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Armageddon, Bible prophecy, end times, gospel, Judgment Day, Nelson Walters, other, pre-trib, pre-wrath, rapture, religion, Revelation, Saints, tribulation

Saints in White and Rapture Timing (by Nelson Walters)

You can read even more of the full original post by Nelson Walters at http://www.thegospelintheendtimes.com/the-rapture/saints-heaven-says-rapture/#more-3107

“In the Book of Revelation we are given multiple visions of saints in heaven dressed in white robes. What these visions say about the timing of the Rapture is profound.

First let’s list out all the appearances of the saints in heaven in the book of Revelation:

Saints and their activity White Garments Reference
Saints are NOT visible in heaven during the opening of the first four seals of the Seven Sealed Scroll n/a Rev. 4-5
Saints are found UNDER the altar. They are listed as “souls” not embodied beings Saints are given white garments but asked to wait. They are not wearing the garments Rev. 6:9-11
Saints are before the throne of Jesus waving palm branches. We are specifically told they “came out of the Great Tribulation.” Saints are wearing their white robes Rev. 7:9-17
Saints are before the sea of glass and fire Robes are not mentioned Rev. 15:2-4
A vast multitude praises God White garments are given to the Bride of Christ to wear for the Wedding of the Lamb Rev. 19:1-10
The Armies of heaven accompany Christ back to the earth They are wearing white garments Rev. 19:14

This chart lists the appearances of the saints in heaven in the Book of Revelation and whether or not they are wearing white garments.

saints-in-heaven1

Saints in White Garments

We know from Rev. 19:8 that “Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.” None are righteous in and of themselves, only by faith in Christ can a saint be given his righteousness and be allowed to wear white garments.

Not only are white garments worn in heaven, the promise of these white garments is a frequent topic for saints still upon the earth. In the Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation, we read about the promise of these white garments in two of the final letters:

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. (Rev. 3:4-5)

(Laodicea) I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness. (Rev. 3:18)

These passages re-enforce the imagery of the white clothes being a righteousness that is put on in heaven (and their link to the Book of Life). So the aspect of whether the saints are wearing their white robes or not is extremely important as we shall see as we examine each passage of the saints in heaven individually.

This factor of “white garments” will help us “time stamp” the occurrences. If you notice there appears to be a an order to the use of these white garments. First, in two of the passages we see that the saints are “given” their garments and in two other passages they are already wearing their garments. This will help us chronologically list the passages. It may shock you that Revelation is not completely chronological, but it isn’t.  Here is the chronological list of the appearances of the saints based on their white garments:

White Garments Reference
Saints not present, no garments Rev. 4-5
Saints are given white garments but asked to wait. They are not wearing the garments Rev. 6:9-11
White garments are given to the Bride of Christ to wear for the Wedding of the Lamb Rev. 19:1-10
Saints are wearing their white robes Rev. 7:9-17
Robes are not mentioned Rev. 15:2-4
They are wearing white garments Rev. 19:14

As you can see according to this methodology the reference towards the end of Revelation in 19:1-10 actually occurs much earlier in the narrative than where it is placed in Revelation. This is a tremendously important insight!! Let’s now look at each individual reference and what it says about Rapture timing.

Rev. 4 -5

The first reference to the saints is actually a “non-reference.” These two chapters of Revelation give a detailed look at the Throne Room of God prior to Jesus opening the Seven Sealed Scroll. As we mentioned in this previous article, the throne room is full. God the Father sits upon his throne and the 24 elders sit upon there thrones. The Lamb is present as are the four living creatures and a myriad of angels. The saints, however, are no where to be seen. This is a definitive proof that there is NO Pre-Tribulation Rapture. All Pre-Tribulation Rapture adherents believe the Rapture occurs prior to the opening of the Seven Sealed Scroll. If this was true, the saints would be present (they will always be with the Lord after the Rapture based on 1 Thess. 4:16) during this crucial moment. The fact they are not speaks volumes about them not being in heaven yet and there not being a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

Rev. 6:9-11

The next occurrence of us seeing the saints in heaven is at the opening of the Fifth Seal.

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. 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? Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer. (Rev. 6: 9-11)

There are several crucial points to be made about this passage. The first is that the saints are “under the altar” and are “souls” not yet in human bodies. From this we can tell the Resurrection has not happened yet. They are given their white robes that they will wear after the Resurrection but are told to wait a little while longer to wear them. They don’t have their bodies to wear them on yet! They are also told to wait for God’s vengeance (God’s Wrath) because obviously that has not happened yet either. For all these reasons we know there has not yet been a Rapture yet at the Fifth Seal.  

Rev. 19: 1-10

The third picture of the saints in heaven is found towards the end of Revelation. We know it is the next chronological step however, because the saints are given their white garments but not yet wearing them. This is a crucial insight!

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:  “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Rev. 19:6-8)

This scene is immediately upon the Rapture. The saints appear to be in heaven in human bodies and appear to no longer be under the altar of God. Also they are no longer told to wait to put on their white garments. This indicates the Resurrection has taken place and the wedding of the Lamb is about to take place. The saints have not put on their white garments yet, however, but the wedding of the Lamb seems tied to the wearing of these garments.

Rev. 7:9-17

The fourth scene is immediately after the wedding of the Lamb. Now notice this same multitude of saints have put on their white garments! They are now wearing the righteousness of Jesus!

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 before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9-10)

Here we see the same “great multitude” as in Rev. 19 now wearing their robes and holding Palm Branches. The wedding of the Lamb has taken place in heaven signified by the wearing of the garments. The palm branches are a symbol of the Feast of Tabernacles which is a possible date for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

Rev. 11:15-19, Rev. 15:1-5

The fifth occurrence of seeing the saints in heaven is found in Rev. 15, but this occurrence does not include mention of their white robes. They are already in bodies (not disembodied souls like at the Fifth Seal) so we assume they are wearing white, but the text does not explicitly say so. This occurrence happens at the seventh trumpet and the two passages Rev. 11:15-19 and Rev. 15:1-5 are picturing the same event. Look at the similarities:

King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”  After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. (Rev. 15:3-5)

You have taken your great power and have begun to reign . . . Then God’s temple in heaven was opened. (Rev. 11: 17,19)

Both verses mention that Jesus has been crowned as King and is reigning and both passages refer to the Temple in Heaven being opened. They picture the same event.  However, what is critical is that this event is taking place in heaven prior to Armageddon. At this point the saints are in heaven and have already been raptured.

Rev. 19:14

The final event that pictures the saints in heaven is controversial. It is controversial because of the preconceived notions of some commentators. Let’s look at two parallel passages only a few verses apart.

His bride has made herself ready; fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Rev. 19:7-8)

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Rev. 19:14)

These passages only 6 verses apart both refer to “fine linen (bright or white) and clean.” Can this obvious reference in the same chapter mean anything other than these are the same garments and the same individuals??? Many commentators claim the armies of heaven referred to in verse 14 are angels not the Bride of Christ. These commentators do this because of a theology that can’t accept that the Bride of Christ is in heaven and returns to the earth with Jesus prior to Armageddon; when the obvious reading is that these armies are the Resurrected and Raptured bride.

Interpretation

IMO, evaluating all six passages leaves only one possible interpretation: the the Rapture is neither Pre-Trib. or Post-Trib., but rather is Pre-Wrath as taught on this website. As we have seen, the saints under the altar clearly show that the Rapture has not happened by the Fifth Seal. Thus Pre-Trib. is eliminated from consideration…”

You can read even more of the full original post by Nelson Walters at http://www.thegospelintheendtimes.com/the-rapture/saints-heaven-says-rapture/#more-3107

I don’t see why, as Nelson continues, he thinks this clearly suggests that the rapture is a year before Armageddon and Judgment Day.  I think the marriage lasts a week, just as it did in ancient times, and that from the start of the wedding to Judgment Day there is only a week.  If you care to read more of my reasoning, check out my books here.

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About David Montaigne

Historian, investigator, and author of prophecy books like End Times and 2019, and Antichrist 2016-2019

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