If you read my articles from a couple of weeks ago, you know that I agree with what you said in your 8Feb reply to Jim. That is---
I believe the seven seals that are to be opened by Jesus have already started and it appears from the video of the pale horse in Cairo that Jesus is on or at number four. And don't believe those who would have you believe that the image was a smudge on the camera lenses. Smudges don't flutter like a rippling flag in the wind as did the image we witnessed. And don't believe those who say that one fourth of the earth has to be killed by the four horsemen so "we can't be there yet". The bible says that one fourth of the earth was given over to the four horsemen to do their terrible deeds. It doesn't say that one fourth of the earth will be killed by them. And as I have said before one could build a very strong case that one fourth of the earth is now under the threat of death by war, pestilence, famine and by the beasts of the earth.
I believe as you and as I have written, that when Jesus opens that sixth seal there will be a huge world wide earthquake. At that same time the Rapture of the Church will happen where the dead in Christ and the alive in Christ will be instantaneously gathered to Him in the clouds. This Rapture "process" and the great worldwide earthquake will cause the sun to turn black, the moon red, and our sky (our heavenly view looking upward) to roll up like a scroll. Somewhere in this process when the sky is rolled up and open--maybe open to another dimension, God will cast Satan and his fallen angels to earth like late over-ripe figs from a fig tree in a mighty wind.
Don't believe that crowd that says that we are Raptured and show up in Rev.4 or 5 before the seals are opened. The only place we---the Raptured saints show up in chapter 4 or 5 is in a song. We don't show up literally or physically---only in a song of the future. But we do show up after the sixth seal has been opened---"a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes,peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb".Rev.7:9 With an event as monumental as the Raptured saints showing up in heaven-----Where do you think God's word would display this event? In a future song in Rev.5 or in a glorious representation of this heavenly arrival event in Rev. 7:9-17 after the sixth seal had been opened.
There is another crowd that says that Christ's Church will escape His wrath, therefore the Rapture has to happen before any of the seals are open. Again the first four seals merely state that one fourth of the earth will be under conditions of war, famine, pestilence and beasts of the earth---which they are. And yes, the Raptured saints will escape His wrath. He keeps His promise and He tells us when His wrath starts----it starts in the sixth seal right after He has just removed His church from the earth. He tells us so in Rev.6:17(as you stated Jennie) "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
Now it appears that the fifth and sixth seals are up to bat. Jesus will open the fifth seal in heaven and we on earth will not know when He has done so. Those souls from throughout the ages and millions of martyrs that accepted the sacrifice that Christ made on their behalf that have been asleep, will be awoken and told that they have to rest "a little while longer". Rest until the number of Christ's gentile church has been fulfilled. So we on earth won't know when that number has been accumulated but it will become "air apparent" when the whole earth starts to shake and the Rapture trumpet is blowing----- as He opens the sixth seal.
Now the question millions have speculated on---the timing of the Rapture or the timing of the opening of the sixth seal. I must have read a hundred different dates and scenarios as I am sure you have concerning this time. We all have our theories and beliefs based on biblical verses, Jewish history, mathematical formulas, orientation of the stars, current events, etc.etc.etc. Hundreds of these date setters have fallen to the way side and lost their credibility over time for being in error of this illusive moment in time. For whatever it's worth I'd like to throw my hat in the ring so to speak with my timing of the Rapture. My timing is not a date but a season. But I think that season could be narrowed to a few weeks. I base my views on this timing from the words of God in Isaiah 18, a chapter of scripture that many would not relate as Rapture verses. I'll start in verse 4 with the explanation below the verse.
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 in the tribulation period, 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 appear to be 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 in the earth as per Rev. 9) will prey upon the people
OK, lets focus on verse 5 for the possible answer as to the timing of the Rapture. The way I interpret this verse Jesus is saying that before the main part of the harvest ,in the tribulation period, there will be a time when the "bud" or His Church is perfect. Meaning that that accumulation number of gentiles has been reached. At this point He will cut off these buds---these sprigs, and take them away----Rapture them. And the Jews, Jesus' chosen people who He refers to as sour grapes because they haven't sweetened or accepted Him yet will be left to ripen until they do accept Him, which as scripture states, we know they will after Ezek.38,39.
Now when will this taking away---Rapture happen? When the grape is ripening in the flower as per verse 5. Now if we use Jerusalem or Israel as the location because He was referring to them, then what time of the year would the grape be ripening in the flower? I no little about grapes but the apple trees here where I live go from flower to green fruit in May. The question is, when is the grape going from flower to fruit in Israel? Obviously springtime but I don't know specifics but those who do could narrow that time to a week or two for a time frame. And that's when I believe the Rapture will happen. And I believe that due to current events that the "taking away" or Rapture will be this year when the grape is ripening in the flower in Israel.