A common argument that disputes the rapture is
" How many times is Christ coming back? It is his SECOND COMING, not his THIRD. There is no rapture because this will make it his THIRD coming"
or something around those lines. Where in the bible does it state how many times he is to come back? Give me a number.. With in the four gospel accounts we already see how Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven and came back...
John 20:17 - Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
So here we have Jesus telling Mary not to touch Jesus Christ because he has not ascended yet. Why can she not touch him? I don't know. Maybe because He is about to perform the duty of they High Priest in the Heavenly Temple that is made with out hands and it will defile it(Hebrews 9). But, She cannot touch Jesus.
Mark 16:12 - After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
So Jesus Christ is either a shape shifter, or He ascended to the Father and came back and now he can be touched.
Luke 24:39 - Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
Jesus Christ is telling them to touch him or handle him when Mary could not because he has not yet ascended. Him having not yet ascended apparently is what was keeping him from being touched.
John 20:27 - Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Again, Jesus is telling Thomas to touch him, when Mary could not earlier.
Matthew 28:9 - And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by his feet, and worshipped him.
Here they are actually touching him. They are holding his feet.
So here we have Jesus ascending to the Father which is in Heaven(secretly), and then coming back to the disciples.
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And of course, he is taken up. again...
I believe that Jesus Christ's coming at the end of Jacobs Trouble has no restraints on Jesus Christ rapturing his Church. The rapture is a mystery, His coming at the end is not a mystery.
I think you are forgetting something that Paul wrote, the rapture is not supposed to be a mystery to us.
I Thess. 5:4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
The rapture should only be a surprise to unbelievers, because scripture tells us exactly where it happens. For starters, ask yourself what the rapture actually is. If you read the accounts given in I Thess. 4 and I Cor. 15, it seems obvious to me that what the rapture really is, is a resurrection. In I Thess. we are told that the dead in Christ rise first, when dead bodies rise, it is a resurrection. I Cor. 15 is an entire chapter about resurrection, there is no question that this is a resurrection being spoken of, this is what the rapture is. John tells us precisely where the first resurrection occurs.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
The fact that this is the first resurrection does not allow for any other resurrection to come before it. If people are honest with themselves about what a resurrection is, then they will acknowledge that both I Thess. 4 and I Cor. 15 are resurrections. John does not allow for any other resurrection except the one which follows the millenial kingdom.
This also aligns with the 6th wave of judgements, the trumpet, seal, and bowl coincide with each other, these events are occurring at the same time. The 5th and 7th also go together as you can see when comparing them to one another. It is the sixth seal which contains the sign Jesus gives for His coming, and we see this take place during the 6th bowl.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
This is a direct quote from Jesus, He says I come, not someone else comes. It comes out of nowhere, and has nothing to do with what precedes or follows it. There is only one rational explanation as to why it is there, and that is because this is when He is coming. God does not do tricks, He does not do false signs, the bible is His Word, not the enemies.
Jesus attached the sign of the thief to the rapture Himself in Matthew 24, both Paul and John follow His lead and use this sign as well. The passage in Matthew 24 is the best representation of the rapture that we have, and it leaves no question in my mind. Paul's letter in I Thess. is a summary of what Jesus tells us in Matthew, as can be seen when you compare the two side by side, Paul uses the exact same symbolism as well.
Matthew 24:That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
When Jesus invokes this sign in Revelation, the very sign He gives for it, it leaves no question as to when this will happen. Again, this is God's Word, the enemy can't plant deceptions inside of it. This is why we are told repeatedly to test everything against scripture, because the scripture is truth. Scripture confirms this timing with the sixth trumpet as well, read this beautifully illustrated version of the rapture from this perspective and compare.
14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Here we see Jesus, sitting on a cloud, waiting for the Father to give Him the word to return, precisely where we are told we meet Him. The following verses of this passage confirm the timing with what we saw above.
Revelation 14:17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
We see that God the Father is in charge of the judgements being dished out, just as scripture has always indicated, and as has always been the case, God uses the angels to execute judgement. The fact that the angels are the ones carrying out the judgement leaves little doubt that this is happening as the tribulation is going on. We see the above events described with the 6th trumpet.
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
This ties into the fall of Babylon, we see the reference to the great winepress of God's wrath mentioned, and also we see the mention of a very specific day and hour. Jesus also spoke of this very specific day and hour in Matthew 24, and it comes up in other places as well, particularly take note of Revelation 18. It begins by mentioning the day, and then talks about this very specific hour.
Revelation 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Revelation 18:10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’
Revelation 18:16 and cry out:“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
Revelation 18:19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’
This is the same point at which the anti-christ and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, and every single thing points to this exact same time in scripture. It also coincides with this in Revelation 11.
11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.
The two witnesses are also part of the first resurrection, and the voice from heaven saying, "Come up here" is not just something the two witnesses will hear, we will all hear it. It is a very specific hour, within a very specific day. The day is when He comes, the hour is the last hour of life on this planet as we know it. This is the very specific hour we are told we will be kept from in Revelation 3:10, and as promised, Jesus will take us out just before it arrives.
Also in those same passages from Revelation 18, we see, woe, woe. Two woes, confirmed at the conclusion of chapter 11. We already know that the three woes are attached to the final three trumpets, we see the first woe after the fifth trumpet, we see the second woe following the two witnesses, and the third woe is a result of the 7th judgements.
Revelation 8:13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
The fifth judgements are all linked to the rise of the anti-christ, the 6th revolve around the return of our Lord and the staging for Armageddon, and the 7th revolve around the fury of God's wrath. If you compare them to each other, this is obvious, and in fact, we see that the 6th and 7th judgements both contain events that overlap, such as the mountains and islands being removed, this can only happen once. These final judgements happen right on top of each other, in one hour.