Revelation 12:1 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.
One of the customs of the 40 day period of Teshuvah is to visit a cemetery. Jewish belief is the resurrection will occur during the period of Teshuvah. Specifically, the resurrection is to occur on the new moon holiday of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Christians refer to this as the Feast of Trumpets.
The Revelation 12 Sign occurs within the 40 day period of Teshuvah in the Gregorian year 2017 on September 23rd. Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets will start the civil Hebrew year 5778. When the new moon is identified by two witnesses and confirmed by the high priest, this will initiate Tishri 1.
The notion the rapture is a signless event is false. The rapture is not the next imminent prophetic event. Scripture is very clear. The resurrection of the dead comes before the rapture. The dead in Christ will rise first and ascend into Heaven before the rapture occurs. Yes, there is a historical event that will precede the rapture. It is the resurrection. The Apostle Paul points this out on two occasions.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will 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 imperishable, and we will be changed.
The idea of sleep communicated by the Apostle Paul is physical death. When we die, our body is buried and sleeping in the ground like a seed as stated earlier in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. Sleep implies the body will wake up at some point in the future.
The new information conveyed is we will not all sleep. Translation, believers will not all physically die. The sequence of events is described next. One, the dead will be raised imperishable (resurrection). Two, believers in Jesus who are alive and remaining…we will be changed (rapture).
The order of events is confirmed a second time in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. The resurrection happens first. Then the rapture occurs second. Dead believers go first.
1 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 not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Living believers will be tipped on the coming of the rapture by the resurrection of the dead. The issue is the time gap between the two events. The time frame between the resurrection and rapture is not stated. There is no time marker. It could be seven seconds or seven years or whatever. The text does not say. But, the resurrection of the dead in Christ does come first. I suppose the timing of the two events would be relative to “imminent”.
When the inhabitants of planet earth see thousands upon thousands of people arise from their graves and rise into the air, this will cause a variety of responses which will likely include chaos and confusion. This is not the Zombie Apocalypse the culture is expecting. Living believers should know their ascent into the clouds to join the resurrected and Jesus Christ is next in the order of events.
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