Rapture and Related Events, The
Topic 1—Rapture Timing


This is the first part of a five part series. I do believe that the church will be caught up in the clouds to be with our Lord for eternity. I consider myself pre-trib only because I believe that the so-called rapture takes place before the seven bowls of the wrath of God, which is the Great Tribulation. I do not support the Dispensationalists’ belief that the Great Tribulation is a seven-year period of tribulation against Israel that occurs after the rapture. Scripture does not support this position. There are many other wild teachings about the Rapture that I do not support because they are unsupported by the Scriptures. I wish to expound upon several points we have been taught about the Rapture and attempt to shed the light of Biblical truth on them.

There is even some controversy over those seven bowls. Some teach that they were poured out upon Jerusalem in 70. That is a very plausible position to those who teach an early date for the writing of Revelation. I must admit that the evidence for an early date is appealing, but so is a late date. Both are appealing for different reasons.

First, what is the rapture? It is a name that men have given to the gathering of Christians unto Jesus Christ. Paul wrote about it in:

I Thessalonians 4: 16-17, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The word rapture itself is not in the Scripture. It is taken from the Latin translation of the Greek word, αρπαγησομεθα, harpagesometha (verb indicative future passive 1st person plural form of harpazo–Strong’s 726), “shall be caught up, seized, snatched away, etc.” The Latin is rapiemur, future passive indicative first person plural of the verb, rapio, to seize, snatch, carry away (we-first person plural, shall be-future passive, carried away-indicative). It describes that time, when Christ returns, that true believers will be caught up (future passive plural indicative) into the air to meet the Lord Jesus. The phrase has the same voice, tense, and mood in all three languages—English, Latin, and Greek.

The English word, rapture, has several definitions other than being caught up into the air to meet the Lord. Here are three of them: (1) “A state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion”; (2) “A state of elated bliss” (3) “common term for nitrogen narcosis (rapture of the deep).” However, we are not interested in those definitions in this study. Biblical definitions and understandings are our concern here. Related Scripture is 1 Cor 15:52, and 2 Thes 2:1-12.

Of course, just because the word “rapture” does not appear in Biblical texts does not indicate it is a meaningless word. The word “Trinity” does not appear in the scriptures either. Yet it is a valid word describing a valid truth. To most Christians, rapture means that time when Jesus returns and catches up His church up to meet Him in the air. It is acceptable to use the word in this context.

I used to have a problem with the use of this word. Now, after much study and more spiritual maturity, I have come to accept the use of the word to indicate the time of our gathering back to Christ. Just as I accept the use of the word, “Trinity” to describe the Godhead, I also accept the word, “rapture” to describe the gathering of Christ’s church unto Himself.

An aside here. The popular hymn, “I’ll Fly Away” by Albert Brumley, has nothing whatsoever to do with the rapture. It is about going to be with our Lord after our death. It is accented by the phrase in the chorus, “When I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away.”

The word becomes unacceptable when those theories of the sensationalists add unscriptural doctrines to it, e.g. the secret rapture where jewelry, clothing, false teeth, hairpieces, etc., are all that is left of Christians when the event occurs. Planes crash and automobiles collide when their drivers suddenly disappear, and no one has a clue what has happened. This is sensationalism, which has no place in scripture study. The word says, in Matthew 24:26-27, “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

It also concerns me when the Dispensationalist teaching, that Israel and the Church are forever separate, is used to disparage Israel. This teaching says that the Church will be caught up to be with Jesus for 7 years while Israel goes though the worst hell that ever came upon earth. That is poppycock and it is anti-Semitic. The truth is somewhat different from what the heresy of Dispensationalism teaches. The Bible teaches, especially in Romans chapters 9-11, that true Israel consists of those Israelites that believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (the remnant). Moreover, true Israel consists of saved Gentiles as well. The church has not replaced Israel. True Israelites are all Christians. Jewish Christians are true Israelites and Gentile Christians have been grafted into the stock of Israel. Dispensationalists must either misinterpret these chapters in Romans or ignore them altogether. See the study entitled “The Relationship Between Israel and the Church.”

TOPIC 1: Rapture Timing.

Many people have taught, preached, and written many things about this subject. The truth can be only one thing, and not several. Hence, we must look at the scripture in order to find the truth. We must consider several scripture passages, in context.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (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.

The context of this verse is Paul’s discourse about the natural preceding the spiritual. The first man, Adam, was of the flesh, hence natural. The Second Man, Christ, was from heaven and thus spiritual. When we die, we will put off the natural and put on the spiritual. In these verses (51-52), Paul was teaching that not everyone on earth will die (we shall not all sleep), but some will be alive when Christ returns. Those remaining alive at that time will be changed instantly from natural, flesh bodies into spiritual, incorruptible bodies. When will these things occur? At the last trump. This is the trumpet sounded by the seventh angel, which is the last trumpet sounded. This trumpet ushers in the end of the age. To study the events that occur when this trumpet sounds view the Quick Reference Popup (NOTE: This link will open a Popup Window if Java is enabled) . If you prefer not to open a popup, you may connect directly to the Revelation Quick Reference Study Page.

Therefore, we know that Paul is speaking of the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet revealed to us in the Book of Revelation. After the angel sounds that trump, many events, including the rapture, will take place.

Let us now consider the Epistle to the Thessalonians for another look at the timing of the rapture.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Many rapture teachers totally avoid this passage, or they ascribe it to some other event, or they accept the passage while ignoring verses 3 and 4. It seems as though they do not want to admit that the Antichrist will be revealed before the rapture. To most rapture teachers, that is unacceptable. The church must escape all tribulation and they must avoid Antichrist at all costs in their thinking.

The teaching of Dispensationalism brings about those thoughts. It is an erroneous doctrine that claims that the church and Israel are forever separate. It maintains a different plan of salvation for Israel than the Gospel. According to Dispensationalists, there is one path to salvation for Israel (or the “Jews” as they refer to Israel) and another for the church. The Dispensationalist claims that Antichrist comes to bring tribulation to Israel and that Israel must endure the Great Tribulation, but the church is totally separate from these things.

There are so many erroneous doctrines that have spun off this heresy that it is hard to believe anyone will support it. Tribulation saints, innaccuracies about the 144,000 Jewish virgins, and horrors for those “left behind” are all examples of the silliness of the spin-offs of Dispensationalism.

Verse 1 gives us the context. Paul is discussing the return of Christ and the Gathering of His church unto Himself, in other words, the rapture of the church. In the next verse, he calls that day the Day of Christ. Verse 2 tells us that there were others, through various means, saying that this event had already occurred. Paul assured the Thessalonians it had not.

Verse 3 brings us to the central point. The day discussed in the previous two verses, the Day of Christ, or gathering of the church to Himself is the day, in this verse, that shall not come until certain events happen. Now the words, “that day shall not come” are in italics, which indicates they are not explicitly contained in the Greek text. Yet, the Greek here implies them, for Paul is using an elliptical statement. The English would be awkward without these words, though a Greek speaker would perfectly understand the implication.

Here is the literal rendering: let not someone you deceive in any manner, because if not come the apostasy first and revealed the man of sin the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself over all called God or worshipped so that he into the temple sanctuary of God [this is the Most Holy Place] to sit, showing himself to be God.

We must supply the ellipsis after the Greek word, οτι, hoti, “for” in 2Thes 2:3. The ellipsis takes us back the original statement of the Day of Christ. Thus, “that day shall not come” though not in the original, is actually implied. The sentence would not make sense without that phrase. The majority of all English translations include a version of “that day shall not come” in their texts.

In other words, the rapture will not occur until after a general apostasy, or falling away from the faith, occurs. Nor will it happen until after the revealing of the man of sin. This man of sin is also known as the Prince that will come, the Little Horn, the Antichrist, the Lawless One, the Beast out of the Earth, the False Prophet, the Dragon, that Wicked, and the Wicked One, and others. He will claim to be God and will sit in the Most Holy Place. Who places himself in the place of God? Antichrist does, of course. Antichrist means one who opposes Christ as well as one who comes in the place of Christ, claiming to be Him. Thayer Definition: anti, 1) over against, opposite to, before 2) for, instead of, in place of (something).

The Most Holy Place was the place where the the Ark of the Covenant stood with the mercy seat atop it (Heb 9:4). This is the room in the temple where God abode upon the earth. This place had a heavy curtain in front of it to keep out all but the high priest and then he was allowed behind the curtain only once per year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Heb 9:3, 6-7). The exact moment Christ died on the cross, that curtain was torn in half (Mat 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luk 23:45), signifying that all who believe in Christ have direct access to God the Father through the Mediator, Jesus Christ (Heb 10:19-20).

The Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place is no longer the abode of God. He now abides in our hearts in the Person of the Holy Spirit. We Christians are the temple of God (1 Cor3:16-17; 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19, 20, 21; 1 Pet 2:4, 5). Therefore, the idea of Antichrist literally sitting in the Most Holy Place is unsound, for it no longer exists. (I do not believe in a literal “millennial” temple). No, the fact that Antichrist sits in the temple of God is symbolic of him claiming to be God. The word rendered temple, ναός, naos, which in this context means “metaphorically the spiritual temple consisting of the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ,” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions). Thus, Antichrist will sit “in the seat of” God; in other words he will claim to be Christ and claim to have all the power of God. Or, as John Gill wrote, he will be “…assuming to himself all power in heaven and in earth, taking upon him to dispense with the laws of Christ, and to make new ones;” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Dr. John Gill, 1690-1771).

The Day of Christ, on which the rapture occurs, will not happen until an apostasy and the revealing of the antichrist occurs. Admittedly, the revealing of Antichrist could happen at any time. A general apostasy from God is going on at this very moment thus the man of sin could appear soon.

Let us now look at the prophecy of Daniel.

Daniel 9:24-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

From the time of the decree of Darius the son of Ahasuerus to rebuild the city of Jerusalem until the end of the age will be seventy sevens of years. That is a total of 490 years. After sixty-nine sevens (483 years), the Messiah was cut off, that is, killed. His crucifixion took place 483 years after the decree, just as the prophecy said.

We need to examine seventy sevens. We must look at other occurrences of this phrase in the Scriptures. Jesus used the term in Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? {22} Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” He went on to tell the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. The gist of the whole passage is that we are to forgive others that have sinned against us until they are completely forgiven. Seven is the number of completion and seventy sevens (490) is equivalent to spiritual perfection. We are to keep on forgiving until our forgiveness is complete and hence perfect (which is a synonym for complete).

We must also note that the captivity of Israel was for seventy years and we should keep in mind that Jubilee was equivalent to forty nine years or four periods of seven years. Hence seven, forty-nine and four hundred ninety have symbolic significance. There is more here than a strictly literal interpretation of the 490 years. We must understand that 490, like 144,000, has much more than a simply literal sense.

We have discussed the 144,000 elsewhere. They represent the entire body of Christ from past, present and future. It is like taking the twelve tribes, squaring them, and then multiplying them by 1000. Twelve thousand Israelites from each tribe signify ultimate completion. We know from passages like Romans 9:6-8, “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” To which we must add, Ephesians 2:19, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” In context, the passage from Ephesians says that both the “circumcision” and uncircumcision” are fellow citizens and members of the household of God. So the Bible tells us that not all who claim to be Israelites, just because they have a lineage and bloodline to Abraham, are Israelites. Paul says that only those Jews and Gentiles that have Christ as their Savior are the true Israel. This is not what the Dispensationalists call “Replacement Theology”; it is simply what the Bible teaches. The church has not replaced Israel; they have become a part of Israel. There are too many passages to back this up to discuss it here. Look for a future study on this subject. (It is available now; see The Relationship Between Israel and the Church.”) Thus, the 144,000 are the true Israel, that is, they are believers in Christ, and the number represents the entire Body of Christ in toto.

In Daniel’s prophecy, he prayed about the seventy years of captivity and mentioned he had read the words of Jeremiah, who had said that the captivity would last seventy years because Israel had not kept her Sabbath years for 490 years. Israel had not observed her Sabbath years seventy times. Since every seventh year was a Sabbath year and Israel had failed to keep the Sabbath year seventy times, it had been 490 years since Israel had kept her Sabbaths. The seventy years of captivity allowed the land to lie fallow and all at once keep the seventy Sabbaths that Israel missed.

We can now see the symbolic significance of the future 490 years. Israel had rejected its years of rest for the land for 490 years. Now Daniel was given a future prophecy of the 490 years in opposition to the 490 years in the past when Israel neglected her sabbatical years.

Note that when Christ was crucified, 483 years had elapsed. There is a remaining period of seven years to fill.

The current wisdom in rapture teaching circles is that the last seven years will not occur until the end of the age. Yet the prophecy easily fits the destruction of Jerusalem in A 70. It follows, therefore, that the prophecy of the seventieth week may have a dual fulfillment. While the prophecy does fit the destruction of Jerusalem, it may also have a future fulfillment. However, this is just speculation, but let us speculate in the next few sentences. If so, the destruction of Jerusalem is just the first fulfillment of the prophecy. Remember that the prophecy was to take us through to the time when transgression would end, when sins would end, when iniquity would be reconciled, when everlasting righteousness would be brought in, when vision and prophecy would end, and when the most Holy would be anointed King of kings and Lord of lords. That can only be at the very end of the age. Thus, the ultimate fulfillment may be at the time of Christ’s return, which occurs at the end of the age. Again, however, the seven year tribulation is just speculation.

Since the prophecy was ultimately about the end of the age, then the last seven years may also be at the end of the age. Three and one half is an interesting number. Christ’s ministry was for 3½ years. The Romans laid siege to Jerusalem for 3½ years before it fell. Dispensationalists teach that the antichrist will make a seven-year covenant with Israel and will break that truce in 3½ years. They also incorrectly teach that the church will be gone when the antichrist comes. We have already proven that false in this study.

I think it possible that the man of sin will make a peace covenant with the entire world, rather than just Israel, though Israel will play the most prominent role in the truce. He will possibly stop the worship of God after 3½ years. The Revelation of Jesus Christ fills in the details concerning how this will play out. Yet the Revelation only mentions 3½ years, and not seven.

The entire point of coming to Daniel is to show that the rapture will not happen until the end of the age. The prince that shall come is another name for Antichrist. He will make the world desolate from the time he causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease until the consummation of the age. One could say that the “sacrifice and oblation” is an ancient Hebrew term for worship service. Therefore, the Antichrist will stop all worship of God. We will discuss this further in Topic 5.

In order to stop the sacrifice and oblation, some think he will have to start it in the first place. Those practices have not taken place since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. In order to sit in the temple, he may be forced to build one, if one is not erected before then. There are those parties in Israel who have plans already laid to rebuild the temple. Antichrist may well use those very plans. The Dome of the Rock, or the Al Aqsa Mosque, which sits upon the Temple Mount, that is, upon Zion, directly over the Rock Moriah where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac (he was to sacrifice Ishmael according to the Musliums, who claim the Bible is corrupt), could very well be used by Antichrist as a substitute for the Temple, to re-establish the sacrifice and oblation.

Here we must end our speculation of the temple and the seven year tribulation. It is more likely that the temple the man of sin sits in is the true temple of God not built by man, made up of living stones, which are Christians (1Cor 3:16, 1Cor 6:19; 2Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; 1Pet 2:5). That is, he will pretend to be Christ and support Christians at first and try to convince them he is Christ. Mat 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Se also, Mat 24:4-5; Mar 13:5-6) When he fails, he will persecute them (Luke 21:12-13; John 15:20; Rev 12:13).

I believe that at the time of Antichrist, he will covenant with the world to provide peace. That necessarily means a treaty with Israel, which is the political, religious, and physical center of the world. Almost all the conflicts in the world revolve around Islam and Israel. In order to have “world peace,” (there is no peace-Jeremiah 8:11) the world must address the Israel/Palestinian issue. This demands a treaty of peace between them in order to have world peace. The Antichrist will establish such a treaty and this will allow “Zionism” to flourish in the midst of allowing Palestinians access to their supposed ancient lands. By this, I mean that Judaism will have the freedom to worship in their own way. This may entail true blood sacrifices. Though uncertain, this is certainly possible. All other religions will also have the freedom to worship as they wish under this treaty.

Let us now consider what the Revelation says:

Revelation 14:14-19 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. (15) And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. (16) And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (17) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. (18) And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (19) And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

This is a picture of the harvest of the earth. The harvest was used symbolically by Christ to signify those who are righteous, that is, those who are God’s people. They are the saved. Some examples are:

Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; {38} Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Notice that in this passage, the earth is reaped twice, once for the harvest and once for the vintage. The harvest signifies the saved and thus the rapture. The vintage, according to this passage, represents the wicked; for the grapes shall be cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. They are truly “grapes of wrath.” The vintage signifies those left upon the earth to receive the contents of the bowls of the wrath of God in the seven bowl judgments. The harvest signifies those taken away by Christ before the seven bowl judgments.

Note that the One that reaps the harvest is “one like unto the Son of Man” and He is sitting upon a cloud. This is Jesus. Remember that when Jesus arose into the clouds, the angel said He would return just as He left. He left in the clouds and He will return in the clouds.

Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

In verse 15 (the harvest of the earth is ripe), the grain harvest is definitely in view here. The word rendered ripe in the KJV is actually the word “dried” in the Greek. Harvesters do not reap grain like wheat, oats, and barley until after the heads dry. This is unlike the harvest of corn, maize, or sorghum. Those grains are not dry when harvested; they dry afterward. Of course, we keep sweet corn as fresh and moist as possible for human consumption. Grain threshed directly from the stalk requires dry wheat and barley. Since threshing takes place soon after harvest, the grain dries on the branch so to speak.

God compares His children to wheat in several scripture passages. The most well known is the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24-30 and 37-40. The wheat represents the children of God while the tares represent the children of the devil. According to Jesus Himself, (in Matthew 13:38, 39) the harvest refers to the gathering of the saints at the end of the age. Additionally, Jesus said that the good seed, that is the wheat, is the children of the kingdom.

The actual gathering of the saints to Christ, that is, the harvest, occurs here in Revelation 14:16. The seventh trumpet has sounded, and the voice of the archangel has shouted (crying with a loud voice is shouting, see 1 Thessalonians 4:15), and Christ has gathered the harvest.

This is the Rapture. It takes place just before the seven bowls of the wrath of God are poured out upon the earth, which is the Great Tribulation. God’s people have no place in the Great Tribulation. They will be in Heaven as the bride of Christ. The Revelation gives no definite amount of time to the seven bowls of God’s wrath. Some say this takes seven years. I am not prepared to accept that. I figure that is will take only a few days. I do not believe this is about the seven-year period of tribulation that rapture teachers and dispensationalists preach. I believe that period of time takes place when the tribulation of Antichrist occurs in Revelation 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The church will not escape tribulation, but it will escape the Great Tribulation, or the wrath of God, that will come upon the earth. The church will experience tribulation when the reign of Antichrist begins in Revelation 12:17 and even before that. In fact, the church is currently going through tribulation. Nevertheless, the current tribulation is localized. The tribulation of the end times will be a general persecution of the church. I believe Antichrist will make his peace covenant and when he stops the worship of God, tribulation will come upon the church. Still, God will care for her during that period.

I also believe that Antichrist may be Muslim and that Islam may be the end time religion of the Beast and False Prophet. Consider that some branches of Islam believe that the Twelfth Imam will be revealed at the end of the age. They also believe Christ will return and will kill all those who are not Muslims and will destroy every cross in the world. This is the belief of the current President of Iran (at the time of this writing-November 2010). He feels that nuclear war, which he wishes to wage, will usher in the Twelfth Imam. If Antichrist is a Muslim, then the worship he will stop will be any religious worship other than Islam.

Some say the antichrist will be an Assyrian. If so, where are Assyrians today? They are in northern Iraq and are still a homogenous people. They are Muslims. If the antichrist is a Assyrian, he will most likely be a Muslim.

I suggest you obtain and read a copy of The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast by Joel Richardson.

The Rapture occurs after the seventh trump sounds and takes place just before the Great Tribulation, which only takes a short period to accomplish. After God’s wrath is poured out, then the armies will gather at Armageddon, and then Christ will return with his Church and will smite His enemies with the sword of His mouth. After that, the end of the age occurs and then comes the Great White Throne Judgment.

Last updated: 05/05/2017.


Events That Occur When The Seventh Trumpet Sounds


These events are not in chronological order but in the order in which they are found in the Revelation, for in one place John gives a brief picture of an event and later he gives a broader view of the same event, jumbling the chronology.

  • Revelation 11:15, the Angel sounds the Seventh Trumpet. (Rev 11:5)
  • Voices in Heaven shout “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 11:15)
  • The 24 elders praise God. (Rev 11:16)
  • Heaven is opened showing the Ark. (Rev 11:19)
  • A mighty earthquake happens. (Rev 11:19)
  • (The previous four events are a brief and will be detailed later).
  • The red Dragon (Satan) appears (this is when he roams to and fro in the earth walking up and down in it seeking whom he may devour–in other words, all of history–he still has access to Heaven here). (Rev 12:3)
  • The woman with the crown of twelve stars appears (God’s chosen people–a parenthetical chapter). (Rev 12:1)
  • War in Heaven. (Rev 12:7)
  • The Dragon is cast out of heaven and down to earth. (Rev 12:9)
  • The two beasts rise out of the sea and the earth and the Image of the Beast is made (the first beast is the end time kingdom, the second beast is the false prophet). (Rev 13)
  • The Lamb and the 144,000 stand upon Mt. Zion singing the New Song. (Rev 14:1)
  • An angel preaches the gospel to the world, giving the people a final chance to repent before the wrath of God begins. (Rev 14:6)
  • An angel heralds the fall of Babylon (AKA the beast out of the sea). (Rev 14:8)
  • An angel proclaims damnation to those who worshipped the beast and his image and had his mark. (Rev 14:9,10)
  • The harvest of the earth (the saved are harvested by Christ–some might call this the rapture, the unsaved are gathered like grapes by an angel and prepared for the wrath of God). (Rev 14:15-20)
  • The wrath of God applied to the unsaved. (This is a brief, full details will follow later). (Rev 14:20)
  • The pageant of the seven angels with the seven vials containing the final plagues, which comprise the Great Tribulation. (Rev 15 & 16)
  • The multitude of the saved (those victorious over Satan) sing the Song of Moses (read it in Deuteronomy 32). (Rev 15:3)
  • The seven vials of the wrath of God are poured out. (Rev 16)
  • As the sixth vial is emptied, Satan gathers the kings of the world to Armageddon to fight against Christ. (Rev 16:13,14)
  • The seventh vial is poured out destroying the world. This will be detailed later in Rev 19:14-21.
  • A complete picture of the destruction of Babylon, the kingdom of the Dragon. This includes Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. (Rev 17 and 18)
  • The great doxology in Heaven because of the punishment of the Great Whore. (Rev 19:3-8)
  • The preparation of the wife of the Lamb for her Groom (the saints dressed in white linen). (Rev 19:8)
  • Heaven is opened and Christ appears and the armies of heaven appear with Him. These armies are the wife (Church) dressed in white linen married to the Groom following Him on white horses. (Rev 19:14)
  • The battle or Armageddon occurs. The armies of the Dragon are destroyed by the Sword out of the Mouth of Christ. (Rev 19:15)
  • The wedding feast occurs–the birds of heaven eat the flesh of the destroyed armies of the Dragon. (Rev 19:17-18)
  • The Beast and False Prophet are cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 19:20)
  • The Dragon is locked in the abyss for 1000 years. (Rev 20:2)
  • The 1000 years pass. (Rev 20:3-6)
  • Satan is loosed again gathering armies from the world to attack God’s people. They are destroyed by fire from God. (Rev 20:7)
  • Satan is cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:10)
  • The Great White Throne judgment occurs. The judged are cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:11)
  • The heavens and earth are renewed. (Rev 21:1)
  • The New Jerusalem descends to earth. (Rev 21:2)
  • The New Jerusalem described. (Rev 21:10-27)
  • Eternity. (Rev 22)
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