Is the Rapture before Wormwood?

Mary asked:

Revelation chapter 7 talks about the four angels holding back the winds of the earth and sealing the 144,00 children of all the tribes of Israel. Right after that it speaks about the great multitude in heaven which appears to be the rapture. So during the 7th Seal and third trumpet, the star Wormwood is hurled into earth. Are you saying that christians will still be here on earth when Wormwood hurles into earth, and that the rapture will not have taken place?

Yes, I’m saying that the rapture comes after Wormwood, otherwise the firstfruit saints would not need sealing protection as the first half of Revelation 7 depicts nor would the Woman of Revelation 12 be brought to a place of safety for 3½ years at the start of the Tribulation. Wormwood is here from the 6th seal through 4th trumpet but the rapture comes at the last or 7th trumpet at the same time as the dead in Christ are raised according to Paul (1The 4:16, 1Cor 15:52). Revelation 20:4-5 says explicitly that the first resurrection of the dead includes people who overcame the mark of the beast and his image which of course means the resurrection and rapture cannot occur at the start or tribulation. Finally, Jesus in the Olivet Discourse agreed that after the Tribulation his angels would come with a trumpet to gather all his elect (Mt 24:29-31). “The elect” is used elsewhere in the NT to refer to the church (1Pet 1:1; 2Jn 1:1; Tit 1:1).

Myself I doubt that Revelation 7 is depicting saints in heaven after the rapture. We already have an explicit depiction of that in Revelation 15 (the sea of fire and glass). Instead I think Revelation 7 is showing all God’s children from all nations and races (rather than primarily Israel as the first phase of his plan works with) living with him constantly after the new heaven and new Earth as Revelation 21 and Isaiah 65 predict. This would explain why they are always with the Lamb in the Temple rather than ruling on Earth with him (and remember none of us are ever going to be omnipresent like God). However, even if Revelation 7 were depicting saints immediately after the first rapture, it gives no timing information as to when the rapture itself is.

3 thoughts on “Is the Rapture before Wormwood?

  1. In a side comment to your answer to Mary (Jan 16, 2006 “Is the Rapture before Wormwood?”), you say “neither the Lamb nor us are ever going to be omnipresent like God”.

    Are you implying that Jesus, the Lamb, is not also God? (or am I reading too much into your comment?)

    And what do you mean about the Lamb not being omnipresent? Are you speaking only of his flesh? And if so, what’s the point of saying this?

    I understand that, as a man, he cannot be omnipresent, but he is not merely human. Jesus (along with the Father and Holy Spirit) is God (Titus 2:13), and therefore omnipresent.

    Also, Jesus says he will be with each and every one of us until the end of the age (Matt 28:20). This would be impossible, unless he were omnipresent.

  2. Hmm, I’m not sure why I included the lamb in that statement as I’m not so sure about it (although Matt 28:20 is not necessarily a prooftext that he is omnipresent..and if so why only to the end of the age?), so I’ve removed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Hi, Tim

    I reed your book on the Planet X in Prophecy and it was very interesting. I have been reading Prophecy for quit sometime and your book really help me clear-up something I didn’t understand. Me and my brother in Christ have been reading the book of Revelation for sometime and we couldn’t understand the sealing of the 144,000 until now. But I have question to ask you. I was reading the Book of Ezekiel chapter 1 and 2 and it was very mind boggling to understand what Ezekiel was discribing about the wheels and how the wheels were operating with the four living beings. If you can please write a comment about this. You can Email me at james_manguira@hotmail.com. Time I wrote was November 27, 2006 at 7:59pm eastern time.

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