There is currently a teaching that the church did not begin at Pentecost (Acts 2), but that it was "conceived" at that time. Then, on the Feast of Trumpets (perhaps Sep. 23, 2017), the church will be "born" and immediately called up to heaven in what is known as the Rapture. This teaching is based upon the assumption that Revelation 12:1-5 is a picture of Christ's body, the church, being the "man child," joining Jesus Christ, the Head of the church (Col. 1:18). According to this view, the time between Pentecost and a future Feast of Trumpets, now nearly 2000 years, represents the forming of the "man child" in the womb. Without going into the signs in the heavens (Virgo, Leo, Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Mars lining up), I would ask these questions: If the church is made up of born again believers, and the Word states that we are now born again (1 Pet. 1:23); that we are now children of God (Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2), how can it be said that we are not yet "born?" And how can these verses in the Book of Acts be explained? These verses, now Historical, speak of the church as being present in the days of the Apostles!
* Acts 2:47 - "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
* Acts 5:11 - "And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."
* Acts 8:1-3 - "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
* Acts 9:31 - "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."
* Acts 11:22, 26 - "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch....And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
* Acts 12:1, 5 - "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church....Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."
* Acts 13:1 - "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
* Acts 14:23, 27 - "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed....And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."
* Acts 15:3-4 - "And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them."
* Acts 16:5 - "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily."
* Acts 18:22 - "And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch."
* Acts 20:17, 28 - And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church....Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."
WHILE I DO BELIEVE THE SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS ARE PROPHETIC, I AM NOT WILLING TO BE DOGMATIC THAT THEY REFER TO THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. ESPECIALLY SINCE REVELATION 4:1 IS A CLEARER PICTURE AS IT IS TIMED BETWEEN THE END OF THE CHURCH AGE AND THE BEGINNING OF THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE, THAT IS, THE TRIBULATION.