By Robert Hunt – Oct. 28, 2017
Many scholars believe that Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:12-15 are speaking about the same event and time. At first glance they may appear to be the same event, but I’m going to show how they are different events that will occur at least two (2) weeks apart. This is important to know because many believe the rapture and second coming will occur on the same day. This blog post will blow that theory right out of the water. Let’s begin by comparing the two passages of scripture below.
Matthew 24:29-31 – “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Revelation 6:12-17 – “I watched as He opened the sixth seal. And suddenly there was a great earthquake. The sun became black, like sackcloth made from goat hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when it is shaken by a strong wind. 14 Then the heavens receded like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the commanding officers and the strong and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. 16 They said to the mountains and 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 His wrath has come. Who is able to withstand it?”
Many scholars believe the rapture will occur when the sixth seal is opened, because they think Rev. 6:12-13 above, is describing the same phases of the sun, moon and stars we see in Matthew 24:29. First, let me say that I agree with the post-tribbers that Matthew 24:29-31 is the rapture and that it occurs immediately after the tribulation. But I disagree that these two passages or events will both occur on the same day. Although the phases of the sun, moon and stars appear to be the same, they are actually much different. After a closer examination and comparison of the two passages above, it is the phase of the moon that sets them apart.
As I said in my book, the moon in Matthew 24 does not give its light, but the moon in the sixth seal turns to blood. The difference between the two, is that in Matthew the moon is not seen, which is known as the new moon phase, but a blood moon is a full lunar eclipse. So there’s a huge difference between the moon not being visible and a full moon. I believe the rapture will occur on the feast of trumpets at the last trump, so the moon not being seen in Matthew fits this scenario perfectly, because the feast of trumpets does not begin until the first tiny little sliver of the moon becomes visible to the naked eye. And also, no one knows the day or the hour the moon will appear, as it sometimes won’t appear until the next day, which is why the Feast of Trumpets is a two day feast. But on the other hand, a full blood moon comes two weeks after the new moon, which would be the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the moon is always full.
And not only are the phases of the sun, moon and stars in the sixth seal not compatible with the rapture, but neither is the rest of this passage. I believe it is clearly showing that God’s wrath is imminent, which is exactly what the martyrs in the fifth seal were promised, to wait until after the last of their brethren have been killed as they were, for then God will avenge their blood. Also, a great earthquake that moves all of the mountains and islands would create massive worldwide tsunami’s, which, according to Luke will cause men’s hearts to fail. This is clearly speaking about God’s wrath, rather than the rapture.
Joel 2:31 – “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
This is why it’s important to understand the Lord’s feasts, which are His appointed times (Leviticus 23). When Christ returns, He will fulfill the fall feasts, just as He fulfilled the spring feasts during His first coming. These feasts are a stumbling-block to the pre-trib. rapture theory because the fall feasts will all be fulfilled in the same year, just as the spring feasts set the pattern, not seven years apart. The trouble for the post-trib. rapture theory is that it takes three weeks to complete the fall feasts, so we shouldn’t try to ram them into a single day. Furthermore, neither theory even considers the hour of trial or temptation (Rev. 3:10-11), which is the time when the martyrs will be killed after the rapture and before the second coming, when God will avenge their blood. They believe the entire Church will be raptured, but the martyrs must be included as well. Believers who are ready as Christ repeatedly warned, will be kept from the hour of trial, but the lukewarm will be caught unaware of His coming and He will spit them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:15-17, 6:9-11, 13:7-10, 14:13, 20:4).
Now let’s compare another difference between the sixth seal and Matthew 24. In the sixth seal, we see the kings and great men of the earth, the rich men, the commanding officer’s, the strong and everyone free and slave, hiding themselves in the caves and rocks of the mountains, crying out to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and to hide them from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. This is nothing like the passage we see in Matthew, no comparison.
Romans 11:25 – “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”
In Matthew, we see the tribes of the earth mourning, but there’s a good reason for this. When the sign of the Son of man appears (rapture), this sign will also signal the end of the times of the Gentiles, who will have trampled the Holy City for 42 months (Rev. 11:2). Therefore, I believe the tribes of the earth mourning is referring to the remnant and the Jews that are still scattered in the nations of the world. When these tribes (Jews) see the sign of the Son of man appear, then they will finally mourn for the one they have pierced and rejected (Zech. 12:10). Then they will lift up their heads and know that their redemption draws near (Luke 21:27-28). The passage in Matthew shows no wrath at all, only the rapture, which will have already past two weeks before the sixth seal is opened and the blood moon appears. Thus, the rapture must occur sometime before the fifth seal is opened; as those days will be shortened for the sake of His elect, otherwise no flesh would be saved (raptured).
Revelation 6:9-11 – “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
The fifth seal only involves the martyrs that will be killed after the rapture, the ones who will be crying out for God to avenge their blood. However, the martyrs killed before the rapture will be resurrected with the dead in Christ during the resurrection/rapture. There’s no way to know exactly when the fifth seal will be opened, but there’s no doubt, it will be after the resurrection/rapture.
So what does all of this mean? In a word, it means that Matthew 24:29-31, the appearing of the sign of the Son of man and the gathering together of His elect is the rapture, not His physical second coming to the earth as many believe. We Gentile believers need to learn the Lord’s appointed times and seasons like never before, especially in such a time as this. Christ will fulfill the fall feasts (Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles) when He returns, just as He fulfilled the spring feasts in the first century. I hope He finds you ready when the sign of the Son of man appears.
If anyone is interested in learning about the new Readiness Rapture theory, which not only incorporates the feasts of the Lord into the final end-time events, but it also reveals how the Lord will reward the cold, hot & lukewarm believers upon His return. Not all believers will be ready, as some will fall away and others will be martyred during the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10). If you want to go deeper into the resurrection/rapture issue without all of the assumptions and misconceptions, I hope you’ll consider reading my book, “Who Will Be Ready When The Trumpet Sounds?”
Note: My book was no longer in print due to my publisher going out of business, but I just had it reformatted as a digital eBook on Kindle. Click on the link below for more information:
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Joel 2:31 – “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” FULFILLMENT OF THIS WORD COULD EASILY BE THAT THE WARS, VOLCANIC ACTIVITY, ETC. DARKEN OUT OUR VIEW OF THE SUN AND TURN THE MOON RED VIA THE FIRES AND SMOKE OF TURMOIL. WE WILL BE HERE FOR THE 5TH AND 5TH TRUMPET EVENTS. VIEWING THE SUN AND MOON THROUGH THE SCREEN OF WAR AND CHAOS WILL CAUSE THESE SIGNS ALSO.
The reason many believe the sun is darkened is because they assume it will be blocked by clouds, smoke and volcanic ash at that time, but I’ll tell you why that just doesn’t work for me. Joel 2:31 and the 6th seal are both providing a perfect description of a full lunar eclipse, aka a blood moon. The reason I don’t believe the sun and moon will be blocked by clouds and/or smoke is because the sky will be very clear, as the falling stars (meteor shower) will also be seen. If we can see the tiny stars, then the sun and moon should be a given. Matthew 24 is clearly a different phase of the moon, and the stars are falling then too. The sun being darkened could simply mean that it will be dark when the new moon finally appears. Sometimes the new moon appears in the early morning, even in the hours of daylight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anonymous
Awesome study, Robert. Loved it. Thanks for showing me perhaps another error in my thinking – The 6th seal may not be the same as Matt 24:29-31!
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Great study, Robert. I love how you challenge my thinking. This one surprised me because for years I thought this was a no-brainer (6th seal = Matt 24: 29-31)
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