Have you ever noticed just how many teachings there are out there concerning the Rapture of the Church?
Sure, the Bible makes it crystal clear that one day Jesus will return and gather up all those who are saved and take them to Heaven to live with Him forever. But, the when and the where and how’s of it all… so many different and even conflicting views. Which are fact, and which are merely opinion?
During these times of confusion and indecision, sometimes you just have to get away, take a walk, and spend some time thinking it through.
For me, after long study, I’ve come to believe in what’s called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view, meaning this “gathering up” of Christians will occur before God’s judgment falls upon the world in, according to the Prophet Daniel, a 7-year time period known as the Tribulation. But…
Why do I believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture?
I have my reasons, 10 to be exact. All are founded on the conviction that the Bible is the very Word of God, that it should always be interpreted literally, and firmly rooted in Jesus’ ironclad promise that He will indeed return. All preclude a spiritualized interpretation of the Scriptures. Doing so merely results in imaginative nonsense. Let’s talk through these reasons and see if they help provide clarity.
1) The Rapture and Second Coming are different events.
Some claim the Rapture and Second Coming are the exact same event occurring at the very end of the Tribulation, the Post-Tribulation Rapture view. And yet, read all the verses which cover Christ’s return and you’ll encounter two very different scenarios. These verses actually describe Christ’s return happening in two stages — the Rapture and later the Second Coming — separated by a period of time.
2) The Rapture can occur at any time without warning.
Jesus stated in Matthew 24 to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come,” indicating Jesus will arrive when nobody’s expecting. Not expecting? How can that be when the Second Coming is preceded by exactly seven years to the day worth of events such as the rise of the Antichrist, plagues, wars, and earthquakes which destroy most of the world? The Rapture happens imminently and without warning, while the Second Coming has to be preceded by many years’ worth of signs. The two then cannot possibly be the same event.
3) The Rapture removes the Restrainer.
Second Thessalonians teaches that God’s restraining influence will be taken away when the Antichrist rises to power. Christ restrains the evil of this world today through the Church. Therefore, the Church will need to be removed — raptured — before the Antichrist’s seven-year reign can even begin.
4) The Tribulation is for Israel’s redemption.
Jeremiah 30 describes the Tribulation as the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” Revelation 12 portrays Israel fleeing from the Antichrist’s persecutions. And, the Battle of Armageddon pits all the nations of the world against Israel. Israel is repeatedly the focal point of the Tribulation and the center of God’s work of redemption, not the Church.
5) The Church is missing on earth during the Tribulation.
Like the Flood was, the Tribulation stands apart as God’s second great judgment upon a rebellious world. It’s the very wrath of God. True, believers have endured suffering all throughout history, but never actually from God’s wrath. Revelation 3 confirms that Christians are promised never to have to endure the Tribulation, proven in the fact that there’s no mention whatsoever of the Church throughout Revelation chapters 6-18 which describe the events of the Tribulation.
6) The Church is busy in Heaven during the Tribulation.
While the earth faces God’s judgments, the Bible reveals the Church will be quite busy up in Heaven engaged in three events: a judgment for rewards, a celebratory Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and preparing to return to earth with Jesus. None of these three have anything do with living on a world that’s being destroyed.
7) The Millennial Kingdom needs to be repopulated.
If all the Tribulation believers are raptured up to Heaven at the Second Coming and given glorified bodies, bodies which cannot reproduce, then who is left to repopulate the following Millennial Kingdom? The Rapture cannot possibly happen Post-Tribulation then, for no more children would be born.
8) God’s wrath lasts the entire seven years.
There are those who claim God’s wrath is poured out over just a few of the seven years of the Tribulation, so the Rapture must occur 3 and a half or even 5-plus years into the Tribulation. But, these Mid-Trib and Pre-Wrath Rapture views tend to forget that Jesus Himself breaks the seals which launch all 21 of Revelation’s judgments. The final Seven Bowl Judgments are said to finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath. Because all these judgments are initiated by Jesus Himself, God’s wrath lasts the entire seven years, wrath the Church is promised not to have to endure.
9) Faithful examples removed from God’s wrath.
Enoch was raptured before the Flood. Noah and his family were removed from the Flood waters. Lot and his family were made to leave Sodom and Gomorrah before God incinerated these towns. Rahab and family were set apart when Joshua’s army invaded Jericho. Again and again, the biblical examples show God removes believers from His wrath, instead of making them suffer through His wrath.
10) The Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is not new.
Some will argue that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is just “too new” to be true, crediting it to John Darby some 200 years ago. But, is that assessment historically accurate? Not at all! The Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is a reawakening of the long-ignored teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.
Feeling better? More clear? Hopefully, our walk has confirmed or challenged some of your beliefs in the Rapture. Bear in mind, though, that one’s end-time views have no bearing on the doctrine of salvation. What is to be celebrated is that our salvation will one day lead us upwards to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ forever and ever.
Have you grabbed hold of that salvation? Will you then be part of the Rapture? Or, have you rejected Jesus and so will be left behind to endure the Tribulation? Jesus leaves the choice to you.
50 CommentsLeave a Comment
Well said, I always have believed in the pre tribulation Rapture. But I never before had considered point number seven the way you described it, of course I believed that there would be people saved during the tribulation and those that did survive at the end would go on into the millennial kingdom. Those are the ones indeed that will repopulate the earth. So right there is a valid point as well as all the other points for the pre tribulation Rapture. There should not be any other views on it. God’s word says it and it is final. Very good study Nathan. May the Lord bless you and your work. The truth will prevail in spite of those who do not believe.
You pretrib teachers just dont understand the difference between tribulation and God’s wrath. Yes the rapture is before Gods wrath, but it isn’t before the tribulation. What you’re doing is getting the church unprepared, many believers will fall away from their faith because of the pretrib rapture teaching. Blind guides!
James, who knows that “many believers will fall away from their faith because of the pretrib rapture teaching”? That’s just Post-Trib propaganda.
Nathan, Matthew 24:9-10 KJV. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
When the church goes into great tribulation many will be offended and turn from the faith, according to Jesus Christ.
James, why do you translate the “many” in verse 10 to mean Christians? It’s a HUGE leap to say that this verse means Christians who believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture will grow disillusioned and start hating and betraying each other.
Maybe the ones who do not believe in the pre tribulation rapture had better examine their own heart to see if they are really saved or not, because what they are doing is calling God a liar. One cannot take the Bible and twist the scripture around to make it say what they want or to fit in with their propaganda. God’s word plainly warns against taking anything out of the Bible or adding to it. Again Nathan–thank you and Dr. Reagan for standing up for the truth.The truth will stand even if some won’t believe it. All of God’s will, will be done and all things will come to pass. We just have to keep looking up, watching and always be praying. Sure we might see some tough times, God did not promise that all would be a “bed of roses”. But God does promise to keep us (those who are truly saved) from the wrath to come. The day of the Lord-(wrath to come) is for the wicked ones who whole heartedly reject God’s simple plan of salvation and live such awful evil lives that they sold out to the devil. God in all his love for us is not willing that anyone should perish but have eternal life. But mankind has a choice whether to accept or reject God’s plan of salvation. As far as post tribulation rapture views are concerned, Dr. Reagan said it best on a program that I was watching in the past and it was this,”why would the Lord beat up his bride for seven years, call her home to Heaven and turn right around come back to earth with his bride to reign for a thousand years during the millennium”.During the the seven year tribulation here on earth, we (all those truly saved)will be at the marriage supper of the Lamb and we will fellowship with our Lord and each other and meet all our loved ones who have gone on before us. What a glorious day that will be.
Friends of mine who were once Pre-Trib Rapture believers now believe differently for their own reason but what I have always respected about my dear friend is her saying the following… “as long as everyone who believes in Christ is prepared in case the Rapture isn’t when we think and continue to look up to Christ no matter when we see Jesus.” That kept us all on the same page, although I believe with all my heart in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I pray to stand firm in my belief in Jesus Christ no matter what.
Nathan, The ‘many’ in verse 10 are Christians because; 1. Jesus just said in verse 9 they shall deliver YOU up to be afflicted. He is speaking to His disciples, they aren’t muslims, non believing Jews, or non believing gentiles. 2. Who else would be offended because Christian’s are going thru tribulation/affliction? Again, not muslims, Jews, or unbelievers. 3. Verse 9 says it’s for Christ’s name’s sake, only Christian’s will be being killed for Christ’s name sake. 4. Jesus uses the same word ‘offended’ just two chapters later (Matthew 26:31), in the same context, and speaking about His disciples denying/abandoning Him.
It’s actually a much bigger leap to translate the ‘many’ in verse 10 to mean anyone but Christian’s. And why are they offended? Because they are going through great tribulation when they believed they were going to raptured.
I’m not saying every single Christian that ‘falls away’ from their faith will do so because they believed in a pretrib rapture that didn’t happen, but it will be a sizable percentage.
The rapture is near the end of the tribulation, before God’s wrath. The great tribulation is different from God’s wrath on the wicked. God Bless.
Who opens the seven seals from the very first Seal Judgment? Jesus, right. Where do the angels receive the seven Trumpet Judgments? Before the throne of God. Where do the seven Bowl Judgments come forth from? The heavenly Temple where God dwells. In each case, every one of the 21 Tribulation judgements come from God Himself, and therefore all of the Tribulation is God’s wrath, not just the last 3.5 years.
The Church is never destined to endure God’s judgment on the world (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10). And, the Bible also gives us a lot of clues that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation (Isa. 26:19-21; Mal. 3:17; Lk. 21:36; Jn. 14:1-14; I Cor. 15:51-58).
Hello Nathan, to gain context please open your Concordance and look up the word Tribulation.
You will find the word tribulation 45 times in the NT which is translated from the Greek word “Thilipsis” As you look at the words usage in the concordance you will notice God is never the source of “Thilipsis” but it’s always the adversary who is the source of the Churches “Thilipsis”/persecution, trouble, etc. You will find the exact opposite when you look at the Word Wrath which is from the Greek word “Orge”. Orge appears 30 times in the NT with dozens more tenses of the same word. In just about every instance “Orge” appears in the NT, the context of the sentence clearly describes God as the source of the Wrath. When the 5th seal is broken, the slain martyres ask God “How long oh Lord, Holy and true doth thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth” If the 4 Horseman of the apocalypse are God’s wrath then why are the martyrs still asking for God’s judgment and wrath to be poured out on those who are responsible for spilling their blood?
James, I don’t quite understand your question. The Tribulation martyrs want justice for being persecuted and slain. That they were persecuted by men does not negate the fact that all 21 of Revelation’s judgments come from God. Only Jesus can open the seals on the scroll, so only He is releasing the judgments, not Satan or man.
Nathan, The 5th seal shows the martyred saints from the first 4 seals. They are asking God to avenge them. Therefore the first 4 seals are not God’s judgements.
Revelation 8 (the 7th seal) clearly shows that God’s judgements are about to start.
The rapture was in Revelation 7:9-14, after the tribulation, before God’s wrath.
Again, God’s wrath is NOT the same as the tribulation. Please research ‘thilipsis’ and ‘orge’.
Nathan: The way I interpreted Revelation 3: 7, to the Church of Philadelphia See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Then in 10 it says since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
Many have said the hour of trial will be the destruction of earth and the inhabitants who are left behind, the Great Tribulation, or the hour of trial for unbelievers, do you agree?
Debbie, I believe Revelation 3:10’s promise is to that the Church will be raptured before the 7-year Tribulation. Jesus opens all the seals therefore all the 21 judgments in Revelation are God’s wrath, and believers in Christ are promised to be exempt from God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10).
James, when the church is taken before the tribulation period you can ask to be left behind if you desire to stay. Otherwise, you can go with us and we’ll celebrate together!
I appreciate Lamb & Lion speaking about bible prophecy it is definitely a part of the Bible scriptures. Revelation 3;10. I will keep you from the hour of trial that will come upon the world. 1 Thessalonians 1 9-10. delivers us from the wrath. Romans 5:9. We are saved from the wrath of God. John 5:24. Believers do not come under judgment in the tribulation. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. This tells us that the Pre-Tribulation theory is probably the most accurate.
We will all be persecuted in some way though, persecution will increase in the last days,.
The Day of the Lord in 2nd Peter 3: 10, 11, and 12, is the day of God’s judgment on the earth.
What about mid trib – Rev 6:9 tells of the souls of those slain because of the word of God, and that they were to wait till the full number of their fellow servants were killed. Rev 7:9 is after the first set of seven seals and tells of a great multitude standing before the throne that “came out of the great tribulation”. Who are these great multitude if they are not the Christians, us, taken from the middle of the great tribulation. It is all very well talking about Noah being removed from the flood, … we are still removed. By us being removed after the first set of seals, there is opportunity for so many more to be turned to Christ. Especially as the rapture is talked about AFTER the 144000 evangelists are unleashed. It is so often in adversity that people listen more intently to the gospel. We need widespread revival over the whole world before Christ comes to take us home. While it is God that removes the seals, he also “allowed” Satan permission to unleash Hell onto Job. Many of the first disciples suffered death at the hands of the authorities. Jesus suffered and died. We are not promised freedom from persecution, we are promised that God’s ways are higher than our ways and that he uses our pain for good.
Michael, the Christians during the Tribulation are saved after the Rapture of the Church. To differentiate those believers from the Old Testament Saints and the Church, they’re dubbed Tribulation Saints. There will also be Millennial Saints during the Millennial Kingdom.
There’s no scripture that says ‘tribulation saints’ or ‘saints from the tribulation’. Pretrib teachers just make stuff up.
Dr. Reagan, this is Andres Carrodeguas, the Spanish translator of your book on Revelation. This is my question. Why aren’t our Hebrew Fathers in the Faith, like Abraham, Moses, etc., not included in the Rapture? Is anything special going to happen to them? Blessings.
Andres, The Bible lists 3 stages to the resurrection of the redeemed. Jesus was the first (1 Cor. 15:20), next the Church just before the Tribulation (1 Cor. 15:23), and thirdly at the end of the Tribulation the saints who died during the Tribulation and Old Testament saints (Rev. 20:4; Dan. 12:1-2). The resurrection of the unjust all throughout history will occur at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20:11-15).
For more on the various resurrections, check out http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_eternity4.php.
Old Testament saint all rose with Christ. They are the spirits of just men made perfect. Heb12:23 in resurrection. Paradise section of sheol was taken to heaven when Christ ascended Eph4:8-9. Paradise is NOW in the 3rd heaven where God dwells 2Cor.12:1-4
The resurrection to Life was:1) Christ the firstfruits; 2)The OT Saints Matt 27:552-53; 3)The Dead IN CHRIST/the Church 1Thess 4:13-18; 4)Tribulation MARTYRS who are beheaded by the Beast Rev.20:4; 5) Millennial saints “the rest of the dead” at the end of the 1000 yrs.
The resurrection to Damnation has two phases:
1)Antichrist and those who follow him at the second coming Matt 25:41 & Dan.12:2
The Beast is in the lake of fire before the Devil (Rev.19:20; 20:10). A resurrected body is necessary to go to the lake of fire (Gehenna).
2) All the unsaved souls in hades (sheol)
Souls go to Hades which is the Remand Centre awaiting trial at the Great White Throne to receive the degree of punishment. download the book Beyond the Grave by
John R Ecob DD from Herald of Hope Australia http://www.heraldofhope.org.au
John, for our interpretation of the various resurrections, check out http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_eternity4.php.
The great tribulation is NOT God’s wrath. Gods judgement is NOT the great tribulation.
here is a great article that might help you understand what God’s WRATH is and God’s judgement…What is the Great Tribulation?
Great TribulationQuestion: “What is the Great Tribulation?”
Answer: The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 – 18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27; also see the article on the Tribulation). The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time. Thus, it is important at this point to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms. Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation.
It is Christ Himself who used the phrase “Great Tribulation” with reference to the last half of the Tribulation. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus says, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” In this verse Jesus is referring to the event of Matthew 24:15, which describes the revealing of the abomination of desolation, the man also known as the Antichrist. Also, Jesus in Matthew 24:29-30 states, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” In this passage, Jesus defines the Great Tribulation (v.21) as beginning with the revealing of the abomination of desolation (v.15) and ending with Christ’s second coming (v.30).
Other passages that refer to the Great Tribulation are Daniel 12:1b, which says, “And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.” It seems that Jesus was quoting this verse when He spoke the words recorded in Matthew 24:21. Also referring to the Great Tribulation is Jeremiah 30:7, “Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” The phrase “Jacob’s distress” refers to the nation of Israel, which will experience persecution and natural disasters such as have never before been seen.
Considering the information Christ gave us in Matthew 24:15-30, it is easy to conclude that the beginning of the Great Tribulation has much to do with the abomination of desolation, an action of the Antichrist. In Daniel 9:26-27, we find that this man will make a “covenant” (a peace pact) with the world for seven years (one “week”; again, see the article on the Tribulation). Halfway through the seven-year period—”in the middle of the week”—we are told this man will break the covenant he made, stopping sacrifice and grain offering, which specifically refers to his actions in the rebuilt temple of the future. Revelation 13:1-10 gives even more detail concerning the Beast’s actions, and just as important, it also verifies the length of time he will be in power. Revelation 13:5 says he will be in power for 42 months, which is three and one-half years, the length of the Great Tribulation.
Revelation offers us the most information about the Great Tribulation. From Revelation 13 when the Beast is revealed until Christ returns in Revelation 19, we are given a picture of God’s wrath on the earth because of unbelief and rebellion (Revelation 16-18). It is also a picture of how God disciplines and at the same time protects His people Israel (Revelation 14:1-5) until He keeps His promise to Israel by establishing an earthly kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6).
and His reaction during the 7 years of the Tribulation
Clear, concise, easily understood.
Only encourages me to press on this most important proclamation of the prophecy that will touch the populations of the earth, one way or the other !
Blast Off Rapiemur
TL, thanks for those encouraging words!
Thank you for your thoughts. I have also come to understand and believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. However, I think we very likely know the day of the year when it will occur, BUT NOT WHICH YEAR. The 7 Feasts of the Lord gives us a clue. The first 4 are memorials. Christ came to fulfilled them at His first coming…ie Passover, He is the Lamb of God, Unleavened Bread His Burial, Firstfruits , His Ressurection and Pentecost, He sends His Holy Spirit and these were all fulfilled at the exact same dates on the biblical calendar. From Pentecost till now, we are in the church age which will end at the Rapture which is the Feast of Trumpets alluded and hinted to in several scriptures. The final 3 Feasts, ie Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles are prophetic and will be fulfilled at His second coming. On Trumpets He will come and Rapture the church, on the Day of Atonement He will Return with the church and and then fulfill Tabernacles which is His 1000 year reign on earth. So if Christ fulfilled the first 4 Feasts on the exact same dates on the biblical calendar of Leviticus 23 and at His first coming, it is very possibile that He will fulfill the last 3 at His second coming and on the same dates as the biblical calendar. So i think we know which day on the calendar it will happen not not the year. That is why these 7 Feasts are called convocations or rehearsals.(miqra in Hebrew) We rehearse them each year in anticipation of His 2nd coming. Incidentally, the Feast of Trumpets/Rapture is also known as the ” Feast that no man knows the day or the hour” in Jewish tradition, as it is only set when they sight the new moon by2 witnesses which will in turn report to the Sanhedrin. Other names given for this Feasts in Jewish Traditons…The Day of Shouting or Blasting ( 1Thess 4:16 both shout and trumpets are mentioned ), The Day of Judgment, (7 year tribulaton and the judgement seat of Christ?) and others Teshuvah (repentance)
Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast, Feast of Trumpets)
Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
HaMelech (the Coronation of the Messiah)
Yom HaZikkaron (the Day of Remembrance or memorial)
The time of Jacob’s (Ya’akov) trouble (the birthpangs of the Messiah, Chevlai shel Mashiach)
The opening of the gates
Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the wedding ceremony)
The resurrection of the dead (rapture, natza1)
The last trump (Return of Mesiah) (shofar)
Yom Hakeseh (the hidden day)
Understanding our Hebraic roots and the Feasts has helped me to understand the prophetic fulfilments of scriptures. Blessings.
In reference to 9) Faithful examples removed from God’s wrath:
“Enoch was raptured before the Flood. Noah and his family were removed from the Flood waters. Lot and his family were made to leave Sodom and Gomorrah before God incinerated these towns. Rahab and family were set apart when Joshua’s army invaded Jericho. Again and again, the biblical examples show God removes believers from His wrath, instead of making them suffer through His wrath.”
I think it might also be wise to view it in this context: those mentioned above WENT THROUGH their share of Tribulation as God carried them THROUGH faithfully each time. Surely wouldn’t God do likewise and see His Children THROUGH the Tribulation as well, provided that we flee to the hills and mountains etc. as Jesus points and heeds us to taking such precautions?
Thank you and God bless you.
Victoria, being a Christian does mean having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man (Jn. 16:33; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). But, the Tribulation like the Flood is about God’s wrath (Isa. 24:22; Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12), and believers in Christ are promised to be exempt from God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10). There’s an important difference there.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! for your timely and concise article on these two events. I have, for the life of me not figure out how ANYONE can mix up these two events. As I recall you posted a beautiful article that listed the differences of the rapture vs the 2nd coming and these verses alone are an instant verification of the differences of these two events. But satan is clever and loves to blind the foolish…and dull the common sense…here are the verses that you posted to explain the differences
John 14:1-3; Romans 8:19; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 15:51-53; 16:22; Philippians 3:20-21; 4:5; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:19; 4:13-18; 5:9,23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1,3; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:7,13; 5:4; 1 John 2:28-3:2; Jude 21; Revelation 2:25; 3:10
Daniel 2:44-45; 7:9-14; 12:1-3; Zechariah 12:10; 14:1-15; Matthew 13:41; 24:15-31; 26:64; Mark 13:14-27; 14:62; Luke 21:25-28; Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2:8; 1 Peter 4:12-13; 2 Peter 3:1-14; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-20:6
But, when you start reading all these verses about Jesus’ return, you’ll notice something very peculiar. They appear to tell two very different stories. It’s as if these verses could be divided into two camps.
Rapture Second Coming
John 14; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4 Zechariah 14; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Revelation 19
PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ON EDUCATING THE BLINDED….One of the problems also for those that can’t seem to get the tribulation vs rapture straight in Mat 24 is that many people can not see that this famous verse also is NOT IN ORDER after Jesus touts the events of the signs of His coming…there is an obvious mixture of the rapture vs the trib and second coming signs…mayhap you might want to discuss this differences IE Mat 24 :15 -21 then the BIGGEE…Mat 24:29-30 the word ELECT is US the church not the angels…and apparently we are scattered in heaven 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. the word TRIBULATION in this verse is the sticky wicket for those that don’t believe in the prerapture…as they take this word and feel that the TRIB comes first forgetting the other verses before it…so maybe if you can help straighten this misunderstanding this hopefully will help open some eyes. THANK YOU again for keeping on working this subject!!!
Thank you for the clear concise teaching on these profound principles of prophecy! I agree 100%, and preach and teach these truths every opportunity I have. I appreciate your ministry so much. God bless you and continue to use you in proclaiming the truth of God’s prophetic Word.
I believe as Michael Brandon stated – that it would be a mid tribulation rapture. Several points including his which also states in revelation 7:13,14…” one of the elders said to me, “These who are clothed in white robes, who are they and from where have they come?” “My lord you know”. “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation,…” Doesn’t that say it all? If they came out of the tribulation, presumably before the bowls of wrath are unleashed but after the seals were opened causing hardship? Because in Matthew 24:22 Jesus said “And unless those days (tribulation v 21) had been cut short no life would have been saved, but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
Days being cut short still does not decrease the 7 years the Tribulation would last. Jesus was saying that if the Tribulation went beyond those 7 years, nobody would be left alive.
The church is missing (comment 5): What about Rev 6:9, 7:14, 12:17, 13:7, 14:12-13, 15:2, 16:15, 20:4-5?
These are the people who are saved after the Rapture, dubbed Tribulation Saints.
Excellent article. Just one point. The marriage supper is on earth after the Lord returns and Israel are the guests. The 5 wise virgins are Israel – there is no bride in the parable of the 10 virgins. Rev 19 Luke 12:37
The wedding is in heaven and when Christ returns He will “return from the wedding”.Luke12:36
If the wedding is in heaven BEFORE the Lord returns to earth then the Bride must get there beforehand!!! The MUST be a Pre-Trib Rapture.
With all due respect, this article ignores Jesus’ clear teaching in Matt 24:29-31, that the rapture of the church (gathering of the elect) will occur after the tribulation.
I believe as you do because I believe that just as the feasts are physical representations of the works of Jesus (Passover=cross), the 7 years is patterned after the Jewish wedding feast which lasts for 7 days.
I have been studying and writing about the Bible for forty-years and I have one word for everything you wrote about the pretribulation rapture–EISEGESIS.
Every student of the Bible needs to know the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. I put the following explanation in all of my 20 books about the Bible and end times.
Exegesis literally means “critical explanation or interpretation, esp. of Scripture” by careful objective analysis of a text. This means the interpreter is led to his or her correct conclusions by following the text to find the true meaning. The Bible will lead the Bible student to other text within its pages that provide further explanation, and the true meaning of the text. It’s like getting into the mind and intent of the writer. Never lift scriptures out of their intended context to explain anything. Let the Bible tell the full story.
Eisegesis is the opposite of exegesis. Eisegesis is one of Satan’s top tools of deception. False prophets are proficient in the use of eisegesis, but they call it exegesis.
Eisegesis literally means, “the interpretation of a word or passage by reading into it one’s own ideas.” This approach to interpretation of Bible text is based on subjective non-analytical reasoning that often leads to misinterpretation of its true meaning.
Mary, thank you for sharing in our passion for exegesis. You’d probably enjoy another Inbox we made on how to interpret the Bible – http://christinprophecy.org/sermons/the-inbox-14-should-bible-prophecy-be-interpreted-literally-or-symbolically/.
Though we disagree with your conclusions, we appreciate you sending us your end time interpretation. Praise the Lord that Christ’s gift of salvation is not dependent on one’s eschatological viewpoints.
For information on why we believe the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the best argument for the timing of the Rapture, please check out these articles on our website at http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture7.php and http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture4.php and our “Christ in Prophecy” shows posted at http://www.lamblion.com/television/programs.php#Rapture. We also have two short Inbox videos explaining the Rapture at http://christinprophecy.org/sermons/the-inbox-20-is-the-rapture-and-second-coming-the-same-event/ and http://christinprophecy.org/sermons/the-inbox-21-why-do-i-believe-in-a-pre-trib-rapture/.
I agree with everything except for #7. Why does the earth have to be repopulated? The Holy Spirit will still be here convicting people of their sin and coming to Christ. We also know that only “few” will find the narrow way to eternal life, thus repopulating doesn’t appear to be a problem.
I also was endorsing Pre-Trib until I read “Revelation Deciphered” by Nelson Walters. Do I accept everything in his book? No, but most of it rings true. It helps if you understand the Jewish holy convocation days before reading the book. Joel Richardson of “Mid-East Beast” and “The Islamic Anti-christ” notoriety recommends this book. Perry Stone has recently adopted without explanation the same interpretation of the timing of the Rapture being at the end of the 6th / beginning of the 7th Tribulation year.
I realize many people have much invested including published articles, books and videos arguing for Pre-Trib but if they have curious open minds and are humble in their pursuit of rightly dividing His Word I believe they will profit from and bless others by studying “Revelation Deciphered” by Nelson Walters.
I think that when making statements or teachings about the scriptures it is important to confirm what is believed or said with look at the biblical words in their original languages that are translated into English.
The word parousia (Strong’s 3952) found in Matthew 24:3,
1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1 (and approximately 13 other places the scriptures) helps this student of the scriptures realize that the famous passage of I Thessalonians 4:13-18 is a part of the Second Coming not separate from it.
This student of the scriptures has also noticed that he word orge (Strong’s 3709) found in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and Romans 5:9 is not found in Revelation 16:1 and other discussions of the wrath of God being soured out on the earth but the word thymos (Strong’s 2372) is used. Orge appears to have a nuance of punishment where as thymos does not.
In answer to the issue fo the seals representing the wrath of God, the word ore doesn’t seem to appear until the 6th seal which appears to include an event spoken of by the Lord in his Olivet discourse as a sign of the Lord’s return that occurs after the tribulation.
Along with all the passages mentioned above this student of the scriptures is also reminded of Revelation 7:9 which describes an innumerable gathering of people standing before the throne of God who apparently came form the great tribulation. Were these punished by the wrath (orge) of God before they stand before the Lord’s throne in heaven? Perhaps not. That is not to say that the Lord is not angry with what occurs, but it doesn’t appear that the Lord punishes every one on earth during the great tribulation with his orge wrath. It seems He will certainly express his thymos wrath but not his orge wrath on people.
The Rapture certainly ties into Jesus’ Second Coming, as the first stage of a two-stage event.
As to your point #10:
1. Dr. Reagan mentioned someone listed rapture references prior to Darby. Are you able to provide a link to that resource?
2. Is it the position of L&L that Darby was more a synthesizer of prior understanding rather than an originator?
3. I have a hunch that there is desire to distance L&L from Darby. Is that correct?
A common though mistaken argument made against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is that the view originated with John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) who took the idea from a 15 year old girl named Margaret MacDonald. For why this is historically inaccurate, see http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture6.php.
Also check out the various writings of Joseph Mede in his Clavis Apocalyptica (Key of the Revelation), Peter Jurieu in his Approaching Deliverance of the Church, Philip Doddridges’ commentary on the New Testament (1738 ed), John Gill’s commentary on the New Testament (1748 ed), Morgan Edwards’ essay Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the Following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties, and other writings by googling online. They’re all Pre-Trib teachings that predate Darby.
Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath, the Seven bowls, and Seven plagues in Revelation 15 and 16. 2 Peter 3 tells us about the Day of the Lord, will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (So what kind of people ought we to be?). This tells us we should be living Godly lives when Jesus comes for us in the
1 Thessalonians 10, 5:9. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Tribulation will be divine judgment on the earth. To the Church in Philadelphia 3:10. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Christ’s second coming will be sudden and terrible for those who do not believe in him. The church seems to be missing after Revelation 3 and then isn’t mentioned until Revelation 21:9.
Nathan, God saved Noah and his family from the Judgment on earth, Enoch, Lot and his family, Rahab, Joshua and his army from his wrath, and he will do so again, only there will be greater numbers saved, the True believers who believe in him, have done his will and walked with him. God does not change, and he is not a man that he should lie. We need to refer back to the actual events in the Bible. Thanks for presenting these 10 facts to be reminded of in the article above.