A Chronological, Synchronized List of All Scripture Verses Referring to the Rapture Moment, and Proof that the Rapture Precedes the Mark of the Beast
When will the rapture happen? What is the sign of the end times?
People often tremble with fear at the thought of reading the book of Revelation. However, taking ALL of scripture into account by reading from the books of Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, Matthew, and many more books of the Bible, we notice a pattern of specific occurrences which are set off, or triggered, by the signal Jesus told us to watch for. Synchronizing them into one gives us a more complete picture and timeline, as a whole, and helps us better understand the actual order of things to come. But first, let's look at the number one rapture trigger, or signal, Jesus gave; "the abomination that causes desolation," in Matthew chapter 24. In verse 3, the disciples asked:
“What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?"
Jesus replies to them with a lengthy detailed answer. Clearly, it's not only meant for the disciples who were present and asked Him the question, but also for the people of our current day, so that we know what to expect (and so we don't expect him sooner than we should). He begins His answer by first providing a synopsis of all things set to occur in the next 2,000-plus years following His death and resurrection. Jesus says there will be false messiahs, wars, and rumors of wars. Wait, that's not the end yet... famines and earthquakes. That's just the beginning of the "birth pains". Wait, there's more... persecution, deception, sin will be rampant everywhere. The Good News will be preached all over the world... and THEN the end will come! But only the Lord can know when His desired set number of believers is reached worldwide, so this is when Jesus finally tells them the earthly signal in verse 15, which we will see ourselves :
“The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about - the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.”
This signal is also in Daniel chapter 11 which is known as the Book of Truth, which is "kept secret and sealed until the time of the end." (Daniel 12:9). It can only make sense as it plays out during the time of the end! That signal may be coming soon because this link - whose author not affiliated with this site - shows how Daniel's Book of Truth has all been fulfilled, with links to current news articles, up to that verse in Daniel 11:31 which states (in AMP version): “Armed forces of his will arise [in Jerusalem] and defile and desecrate the sanctuary, the [spiritual] stronghold, and will do away with the regular sacrifice [that is, the daily burnt offering]; and they will set up [a pagan altar in the sanctuary which is] the abomination of desolation.".
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 says: "For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape." There are currently peace talks in the Middle East over various things, including ownership of the West Bank (the Holy Land) with a proposed annexation of the land in the works, which began July 2020 and may lead to an armed uprising if carried out. The signal, something abhorrent to God such as a flag or human leader entering the temple claiming to be God, will be "set up" there, and it may be coming soon! No one knows the day or hour of His return, but we have been told the signs of the season, and it sure looks like that season is now.
Immediately after revealing the signal of his return, Jesus then elaborates to the disciples a little more on the future deception coming from people who will claim to be Him, or will falsely claim that He's hiding in a cave waiting to be found. (Keep in mind, when Jesus does return, it will be an UNMISTAKABLE shocking worldwide event and all humans on earth will refer to Him by name as they see him coming on the clouds, some with joy, and some with deep bitter remorse... because the rapture will unfold "in the blink of an eye", and now it's too late to repent.) The disciples eagerly hoped Jesus' return would be in their lifetime. Therefore, the false messiahs Jesus is talking about, after revealing the signal in verse 15, will undoubtedly precede his coming. Not after, because it's not possible after the actual, unmistakable rapture. Jesus goes back and elaborates on that false messiah warning, primarily for the sake of the disciples present in that moment. He knows their thoughts! (See also Luke 17:22-23 which shows Jesus' statement about false messiahs is directly intended for the disciples and their generation. The future Thessalonian church was, in fact, deceived by such a claim. This was a subject in many of apostle Paul's letters, including 2 to that church around the year 50 AD. )
Many books of the bible describe the events which will unfold at the moment of Jesus' return, tend to stay in sequence, and some have a little more info than others regarding the rapture. However, Revelation chapter 6 has the most properly ordered and complete timeline. Visually laid out, it would look something like this:
Phrases like "After the anguish of those days" and "Those who have come from the great tribulation" refers to the 2,000 years from Jesus' resurrection, up to the rapture (the Church Age). After that, "tribulation" is referring to the trumpet and bowl plagues and God's wrath poured on the earth, post rapture. As you follow Revelation chapter 6, and the supporting verses listed, this will become more clear.
All scripture quotes are from the NLT unless otherwise noted. The words in color are for identification. Jesus' words are in red. Notice how often we see references to the birth pains. Also notice how often a verse from Daniel sequentially follows Revelation verses, as it is also in sequence, but from the Jew's perspective (as they read that same book, in the Torah, which is the first half of our Bible, known as the Old Testament. They will not recognize Jesus as their Messiah, until his appearing. But 144,000 of them will be reserved by God right after the rapture, more on that later). In the following lists, it always begins with a verse from the 6th chapter of Revelation because it's the basis, as the events stay sequential and in order. Then it's followed with every verse that pertains to it (you'll notice those frequently tend to also stay sequential as you go down):
The Lamb Breaks the 5th Seal
Reading from the book of Revelation, we see the Lamb, Jesus, has already broken the first five seals, and we are currently awaiting the sixth seal to be broken, which will trigger the rapture at any moment. These five seals are not consecutive events, but have all been occurring since the resurrection of Christ, and will continue until the rapture of the Church when the 6th seal is broken.
Seal 1: The resurrection. Jesus is the rider on the white horse, wearing a crown, riding out to win many battles and gain the victory. Colossians 2:15 says: "He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." Later in Revelation 19:12, Jesus is seen again but wearing many crowns, after the rapture, and before the battle of Armageddon.
Seal 2: War and slaughter everywhere, and peace is taken from the earth. After his resurrection, Jesus, our Prince of Peace, commanded the disciples to share the gospel all over the world. For many, it lead to their death. So this seal likely represents the commencement of martyrdom.
Seal 3: Famine and exponentially increased prices for necessities (a day's wage for a loaf of bread). It has been theorized that the third seal may represent deprivation of "our daily bread" or God's word (persecution or banning of the faith). It has also been theorized to represent how God makes the Jews prosperous so they can buy their land back.
Seal 4: Death and its companion, the grave, are given the authority to kill one fourth of the earth. Being a Christian certainly does not guarantee prosperity. Sadly, in an interesting parallel, one fourth of all adult Jews on earth are killed in the Holocaust.
Seal 5: A waiting period, until the full number of martyrs for Christ has been reached. This closely relates to what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, the final step before the rapture: "And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.".
(Revelation 6:10-11) When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters - their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred - had joined them.
(Mark 13:10) For the Good News must first be preached to all nations.
(Matthew 24:4,14-16)“Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” [Jesus told them],“...And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come. The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object (abomination) that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills".
The Lamb Breaks the 6th Seal
The 6th seal is the "Great and Terrible Day of the Lord", because the rapture happens (Great Day) and Jesus is visible to everyone on earth, which happens simultaneously with "the abomination that causes desolation" in Daniel 11:31 (the sign Jesus told us to watch for in Matthew 24:15). Satan is now allowed to begin his reign of terror, and God's wrath begins (that's why it's also a Terrible day). At that exact moment, we'll see the foretold effects in the sun, moon, stars, an earthquake, and possibly a tsunami, because Jesus tells people to go up in the mountains right when they see the abomination of desolation happen, and there's also various mentions of waters/ tides, and "the end will come like a flood". Believers who died between Jesus' resurrection 2,000 years ago up to His glorious return, will also rise from the dead. Here's every verse that pertains to the 6th seal:
(Revelation 6:12) I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal
(Daniel 11:31) “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.
(Isaiah 66:8-9) But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born. Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it?” asks the Lord. “No! I would never keep this nation from being born,” says your God.
(1 Thessalonians 4:15-18) We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God (not the same as the trumpet plagues, that is after). First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 5:1-3 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” (current peace talks in the Middle East, and coronavirus restrictions being lifted) then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape... 5:4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief...5:9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him ...Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (the abomination that causes desolation) ...And you know what is holding him back (the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised will never leave us in John 14:16), for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way (Jesus takes all Christians with the Holy Spirit in them, out of the earth). Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and the splendor of his coming (Satan's days will then be numbered. On that day, he'll know the exact number of remaining days, and he knows he has a short amount of time, 3.5 years, to destroy the non-believers and the 144,000 Jews sealed by God, more on that later)
(Mark 13:14) “The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object (the abomination) that causes desecration standing where he should not be.”(Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills." (because of earthquake/tsunami/and while on mountain they see the Lamb...)
The Great Earthquake
(Revelation 6:12) ...the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake.
(Joel 2:10 AMP) (the Day of the Lord is upon us...) The earth quakes as [the Lord's armies] advance, and the heavens tremble.
(Joel 3:16) and the heavens and the earth will shake
(Amos 8:8) The earth will tremble for your deeds, and everyone will mourn. The ground will rise like the Nile River at flood time; it will heave up, then sink again.
(Isaiah 13:9) Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
(Isaiah 40:4) the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
(Mark 13:15-18) A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter.
(Luke 21:25) On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. (An earthquake causing a tsunami.)
Sun Turns Black
(Revelation 6:12) The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood.
(Isaiah 13:10) The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
(Joel 2:31) The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives.
(Joel 3:15) The sun and moon will grow dark
(Amos 8:9) “In that day,” says the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth while it is still day. I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning and your singing into weeping. You will wear funeral clothes and shave your heads to show your sorrow- as if your only son had died (this is probably about the Jews who didn't think Jesus was the Messiah, but now see him in the air). How very bitter that day will be!
(Matthew 24:29) “At that time, after the anguish of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
(Mark 13:24) ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
(Luke 21:25) “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars.
Stars Fall to Earth
Literal stars, and may also mean angels coming and demons falling.
(Revelation 6:13) Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth
(Isaiah 34:4) All the stars in the sky will be dissolved... all the starry host will fall
(Joel 3:15) and the stars will no longer shine.
(Matthew 24:29) the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
(Mark 13:24) the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
(Luke 21:26) People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
The fig tree was used as a symbol of Israel in the Old Testament. In the following verses from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is explaining that you'll know we're in the "season" of His return, when you see the signs happening. (See also Mark 11:12-14 and 19-21, when Jesus curses the fig tree for not bearing fruit. But the Bible says those who believe Jesus IS the Messiah will "bear fruit", or proof of their faith, as a result.).
(Revelation 6:13) like green (unripe/ un-ready) figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind.
(Isaiah 34:4) like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.
(Matthew 24:32-33) “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
(Mark 13:28-29) “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.
(Luke 21:29-30) “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. When you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
The Sky Recedes Like a Scroll
(Revelation 6:14) The sky was rolled up like a scroll
(Isaiah 34:4) And the heavens rolled up like a scroll
(Revelation 6:14) and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.
(Isaiah 2:12-15) For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan. He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills. He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
(Isaiah 40:4) every mountain and hill made low
People Hide in the Mountains and Caves
(Revelation 6:15) Then everyone - the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person - all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.
(Isaiah 2:19-21) When the Lord rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty. On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
They saw the Lamb
This is the rapture moment, when all the earth sees Jesus.
(Revelation 6:16) And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb". (This indicates the whole world can visibly see Him.)
(Isaiah 40:5) And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.
(Joel 3:16) The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem,
(Matthew 24:27) For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. (it will be highly visible, and unmistakable! Quick as the speed of lightning.)
(Matthew 24:30) “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."
(Mark 13:26-27) “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."
(Luke 17:24) "For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. "
(Luke 21:25-28) “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
And Feared His Wrath
(Revelation 6:16) And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb". (everyone on earth recognized it was Jesus, referred to him by his name, and knew God's wrath was coming after because they weren't saved.)
(Isaiah 13:7-9) Every arm is paralyzed with fear. Every heart melts, and people are terrified. Pangs of anguish grip them, like those of a woman in labor. They look helplessly at one another, their faces aflame with fear. For see, the day of the Lord is coming— the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger. The land will be made desolate (reference to the abomination that causes desolation.).
(Luke 21:34-35) "and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth."
For the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord has Arrived
Those who believe Jesus is the Messiah will be saved, and the dead in Christ, too.
(Revelation 6:17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?
(Isaiah 3:10-11) Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done.
(Isaiah 13:14-15) Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land. Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
(Joel 2:32) And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
(Joel 3:16) But the Lord will be a refuge for his people
(Daniel 12:1-2) “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered (rapture). Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life (1st resurrection/rapture), and some to everlasting contempt (2nd resurrection, when ALL remaining souls resting in the earth are taken for judgment 1,000 years later. See Revelation 20:5.).
(Amos 9) Even if they hide at the top of Mt. Carmel, I will capture them... I am determined to bring disaster upon them and not help them... but I will never completely destroy the family of Israel,” says the Lord. “For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. But all the sinners will die by the sword— all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’
(Malachi 3:16-18) Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
(Matthew 24:31) And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call (not the same as the trumpet plagues, that happens later!), and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (On an interesting side note, phonetically sound this out: the Obama nation is followed by Trump/Pence.)
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 5:9) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:22-25) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power
(Luke 21:36) When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ...Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Mark 13:19-20) For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world (after the rapture). And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones (the 144,000 Jews sealed by God) he has shortened those days (the 3.5 years after the rapture).
Revelation chapter 7
Now in heaven, we see a countless multitude from all the nations whose robes are washed in the blood of the Lamb. It's the people who believed in Jesus during the great 2,000 year tribulation. They are waving palm branches which is a symbol of arrival, and of victory! But while we're in heaven, things take a terrifying turn on earth.
Keep in mind, the multitude is in heaven BEFORE the Antichrist, trumpet plagues, and bowl plagues begin!
(Revelation 7:1-3 AMP) The first half of chapter 7 is the perspective from earth: "After this I saw four angels stationed at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the rising of the sun, holding the seal of the living God; and with a loud voice he called out to the four angels to whom it was granted [to have authority and power] to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth nor the sea nor the trees until we seal (mark) the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads... a hundred and forty-four thousand; [twelve thousand] sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Jews).". In Chapter 14 it discusses the 144,000 more, saying they have been redeemed from the earth, start following the Lamb wherever he goes, and were purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering. In fact, it says in Chapter 20 after Armageddon, the 144,000 came back to life after being martyred and reigned with Christ a thousand years, as priests. So clearly they are not saved rapture-style. This is not the same as the martyrs who believed and died for their faith in Christ and are raptured. Immediately after the Christ followers are gathered at the rapture, the 144,000 Jews are given a seal, and for the next 3.5 years must avoid the mark of the beast and/or be martyred. So in summary, in the first half of chapter 7, we are being shown what's happening on earth immediately after the rapture, during the 30 minutes of silence.
(Revelation 7:9-17 AMP) The second half of chapter 7 is the simultaneous perspective from heaven: "After these things I looked, and this is what I saw: a vast multitude which no one could count, [gathered] from every nation and from all the tribes and peoples and languages [of the earth], standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Christ), dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands (signifying arrival/ victory); and in a loud voice they cried out, saying, “Salvation [belongs] to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb [our salvation is the Trinity’s to give, and to God the Trinity we owe our deliverance].” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the [twenty-four] elders and the four living creatures; and they fell to their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and majesty and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Then one of the elders responded, saying to me, “These who are dressed in the long white robes—who are they, and from where did they come?” I said to him, “My lord, you know [the answer].” And he said to me, “These are the people who come out of the great tribulation (persecution/ great suffering/ 2000 years of persecution from the time of Christ's resurrection up to the rapture), and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb [because of His atoning sacrifice]. (Side note: the 144,000 aren't saved by washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb; they are sealed by God. We received salvation from Jesus by FAITH. Faith is required for believing in things we cannot yet see! Everyone will see Jesus at the rapture and then know he is real. Therefore, after the rapture, when the trumpet plagues and bowl plagues bring destruction and doom to all the inhabitants of the earth, there will not be another chance to "wash your robe in the blood of the Lamb"!) For this reason, they are [standing] before the throne of God; and they serve Him [in worship] day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them and shelter and protect them [with His presence]. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any [scorching] heat; for the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes [giving them eternal comfort].”
Side note, here is proof that there's two groups of people in Revelation (Christians saved at the rapture, and Jews sealed post-rapture) from 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12: "For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way (the Holy Spirit who resides in us, taken out of the earth at the rapture). Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming (Jesus will take His believers out of the world). This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refused to love and accept the truth that would save them. (Cross reference, Revelation 13:13-14: And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived ALL the inhabitants of the earth) So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.".
It says God caused all inhabitants of the earth to be greatly deceived, so obviously the true followers of Christ will no longer inhabit the earth at that time. See also Revelation 13:5: "Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months.". (God would not allow this if his children were still on earth, as Jesus said in Mark 16:16 AMP: "He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who has not believed will be condemned."). Continuing on to Revelation 13:6: "And [the Antichrist] spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling - that is, those who dwell in heaven.". By the way, no believers are in Heaven yet. Many of us have had legitimate good-byes from our loved ones right after they passed on, often in the form of a dream or a vision. But for the most part, the dead are "resting" until it's time to be resurrected. The Bible makes many references to this, including in Isaiah 26:19: "But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy!". Also in John 5:28-29: "Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life (at the rapture), and those who have continued in evil (implying after the rapture) will rise to experience judgment." (1,000 years after the rapture).
So if the Antichrist is slandering those in Heaven, he's clearly doing so after the rapture. And at this point in Revelation, there is proof people are in heaven, because the whole world just watched Jesus come and take them there! Also, we saw in the chapter preceding this, that the multitudes were waving palm branches in Heaven, signifying arrival and victory. Many people believe the Antichrist comes before the rapture, but if the Antichrist was blaspheming God before the rapture, think about this... who on earth would worship some guy talking smack about "people in heaven", and allow him to become a world ruler? If it were happening today, he would be laughed at or locked up.
Continuing on to Revelation 13:7-8: "And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them (the 144,000 on earth). And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.". (Notice how "were not" is past tense, as this verse is referring to all who remain on earth after the rapture. Those whose names were in the book have clearly been removed from the earth at this point.)
But the 144,000 won't fall for the deception. They were Jews who didn't believe in Jesus before the rapture. They will be descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, who've just seen their awaited Messiah take his followers to Heaven, but after the rapture, they now know he was the Messiah and "follow" the Lamb. Revelation 14:1-2,4: "Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion (on earth), and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads (on earth). And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder (the multitude of Christians in heaven). It was like the sound of many harpists playing together. This great choir sang a wonderful new song (we're new in heaven) in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (They are now aware that Jesus was the Messiah, and God has placed his seal on them.) They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth (who are doomed for destruction) as a special offering to God and to the Lamb.".
After the rapture, there is no second chance for gentiles to be saved. After the rapture, only the 144,000 Jews sealed by God will be redeemed, and most will be martyred. Now is the time to ready yourselves and be eagerly awaiting Jesus!
THEN THE LAMB BREAKS THE 7TH SEAL, AND THE TRUMPET PLAGUES AND BOWL PLAGUES BEGIN. See? The raptured Christians are in heaven at the 6th seal, before the trumpet and bowl plagues in the 7th seal. God's wrath is not for the Bride of Christ. :)
SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND!
"Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously."
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see God at work in what he is doing."
"Put your trust in the light (Jesus) while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
Hebrews 3:5-11, 19:
"Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. That is why the Holy Spirit says,
“Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
when they tested me in the wilderness.
There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
So I was angry with them, and I said,
‘Their hearts always turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest."
Seek the Lord while he may be found, and ready yourself for his coming! Keep watch! Jesus is coming at an unexpected moment, like a thief in the night, during a mundane time when it's "business as usual", just as He said in Luke 17:26-30:
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day (an especially wicked time in history, corrupt and full of violence, not too different from our current time). In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all (2 Peter 2: 5 says: "Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood" and 2 Peter 3:3-6: "Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood." and Hebrews 11:7: "It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith."). “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business - eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building - until the morning Lot left Sodom (This indicates a time of advanced social status, ease and luxury, like our current time. With the click of a button, I can make a hot meal arrive at my doorstep in 30 minutes, and I'm not even a king. For Jesus to say this is what it will be like when he returns only proves it will be before the mark of the beast. There won't be much buying and selling and hanging out and planning for a prosperous future when the Antichrist tries to enact the mark of the beast, plus if that was coming, the whole world would praying, hoping, and expecting Jesus to come soon, for sure. Even atheists would be begging him to come soon! No one would be going about their daily business!). Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all (2 Peter 2:6-7: "Later, (after the flood) God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him."). Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
He is coming by surprise, when you don't expect Him, like a thief in the night. Repent now before it's too late!
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