John B (17 Feb 2011)
"RE: Mariel---Rapture timing and Asleep in Christ in Fifth Seal"


Mariel,
 
I based my speculation that the rapture would happen in the spring on Isaiah 18 verse 5, where scripture speaks of an event happening which I believe is the rapture. This event happens "when the sour grape is ripening in the flower" and I believe those sour grapes are the Jews . Then what time of the year is the sour grape ripening in the flower in Israel? Some time in the spring---not sure when. But those that do know could narrow that time frame to a couple of weeks. I'll attach verses 4,5 and 6 below with my understanding of those verses to hopefully clarify my beliefs.
 
Now to address your second point that you believe that the people who have died in Christ are conscious in heaven. I agree with you that Paul said "absent from the body present with the Lord" but it doesn't clarify whether they are consciously present. But when you search scripture I believe Paul gives us the answer to this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 when he tells us three times that these people who have died in Christ are asleep. You have to remember that there is no concept of time in heaven as we know it. So the souls of these people that are asleep under the altar will not know how long they have been asleep. When they are awaken, they will have no idea how much earth time has elapsed. I believe that's why in the fifth seal so many of them are angry and demanding revenge because the last thing a lot of them remember before waking up is being slain for their beliefs in Jesus. When I think about it, it makes prefect sense to me that those who have died in Christ will not have had a heavenly "head start" on we that are alive when it comes to that wonderful place God has prepared for us. He will awaken those who have "died in Christ" in the fifth seal and soon after (a little while longer Rev. 6:11), rapture those of us "alive in Christ" in the sixth seal, and we--- collectively together--the complete body of Christ---will experience the glorious heaven He has prepared for us.  All of us at the same time with no one having had a "head start" to a place that words cannot describe the beauty of----that He has prepared for us. 
 
I hope this clears up any confusion you may have had with my prior writing on the subject.
May Christ be with you and yours Mariel,
      John B
 
Rowina (16 Feb 2011)
"Buds on a cold day--to John B."



I too have looked for rapture on a day when the buds on trees are fully formed,
about to break through, but the ground is still cold and only starting to thaw.
I think it's earlier than the May you consider as a likely time.  I think it's when
late winter gives way to early spring.  I have wondered about this as a possible
time because my online friend Searl had a dream over twenty-five years ago
of the rapture occurring at this season in Ohio;  Searl had not considered the rapture
real until he had this dream.

I think your time line of the Seals sounds right except for Seal Five, where you
say those "asleep" in Christ awaken, with the resurrection and rapture occurring
with Seal Six.  I think those in Heaven are already awake before the Seals, for
the Apostle Paul says "To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord."  It
would not be "with" Him unless one were awake to it.

Mariel
 

4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will look from my dwelling place like a clear heat in sunshine, [and] like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

So the Lord said to Isaiah--"I will take my rest". To me this means God's (Jesus') work is done. The sin debt He had to pay for our salvation was paid in full on the cross. He has spent approximately 2000 years preparing a place for His Church / Bride as He promised. The fullness of the Church or quantity of Gentile believers has been accomplished. He has Michael the archangel rounding up Satan and all his fallen angels which are about to be ousted from heaven. 

So He is resting and looking from a dwelling place. Could this particular dwelling place be the place He will be when the Rapture happens? The next two phrases really blew me away when I understood them. What was He looking at when He looked from His dwelling place? "Like a clear heat in sunshine and like a cloud of dew in the heat of the harvest." In both instances He is talking about something rising. We know from scripture that the dead in Christ will rise first and then the living in Christ will rise second. Now look at the wording He used in the two phrases. "Like clear heat in the sunshine" That's like the heat you see rising from asphalt on a hot day, it appears to be coming from the earth, it rises and then disappears. As will the dead in Christ--- that will rise first. Now the second phrase "Like a cloud of dew in the heat of the harvest" Again we have something rising but this time the dew is already in the air, it just rises and then it disappears. As will be those who have accepted Christ who are alive----they will just disappear.

 

5 For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away [and] cut down the branches.

Before the main part of God's earthly harvest, when the bud (Church / Bride) is perfect and the sour grape (Jewish people) is ripening (ripening because they still haven't accepted Christ as their Savior but will do so) in the flower, He will do two things. Cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and "take away" (Rapture His Church) and cut down the branches. The branches are the people left behind that have not accepted Him.

6 They shall be left together for the mountain birds of prey, and to the beasts of the earth: and the birds of prey shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

These branches, these left behind people will be left together for the mountain birds of prey to summer upon them and the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them. My interpretation of this is that at the same time Christ's Church is going up in the Rapture, Satan and his fallen angels (mountain birds of prey--possibly UFO's) will be cast to earth and will prey upon the left behind people in the summer. Then at some period later the beasts of the earth (demons entombed