The Truth about the Rapture
the rapture occur?
www.whenistherapture.com go to here if that doesn't open www.detailshere.com/whenjesuscomesforyou.htm
Is there a pre-trib rapture?
The words "I will keep you" what do they really mean
Another pre vs post trib discussion
This page is quite long and will take about
a minute to load - very fascinating though; well worth the time spent waiting
for it to load. This is an extremely important Christian issue and you need to
get it right how this is going to happen and when. You will note when comparing
sources there is not agreement between all when these
"end-time" prophesy events occur. It is felt by many that the rapture will occur just after the seventh trumpet. Study Revelation, the last book of the bible (www.justbible.com for an online bible to read) and form your own opinion.
Don't miss this important link (secret rapture) for additional information on this most important issue; this is one you need to get the facts on and get it right because there's only one boat to heaven and it's coming soon. Miss it and the only other option is death at the time of Christ's second coming or the lake of fire 1000 years from then. There's NO other chance to get to heaven.
A shorter Ken Raggio version of the rapture can be found here
More information on the rapture can be
click on the link "350 topics", then click on the box with the word "rapture" in it.
LEFT BEHIND : THE MOVIE BUT THE TRUTH : REVEALED
This article is located at http://www.geocities.com/acts_2_38_4_12/Left_Behind_index.html
In the 1990's, Bible scholar Tim LaHaye and storyteller Jerry Jenkins teamed up to create a fascinating series of novels designed to make the book of Revelation more real to Christians today. Their first book, published in 1995, was simply called Left Behind. This single book sold so many copies that Barnes & Noble Bookstores voted it "One of the top ten best-selling books of the 20th century." USA Today has labeled it "Wildly popular--and highly controversial." Because of this incredible response, LaHaye and Jenkins decided to expand their project into a sequence of 12 books. The Indwelling----The Beast Takes Possession, was listed as a New York Times Bestseller. The Mark--The Beast Rules the World, became an immediate runaway hit. Amazingly, the entire project is now being called,"The best-selling series of all time." On February 2, 2001, Left Behind:The Movie appeared in theatres across America.
Just as millions of Americans daily follow the lives of their favorite soap opera actors, even millions of Christians are now following the lives of the imaginary Left Behind personalities as the saga continues to unfold. even young people are being affected through a special version of Left Behind books just for kids, which includes a Tribulation Force Underground Kit. Underneath the excitement and drama of this incredibly popular story, it is possible that something is just not quite right? Could it be that in the midst of Left Behind's focus on missing people, important Bible truths are also missing? Is the truth actually the one being "left behind?' The apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Thessalonians,"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Movies such as Left Behind teach that the rapture doesn't take place at the visible second coming of Yeshua Messiah, but seven years before it, making them into two separate events. Paul clearly states in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that "We which are alive and remain shall be caught up." Although the exact word "rapture" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible, the idea comes from these two words "caught up." A simple comparison of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with verse 15 which says, "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord," makes it very clear that Christians will be "caught up" at "the coming of the Lord." At this point, we must carefully examine what the Bible says about HIS coming. Will Christians be caught up at a silent and invisible coming of the Lord before the Great Tribulation, as taught in movies as Left Behind? Or will Christians be caught up at the deafening "glorious appearing" of the Great God and Saviour Yeshua Messiah at the end of the world? (Titus 2:13) Right in between 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and verse 17, Paul wrote,"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." (1 Thessalonians 4:16) Movies such as Left Behind portrays this as a silent and secret event, yet doesn't it rather sound noisy and loud? There is a shout, a voice, and a trumpet. How does something become a secret? It doesn't become a secret unless it is kept from someone from knowing it. Surely a shout, a voice of the archangel Michael, a trumpet blown, and the dead raised and caught up in the air is certainly no way to keep a secret. Years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, by the Spirit of YAHWEH (2 Peter 1:20-21), wrote a prophecy regarding the coming of the Lord that is in harmony with 1 Thessalonians 4:16. "YAHWEH shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightly roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for YAHWEH hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith YAHWEH. Thus saith YAHWEH of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of YAHWEH shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." (Jeremiah 25:30-33) Both the prophet Jeremiah and the apostle Paul describe a coming of the Lord during which there is a loud "voice" and "a shout". Jeremiah provides additional info by saying that the Lord will "mightily roar", and then he says that a "noise" will be heard worldwide. None of this sounds like a secret and silent return of Yeshua Messiah prior to the Great Tribulation. Paul said the tremendous day of the Lord will finally arrive as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Many interpret this to mean that Yeshua Messiah will come like a thief to steal Christians out of this world. Then cars and planes crash, babies are missing from their cribs. The popular Christian film A Thief in the Night which is similar to Left Behind also portray this perspective. Is this what Paul is saying? Paul wrote,"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). Do you see what Paul is saying? Yeshua Messiah' coming as a thief in the night doesn't mean HE will come quietly and invisibly to steal Christians out of this world, as shown in movies as Left Behind. Rather, it means HE will come unexpectedly, bringing "sudden destruction" upon the unsaved. It's not secret, only sudden. Note again what Paul said,"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." (1 Thessalonains 5:4-5). Did you catch that? Yeshua Messiah doesn't come as a thief in the night to the Christians, but only to those who are of the night. Will those who are "of the night"--- that is, the unprepared---be given another chance to be saved? Paul wrote,"They shall not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:3) Peter also wrote of the return of Yeshua Messiah as a thief in the night,"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10) According to Peter, this coming of Yeshua Messiah as a thief in the night is definitely not a silent and secret event that precedes a seven-year Great Tribulation. Rather, this day comes suddenly, with "a great noise" (as also described in Jeremiah 25:30-33), and is clearly associated with the end of the world! What about the rapture taking place "in a moment. in the twinkling of an eye?" This is probably the second greatest text in the Bible now being used to support the idea of Christians vanishing prior of the Great Tribulation. Paul wrote,"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Is Paul saying that Christians will mysteriously vanish from the earth prior to the Great Tribulation, while their loved ones blink? No!! He is saying that the dead will be raised and their bodies will be changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." But when will this "moment" take place? Paul's answer is so clear and plain. It will occur "at the last trump," when "the trumpet shall sound," at the end of the world. This is the very same "great sound of a trumpet" Yeshua Messiah said would be heard at HIS second coming immediately after the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21,29-31). Obviously, what is taught in movies as Left Behind are far from the Truth that is found in the Bible.
More - the Man of Sin
Looking at the epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul writes of the second coming of Yeshua Messiah and the gathering together unto HIM at HIS second coming,"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," (2 Thessalonians 2:1) Here, Paul makes is quite clear again that at the second coming of Yahshua Messiah, the saints will be gathered together unto HIM and not seven or 3 1/2 years before HIS second coming but at HIS second coming which is immediately after the Great Tribulation period (Matthew 24:21,29-31; Mark 13:19, 24-27). Here, we also see the apostle Paul is writing about future events concerning the end-times, the second coming of Messiah and the rapture of the Church of YAHWEH. In the next verse, we find the there was a false doctrine of the return of the Lord Yahshua Messiah, that people back in Paul's day was perverting and twisting our Lord's return, trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." (2 Thessalonians 2:2) The word "shaken" in Greek is (saleuo) denotes great anxiety and pain. The Thessalonians were deeply troubled about this matter. The false teachings these false teachers were bringing troubled them. "the day of Christ" that is, the day of the Lord--Second Coming (Revelation) of Yeshua Messiah and on this will the Church be raptured. In the next verse, we find Paul giving us signs on what should happen before the dat of Messiah comes. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) The statement,"Let no man deceive you by any means:" Messiah makes a similar warning to HIS disciples and us, when HIS disciples asked HIM what shall happen in the last days (Matthew 24:3-4; Mark 13:4-5; Luke 21:7-8) and Paul warned the Church at Thessalonica to not let anyone deceive them and pull them away from the Truth. Paul is telling them not to be simple minded concerning prophecy just like what he told in Romans (Romans 16:17-18). The statement,"for that day shall not come" What day is Paul talking about? It is quite clear Paul is referring to the day of Messiah (the day of the Lord) and on this day will the Church be raptured (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). Now the apostle Paul says that two things has to happen first before the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua occurs: (1.) The Falling Away comes first. Now a friend of mine, a brother in Messiah and a preacher, talked to a preacher concerning the rapture and the preacher inserted the rapture as the falling away. My brother in Messiah tried to correct him on this, but would not receive the truth. The truth of the matter is, the falling away is not the rapture of the Church. In the Greek, the falling away is "apostasia" or "apostasy." Which means defecting from the Truth. A falling away from Bible truth will occur first. (2.) The man of sin revealed. This man will claim to be God himself (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will have this type of attitude,"God who? I am God." At our Lord's return, our Lord will destroy him after the Great Tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2:8). This man will not pull rabbits out of a hat, but will be powered by satan,"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Paul makes it quite clear that the Church will be here to see this man rise to power and we will not be raptured away before this man is revealed. I want to conclude by talking about the doctrine that Christians will not have to face the man of sin or the mark of the beast. It's right here that emotions fly and reason vanishes just as instantaneously as those disappearing Christians in Left Behind:The Movie. That's because the mysterious mark of the beast is a life-or-death matter. It concerns the destiny of the human soul. Admitting that the Church will still be on earth during the final Great Tribulation means that Christians must someday face the Antichrist and the mark of the beast---issues over which they could lose their souls. Many people are deeply afraid of this, so they conclude there must be a secret rapture before the Great Tribulation. There just has to be! A deep-seated fear of the mark plagues many people, though it need not be so. True Christians can learn a lesson from popular bumper stickers that say,"Fear No Evil." We don't need to be afraid. We can trust in Yeshua Messiah, for HE has promised,"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20). If the fictitious Tribulation Force in Left Behind novels can overcome the man of sin and the mark of the beast with the Father's help, then so can we!! For those who are unwilling to even reasonably consider this issue, no amount of Bible evidence will convince them. Like a triple-bolted door in downtown New York, they are closed to the facts. The result? Truth is actually the one being left behind. Finally, there is a problem as to the length of the Great Tribulation period. The pre-tribulation rapture teaching tells us that it will be seven years long, even movies such as Left Behind portrays this. Let's see how long the Bible says the Great Tribulation is. It shouldn't take very many Scriptures to show you. (Revelation 13:5-7) "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." You see that power was given unto him to continue 42 months and that is 3 1/2 years and he will make war with the saints. Wait a minute! According to the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, the saints are supposed to be gone at this time. However, YAHWEH makes it quite plain and clear that the saints will be here during this time period. With all that has been said so far, it should now be evident that the Great Tribulation is 3 1/2 years long and not 7 years that is so widely taught and believed. Now, according to Revelation 20:4,"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." In the underlined Scripture, this cannot be fulfilled unless the Church is here during the Great Tribulation period. Now, according to Paul in his epistle to Timothy,"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:" (2 Timothy 2:12) It is only logical that if we don't suffer with HIM, we will not reign with Messiah. Therefore, the Church will be here and will be persecuted by the man of sin. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) YAHWEH plainly said,"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:10; also Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 48:3) . YAHWEH said that HE declares the beginning from the end. The early Church suffered severe persecution, then the end-time Church will suffer persecution as well as YAHWEH pointed out in Revelation 13:5-7; 20:4. Yes, Yeshua Messiah has promised to be with the Church, even until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). HE cannot lie at all (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; Isaiah 46:11), just as HE was with the apostles to their death, HE will be with the persecuted Christians during the Great Tribulation. Then immediately after the Great Tribulation, Yeshua Messiah will return, resurrect the dead in Messiah and gather HIS Church and destroy the man of sin by the brightness of HIS coming and HIS people will reign with HIM a thousand years (Matthew 24:21,29-31; Mark 13:19,24-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11-20:6).
More from Mathew chapter 24 (see www.justbible.com for the whole thing)
Reading in the book of Matthew, we see the
following declaration by our Lord and Saviour Yeshua Messiah,"For
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 should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew
24:21-22; also Mark 13:19-20). These
two verses, placed together as they are, give us a clear indication that Yeshua
Messiah was letting HIS disciples and us know that the saints (the elect Ephesians
2:11-13; 1 Peter 2:9-10) were to go
through the Great Tribulation and that YAHWEH is going to shorten those days. This
could be what is written in Revelation
8:12,"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was
smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as
the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of
it, and the night likewise."
According to this verse, the days of the Great Tribulation will be cut to 16
hours from the 24 hours that they are now. Anyway which YAHWEH fulfills this
Scripture, one thing is for certain and that is that Romans
9:28 will be accomplished,"For
he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work
will the Lord make upon the earth." This
will be necessary, for after having once brought it to perfection, if HE delays,
then the Church will fall away again. Now, looking further in the Gospel
according to Matthew, we find that the rapture will take place after the Great
Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19),"Immediately
after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And
then shall appear the sign of the
Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and
they shall see the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And
he shall send his angels with a great
sound of a trumpet, and they
shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to
the other." (Matthew 24:29-31;
also Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28). Do
you see what Yeshua Messiah is saying? HE made it quite clear and plain that
"immediately after the tribulation
of those days" which is the Great
Tribulation (Matthew 24:21)
shall certain events take place, one of them is HIS Second Coming (the
Son of man coming) and HE will send HIS
angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together HIS people,
which is none other than the rapture of the Church. It couldn't be more plain!!
The rapture occurs after the Great Tribulation and at Yeshua Messiah Second
Coming. Note the words:"And He
shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His
elect...." which refers to the
rapture of the Church. If you will look at 1
Corinthians 15:51-52, you will see what
most people have come to know as the rapture of the Church. It is in these
Scriptures we see the sounding of the last trump before the gathering of the
elect. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
changed." Also, if we look at 1
Thessalonians 4:16-17, we also see what
is considered to be the rapture of the Church. "For
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the
Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) Again,
we see the same trump which is referred by our Lord in Matthew
24:31. The only logical conclusion then
that may be made from this is the rapture is immediately after the Great
Tribulation (Matthew 24:21,29-31).
There is even more conclusive evidence that may be drawn from Matthew 24:29-31 if one will look for it. In Matthew 24:31 we see the angels gathering together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. If you look at the 13th chapter of Matthew, we will find a parable which our Lord "put forth" to HIS disciples. This parable concerned the wheat and the tares, and is found at Matthew 13:24-30 where Yeshua Messiah tells of a man which sowed good seed, but while he slept, his enemy came along and sowed tares. A discussion follows during which the question of what to do with the tares when they come up, and the householder answers,"Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." Later in this same chapter, Yeshua Messiah "declared" the parable of the tares of the field. "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:37-43). People that YAHWEH gave over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28), people who would not receive the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) will be cast into the furnace of fire while people who chose to follow the Lamb wherever HE went will be gathered to be with the Lord at HIS coming. Taking the angels gathering the saints one step further, let's take a look at the book of Revelation. "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. 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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. 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." (Revelation 14:14-19). Again we see the angels and the harvest of the earth. We see the righteous gathered to be with the Lord, and then we see the ungodly reaped to receive the wrath of YAHWEH. When does this reaping of the righteous take place? Yeshua Messiah told us that it would be immediately after the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21,29-31; Mark 13:19,24-27).
Scriptures that pre-tribulation rapture people hold on to such as Luke 21:36,"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." They are favoured to tell you that, if you keep watching and praying, then you will not have to suffer the things which are coming upon the earth. Another Scripture which they like to use in conjunction with this one is found in Revelation, we read,"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10). I think it's important though to take all Scriptures in the context in which they are meant to be taken though, and these two are no exception. Also, as Yeshua Messiah said to satan during HIS temptations,(Matthew 4:4)" But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (also Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3) And a word that proceeded out of the mouth of YAHWEH was,"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17:15) Yeshua Messiah didn't pray for their deliverance from the Great Tribulation, but that they should be kept from the evil and not be overtaken by the evil which is in the world. So what we actually have in Luke 21:36 and Revelation 3:10 is the response to the prayer which Yeshua Messiah prayed in the Garden, and a promise to be kept from the temptations of the evil one. When placed in the context of Messiah's full teachings concerning HIS end-time return for HIS people (John 14:1-3; etc.), Revelation 3:10 doesn't tell us that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture of HIS Church out of the world. To the contrary, in HIS supplication to HIS Father, HE plainly said,"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."(HIS disciples and those who would afterward believe on HIM through their witness) The contrast between a rapture "out of the world" and protection within the world "from the evil" one (satan) is quite clear. Messiah explicitly rejects in this text any thought of a rapture, either secret or public, that would remove HIS Church from the earth while leaving the world to continue it's existence inhabited only by the unrighteous. HE requests from HIS Father something else,"keep them from (Greek words: terein ("to guard") ek ("to keep from") the evil." Yeshua Messiah explained the necessity of the Father's keeping power,"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." (John 17:11) The Father's keeping or protecting power is necessary because the Church exists in the sphere of the evil one. In Revelation 3:10, Messiah promises the Church in Philadelphia,"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10) Robert H. Gundry, in his book,"The Church and The Tribulation," (Zondervan, 1973), comments perceptively on these texts both in John and in Revelation,"The plain implication is that were they absent from the world with the Lord, the keeping would not be necessary. Similarly, were the Church absent from the hour of testing, keeping would not be necessary." The Word of YAHWEH teaches that there will be a time of trouble prior to our Lord's second return (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19; Daniel 12:1), but the saints will be on the earth UNDER YAHWEH's PROTECTION during the seven lest plagues (Revelation chapter 16), and following that brief period, Jesus Christ will come in great glory (Titus 2:13) accompanied by millions of angels (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). HE will call the sleeping saints from their graves and TOGETHER with the living saints, they will meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Paul wrote that all who are not fully on the Lord's side when Christians are "caught up" (1 Thessalonians 4:17) "shall not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:3), which is contrary to what is taught in the pulpits in churches, end-time books and movies such as Left Behind which teach that those who miss the rapture will get a second chance. Christian films such as Left Behind also teach that the Church will not be here on earth for Armageddon. Is this true? The word "Armageddon" only appears once in the Bible. It is found in Revelation chapter 16, the great chapter describing the falling of the seven last plagues, Yeshua Messiah thunders,"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Revelation 16:15-16) Did you catch that? Yeshua Messiah is talking to the Church! While the seven plagues are falling, and right before the battle of Armageddon, Yeshua Messiah has not yet come as a thief! Therefore HE must come like a thief at Armageddon, and that must be the time when HE comes to gather together HIS Church. Paul used the language of the military when, like a commanding officer, he urged the soldiers of the Cross to "Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13). How can we stand in "the evil day" if we have previously dissappeared? Yeshua Messiah also said to the Christians,"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22; also Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17-19) If you look up the word "tribulation" in a Strong's or Young's Concordance, you may be shocked to discover that almost every reference describes the suffering of believers. Yeshua Messiah told HIS followers,"In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). Paul told his early Christian converts,"we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22) Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica,"We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure." (2 Thessalonians 1:4) On the lonely isle of Patmos, John was our brother and companion in tribulation (Revelation 1:9). Yeshua Messiah told HIS Church in Smyrna,"I know thy works, and tribulation." (Revelation 2:9) In the light of these Scriptures, the idea of Christians not going through the Great Tribulation seems like fantasy and illusion. Yeshua Messiah will save HIS Church--not from Great Tribulation--but rather through it! Our Lord loves us and will strengthen us in the final times. That is why HE promised,"I am with you, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). Yeshua Messiah doesn't blow air castles, HE cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). We can trust HIM in this,"Blessed is the man that trusteth in YAHWEH, and whose hope YAHWEH is." (Jeremiah 17:7; also Psalm 2:12; 34:8; 125:1; 146:5; Proverbs 16:20; Isaiah 30:18; Jeremiah 39:18).
The Rapture and the Revelation separated???
(Acts 1:9-11) "And when he had spoken
these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out
of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up,
hehold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into
heaven." The pre-tribulation
rapture doctrine states that when Messiah comes to gather HIS elect from the
earth so that they can be with HIM, then the even or 3 1/2 years of Great
Tribulation follows and when the seven years or 3 1/2 years are over, that is
when the revelation of Yeshua Messiah occurs, making the rapture and the
revelation of Yeshua Messiah separate events. Let's see if this is true by the
Holy Word of YAHWEH.
Before I go on, I would like to pose a question, supposing that this teaching is correct, where do the saints go for the 7 years or 3 1/2 years? In limbo? I have heard a suggestion for it but it cannot be supported by Scripture. It says in the Word of YAHWEH,"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven..." (1 Thessalonians 4:16) but no where does it tell us that HE returns back to heaven or takes HIS saints back to heaven. The word "descend" means to go down, but the word "ascend" means to go up, but it is not mentioned anywhere. The next verse, we read the following,"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:17) Although the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, there is a word to be noticed, the word "meet," which has a special meaning in reference to its application here concerning the Church. It comes from the Greek word,"apantesis" which means to go out to an official visitor, then return back with. We find this word used in two other places in the New Testament. (Matthew 25:6) "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." In context of this verse, we see the virgins going out to meet (apantesis) the bridegroom and then they attend HIM to the wedding. They didn't "remain at" their place of meeting, but returned with HIM. The other Scripture is Acts 28:15) "And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage." In the context of this verse, we find the brethren going out to meet (apantesis) Paul, and then returning to the city with him. They didn't stay where they met him and neither do the saints remain where they meet Messiah, but return with our Lord back to the earth. Who so? To fulfill Scripture,"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked." (Psalm 91:7) The faithful in Messiah Yeshua wil be allowed to see the wrath of YAHWEH poured out upon the ungodly and wicked (Revelation 19:17-21). The second reason for this is so that when Messiah does come back, the saints will give up dominion of the earth to our blessed Redeemer!
Now let's take a look at Scriptures that prove that the rapture and revelation are not two separate and distinct events, but rather one and the selfsame event. The Scriptures I used at the beginning of this webpage Acts 1:9-11), tells us that just as our Lord left this earth, even so shall HE return. After our Lord ascended back to heaven, HE sent two men to announce to HIS disciples how HIS Second Coming is to be (Acts 1:11). When HE left, HE left visibly, HE is going to return visibly (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7). When HE left, HE left personally, HE is going to return personally. When HE left, HE left gloriously, HE is going to return gloriously (Titus 2:13). When He left earth, when HE returns, HE will return to the earth. HE left from the mount of Olives, and so shall HE return to the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). When HE left, HE didn't leave in two stages or phases, and so there is no way for HIM to return to earth in two stages or phases. It is so obvious that when HE leaves the Father's side in glory, HE is going to come straight to earth, not part way, and then seven years or 3 1/2 years later come the rest of the way. This is not how HE left!!!! It could not be more plain.
In Genesis, we read the account of the fall of man and the curse which YAHWEH Elohim Almighty placed upon on the land because of Adam's disobedience. (Genesis 3:17-19) "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." We see that YAHWEH has placed a curse on the land, and that this curse will remain on the land until YAHWEH removes it at the end of this age. Reading the eighth chapter of the book of Romans, we find the following,(Romans 8:19-23)"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Notice Romans 8:22, which tells us that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain, waiting for the redemption of our body. Now if the rapture (which means the redemption) of the body of Messiah is to occur prior to the end of the Great Tribulation, then th redemption of the earth also will occur at this time and this would mean that there will not be a Great Tribulation, because sin and the curse will both be removed. Therefore the rapture and the revelation of Messiah can not be separated by any period of time.
From reading 1 Corinthians 15:51-52,"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." It can be detrmined that the resurrection of the Church is to occur when Messiah comes to gather HIS saints to be with HIM. Looking into the book of Revelation, one can find a description of the resurrection. We are also told not only about the first resurrection and who will be in it but also about the second and final resurrection. Let's read them,"(Revelation 20:4-5)"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."
First thing to notice is Revelation 20:4 where it tells us about the saints who are beheaded for the witness of Yeshua, and for the Word of God, and had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, nor received his mark. The only way for this verse to be fulfilled is for the Church to be here during the Great Tribulation.Here is another Scripture,"(1 Thess. 4:14-15)"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him [HIS revelation]. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." We see here clealy that the rapture and revelation are not separate events, but the same.
Further Proof that the Rapture and the Revelation aren't Separated.
When such a study as this one is done, there is
always someone who will say,"In the original Greek...." Therefore I
will take just a little time to show and explain a few verses using the orginal
Greek. There are three Greek words which pre-tribulationists use and that will
be examined, "Parousia," "Apokalupsis," and "Epiphaneia."
The first Greek word ("Parousia") is used by the pre-tribbers to apply
to the secret coming of Christ in the air FOR HIS saints (commonly referred to
as the rapture) and the remaining two words ("Apokalupsis," and "Epiphaneia")
refer to the visible coming of Messiah WITH HIS saints to the earth. (This being
commonly referred to as the revelation). To begin a study of this topic, in
connection to the use of the Greek language, we will turn our attention to the
24th chapter of Matthew where we find Yahshua Messiah speaking of HIS Second
Coming, and making the following declaration,"Wherefore
if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold,
he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of
the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming ["Parousia"]
of the Son of man be." (Matthew
24:26-27). HIS disciples associated
this coming ["Parousia"] with the "end of the world,""And
as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately,
saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shal be the sign of thy
coming ["Parousia"] ,
and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3) In
the closing of First Timothy, we find Paul's charge to Timothy. Let's take a
look at that charge. (1 Timothy
6:13-16,"I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things,
and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
Thou thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing ["Epiphaneia"]
of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his
times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings,
and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man
can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and
power everlasting. Amen." Looking
at the 14th verse,
we find Paul charging Timothy and us to keep the commandment without spot and
unrebukeable until the Lord's ["Epiphaneia"] (or revelation). This can
not be done if the saints are made immortal at the Parousia. (A previous rapture
some seven years earlier.) In Second Timothy, Paul wrote,"I
charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the
quick and the dead at his appearing ["Epiphaneia"
that is, revelation] and his kingdom;
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort
with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
Here the apostle Paul is giving the commission to "preach
the word." This commission doesn't
end until the Coming of Messiah "at
His appearing [Epiphaneia--revelation]
and His Kingdom." If the preachers
were to be released some seven years earlier, (at the Parousia) then this
commission could not be fulfilled. Later, Paul's parting words are to Timothy,"For
I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all
them also that love his appearing [Epiphaneia--revelation]."
(2 Timothy 4:6-8) Paul says we will
receive this crown at the "Epiphaneia" (Revelation). Could it be that
Paul was wrong, and that we will receive it at a previous "Parousia"
(rapture) some seven years earlier? I think not. The "Blessed Hope" of
the Church is the "glorious appearing" [Epiphaneia-Revelation] of the
Great God and our Saviour Yahshua Messiah. "For
the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us
that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing [Epiphaneia---Revelation]
of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:11-13) "What a
man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" (Romans 8:24);
therefore the hope continues until the Epiphaneia (Revelation) and isn't
realized at a previous Parousia (Rapture) some seven years earlier. Speaking of
the "hope" of the Church, Paul declared it was because of the
"hope of Israel" that he was being called into question (Acts
26:6-8). This "hope" is the
resurrection (which is to occur at the Revelation [Epiphaneia] of Yeshua
Messiah [1 Thessalonians 4:15-17]). Paul, in 1
Corinthians 15:23, showed that this
resurrection will be at the coming ("Parousia"), (Rapture) but 2
Thessalonians 1:7-10 shows that the
saints will be glorified when the Lord shall be revealed ["Apokalupsis"--Revelation],
therefore the "Parousia" (Rapture) and "Apokalupsis"
(Revelation) are simultaneous. 1
Corinthians 1:7-8,"So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that
ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." We
find Paul writing to the Corinthian Church and telling them to wait for the
"coming [Apokalupsis--Revelation] of our Lord Yeshua Messiah." But if
the rapture were to occur some seven years earlier (at the "Parousia"),
what would be the sense of this command. In First Peter, we find Peter writing
and stating that works of faith are to be rewarded at the "appearing [Apokalupsis--Revelation]
of Yeshua Messiah." "That the
trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at
the appearing [Apokalupsis--Revelation]
of Jesus Christ:" (1 Peter 1:7)
However, according to the pre-tribulation rapture teaching, the reward will be given at the "coming" [Parousia]. Their teaching doesn't line up here. The final Scripture which I will consider is 2 Thessalonians 2:8,"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the [Epiphaneia tees Parousias autou] brightness of his coming." Here we see both words being applied to one action. "Epiphaneia" is to be rendered "brightness" and "Parousia" as "coming." This passage proves two things. First of all, that the "Parousia" and "Epiphaneia" are simultaneous and second, that the career of the man of sin ENDS [INSTEAD OF BEGINS] at the "Parousia" (rapture), when the saints are delivered, and does not extend to a future "Epiphaneia" (Revelation), some seven years later as taught by the pre-tribulationists. So we see that the "Parousia," the "Apokalupsis," the "Epiphaneia," the end, all synchronized at one great day, "the last day" (John 6:39-40,44,54; 11:24). All the events associated with the last day, the last trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Matthew 24:31; Revelation 11:15), the shout. the voice of the archangel, the quaking earth, the resurrection and translation of the saints, the beginning of the outpouring of YAHWEH's wrath, all of these events will occur at the coming [Parousia] of the Son of man.
The Time of the End
The question at hand is,"When is Jesus
Christ coming to gather HIS saints so that they can be with HIM?" One may
say that he gets it from the Bible that Yeshua Messiah is coming before the
onset of the Great Tribulation period. Well, as one preacher puts it,"I
agree with you, you got it from the Bible alright, a long way from the Bible. It
certainly didn't come from God's holy Word." It is plain to see that Yeshua Messiah is only coming at the end of the Great Tribulation period. If
only people will take the veil over their face that "their pastor" put
on them, then maybe they would not keep on getting brainwashed by "their
pastor." What I am about to say will be backed up by the Scriptures of
YAHWEH's Holy Word and will clearly show to anyone who is of a willing heart to
receive the Truth. Not only that, I will provide multiple web pages, showing
more and more evidence, that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation
Yahshua Messiah comforts HIS Church with these words,"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) Notice carefully the wording of Yeshua Messiah used,"even unto the end of the world." A proper translation of "world" is "age." When is the end of the age? HE didn't say HE would be with them until 3 1/2 years nor 7 years before the end of the age, but until the end of the age. Since the Great Tribulation period is a part of this Church age, there is simply no way for Messiah to be with the Church on this earth until the end of the age if the Church is raptured before the Great Tribulation. Looking to the Gospel according to John we read,"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:39-40) Yeshua Messiah makes it plain that those who are saved. HE will resurrect them not 7 years before the last day, nor 3 1/2 years before the last day, but at last day. Here is another verse to prove this point,"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44) Here again Yeshua Messiah says that HE will resurrect HIS people at the last day. Yet, there is another Scripture which further proves this Truth,"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:54) So, the resurrection is not 7 years nor 3 1/2 years before the last day, but at the last day. It is interesting that Martha knew this Truth also,"Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (John 11:24). Now, looking to First Thessalonians, we find what is commonly known as the rapture of the Church,"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and also another Scripture that is also known as the rapture of the Church,"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:52) The statements,"and the dead in Christ shall rise first:","and the dead shall be raised incorruptible," indicates and lets us know that the resurrection is a part of the rapture. Therefore, if the resurrection is at the last day and also a part of the rapture, then the rapture must be at the last day. Now, just when is the last day? Again, just as the time of the end isn't 7 years nor 3 1/2 years before the end of this age, the "last day" is just what Yeshua Messiah said it was, the last day before the earthly Kingdom of Messiah is established and therefore it can only be after the Great Tribulation period.
In Acts 2:34-35, we read the following,"For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool." In this verses from the book of Acts, Peter quoted from Psalm 110:1. It is a Messianic psalm and speaks of the office of Messiah now as HE stands as an intercessor for HIS saints. It tells us just how long Yeshua Messiah must "sit on God's right hand," and that is until HIS "foes are HIS footstool." This will only be accomlished after the Great Tribulation, for according to Revelation 12:17,"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." and Revelation 13:7,"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." The enemies of Yeshua Messiah that make war with the saints during the Great Tribulation will not be subject unto HIM until the Great Tribulation period and the beast government is ended by the brightness of the coming of our Lord and Saviour Yeshua Messiah (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Going further in the book of Acts, we read and find,"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21). There you have it. Do you see it? The heaven must receive Yeshua Messiah "until the times of restitution of all things." HE cannot come back until this happens. All things must be restored and sin removed from this earth. Will there be sin when the man of sin is working during the Great Tribulation? Won't take a brainy person to figure out the answer to the question, yes, of course there will be!! Sin and the man of sin will only be removed after the Great Tribulation. Messiah cannot leave heaven until this time. There will neither be a pre-tribulation rapture, nor a mid-tribulation rapture.
Turning to First Peter, we read the following,"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brough unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;" (1 Peter 1:13) This Scripture plainly shows us that the grace of YAHWEH isn't brought unto us 7 years before the end, it is not even brought unto us 3 1/2 years before the end, but we are to "hope to the end" for this grace. And when is it brought to us? The answer is found in the statement,"at the revelation of Jesus Christ;" At HIS Second Coming will we receive the grace. Yeshua Messiah tells us to endure to the end. (Mark 13:13) "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." At the end, we will receive the grace of YAHWEH Elohim, at the end when Yeshua Messiah is revealed.
Peter's Second Sermon
(Please Note: The following was taken
from an article in a newsletter from the Overcomer Ministry)
In Acts 3, we find a second sermon preached by Peter. The healing of the lame man at the gate of the Temple caused a stir among the crowd assembled to worship. Peter seized the opportunity to preach the gospel right on the Temple mount. In his invitation at the close of his sermon, he made the following statement. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
Peter did not originate this idea. He burrowed it from Psalm 110:1. There is no doubt Peter was familiar with this Psalm because he quoted it in his previous sermon to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, Until I make Thy foes Thy footstool" (Acts 2:34-35)"
It is clear, both from this Psalm and from Peter's commentary on it in Acts 3:19-21, that Jesus will be seated at the Father's side until the time comes to restore the earth, and destroy Christ's enemies. This eliminates the possibility of Jesus coming before the tribulation to rapture the Church to heaven. He would have to leave the Father's right hand before His enemies are made His footstool.
Both of Peter's sermons display continuity with Jesus' teaching in Matthew 24. The fact that he taught Jesus' chronology of the tribulation and second coming to believers after the day of Pentecost strongly suggests that Jesus taught "Church doctrine" in the Olivet discourse.
Lest someone think Peter might have changed his mind later, we find him still teaching believers to anticipate Christ's post-tribulation coming in glory in his Epistles, rather than a secret rapture. His testimony is consistent in both of his sermons and both of his Epistles. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7). "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). Peter encouraged believers to remain faithful to Christ until the "revelation of Jesus Christ", The word "revelation" is the Greek word "apocalypsis". This word is used referring to the second coming several times. Each time it has the idea of Christ's coming in glory, showing Himself to the world in all His awesome power. Paul gave a vivid picture of the revelation of Christ in the following verse. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thes. 1:7-8).
Peter went on to warn believers of the coming trial, encouraging them to remain faithful, and partake gladly in suffering for Christ. Again, he encouraged them to fix their hope on Christ's coming in glory and power, just as in the Olivet discourse (Mat. 24:29-31) "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Pet. 4:12-13).
The "fiery trial" was a specific time of testing that would end with the revelation of Christ in glory. The King James Version, by using the definite article and future tense, "the fiery trial which is to try you," indicates it was a trial that would come in the future to try them all. Most likely, he was referring to the tribulation, although this is not certain from the text. However, the important point here is that Peter encouraged them to place their hope in Christ's coming in glory and power. This is definitely not a secret rapture. Christ's coming in glory is always post-tribulational, (Mat. 16:27, 24:20, 25:31; Mark 8:38, 13:26; Luke 9:26, 21:27; 2 Thes. 1:9).
In his second Epistle, Peter devoted the entire third chapter to the second coming. He addressed the apparent delay in Christ's return from the perspectives of ugodly scoffers, and believers, longing for Christ's return. In verses 3-7, Peter wrote that this delay should not be interpreted by unbelievers that Christ is not coming. Then he told believers the reason for the delay. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
Notice, it does not say the Lord is longsuffering to the lost, but to us. He does not want any to perish. This strongly implies God is waiting for Christians to complete the Great Commission! This idea comes directly from the Olivet discourse, and was reinforced by Jesus after the resurrection. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Mat. 24:14). "When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).
Peter went on to describe the coming of the Lord, calling it the "Day of the Lord" (vs.10) and the "Day of God" (vs.12). In his first sermon, Peter clearly established the fact that the Day of the Lord will come after the cosmic signs, the darkening of the sun and moon. And, Jesus told them these same signs would occur "immediately after the tribulation". "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come" (Acts 2:20) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Mat. 24:29).
Peter connected the expected coming of Christ for Christians with the coming of the "Day of the Lord" (compare vss.9&10). And, he understood this to occur "immediately after the tribulation".
It is interesting to note that Peter repeated himself in verse 12, but substituted the phrase "Day of God" for the phrase "Day of the Lord". No doubt the phrases are interchangeable. The "Day of God" is found only one other time in the Bible, and it is undeniably in a post-trib setting (Rev. 16:13-16).
No hint of pre-tribulationism can be found in Peter's sermons or Epistles. He faithfully obeyed the command of Christ by repeating Jesus' teaching concerning the blessed hope of believers.
AT THE LAST TRUMPET
1 Corinthians 15:50-54
Most pre-tribbers believe the pre-trib rapture was not taught by Jesus, but was given to Paul as a special revelation. Therefore, it is important for us to see if what Paul taught about the rapture is distinct from Jesus' teaching. If there are mutually exclusive differences between what Jesus taught about His second coming, and what Paul taught about the rapture, we might conclude they were speaking about different events, as pre-tribbers suppose. However, if Paul's teaching about the rapture is compatible with Jesus' teaching about the second coming, there is no reason to suppose that Paul taught a distinct coming of Christ apart from the coming from the coming Jesus mentioned.
Peter's Second Sermon part 2
Post-tribbers believe Paul's teaching
concerning the rapture is completely compatible with, and built upon, the
teaching of Jesus in the Olivet discourse. There were some new details added by
Paul, but the general sequence of events is identical.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wrote primarily of the resurrection of believers, and the fact that we will be raised "incorruptible". We do not have space here for an in-depth exegesis of this passage. However, I would like to point out three things that I believe connect this event to Jesus' post-tribulation coming in Matthew 24.
1. Paul said the reason our bodies will be changed is because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 15:50). The future "Kingdom of God" he is speaking of is the Millennial Kingdom. since the purpose for this putting on incorruption is because our old bodies cannot inherit the Millennial Kingdom to reign with Christ, this implies that the change would occur at the beginning of that Kingdom. There is nothing here about going to heaven. Heaven is never spoken of as the "Kingdom of God." The context also clearly indicates Paul was referring to the Millennium (see vs. 22-28).
2. Paul said this will occur at the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52). If we were to assume a pre-trib scenario, this "last trump" could not be last, because Jesus said He will sound the trumpet to gather His elect "immediately after the tribulation" (Mat. 24:31). In order for it to be "last", it would seem to be identical with the trumpet of which Jesus spoke, thereby placing the resurrection of believers after the tribulation.
3. When this transformation occurs, Paul said an Old Testament prophecy will be fulfilled. "So WHEN this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54).
This is a direct quote of Isaiah 25:8. And, Isaiah's prophecy is clearly speaking of the coming of Christ's Milennium Kingdom. Paul said that this particular Millennium prophecy will be fulfilled at the resurrection of the Church. Therefore, the rapture must occur at the beginning of the Kingdom, which is post-tribulational.
These three things connect this passage with the post-tribulational coming of Christ. What can be pre-tribbers point to in this passage that would exclude this connection, or demonstrate the uniqueness of the Pauline "rapture" that pre-tribbers allege? Nothing at all! So far, Paul's writings agree and harmonize with what Jesus taught in the Olivet discourse.
PAUL'S RAPTURE VIEW
1 Thes. 4:13-18
Paul indicated to these Christians, and his main reason for addressing the resurrection/rapture, was so they would not sorrow as those who had no hope. It is apparent the Thessalonians had a question about the resurrection that Paul was trying to answer. Their sorrowing had to do with those who died. In his answer, Paul clarified the exact events surrounding the resurrection and rapture. While the question is not stated, we can reconstruct it from Paul's answer. Notice his answer linked the timing of the timing of the resurrection to the catching up of the living saints. Therefore, their question most likely concerned the fact of, and the timing of, the resurrection of the dead in Christ. Notice that Paul, in answering their question, assumed his readers were familiar with the Lord's coming itself. He attached the timing of the resurrection of dead saints to an event they were already familiar with, the catching up of the living saints. "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or precede) them which are asleep" (1 Thes. 4:13-15).
I want you to notice that before Paul begins to speak of the timing of the resurrection, he mentioned "the coming of the Lord" as though they were already familiar with this event. He took it for granted that they knew what the "coming of the Lord" was. Then he proceeded to link the timing of the resurrection of the dead saints to this event. "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
These believers were already familiar with the Lord's descending from heaven, and the living believers being caught up in the clouds when the trumpet sounds. Paul simply placed the resurrection of the dead saints in the proper place in the sequence of events. In essence, Paul does this by saying that the dead saints will rise just before we are "caught up". So, it is apparent that the Thessalonians were familiar with Christ's coming and the "catching up" of the living believers. But, they were not sure where the resurrection of the dead saints fit in. How is it that they knew about the coming of Christ and the catching up of the living saints, but did not understand where the resurrection fit in? It is because of their familiarity with the Olivet discourse. In that passage, Jesus described His coming, and the gathering of the elect, but He did not specifically mention the resurrection of the dead. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then hall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Mat. 24:29-31).
Paul's words would, no doubt, bring to memory the words of Christ in the Olivet discourse. Notice the similar language. Both mention the coming of the Lord. Both mention the sounding of the trumpet to gather His own. Both mention angelic participation. But when we look at Jesus' words, we see that He did not mention the resurrection of the saints specifically in the Olivet discourse. Based on these things, the Thessalonians' question for Paul becomes apparent. They wanted to know, when the trumpet sounds, and Jesus comes in power and glory, sending His angels to gather His elect, what will happen to those who have previously died? Will they be raised to witness the revelation of Christ to the world in all His glory, and to participate in the establishment of Christ's Kingdom? Or will they be raised at some other time? Or perhaps not at all? The fact that Jesus only spoke of the living, and did not place the resurrection in His sequence of events describing in the Olivet discourse, caused these Christians to worry about their departed brethren not participating in the spectacular events surrounding Christ's revelation to the world in power and glory, and the setting up of His Millennium Kingdom. Paul's answer indicates that this was indeed the problem. By linking the timing of the resurrection to the gathering of the living that Jesus spoke of, Paul completely resolved the problem for them, and gave them reason for hope regarding their loved ones who had died.
Again, so far we find nothing in Paul's writings that conflicts with the scenario described by Jesus. And, we also see Paul's relying on Jesus' Olivet discourse. In the articles that follow, you will see that Paul actually used the Olivet discourse as a backdrop for His teaching about the rapture. Jesus' teaching was the authority and Paul simply supplemented it with additional details, and dealt with questions arising from Jesus' discourse.
THE "DAY OF THE LORD"
1 THES. 5:1-9
Paul continued part two of the timing of the resurrection/rapture in chapter 5. He addressed the question of when they might expect the rapture/resurrection to come. "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." (1 Thes. 5:1-2)
Peter's Second sermon part 3
Notice that Paul was placing the rapture in the
"Day of the Lord". This is an extremely important point. Here, Paul
shifted from describing the events surrounding the rapture to speaking about
when the rapture might come. And he referred them again to something they
already knew. The "Day of the Lord" was coming as a "thief in the
Paul used a phrase that was familiar to these Christians. The "Day of the Lord" is found several times in the Old Testament, always in the context of Christ's coming to destroy the enemies of Israel (see Isa. 13:6-13, Joel 3:9-17, Zech. 14). This is exactly what Revelation 19 records as the "battle of Armageddon".
The nature of the "Day of the Lord" is crucial to understand this passage. Pre-tribulationist claim the "Day of the Lord" includes the alleged pre-trib rapture and the entire tribulation. This allows them to reconcile 1 Thessalonians 5 with pre-tribulationism, since Paul instructed believers to be watching for the "Day of the Lord" (1 thes. 5:1-6). If the "Day of the Lord" comes after the tribulation, as every Old Testament occurance seems to indicate, then Christians must still be here at the end of the tribulation in order to watch for that day.
Much has been written by pre-tribulationists trying to make a linkage between the tribulation and the "Day of the Lord". Comparisons of similar themes, such as wrath, judgment, etc. have been offered as evidence that the two are the same. Yet, even with all the verbosity on this topic, it has not been demonstrated that there is any biblical reason to suppose that the "Day of the Lord" includes the tribulation. None of the Old Testament passages support this conclusion. It comes only from a preconceived assumption of a pre-trib rapture superimposed on the Thessalonian passage. In fact, there are definite biblical passages that forbid the "Day of the Lord" from overlapping the tribulation.
First, throughout the Old Testament, a catastrophic sign is associated with the coming of the "Day of the Lord." The darkening of the sun and moon will herald that day (see Isaiah 13:9-10, 24:19-23; Joel 3:13-15).
This forbids any overlapping of the tribulation into the "Day of the Lord". They are distinct events. No other interpretation is possible without doing violence to the Word of God.
Secondly, the very first time the "Day of the Lord" is mentioned in the Bible, the text clearly forbids associating it with the tribulation. Isaiah describes the "Day of the Lord" with the following words: "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:...And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth" (Isa. 2:10-12,17-19).
Twice, these verses indicate that the Lord alone will be exalted in the "Day of the Lord". This is an exclusive statement. No one else can be exalted or worshipped during the "Day of the Lord". Yet, during the tribulation, the Antichrist will be worshipped as God (see Rev. 13:3-8,14; 2 Thes. 2:3-4). And his image will be worshipped as well. Isaiah's statements about the Lord alone being exalted and the idols being abolished during the "Day of the Lord", forbid any overlapping with the tribulation and reign of Antichrist.
The celestial sign and the statements in Isaiah 2, absolutely forbid stretching the "Day of the Lord" forward to include the tribulation, as pre-tribbers attempt to do. Furthermore, Paul made another clear statement which eliminates the possibility of the "Day of the Lord" including the tribulation. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thes. 2:1-3).
Most translations read "Day of the Lord" in verse 2. There is a variation in the Greek texts here. Some ancient manuscripts read "day of Christ", and others read "day of the Lord". I don't want to get into a debate on which is correct. It really doesn't matter. If "Day of the Lord" is correct, it adds support for the idea that the "Day of the Lord" comes after the tribulation, because events that occur during the tribulation (the falling away and revelation of Antichrist) are said to come before the "Day of the Lord". If the "Day of Christ" is the correct reading, then this verse alone settles the pre-trib/post-trib debate, since the phrase "Day of Christ" is only used by Paul elsewhere to refer to the rapture of the Church. In this case, Paul is saying that the rapture cannot come until after the Antichrist.
The meaning of the phrase "Day of the Lord" holds the key to the interpretation of Paul's instructions to believers in 1 Thessalonians. The meaning of 1 Thessalonians 4:13 and 5:9 is entirely dependant on the meaning of this phrase. The rapture and the coming of the "Day of the Lord" are firmly connected by Paul in this passage. Notice Paul instructed Christians to be watching for the coming of the "Day of the Lord". And, as we have just demonstrated, the "Day of the Lord" is after the tribulation. Therefore, Christians must pass through the tribulation in order to watch for the "Day of the Lord". "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thes. 5:2-8).
Since he instructed Christians to watch for the "Day of the Lord" and, as we have seen, that day comes after the tribulation, Paul was simply confirming Jesus' teaching in the Olivet discourse. There is nothing here to suggest new revelation of a secret pre-trib rapture.
There is also strong evidence Paul directly referred the Thessalonian Christians back to what Jesus said in His Olivet discourse to answer their question about the timing of the rapture. This can be seen in the statement in verse 2. "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
How did the Thessalonian believers know perfectly that the Day of the Lord was coming as a "thief in the night"? Because they were familiar with Jesus' teaching in the Olivet discourse! The idea of Christ's coming as a "thief in the night" was originated by Jesus Himself when describing His coming "immediately after the tribulation" (Mat. 24:42-43). After describing His coming "immediately after the tribulation", Jesus said:"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Mat. 24:42-44).
Obviously, Paul was referring to Jesus' teaching! His reminding them of this leads to the conclusion that he was confirming the chronology Christ gave. More evidence that Paul was referring them to the Olivet discourse comes from verse 6. "Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thes. 5:6)
No doubt, he was referring to Jesus' words in the Olivet discourse. "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping" (Mark 13:35-36).
Peter's Sermon part four
Paul then warned against
"drunkenness" in verse 7.
"...And they that be drunken are drunken in the night" (1 Thes. 5:7)
Again, he was referring them to the Olivet discourse where Jesus warned:"Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness,...and so that day come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34).
Paul referred his readers to the Olivet discourse, which only teaches a post-trib coming of Christ, to answer their questions about the rapture. This is substantial evidence that Paul taught a post-trib rapture. His use of the phrase "Day of the Lord", which other Scriptures place after the tribulation, to describe the rapture, makes it impossible to reconcile this passage with pre-tribulationism, in my opinion. Once again, we have every reason to connect Paul's teaching on the rapture to Jesus' teaching on the second coming. Nothing here excludes this linkage. Therefore, the natural inferrence is Paul was simply building on Jesus' teaching!
REST AFTER TRIBULATION
2 THES. 1:4-10
Second Thessalonians was written soon after the first Epistle to correct further questions and misconceptions about the coming of Christ. In his previous Epistles, Paul tied the resurrection to the rapture, thereby comforting them concerning those who had died. In the fifth chapter, he encouraged them to be expecting the coming of Christ. The Thessalonians church was experiencing severe persecution and had lost some of its members to martyrdom (1 Thes. 2:14). Apparently, this persecution was interpreted by some as the fulfillment of "great tribulation" Jesus mentioned in the Olivet discourse. Since Paul had instructed them to be watching for the "Day of the Lord", many of them mistakingly thought the tribulation was nearly over, and Christ was about to return momentarily. This unfounded excitement caused Paul to write again to these dear saints, correcting their misconception and encouraging them to await the signs Jesus gave in His Olivet discourse. "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; WHEN He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day" (2 Thes. 1:4-10).
Notice first of all, believers will rest from persecution when Jesus is revealed from heaven in judgment (1:7). Since this coming in judgment is post-tribulational, the rapture must also be post-tribulational.
There is only one logical interpretation of this passage regarding the timing of the rapture. No one will deny this coming is "post-tribulational." No pre-tribulationist believes Jesus will come in flaming fire, bringing vengeance on the ungodly, before the tribulation! However, many passages speak of Christ's coming in judgment after the tribulation. This passage makes it perfectly clear that Christians will "rest" from their tribulations at that time. Paul was, in effect, telling them when their ordeal would end--at the post-tribulation coming of Christ in judgment. In a pre-tribulation rapture scenario, Christians would have already been resting for seven years before this event, making Paul's statement dubious and illogical. Paul was trying to comfort the Thessalonian Christians in their persecutions. Yet, his encouragement was not centered around an alleged "any moment" pre-tribulation rapture, whereby they might expect immediate relief, but looked forward to the appearing of Christ in glory. By connecting their relief from persecution with the post-tribilational coming of Christ, Paul effectively placed the rapture after the tribulation. Notice also, that he connected their seeing Christ and admiring Him for the first time with the same coming in judgment (2 Thes. 1:10).
In reference to the coming as a thief, there is a very interesting verse in Revelation,"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" (Rev. 3:3).
You can see here that only if you are one that is not watching will that day come on you as a thief. You are of the world and part of the foolish virgins.
The author is unknown
This was taken from the Overcomer Ministry newsletter, July 2001, vol.29, no.3.
will the rapture occur?
When will the rapture occur?
Will it be before, during or after the great tribulation? Five Scriptures are very clear regarding the exact timing of the rapture. If you drop all preconceived ideas and just go by the Scriptures themselves you will see the clarity of it all. Let’s look at the evidence to support the post tribulation rapture doctrine:
1. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens (Mark 13:27).
NOTE: This event is the rapture. The elect will be gathered from earth to heaven and it occurs after the tribulation (or that distress depending on the translation referred to), according to Mark 13:24-27:
But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
The second passage is very well-known, but apparently little understood:
2. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Cor. 15:51,52).
NOTE: The rapture is when our bodies will be changed and will occur when the last trumpet is sounded. This event is a also called a “mystery.”
3. Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thess. 2:1-3).
NOTE: This teaching is clearly about the rapture for it is described here as “our being gathered to him.” The two major events cited by Paul, which must precede it, have not happened and cannot happen until sometime after the temple is rebuilt and the antichrist is then revealed. Hence, the antichrist will be revealed before the rapture and the saints will face him.
4a. The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:15-18).
NOTE: The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet. This is also when God’s wrath begins and the saints are rewarded. Lk. 14:14 says the rewards will be given out at the resurrection of the righteous (or rapture).
Immediately before the seventh trumpet sounds, we read this about the seventh trumpet:
4b. But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets (Rev. 10:7).
NOTE: The rapture event is a “mystery” in 1 Cor. 15:51,52 and here in Rev. 10:7 (at the last trumpet—the seventh one). This means all that is described during the first six trumpets will be experienced by the last generation of Christians.
5. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6).
NOTE: The first resurrection (or rapture) will occur after Christians are beheaded for remaining faithful during the time of the antichrist, which includes not taking the mark of the beast. Compare to 2 Thess. 2:1-3. Just like the pieces of a puzzle that fit together and form a clear picture, when these Scriptures are compared it becomes crystal clear that the rapture will occur after the tribulation period and we face the antichrist.
Also related to Rev. 20:4-6 is this passage:
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Rev 13:10)
Again, this is more evidence that the saints will face the antichrist and this will be before the first resurrection (or rapture).
Yes, there will be a rapture (a catching up), as the Bible teaches:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thess. 4:16,17).
But before that event the Book of Revelation teaches an all-out nuclear exchange with massive devastation and death. Again, such will occur before the rapture, unlike what the any-moment rapture people think and have been told. Certainly, Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series and many other such videos, books, etc. have done much harm regarding instilling false hopes in God’s children regarding the rapture escape.
One can only wonder how many will have their faith destroyed, if they survive the all-out nuclear exchange with billions dying. Will their faith in the Bible and Jesus be destroyed because they were taught they would be taken away before such happens? If so, then perhaps, their falling away will be part of the great apostasy mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:3.
Dear saint, in the past the children of God have been burned at the stake, ripped apart by wild animals for amusement, beaten to death, etc. Please don’t think you won’t go through similar rough times yourself because you are his child. Don’t be deceived.
As the age comes to the close, with wickedness increasing and love growing cold (Mt. 24:12), please remember these two Scriptures:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28).
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Rev. 12:11).
Remember also that the tribulation is not the wrath of God, as you might have been taught. Furthermore, the tribulation is not seven years in length.
It is amazing how some pre-trib rapture people are so adamant about their belief in the timing of the rapture as to state that one is a heretic and/or unsaved if he rejects the pre-trib rapture teaching, but this has actually been taught and some have believed this very thing. May God help them to see the truth.
Remember this: A wonderful paradise kingdom is awaiting the overcomer who remains faithful to God, even if he has the privilege to die for Jesus before getting there. Ponder Rev. 21:4 and 1 Cor. 2:9 for details.