Could the Rapture Happen on the Feast of Trumpets? By Dr. Nathan E. Jones Nathan…
The Lamb of God and the Book of Truth
By Randy Nettles
John, the apostle of Jesus, was on the island of Patmos for his “crimes” of preaching the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when he heard a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and, What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Revelation 1:11).
John then had a vision of the glorified Son of Man, Jesus Christ. His description is similar to the one given of the Ancient of Days (God the Father) by Daniel in Daniel 7:9. Daniel also saw the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13. When John saw Him he fell at His feet as dead. The Son of Man told John to “write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”
The book John writes about, concerning the things he saw and received from Jesus, is called Revelation. “Revelation (apokalypsis) means to expose in full view what was formerly hidden, veiled, or secret.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary). The book of Revelation is revealing something that previously was concealed or hidden. What is concealed are Old Testament prophecies that were shrouded in mystery which John’s book expounds on. It is noted by most scholars that Revelation borrows heavily from the images of the Old Testament, especially Daniel. One could actually say that Daniel and Revelation are the two prophetic bookends of eschatology, with Matthew 24 in the middle.
After the messages to the seven churches are given in Chapters 2 and 3, John sees a door standing open in heaven. The voice like a trumpet that first spoke to John said, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1). Verse 2 says John was immediately (in the blinking of an eye) in the Spirit in heaven, and saw One sitting on a throne. The One sitting on the throne is the Father God. Just like Daniel, John has now seen both the Father and the Son in a vision.
“And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:3-4). Some scholars see this scene, with John being taken into heaven as the Rapture. The elders in white robes have crowns of gold as rewards they have received after the judgment seat of Christ. They represent the Church. There is much praise and celebration in Heaven at this point.
The next great event that occurs in Heaven is described in Revelation 5:1, “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” This scene shows God sitting on His throne with a sealed book (or scroll) with writings on both the inside and on the backside. The English word “book” is used for the Greek word “biblion” (Strong’s G975), which could also be translated as a “scroll” or a “written document.”
Then a strong angel proclaimed with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loosen the seals thereof?” Revelation 5:3 says that there was no man in heaven, nor on the earth, nor under the earth that was able to open the book to read its contents. Evidently, a man, and not an angel, had to open the book. Verse 4 says that John wept much because no man was found worthy to open the book and look upon its contents. Verse 5 says one of the elders told John, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (Revelation 5:6-7).
Of course, we know this Lamb is Jesus Christ, who was slain from the foundation of the world. It is not by the Lord’s might, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, but by His sacrifice (as a man) and faithfulness that He is found worthy to open the book. Jesus is the only man who has ever lived that has not sinned against God. Only as the redeemer of mankind is Jesus worthy to open the book of Revelation 5. The rest of the chapter describes the inhabitants of Heaven rejoicing, praising, and worshipping Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb.
But what exactly is this book/scroll that Jesus is to open, that had John weeping so bitterly because initially no one was found worthy enough to unseal it? The scroll has seven seals indicating that it is perfectly and completely sealed. Only the right man, with the right credentials, at the right time can open the scroll. This scroll has writings on both sides, which is rather unique.
A scroll with writing on both sides pictures a complete message. Therefore, God’s complete message is ready to be revealed. The image of a scroll with writing on both sides is not unique to the scriptures. In Ezekiel 2:9-10 we read that in Ezekiel’s vision, he is given a scroll that has writing on both sides.
“Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe” (Ezekiel 2:9-10).
Notice the scroll given to Ezekiel is also a two-sided (on the front and back) written message. Ezekiel also indicates that the scroll is full of words of lamentation, mourning, and woe. This is a clue that the two-sided scroll in Revelation 5 will also be a scroll of judgments and woes. The scroll or book is mentioned 9 times, in each of the first 9 verses of Revelation 5. Of course, 9 is the number for judgment in the Bible. However, the Revelation 5 scroll is not the same as Ezekiel’s or a continuation of it.
I believe the Revelation 5 scroll is the continuation of the revelations contained in the Book of Daniel, especially “the time of the end” which is mentioned 5 times in Daniel: Daniel 8:17, 11:35, 11:40, 12:4, and 12:9.
Daniel had four major visions/prophecies. The first one was recorded in Daniel 7 and describes the four “beasts” or Gentile world empires that would arise and dominate the known (middle east) world for a time. These kingdoms were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. A fifth Gentile kingdom would morph out of the 4th kingdom at the time of the end with the Antichrist eventually becoming its king.
The second vision and prophecy recorded in Daniel 8, was brought about by the angel Gabriel. It elaborates on the kingdoms of Persia and Greece and the wars between them. Daniel 8 refers to Antiochus Epiphanes and the original “abomination of desolation” and then transitions with a new prophecy into the Antichrist’s abomination of desolation and his reign during the time of the end.
The third vision recorded in Daniel 9 (also brought about by the angel Gabriel), contains the famous prophecy regarding the seventy “sevens” of Daniel 9:24-27. The prophecy mentions the return of the Jews to the land of Israel after the Babylonian captivity and mentions the introduction of the Jewish Messiah and his subsequent death. Then it vaguely describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd temple and talks of future desolations throughout history. The chronology and sequence of events for the times of the Gentiles, like Israel’s seventieth seven, climaxes in the Second Coming.
The fourth vision is recorded in Daniel 10-12. The beginning of the vision describes “a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (Daniel 10:5-6). Of course, this “man” clothed in linen is a mighty angel. Some speculate he is the Angel of the Lord, a Chirstophany, but I believe he is just a mighty angel. He (“a man clothed in linen”) is also mentioned 5 times in Ezekiel.
The fourth vision/prophecy describes the wars of the Greek kings of the north and south and continues in Daniel 11 until the prophecy eventually transitions to the time of the end and the Antichrist’s reign. History will repeat itself as there will be new kings of the north and south, only these kings will wage war against the Antichrist. “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through” (Daniel 11:40).
The fourth vision and the entire Book of Daniel ends appropriately enough in Chapter 12 (the number 12 represents the 12 tribes of Israel). This chapter describes the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), aka “the Tribulation” or Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27). This is the “time of the end” before Jesus Christ returns to set up His millennial kingdom. It is the last seven years of Satan’s rule over the earth and the Gentile nations that he controls.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3).
Daniel was then told to seal up the “book” until the time of the end. “But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and from, and knowledge shall be increased “ (Daniel 12:4). Most people who read this verse believe the angel was telling Daniel to seal up the Book of Daniel, as it was incapable of being understood until the time of the end when knowledge would be increased due to the transpiring of world events and history.
But this is not what it means. It is not the book of Daniel that is referred to here but is the book first mentioned in Daniel 10:21. “Nevertheless, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. There is no one standing with me against them except Michael, your prince” (CJB translation). The English word “book” in this translation comes from the Hebrew word “biktab” or “kethab (Strong’s H3791). It can also be interpreted as “scripture, writing, register, or scroll.” The Book of Truth is what the angel is “reading” from or “declaring” to Daniel. His message from the book or scroll only refers to specific future events that God wants Daniel to know about, and then it is to be sealed until the time of the end when it will be reopened.
Here are some thoughts on what exactly the Book of Truth is from minds greater than mine. “The “scripture of truth” or “book of truth” is a phrase that might have been suggested by Psalm 139:16, “In your book were all my members written.” It is in line with a great number of phrases in “apocalyptic literature”; thus Enoch 93:1, “And after that Enoch began to recount from the books;” the Book of Jubilees, 1:24; 4:31; 5:15, etc., “the tablets of the heavens.” The idea was that all the events that were to happen in the world’s history were recorded, beforehand in the books or tablets of the heavens.”
“They are described as written down in a book that is in the hands of God, in which are recorded all future events – the names of those that shall be saved – and all the deeds of men. Compare Deuteronomy 32:34; Malachi 3:16; Psalm 139:16; Revelation 5:1. The representation is figurative, of course; and the meaning is, that, in the view of the Divine mind, all future events are as certain as if they were actually recorded as history, or as if they were now all written down. The angel came that he might unfold a portion of that volume, and disclose the contents of its secret pages; that is, describe an important series of events of great interest to the Jewish people and to the world at large.”
“But I will show that which is noted in the Scripture of truth. Not in the written word, though there are many things relating to what should befall the Jews in the latter day, especially in Deuteronomy 28:1 but in the decrees and purposes of God, which are sometimes signified by a book, and things written in it; because so particular and distinct, and so sure and certain, and which will be most truly, infallibly, and punctually performed: these are “noted”, marked, engraved, in the eternal mind of God; they are “in writing”, and they are “truth” (b), as it may be rendered, since there is a distinguishing accent between “Scripture” and “truth”: they are written in the book of God’s decrees, and are his true and faithful words and sayings, and will most surely be accomplished: now these are the deep things of God, which angels themselves know nothing of, till they are revealed unto them: the angel here having a revelation of such of them as concerned the future monarchies of the earth, and the case of the Jews under them, promises to show them to Daniel; which was the work he was appointed to do.”
So, Daniel was told to shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end, in Daniel 12:4, but the vision continued. At this point in Daniel’s vision, there were two other angels that were seen with the “man clothed in linen” (an angel). One of them asked the man clothed in linen, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”
“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever, saying, it shall be for a time, times, and a half; when the power of the holy people has been shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7). The man clothed in linen said that the end times would last 3.5 years after the Jew’s power had been shattered.
Daniel didn’t understand this answer and asked the angel “Oh my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” “And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10-11). This is the second time the angel told Daniel to seal up the book concerning the end times.
However, the angel gave Daniel, and everyone reading his book, one last clue to the last 3.5 years (as mentioned in vs. 7). “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go your way until the end. You will rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:11-13). The angel is giving Daniel even more detailed information on the last 3.5 years. From the time the A.O.D. occurs until the end of the 70th Week will be exactly 1290 days.
This is the same “abomination” that Daniel wrote about earlier in Daniel 9:27. He records that It will occur in the middle of the last seven years at the end of the age. Jesus also prophesies about the “abomination of desolation” in Matthew 24:15-20. Jesus mentions the great tribulation that comes upon the earth after this evil event. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). This is why the last 3.5 years of Daniel’s seventieth “seven” is called the Great Tribulation.
We mentioned at the beginning of our study that the word “revelation” means an unveiling of things previously concealed. The name of the book, Revelation, has the very idea built into it that this book is revealing previously concealed information. The scroll/book in Revelation 5 is the visualization of this truth. The scroll has been sealed with seven seals. I submit to you that this sealed scroll or book is the same book that was mentioned in Daniel 10:21, the Book of Truth. As it is unsealed, it will take up where the third and fourth visions of Daniel left off. John’s vision in Revelation is the continuation of the end-time events of Daniel’s visions in Daniel 9-12. Only Jesus is worthy enough to unseal the scroll of truth and “read” from it.
It is believed that the opening of the first seal in Revelation 6 coincides with the “time of the end” and is the beginning of the 70th Week mentioned in Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:1. Revelation 6-9 deals with the seven-year Tribulation period. Chapters 6-9 and 17 are concerned with events of the first half. Chapters 10-14 deal with events of the middle of the Tribulation. Chapters 15-16 and 18 coincide with the events of the second half of the Tribulation.
I believe the “little book” in Revelation 10 could be a portion of the Book of Truth mentioned in Revelation 5. It is not sealed and is already opened and in the hand of a mighty angel that I believe is Michael. John is directed to eat the little book and it shall taste sweet like honey but will make his stomach bitter. By digesting this book, it will cause John to “prophesy before many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11).
The events in Revelation 10 are similar to the experiences Ezekiel had in Ezekiel 2-3, where he was told to eat “a roll of a book” which tasted sweet like honey. Ezekiel was told by the LORD to prophesy to the children of Israel after this. “Son of man, go, get you unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.” I believe this roll of a book or scroll could have also been a portion of the Book of Truth. These scrolls or books mentioned in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation all contain words or prophecies of tribulation and woes for Israel.
There are two precise time-frames given in the book of Daniel for the Great Tribulation (the second half of the 70th seven). They are found in Daniel 12:11-12. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
There will be 1290 days between the Antichrist’s desecration of the Third Temple (abomination of desolation and the daily sacrifices taken away) and the end of Daniel’s 70th seven. The event that occurs on the 1335th day from the desecration of the temple (or 45 days past the 1290 days) is not given, only that the people will be blessed on this day. Evidently, these 45 days will take place after the Tribulation is over.
In the near future, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, will take the sealed Book of Truth out of the hand of His Father and will unseal it, open it up, and read the judgments therein unto a wicked world. Twenty-one judgments will befall mankind and the earth at this time. Three (the number for divine perfection) sets of seven (the number for perfection and completion) judgments are coming upon the earth to redeem it from sin and evil. Revelation 6:15-17 gives a good description of the cowardly globalist elites and those with reprobate minds during this time.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
But before this “day of destruction” comes, a heavenly trumpet will sound, and the Lord will shout with the voice of the archangel, and the dead in Christ will rise first. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.