'rapture' is used to describe the great gathering of God's people at the
end of the age from all over the world: first to the clouds, to meet the Lord
in the air ... And then to Israel to conquer the armies that
will be gathered for the battle of Armageddon. Then there will be a
wedding celebration like none there has ever been. This will include
both Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua, or Yahshua, or more commonly
known as Jesus. Jesus said it coincides with His return to take possession of
what the Father and He made (Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2) and those who responded to God's
gift / offer of forgiveness, love, and eternal life (John 6:37-40; 14:1-6; Rom. 10:13) -- as opposed to those who
refused to honor their own Maker and Creator of heaven and earth (Luke 19:11-27; Rev. 13:12-17; 14:9-11; 16:10-11). This calling up,
or snatching away of believers is mentioned in
Matt. 24:29-31, John 14:1-3, I Cor. 15:51-55, I Thes. 4:13-18, 2 Thes. 2:1-8, Dan. 12:1-7
and various other places.
regard to when the rapture takes place, there are three primary views:
a pre-Tribulation rapture that occurs before the Tribulation,
a mid-Tribulation rapture, that occurs near the middle, and
a post, or end of Tribulation rapture.
with a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
from not encouraging God's people to give their all for the Lord and the gospel, and to
"endure to the end" (Matt. 10:22; Mark 8:34-38), a pre-tribulation rapture forces
one to make a distinction between different groups of believers. For
example, Old Testament era believers who believed in God and Jesus (Ps.
2:1-12; 16:10; Isa. 53:1-10; Luke
2:8-20, 25-38; John 3:25-36) before the day of Pentecost, those who
believed between Pentecost and the (seven-year) Great Tribulation, and those who
believed during the Tribulation. The main point being that those who
adhere to a Pre-tribulation rapture almost always make a distinction between the
"Holy Nation" / "Royal Priesthood" / "God's own
possession" / Church (of I Pet. 2:9-10) and the "God's own
possession" (future nation called) Israel -- that God will also prepare
for Himself (Mal. 3:16-18) and be with -- and among (Rev. 21:3). Such a
belief (that the Church is not Israel, nor Israel the Church) is largely a result of
the belief in a pre-tribulation
rapture. It also
results from the belief that most Israelis are not of mixed descent,
that the New Nation of Israel consists almost entirely of Jews, and
that God would not let His church people (in the West) suffer persecution or death
-- as happened with the apostles and many millions of others.1
+ One = Two ... things that MUST occur FIRST
teachers today, including those on TV and radio, teach a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
(only) view of the end times. And they do so as if it were engraved in
stone, or the word of God, and thus stands on its own without any fancy
(between the lines) interpretation. They also put such views in their church
doctrinal statements and say such things as:
know the church will be (removed by) Rapture before the Antichrist
is revealed." 2
Rapture ... "is the next event
on God's prophetic ... clock."
suggest that part of the body (of Christ) must
remain on earth while the other part is in heaven is contrary to
the Syrian" (said that) "all the saints and Elect of God ... (will
be) "gathered, prior to the Tribulation that is to come ... 5
according to Jesus' own words in Matt.
24:29-31 and the apostle Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians, the
Lord's coming (or rapture)
cannot occur until two things occur first: meaning that the rapture can't
"next thing" on God's prophetic clock. And in this regard, the
apostle Paul warned us (in advance) to NOT be deceived about.
"Let no one
in any way
deceive you, for
it shall not come unless
the apostasy comes first, and the man of
lawlessness is revealed; who opposes and exalts himself above every
so-called god or object of worship ...."
that the "it" in the above verse refers to
"the coming of the Lord, and our gathering together to Him." This "day of the Lord" (vs. 2) and "our gathering
together to Him" (from verse 1) refers to the Rapture of the church or gathering
believers from all over the world: both those who have gone before us and
those who are "alive and remain" on the earth -- first to "meet
the Lord" in the air (I Thes. 4:17), then to Israel to conquer His
enemies (at the battle of Armageddon), and then for wedding feast in the city of
God: His holy mountain: Ps. 48:1-2; Isa. 25:6-9; Joel 2:16-17.
that those who say the Rapture can happen at any moment are
deceived and deceiving many of their followers; however, that doesn't mean you should be. In
this regard our Lord warned us that there would be "many"
"false teachers" during the last days before His return, and that
"many" would also "fall away from" their (professed) faith
in Jesus (Matt. 24:9-14) and even turn against their former brothers and
sisters in Christ:
which is NOT the same as leaving the 'Sunday-Go-to-Meetin,' church
(sermon / attendance game) that
many are caught up in and hindered by: as opposed to "losing one's
life" (in Christ) and finding and doing God's will for his or her life --
Mark 3:31-35; 8:34-38. See also Luke 14:16-23, 18:28-30 and Ps. 34:3-5.
this regard, we are told that at least 144,000 of God's "bond servants"
(during this period) know the difference between following the Lord vs an
apostate church: simply because they they "follow the Lamb" wherever He
goes: Rev. 7:3 and 14:4. We can also say that all other true Church members
will also "always be with the Lord" and
when He comes, and with Him where He is: I Thes. 4:17; John 14:1-3; 17:24.
also that the Bible issues STERN Warnings for those who teach things that
are false. Especially when doing so in a "Thus saith the
See Jer. 23:13-22 and Ezek. 13:1-23.
I had my way, I would choose to be Raptured before the Tribulation, and this
(pre-tribulation rapture view) is what I was taught by my own pastors and by
virtually all radio preachers who teach on this subject. It is also the
view that I myself believed for about 25 years. However, we must be willing to
allow the Scriptures to speak to us, and not declare what we want them to say
or what people want to hear: especially when such views may lead them to place their
faith in something that isn't (or may not be) true. It's also our
responsibility to do OUR OWN HOMEWORK, and NOT simply take the word of others
as if it were the gospel truth: Acts 17:11.
used to believe that when the Holy Spirit, or restrainer, is taken out of
the way (2 Thes. 2:5-8), then we also must go up and away with Him (to
heaven); however, I
have since come to realize that the restrainer who is keeping the
antichrist from being revealed does not need to take believers to heaven
when he moves "out of the way," but rather simply to step aside and allow the lawless one
(who deceives the world) to take his place
and do what he wants: i.e. to proclaim himself as God. In this
regard, it is significant that the
restrainer is spoken of as "he," suggesting that it is not the
church -- or bride of Christ: otherwise it would say when "she"
... is taken away.
problem with a Pre-Tribulation rapture view is found in Daniel chapters 7, 8,
and 12 -- where we are told that the forces of evil will "shatter"
or break the "power of the holy people." But if the holy
people are not on the earth during this time (due to Rapture), then
how could their power be broken? In fact, Dan. 12:1 and 7 tell us
that the Lord returns just after this takes place. See
also Rom. 12:1, Eph. 1:4, Col. 1:22, I Pet. 1:15-16 and 2:9-10 with
regard to who the holy people are.
Reasons used to promote a Pre-Trib Rapture include:
has not destined us to wrath: I Thes. 5:9
apostle John was called up to get a message:
word isn't mentioned beyond Revelation 3
don't need to be 'purged' through suffering
11, Israel, and the Church
Church is separate from Israel:
Rom. 11 and Rev. 1-22
Lot were divinely Protected
Post-Trib Rapture leaves Nobody Behind
... to repopulate the Earth
following are also discussed:
Does the Rapture occur?
and Death's End:
Are-Linked-Together in I Cor. 15:51-55
will be Protected
+ Two = Four
... Two other things
that must also take place
Rev. 3:10 apply to All churches
that "God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Pre-Tribulation
Rapture advocates claim
that since the Tribulation is a time of God's wrath (toward evil and
evildoers), that we
therefore will not go through it. However, going through the tribulation or coming out of it
(even by death) is NOT the same as being condemned for all eternity (2
Thes. 1:9; Rev. 14:9-11; 21:8). In fact, the two can scarcely be compared: since one is
Very Bad while the other leads to eternal life: Dan 11:35;
12:3; Rev. 6:9-11; 12:11; 19:7-9. This is especially true when viewed from an eternal
perspective and when one realizes that the God who made
us and gave us our
life, also has power over both
physical and spiritual death (Ps. 9:13; 16:10; 34:22; Isa. 25:8; 55:3; Ezek.
37:13-14; John 11:25-26, 43-44) and that He knows
those who are His: John 6:37; 10:14, 27.
authors point out that the Tribulation is the Time of
Satan's wrath toward God's people (Rev. 12:12);. In this
regard, author Steven
Amy points out
saints are not the target of God’s wrath during this time, but are
persecuted by the beast (Rev. 13:7). When God comes, his wrath is directed
toward those who are persecuting the saints, and He provides relief for the
suffering saints (2 Thes. 1:6-10)."
reason why God pours out His wrath toward the ungodly at this time is because
they would not repent of their evil deeds, and because they took the mark of
the devil (or "beast") to try and save their own (temporary) lives (Rev. 9:1-12, 20-21;
Mark 8:34-38) and thus they chose to believe lies (such as nobody made us,
there is no right or wrong, and that an imposter is God) rather than the
truth: 2 Thes. 2:12; Rev. 13:3-4, 7-18.
4:1 says that
the apostle John was called up to heaven to see and record what was even taking place
then ... and to warn the Church about the things that would take place
just before Christ's return. This
verse does not mention a great gathering of believers being taken up when John
was taken up for this peek of heaven; however, it does mention a "loud
voice that sounded like a trumpet."
could be that the rapture happens just before the great Tribulation; however,
this verse does not mention it, but rather gives the apostle a front-row view
of heaven, and what was even then taking place. It also shows
us that the words Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross -- to the thief next
to Him -- were true: for He said that,
"today you will be with Me
This vision is also a confirmation
of what the apostle Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:8: that "to be absent
from the body is to be present with the Lord." In
other words, when one is "absent from the body," he or she, is
carried up to God's throne and allowed to see what John, the apostle, saw in
this vision: i.e. many people gathered around God's throne. And while it
is possible to claim that this verse is talking about the rapture, such an
event is not said to have occurred at this time. In fact, if it did,
then it would have taken place over 1900 years ago and also contradict other verses
that actually tell us when it takes place: meaning that this verse is
not something to build a doctrine on nor divide over.
1-22 and the word "church"
word "church" simply means gathering together of believers, or
"called out ones."
The place where they meet has nothing to do with it: meaning that it can be an
outdoor park, a home, or a building. Those who hold to a Pre-Tribulation
rapture emphasize the fact that the word 'church' is not mentioned after chapter three of Revelation
until near the end of the book (in Ch. 22). This is then used to declare
that, "The Lord
has said" ... "that
the church will be Raptured before the Tribulation begins,"
when that is NOT what the Lord actually said: nor His apostles. Those
who claim this make light of the fact that various other words are used (from
Chapters 4-22) that refer to the church and/or its members:
such as, "bride" (Rev. 19:7-8; 21:2), "bond-servants"
(Rev. 7:3; 19:5; 22:3, 6, Mal. 3:16-18; John 12:26), "saints' (Rev. 13:7, 14:13, 16:6,
18:24, 19:8), "prophets"
(Rev. 16:6, 18:24) "souls ... (who) maintained
(their) testimony" (Rev.
6:9; 12:11), "fellow
servants," and "brethren" (Rev. 6:11, 12:10-11), "a great
multitude ... in white robes ... who come out of the great
tribulation" (Rev. 7:9-14), "the dead who die in the
Lord" (Rev. 14:13), "armies ... in fine linen" (Rev. 19:14),
and "those who wash their robes," (Rev. 22:14).
this regard, author Stephen Amy points out that the book of Revelation was
written "to the churches" (Rev. 22:16). 4
is also seen from chapters 1, 2, and 3. For example, Rev. 1:4-6 tells us
that the book (of Revelation) was written to the "churches: as does each
and every letter to the seven
churches -- which is why the phrase "to
the churches" appears seven times, or at the end of each letter to
every "church": thus telling us that this book
applies not just to all "churches" at that time, but to all believers who have
lived from the time of Christ's first appearance until He comes again.
who assert that the reason the
word "church" isn't used after chapter three is because of a
(pre-tribulation) rapture, must make light of the above verses: i.e. such as
that "saints" are mentioned throughout the book of Revelation,
and ignore the fact that saints comprise the church --
even as do "brethren," "fellow
servants," "bride," etc.. See Rom. 1:5-7,
I Cor. 1:2, Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1 and note that each of these books were
written to "the saints" or to individual members of these churches.
reason the word "church" isn't mentioned beyond chapter three of
Revelation (until chapter 22) is because the antichrist
wants to be
worshipped as if he were the Creator, or as if he were
God. Therefore he won't want competition from dissenting voices: meaning he will seek to shut down all
opposition -- including "churches" and other "organized
religions" (2 Thes. 2:3-12; Dan. 8:22-25; 11:31-35; Jer. 25:30-38;
Matt. 5:13; John 9:4, Psalm 9:15-17 and
Rev. 12-18). So If churches are shut down, then there are no
more public "churches" or gatherings of believers, but there
will still be individual saints. Note also that during this time, we are
told that many churches will be 'apostate,' or more interested in church
attendance than in winning
their neighborhoods and cities for Christ.
his book Prayer
that Brings Revival
David Yonggi Cho makes the following observation about the responsibility of
the Church and its members:
we don't catch the vision of our role as the salt of the earth, and we lazily
allow evil to gain control of ... our respective countries, then the salt
(will) have lost its savor. At that time, Jesus said ... it is
"good for nothing ..." Matt. 5:13.
in this regard,
that seven different churches are mentioned and
addressed in Revelation 2-3: and that they are warned to repent, remain faithful,
"overcome," and not be afraid of death but to
trust in the Lord: who Himself also overcame and now rules over it: Rev.
reason why the word "Church" is not used during this time is because
its members are being "grafted" into the nation of Israel: Rom. 11:17-27. This is discussed in more detail below, and
in an article titled: Who
is a True Jew?
Don't Need to be Tested
or Purged through Suffering:
proponents assert that since we are made clean by the blood of Christ (Eph.
1:7), by His name, His Spirit (I Cor. 6:11) and by confessing our sins (I John 1:9), that we
therefore don't need to be "tested" or "purged" of any
fleshly habits and/or worldly addictions that are defiling us (by suffering, persecution, or death). Some would also
say that we don't even need to make a serious effort to
Stop sinning ... since doing so is said to be (next to) impossible. However,
the Scriptures tell us that we are to be holy even as He is holy (I Pet. 1:15-16), to
"keep His commandments," (John 14:21-24) and love one another
as He loves us: John 13:34-35; I John 2:3-11. The following Scriptures also
tells us that we are to strive to become blameless in our daily
walk with God.
example, Jude 24 tells us that God "is able to keep (us) from stumbling
..." (in sin). This is brought out quite clearly by the
apostle Paul in the following verses.
do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts;
and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as
instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God ...
and your members as instruments of righteousness to
God ... and ... "Shall we sin because we are not under law but
under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present
yourselves to someone ... (for obedience) ... you are slaves of the one ... you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or
... obedience resulting in
righteousness." Rom. 6:12-16
sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge
of God. I speak this to your shame."
I Cor. 15:34
was more direct with a woman caught in adultery: "Neither
do I condemn you; go your way. From now on, sin no more"
John 8:11. We can be certain He would have said something similar to the
man as well if her accusers had brought him. And with regard to being
"purged," both the Old and New Testaments tell us that Christians
(who live godly lives) do, in fact, suffer for their faith, and that it is
evidence of who they are. For example,
unto you it is given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him,
but also to suffer for His sake ..."
do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for
your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but
to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on
rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice
you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit
of glory and of God rests on you.
Let none of you suffer as a murderer,
or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but
if anyone suffers as a Christian, let
him not be
ashamed, but in that name let him glorify
God. For it is
time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with
us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of
I Peter 4:12-17
Daniel also mentions God's people who suffer after the abomination of desolation is set up
(Dan. 11:31; 2 Thes. 2:4-9). For example:
people who know their God will display strength and take action (and
will) give understanding to (many) ... yet some will fall ... to refine, purge, and make them pure."
to Rev. 3:10, Jesus said that one reason why other "churches" were going through the Tribulation was to
"test" them: even as many of their fellow brethren (who went before
them) were tested. This is probably because they were not living as clean
and pure lives as the Philadelphians: nor taking a stand for the gospel the way
that they were. In other words, the Philadelphians were not only living
pure lives and caring for one another, but being persecuted for their stand
for the truth, while most of the other churches were compromising the truth in
some way, shape, or form. See Rev. 6:9-11, 13:15 and 14:9-13. See also Rev. 1:15-18; 3:10; Ps. 9:13; 34:4; 125; Isa. 25:6-9; 26:19; 41:10;
43:1; John 6:37-40; 11:25-26; 34-44; Acts 2:31-32; Heb. 2:14; 10:35 and
reason the Lord wants us to live holy (or sinless) lives is because He,
Himself, is holy (I Pet. 1:15-16), and so that we have "confidence"
and not "shrink away from Him in shame at His
coming" -- I John 2:27-29, Eph. 1:4, 5:27, Col. 1:2. In
other words, He wants us to be 'blameless,' and to be right with Him when He
comes for us.
this regard, I myself forsook many of my old (sinful) habits not long after
being "saved;" while others have been more difficult to overcome,
and thus I have confessed my failure (to God and others) many times. And although I am
much more "sanctified" and "set apart" than when I was first
saved, I still struggle with the old nature, and that for me to have
victory I must literally avoid anything and everything that pollutes my
mind or causes me to stumble: whether TV, Radio, Movies, Books, Magazines, Entertainment, Money, saying
too much, and/or those who cause me to stumble: James 3:2; Matt. 18:9, 15,
Heb. 12:1; Psalm 11:5; 101:3; Isa. 33:15, Ezek. 35:6.
11, Israel, and the Church:
Romans 11 tells us that
a partial hardening has happened to many people of Jewish and Israelite
descent and that many gentiles have been "grafted in"
to the "olive tree" (nation and priesthood) of Israel. Note that it is the
church that is grafted in to Zion or the New and revived nation: as
opposed to present Israel being grafted into the (non-political and local) "Church."
This came as a discovery to me as I read and re-read Romans 11, Rom. 3:28-31,
Isa. 11:11-12, 49:13-18, 56:3-8, Micah 4:6-8, Zeph. 3:8-20, and Matt. 21:42-44:
that talk about God tearing down the old (religious and political structure
that forsook Him) and reassembling a new nation of believers when Christ
regard to this time of 're-structuring'
the 'church' from a local body of believers to an Israelite nation and
Priesthood, Gentile believers are warned not to be arrogant toward Jews
and Israelis, nor to abandon our faith in the Lord and His
goodness, that has 'great reward.' Rom. 11:18-22; Heb.
10:35-39; Isa. 25:6-9; 35:3-5.
Amy says the following in this regard:
authors typically acknowledge that there will be saints on the earth during
the tribulation, but they deny that such
saints are members of the church. This
assertion grows from dispensationalism, a method of interpreting Scripture
that distinguishes Israel from the church in the last days. Thus they
explain that although saints can be on the earth, the church is not. But
there can be no doubt that believing Jews are portrayed as members of the
church (from Pentecost to the coming of the Lord) in such passages as Eph.
2:14; Rev. 2:8-11, and Rev. 3:7-13. The dispensationalist’s assertion that
believing Israel is not to be confused with the church ... fails to consider
believing Jews and gentiles go through the tribulation (Rev. 7:4-8,
(2) the church, since ... Pentecost, has been composed of Jews and
(3) the book of Revelation is written “to the churches” (Rev.
the Church separate from Israel?
If the Church
is separate from the nation of Israel, or Zion, then why would the apostle
Paul say that there is "no distinction"
and Gentile believers (Col.
3:11, Rom. 10:12) and that we are all one in
also Ephesians 3:1-21 (especially verse 6), where we are told that Gentiles are
included, and part of God's program / "holy
nation" (of "priests"), and which the New Nation of Israel will
also become. In
this regard, note what the Lord said to His 12 disciples -- who were
definitely part of His Church: i.e. that after the resurrection they would sit
on 12 thrones: judging the 12 tribes of Israel: Matt. 19:28. Therefore, since
the 12 apostles were (and are) part of the church, and will also be part of
Israel, then it appears that Israel and the Church are closely tied together:
if not one and the same.
Scriptures also say that when the Lord returns He will gather the 'outcasts' and
'afflicted' and make them a 'remnant' and a 'strong nation' and 'reign over
them from Mount Zion' (Micah
4:5-6) -- suggesting quite strongly that the new nation of Israel will be
comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. This event will happen
from all over the earth (Isa. 11:10-12; Matt. 24:29-31), and will involve 'many
nations' ... who ... join themselves to the Lord ... to become His
people (Zech. 2:11): including 'foreigners" who once were not His
people. See also Hos. 2:23; Isa. 56:3-8 and Zeph. 3:19-20.
the rapture to occur before the tribulation is to assert that believers (who
church) are separate and distinct from Israel or Zion; however, in Romans 11:25-31, we learn
that Israel is the crown -- or completion -- of the church, and that the
church is grafted into a New Nation that the Lord will
put together when He comes back while also saving the Israeli
nation that presently exists: which will become
believers in the Messiah all at once, and who together say when He comes:
"This is our
God, for whom we have waited, that He might save us."
And "Let us rejoice and be
glad in His salvation." ... The One who will wipe tears away from all
faces." Isa. 25:8-9
For more on this see Who
is the Remnant of Israel?
about Noah and Lot?
Pre-Tribulation proponents use the example of Noah to assert that Christians
won't go through the Tribulation: since God protected Noah from the Flood;
however, they often fail to point out that Noah and his family actually
went through the Flood, yet were "saved" from it because they
obeyed God and built an ark of safety. See Genesis 6-9 and I Pet. 3:20.
and his immediate family were also rescued from Sodom by angels who took them
into the wilderness, as opposed to off of the planet: Gen.
Post-Trib Rapture leaves nobody behind to re-populate the Earth
statement above and the quote below are by Tiffany
an article she wrote on the rapture. The following is an excerpt.
the church is on earth during the tribulation, AND on earth during the
millennium, what would be the point of taking them up ... and ... (then) ...
right back again? Even more convincingly, if all believers ... are raptured at
the end of the tribulation, their bodies would be glorified to enter heaven.
So, all unbelievers will be dead and all believers glorified. There will be
nobody left to populate the earth during the millennium. That means that if
you get rid of the pre-trib rapture, you have to get rid of the millennial
kingdom as well. And unless you are willing to accept an entirely metaphorical
reading of Revelation, it’s hard to dismiss the millennial kingdom.
is a two-part question, the first part dealing with what happens at the
rapture: when we go up to "meet the Lord" in the air – even as He
is coming back to take over the earth and to set foot on the Mount of Olives
(Zech. 14:1-4). And since He
does, in fact, come down to take over, and since we -- after being caught up
with Him (according to I Thes. 4:17) --
shall always be with Him, then we also will be coming (right back) with Him,
even as He is in the process of returning.
other part is one that’s still somewhat of a mystery (I Cor. 2:6-14;
15:51-54) . For example, is the
church a separate entity from Israel or part of it, as Romans 11:11-25 and
various other passages appear to say? For
example Isa. 56:3-8; Jn. 10:16, Gal. 3:6-9, 26-29; Eph. 3:3-6. and Rev.
related mystery in this regard is the woman in Revelation 12:6 who is carried
into the wilderness” and protected (and/or hidden) from the beast for 1260
days? Who is she?
another (likely related) mystery
is what the apostle John was told not to record, and that would not be made
clear until the time of the end (Rev. 10:4-7)?
statement touches on yet another mystery: i.e. who are the ones that are left
over to re-populate the earth -- after at least two raptures take place?
regard to the two raptures, Jesus said that there will be a harvest at the end
of the age. More specifically He
told us that:
… just as the tares are
gathered up and burned with fire, so
shall it be at the end of the age.
Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom
all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them
into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of
the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears, let him hear.”
passage tells us that the wicked are taken away first, and that the righteous
who remain will then “shine forth as the sun.”
This agrees with what John tells us will happen to God’s people when
they see the Lord (I Cor. 15:51-52; John 3:1-3; Col. 3:4).: i.e. death is over
with and we are transformed, and made like Jesus.
14:14-20 also mentions two harvests that take place during or after the
tribulation: the second of which clearly involves the wicked.
See also Matt.
3:12, Luke 17:26-37 and Rev. 19:17-21.
Luke 17:26-27 we are told that the second coming of Christ will be just like
it was in the days of Noah: where Noah and his family went into the ark (that
they build in advance), and then, on that same day the rain came, and
continued non-stop for 40 days. Jesus
also compared His return to the days of Lot: where Lot and his family were
told to flee to the wilderness, and then, as soon as they were out of danger
(and on the very same day), fire came down from heaven and destroyed
all of those who remained.
could this be the case if there were a pre-tribulation rapture where 1/3rd
to 1/4th of the
planet’s population suddenly disappeared in thin air?
In other words, if a pre-tribulation rapture signaled the beginning of
a 7-year tribulation, then those ‘Left Behind’ would be able to
count down the days to the end of the age.
At the very least one must admit that there was no such warning or event that
preceded the great flood, nor the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
also tells us that, “It
will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.”
that day, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the
house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the
field turn back. “
verses are almost identical to Matt. 24:15-21, where
"those in Judea" are told to "flee to the mountains"
because of the "abomination" that causes desolation: which the
apostle Paul tells us is a reference to the revelation of the man of lawlessness
(2 Thes. 2:1-8). And the very next verse tells us to “Remember
those who don’t know, Lot was warned to tell his family to flee to the
mountains and “not look back;” however,
his wife stopped and looked back, and we are told that she became a
“pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26).
In her case it was likely because she wanted to go back (i.e. to the world
and what it had to offer).
And so we are told that it would be far better to head
for the hills, or "go into (our) inner rooms" and hide out (Isa.
26:20-21) rather than “seek to save (our) life” by denying Jesus, or taking the mark of the beast or worshipping his image
(or picture) or continue to live a life of ease and pleasure. See also
8:34-38, John 9:4, Rev. 14:9-13.
is also confirmed by the next verse (Luke 17:33).
verses that place the revelation of the antichrist on or at the same time as
the rapture, or "rescue" of God's people are Daniel 12:1-3 and Rev.
17:12: where we learn that the beast only rules for "one
if the tribulation is seven years long, and represents "one week,"
and if "one hour" of a "week" (of years) is only
1/24th of a day, and if a "day" of the tribulation (week) represents
one year, one can build a case that the "one hour" spoken of here is
1/24 of a year, or only two weeks.
any rate, it seems that there will be both righteous and unrighteous people
still living and working together up until the Lord's return: where we are told that, “on that
night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left
… “two women will be grinding at the same place; one will be taken,
and the other left … “
the disciples of Jesus asked him, “Where Lord?”
And He said to them, “Where
to body is, there also will the vultures be gathered.”
Luke 17:37 NASB
above is a reference to the rapture of the
unsaved: who are taken to a valley in Israel where the battle of
Armageddon is taking place, and whose bodies are eaten by birds: Luke
17:34-37; Matt. 13:38-43, 47-50; 24:37-51; Rev. 19:17-21.
In the passage above from Luke the word "vultures" is used in the
NASB, while the King James uses the word "eagles." From the
context and the word "body," "vultures" conveys
more accurately what is going on here; however it is likely that there will be
all sorts of migratory birds present, since those taken away to destruction
are "assigned a place with the
wicked," Matt. 13:41, 49-50; 24:38-39, 45-51. In this regard,
the passage from Revelation 19 (17-21) is quite clear: i.e. that birds and the
"flesh" of men are involved when the wicked are destroyed.
scenario of the end times must take at least two raptures into account; as
they are both clearly taught. As
to who is left behind to repopulate the earth is uncertain; it may have to do with the woman who is
taken into the wilderness, or it may simply be those on "Mt. Zion"
... "and in Jerusalem" who “escape” (Joel
2:32, Obad. 1:17)? Or it may be that the earth will only be
"re-populated" with "saints' who have eternal life.
This is alluded to when the 1000 years are completed and the devil
and his demons are released to "surround the camp of the
saints" Rev. 20:7-9. It is also alluded to in Isa. 32:1
and Ezek. 37:21-28.
advocates would have us believe that there are three raptures: one of the
church at the beginning of the tribulation, another of the unsaved at the end
of it, and still another of ‘elect’ also at the end.
Yet still they have the same question to answer: i.e. who is left over
to repopulate the earth?
Matthew 24, the rapture (of saints) happens in verses 29-31: at the end of the
tribulation; And further down in the same chapter another "rapture"
is mentioned; so it may take place on or about the same day (?).. Since
this second rapture (in Matt. 24) talks about removing all "stumbling
blocks" and assigning them a place with the "wicked," it is
possible that those "left behind" at this point are those who will repopulate
the earth during the millennial reign of Christ: if the earth is to be
re-populated with mortals (?).
Does the Rapture occur?
In Matthew 24:29-31 we learn that the rapture -- or gathering of
believers -- occurs just "after the tribulation of those
days." And in I Cor. 15:52 we are told that the rapture
takes place "at the last trumpet." This is likely the
seventh or last trumpet mentioned in Revelation 11:15-17 that takes place
after the two great witnesses are called up to heaven. It also occurs at the same time
the Lord begins to reign
and to reward His bond servants. Note that a "great trumpet" is also
blown at the gathering talked about in Matt. 24:29 that takes place at the end
of this age.
regard to the timing of this 'Last Trumpet,' Rabbi Monte Judah says:
is no question about the timing of the resurrection as being in the days
immediately AFTER the Great Tribulation. It also says that a great
trumpet is sounded. This could well be the LAST Trumpet. Logic
would say that any trumpet sounded before this would not be the LAST ...
since this one is sounded after the Tribulation." 7
an article titled "The
Gavin Finley points out that the Rapture and the "First
Resurrection" must be one and the same: and that it occurs "on the
last day" of this age. Below is a quote from the article:
must come at the end of the 70th Week … Because
the First Resurrection … in Revelation 20 is a late event. This
final epic Resurrection of the righteous ... clearly includes, and even
showcases, the Tribulation saints. (Rev.
20:4-6) Four times in … John 6 ...
(verses 39, 40, 44, and 54), Jesus said that He
would "raise up" His covenant people at the last day.
Paul ... said that these precious dead in Christ would rise first. (1
Thes. 4:15-17) So at the "last day" the dead will be raised. And
this ... "First Resurrection" spoken of by John in
Revelation 20:4-6. ... includes martyrs of the ... Tribulation who
refused to take the mark of the Beast.
Again, Jesus tells us four times in John 6
(that) ... He will raise His
people up ... at the last day of this age. "Only then will we who are
alive and remain be caught up" (or Raptured). ...
How much clearer can it get ...?
other words, according to Revelation: 20:4-6, the First Resurrection
happens at the end of the Tribulation: meaning that IF THERE WAS A PREVIOUS
RESURRECTION that took place (seven years prior) at a
"Pre-Tribulation" Rapture, then the "resurrection"
of Revelation 20:4-6 WOULD have been the SECOND
RESURRECTION. But since it is the FIRST,
then a Pre-Tribulation Rapture cannot be correct -- unless, we (read between
the lines and) assume that the "First Resurrection"
takes place in TWO stages that are separated by seven years: something that
John chapter 6 tells us is not the case.
Finley's point from John 6 makes this quite clear. For
verse 39 tells us that the
resurrection takes place on the "last day" and applies to "ALL
that He has given (to Jesus) -- which would certainly include His Bride.
In addition, verse 40 tells us that
this last day resurrection applies to "everyone who ... believes ..."
The only way
this could apply to "EVERYONE," is if it includes all those who came
to believe in Christ, both before and after His death and therefore must
include those who
came to believe during the Tribulation and also (must include) the
"church" -- otherwise the word "everyone" would not
mean everyone. In other words, Jesus did not say "everyone but the
also know there were Old Testament believers in Christ before His birth (Ps.
16:10; Mic. 5:2; Dan. 7:13-14) and at His birth (Luke 2:8-38) and that many
(especially Jews and Israeli's) will get saved during the Tribulation: Daniel
11:32-12:3, Hos. 3:5, 11:10-11, Rom. 11:25, Rev. 7:9-17, 12:11, and
14:12-13. Therefore, the "all" and "everyone" who
are raised up on the last day (in John 6) must apply to them as well as us:
meaning that the rapture takes place at the end of the Tribulation, or on the
"last day" of this age.
Rapture Linked to the End of Death
In the Comment
section of an article on the Rapture, Lou makes the following observation with
regard to the timing of the Rapture:
also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the
... end of “death”
(15:54) ... Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is
... tied to Isa. 25:8 ... Israel’s posttrib resurrection!"
other words, the rapture of the church coincides with the
end of death: which occurs at a 'lavish banquet' or wedding feast
that takes place on a mountain in Israel for "all peoples."
See Isa. 25:6-9, I Cor. 15:51-55, Matt. 8:5-12, and Isa. 35:3-10.
will be Protected?
In Isaiah 26:20-21 God tells His people to:
"Enter into your rooms,
and close the doors behind you; (and) Hide for a little while, until
indignation runs its course. For ... the LORD is about to come out from
His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity ..."
if God's people are raptured beforehand, then why would they have to hide out? This
would not apply to Jews or Messianic Jews in Israel, since those who 'in
Judea' are told to 'Flee into the mountains' (Matt. 24:16).
3:10 tells us that the church of Philadelphia will be protected from the
"hour of testing" (or Tribulation) that is about to come upon the
whole earth. This tells us that at least one whole church would be spared from
the Tribulation: which
was the case with this church -- since it doesn't exist on earth
anymore: or at
least not in that
2:3 also strongly suggests that some, if not many, of God's people will survive the Tribulation. It says:
the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances;
Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day
of the Lord's anger."
also tells God's people to pray and fast when armies invade Israel (Joel
even now," declares the LORD,
"Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting and weeping, and
mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments." ... and ... say,
'Spare Thy people, O LORD,
and do not make Thine inheritance a reproach, ... among the nations.
..." Joel 2:12-13, 15-17
the deliverance from the northern invaders and their allies (Joel 2:18-20,
Ezek. 38-39), a great revival takes place (Joel 2:28-29), and not long after
that the sun will be covered by a cloud (Joel 2:30-31; Amos 8:9, Exek. 32:7)
... and then we are told that:
it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be
those who escape ..." Joel 2:32. See also Romans
above verse could refer to a Rapture of believers and new believers, or to
their rescue and protection from what is still to come (Rev. 12:14). The
following verses also say something similar, about God's protection during
times of trouble: Psalm 27:1-2, 13-14; 28:6-9; 29:1--11; 31:4-8, 19-24; 32:7-10;
33:18-22; 91:1-14; Ps. 112:7; Proverbs 3:25-26; Luke 21:13-19, 36, Rev. 12:14;
Daniel 11:32-12:1; Jer. 51:45-50, and Mal. 3:17.
an internet article and blog on the Rapture, several authors comment that not
all who say they are Christians will be taken in a (Pre-tribulation) Rapture
... IF there is one (?). Some of the verses they use to support this are Rev. 3:1-5 about
the Church of Sardis: where we are told that there were a few there who had
NOT "soiled" their garments (by sinning after they got saved), and thus
(it is said) they would be spared from the
Tribulation. In this regard, pastor J. W. White makes the following
escape-the-tribulation insurance does exist, it’s only for those who are
right with God and their neighbors anyway ... (and) Escaping
the horrors of the … Tribulation … is tied directly to overcoming"
observation can also be made from what Jesus said of the Church of
Rev. 3:10: i.e. that they would be spared from the Tribulation because of
their godly lifestyle and the bold stand that they took for the cause of the
the final analysis, "those who know their God" will "put
their trust in Him" and realize that He is faithful, and that the
battle between good and evil is why we are here (Ps. 21:8) -- and that many
of our parents and grandparents have already went before us (to the
This is also why Jesus came to earth: i.e. to conquer death (Rev. 1:15-18),
destroy the works of the devil (I John. 3:8) and offer those who believe in
Him eternal life (I John. 2:25): meaning that those who belong to God have nothing to
fear: including death: Psalm 9:9-10, 13; 23:4; 34:4, 22;
Daniel 11:32-35; Luke 12:4-5; John 11:25-26; 14:1, 23, 27; Heb. 2:14-15; 10:38-39; Rev.
12:11, 17; 14:9-13.
+ Two = Four
things that we are told will occur before the
"day of the LORD"
are from Joel 2:28-32 and Matt.
24:14. They are:
sun will be darkened -- to the point that the day will become like night
(with no clouds or overcast) to block what takes place: according to
Amos 8:9. The "columns of
smoke" (from Joel 2:30) are actual columns or plumes that
will shoot out (from the sun) 180 degrees apart. In this regard, the author of this article knows someone who had a (very clear) dream
about this very thing. Joel 2:31 also tells us that this event will
take place "before the great and awesome day of the LORD
..." This event above is different from the smoke that
comes up out of the earth from a great pit that will be opened: and also
darken the sky: according to Rev. 9:2.
to Matthew 24:14, the gospel shall be preached "in the whole
world" before the Lord comes. This also has not yet
In addition to the above, it seems likely that TWO more things will also take
place (before the Rapture) as well as those previously
discussed. These are:
Russian and Arab invasion of Israel that is discussed in Ezekiel 32, 38,
39 and Psalm 83 -- along with a change in attitude toward Christians and
Jews (Isa. 18:1-7; 19:18-25; 28:17; 30:30; 31:5-9) and a change
in attitude of many 'secular' /non-believing Jews and Israelis:
Isa 8:14-15; Jer. 16:14-21; Hos. 3:5; 5:14-6:3; 11:10-11; Micah
(seven year) treaty that paves the way for
Israelis to rebuild their temple: Dan. 8:11-14; 9:27; 2 Thes. 2:1-9;
has said that the Rapture takes
place on the same day that the sun goes dark: or at the time
of the 6th seal. See also: Will
the Sun Really be Darkened?
Revelation 3:10 apply to All Churches?
Rev. 3:10 says that the church of Philadelphia will be protected from the hour
of testing that is about to come upon the whole earth: meaning that this
church will not go through the Great Tribulation; however, to assert that this
applies to ALL present day churches is highly questionable. This is
because the (AD 95) church of Philadelphia no
So even if we spiritualize this verse, we are still left with six other
churches that appear to go through the tribulation -- while one that no longer exists on
earth is protected from it.
message for us today is to be prepared for whatever awaits us: including the
possibility of remaining in our houses (elsewhere) for
an extended period of time, and/or of dying for the cause of the gospel.
See Zeph. 2:3; Psalm 27:1-2; 32:7-10;
33:18-22; 91:1-14; Ps. 112:7; Proverbs 3:25-26; Luke 21:36, Rev. 12:14; Daniel
11:32-12:1 and Jer. 51:45-50.
Ultimately those who "know their God" will "put their trust
in" Him and realize that the battle between good and evil is only
temporary, and that this is why Jesus came to earth: i.e. to conquer both evil
and death itself (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 1:15-18) and to offer us eternal life:
meaning that those who know God (Dan. 11:32-35) also belong to Him (Mal.
3:16-18), and thus have nothing to fear simply because He is faithful and
has promised to never leave us: Isa. 41:10; Deut. 31:8;
Luke 12:4-5; Ps. 9:9-10, 13; 23:4; Matt. 28:20; Jn 11:25-26; 14:1, 23, 27; Heb. 10:38-39;
1:15-18; 12:11, and 14:9-13.
say that since we are the "bride of Christ" that we
won't go through the tribulation, because no groom would "spank" his
bride before He marries her. However, such teaching makes light of the
fact that many millions of Christians have already been persecuted and/or even
killed for their faith. It is also worth noting that the city of New Jerusalem is also
called the "bride," or "wife of the Lamb," and the
whole land of Israel is said to be "Married" to the Lord (Isa.
62:4). In regard to the status of the church in the last
25:30-31 tells us that when the LORD comes out of His hiding
place, He will not be happy with at least some, if not much, of His 'fold.' 2 Thes. 2:3 also tells us plainly that there will be many lukewarm, or apostate
churches during the Tribulation: some of whom will fall away -- perhaps
because they placed too much hope on a Pre-Tribulation Rapture,
rather than on the Lord and spending eternity with Him? Or perhaps
because they were an unfaithful / "Runaway Bride."
this regard, 2
Tim. 4:3 says that "the time will come when they
will not endure
(or pay attention to)
sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap
to themselves teachers, having itching ears."
(KJV). The NASB says that they would rather have their "ears tickled"
nice words -- such as a Pre-Tribulation Rapture)
rather than the truth, or the "sound doctrine" of what
the Scriptures actually say.
The book of Revelation
also makes it clear that there will be many
saints who are killed for their faith in Jesus: because they refuse to receive
a computer ID / mark of the beast: which is likely some type of
computer-readable microchip or mark that can be scanned. Nowhere
are we told that these believers are all Jews or Israelis, but
rather simply people who have put their trust in Jesus and realize that a
computer ID chip is NOT the same thing as God's gift of eternal Life: that
only comes from knowing and calling upon the Lord of Creation: John 6:37; 17:3; Rom. 10:13.
as for the end times church, Jeremiah 23:13-32, 25:4-38 and Ezekiel 34 suggest that the
Lord will not be happy with many shepherds just before His return. Ezekiel 34:10
tells us that the LORD will
seek out His own and demand His sheep from them and make them stop feeding
also: Isa. 35:3-10 and Micah 4:6-7, where we are told that:
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"I will assemble the lame, and gather the outcasts, even those
whom I have afflicted. (and) "I will make (them)
a remnant, and the
outcasts a strong nation, and the LORD
will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever."
35--1650 AD in Europe, an estimated 50 million Christians lost their lives
because of their faith in Christ, and from 1958 to 1974 an estimated 60
million Chinese Christians and (many) Buddhists also.
Daniel to Doomsday, by John Hagee, 1999, p. 118 *
Daniel to Doomsday, by John Hagee, 1999, p. 88 *
Daniel to Doomsday, by John Hagee, 1999, p. 95 *
Daniel to Doomsday, by John Hagee, 1999, p. 101 **
Why the Pretribulation Rapture is Wrong, Stephen Amy, 2008, at the link
Rapture: Out of Order,
p. 6, at http://lionlamb.net
Finley MD, 2006, http://endtimepilgrim.org/runaway.htm
by Lou, on 6/12/11, comment section of: 12
Reasons NOT To Expect a PRE-Trib Rapture,
by Rev. J. W. White,
of The Partial Rapture Theory Explained
/ Escaping The Coming Storm: posted on Comment section of reference 9
* Numerous other authors and teachers take a similar viewpoint.
** Hagee credits Grant Jeffrey's research on when pre-trib
teaching first began: or in 373 AD.
is a True Jew?
of the End Time
Beginning of the End
Rapture: Out of Order
Something Wrong with Church?
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