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"The Book of Revelation, An Eschatological Study of the Endtimes", by Chad J. McCoy


Rev. 6:9-11: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

As the fifth seal is opened, John sees an altar. The Amplified Bible says that the souls he saw were "at the foot of the altar".
But regardless of whether they were at the foot of the altar or under the altar, these souls are identified as people who were killed "because of the Word of God and because of the stand they had taken". (New American Standard Bible)

While most souls are sent to Hades when they die, it appears as if those slain for Christ's sake are given a special place at the altar by the throne of God.
They ask God at this point when he will judge the ones who killed them, and avenge their deaths.
They are given white robes, which are symbols of righteousness and holiness, which they have earned.
They were then told to wait patiently just a little longer.
God has a plan. He is counting the number of those who are being killed for believing in Him. When the slain reach a certain number, a number that only He knows, then will He judge the earth.
Notice that nothing is loosed upon the earth at this point. No more horses or riders, or judgements, or disasters. This does not mean that the four horsemen have ceased from their patrol; just that nothing further is unleashed upon the earth at this time.
The opening of the fifth seal is the ceremony that heralds the issuing of the white robes unto the holy martyrs.
There is nothing that happens on earth that will allow us to know when this happens. We will know that it has taken place only when the sixth seal is opened.


Rev. 6:12-17, 7:1-17: I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
7 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb."
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes-who are they, and where did they come from?"
14 I answered, "Sir, you know."
And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16 Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

The first thing that happens after the opening of the sixth seal is a great earthquake.
There is reason to believe that this earthquake may be world-wide. Along with this earthquake, several other things occur, (which I will get into shortly) and afterwards the bible says that the kings, princes, generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man tries to hide in caves and in the mountains.
When the bible says every slave and free man, it has effectively said "everyone in the world". Everyone can be put in one of those two categories. You are either one or the other. You cannot NOT be one of the two.
In addition to this earthquake, we read that the sun will turn black. This is clear that it means the sun will darken completely. Somewhere on this earth, it is always day. But at this time, wherever the sun is, it will be darkened, and become night.
The moon will turn blood red.
Stars will fall to the earth violently. We are sure of the violence, because the bible says they will fall to the earth in the same way that figs drop from the fig trees when they are shaken by a strong wind. If a great windstorm is shaking trees, the figs are torn off from their branches violently, and hurled to the ground. In the same manner, so will these stars fall to earth.
Now I looked up this word "star" in the original Greek language. Normally I don't do this sort of thing, but I know that if even one star, (let alone many stars) hit the earth, this world would be vaporized. The heat of a star is such that all life on this earth would be destroyed long before the star could ever actually hit us. This couldn't be actual stars - common sense says so. So in order to find out what it could be, I went to the original language.
This word star, in the Greek, is "aster" meaning "a strewn star". This word "aster" has its origin in the word "stroo", meaning "to spread - as a carpet; as in making a bed; furnishing; spread; strew". In other words, a spreading star.
It's amazing how much the Greek word "aster" looks like our word "asteroid". The flavor of the word (spreading, as if to spread out a carpet or bed) paints a picture of what we would call a shooting star, or maybe a comet.
So it's not stars, as we know them, that hit the earth (even the smallest star would incinerate the earth), but asteroids, or meteors, or what we would call "shooting stars".
The bible says that the sky rolled up like a scroll. I don't have much experience with scrolls, but projector screens were used a lot in the 70's and 80's. I can imagine the sky rolling up like one of those projector screens when you pulled on its cord.
What exactly does this mean? Think about the changes that are taking place here. The sun turns dark. The moon turns red. Asteroids begin impacting the earth. All of these changes happen so quickly, that to one who happens to be watching the sky at this precise instant, it will appear as if the sky is rolling up like a projector screen.
Think about it: One instant you have daylight. In the next, darkness overtakes the earth.
Normally, darkness comes up gradually, creeping over the land as it turns from late evening to early night. But this darkness is going to hit instantly; so quickly in fact, that it will appear as if the sky, or the daylight just scrolls up and away, and is gone.
In addition to all of these things, the bible says that every - (read it, EVERY) mountain and island is moved. This gives further credence to the idea that the earthquake that hits will be world-wide.
When all of this happens, everyone on earth will know what has happened: that this is the Wrath of the Lamb.
When the sun turns dark in the middle of the day, when the moon turns blood red, when asteroids start hitting the ground, when a world-wide earthquake hits… people only have to go as far as the nearest bible to find answers. When this happens, people will know that the disasters were sent by God.
After this, four angels take up positions at the four corners of the earth. In other words, the north, south, east, and west. They are keeping the wind from blowing across the earth even the slightest little bit.
It appears that these are fallen angels, for two reasons. Reason one is the fact that another angel comes up from the east, and John describes this angel as having the seal of the living God. He didn't describe the first four angels in this manner. That would lead us to believe that he didn't describe them as having the seal of God because they didn't have the seal of God. What kind of angel would not have the seal of God? Fallen angels.
Reason two is the fact that they were given power to harm the land and sea; in effect, the whole world. It is true that in the past, angels have been used of God to do damage. But they have always been acting on God's express orders.
Exodus 33:2 : I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
In this passage, the Lord says he will send an angel ahead of the children of Israel, who will drive out the people from the land. How did the angel drive them out? Perhaps with violence? Maybe. But if so, the angel is doing it because God ordered him to drive them out.
Numbers 22:23 : When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
Numbers 22:31 : Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
This angel was sent to kill Balaam. If Balaam's donkey hadn't moved out of the way of the angel, Balaam would have been killed. Again, this angel was sent by God.
2nd Samuel 24:16,17: When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, "I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family."
As you can see here, this angel was destroying Jerusalem. He was doing it at the order of God, and he stopped at the order of God.
You can look up other instances of "destroying angels" for yourself, and you will see that they act on the order of God.
These four angels in Revelation are not told by God to harm the earth, or to harm the water. They are given permission to do so, but not orders to do so. This makes me think, combined with the lack of the seal of God, that these are fallen angels. God has given Satan permission to do as he will with the earth, but He has not given Satan orders to destroy it, or its people. Satan has permission, not a directive.
Job 1:9 : The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."
God gives Satan permission to do what he wants with Job's possessions, but orders him… what? Not to harm Job. He doesn't order all of the tragedy that befell Job, but he allowed it to happen. There is a difference.
Satan's angels all share the goal of destroying God's creations, whether that be people or the earth itself. This is what they want to do. They don't need orders from God to engage in these activities. They will do these things as much as they are able. All they need is permission.
Holy angels, on the other hand, do not have this same motivation. They live to carry out the commands of God. So if God commands them to destroy a city, they will do so. They will not do this any time they feel like it. They are ministering spirits, first and foremost. They are not destroying spirits. They will cause destruction only if God orders it.
Hebrews 1:14: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
And that is the difference between these four angels that are holding back the winds and the holy angel with the seal of God. These four angels are not told to harm the earth, they are given permission. That says to me that these are demons.
Does it matter to us, whether these angels are holy or evil? Not really. We know that the wind will cease to blow upon the earth. It doesn't make much difference to us WHO is doing it.
What IS important, is that we see the angel with the seal of God tell these other four to wait. Although they had been given permission to destroy the earth, they were told they could not begin until 144,000 Jews were sealed with the seal of God.

There has already been much destruction upon the earth by this time, but it has been done by the horses of the seals, or by God himself, here in the sixth seal. (The earthquake, meteors, sun, and moon disturbances were not caused by a horse and rider - evidently this was accomplished by the hand of God himself.)
However, these angels are going to be allowed to unleash even more disaster upon the world. This earth is not going to be a very pleasant place to be.
So the 144,000 Jews are given the seal of the Living God, and we can then conclude that the four demons are given permission to begin their reign of terror.
In heaven, John sees a huge crowd of people appear. They are clothed in white robes, and are holding palm branches as they give praise to God and the Lamb.
One of the elders asks John - "Who are all these people, and where did they come from?"
John says "You know." In other words he says "I have no idea. You tell me."
The elder answers by saying that these are believers who have come out of the

great tribulation. Never again will they be hungry, or thirsty, or get hot, or cry. They will live in heaven forever.

Now let me recount a little story:
Throughout the ages people have been fascinated by the idea of the Rapture; the time when Jesus returns to earth and his followers are lifted up into the sky to meet him, and then taken to heaven.
They have calculated and predicted the exact time of his return for decades, and continue to do so. Obviously, they've been wrong every time.
The bible tells us about the foolishness of even trying, in Matthew 24:36: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
If the angels don't know the day or the hour of Christ's return, and if Jesus himself doesn't know the day or hour of his return, then who are we to think we can figure it out? Such audacity!
As I pointed out in an earlier chapter, Jesus tells us that although we cannot figure out the exact day or hour, we CAN know the season.
And I figured, about 10 to 12 years ago, that I ought to be able to look at the book of Revelation, and at least be able to pinpoint the scripture in which the Rapture takes place. Sure, it may be the 2nd Trumpet, or the 5th Vial, and I don't know when it will occur on a timeline, but I should be able to figure out where in the list of events it occurs.
I even wondered why someone hadn't done this before.
To begin with, I looked at the chapter of Matthew 24. This is a very revealing passage. Jesus' disciples asked him when he would return, and what sign would let them know he was on his way.
Jesus began by saying there would be wars, famines, earthquakes, and such, but that they should understand that these things are not signs of his return. These things will happen, he says, but that doesn't mean his coming is at hand. He takes the time to tell them that there will be persecutions and even people who claim to be teachers of God but aren't, and are liars, and that they should not be deceived by them. These are not signs of his soon coming return.
But after these days, which Jesus refers to as the beginning of birth pains, will that sign appear. Why would Jesus call these days the beginning of birth pains? Because his Kingdom is being born. The process of creating a new heaven and new earth has begun. The wheat is being separated from the chaff. Those who will have no part in the heavenly kingdom are being weeded out. Once that process is complete, the Kingdom will have been born.
We don't think of this world as a temporary dwelling place. This is our home. Any existence apart from this world is death, to us. In actuality, we are only strangers here. This earth was given over to Satan. We are not citizens of Satan, but of God, of heaven. This world is nothing more than a spiritual test, and those who pass will have eternal life. Those who fail will have eternal death. Either way you look at it, this life is only a short, brief testing period. A birthing process, if you will. The next life (or death) is what is real. It will last for eternity. CS Lewis once said it something like this: I imagine that once we're in heaven, we will look back on this life as sort of a drowsy half-waking. You know how it is when you first wake up - you're groggy, and although you're moving and maybe even talking, once you're actually awake, you have only a hazy recollection of what you said or did. Once we're in heaven, this whole life that we thought was so solid and real, and meant so much, will be just like those first few moments after waking, where the details of our lives on this earth will be hazy, unclear, and unimportant.
Sort of like a birth - People can usually remember things back to about the age of two, but anything before that has been lost. Was I terrified of this world when I was born into it? Did I experience pain at circumcision? I'm sure I did, but I can't remember it. So what? Big deal. It doesn't matter.
Imagine now that you're in heaven, trying to recall your past life: Was I scared back on earth of what others thought of me? Did I experience pain when they persecuted me for Christ's sake? I guess I did, but I can't really remember it. Who cares? So what? Big deal.
Can you imagine that new life?

Ok, so after the birthing pains of those days, comes the sign the disciples asked about.
Matthew 24:29-31: "Immediately after the distress of those days " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' 30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
I looked in Revelation to see if I could find these same events that Jesus describes. If I could, then I would have found the Rapture!
Let's take a look at these events Jesus described once again.
1. The sun will be darkened.
2. The moon will darken.
3. The stars will fall from the heavens.
4. Heavenly bodies will be shaken.
5. All nations will mourn the Day of the Lord.
6. His angels will gather his chosen and take them to heaven.

Ok, let's look again at the 6th Seal, and see if these events match.
1. Great earthquake
2. Sun darkened
3. Moon darkened
4. Stars fall to earth
5. All nations mourn the Wrath of the Lamb
6. 144,000 Jews sealed
7. Crowd of people appear in heaven

Ok, what do we have that matches?

1. The sun will be darkened in both prophecies.
2. The moon is darkened in both prophecies.
3. Stars fall to the earth in both prophecies.
4. All nations mourn the Day of the Lamb in both prophecies.
In Matthew, Jesus says the angels will gather his elect from the whole earth - and that they will fill heaven so greatly that they will fill it from one end to the other.
In Revelation, we see that a huge crowd of people arrives in heaven; so many that their number cannot be counted. The elder says that these people came out of the tribulation.
It would appear that these two events also match.
That leaves the 144,000 Jews being sealed in Revelation without a match in Matthew. This is of small importance. It could actually be seen as being part of the gathering of the elect. Gentiles will be raptured, but the believing Jews will be sealed, and will remain on the earth.
So the Gentiles are gathered in one manner, while the Jews are gathered in another. They are still collected, grouped, united, joined, assembled. These are all meanings of the word "gathered". The Gentiles are assembled in heaven, while the Jews are assembled on the Mount of Zion.
That leaves the earthquake talked about in Revelation, and the shaking of the heavens in Matthew unaccounted for. Or does it?
Once again, the original Greek language came to the rescue.
In Matthew, Jesus says that the heavenly bodies will be shaken. What does that mean? What will be shaken? Clouds? Just the sky in general? Does it just mean that there will be great thunderstorms? If so, why isn't there any mention of a great earthquake, as there must be in order for these two prophecies to be describing the same event. The KJV puts it this way: the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Surely, my common sense told me, this cannot mean that heaven itself was shaken. This is describing events that befall the earth.
I looked to the Greek dictionary for help.
The word "powers" is "dunamis", meaning miraculous power, and implies a miracle itself.
The word "heavens" is "ouranos", and can mean a lot of things: the sky, heaven as the abode of God, happiness, power, eternity, the Gospel, and Christianity itself. However, its first definition is simply "the idea of elevation".
The word "Ouranos" has its origins in another word, "oros", which means… to rise or rear as a mountain lifting itself above the plain, a hill, a mount.
Well, well. What do we have here?
"The powers of the heavens shall be shaken".
This actually reads in the original Greek (before the translators got a hold of it) as "with miraculous power the mountains and the hills will be shaken".
WOW! That blows me away! WOW! WOWWWW!!!
I didn't set out with some idea that the shaking of the heavens and the shaking of the earth were one and the same, and try to twist verses into confirming that belief. It sounded to me as if they couldn't possibly be the same thing. One is shaking the skies, and the other is shaking the ground.
I had no idea that these two passages would end up describing the same event! I simply went digging for truth, and it explained itself!
So we see that everything matches. The prophecy Jesus gave in Matthew was duplicated exactly in Revelation with the opening of the 6th seal.
At the time of the opening of the 6th seal, whenever that time will be, is when the Rapture will take place.
Your ideas of Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib Rapture have to be re-defined.
Do you define the Tribulation as beginning with the opening of the 1st seal? Then you would believe in a Mid-Trib Rapture, with the Rapture occuring after the beginning and before the end of the Tribulation.
Do you define the Tribulation as beginning with the Wrath of God being poured out on the World, as begins with the 1st Trumpet? Then you would believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture, since it occurred before the 1st Trumpet.
Obviously there is no place for a Post-Trib Rapture. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:22: If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
The days of Tribulation will be shortened for the elect. We will not have to go through the whole thing, so there can be no Post-Trib Rapture, by any definition.
Let's dispense with these Pre-Mid-Post tags. The Rapture occurs at the 6th Seal. Let's leave it at that.