ooh ooh ooh!!!
Here are a few things that make me think rapture is a thing that happens on earth. Isaiah 11. to me - it sounds like Jesus (side note here - I just Hate typing the word Jesus now knowing how much it bugs Anna - but Y'shua makes it seem like I am trying to order in spanish in a mexican restaurant- since you are in texas I figure you can imagine what I mean)
Back on track - it sounds like the people of the tribe of Judah (those adopted through Jesus) are getting called back to their inheritance - their homeland and now are getting along with all the other kids in God's family.
The end part of Eziekiel 37..Jeremiah chapter 30 and 31...Isiaiah 27..Isiaiah 60..Jeremiah 12:14-17...to me they all describe God coming in and collecting his kids, gathering them up and putting them on his Holy city..
Obviously, I can't be sure about that - I have heard a lot of convincing arguments and like you, I can easily see things from another viewpoint - which can be a bad thing sometimes.
All those folks in heaven? can they be the people who already died? Since the dead in Christ rise first? 1 Thess 4:15 says people who are here will not go before those who have died in Christ - Go where? It says we get to meet Him in the air, and be with him forever - and where is he going? Back to the old heaven? I don't think so...he is going to rule in new jerusalem...
where ever that is...
I am still confused on the whole thing, but these are the clues that I have come across.
PS the 12000 sealed from every tribe...that is the one that just bugs me. I used to think that 1000 in the bible was like saying a million today. and how we would say - I have a million things to do today - not a precise number - just a whole lot..and the number 12 - means everyone in God's family.
I haven't studied numbers like anna has but here is an interesting little tidbit:
Twelve is the product of 3 (the perfectly Divine and heavenly number) and 4 (the earthly, the number of what is material and organic)...While seven is composed of 3 added to 4, twelve is 3 multiplied by 4... (that came from here: http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/12.html)
how funny - my words to type for conformation on your page today are "emergency monk"