#2 - You said:
"The point is, what you see in Matthew 24 is not Jesus talking about the rapture of the Church, it is Jesus talking about the gathering from heaven and earth."
27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
This gathering is of the Elect in Christ
Exactly. This is the gathering form HEAVEN AND EARTH, the elect in Christ.
The Church is already in heaven before the seals are open, which is before the abomination of desolation.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
The elect being gathered from the earth in Matthew 24 is the seed of the woman, Israel, the twelve tribes across the earth. There are 144,000 first fruits of this harvest.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Here is the harvest that is seen in Matthew 24 which occurs BEFORE the wrath of God.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Keep your mind corrrectly on who Christ is speaking to = His Bride = which the Apostles and Revelation confirmed.
Jacob had two brides. The first bride, Leah, who represents the Church, will already be in heaven before the 7 year period, the seals, even as Noah is in the ark 7 days before the flood. The Church will return in the clouds with Jesus as they are the ones gathered from heaven.The second bride, Rachel, is the Chosen bride, who is gathered from the earth. The harvest that you see in Matthew 24 is God taking the chosen bride, the seed of the woman, to heaven before the day of wrath, even as the very day Lot left Sodom, destruction came. The nation of Israel, those that flee to a place of protection, will remain on earth during the wrath of God.
Again, the gathering from heaven and earth in Matthew 24 is not the rapture of the Church as they are already in heaven before the seals are opened.