I have been associated with the 5Doves forum for over 20 years and I have watched as literally a hundred individuals (including myself) have weighed in with their own personal rapture forecasts. Seemingly every possible scenario as to when the rapture will happen has been put forth on 5Doves. The forecasters have used scripture, mathematics, astrology and other methods to build their cases as to when they believe the rapture will occur.
Many many of the individual forecasts over all these years have been extremely intriguing and have left us sitting on the edge of our chairs in anticipation until the date of their forecast had expired. Like a skipping record this has happened over and over and over again.
Did we collectively miss some aspect, some verse in scripture that prevented us from an accurate or semi-accurate time frame for the rapture? I believe we did!!
We have rightly or wrongly been led to believe that in the twinkling of an eye (on an unknown date) the dead in Christ will suddenly rise and together with the alive in Christ, will meet Jesus in the clouds above........ where He will take us to a place of safety rather than have us go through the tribulation period. As if we (due to our individual relationships with Jesus) receive personal golden escape tickets....... equaling or resulting in a pre-trib rapture / escape plan.
Is this really what scripture promotes or have we missed something? I believe the latter......we missed something. There is one verse in Thessalonians that IMHO nullifies the normally stated rapture scenario I just described above.
The first question we have to ask ourselves is....where are the dead in Christ located.....where does their existence reside after dead?? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 answers this question with exacting certainty. These dead in Christ who have “fallen asleep” (as per these two verse in Thessalonians) are being kept in heaven with God the Father...... and the important part, He brings them with Him when He relocates His kingdom to earth. Read the two verses for yourself.
13….”But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God (the Father) will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”.....
So the second logical question and “the rapture puzzle piece” we have all been missing is …..why would Jesus have to hearken to the dead in Christ to take them to heaven along with the alive in Christ..... if the dead in Christ are already in heaven as 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 clearly states?? Makes no sense right ?!!.....that's because what we have been told about the rapture scenario is extremely inaccurate. The real rapture version is clearly revealed in scripture but no one entertains, acknowledges or pursuits it. And what is that rapture version that has been seemingly semi-hidden from us due to...I'll just say, cloudy theology or Satan trying to deceive.
OK....here's the rapture scenario (as I see it) as it is revealed or portrayed in scripture.
First we learn in those two verses in Thessalonians that God the Father brings the dead in Christ with Him to earth from heaven when He comes. That's a poured in concrete fact.
So then...When does He (the Father) come (with the dead in Christ) and why does He come? Jesus prophesied the answer to the “why” part of that in Matthew 6. Jesus there in Matthew gave us the “Our Father” prayer which is also a prophecy. Jesus there proclaimed / prophesied that The Father would establish His kingdom on earth as it was in heaven.
Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
So why does the Father bring His kingdom to earth? Well, as per scripture (Revelation 12) there is a great war in heaven. At that time all of God's enemies in heaven are cast to earth. And then it appears (as portrayed in Revelation 6) that God also closes / removes / destroys heaven.
As portrayed in Revelation 6 (at that time) everything above us in the sky is removed or altered. The stars fall to earth like over-ripe figs doing no damage (that process has already started). The sky above us like the roof of a planetarium is rolled up like a scroll. The sun is blackened and the moon appears blood red. This all is what happens when The Father closes heaven and moves His kingdom to earth.
We know He (the Father) has arrived here on earth then (Revelation 6) because all manors of people on earth are trying to...... “hide from the face of Him (the Father) who sits on the throne”....
Next logical question would be....how is The Father's kingdom manifested on earth and where is it located. The Father's new earthly kingdom is described in great detail in Isaiah, Zechariah and the book of Revelation. The Father's new kingdom that drops from the sky to earth is.......New Jerusalem. A huge 1500 mile cube or pyramid structure that Isaiah could only describe as a great mountain.
We learn in Isaiah 25 that God clears the foundation for this great structure by making a motion with His arms life a swimmer doing the breast stroke. Then as per Zechariah 14 He creates a huge valley adjacent to Jerusalem which extends hundreds of miles. Then He (the Father ) parks this great city / structure on top of the valley He just terra-formed.
When does He (the Father) terra-form the land there next to Jerusalem and locate New Jerusalem there? Jesus gives us the answer to that in Matthew 24:15-16. Jesus instructs / warns the people living there in Jerusalem at that time to run for the mountains.....when?...when they see a statue, an avatar of the antichrist erected there in the temple in Jerusalem. Why does Jesus want them to run for the mountains?
Because Jesus knows that this will be the last straw so to speak in the blasphemy against The Father and the Father will then (at that time interval) terra-form the ground there and drop a 1500 mile h/w/l structure on the heads of all who reside / are present there.
Isaiah is chapter 25 echo's the same sort of warning as Jesus did in Matthew 24.....Isaiah says Moab (Jordan and the surrounding land masses) shall be trampled down under Him (the Father) as straw is trampled down for the refuse heap as He (the Father) terra-forms the ground for hundreds of square miles so that He can park His kingdom (New Jerusalem) on that spot.
Another interesting tidbit from that passage of Isaiah 25 is that Isaiah also states that when the Father parks this great mountain (the New Jerusalem complex) there He also destroys....(verse 12) “the fortress of the high fort of your walls, He will bring down, lay low, And bring to the ground, down to the dust”...meaning that this talking statue, this evil representation of the antichrist that all will be mandated to worship will have a gigantic complex (New Jerusalem) dropped upon it....turning it to dust. Now do you know why they call it the abomination that leads to desolation. The Father is going to desolate it and hundreds of square miles near it.
Now lets remember that Jesus in Matthew 24 instructs and warns that this event happens when the bad guys erect the talking avatar statue of the antichrist in Jerusalem. And Daniel in chapter 12:11 clarifies / secures the timing of this event completely when he says of this abomination, this avatar statue........ Daniel says, when one sees this statue erected there in Jerusalem, there will be 1290 days remaining......obviously referring to the remaining time in the 7 year tribulation period.
Wow!! that's a huge time marker. This firm time marker by Daniel puts the erection of the image of the beast in Jerusalem and it's then destruction by God the Father (dropping the New Jerusalem complex on it) at 30 days before the midpoint of the 7 year period (when you do the math) (2) 1260 days periods totaling 7 years.1290 before the end would be 30 days prior to the midpoint of the tribulation period.
Remember the two witnesses ministry and the first half of the antichrist's ministry are 1260 day intervals or 42 months from the start of the 7 years. So this New Jerusalem event (the arrival of it) and the arrival of the dead in Christ brought by the Father then happens (is tagged) at 30 days prior to the midpoint of the 7 years.
So where does that leave us, the alive in Christ, in the rapture story line?
Well... the dead in Christ are inside of the New Jerusalem complex. We know this because of the verses in Thessalonians. We know that the Father brought them with Him when he came to earth with His kingdom and we know they are not conscious but are in some sort of sleep mode. We also now know from Jesus and Daniel that 1230 days have transpired from the start of the 7 year period as the two witness preach the gospel of the kingdom over the earth.
And we also know from scripture (Matthew 24) that on a day known only to the Father, which has to be in this same time window we've been discussing, that Jesus and His angels come for “the elect”verse 31. Meaning the Jews and the Gentiles who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior who are alive at that time.
Notice that there is no verbiage there about a rapture event or changing from mortal to immortal or any of that transformation references.
What is expressed there in Matthew 24 is “a great gathering” a gathering of the elect on an extremely unique day referenced in Zechariah 14:6-7 and Matthew 24:36. A day known only to the Father which is (I believe from reading these two passages) a day when The Father literally stops time and maneuvers His new kingdom and Jesus's elect (us) into their positions within a “frozen time interval” when and whereby Satan cannot interfere.
The result of this is that the Father will have established His new kingdom on earth without it being tampered with by Satan at it's landing so to speak. Remember... normally Satan is the prince of the power of the air and would certainly try to inhabit the Father's new kingdom (New Jerusalem) from settling in in the Middle East next to Jerusalem.
The second part of this....the gathering of the elect, has to be pulled off without any Satanic interference as well. That's why I believe it happens on the same special day as New Jerusalem shows up on that special day Matthew and Zechariah referenced.
And yes, after we are gathered by Jesus and His angels at the great sound of a trumpet........ we, the alive in Christ and the messianic Jews are also taken to and housed in the New Jerusalem complex.
Remember heaven is no more...... God the Father did away with it so the only refuge for the body of Christ, Jesus's bride, is now...... in the safety of The Father's house which now (all 1500 square miles of it) resides adjacent to Jerusalem in the Middle East.
Also note what the new reality will be at this time after we have been gathered and brought to New Jerusalem to join the dead in Christ that the Father brought with Him. That reality is this........ when the Father closed up everything above us in the heavens He literally turned out the lights....stars gone, sun darkened as sackcloth of hair and the moon the color of blood.
The only real light on earth will be in the Fathers house, New Jerusalem, which the bible says is illuminated by the glory and majesty of God. Everything external to New Jerusalem will be considered “outer darkness” and controlled by Satan for about 1290 days. Not to say that Satan won't have light sources as in power plants but the light of the sun and stars will be gone. Spiritual darkness will envelope everything but New Jerusalem.
Before I move on with what develops as “the rapture” as most people understand that term..... I need to lay out other facets of the New Jerusalem complex that play directly into the rapture scenario / event.
OK....If you remember the glorious descriptions of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22 you are probably aware that a river flows within it but not just any river but one described there as..... a pure river of water of life.
Now remember where Isaiah said this New Jerusalem complex resides.... butted up against the city of Jerusalem and Zechariah even goes farther saying it encompasses (is over) half of the city. Then Zachariah says (agreeing with Isaiah) that God rearranges the landscape there creating this extremely large valley that would lie at ground level under New Jerusalem. Zachariah 14 also says that a new river starts flowing from Jerusalem....this river arrival happens when God is rearranging the realities there. This new river emanating from Jerusalem (as per Zechariah) is said to be comprised of “living waters”. Isaiah 12 also describes this river as “wells of salvation” and he says The Holy One of Israel (The Father) is in their midst when this new river is flowing......meaning, at a time when the Father has relocated His kingdom to earth.
Let me also remind you that Jesus twice told Nicodemus that no one could see or enter the kingdom of God (not heaven....but the kingdom of God) unless they be born again of the water and the Spirit.
What water and what Spirit?
When one reads John 19:30 and John 19:34 we see that Jesus (God) when He died there in Jerusalem deposited not only His water and blood there on the ground after He was stabbed in the side but also His Spirit.....verse 30.
This new river that will begin to flow from Jerusalem (when the Father rearranges the landscape there for New Jerusalem) will emanate from the exact spot where Jesus / God was sacrificed / crucified on our behalf. Consequently this new river will contain the actual water and the Spirit that Jesus said was mandatory to be immersed in / baptized in before anyone could see or enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus in talking to Nicodemus knew that there would come a time when His Godly essence would flow in this river. That this water would constitute the river of life and the well of salvation.
So over the years / centuries all those dead and alive who accepted Jesus and His sacrifice for their salvation received an adoption quantity of the Holy Spirit.....as per Paul. That adoption quantity of the Holy Spirit qualified them whether dead or alive to be gathered and brought within this New Jerusalem complex to immerse themselves in the essence of Jesus in this river removing their sin and corruption.... resulting in them being purified in a manor so that they could see and also enter the kingdom of God.
OK...we the alive and dead in Christ have been brought (gathered) inside the New Jerusalem complex to be born again but the dead in Christ are still asleep (as is referenced several times in Thessalonians). Read how in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Jesus rectifies this....same scenario as Jesus calling / shouting to Lazarus after he had been dead many days. This verse in Thessalonians says that the Lord will descend from above with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. Shouting at who? The dead in Christ who have been asleep like Lazarus. The alive in Christ will be well aware of the happenings and won't need to be shouted at.
Once the dead in Christ have been awakened (like Lazarus) they can join the alive in Christ and receive their white robes and immerse themselves within the living waters that contain the essence of Jesus....the essence of God. This river will remove all corruption from them and qualify them for immortality.....which happens a couple of days later......as reflected in the Book of Joshua.
Notice the direct reflection of this in Revelation 7 where the angels and elders are gathered around the throne (which is now located within New Jerusalem here on earth). These elders are questioning who these people are arrayed in white robes and where did they come from. The answer to that question was this.....”These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.
Bear with me...... I still haven't gotten to the rapture of the church.....but it's coming.
What happens next in this scenario is that the Father (within this NJ complex / inside the Fathers house) throws a huge wedding banquet for the Bride of Christ, for the bride of His son. The parables in the new testament concerning the wedding feast and the great banquet are a preview of the reality to come. Even the menu for this greatest of feasts …..”the marriage supper of the Lamb”....is described in Isaiah 25:6-8. Again there Isaiah is lost for words to describe the size and stature of New Jerusalem so he just refers to it as.....a mountain.
Using the format / foreshadowing from the book of Joshua, it appears that on the following day after the marriage supper of the Lamb, the story line resumes …..there in verse 17 of 1 Thessalonians 4 we see the entire church, now all awake (and well fed) being gathered together to meet Jesus in the clouds above the New Jerusalem complex (at the sound of another great trumpet). The church will then be changed from mortal to immortal in the twinkling of an eye. Yes, I finally got to what nearly everyone calls “the rapture” or the rise to meet Jesus in the clouds. But, not to be confused with “the gathering”where Jesus and His angels gather us on a very unique (anti-Satanic) day to be taken to the safety of the Fathers new earthly house or New Jerusalem.
It appears that the groom (Jesus) will then take us to a place of safety (a honeymoon perhaps) for the remainder of the tribulation period or approximately 1290 days. Then at the end of this period as per Revelation 19 it appears we return with Jesus to put an end to the Satanic reign for this era of time. Then a 1000 year period with the church / bride ruling and reigning with Christ ensues.
So as per scripture........ it certainly appears to me that we, the church, will be here to within 30 days of the midpoint of the 7 years before we are gathered to the safety of the Fathers house which will be here on earth at that point after the war in heaven. What we normally now see in the heavens above will be gone.
What I look for and long for is the official start of the 7 year period. It's my belief that the arrival of the two end time witnesses onto the world stage is what kicks off that 7 year period. And also we shall / should see 3 popes being “dismissed” within a months time frame near the arrival of the witnesses.
I know this scenario I described above is not what the average Christian wants to hear....they want the golden ticket to escape all the antichrist BS. They want a pre-trib rapture event. But that's really not what scripture reveals is to happen.
After millions of Christians being butchered and dying for their faith why would anyone (now) really think that we would get some special form of exemption without at least some manor of end time tribulation. Revelation 6 says the wrath of God the Father and Jesus starts when the kingdom is relocated here. We are promised not to be exposed to that wrath but it certainly appears we will have 1200 + days dealing with the antichrist in the first half of the tribulation before we are gathered.
Blessings Doves........John B