I’ve been trying for some time to get the rest of the PreWrath community on board with seeing Revelation 14:14-16 as the rapture of the church. It is placed squarely in between the great tribulation and the wrath of God, just like the sixth seal rapture, which is the basic definition for the PreWrath rapture. In short, Revelation 14:14-16 is another view of the PreWrath rapture. It is a parallel passage to other rapture passages such as Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, I Thess. 4:13-18, and even Isaiah 26:19-21.
It has been slow going though. Most PreWrathers have a view of chronology that somehow prevents them from seeing the harvest of Revelation 14:14-16 as the rapture. When they come to Revelation 14, they have a preconceived framework into which they cannot work another description of the rapture. As such, most PreWrathers that I have dialogued with just lump the first reaping with the second reaping of judgment.
My heart was lightened when I read Marv Rosenthal’s recent article in Zion’s Fire. But at the same time I was sad. He comes quite close to identifying Revelation 14:14-16 as the rapture, but he stops short. This is from the article entitled The Triumph of the Lamb taken from the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Zion’s Fire. Here is his view:
Almost all commentators group the two reapings of the earth together and identify them as the judgment of God upon a humanity that has embraced the Antichrist and taken his mark.
If these two reapings are grouped together, with little to distinguish them, as often is done, a number of questions must be answered.
First, Why are there two reapings if they are basically dealing with the same subject? What is it that distinguishes them?
Second, Why is the first reaping done by the Son of God, Himself, as at the rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and the second reaping done by angels as in the trumpet and bowl judgments?
Third, Why is there no wrath, sin, or judgment associated with the first reaping when wrath, sin, and judgment are the major themes of the second reaping?
I suggest that the first reaping has nothing to do with judgment. In the New Testament, harvesting (reaping) is sometimes used in a bad sense. However, most frequently, it is used in a good sense of the gathering of men into the kingdom of God (Matthew 9:37-38; Mark 4:29; Luke 10:2; John 4:35-38).
The first reaping is the removal of men who have not succumbed to Antichrist but instead heeded the warning of the three angelic beings and gave glory to God the Father and His only begotten Son. The Son of God does not send an angel to do this reaping. He does it Himself for these are men and women who now belong to Him. They must be reaped quickly before the second reaping commences. This event occurs at the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week (often called the Tribulation) at the blowing of the seventh trumpet and immediately prior to the pouring out of the seven bowls. It includes the resurrection of those who came to faith and were martyred after the Church was raptured (Revelation 11:15-18).
I believe Rosenthal is so close, but his chronological issues keep him from seeing that it is the actual rapture and not another rapture-like event after the rapture. His view concedes the truth about the language, but placing it after the rapture creates more issues than it resolves. For instance, where are they taken to? Doesn’t this mean that other passages could be corroborated with this passage to create a post-wrath rapture scenario? Why hasn’t there been a description of the wrath upon the earth in this passage (Revelation 12-14) up until this point?
Hopefully, though, people will take this to heart and examine the passage with fresh eyes. With Rosenthal taking a bold step and not going along with the status quo, perhaps another bold step will be taken, one which sees the parallel between the parable of the wheat and the tares and the reapings in Revelation 14.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman