End of the Age / Latter Days

More About End Time Raptures

The raptured Church is described in Ephesians 5:27. They will be a glorious church not having a spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. Revelation 4:3-11 describes this glorious church as a sea of glass, like crystal before the throne. Crystal glass magnifies any spot or blemish.

Ephesians 5:27

27  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Also, John, the physical writer of Revelation, tells us in Revelation 1:5, ‘Jesus loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…’ Revelation 1:6, ‘…and has made us Kings and Priests to His God and Father to whom be glory and dominion forever and ever, amen.’ Note Revelation 5:9-10 and the words of the song sung around the throne before the seals are opened on the scroll of judgment, ‘…and have made us Kings and Priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth…’

Revelation 4:3-11 describes this glorious church as a sea of glass, like crystal before the throne. Reading this verse in context, the setting is the throne room of Heaven and around the throne there were 24 thrones with the elders wearing crowns of gold. These were elders from the 12 old testament tribes of Israel and 12 new testament disciples. They subsequently throw their crowns down before God in worship. There is a celebration by a holy gathering, before God. The hosts of Heaven now include the saints of the body of Christ raptured out of the wrath to come. They declare the holiness of God and the worthiness of our Lord.

Revelation 4:3-11

3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
‘Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!’
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11 ‘You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.’

This also heralds in the beginning of the tribulation that will be experienced upon the Earth. The next rapture is three and half years later when a great multitude is gathered into Heaven. Revelation 7:14 tells us ‘…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.’ Their robes were soiled, they were not part of the church ready for the rapture. Possibly they are backslidden or lukewarm Christians who were not ready for the first gathering of the saints, but God is merciful.

Revelation 7:14

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.’

They will be a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues, evangelised by the 144,000 evangelists sealed and named in Revelation 7.

Revelation 7 tells us these 144,000 are chosen Jewish evangelists of the twelve tribes of Israel. However, the tribes of Dan and Ephraim were replaced by the tribes of Levi and Joseph. These two tribes lost their inheritance through serious rebellion (they will be evangelised and restored, according to God's promise, all of Israel will be saved). Revelation 14:1-3 describe these individuals further. At this stage, they have been raptured out of the tribulation on Earth.

The next rapture involves the two witnesses, introduced in Revelation 11:3. Their ministry on Earth during the tribulation is the one last attempt to reach the people on Earth. Verses 9 and 10 tells how those people rejoiced over their death, leaving their bodies out in the street. Verse 11 and 12, tells of their rapture.

Revelation 11:3,11-12

3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.’

11 Now after the 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.
12 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.