Revelation Rapture : An Anomaly?
By Patrick Heron
The debate rages on. Does “the Rapture” happen before, in the middle, or at the end of the Tribulation period? Is the Church of the Body mentioned in the Book of Revelation at all? Are Christians ever going to stop beating one another up over this vexed question?
Coming as I do from the cloistered calms of The Emerald Isle, little did I realise that brother could castigate brother so viciously in this civil war of words, until I dipped my toes in the continent of the United States.
This essay will trot us through chapter twelve of the Book of Revelation, otherwise known as the Apocalypse. It may shed a little more light on the above question, and add some more colour to the pictures of what’s coming down the track in the future.
At this juncture, may I say that I do not have all the answers. Neither do you. The last guy to have all the answers got out of here almost 2,000 years ago and hasn’t come back yet. So don’t go getting your knickers in a twist about who’s right and who’s wrong. “ Now we know in part…” So we only know part of the story. We will have to wait a while to get the full version. In the meantime, let brotherly love abound.
I will be quoting from the Kings James Version. Revelation 12, verse 1; Here goes:
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
This is an obvious reference to Israel and the Jewish people when you compare the symbolism to Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37: 9,10. But as we will see, sometimes prophetic utterances may have dual or more meanings. That is, they can have up to two or three different meanings, and all are correct. This we can see in the next verse;
2 And she being with child cried, travelling in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Of course the woman know becomes Mary, who brought forth the Messiah. This becomes plain as we read on;
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
The dragon is of course, Satan, the Devil who is the serpent. The seven heads and ten horns are figures of speech for his aides de corps. They are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:8 and called the “princes of this world.” Well we all know who the chief prince is, also called “the prince of darkness.” And it ain’t Dracula.
So the main man is Satan, who is the Serpent of Genesis 3. And here we are told that one third of the “stars” of heaven are cast down to earth and these stars are those angels who rebelled with him and tried to usurp the throne of God way back when in the dim, distant primeval past.
I believe this “casting to earth” is still future. This will become plainer as we read on.
When Jesus was born, Herod sent out his troops to slaughter all the innocents under two years old in Bethlehem. Later the crowds tried to throw him off a cliff. Then the dragon and his princes finally succeeded by murdering him at the crucifixion. But only temporarily. As God raised Jesus from death three days and nights later.
Of course the reason Satan and his comrades wanted the Messiah out of the way harks back to Genesis 3:15 where God promised Satan that the “seed of the woman” would ultimately “crush your head.” Not a very nice prospect if you happen to be Satan. Especially coming as it did from the Most High God. So Satan and his chiefs have spent nigh on 6,000 years endeavouring to derail prophecy as thus avert their inevitable demise. (By the way, watch out for that phrase, “seed of the woman”).
5 And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
This must be the shortest definition of the life of Jesus in the Bible. He is born; he is caught up to heaven. One interesting vignette here is that the word in Greek for “caught up” is harpazo, which is the same word used in the famous section in 1 Thessalonians 4 which describes the saints who are still alive at the parousia (coming) being “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air. It is significant to me that this same word is used here. We shall return to this later.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.
8 And prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
When it speaks here of the woman fleeing into the wilderness, this is referring to a future flight of the Jewish people in the time of the tribulation. Most experts on the numerology of these End Times, (and I am not one of them), agree that this is referring to the second half of the seven year period. And some say that this spot, where the Jews will be protected, is Petra.
Then in verse seven it describes a war in Heaven. Not a battle but a war. And this war is waged between two sets of spirit men. For that is what “angels” are; men. Not flesh and blood men as you and I. But spirit men, which is far more powerful than mere human beings.
This war ensues and the Devil and his evil spirit men are defeated and cast out. And where are they cast to? “Into the earth.”
Contrary to popular belief, the Devil and his angels were not cast out of heaven way back in days of yore when they rebelled in the original coup. How do I know this? Because it says in verse 8, “…neither was their place found any more in heaven.”
And again in verse 10;
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: FOR THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHERN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE GOD DAY AND NIGHT.
Perhaps we should think of heaven in different terms. Just as the world we live in is a big place, it may be that the same applies in heaven. As I write this, I am many thousands of miles from Australia which is on the other side of the globe. Thus in heaven, the capital city, which is called Mount Sion and the Heavenly Jerusalem, is where the Throne of God resides. There He sits with His son on his right hand side, 24 elders sit on thrones round-about, and there also is a multitude of these spirit men, called angels.
Now let us imagine that Satan and his angels are in a different location in heaven, but maybe some distance from this celestial city. Nevertheless, he has access day and night to God where he continually accuses the brethern (us) because of our sins down here. But read on. The victory shall be ours.
11 And they overcame him, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.
12 Therefore rejoice ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea; for the Devil is cast down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
After my last interview on Coast to Coast radio in June last, a man named Greg Shaver from Oregon contacted me. He said he had found the Nephilim, or fallen angels, in chapter two of the Book of Daniel. Here Daniel describes four kingdoms. The fourth one is still future and describes the government that will rule on the earth during the seven years of the Great Tribulation as described in the Apocalypse. We read from Dan 2:40;
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay.
It goes on in the next verse again stating that the toes were of iron and of clay. But the cruncher jumps out at us in verse 43:
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, THEY SHALL MINGLE THEMSELVES WITH THE SEED OF MEN: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
We are made of clay, or of the dust of the ground as it says in Genesis. When it states that “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men,” this has to be a reference to the Nephilim, the fallen angels, who will inhabit the world once more in the coming Apocalypse.
We are mere humans compared to the spirit men who will fall to earth and appear as gods in the future. That is why we are described as miry clay as opposed to the strength of iron which describes these powerful future spirit men.
The original fallen angels, the Nephilim of Genesis 6, are incarcerated in the Abyss or Tartarus, because of their sin and violence which precipitated the Flood in those antediluvian days. But according to Revelation 9, these so called gods of ancient mythology will be released again into the earth to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.
And, as we have already learned, the Devil and the rest of his cohorts are to be kicked out of the sphere of the heavenlies, and cast down to the earth in the coming Apocalypse. We are given a good mind-picture of this event in chapter 6 verse 13:
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casting her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
These stars are not those twinkling little bright lights you see when you look at the sky of a clear night. For when they fall, they don’t fall to the earth.
No, these are the same as the “star” in Revelation 9:1 who falls to earth having the key to the bottomless pit. The word “stars” are often used as symbolical of angels, both good and evil. And here we have the evil angels finally getting evicted from heaven, and they are described as figs falling from a tree which is shaken by a great wind. Quite a picture, wouldn’t you agree?
When the original Nephilim descended to earth on Mount Hermon in the days of Jared, they appeared as beautiful men, full of knowledge and wisdom and power, and irresistible to the woman of the world in those days.
Perhaps this is how they will present themselves once more, in the near future, for “as it was, so shall it be.” When it says in Thessalonians, speaking of these coming days, that God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe THE lie, maybe this is what the lie is.
That is, that these aliens will appear on the earth to make things aright. They will promise to bring the world to a higher plain in the next step of the evolution of mankind. We are rid of those stupid Christian fundamentalists, so now we can move forward. The whole world will be deceived by these beings and their magic and power. Except for the elect.
I got an interesting email from a believer who hails from Australia. This intrepid young man is off to Iraq as a prayer warrior with some other Christians. But I digress. He told me he had a dream last year while in New Zealand which led him to my book. I will let you read him in his own words.
“In the dream, I was standing on the top of a mountain. I looked up into the sky and saw hundreds of floating/flying pyramids. I felt very real dread and fear. I pointed to the sky and said, “The Nephilim are here.” Some of them were so close they were huge (imagine the Great Pyramid suspended in the air). I have normal dreams but I know this was divine. It was so real that when I awoke, I was very much shaken.”
Now I am not categorically saying here that this is what is going to happen and that the Nephilim will make their appearance in this fashion. I get a lot of newsletters from people who say they receive “visions” and most of them I read with a great pinch of salt.
But something struck me about this particular vision. We know that Satan always copies, apes, and duplicates what the true God does. And the princes of this world know that the coming New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven to this earth in the future, and that this city is pyramidal in shape (see Revelation chapter 21). So it kind of makes sense that the Nephilim might make their appearance in a similar way, does it not?
Again, I am not saying that this is the case. But it is an interesting possibility, especially as the Great Pyramid is held in such awe and wonder by people of the world. And we are promised in Scripture, that in the End Times; “ I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions…” (Acts 2:17).
Let us return to the text of Revelation 12, verse 13:
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14 And to the woman was given two wings as of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
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.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
In the second half of the seven years, after the peace treaty breaks down, the Devil goes after the Jewish nation. This peace treaty was brokered by the antichrist between the Jews and the Arab nations. How pertinent and topical is this subject when we reflect and look upon the news as it unfolds before our very eyes on a daily basis at the present time.
( I am taking for granted that you, as a reader of ANOMOLOS, are fairly well acquainted with many of the events and time-lines associated with the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel etc. For we do not have time nor space here to explain all of the nuances of this story. If you find yourself at a loss and want a fuller explanation of the facts, may I recommend you read a good book on this subject such as The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse by that good-looking Irish guy, Paddy Heron).
We are told that the Devil tries to drown the Jewish people with a flood. Why cannot this be a literal event? For in chapter eight of this book, we are told by the revelator, that he saw what looked like a burning mountain cast into the sea. As a result of this, one third of all boats in the sea are destroyed. Now if you saw a volcano, and you did not know what it was, you would describe it as a burning mountain. And scientists tell us that if La Palma, an active volcano in the Canary Islands, falls into the sea, it will cause a Tsunami hundreds of feet high.
Now Israel is situated not so far from this area in North Africa. And there is a clear run for a Tsunami across the Mediterranean. And Israel is on the coast. Perhaps this is why in Matthew 24, Jesus warns when you see theses things happening, run for the mountains. Because if there is a Tsunami on the way, you want to get to higher ground.
So the devil tries to drown “the woman” with this flood, but fails miserably as usual, as the earth swallows up the water. What happens next? Verse 17:
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed…
Wow, wow, wait a minute. “ remnant of her seed.” What is it saying here? The word remnant literally means, “leftover.” In fact, my dictionary defines it as; “a group of people left behind.”
Well if the Devil goes after the “remnant” of the seed of the woman, it begs the question, where are the rest of them? Where did they go?
I think the answer was given earlier in the chapter. Remember when it says that the man child who was caught up unto God, and to His throne? Well this my very well be one of those prophetic statements that have a dual meaning.
When we believe in Jesus Christ and get born from above, we get the seed of God in us. This seed is eternal and we cannot lose it. No more that you can lose the seed of your earthly father, so we cannot lose the seed of our heavenly Father. You may fall out with your earthly father and never talk to him again, but you will always have his seed in you. The same holds true for the eternal seed we get. It is the token, or guarantee, of our salvation.
When we get born-again, we are part of the Church of God, the Body of Christ. He is the head, we are members of his body. We are also called the Bride of Christ.
So when the child is caught away to God and to the throne of God, so too we, as members of his Body, are caught away when we are gathered together with him as described in 1 Thessalonians 4. So the metaphor of the man-child being caught away to God is a description of the gathering together of the Church of the Body, also called the Rapture.
That’s why it says that the Devil goes to make war with the “remnant” of her seed. That is, those saints who will believe in and turn to Christ when they find themselves in the midst of the tribulation period.
The “seed of the woman” here can refer to Jesus, as it does in verse 5. It can refer to all those born-again believers who have the seed of God in them. And it can refer all the way back to Genesis 3:15 where we are told that there would be enmity between the “seed of the woman” and “the seed of the serpent.”
Furthermore, (and we have Greg Shaver from Springfield, Oregon, to thank for this piece of insight), when the Messiah arrives back in heaven having gathered together his espoused, do you think he or his father are going to put up with the Devil slandering his Bride in their presence? I trow not.
Picture this: Jesus gets back to head-quarters with his Bride. The Devil cannot accuse them anymore before God for there will be no more sinning after we get our new spiritual bodies. There is not enough room in the heavenly realm once many millions of believers, from all through the ages, arrive. So Satan and his minions have got to go.
Now there is a war in heaven between Michael and his war faring angels against the dragon and his evil spirit men, and there can be only one outcome.
The Devil and his angels are ousted out and fall to earth like figs falling from a tree shaken by a mighty wind. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth. For the Devil is fallen to earth, and he is very wroth, for he knows his time is short. Now comes to pass that prophetic utterance made by Jesus in Luke 10:18, “ I beheld Satan as lightening falling to earth.”
About the same time, Apollyon and those Nephilim who have been incarcerated with him in the bottomless pit, are released once more. Chapter 2 of 2nd Thessalonians is given over to the timing of this event. The context is set in verse one where it says; “Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our lord Jesus Christ and by our GATHERING TOGETHER unto him.”
So the context of this whole chapter is the “gathering together” of the saints. And in the third verse we are told;
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.
The key to understanding this verse lies in the words, “falling away.” Most commentators and teachers say that this is referring to a “falling away” of the Church from the Word and from God. (Even though there is no mention here of either “the truth” or the Word or God).
They get this notion from the Greek word used in the text which is apostasia. The word “apostasy” has been transliterated into the English language from this word. But in the original Greek, it does not mean apostasy.
The Greek word for “ away” in the text is apo. Greek is a numerical language as is Hebrew. Apo is a preposition and denotes motion away from the surface of an object. It can be described in terms of a line being drawn from the circumference (or outside) of a circle and going away in an outwardly direction. Hence it is used of motion away from a place.
(see Appendix 104,The Companion Bible by E W Bullinger).
It is clear from a literal interpretation of this passage that the “falling away” is speaking of a departure of something away from one place to another. Hence it is speaking of the Church departing away from the surface of this earth and heading in an outwardly direction. Remember the context? It is the gathering together of the saints.
By the way, there is no apostasy taking place in these latter days. In fact, the opposite is the case. For there are thousands coming to Christ on a daily basis all over the world. There is revival going on in parts of Africa, South America, Korea and elsewhere.
After the Revolution in China, not so many years ago, there was about one million evangelical Christian believers. Today there is an estimated 80 million. And the Church there is experiencing signs, miracles and wonders as the believers have so little going for them, they have to walk out on their faith, allowing God to work mightily. The same is true of the Church in other Third World countries.
And of course, look at all the millions of Christians there are throughout the United States. This is somewhat of a paradox. For the US has the most guns, the most money, the most drugs, the most pornography than any other country. Yet there is a polarisation right down the middle of society because so many good Christian people in the States are endeavouring to stand on God’s Word.
So no, there is no apostasy happening today. The opposite is the case. And what we are seeing is “the latter rain” and God pouring out His spirit as many thousands turn to and trust in Christ and his Word on a daily basis.
Verses 6 and 7 go on to talk of the man of sin who is incarcerated.
6 And ye know now what withhold that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The Greek word for “withhold” is the same word as “letteth” in verse 7. It literal means “there is one who holds fast.” In other words, something is “holding him fast” in this place of detention until something else “be taken out of the way.”
8 Then shall that wicked be revealed…whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
The thing that is preventing the man of sin, the Antichrist, from being revealed and which is holding him fast in captivity, is the Holy Spirit which is living in the Church of the Body at this present time. But when this body of people is “taken out of the way,” then the man of sin will be free to be revealed to the world.
By the way, the Greek word for revealed is, emphanizo, which means “to cause to be manifested or shown plainly and clearly.” In other words, people are going to see these guys just as the original humans saw and cohabited with these same fallen angels who materialised on the earth as recorded in Genesis 6.
So, once this departure, known as the Rapture or gathering together has occurred, then the man of sin, the son of perdition, called the Antichrist, can be released.
This man’s name is given in Revelation as both Apollyon in Greek and Abaddon in Hebrew, which means “destroyer.” Of course for those of you familiar with my book, The Nephilim, you will know that Apollyon is how the Greeks spell Apollo. And he was one of the main leaders of the original pantheon of Greek gods know as the Olympians who lived and reigned on this earth prior to the Flood of Noah, and who’s ruins are with us to this day.
This Apollo goes on to become the Antichrist, the Beast from the Abyss, who goes to his destruction. This does not mean that he will be destroyed, but rather that he goes on to destroy almost the whole world, which culminates with the last and final battle which begins at the Valley of Megiddo.
So, Jesus comes back to gather his Church and take them to heaven where he has been preparing a place for us. When the church is departed, it makes way for the Antichrist, the man of sin to be revealed. Then about the same time, there is a war in heaven, as God and His son are not going to put up with the Bride of Christ being slandered in their presence. The Devil and his angels must go, for their place is found no more in heaven. They fall to earth like figs dropping off a tree shaken by the wind. The Apocalypse begins.
I sure am glad I ain’t going to be there. Aren’t you?