For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:18-23)
If you have been following our messages, you know that we show that the Rapture is imminent. We know this because the Lord gave Christians very specific signs to look for. He used everyday examples like birth to give us understanding of spiritual events. The birthing example in Revelation 12 can help us to understand what is happening.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth… She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. (Revelation 12:1-2,5)
Since a woman, in prophecy, usually symbolizes some type of church (Eph. 5:24-33) (II Cor. 11:2), the woman clothed with the sun represents the visible, true church of Christ, just as the scarlet-clad woman represents Satan’s church in Revelation 17. Likewise, because there are numerous born-again Christians within the church before the Rapture, the woman is said to be clothed with sunlight, the garment of righteousness and evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (“You are the light of the world.”)
The moon under her feet shows that the Christian church has complete power over the kingdom of darkness, symbolically portrayed as the sun-clad woman standing on top of the moon, the empress of darkness and symbol for the cult of Moon-god worship which dominated the ancient world religions.
Then finally, the garland of twelve stars (i.e., the twelve apostles) symbolizes the New Testament church because it is the church that will be existent at the time of the Rapture. (Rev. 12:1).
Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
The woman endures great pain and anguish before her delivery of the child. This labor and pain symbolizes what the church will suffer through just before the pre-tribulation Rapture occurs. We have seen the incredible hardship on millions of people including Christians just in the last few years, with non-stop natural disasters, global social upheavals, persecutions, and massive economic devastation.
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
The “male Child” represents all Christians who will be “caught up” (I Thess. 4:16-17) at the time of the Rapture. He (the saints) will rule with a “rod of iron,” as noted in the following passages:
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:26-28)
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (1 Corinthians 6:2)
The key to understanding the timing of the Rapture is knowing that very soon there will be a dark seven year period called the Tribulation. Just prior to the Tribulation, Jesus will gather all true believers to him. This gathering is the Rapture!
Jewish wedding ceremony – This ceremony is the theme and model of the Rapture, and determines the sequence of events. The Jewish wedding is a type and shadow of the return of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, for His Bride (the Church).
Jewish wedding event / Jesus and Church
* Groom pays a Bride price (Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross).
* Bride prepares herself (wears white robe representing righteous deeds)
* Groom gives gifts to His chosen Bride (gifts of the Spirit)
* Groom prepares a place for the Bride and himself (New Jerusalem)
* Father tells the son when to get his Bride (God the Father has an appointed time)
* Groom comes with others at midnight with a shout! (the Rapture of the Church)
* Groom takes Bride to private chambers for 7 days (the 7 Tribulation years)
* Groom and Bride share a marriage feast (the marriage supper of the Lamb)
Immediately following the Rapture is the End Times. The two most important chapters in the Bible relating to the Tribulation are Matthew 24 and Revelation 6:
* This describes when the Antichrist and his prophet comes into the world to offer a false peace and to conquer:
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:2)
* These scriptures outline a period of great war:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7)
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:4)
* In this time period, there will be a deadly famine leading to massive death:
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-8)
All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:7)
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:5-8)
* Next, a period of widespread persecution of Christians will occur:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. (Revelation 6:9)
These scriptures outline the actions of the Beast as he reveals his true nature:
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matthew 24:15-16)
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:5-8)
Notice that the two most important chapters in the Bible relating to the End Times and the Tribulation, Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, agree completely on this sequence of events: the Antichrist coming into the world to conquer, a great war, a deadly famine leading to massive death, widespread persecution of Christians, and the Antichrist finally revealing his true nature with people worshiping him as God.
We believe that before this 7 year Tribulation period the true Christian believer will be Raptured. Why? Jesus described it this way:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
In both of His examples, the righteous people were saved first, then came swift destruction for the wicked. There was no apparent warning.
That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. (Matthew 24:39-41)
In other words, the Rapture will come as a complete surprise, and during normal activities. It will come before the Tribulation!
So, when will the Rapture happen?
In the book of Matthew, we see Jesus teaching the Apostles that his Rapture of the bride will be linked to a certain generation:
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near—at the door! I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. (Matthew 24:32-34)
We believe that this generation started when Israel (often Biblically symbolized as a fig tree) was reestablished as a nation in 1948 after 1,900 years of dispersion, persecution and oppression. The reason we think this is the last generation, is that the Rapture, Tribulation and Second Coming require the existence of the nation of Israel.
A Biblical generation is defined as 70 years in Psalm 90:10: The days of our lives are seventy years.
Now, applying simple addition, we can add 70 years to 1948 and see that the Rapture due date is imminent. There are may other signs of the due-date:
* Biblical chronology: The creation of Adam around 3,983 BC. plus 6,000 years = 2018
* The Prophecy in the Psalms: Psalm 118 = 2018. Psalm 118 is in the middle of the Bible, and describes the Rapture and the Israel victory over the impending Russian / Iranian invasion
* The Super-Signs: 1917 – A National Home for the Jewish People, Jerusalem freed from the Ottoman Empire, 1967 – The Jews return to Jerusalem, 2017 – The Jews plan the Third Temple
* The Hallel prophetic countdown: (Psalms 113 – 118) showing the 7 year Tribulation beginning soon.
So, on what day will the Rapture happen? This is Top Secret.
No calculation can determine the day or hour of the birth of the Child.
Using another parable, Jesus describes His return this way:
“Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son—except the Father. Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming. It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his slaves, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. Otherwise, he might come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!” (Mark 13:32-37)
But, for those who think that the end is far off, here is a word from Peter:
First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. Through these waters the world of that time perished when it was flooded. But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:3-9)
It should be noted that a woman travailing in birth is utilized in yet another New Testament passage, and there it also refers to the Rapture:
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)
The “birth pains” of the world are building and converging towards an unprecedented climax. There is an upcoming “delivery date” for the Rapture, known only to the Lord.
The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”