Rapture has been submitted by an anonymous writer for publication here at the All Saint's Blog.
Thank you so much for your submission. This is truly a very good study for us all!
The main reason I have not believed the pre-tribulation theory is because the end times generation of believer is indistinguishable from the nonbeliever, and not really worthy to be raptured, while all preceding generations have had to suffer. Christ said the servant can not be greater than the master - if the master suffered, how much more will the servant. Simply put, why should we escape bad times? What makes us so worthy?
The tribulation is the suffering of believers. It's purpose is to test the faith of His believers, and to purify and refine His bride before He returns. Believing that we are so worthy as to escape via the rapture is to say that we are already white and need no refining or purifying. Can today's Christian actually say that with a straight face? Sadly, I think the answer is yes.
God always disciplines his own first, before he sends judgement to the wicked.
Regarding the timing of His return, Christ said no one knows the day or hour, not even Himself, but only the Father. However, we're also told to read the signs of the times, and know the season of His visitation, so as not to be unprepared. We are told repeatedly that His coming will be quick, fast, unexpected, and that both the apostate believer and the unbeliever will be caught completely by surprise. Those that are ready at the time of His return will be taken by rapture, after enduring the tribulation, but most will have been martyred already. Those that are ready will have passed through the tribulation in some manner, likely with great help from God who protected them.
The quibble is about how much time passes between the rapture and His coming. One explanation creates two Second Comings, the first in secret to rapture the believer, the second Second Coming, years later that every eye will see. Then, we return with Him in the clouds. I just don't see it happening this way. The Day of the Lord is a day, not a year or years. It's the Day of Christ's return and rapture, which are the same.
But scripture doesn't say no man knows the general time frame or season. The Word says no man knows the day or hour.
See Mark Blitz on YouTube regarding the ancient feasts of Israel and Christ's visitations.
Mark Blitz Videos on Ancient Feasts
Christ precisely fulfilled the first four spring feasts of Israel with His first coming. Does it not make sense that He will precisely fulfill the last three feasts in the fall? This has been understood since the first days of Christianity. The first converts were true Jews (House of Judah), and they fully understood, at last, why God commanded the yearly adherence to the feasts as God gave to Moses. They were convocations, or in the Hebrew meaning, "dress rehearsals."
The last three Holy feasts in the fall are Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Feast of Booths. The Feast of Trumpets occurs on the first day of the 7th Hebrew month (mid September on our calendar). Day of Atonement is the 10th day. Between them is called Days of Awe. On the 15th day of the month (a full moon) begins the week-long Feast of Booths. There are those key words again - trumpets, days of awe.
Thus, we once again can know the season of His second coming.
As Mark Blitz points out, the phrase "no one knows the day or hour" was used by Israelites to refer to the first day of the month, which is a new moon. The new month began as soon as a priest saw the first sliver of moon. Once seen, it was communicated to the rest of the land by blowing trumpets from hilltop to hilltop for hundreds of miles. It was impossible to predict when the priest would actually see the first sliver of moon each month. A month is not a perfect 30 days. There could be cloud cover that night. Thus, no one knew the day or hour the new month would begin.
Scripture says the Day of the Lord is with a loud trumpet. It also says the rapture is with the last trump. The first day of the 7th Hebrew month is called the Feast of Trumpets. Coincidence?
The ten days between Rosh Hoshana (Feast of Trumpets) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipper) are called the Days of Awe. The Day of the Lord is referred to as a Day of Awe, a great and terrible day. More coincidence?
The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kipper, is Israel's holiest day. It is when the priests would take a goat and release the goat into the wilderness carrying the sins of the people. This is where the term "scapegoat" came from. (After Christ was killed, the scapegoat would always return to the Temple year after year, for 40 years, until Rome destroyed it in 70 AD). The Day of Atonement is the day that God made good with man for another year.
Scripture tells us that after Christ's return, He will gather the nations (peoples) and separate the sheep from the goats. More coincidence?
The 15th of the 7th Hebrew month begins the week-long Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths, in remembrance of the Israelites who wandered with tents for 40 years in the wilderness. God commanded that everyone celebrate to the fullest during this week. End times Scripture states the whole earth will be laid waste - islands sink and mountains flatten - either before or during Christ's return. There will be people left alive, particularly God's people, who were gathered to the Holy Land and protected by God during the end times. Where will these people live soon after Christ returns, assuming all homes and buildings will probably be flattened or destroyed? Tents maybe? Scripture states there will be great celebration after Christ judges the nation and destroys the Beast (antichrist), throws the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire, and after Christ imprisons Satan.
The seven feasts of Israel are called convocations, which in Hebrew means "dress rehearsal." It was practiced for 1500 years before Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, killed most of the Jews, and scattered the rest. For what purpose were these feasts performed? Why did God command these feasts to Moses? If Christ fulfilled the four spring feasts at His first coming, does it seem likely He will fulfill the last three fall feasts at His second coming?
So I think we probably can figure out the season when Christ returns.
We now have the ability to figure out when solar and lunar eclipses occur in the future. A lunar tetrad is when there are two blood moons, two years in a row. It's not uncommon, there have been thousands. It's rare however that these occur on Hebrew Feast Holidays of Passover in the spring and Feast of Booths (or Feast of Tabernacles) in the fall. It will occur this year in 2014 and again next year in 2015. There will be blood moons on Passover and Tabernacles, both years.
Mark Blitz Videos on Blood Moon Tetrads
Remember the sun will be blackened and the moon turned to blood before the great and terrible Day of the Lord.
The last time a tetrad occurred on Hebrew feasts was 1967 - Israel captured Jerusalem. Before that was 1948 - Israel became a nation again. Another time was 1492. Most remember that as the year when Columbus discovered America, but most don't know his ships were filled with Jews, because Spain had just kicked the Jews out. Funny how current history books leave that detail out.
The next occurrence of a blood moon tetrad is 100 years from now.
Important things seem to happen when the red moon tetrads appear on Hebrew Holy Days. Something to watch. Watch for the signs of the times. Be prepared.
There are certain things that should happen before the end. The Man of Lawlessness (antichrist) should be revealed. This hasn't happened yet. I think as time draws near, things will start to unfold. True interpretation will start to take place. We'll be given a greater understanding. God says He'll pour out his spirit, so we'll have some help figuring out the mysteries, which God intentionally created as a cipher, to confuse the unbelievers.
Please read the main paper, Rapture, by Anonymous: