29. 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:
30. 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.
31. 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. KJV.
I believe this is the rapture of the Church. I differ from what many say and how they interpret the scriptures. I believe in a spiritual rapture at the end of the tribulation period, protecting the elect while still on the earth. I believe in the first resurrection at the end of the wrath. Let me explain.
John 17:15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that you will keep and protect them from the evil (one). Amp.
I believe the Father answered all of Jesus’ prayers. The Church needs the refining process of the tribulation period. Then they become the bright lights of Isaiah 60:1. They are spoken of in Rev.7:13-17. They are still in need of the presence of God to protect them because they are still on the earth (vs. 15).
Luke 21:36 Keep awake then and watch at all times, (be discreet, attentive and ready): praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of man.
Revelation 6:17 For the great day of His wrath (vengeance, retribution, indignation) has come, and who is able to stand before it?
The question in both of these verses is, “Who shall stand?” When the powers of heaven are being shaken all will know that no expert has the answer to what is happening because there is no answer. This is the end. Only God’s elect will have the answer and the strength to endure because they are filled with the Holy Spirit and stand before the Lord in His presence because they are blameless before Him.
They live spiritually raptured and are seated next to Jesus in the heavenly realm, (Eph. 2:5-6). They have learned the new song and follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev.14:1-5).
Revelation 3:10 Because you have guarded and kept My Word of patient endurance with the expectant endurance that I give you — I also will keep you safe from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.
This is using the word “dwell.” I talked about it in a previous post. This word dwell in the Greek is “Katoikeo,” it means to reside. These are those who dwell or reside upon the earth, whom the judgment will be poured out upon. They are not protected.
Revelation 12:12 Therefore be glad (exult), O heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea for the devil has come down to you…
This is using the word dwell in the Greek “Skenoo.” It means, to tent or encamp, to occupy as a mansion, to reside (as Tabernacles of old,) a symbol of protection and communion; a hut or temporary residence as the human body (the abode of the Spirit).
See the difference between dwelling upon the earth and dwelling in the heavenlies? Our protection lies within the Holy Spirit as we commune and are protected by Him.
In Matthew 24:31 He says the angels will gather His elect. In Luke 17, Jesus is talking about the rapture, “one will be taken, and one will be left,” (vs.34). The disciples ask the question, where? He answers them, “Wherever the dead body is, there will the vultures or eagles be gathered,” (vs.37).
In Revelation 12:14 the woman is supplied with two wings of a great eagle that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the wilderness where she is to be kept safe. She is not in heaven, or she would not need protection. She has the option to pick them up or not.
I believe this is the elect of God or the spiritually dead (to the works of the fleshly realm) in Christ. They will be gathered together and have Church services like have never been before. They will be protected by a defense of love and protection, and a pavilion for a shade in the daytime from the heat and for a place of refuge and a shelter from the storm. Isaiah 4:5-6
When Jesus comes back and the last enemy to be defeated is death. The elect who has endured all of this and are overcomers will be in the first resurrection and will rule and reign with Him. We are undoubtedly on the brink of this great happening. We must keep awake, watch and pray to be found worthy to stand in the presence of the Son of man!