The Rapture & The Resurrection
The word ‘rapture’ as generally used is an event when God removes His people from among the rest of the
population of earth during the tribulation period and prior to the time when God destroys mankind who have
rebelled against their creator. There are two scriptures in Revelation that particularly fit the description of
God removing His people.
They are central to this study.
“Now after three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and
great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up
here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.”
Revelation 11: 11.
“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the Son of Man, having on His head a
golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud
voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you reap, for the
harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth and the earth was
Revelation 14: 14 – 16.
The word ‘rapture’ as used in the title above is not a Biblical word, but a good word for the purpose it is used
in Biblical prophecy.
A dictionary definition of ‘rapture’ says: state of being carried away by strong emotion, as joy or love; also,
expression of great joy.
Thus, the word ‘rapture’ is well suited to describe the carrying away of the family of God from the midst of
great tribulation into the heavenly realm to be with their Lord forever. Certainly it will be a time of strong
emotion and great joy.
In the Biblical context several verses must be brought together to see the full picture and the time, place and
circumstance of the rapture.
There are two scriptures in Revelation that we consider to be part of the rapture - Revelation 11: 19, and 14:
14 – 16.
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And
there was lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”
Revelation 11: 19.
“The temple of God was opened in heaven” –
We believe that this is a unique event in all of history. Within the context, the heavenly temple is opened as
the two witnesses are resurrected and instructed by a voice from heaven to ‘come up here.’ There is no
other place in the Bible where such an event has happened.
** In Genesis 5: 24, “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
** In Deuteronomy 34: 5 – 6, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to
the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows
his grave to this day.”
** II Kings 1: 11, “----, 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.”
The three examples of Enoch, Moses and Elijah are given as they left the physical world and entered the
spiritual realm in unusual circumstances. They demonstrate the power of God to alter the physical world as
He chooses. Enoch was walking and God took him – Moses died and God buried him, his spirit obviously
going to heaven – Elijah went up into heaven by a whirlwind.
The point is, that God has the power, ability to do as He chooses in translating people from physical into
spiritual. Thus – God by His determined decision prophesies that in the end He will ‘Raise the dead
witnesses’-- ‘Rapture those remaining alive’ – and ‘Resurrect the dead’ as He brings His creation to an end.
Jesus Christ certainly left the physical and entered the spiritual in unusual circumstances, but totally
different, as He was the Son of God who came from heaven to earth, lived and died and returned to heaven.
Please note that the two witnesses (not 2 individuals – see below) of Revelation are unique as physical
mankind who, although killed physically by the beast, are raised from the dead in full view of mankind and
taken to heaven. At the time of the end, nothing of this manner will have happened in history, except the
somewhat similarities to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. It seems that God makes a
traumatic and unusual event for the whole world. This in view of the fact that the whole world having heard
and rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ is given a powerful undeniable witness.
The Two Witnesses are??;
Revelation 11: 4, ‘the two olive trees and the two lampstands’.
Revelation 1: 20, ‘lampstands’ == ‘churches’. (1 of 2 references for ‘lampstands).
Zechariah 4: 1 - 14, ‘olive trees’ == ‘the two anointed ones’. (Only reference for this).
Thus the ‘two witnesses’ are individuals from two churches (groups) that are anointed by God to proclaim
the final witness to every nation, language and tribe – worldwide.
Also these points need to be made that:
** In Revelation 6: 9, the martyr’s souls are seen ‘under the Alter.’
A unique place for all killed for their testimony for Jesus Christ.
** In Revelation 11: 19, “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen
in His temple.”
A unique place and circumstance for the last of the martyrs, who are of the last generation of mankind and
have proclaimed the final witness to mankind.
Therefore, the martyred witnesses are uniquely taken in bodily form to heaven.
They were killed – Jesus was killed –
Their life was restored to their dead bodies, resurrected –Jesus’ life was restored to His dead body,
They ascended to heaven in a cloud – Jesus was taken up, a cloud received Him.
These 2 witnesses were killed at the time and circumstances as listed below:
** The doors of heaven are closed. Revelation 8: 3.
** satan, his beast and their forces of 200,000,000 have taken complete control of earth.
** The beast has killed the final witnesses. Rev. 11: 7.
** There is no more gospel preached and no more opportunity for anyone to be saved.
** At 1,263 & ½ days -- it is pasted the halfway point of the 7 year tribulation.
** IT IS ALSO AT THE SOUNDING OF THE ‘LAST TRUMPET.’
In I Corinthians 15: 51 - 52, “Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- In
a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be
raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.”
Here in this verse the pin-pointing of the time is of much importance. It says, ‘at the last trumpet’. The ‘last
trumpet’ or 7th trumpet is sounded in Revelation 11: 15. Thus the time prophesied in I Corinthians 15: 52, is
the time and circumstance of Revelation 11: 15.
So – when verse 52 says, ‘and the dead will be raised incorruptible’ it is speaking of the two witnesses who
will be killed and lie in the streets for 3 & ½ days. Then they are raised up to meet the Lord in the clouds.
(They will not be buried and their bodies will not return to the dust of the earth). They will be ‘changed’ from
physical to spiritual – from corruptible to incorruptible --- thus ‘RAPTURED’. The 2 witnesses are taken to
heaven in spiritual bodies / resurrected bodies, similar as Jesus’ resurrected spiritual body. This is different
as compared to the rapture of the last of the family of God and the resurrection of the dead. Although killed
physically their bodies had not returned to the dust, but entered into the spiritual realm with their Lord.
In I Thessalonians 4: 15 – 17, “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. For the Lord Himself will
descend from heaven with the shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of the Lord. And
the dead in Christ will rise first. 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.”
These verses in I Thessalonians 4 helps us to understand the ‘rapture’ and the ‘resurrection’ as being
different. But the results are that, all of the family of God comes together in heaven with spiritual eternal
** First – ‘those who are asleep’ are the part of the family of God who has died throughout history, whose
bodies are in the dust of the earth and their spirits in heaven. (Abraham’s bosom – Luke 16: 22).
** Second – ‘The dead in Christ will rise first’ – according to the time set forth in the verse, which says that
the ‘Lord will descend’ ‘with the voice of an archangel’ and the ‘trumpet of the Lord.’
The ‘dead in Christ’ here sets the time of the rising of the bodies of the dead with the time of the ‘rapture’ of
the final generation of the family of God. It refers to the ‘trumpet of the Lord’ and the Lord’s descent with the
voice of the archangel, ‘together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air’ with the ‘rapture’ of those
who remained alive and the raising of the ‘dead in Christ’.
The ‘last’ or 7th trumpet is sounded in Rev. 11: 15 and the message of the 7th trumpet continues through
The 7th trumpet is sounded:
**Then follows the declaration that God has begun to ‘reign’. (Meaning that until this time in history mankind
has had freedom of choice, but no more – God takes complete control.)
**Then in Rev. chapters 12 & 13 is a short history of the rebellion of the fallen angels and disobedient
**Then chapter 14: 1 - 13 gives a short history of the work of the family of God.
**Then there is the ‘reaping’ / rapture of the family of God in verses 14 – 16.
** Third – ‘We who are alive and remain shall be caught up’ -- are the part of the family of God that will be alive
and remain after:
1). the two witnesses are killed and taken up through the clouds.
2). the time that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24: 15 – 24 & 40 – 44.
3). the time after the ‘abomination of desolation’ is set up. Matthew 24: 15 & Daniel 12: 11.
4). until the time of the ‘rapture’ -- 1,335 days past the beginning of tribulation. Daniel 12: 12.
As the scripture says in Matthew 25: 13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in
which the Son of Man is coming.”
We know that at 1,260 days the two witnesses will be killed – BUT -- we do not know the day when the count-
down begins. On the day that the count-down begins, the doors to heaven will be closed – after which no one
will be saved. Refer to Matthew 25: 1 – 13 & compare with Revelation 8: 3.
And now the final scripture of this study which makes the thoughts complete.
In Revelation 14: 14 – 16, “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the Son of
Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the
temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has
come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on
the earth and the earth was reaped.”
The above verses 14 – 16 are a visionary picture that gives the best illustration possible for physical mankind
to understand the physical end of the family of God. The Lord does not need a ‘sharp sickle’ to change a
physical body into a spiritual body, nor does the Lord Jesus Christ need a cloud to sit on in order to ‘reap’ the
earth. But the words and explanations help us to tie these scriptures together in order to see a fuller picture
of the meaning of the verses.
The words used in the references in this study such as ‘the last trumpet’, the ‘trumpet of the Lord’, ‘cloud’,
‘white cloud’, etc. show us that there are two events of importance at the end of the physical family of God.
(Example; In Acts 1: 9, ‘a cloud’ received Jesus – In Rev 11: 12 the 2 witnesses ascended ‘in a cloud’ – I
Thess. 4: 17 ‘in the clouds --. Thus two groups of the family of God, at different times, are taken into clouds
somewhat as Jesus was -- changing / demonstrating their deliverance from physical creation into spiritual
presence of God).
Also, ‘Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown’ tells us that it is Jesus Christ, who is reaping, for He
alone knows the family of God.
Thus in conclusion -- there are two events at the end where God intervenes / acts beyond the natural physical
to rescue / save His people:
The two witnesses are, as God’s final witness to mankind, killed by determined, ruthless and evil beings, but
the Lord delivers them from the midst of all mankind on earth.
Then later, the members of the family of God who ‘remain alive’ in hiding (Matthew 24), refusing to receive
the mark of the beast or bow to the image (Revelation 14: 9) – are delivered as they are ‘changed in the
twinkling of an eye’ from physical to spiritual, ‘raptured’ to be with their Lord forever. The time will come
when these will at one moment be living, breathing, physical humans and the next moment be raptured
spiritual beings in their eternal resurrected bodies.
The dead in Christ from all history will be resurrected at the same time as those who remained alive at the
end. They whose bodies have been in the dust of the earth will receive their resurrected bodies as the last
generation is raptured from the earth.
We believe that all the ‘family of God’ will receive their resurrected bodies at 1335 days into the 7 year
** Daniel 12: 12, “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty five
Those who remained alive are ‘Blessed’ because they did not experience the pains of physical death. But as
living physical humans are raptured into eternity.
** I Thessalonians 4: 15, ‘we who are alive --- will by no means precede those who are asleep’.
All will be resurrected at the same time.
** Revelation 19: 14, “And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white
The armies of heaven, ‘the family of God’ following Jesus to Armageddon, being clothed in fine / white linen,
indicates that they have their resurrected / spiritual bodies.
There is a time table for these events in Revelation 11: 3, 7 & 11 and Daniel 12: 11 – 12.
!,260 days – the two witnesses will be killed.
1,263 ½ days the two witnesses are raised from the dead and taken up in the clouds.
1,290 days the image of the beast is set up and the ‘remaining’ family of God goes in hiding. Daniel 12: 11 –
1,335 days the ‘remaining’ family of God will experience the ‘rapture’ and the dead in Christ will rise and meet
them in the air.
2300 days – the transgression of desolation. Daniel 8: 13 – 14 & 8: 26.
Thus add ++ to the 2300 days --
210 days, 7 months to cleanse the land. Ezekiel 39: 12 – 16.
2510 days ---- close, but not exact.
7 years ** 12 months per year = 84 months ** 30 days per month = 2,520 days.
God has the exact time table and all the events that will happen. He did not tell us everything.
*** “The sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot ----- then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Dan. 8:
13b & 14b.
*** “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.” Ezekiel 39: 12.
After the 7 bowls of wrath in Revelation 16, near the end of the 7 years of tribulation, (2300 days after the
beginning of tribulation), Jesus Christ will return to earth with the armies of heaven. Then the battle of
Armageddon, where Jesus speaks and all physical mankind are killed. After the battle of Armageddon the
family of God will, in their spiritual bodies, reign with Jesus Christ for a millennium.
Please understand that after God’s creation has been taken /defeated and ‘trampled underfoot’ by the fallen
angels and rebellious mankind and as the 2300 days are completed, then comes Armageddon. Then for
‘seven months’ the earth will be restored / ‘cleansed, thus completing the time table as given in various
scriptures, of the 7 year tribulation.
The ‘reaping’ in Revelation 14: 14 – 16 is the ‘rapture’ of the family of God, especially those who remained
alive in hiding, after the 2 witnesses are killed and taken to heaven.
Following, in Revelation 14: 17 – 20, is the gathering of “the clusters of the vine of the earth.” ‘The vine of the
earth’ is mankind from all nations who are not part of the family of God. For those who are not the family of
God, the word ‘gather’ is used rather than ‘reap’. These verses describe the end of all mankind -- that in
scripture and time sequence happens at Revelation 19: 21. This is prior to the 1,000 / millennial reign of
Christ that follows in Rev. 20: 4 – 6.
It is necessary at this point to understand the nature of the ‘millennial’ reign of Christ.
The people / persons who participate / live through the 1000 year / millennial reign of Christ are not physical,
but spiritual persons. First the two witnesses resurrected and taken to heaven, then, those whose spirits
have been united with their bodies that have been resurrected from the dust of the earth, and those who are
raptured as they remained alive until the physical end of the family of God.
The entire ‘family of God’ has died, been killed or raptured at Revelation 14: 14 - 16, as explained above.
At the end of chapter 19 there are no physical humans left alive on earth as it says “the rest were killed with
the sword” of Jesus Christ.
Also – the prophecy of Jeremiah agrees in time and circumstance with Revelation 19: 21 about those who
are not part of the family of God.
“And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.
They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the
ground.” Jeremiah 25: 33.
About the family of God;
“And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until
the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”
Revelation 20: 4b – 5.