:18, were given about 3,400 years before the end of the world. The giving of those commandments is identified with smoke coming from a furnace, the furnace of the wrath of God. The smoke of the furnace of the wrath of God has already been ascending for thousands of years.

 

 

Therefore, the language of a smoke of a furnace is not limited to just the end of the world. Rather, God applies this kind of language back to the giving of the 10 commandments in 1447 BC, 3400 years before the end of the world.

 

 

 

 

Let’s consider another argument given:

 

 

Do Revelation 15 & 16 limit the punishment of the unsaved to this earth?

 

 

We read some language in Revelation 15 & 16 which makes some people think that the conscious suffering of the unsaved is limited to the existence of this earth and therefore could not go on forevermore because this earth will not go on forevermore.

 

We will look at those verses and arguments.

 

In Revelation 15:1 we read:

 

And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

 

We read the word “filled up” and it makes some people think that this word is teaching that there is a finite amount of the wrath of God.

 

However, this same Greek verb translated “filled up” is also found in the Revelation 10:7 where it is translated as “finished”:

 

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished <5055>, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

Revelation 10:7 talks about how the “mystery of God” will be “finished” using the same Greek word.

 

The “mystery of God” includes all of God’s plans for both the unsaved and the saved. It includes the destruction of this universe and the creation of the new heavens and new earth. The creation of the new universe is part of the “mystery of God” that must be “finished”.

 

The “finishing” of the creation of the new heavens and new earth does not mean that they have a finite duration. Rather, God will “finish” His plans in regards to the new heavens and new earth by creating them and they will continue forevermore.

 

In like manner, the “finishing” of the “wrath of God” comes when the unsaved are cast into the lake of fire. But, this does not mean that the lake of fire comes to an end, in the same way that the “finishing” of the new heavens and new earth does not mean that they will come to an end.

 

 

Just as when God has “finished” creating the new heavens and new earth, they will go on forevermore, in the same way, when God casts the unsaved into the lake of fire, they can be there forevermore.

 

 

Revelation 16:1 has also been offered as a proof text that the wrath of God is limited to this earth. We read in Revelation 16:1:

 

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

 

The wrath of God is represented by the seven plagues from the seven angels. We notice that Revelation 16:1 talks about the pouring out of the wrath of God “upon the earth”. Based upon this statement, some people have concluded that the conscious experience of the wrath of God is limited to this earth. We are about the destruction of this earth and universe in 2 Peter 3:10-12. Based upon these points, some people have concluded that once this earth and universe are destroyed the conscious suffering of the unsaved will end.

 

However, we should notice that Revelation 16:1 does not say that the punishment is limited to this earth. It says that the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth, but it does not say that it is limited to this earth.

 

We get more help in understanding this question by examining Revelation 16:17-21:

 

17 Ά And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

19  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

20  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

21  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

 

These verses describe the seventh plague. We see reference to that in verse 17.

 

In verse 20 God says that “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found”. This is language that identifies with this earth passing away.

 

The words “island” and “mountains” can identify very much with this world and are used most commonly in that way. These are fled away and not found. Verse 20 is the language of this earth passing away.

 

Then in verse 21, we read about a plague falling upon the unsaved and that the unsaved are doing the conscious action of blaspheming God.

 

 

The strong implication of Revelation 16:20-21 is the conscious affliction of the wrath of God continues after this earth passes away. In any case, Revelation 15 & 16 cannot be used as a proof text that the conscious affliction of the wrath of God ends when this earth is destroyed. The language of Revelation 16:20-21 is of the wrath of God starting on this earth and continuing into eternity future.

 

 

If we read only Revelation 16:1 we might get the impression that the conscious affliction of the wrath of God ends when this earth is destroyed, however, we must read the whole chapter. The language of verses 20 & 21 indicate that though the conscious affliction begins in this world, it does continue after this earth is destroyed.

 

 

Let us consider another argument. We read in Revelation 15:8:

 

And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

 

Some people have read Revelation 15:8 and have concluded that this verse is teaching that the true believers cannot enter into the new heaven and new earth until the punishment of the unsaved is completed and they are annihilated. This argument is based upon the idea that the phrase “enter into the temple” ties into the believers reigning with the Lord Jesus in the new heavens and new earth.

 

However, that is just one way to read this verse. The verse can be understood in several ways.

 

The eternal temple is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as we read in Revelation 21:22:

 

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

 

As soon as God saves us, we are brought into the eternal temple of God, which is the Lord Jesus. He comes to indwell us. We are securely in the Lord Jesus upon salvation.

 

We read about the saints in heaven in Revelation 7:15:

 

Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

 

The saints in heaven are already serving the Lord “in his temple”. That is, they are “in Christ”, who is the temple.

 

Once we are saved, we are eternally in Christ. We are already in the temple of God.

 

 

However, the unsaved are outside of the temple of God. They are outside of Christ and the eternal Kingdom of God. They will have to endure the “seven plagues of the seven angels” that are mentioned in Revelation 15:8 before they can enter into the temple. This is the point of Revelation 15:8.

 

The believers are already in the temple, which is Christ. No one else, none of the unsaved, can enter the temple until they have endured the 7 plagues. This is what Revelation 15:8 is declaring. The unsaved, who are still outside of the temple of God, which is the Lord Jesus, cannot enter until the “seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled”.

 

Theoretically, if the unsaved could complete the payment for their sins, then they could “enter into the temple”. That is, they could enter into the Lord Jesus, which means that they would have become saved. However, sadly, other verses indicate that those plagues go on forevermore.

 

Nevertheless, the point of Revelation 15:7 is that the unsaved must endure the seven plagues, the full payment for sin, before they can enter into the Kingdom of God. If they could come to the end of that, they could enter into the temple, which is the Lord Jesus.

 

 

 

2 Chronicles 20 has been offered as an illustration that the true believers will be in heaven while the unsaved are down on the earth destroying themselves during those 5 months.

 

 

We know that historical passages, like that found in 2 Chronicles 20, have Gospel application because Christ spoke in parables (Mark 4:33-34).

 

However, we do not know if 2 Chronicles 20 is representing the 5 months starting in May 21, 2011. Or, if it is representing the Great Tribulation time or anytime that false gospels are present.

 

Mankind destroys himself and his fellow man with his wrong Gospels. In principle, God has already made the true believer to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). So, the true believer is already in Christ up in “heavenly places” protected from the wrath of God and the wrong teachings of the unsaved.

 

So, we cannot use passages like 2 Chronicles 20 as proof texts of the Rapture before the 5 months. These kinds of passages teach important Gospel truth but the exact application in time sometimes cannot be determined.

 

 

 

DO VERSES LIKE DEUTERONOMY 16:13 TEACH THAT THE RAPTURE HAS TO BE BEFORE THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES  AND THEREFORE THE RAPTURE CANNOT BE ON THE LAST DAY OF THE FEAST?

 

We read in Deuteronomy 16:13:

 

Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:

 

The verse says that the Feast of Tabernacles will be held “after” the gathering of the corn. We know that the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles will be on October 21 in 2011 and the “corn” represents the true believers that are harvested from this world. Based upon this, some people conclude that the Rapture must be before the Feast of Tabernacles and they therefore say that it will be on May 21, 2011.

 

The misunderstanding comes from the translation “after”. The word “after” in this verse comes from one letter in the Hebrew text, the Hebrew letter “beth”. In this verse, this letter is operating as a preposition and is a prefix for the verb “to gather”. The verb, “to gather” is in the Hebrew infinitive which is correctly translated with an “ing” ending as “gathering”.

 

The Hebrew letter “beth” is also translated many times as “at”, “in” or “with”. When it is used with a verb, it sometimes has the sense of “while”. A completely valid translation of Deuteronomy 16:13 is:

 

Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, while gathering in thy corn and thy wine:

 

That is, while gathering of the harvest, the Feast of Tabernacles is held. This fits perfectly with the Rapture happening on the last day of the Feast, on October 21, 2011. The last day of the Feast is in the Feast of Tabernacles and that could be the time of the gathering or the Rapture of the true believers, on October 21, 2011.

 

 

We find this same Hebrew construction with the letter “beth” in Deuteronomy 6:7 with four verbs in that verse; “to sit”, “to walk”, “to lie down” and “to rise up”. We read there:

 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

 

The same grammatical structure that is used in Deuteronomy 16:13 in the phrase “after that thou hast gathered” is also used four times in Deuteronomy 6:7, “when thou sittest”, “when thou walkest”, “when thou liest down”, and “when thou risest up”. Deuteronomy 6:7 could also be correctly translated:

 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them while thou sittest in thine house, and while thou walkest by the way, and while thou liest down, and while thou risest up.

 

There is not a clear “after” or “before” relationship established with this grammatical structure.

 

The translators were not always completely consistent or clear in working with this grammatical structure, but the point of this is that in Deuteronomy 16:13, the word translated “after” does not have a clear time relationship meaning. This same grammatical structure is used in Deuteronomy 6:7 to mean “while” or “in that time”.

 

 

Let’s look at the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 16:13 and Deuteronomy 6:7 so that we can see the letter “beth” used with the verbs in both verses.

 

To download the Hebrew font used on this page, right click the link below. Select ‘Save Target as’, then use the Control Panel in Windows to install the font.

 

HEBREW FONT

 

 

The Hebrew letter “beth” is “b”. It’s usage with each verb is underlined in the verses below.

 

Deuteronomy 16:13  Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:

 

Kbqymw Knrgm Kpoab Mymy tebs Kl hvet tkoh gx Deuteronomy 16:13

 

 

Deuteronomy 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Kmwqbw Kbksbw Krdb Ktklbw Ktybb Ktbsb Mb trbdw Kynbl Mtnnsw Deuteronomy 6:7

 

 

A careful examination of Deuteronomy 16:13 shows that the Hebrew letter translated “after” does not give a clear time relationship in the Hebrew language. In the general case it means “while” or “in that time”. As a result, Deuteronomy 16:13 does not teach that the Feast of Tabernacles has to be after the Rapture.

 

 

We have looked at arguments given to show that the Rapture must occur before the 5 months of Revelation 9. A careful examination of the arguments given shows that none of them gives any substantial support for the Rapture occurring before the 5 months.

 

 

 

 

Now we will examine reasons for the Rapture occurring after the 5 months of Revelation 9.

 

 

1. 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that the resurrection of the believers and the Rapture is at the last trumpet. However, the 5 months of Revelation 9 is the 5th trumpet.

 

We read in 1 Corinthians 15:52:

 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

 

We read the word “trump”. This is the same Greek word translated “trumpet” that we find in Revelation 8-11 to describe the 7 angels with the 7 trumpets.

 

We find this same Greek word in the following verses from Revelation 8-11:

 

Revelation 8:2  And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets <4536>.

 

Revelation 8:6  And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets <4536> prepared themselves to sound.

 

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 <4536> of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

 

Revelation 9:14  Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet <4536>, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

 

 

1 Corinthians 15:52 also has the verb form of this same Greek noun. It is translated as “the trumpet shall sound”. This same verb is used in the following verses in Revelation 8-11 to describe the 7 angels with the 7 trumpets:

 

Revelation 8:6  And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound <4537>.

 

Revelation 8:7  The first angel sounded <4537>, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

 

Revelation 8:8  And the second angel sounded <4537>, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

 

Revelation 8:10  And the third angel sounded <4537>, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

 

Revelation 8:12  And the fourth angel sounded <4537>, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

 

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 <4537>!

 

Revelation 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded <4537>, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

 

Revelation 9:13  And the sixth angel sounded <4537>, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

 

Revelation 10:7  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound <4537>, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

Revelation 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded <4537>; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

 

These verses show that the language of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is closely tied into the 7 trumpets in Revelation 8 to 11. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the Greek noun translated “trump” and the corresponding Greek verb translated “the trumpet shall sound”, are both very much tied into the 7 angels sounding the 7 trumpets in Revelation 8 to 11.

 

Therefore, it is significant that 1 Corinthians 15:52 talks about the “last trump”. That ties into the 7th “trumpet” in Revelation 8 to 11.

 

However, notice that the 5 months described in Revelation 9:1-12 is the 5th “trumpet”. We read in Revelation 9:1:

 

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

 

Revelation 9:1 says that the 5 months are the 5th trumpet. But, the resurrection of the bodies of the true believers that are sleeping in the dust and the Rapture is the last or 7th trumpet.

 

 

This is an important point. The Rapture is the last or 7th trumpet, but the 5 months is the 5th trumpet. This fact points to the Rapture being after the 5 months. 

 

 

One argument that is made is that the 7 trumpets all sound at the same time.

 

Revelation 10:7 has been offered as a proof that all 7 trumpets sound at the same time. We read there:

 

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

 

The word “begin” should be translated “shall” or “should”. This Greek word is only translated “begin” in this verse. When we check how this Greek word is used in the Bible, we find that it expresses something that will happen in the future or should happen in the future. It is not expressing something that is “beginning” now. The phrase “mystery of God should be finished” points to the very last day. That is when the mystery of God will finally be finished. 

 

Revelation 10:7 is more of a proof that the seventh (last) trumpet will not sound until the mystery of God should be completely finished. The mystery of God will be finished when everything is finished, right at the end of the world. May 21, 2011 is not that date. That date is October 21, 2011.

 

 

Revelation 8:13 shows that the 7 angels with trumpets do not sound at the same time.

 

 

We read in Revelation 8:13 that four trumpets have sounded, but 3 are yet to sound:

 

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 8:6-12 we read about the first 4 trumpets soundings. Then, in verse 13 God indicates that there are 3 more trumpets that are yet to sound.

 

Revelation 8:13 shows us how that 4 trumpets have sounded and there are still 3 more trumpets that are “yet to sound”. This is language that indicates that the 3 remaining trumpets have not yet sounded.

 

The same Greek grammatical structure that we find in Revelation 8:13 translated as “are yet to sound” is found in these verses:

 

Matthew 2:13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will <3195> seek the young child to destroy him.

 

Matthew 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come <3195>?

 

Mark 10:32  And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should <3195> happen unto him,

 

John 6:15  When Jesus therefore perceived that they would <3195> come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

 

Acts 5:35  And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend <3195> to do as touching these men.

 

Acts 23:3  Then said Paul unto him, God shall <3195> smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

 

Hebrews 13:14  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come <3195>.

 

These are sample verses with the same Greek word and grammatical structure as the phrase “are yet to sound” found in Revelation 8:13. This grammatical structure is always used to speak about something that will happen but has not yet happened.

 

As a result, Revelation 8:13 teaches us that the 7 trumpets are not simultaneous.

 

 

First point: The 7 trumpets are not simultaneous. The Rapture is the 7th trumpet, but the 5 months is the 5th trumpet, indicating that the Rapture is after the 5 months.

 

 

 

Let’s consider another argument for the Rapture occurring after the 5 months:

 

 

2. God HAS TIED THE LANGUAGE OF THE 5TH TO 7TH TRUMPETS INTO THE 3 “woes” WHICH ARE WRITTEN in a very chronological manner.

 

Let us now examine the 3 woes that we read about in Revelation 8 to 11.

 

It is argued that nothing in the book of Revelation is chronological. However, we cannot make blanket statements. We have to examine each verse and each topic to learn what God is saying.

 

Revelation 8:13 talks about 3 “woes” that are coming. This is after the first 4 trumpets sound. The 4 four trumpets could be the Great Tribulation. 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 8:6, God introduces 7 angels that are to sound 7 trumpets. Next, in verses 7 to 12, we read about the first 4 trumpets sounding. Then, in verse 13, God tells us that there are 3 angels that are yet to sound their trumpets.

 

Revelation 8:13 also talks about 3 woes. We read “Woe, woe, woe”. Notice how God ties those 3 woes to the 3 last trumpets by the language “by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels”.

 

The language of Revelation 8:13 makes the following connections:

 

- 1st woe => 5th trumpet

- 2nd woe => 6th trumpet

- 3rd woe => 7th trumpet

 

As we examine the Biblical language concerning the 3 woes and last 3 trumpets, we see that it confirms the above association.

 

 

1st woe / 5th trumpet

 

Let us first consider the 5 months of Revelation 9. God talks about those 5 months in Revelation 9:1-12. Let us look at verses 1 and 12 that bracket the description of the 5 months. We read:

 

1 Ά And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

 

12  One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

Revelation 9 verses 1 & 12 bracket the 5 month period. Notice that Revelation 9:1 begins with the “fifth angel sounded”. This is the 5th trumpet. Revelation 9:1-11 describe the 5 months. Then right after God describes the 5 months, Revelation 9:12 declares, “One woe is past”.

 

 

With this language, God is really locking in that the 5th trumpet is the 1st woe and both of those refer to the 5 months of Revelation 9, which we have learned is from May 21, 2011 to October 21, 2011.

 

 

The careful language of Revelation 8:13, 9:1-12 teaches us the important truth:

 

1st woe = 5th trumpet (Revelation 9:1-12) - 5 months, 5/21/2011 - 10/21/2011

 

 

As we continue to examine verses in this study, we will see that God gives more information to tie the 3 woes to the last 3 trumpets, 5th to 7th.

 

 

Right after the 5th trumpet and 1st woe have passed in Revelation 9:12, we read in the next verse, Revelation 9:13:

 

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

 

Revelation 9:13 signals the 6th trumpet. Revelation 9:13 also shows that the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe is after the 5th trumpet / 1st woe. The chronological language of the 3 woes will confirm this. The description of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe continues through the rest of Revelation 9, through the end of the chapter which is verse 21.

 

Then, to complicate matters, in Revelation 10 God takes a detour and gives other Gospel truth. Then, in Revelation 11, God talks about the 2 witnesses, which are the true believers as they bring the Gospel throughout the New Testament era. God gets back into the description of the 6th trumpet in Revelation 11:12. Revelation 10 and 11:1-11 is an interjection in the middle of the description of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe.

 

That is, God begins to describe the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe in Revelation 9:13 with the phrase “And the sixth angel sounded”. The description is ended in Revelation 11:14 which says “The second woe is past”.

 

In the middle of the description of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe, from Revelation 10:1 through Revelation 11:11, God takes a break from describing the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe to discuss other Gospel truth.

 

 

In the book of Genesis, we see this principle of an interjection of other information in the middle of another description.

 

In Genesis 37 through Genesis 41, God describes Joseph’s sojourn from the land of Canaan through becoming prime minister in Egypt. However, in Genesis 38, God makes an interjection in the description of the sojourn of Joseph to recount Judah and Tamar. Then, in Genesis 39, God continues to describe the sojourn of Joseph.

 

In Genesis 37 through Genesis 41, we read about the sojourn of Joseph, but in the middle of that description, God makes an interjection to describe Judah and Tamar. That happens in Genesis 38. In Genesis 39 God continues with the description of Joseph.

 

 

God has done the same thing in the description of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe.

 

God begins to describe the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe in Revelation 9:13 and continues that through the end of chapter 9. Then starting in Revelation 10, God takes a detour from describing the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe, and gives other Gospel truth. This is similar to what God did in Genesis 38 when He took a detour from describing the sojourn of Joseph in order to give information about Judah and Tamar.

 

God resumes the description of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe in Revelation 11:12 with the Rapture and resurrection of the bodies of the true believers.

 

 

To understand more about how this interjection works, we have to consider several passages. 

 

 

First, we read in Revelation 9:13 & 21:

 

13 Ά And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

…

21  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

Revelation 9:13-21 all discuss the same theme, the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe which was introduced in verse 13.

 

 

Next, we read in Revelation 11:11-15:

 

11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

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.

13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 Ά The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

In Revelation 11:14 we read that the “The second woe is past”. That identifies with the end of the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe.

 

Then in verses 14 & 15 we read “the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded;”. This language ties the 3rd woe to the 7th trumpet.

 

 

These two statements help to confirm that the 3rd woe identifies with the 7th trumpet, further confirming that the last 3 trumpets identify with the 3 woes.

 

 

In Revelation 11:12 we read the language of the Rapture:

 

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.

 

This is the language of the Rapture.

 

 

We have to ask the important question: How does the Rapture fit into the 5th to 7th trumpets / 3 woes?

 

 

Earlier, we looked at 1 Corinthians 15:52 which said that the resurrection of the true believers and the Rapture is “at the last trump”. The Rapture is at the last trumpet, that is the 7th trumpet. The 7th trumpet is also called the 3rd woe.

 

But, then we wonder how to fit in the language of Revelation 11:12-15, which we just examined.

 

Revelation 11:12 talks about the Rapture yet the 7th trumpet is not sounded until verse 15. This seems to be in disagreement with Corinthians 15:52 which says that the Rapture is at the last trumpet.

 

 

We get an answer to this puzzle when we examine the Greek word translated “at” in the phrase “at the last trump” in 1 Corinthians 15:52.

 

This same Greek word is found in Acts 11:15:

 

And as <1722> I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

 

In Acts 11:15, the apostle Peter is recounting to his friends the events that happened when he brought the Gospel to the Roman Centurion Cornelius and his family. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 the Greek word “at” in the phrase “at the last trump” is translated “as” in Acts 11:15.

 

We learn more about Peter’s encounter with the family of Cornelius in Acts 10:34-47:

 

34 Ά Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

36  The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

37  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

39  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41  Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

42  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44 Ά While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

 

We read in verse 34 that Peter opened his mouth and began to speak to them. Verses 34 through 43 contain at least some of what Peter said. Then, in verse 44 we read that while Peter spoke to them the Holy Spirit fell on the people. The evidence of the Holy Spirit falling upon the people is given in verse 46 that the people spoke in tongues.

 

As we read in verse 45, the Jews that came with Peter were astonished as they heard the gentiles speak in tongues, which was the evidence that the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Peter and his Jewish friends witnessed the family of Cornelius speaking in tongues. Then, Peter answered in verse 47 saying that they should be baptized in water.

 

 

If we examine this passage carefully, we see that the Holy Spirit came upon the people at about the time that Peter was saying the statement in verse 43.

 

 

We can know this because when the Holy Spirit came upon the people they spoke in tongues and this astonished Peter and his companions as we read in verse 45. That would have stopped Peter’s sermon. After Peter heard them speak in tongues, he realized that God had saved them, so in verse 47 he said that they should be baptized in water.

 

 

So, in Acts 10:34-47, we learn that Peter spoke for a short while, then the Holy Spirit came upon the family of Cornelius.

 

 

However, in Acts 11:15, God indicates that “at” the beginning of Peter’s speech, using the same Greek word “at” that we find in 1 Corinthians 15:52, the Holy Spirit came upon the family of Cornelius. The Holy Spirit came upon the gentiles at the beginning of Peter’s sermon in the sense that near the beginning of Peter’s sermon He came upon them. Peter began to speak and spoke a few sentences and at that time, the next event, the Holy Spirit came upon the gentiles.

 

Therefore, when we put the two accounts together, we learn that this Greek word “at” in the phrase “at the last trump” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 can indicate the very next or following event in time.

 

 

The event is “at” that time in sense that it happens as the next event.

 

 

So, let’s apply this understanding to Revelation 11:11-15:

 

11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

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.

13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 Ά The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

Revelation 11:12 describes the Rapture, which from 1 Corinthians 15:52 we know is “at the last trump” or 7th trumpet. Then, in verse 14 we read about the end of the 2nd woe and the 3rd woe comes quickly. That is the end of the 6th trumpet and then the 7th trumpet comes quickly. Verse 15 declares the sounding of the 7th trumpet or last trump.

 

From Revelation 11:12-15, it appears that the Rapture is in the 6th trumpet, but 1 Corinthians 15:52 says it is the last trump. We wonder how to resolve this.

 

 

However, with the help of the two accounts of Peter visiting the family of Cornelius, we can see that God can use this Greek word translated “at” in the phrase “at the last trump” in the sense of the next event.

 

 

In 1 Corinthians 15:52 the Greek word “at” in the phrase “at the last trump” can mean that the last trump or 7th trumpet is the next event. That would agree with the language “the third woe cometh quickly” in Revelation 11:14. The 3rd woe is the 7th trumpet and it comes “quickly” or right after the Rapture described in Revelation 11:12.

 

 

So, the Rapture is “at the last trump” in the sense that the 7th trumpet happens “quickly” or “as the next event” after the Rapture. So, this puts the Rapture clearly after the 5th trumpet / 1st woe which is the 5 months.

 

 

Let’s look at Revelation 11:12-14 again to see another important point:

 

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.

13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 Ά The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

 

Verses 12-13 describe the Rapture and the resurrection of the bodies of the true believers. When we compare 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 with 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, we learn that the Rapture and the resurrection of the bodies of the true believers both happen at the same time.

 

Then, the next thing God says in verse 14 is “The second woe is past”.

 

With this language, God is tying the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe into the Rapture. God describes the Rapture in verses 12-13 and then right after that, in verse 14, God tells us the 2nd woe is past. So, we can know that the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe is the time of the Rapture.

 

The Rapture is the “at last trump” because the 7th trumpet is the next event, according to how God defines this Greek word “at” or “as” in Acts 11:15.

 

 

2nd woe = 6th trumpet (Revelation 9:13-21, 11:12-14) - the Rapture on 10/21/2011, after 1st woe. The 7th or last trumpet happens “quickly” as the next event.

 

 

Let us look again at Revelation 11:14-15 to see the 7th trumpet and the 3rd woe:

 

14 Ά The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

Revelation 11:14 tells us that the 2nd woe has passed. That ties into the 6th trumpet that sounded in Revelation 9:13.

 

Verse 14 also tells us that the 3rd woe comes “quickly”. Then, the next verse tells us the 7th and last trumpet has sounded. So, God is tying the 3rd woe into the 7th and last trumpet.

 

 

A careful examination of Revelation 9 to 11 shows that God clearly links the 3 woes to the last 3 trumpets, 5th to 7th. So that, the 5th trumpet corresponds to the 1st woe and the 7th trumpet corresponds to the 3rd woe.

 

 

 

Let us now consider another important point:

 

 

To help us understand the time sequence of the 5th to 7th trumpets, God has written the language of the “3 woes” in a very chronological manner.

 

 

Much of the book of Revelation is not chronological. We read about Judgment Day in Revelation 6:12-17. Then, in succeeding chapters, God talks about many things that occur before Judgment Day. As a result, some people have concluded that nothing in the book of Revelation is chronological.

 

However, we should not make this kind of blanket statement. Each passage must be examined on it’s own merit.

 

 

God has written the language of the 3 “woes” in a very chronological way that is different than the other language of the book of Revelation. Let us examine this now.

 

 

Earlier we looked at Revelation 8 and saw how verses 6 to 12 describe 4 trumpets. Then verse 13 talks about 3 more trumpets that are “yet to sound”. The Greek grammatical structure of the phrase “yet to sound” is always used in other verses to speak of something that has not yet occurred. We looked at that earlier in this study.

 

So, Revelation 8:13 shows that the 7 trumpets are not simultaneous. According the Revelation 8:13, the first 4 trumpets have sounded and there are 3 more trumpets “yet to sound”.

 

 

Let’s look more at the 3 woes.

 

 

In Revelation 9:12 God has put 3 Greek words / phrases that are used to indicate chronological events.

 

 

We read in Revelation 9:12:

 

One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

Revelation 9:12 appears right after the 5 months, which is the 5th trumpet / 1st woe, and right before the 6th trumpet / 2nd woe. When God says “One woe is past” He is talking about the 5 months which He just finished describing in the previous verse.

 

 

The same Greek verb with the same tense translated as “is past” in Revelation 9:12 is also found in these verses:

 

Matthew 8:33  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways <565> into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

 

Matthew 9:7  And he arose, and departed <565> to his house.

 

Matthew 25:18  But he that had received one went <565> and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

 

Mark 16:13  And they went <565> and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

 

John 6:1  After these things Jesus went <565> over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

 

Acts 9:17  And Ananias went his way <565>, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

Revelation 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away <565>.

 

 

The above verses, and other verses with this same Greek word and same tense, convey the meaning of something that has gone away or is past. This Greek word is translated “went”, “gone away”, “departed” or “came”. It is used to indicate something that has gone or has come. With this verb when something is “passed” or “gone”, it is truly gone.

 

People have argued that this Greek word translated “past” in Revelation 9:12 is never translated in a similar way in any other verse and therefore does not mean a past event.

 

First off, that statement is not true. This same Greek word with the same tense is translated “passed away” in Revelation 21:4, which we will examine shortly. Revelation 21:4 gives a direct teaching on how to understand this word “past” found in Revelation 9:12.

 

Secondly, this verb is used to describe something or someone that has passed on and is no longer present. For example, in Matthew 9:7 we read about a man that was sick of the palsy and was lying in a bed. Jesus healed him and told him to get out of his bed and go home. We read:

 

And he arose, and departed <565> to his house.

 

That man went away. This is what God is teaching about the 1st woe in Revelation 9:12. In Revelation 9:1-11 God describes this 1st woe. Then, in the next verse, verse 12, God tells us that this 1st woe is “past”, but there are still 2 more woes yet to come. It is like this sick man has “departed” and yet there are still 2 more people that have yet to depart. Revelation 9:12 tells us that there are still 2 more woes that have yet to depart or to happen.

 

God confirms this understanding when we look at Revelation 11:14 which says:

 

The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

 

In Revelation 11:14 we see now that the 2nd woe is past. This word “past” is the same verb and in the same tense as we are reading in Revelation 9:12. In Revelation 11:14 God says that “the third woe cometh quickly”. Notice that God uses the verb “cometh”. God is describing the 3 woes like 3 people that are coming. In Revelation 9:12 we see that one woe came and departed, yet there are still 2 more woes to come. It is like the 1st man of the 3 came and went. Next, in Revelation 11:14 we read that the 2nd woe has past and the 3rd woe will come “quickly”. This is like the 2nd man came and departed, and the 3rd man will come soon.

 

 

If we read Revelation 9:12 and 11:14 carefully, checking the verbs and the tenses, we see that God is using very clear language to show that the 3 woes are in chronological sequence.

 

 

Let’s look at a verse in which God defines what He means by the word “past” in Revelation 9:12.

 

 

Revelation 21:4 provides a very direct definition for the verb translated “past” in Revelation 9:12

 

 

Revelation 21:4 is very helpful in defining this Greek word translated “is past” in Revelation 9:12. Revelation 9:12 and 21:4 use this verb in the same tense. Therefore, God has given Revelation 21:4 to define what God means by the word translated “past” in Revelation 9:12. Let’s look at those two verses:

 

Revelation 9:12  One woe is past <565>; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

Revelation 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away <565>.

 

The verb and the tense of the verb translated “past” or “passed away” in both verses is the same.

 

Revelation 21:4 talks about how in the new heavens and the new earth, all of the problems that the true believers suffered in this present world are all past; past in the sense of time. The time of the problems described in Revelation 21:4 has “past”. Those problems will never come again. In Revelation 21:4 those problems are truly gone.

 

Revelation 9:12 uses the same Greek verb in the same tense to describe the 1st woe / 5th trumpet, which is the 5 months. Based upon Revelation 21:4 and other verses, God is teaching that those 5 months are “past” in Revelation 9:12 before we get to the 6th trumpet, which ends with the Rapture.

 

 

By careful choice of verbs and tenses, God is teaching that the 6th trumpet which ends in the Rapture is after the 5 months, on October 21, 2011.

 

 

God has put other words in Revelation 9:12 that teach a chronological series of events.

 

We read the word “more” in Revelation 9:12. This Greek word is used to convey something that is not yet complete.

 

We find this same Greek word in these verses:

 

Mark 12:6  Having yet <2089> therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

 

Luke 22:37  For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet <2089> be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

 

Acts 9:1  And Saul, yet <2089> breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

 

Hebrews 10:37  For yet <2089> a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

 

Revelation 6:11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet <2089> for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

 

 

The above are examples of how this Greek word translated “more” in Revelation 9:12 is used in the Bible. This word indicates something that is yet to come. That is there are two more “woes”, the 2nd and 3rd, that are still to come. We saw in Revelation 11:12-15 that the Rapture comes right at or before the 3rd woe / 7th trumpet.

 

 

Let’s us look at one more word in Revelation 9:12. The word “hereafter” is actually a two Greek word phrase.

 

That same two word Greek phrase is found in the following verses:

 

Mark 16:12  After <3326> that <5023> he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

 

Luke 5:27  And after <3326> these things <5023> he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.

 

Luke 17:8  And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward <3326> <5023> thou shalt eat and drink?

 

John 5:14  Afterward <3326> <5023> Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

 

John 13:7  Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter <3326> <5023>.

 

Acts 7:7  And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after <3326> that <5023> shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.

 

1 Peter 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow <3326> <5023>.

 

Revelation 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after <3326> that <5023> he must be loosed a little season.

 

From the above examples, we see that this two word Greek phrase translated “hereafter” in Revelation 9:12 refers to something that will happen later.

 

God is using this word “hereafter” to indicate that the two remaining woes are not simultaneous with the 1st woe. The two remaining woes, which includes the 7th trumpet and the Rapture, come “hereafter” the 1st woe which is the 5 months from May 21, 2011 to October 21, 2011.

 

 

It is significant that God has put 3 words / phrases in Revelation 9:12, “is past”, “more” and “hereafter”, to indicate that the 5 months are past before we get to the 7th trumpet and the Rapture.

 

 

Let’s look again that the two remaining woes, the 2nd and 3rd woe.

 

We read in Revelation 11:12-15:

 

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.

13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 Ά The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

16  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

 

Verse 12 describes the Rapture with the language “they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them”. This is clearly the language of the Rapture.

 

Then verse 14 indicates that the 2nd woe has past. Verses 12 to 14 show us that the 2nd woe is the Rapture. Verses 14 & 15 confirm that the 2nd woe is also the 6th trumpet.

 

Verses 14 & 15 indicate the 3rd woe and 7th trumpet “quickly” follows. This explains how 1 Corinthians 15:52 can talk about the Rapture as “at the last trump”. The 7th or last trumpet sounds right after or at the end of the 2nd woe / 6th trumpet, which is the Rapture. That is, the Rapture happens and immediately or “quickly” comes the 7th or last trumpet.

 

We also want to note the language of verse 14, that “the third woe cometh quickly”. God talks about the third woe which “cometh”. God is using language that would be used to describe 3 people coming to describe the 3 woes. In Revelation 11:14, it is like 2 people have come and past on and now the 3rd person “cometh quickly”. This confirms the chronological sequence of the 3 woes.

 

 

Verses 12-15 tie the Rapture with the 7th (last) trumpet and the 3rd woe. The 7th (last) trumpet for the Rapture agrees with 1 Corinthians 15:52. Both of these are after the 5 months which was the 5th trumpet and 1st woe.

 

God has carefully written the language of the 3 “woes” to teach that they are chronological. Also, God has linked the last 3 trumpets, 5th to 7th, to the 3 woes with careful language. The Bible teaches that the 5 months is the 5th trumpet / 1st woe, and that this is past before the Rapture which comes right at the 3rd woe / 7th trumpet. Therefore, the Bible teaches that the Rapture will occur at or after October 21, 2011.

 

 

 

Let us consider another Biblical argument for the Rapture occurring after the 5 months.

 

 

 

3. The phrase “last day” is used 8 times in the Bible and identifies with the resurrection of the believers and the Feast of Tabernacles (at the end of the 5 months)

 

The phrase “last day” is only used 8 times in the Bible. Since God is the author of the Bible, we know that this is significant. We will now look at those 8 occurrences.

 

 

These 2 verses identify the “last day” with the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles:

 

Nehemiah 8:18  Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

 

John 7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

 

 

 

The following 5 verses identify the “last day” with the resurrection of the true believers which is also the time of the Rapture according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17,

 

John 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

 

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

John 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

John 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

John 11:24  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

 

 

 

We have one more verse with the phrase “last day” in it:

 

John 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

 

John 12:48 talks about how the Word of God will judge the unsaved in the “last day”. The idea of judging can have a broad understanding. John 12:48 could refer to the Rapture, since the Rapture of the true believers is a judgment against the unsaved as we read in Matthew 12:41-42.

 

 

These 8 verses are all of the verses in the Bible that have the phrase “last day”. In these verses, God is linking the term “last day” with the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is October 21 in 2011, to the Rapture. God is directing us to understand that the Rapture will occur on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in 2011, which will be October 21, 2011.

 

It is argued that there are two “last days”. The “last day” for the true believers and the “last day” for the unbelievers.

 

If this were true that would make the “last day” for the unbelievers at the Feast of Tabernacles on October 21, 2011. However, the Feast of Tabernacles is focused upon the harvest of the true believers, when they go home to be with Christ as we read in:

 

1 Kings 8:66  On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.

 

2 Chronicles 7:10  And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.

 

Both of the above verses speak about the Feast of Tabernacles that was held by King Solomon upon the completion of the Temple. The sending away of the people into their tents points to the true believers being taken to be with Christ in heaven, their eternal home. This language identifies with the Rapture.

 

 

The Feast of Tabernacles was also called the Feast of Ingathering as we read in these two verses:

 

Exodus 23:16  And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

 

Exodus 34:22  And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

 

 

The “ingathering” of the harvest ties into the gathering of the true believers to the Lord Jesus in the Rapture. We read about the “gathering” of the true believers in 2 Thessalonians 2:1

 

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

 

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1 God is talking about the “gathering” of the true believers to the Lord Jesus. This is the Rapture, when the true believers are gathered unto Christ in heaven.

 

This language of 2 Thessalonians 2:1 agrees with the language of “gathered in thy labours” that describes the Feast of Ingathering or the Feast of Tabernacles in Exodus 23:16. This feast points to October 21 in 2011, which is after the 5 months.

 

 

Let us also look more closely at the language of the “last day” in John 7:37. We read there:

 

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

 

John 7 is talking about the Feast of Tabernacles. In John 7:37 God is using the term “last day” to tie the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles to the Rapture and the resurrection of the true believers.

 

Notice the rest of the language of John 7:37 which says “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink”.

 

The true believers “thirst” after righteousness and the Gospel as we read in Matthew 5:6:

 

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

The true believers thirst after righteousness which includes the Rapture and the completion of their salvation. That agrees with the idea that John 7:37 is referring to the Rapture when the true believers who are “thirsting” after righteousness will “come” up to the Lord Jesus.

 

We learn more this in Revelation 7:16:

 

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

 

In Revelation 7:16 the true believers are in heaven. They are no longer “thirsting” anymore. The true believers will no longer “thirst” after the Rapture when the Lord Jesus takes them to Himself.

 

 

We learn about this in Revelation 21:6:

 

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

 

Revelation 21:6 is talking about when the true believers are with the Lord Jesus in the new heavens and new earth as indicated in verse 1. In this world, the true believers were “thirsting” for righteousness and the completion of their salvation (Matthew 5:6).

 

John 7:37 talks about those thirsting for the Gospel. Jesus instructs them to come to Him and drink. John 7:37 is set at the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles which is October 21 in 2011. All of the elect have been saved at that point. However, in the Rapture the true believers “come” to the Lord Jesus in heaven. In heaven, they will “drink” freely of the eternal salvation.

 

 

Therefore, when we compare the language of John 7:37 to Matthew 5:6 and Revelation 7:16 & 21:6, we see further evidence that the fulfillment of John 7:37 is the Rapture occurring on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which will be October 21 in 2011.

 

 

God has carefully used the term “last day” 8 times in the Bible and has identified it with the Rapture and the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. By this, God is tying the Rapture to October 21, 2011. There is no Biblical suggestion for the idea of 2 “last days”.

 

 

 

Let us consider another passage:

 

 

4. In Revelation 9:4 the locusts that are released upon the earth are TOLD not to hurt the true believers.

 

We read in Revelation 9:4:

 

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

 

This verse is saying that the locusts of Revelation 9 were “commanded” not to hurt the true believers. A more common translation of this Greek word is that it was “said” to the locusts. It was said to the locusts not to hurt the true believers.

 

Sometimes people argue about the phrase “should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree”, disputing about what the “grass”, “green thing” and “tree” represent.

 

However, it is not necessary to argue about those three terms because God gives an explanation at the end of the verse, “only those men which have not the seal of God in their forehead”. This phrase must refer to the true believers. God is telling us in Revelation 9:4 that the true believers will not be hurt.

 

 

Let’s look more closely at those locusts. We read Revelation 9:1-4:

 

1 Ά And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

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 by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

 

Verse 1 and 2 talk about a “bottomless pit”. This refers to condition of being under the wrath of God. Those in the “bottomless pit” are under the wrath of God, like satan was cast into the bottomless pit in Revelation 20:1-2. He is under the wrath of God.

 

Verse 2 tells us that out of the “bottomless pit” came a “smoke” and out of the “smoke” came the locusts.

 

 

God is effectively saying that these locusts came out of the “bottomless pit” along with the smoke.

 

 

The releasing of these locusts out of the “bottomless pit” is similar to satan being released out of this “bottomless pit” at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. We read about the binding and loosing of satan in Revelation 20:1-3:

 

1 Ά And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

 

We see in Revelation 20:3 that satan is “loosed” from the “bottomless pit”. From other passages, we know that this is at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

 

The language of satan being loosed from the “bottomless pit” is similar to the language of Revelation 9:1-3 in which the locusts are released from the “bottomless pit”.

 

Going back to Revelation 9:3, we see that the locusts are released “upon the earth”.

 

According to Revelation 9:1-3, these locusts come from the “bottomless pit” and go “upon the earth”.

 

 

The “bottomless pit” identifies the locusts with those under the wrath of God, just like satan is under the wrath of God (Revelation 20:1-3). The fact that they go “upon the earth” identifies them as being in this world.

 

 

This is similar language to what we read about satan in Revelation 12:9, “he was cast out into the earth”. At the time of the cross, satan was defeated and cast out of heaven and God says that “he was cast out into the earth”. Even though he was bound during the church age in the sense that he could not frustrate God’s salvation program, satan has been active in the earth throughout the New Testament era.

 

The language of Revelation 9:1-3 identifies these locusts as the unsaved. It is the unsaved that are subject to the wrath of God symbolized by the “bottomless pit”. Also, these unsaved people are here on the earth during the 5 months because God talks about them being “upon the earth”.

 

There is similarity between satan being loosed upon the earth in Revelation 20:3 and the unsaved, the locusts, being released upon the earth in Revelation 9:3. When satan was released at the beginning of the Great Tribulation he was able to make the world more sinful as we see in our day. This could be part of the effect of the locusts, the unsaved, coming “upon the earth” during the 5 months starting on May 21, 2011. The world could become even more sinful.

 

Also, Revelation 9:4-5 & 10 indicate that these locusts will “hurt” and “torment”, that is, consciously afflict, the unsaved for the 5 months.

 

 

It is said that these locusts represent the true believers. That conclusion does not agree with what we have see above in verses 1 to 4. One argument used to indicate that they are true believers is based upon Revelation 9:11 where we read:

 

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

 

The “king” over everything is God Himself. It is argued that these locusts must be the true believers because God is the “king” of the true believers. However, this line of reasoning is not valid because, finally, God is the “king” over all mankind, both saved and unsaved. The unsaved have a “king” over them who is God Himself. God finally is king over all mankind.

 

 

Let us get back to Revelation 9:4 which says that the locusts, which come “upon the earth”, are told that they cannot hurt the true believers during the 5 months.

 

 

If the true believers have already been raptured, why does God tell the locust, who are “upon the earth”, not to hurt the true believers?

 

 

One answer given is that God has made the Bible difficult to understand by putting confusing language in the Bible. However, this answer could be used anytime we run into a verse that does not agree with a conclusion that we have made. We have to face the fact that God has put this statement to the locusts in the Bible to teach Gospel truth.

 

 

Why does God makes this statement to the locusts if the true believers are not in the earth?

 

 

Another answer given is that this said because the true believers are not on the earth. However, if the true believers are not on the earth, then there is no need to command or say to the locusts not to hurt the true believers. We should remember that in Revelation 9:4 God is giving direction to the locusts. Why does God make this statement to the locusts if the true believers are not on the earth?

 

 

We should keep in mind that every statement in the Bible was put there by God to teach Gospel truth. God tells us in Revelation 9:3 that these locusts came out “upon the earth”. That is an indication that they are on the earth. Also, God tells them not to hurt the true believers. These locusts which are upon the earth are told not to hurt the true believers.

 

When this word “commanded” or “said” is used in the Bible, it always has a real application to the one to which it is spoken. That is, the item “said” to them is an actual possibility. Here are some verses with this same Greek word:

 

Romans 9:12  It was said <4483> unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

 

Romans 9:26  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said <4483> unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

 

Revelation 6:11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said <4483> unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

 

 

We read similar language in Revelation 7:1-3:

 

1 Ά And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2  And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

 

 

Revelation 7:1-3 is talking about the coming of the Great Tribulation. The “four angels” were not allowed to hurt anything until the “servants of our God” were sealed. This is talking about the fact that the Great Tribulation could not come until all of those that were to be saved during the church age became saved.

 

In Revelation 7:2-3, we read about the angel or messenger of God “saying” to the 4 angels not to “hurt” anything until God has sealed all of His servants. This was a command that had real application because there were the elect in the world that God would not allowed to be “hurt”.

 

Revelation 9:4 is written with similar language from God that it was “said” to the locusts not to “hurt” the true believers.

 

 

By God telling the locusts that are upon the earth not to hurt the true believers, God is making the strong implication that the true believers are present in the world during those 5 months.

 

 

 

We have examined 4 groups of passages that strongly argue that the Rapture is after the 5 months, on October 21, 2011. One of these arguments alone would not be too convincing, but together, they make a strong case. However, when the Bible is examined carefully, there are no strong arguments for the Rapture being before the 5 months.

 

 

 

 

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