Dear Steve,I am responding to your interest in comments regarding more than rapture and the timing of the rapture being Pentecost.
“Ok, so I've been thinking about this issue and Pentecost seems to be a very logical time for the rapture of the church, and I will explain why I believe it. I've come to the conclusion that there will be more than one rapture for multiple reasons.”
Steve, I enjoyed reading your message and I agree completely with your conclusion that there will be more than one rapture, actually two raptures, in these last days. I use the Lyn Mize terminology a First Fruits rapture on Pentecost, just before the Tribulation starts and a second rapture, 42 months later, at the middle of the Tribulation, which I refer to as a Main Harvest rapture.
I found that the book The Open Door by Lyn Mize provides the most complete explanation of the two-phase rapture that I have seen anywhere, with Scriptural texts. The website www.ffruits.org by the same author presents much of the same information. The Bride of Christ will consist of those living believers at the time of the end, just before the start of the Tribulation, who meet the requirements of the First Fruits rapture.
The requirements for believers being taken at the First Fruits rapture are: living in faithfulness to Jesus’ commandments to love one another and our enemies, making ourselves ready with a wedding garment from good works, such as helping the needy and praying for the sick to providing testimony to others. These are the believers who have died to self and are truly living their lives for Christ and His honor and glory. (Matt. 10:39) every day as their first priority.
They are the believers who are filled with love for their fellow men and women, who are faithful, loving Jesus and holding fast until the end, and expressing their love in many ways, e.g., assisting those in need, praying for the sick, visiting the lonely, prisoners, etc. in addition to honoring the Holy Spirit that dwells in themselves and other believers by striving always, as best they can given the spiritual obstacles from the present evil ruler of this world, to remain pure and free of idolatry and immorality of any kind.
The First Fruits rapture is a special entrance into heaven before the Tribulation starts for Christians who have matured during their lives and are ready for the harvesting. The following Scriptures describe this special exemption: 2 Peter 1:10-11, Luke 21:36. Of course, the parable of the Ten Virgins is a clear text describing the two raptures in Matt. 25:1-13.
On the other hand, those taken at the Main Harvest rapture will be those who “remain” and are left behind at the First Fruits rapture because of their lukewarm beliefs and worldliness, e.g. the Laodicaen believers. These are the believers who have missed out on crowns by living their lives controlled by their flesh natures without daily repenting and confessing their most recent sins for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). The most detailed Scripture regarding the Main Harvest rapture is Rev. 7:9-17. These believers are spiritually saved but at the time the Tribulation starts they are not matured to the point of being ready for harvest.
The first crown that is required before anyone can enter the kingdom of heaven is the crown of life. Salvation of the spirit, once obtained by accepting Jesus as Saviour, is never lost. However, rewards for living a faithful and spirit-controlled life in service to Christ will depend on good works performed after spirit salvation, as a sort of fruit that comes form the new creation when re-birth takes place. (Matt. 16:27).
Regarding timing, some think that Ascension Day, May 17, 2012, will be the First Fruits rapture, and others as myself believe the better candidate would be Pentecost, May 26/27, 2012 for many reasons such as you present in your message. It behooves us all therefore to make our best efforts to get closer to our Lord in these remaining days, by confessing any recent sins and re-dedicating our lives to service to Christ before all else.
Yours in Christ,