1

No other book talks so specifically about end time events as Revelation. But there is no clear account found there of one of the most highly anticipated events in all of church history. Many resort to a typological or metaphorical explanation such as from Rev. 4:

1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and someone was sitting on the throne.

I think it is more likely that the rapture occurs in Rev 14, but admittedly the sound of the trumpet is not recorded there.

14Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Does anyone have textual or hermeneutical evidence supporting this passage as a veiled description of the rapture or is there a stronger case to be made for another?

5
  • 1
    As you are aware there is/are no clear cut ‘verse(s)’ that ‘say’ rapture. But you can see it in effect, example with the two witnesses and the 144.000. As for the rapture of the ‘church’, there are many views, and all can be made to sound acceptable, and ‘all’ can be supported with scripture - so this won’t help. To understand (see) the rapture, you need to ‘view’ (and correctly discern) the whole Bible - not just a ‘black and white’ verse (although they do exist, but are subject to ‘interpretation’.) It’s part of a ‘bigger picture’!
    – Dave
    Sep 26, 2021 at 20:13
  • Fortunately, we do have other parts of the Bible to help us understand the rapture, Dave. You gave some good examples of raptures. Rev 14 is the clearest example of the rapture of the ordinary tribulation saints that Jesus predicted in Mt. 24. Sep 26, 2021 at 23:44
  • So, how is this question off-topic or not suitable for this site? Sep 27, 2021 at 19:25
  • Via my previous comment, it might appear I support this closure, but I had no part in this process so can not add comment.
    – Dave
    Sep 27, 2021 at 19:32
  • I appreciate the clarification @Dave. The question justifiably generated a lot of interest and people with a great deal of experience on this site answered or commented. I see no reason why hermeneutical principles can not be applied to the specific texts in question. I hope you and others will agree and vote to reopen. Thanks! Sep 27, 2021 at 19:49

5 Answers 5

1

Jesus' coming, when the Rapture will take place, is prophesied in Revelation's seventh verse:

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7, KJV)

This coming "with clouds" aligns to the second coming of Christ spoken of in other New Testament passages.

Jesus said:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30, KJV)

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31, KJV)

And again at his trial:

Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:64, KJV)

Jesus' coming "in the clouds of heaven" is clearly the moment so long anticipated when the Rapture will take place, for Jesus said that at that time "he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds...."

1
  • Rev 14 mentions the clouds, the angels, a shout, and a gathering but not the trumpet as described in Matthew. I don't feel the absence of the trumpet disqualifies this passage from being a chronological indication for the general timing of the rapture. Rev. 1:7 is only an announcement of the coming rapture, not a reference to its occurrence. Sep 26, 2021 at 23:26
1

It (the rapture) does not appear in The Bible.

Consider the previous verse, Revelation 14:13-15

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat > like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud > voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe [overripe]."

This is describing harvesting which is always synonymous with the end (the second advent).

Matthew 13:39

“The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.”

Jesus Christs' return means rewards for the righteous and their works do follow them.

The tribulation woe of the 6th Trump has concluded by that description. And the Final Woe, That Christ brings will begin.

Contrast that with the following verses

Rev 14:18  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

Grapes are not harvested with a sickle. It results in mess. This is a reality for people that Satan deceived into his worship. And Christ returns to find them so doing.

Often people will refer to Revelation passages where John is the person in question; while the church has no article. John is being given the prophecy for our foreknowledge of The Truth and benefit, So that we're not deceived. That really being the nature of Satan's Tribulation.

1 Thessalonians 4 is referenced a lot; however you might have noticed many times people fail to begin at the subject. Verse 13 (the subject) is often conveniently neglected; "where are the dead". Paul offers insight into life after death, and comfort for those who remain. That subject carries to the end of the chapter with the added bonus that at The Trump of God, that whether present or absent; Jesus Christ reunites us all at His return.

Tribulation and its timing is not the subject for 1 Thessalonians 4. Paul was so concerned this letter caused confusion on this, he wrote 2 Thessalonians 2.

There's only one Trump taught in Revelation for The second advent, that's The Last, The 7th .

1 Corinthians 15:52

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15:52 should be considered carefully for understanding what Paul meant in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Because I believe it is the same description given the subjects are The return. The change is initiated at Jesus's return .We gather in great clouds of Christian witnesses towards Christ the Author and Finisher of our Faith. As we change into spirit bodies(air).

Clouds is often used figuratively for a great number of something. Like, Locusts. Or an army like in Joel 2 (Revelation 9).

Ezekiel 38:9

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

They enemies have armies. Jesus also returns with an army from heaven. The many people He brings with Him, as Paul so aptly reminds us

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Revelation 19:14

“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

Revelation 11:15

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Matthew 24 often gets the same treatment, the subject is overlooked.

Matthew 24:24

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Matthew 24:40-42 KJV

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

The False Christ is the subject here. The example given was Noah's flood. Those aboard The Ark remained on the earth . While those swept away of the wicked; were taken off the earth.

Revelation 12:15

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”

The believer has article in this case showing there must be a stand and testing .God is so good to us, He told us before the fact what happens. The question for me is, are people listening to The Bible, or to man? Consider the opening addresses to the churches in Revelation.

Matthew 24:29-31

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Paul does explain that its their knowledge of the events of the end times, that saves them from being taken as a thief would its victims, by surprise at an hour they'd least expect it. Mainly those with child and travail spiritually speaking with a child that is not Christs; no longer virgin brides fit for His arrival.

(1 Thessalonians 5). Its by means of The Truth of the matter ; that they make their "escape". Not from the testing expected of them, but from the wrath of God poured out on the wicked who believed not the love of the Truth. The nature of the tribulation is one of deception resulting apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2) . That maybe a woe easily overcome with Christ and God. However the Woe Jesus brings on those who accepted the "mark in" their foreheads poses a dire reality for those who fall victim to lies and deception of these end times.

2 Thessalonians 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 

Strong's meaning: "falling away" G646 ἀποστασία apostasia ap-os-tas-ee'-ah Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly the state), (“apostasy”): - falling away, forsake. Total KJV occurrences: 2

Matthew 13:19

“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and "catcheth away" that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.”

Mark 13:23

“But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”

2
  • @Dottard Thanks for the edit. This looks so much neater and readable. I don't know yet how to format the text on this website and what not . Hopefully will learn in a few months or sooner.
    – W_R
    Sep 26, 2021 at 21:45
  • 1
    Look at the editing tools at the top of the answer box when you are writing an answer - try them and see what they do.
    – Dottard
    Sep 26, 2021 at 21:48
1

To actually find the word in the Bible, it is in the Latin translations because the term rapture is based on Latin.

deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus† (1 Thes. 4:17, Biblia Sacra Vulgata)

rapi.emur V 3 1 FUT PASSIVE IND 1 P rapio, rapere, rapui, raptus V (3rd) [XXXAX] drag off; snatch; destroy; seize, carry off; pillage; hurry -- Whitaker, W. (2012). Dictionary of Latin Forms. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

rap•ture \ˈrap-chər\ noun [Latin raptus] ... -- Merriam-Webster, I. (1996). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

17 ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες ⸋οἱ περιλειπόμενοι⸋ ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ⸀ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα·* καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε ⸁σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα*. (1 Thes. 4:17, NA28)

 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thes. 4:17, ESV)

So, to find it in Revelation, you need to match how 1 Thes. 4:17 fits into the timing of Revelation because you won't find the word with the same event in Revelation.

It does occur here:

et peperit filium masculum qui recturus erit omnes gentes in virga ferrea et raptus est filius eius ad Deum et ad thronum eius† (Rev. 12:5, Vulgata)

5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, (Rev. 12:5, ESV)

Basically both the Greek and Latin terms related to rapture occur throughout the New Testament, but don't refer to the rapture of the saints as in 1 Thes. 4:17.

2
  • Perry, so you favor a figurative interpretation and you feel that is stronger than the Rev 14 allusion. To me, the male child is clearly a reference to Jesus who was caught up during the Ascension and will one day rule the nations. The church is usually referred to as the bride of Christ. Sep 26, 2021 at 23:07
  • I take Rev. 14:5 as referring to Christ, and 1 Thes. 4:17 to the saints, but when it comes to verses related to the Second Coming I try to have a flexible wait and see attitude. Thus, I tried to limit the answer to the question. But, with these verses, if you disagree, I won't say you're wrong.
    – Perry Webb
    Sep 27, 2021 at 1:14
1

Well Revelation 1:8 says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Also Revelation 2:25, "Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come." And Revelation 3:10, "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth." Vs11, I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have that no one take your crown."

Admittedly, I don't think the above verses are referring to the "Rapture" of the church but rather about the second coming of Jesus Christ. I base this on Matthew 24:1-3. The disciples were asking Jesus about the temple buildings. At vs2 Jesus says, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another which will not be torn down."

This prompted the disciples to ask Jesus the following question at vs3? "Tell us, when will these things be, and what is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age/world."

Form verses 4-14 Jesus explains what is going to happen to the world. Then at vs15 Jesus gives us a tip off or as the disciples ask "a sign of your coming."

Vs15, "Therefore "WHEN" you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, (let the reader understand)," Understand what? It's time to "get out of Dodge."

From verses 16-28 Jesus says what to do and where to go. Then at vs29, "But immediately after the tribulation of those days The Sun will be darkened, and the Moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken."

Vs30, "and then sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and glory."

Vs31, "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."

I have to say I don't see any rapture of the Church in this. I believe Jesus is being "straightforward" and to the point. There are a few more verses I could bring out that support what Jesus stated and one of them is at Hebrews 9:28, "so Christ also having been offered ONCE to bear the sins of many, shall appear a SECOND time for salvation/deliverance without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him."

So is there a rapture of the Church? Not in my opinion, only a second coming for His Church.

7
  • To what does the gathering of the elect refer then both in Mt. 24 (one taken, one left) and Rev. 14? The resurrection of the majority of the dead occurs after Christ's millennial reign. I agree that the 2nd advent is by far the most important event, but the Bible does make several references to a prior harvest such as "harpazo" in 1 Thes. 4. Sep 26, 2021 at 23:39
  • 2
    @MartinHemsley There is no doubt (at least not in my that Matthew 24 is about the 2nd coming, not the rapture.) Now, read the context before vs40 about "one taken and one left." "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. Vs38 describes what they were doing "UNTIL" the day Noah entered the ark. At vs39 Jesus says they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away. They were swept away to their death, i.e taken away while Noah remained alive, i.e was left. The parable of the men in the field makes the same point as Noah and the ark. Again, no rapture.
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 27, 2021 at 0:12
  • God has not appointed us to wrath so there will be no Christians on earth when God pours out his 7 bowls of wrath when all the seas and rivers become like blood, etc. You are also ignoring 1 Thes. 4. "We which are alive and remain, will be caught up..." When there is a reaping, it is of a live harvest. Sep 27, 2021 at 0:43
  • 2
    @MartinHemsley Your right, God has not appointed or "destined" His children for wrath according to 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Read the CONTEXT! We are not children of night or darkness, we are of the day let us be sober minded. Vs9, FOR (or because) God has not destined us for wrath, but obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." The ones who receive wrath are those who are lost, unsaved. I have a question? At 2 Thess 1:6 God will repay with affliction those who afflict you." Vs7 says, "and to give rest/relief to you who are afflicted, and to us as well ,WHEN will this happen in the verse?
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 27, 2021 at 1:24
  • 1
    @MartinHemsley I'm well aware of "hermeneutics/proper Biblical interpretation. I've been at this a lot of years. Now, the point of my question regarding 2 Thessalonians 1:7 was to get you to read it and come to a proper conclusion from the context. Instead you brought up seals and the falling away. Paul is telling these saints at vs6, it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you." Vs7, and to give relief/rest (anesin) in Greek to you who are afflicted WHEN? the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire at the 2nd coming.
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 27, 2021 at 2:28
0

There are several places where people have found the Rapture in the Revelation. I will discuss two of them. I do not necessarily hold to either of these views.

Revelation 4

Revelation 4:1 is often given as the location of the Rapture.

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

Revelation 4:1 ESV

Now, this very well may be the voice of Christ; in Revelation 1, Jesus speaks with a voice like a trumpet (Rev. 1:10,12-20). The combination of the voice of Christ and the usage of "trumpet" (all elements in 1 Thess. 4:16) has signaled some to see this as the Rapture of the Church, which synthesizes well with the interpretation of the 24 Elders as the Church.

Revelation 12

Some have suggested that the Rapture can be found in the 12th chapter of the Revelation. The Scripture reads,

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth... She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne...

Revelation 12:1-2,5 ESV

Now, in the Greek, "caught up" is "ἡρπάσθη" (hērpasthē), a conjugated form of "ἁρπάζω" (harpazó); this is the Greek for "caught up," translated in the Latin as "rapturus." The Rapture is the Catching Up, so to speak. This is the same word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV

If you want to get technical, this is the only place the word "rapture" (in the Greek) appears in the Revelation.

A couple arguments usually given for the position that this describes the Rapture instead of Christ's Ascension are as follows:

  1. When Jesus ascended, He, well, ascended. He was not in danger, nor was He snatched up; the risen Christ was in full control. Indeed, the Greek word used in Acts is "ἐπήρθη" (epērthē), a conjugated form of "ἐπαίρω" (epairó), which simply means "to lift up." There is no forceful snatching, no fleeing from the Devil here, unlike what is depicted in the Revelation. Combined with the usage of harpazó here, some see this as the Body of Christ (the Church; this is found in many places in Paul's letters, but as a representative, I quote 1 Corinthians 12:27).
  2. Parallels with Isaiah 66:7-8. The passage reads:

“Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.

Isaiah 66:7-8 ESV

This verse plays rather nice with the dispensational interpretation of this verse, which interprets the woman as Israel. Some even say there are grammatical similarities; John uses an odd turn of phrase; he modifies the masculine word "son" with the neuter word "male" (they are masculine and neuter in the Greek). The same form of the word "male" is used here. I do not know if making use of such a tenuous connection is good interpretation, but I record it nonetheless.

  1. This child rules with a rod of iron; Christ does (Revelation 19:5), but so does the Church (Revelation 2:26-27).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.