A really amazing article. Linked below for those who missed it. It is scholarly and beautifully written. Very well researched. Most importantly - it makes sense.
What has always thrown me is the mention of palm branches - when gazillions of people suddenly appear in heaven. All waving palm branches. I have always associated this with either Palm Sunday, Tabernacles or Hanukkah. Hanukkah being an extension of Tabernacles etc. And the very sound reason I believe that Revelation 7:9 is referring to the main rapture - which happens a millisecond prior to Great Tribulation, is the sheer number of believers described in that passage. John says he saw a "great multitude that no man could count". Let's face it....Almighty God says that He will have to cut those (Great Trib) days short because there would be no flesh left if He didn't. There are not going to be a whole lot of good people left after the Rapture. The left behinders are going to be put through the fire. They will not be "a Great Multitude that no man can count" when they do finally make it to heaven. Revelation 7:9 can only be talking about the first and great Rapture event.
Revelation 4, where John is told to "come up here", describes John's experience as a lone observer. It simply cannot be referring to or symbolising THE Rapture. The Rapture is not a secretive event. When all true believers are caught up - it's going to be loud, noisy, joyful. So loud, noisy and joyful that it is noticed and recorded in Revelation 7:9. A HUGE multitude that no man could count. In addition - John did not recognise the Great Multitude. John's experience in heaven is that of an observer. John was sent back to earth after recording all he was shown.
Carl - your article makes the case for FOT. Full Stop. All the sound scriptures you provided. I am also influenced by the basic timeline I did 2 weeks ago that pointed to FOT 2021. Believe me....I want the Rapture to happen sooner and FOT is still nearly 3 months away *GROAN*.
It is also the fact that God is a God of order. Mathematical precision. It makes sense that His timing is immaculate. To the very second. As the old year turns over to the new. Plus, the very word "trumpets" is a kind of fist-to-the-stomach hint. LOL.