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John sees what happens as the sealed book is being opened, cont'd...
Then in verses 21-22 Jesus says "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 be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." So this clearly says the elect are still here on earth during the time period when the great tribulation begins but that the elect's days in the tribulation shall be shortened (I believe He is speaking of the gathering of His elect together (the rapture) described in verse 31).

Then He warns us in verses 23-24 "Then (at this time, the beginning of the great tribulation) if any man shall say unto you (again His end time followers), Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not." He goes on to warn of more false Christs and false prophets but these unlike there predecessors shall show great signs and wonders "insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Then He warns in verse 25 "Behold, I have told you before." Again confirming that Christians will be present during all of these things and not already raptured before any of these things take place as is popular teaching today. Verse 26 then tells us what not to believe about His end time coming and verse 27 tells us what His coming for His elect (the Church) WILL actually be like.

I'll be honest, God has not yet revealed to me what verse 28 means. But verses 29-30 describe exactly what will take place before Jesus gathers His elect (the Church) from the 4 winds in verse 31 (again, this I believe is the rapture). Jesus says "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" (speaking of all the events He just described in the preceding verses)... The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light. The stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. THEN the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven. THEN the tribes of the earth shall mourn and shall see the Son of man (Jesus) coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.

Then finally verse 31 says, "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect (the Church) from the four winds (can be litterally translated "out from the four winds"), from one end of heaven to the other." The rest of the chapter warns us to be ready and to be doing Jesus' work right up until the time He sends His angels for us. He tells us we won't know the day of hour but we have been clearly warned to watch for the signs and be ready and not be deceived. Even though we will not know the exact hour, Jesus' elect will not be taken by surprise. Now lets go back again to Revelation and compare the events that take place when the 6th seal is opened by Jesus.
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Revelation 6:5-6 (3rd Horseman)
3rd Horseman Continued
Revelation 6:7-11 (4th - 5th seals)
Matthew 24 Parallel (6th Seal)
Matthew 24 Parallel Cont'd
Revelation 6:12-17 (6th Seal)
Revelation 7:1-17 (Rapture)
6th Seal Rapture Cont'd
6th Seal Rapture Conclusion
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Study of Revelation 1:1-17
Revelation 1:18 to Rev Chap 4
Revelation 4:1-2
Revelation 4:2 - 5:4
Revelation 5:5-14
Revelation 6:1-4 (Four Horsemen)
Introduction to 6th Seal Study
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