There are 7 Raptures recorded in the Bible. We have already discussed 4 of them. In this podcast we look at Rapture No. 5 It's not the the Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ. Can you guess what it is?
Podcast No. 7 – The Fifth Rapture Recorded in the Bible
Hello. This is Val Black and today we’re going to look at the 5th Rapture that is recorded in the Bible.
First, let’s review what has already been discussed. There are 7 Raptures in the Bible and we have talked about 4 of them. Think of the rapture as an ascension into heaven.
The First Rapture was Enoch. From the NKJV,
Gen 5:21–24 says, “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” God took Enoch to heaven while Enoch was still alive.
The Second Rapture was Elijah. Again, from the NKJV,
2 Kings 2:9-11, “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." 10 So he said, You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so." 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” Elijah also went to heaven while still alive.
The Third Rapture was Jesus.
In Acts 1:6-11 “Therefore, when they (meaning the disciples) had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
The Fourth Rapture will be the Church of Jesus Christ. In the past two podcasts I hoped to prove the Rapture happens before the Tribulation begins. There is a trend today to believe it happens halfway through the Tribulation or, 3 ½ years. I won’t discuss it again today as I’ve already done that in the past two podcasts. So, let’s look at the scriptures about the Rapture of the Church.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 “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 will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (New King James Version)
Paul is telling the church at Thessalonica to be comforted with these words about the Rapture. If there was no Rapture before Tribulation and they had to suffer under the Antichrist, I don’t find any comfort in that, even if it’s only 3 ½ years. No, you see Paul is correcting things taught to the church by false teachers who came after Paul’s first visit.
First Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 9:
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”
The word “wrath” is orge’ (ore-gay) in Strong’s Dictionary and is defined by implication as “punishment, anger, indignation, vengeance . . . ”.
There is no comfort for someone expecting punishment especially when it comes from God. Why would Paul tell the Church at Thessalonica to be comforted unless it was knowing the Church would be raptured before the Tribulation?
There was a precedent for escaping the wrath of God in Noah’s day when God sealed Noah and his family in the ark while the rest of the world was being destroyed.
Another time was when Lot was told by angels to escape Sodom because the wrath of God could not fall until Lot and his family were clear and safe from the fall of fire and brimstone.
Now we’re going to look at the 5th Rapture and this is going to take us to the Book of Revelation, chapter 7, and verses 9 to 17. Reading from the New King James Version:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen." 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "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. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Before describing a great number of people before the Throne of God, the apostle John begins by saying, “After these things. . .”. What “things” is he talking about?
John is referring to another scene in which he sees 144,000 Jews who have been sealed on their foreheads by an angel. These are 12,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel who were born again.
Ephesians 1:13 tells us every Christian is sealed by God. These Jews have accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah. From the NKJV,
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”
A lot will have happened before the 144,000 Jews accepted Jesus. First, there will be the Rapture of the church of Jesus Christ. It is practically impossible to describe how the world will react when millions of people are taken out of the earth and into Heaven. But out of the chaos and confusion, there will be millions of people who were border-line Christians. What do I mean by that?
I mean there will be people who heard the Gospel but never decided to accept Jesus as Savior. Many of them will be backslidden Christians who preferred to live as the rest of the world lived.
There will be many people who believed their good works and their tithes and offerings would cover their sins and earn their way into heaven. But they will be disappointed at the Rapture. With millions of people disappearing it will prompt them to study the Word of God and learn the truth.
There will be many pastors who are shepherds of large congregations in large churches and great cathedrals who preached a social Gospel, a Gospel speaking only of God’s love while neglecting to teach about the shedding of the Blood of Christ, and refusing to tell their people they were sinners needing to repent for their salvation.
But when the Rapture happens their eyes are going to be opened. They will remember messages they heard in the past telling about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and how His Second Coming is preceded by the Rapture of the Church.
It’s just my opinion but I believe that following the Rapture there is going to be a great demand for Bibles by millions who are seeking the truth. The internet will be busy with people Googling Jesus, the Rapture, salvation, and so on.
At some point in time after the Rapture, the Antichrist will be revealed. He will have some answers ready to explain the disappearance of millions. Most likely he will say those who are gone were taken out to make way for a better world, a utopia where people can live according to their wishes with no restrictions, no condemnation for sins. People will be required to receive a mark on their forehead or hand which will allow them to buy and sell goods.
About here we need to clarify something about the Holy Spirit. If you have your Bible, turn to Second Thessalonians, chapter 2, verses 5 to 8. I’m reading from the New Living Translation:
“Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? 6 And you know what is holding him back (the Antichrist), for he (the Antichrist) can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness (rebellion against God) is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back (the Holy Spirit) steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.”
The Holy Spirit lives within every believer in Jesus Christ. He has always been on the earth and will be on earth after the Rapture. But it’s the church consisting of born-again believers who are removed from the earth at the Rapture. The Holy Spirit acts through the church. It’s the Holy Spirit that brings conviction to a sinner but it’s the born-again believer that delivers the message to the sinner.
With the church gone there will be no one on earth to share the Gospel or pray or praise God. But there will be the 144,000 Jews God will raise up to share the Gospel and the greatest revival the world has ever seen will take place.
The 144,000 Jews will be sealed on their foreheads as servants of God to share the Gospel with people on earth during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. This is found in Revelation chapter 7.
Then at mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist changes course by breaking a peaceful agreement with Israel and begins to persecute people who have accepted Jesus as Savior during the first 3 and ½ years of the Tribulation.
God intervenes by taking a great multitude of saints to heaven.
Let’s be clear about this. This is not talking about the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church was taken to heaven to become the Bride of Christ at the Rapture before the Tribulation.
The Great Multitude of Revelation chapter 7 is the group of people who have been evangelized by the 144,000 Jews during the first 3 and ½ years of the Tribulation.
As further proof, the great multitude doesn’t fit the description of the Church of Jesus Christ as described in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. The great multitude does not meet Jesus in the air and there is no sound of the trumpet as when the Church is Raptured.
The Great Multitude is described in Revelation 7, verse 14 which says,
“These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
These tribulation saints include Jews and Gentiles who accepted Jesus as their Savior despite the persecution they received during the first half of the tribulation.
And so, in conclusion, the fifth Rapture recorded in the Bible is this Great Multitude of Saints of Revelation, chapter 7.
I will end here for today. Be sure to be with me again for the next podcast when we discover Rapture number 6.
Pray and believe in Psalm 91 every day for protection.
Until next time, God bless!