Q. I have two questions and would like your perspective. First, I have lost two Christian friends in the past two years. I know they don’t have their new bodies yet, but have they in spirit met the Lord Jesus, and do you think they have been told when the Rapture will happen?
And second, is it set in stone that the Battle of Ezekiel has to happen before the Rapture? I ask this because of all that’s going on in the Middle East. The beheading incident is chilling and a forewarning of what’s going to happen during the Great Tribulation.
A. In response to your first question, Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8). I believe this means when we die our spirit leaves our dead body and goes immediately into the Lord’s presence. I have no idea whether those who are in Heaven have been told when the rapture will occur, but I wouldn’t be surprised it they have.
As for question two, I actually expect the rapture to happen before, or at the latest, concurrent with Ezekiel 38-39, because by the time it’s over Israel will have been re-awakened to God’s involvement in their national life. That will cause Daniel’s 70th Week to begin. and I believe the Church will be gone by then.