250 Reasons for The Pre-Trib Rapture
The following is an excellent article, which was written by Sharon from “Jesus is the Coming King!” on Mar. 30, 2011. Her site has long since been taken down. (Very slightly modified by "Ithasbeenwritten")
BEGINNING NOTE: If you find this helpful and would like a copy, feel free to copy, paste and print. You may find it helpful also, in reading this material—to have a copy on hand to read at your leisure. Be blessed!
I see a need for a THOROUGH LOOK at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the true Church. There’s so many differing teachings, opinions and misunderstandings about it, I felt it BENEFICIAL that people have ACCESS to a full thread concerning this topic.
My FIRST assumption was that this subject would be short, sweet and to the point. I should have known better! Once I jumped into this project, compiling the array of scripture, I soon discovered it’s much larger than I anticipated. So therefore, this topic, although offered under ONE THREAD (for continuity), is SUBDIVIDED into shorter portions. (I’ll number these REASONS from 1 to 250—and the number sequence will flow from one section to another, and give a FULL COUNT of all that I list.)
SOME COMMON OBJECTIONS TO THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
(a.) People argue that there’s NO VERSE in the Old Testament that clearly says Christ will return in TWO STAGES.
(b.) People argue that there’s NO VERSE in the New Testament that clearly says Jesus will return in TWO STAGES.
(c.) People point out that THE SAME WORDS are used for The Rapture and The Second Coming, so therefore there’s no difference between the TWO COMINGS (or “parousia” in the Greek). For instance, 1 Thessalonians 4:15 speaks of the COMING of the Lord—in reference to the Rapture and Mark 13:36 speaks of the COMING of the Lord—in reference to His Second Coming. Yet people will insist there’s NO difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming. THEY ERR IN THEIR LOGIC.
People who make these word comparisons NOTE the similarities (it’s a COMING of Jesus), but they IGNORE the many CONTEXTUAL DIFFERENCES that surround the passages in question!
I’ll use an illustration to show the breach IN LOGIC: For example, I have eyes. A horse has eyes. Therefore, I’m a horse. SKEWED LOGIC! This is to make note of ONE similarity, while ignoring dozens of differences!
I’m reminded of another example, something to illuminate the reason for so many different interpretations of prophecy. Remember the old story about the blind men who encounter an elephant? Each blind man reached a different conclusion, based upon WHERE they touched the critter. A rope, tree trunk, garden hose, and wall… So also, depending upon WHAT FACET of prophecy people focus upon, many differing ideas emerge. People fail to compare scripture to scripture, or even stay within the immediate context.
We MUST be aware of the DIFFERENCES surrounding pertinent prophecies (Israel or the Church, Rapture or the Second Coming) and make the LOGICAL deductions. What’s different? How is it different? Why is it different? And what does it mean?
God will never say ONE THING IN ONE PLACE, only to TURN AROUND to say something DIFFERENT in ANOTHER PLACE! Study it the Word, consider it, pray for the Holy Spirit to shine His light upon it, and make CORRECT DEDUCTIONS about WHY those DIFFERENCES are there.
EXCUSES AGAINST A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
(a.) Some people insist that the Church should prepare for trouble. They say that the Church better know how to survive in the tribulation—in just in case—because we might find ourselves in the midst of it.
It’s true that we should NEVER THINK that since we KNOW Jesus—we’ll not experience anything bad. It’s true, that IN this world, people experience troubles, trials, tragedies and afflictions. It’s also true that the Church, in Jesus, will OVERCOME these sufferings. It’s true that our faith should be strong in the Word of the Lord, and in His promises, so we can RISE ABOVE whatever situation we might face. BUT IT’S NOT TRUE that the Church should FORTIFY ourselves in order to SURVIVE THE TRIBULATION. The true Church will NOT be in the tribulation, NOT AT ALL!
(b.) People say the Church will grow lazy if we expect a Pre-Trib Rapture.
That idea runs contradictory to scripture. I’ll cite TWO examples. Jesus told His servants to “occupy until I come.” Luke 19:13. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has ordained BEFOREHAND that we should WALK in them. Ephesians 2:9. When we love Christ and are walking in the Spirit (not the flesh), our DESIRE is to be ACTIVE in the things our Lord has instructed us to do. To operate otherwise is to be in disobedience.
(c.) People say GOD IS LOVE—so, therefore, He’ll NOT get angry, or allow people to be hurt and killed.
That excuse is THE RESULT of unbalanced teachings in the compromised Church of these end times. The LOVE of God is overly emphasized, while His Holy attributes are ignored.
Scripture declares that God is a JEALOUS God, visiting the iniquity upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him. God will allow “no other gods” before Him. God is JUST and He WILL punish the unrighteous. God HATES sin and He WILL JUDGE it! I know this is an uncomfortable picture, but GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. People need to KNOW these facts.
Here’s the good news: God has provided A WAY by which sinful mankind can approach His HOLINESS. He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, into the world, that whosoever believes on Him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have everlasting life! Jesus paid a HIGH PRICE to save us—shedding His blood, dying and resurrecting, so that we can have FELLOWSHIP with Him and with the Father.
(d.) People say NO ONE can know whether the Rapture will be Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Post-Trib or Pre-Wrath. Therefore, they’ll settle the issue for good, and call it “Pan-Trib,” meaning that “everything will PAN-OUT in the end.”
This excuse rings TRUE for those who are so CONFUSED that they don’t know WHAT to believe about the Rapture. So they, conclude (correctly, I might add), that since they KNOW Jesus, everything will be okay.
But these people also FEARFULLY add that if they find themselves in the tribulation, facing death, they’ll gladly die. Their BLESSED HOPE has been robbed—(maybe, they never had any HOPE of ESCAPE to begin with.) And perhaps, the Pan-Tribulation believer does NOT want to devote THE TIME to find out what’s REALLY TRUE—so they opt out by saying, with a chuckle, “It will all pan-out in the end.”
I won’t judge anyone for their choice in this matter. But there IS a BETTER WAY. I offer this LIST OF REASONS for the Pre-Trib Rapture to edify, help and encourage the ones who are confused.
THE BENEFITS OF THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
(a.) We learn important lessons in Bible interpretation.
(b.) We properly distinguish between the Church and Israel.
(c.) We’re encouraged. 1 Thessalonians 4:18.
(d.) We have LIVING hope. Titus 2:13.
(e.) We practice holy living. Matthew 24:42-51, 1 John 3:2-3.
(f.) It makes a difference in how we face the world of these end times.
If we believe in the Post-Trib Rapture of the Church, REALLY BELIEVE IT, we’ll live in fear for ourselves and for our loved ones.
If we believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church, REALLY BELIEVE IT, we look for Jesus to arrive at any moment, and are full of joy.
THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE’S MESSAGE OF IMMINENCE
1. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the ONLY position which MAINTAINS IMMINENCE. Other positions REQUIRE that certain prophecies be fulfilled FIRST. It is true there are signs we are told to watch for, like knowing those who see Israel reform will be the last generation, or the great signs of Revelation 12 happening prior to when the one who is to rule the Nations with a rod of iron is "Caught up", but we didn't know what the sign of the woman was until right before it happened. Those who knew of it were probably more ready to meet the Lord than anyone. Now that this has happened, it would appear that the second sign may be in concert with the rapture! SO we have remained in a state of imminence, the entire time. Obviously there must be some period of time, in order for the fullness of the gentiles to come in, but no one knows when that will be. We only know some of the signs that will happen, when it is near.
2. Instead of watching for Jesus to come in the air, instead of anticipating His arrival with joy, people watch for the APPEARANCE of the ANTICHRIST, for signs, for wars, and for the unfolding of many other prophecies FIRST. This DESTROYS imminence.
3. Scripture declare that no one KNOWS the day or the hour of Jesus’ appearance. This HAS TO MEAN the Rapture His Church! If it were meant for the time AFTER the tribulation, it does NOT make sense. The days and hours of the tribulation CAN BE COUNTED and KNOWN, according the prophecy of Daniel 9:27! EXACT years, months and days are GIVEN—and anyone WHO SEES the antichrist make the “peace covenant” with Israel can BEGIN counting—ARRIVING at the year, month, and day when Jesus’ feet will touch the earth. Should the Church be required to enter the tribulation, we’d calculate the day and the hour—which is the opposite NOT KNOWING! The scriptures MUST show TWO DIFFERENT events!
4. We see many instances where Jesus exhorted His people to watch, emphasizing NOT KNOWING the day or the hour. In Matthew 24:42-47, the Goodman of the house is to be WATCHING.
5. In Mark 13:28-37, the parable of the fig tree (the rebirth of Israel) is given, showing a general time and season. Jesus again exhorted His people to be ready and WATCHING, because they do NOT know the day or the hour when He will come.
6. In Luke 21:29-36, the parable of the fig tree is repeated, with a parallel warning, to be ready and WATCHING, because no one KNOWS the day or hour (when Jesus will appear to Rapture His true Church).
7. In Matt 24:48-51, the evil servant did NOT watch. He said, “the Lord DELAYS His coming.” Thinking there’s plenty of time BEFORE the Lord appears, the evil servant began beating his fellow servants, and fulfilling the LUSTS of his flesh, eating and drinking with the drunken. Jesus will come when that evil servant is NOT looking for him, NOT expecting His imminent arrival, in an hour when the servant is NOT AWARE—NOT WATCHING! The Lord will cut that servant asunder—in judgment. People who do NOT EXPECT the Lord’s IMMINENT coming GROW LAX in keeping guard over their lives, and are NOT ready—because they think there’s still plenty of time.
8. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church calls for us to remain IMMINENT, and it’s an INCENTIVE for holy living! 1 John 3:2-3.
9. The EARLY CHURCH believed in the IMMINENCE of Jesus’ coming. EARLY WRITINGS have been discovered which SHOWS His coming was expected at ANY MOMENT. (A fact of history.) “The original ‘pre-millennial, pre-tribulation’ views can be traced throughout church history. The essentials of these views appear in the Epistle of Barnabas, (AD. 100) and other early writings: Irenaeus, in Against Heresies; Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus (2nd century); and Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho. These views also show up in The Approaching Deliverance of the Church, by Peter Jurieu, 1687; Philip Doddridge’s Commentary on the New Testament, 1738; Dr. John Gill’s Commentary on the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.. 1748; James Macknight’s Commentary on the Apostolical Epistles, 1763; and Thomas Scott’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, 1792. The recent discovery of the writings of Ephraem the Syrian also confirm this view: Thomas D. Ice and Timothy J. Demy, Bibliothecra Sacra, July—September 1995.”
10. Following the early Church councils (where sound Christian doctrine was upheld), came a time of decline. Many doctrines that mainline denominations support are based on heresies proposed by Augustine—no millennium, the “spiritualization” and “allegorical” methods of interpretation. IMMINENCE was lost. And a Church which was NOT EXPECTING the Lord’s SOON RETURN became lax in sharing the Gospel, and drifted into many areas of error. (Another fact of history.)
THE RAPTURE IS IN THE BIBLE
[This section is BASIC UNDERSTANDING, but I MUST include it. Some people DENY the Rapture because THE WORD is not found in our English translations of the Bible.]
11. The argument that the Rapture isn’t found in the Bible is false.
12. Rapture is from the Latin “rapere” or “rapturo” which is INDEED found in the Latin Vulgate Version of the Bible. It’s from this Latin root that we get our English word “raptor.” A raptor (eagle, osprey, hawk, owl) swoops down from above to suddenly “snatch up” its dinner with force. In the rapture, Jesus will descend into the air and suddenly “snatch up” His Church to Himself with THE FORCE of His words, “Come up here” (which is seen in Revelation 4:1).
13. The Greek word for the Rapture is “harpazo” which is translated as “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The literal definition of “harpazo” is to catch up and away, to pluck up, to take by force.
14. While “the word” Rapture is not found in our English translations of the Bible, it is INDEED there as “caught up” and in THE ACTION displayed IN that event!
15. The famous Rapture scriptures are these: the promise of it in John 14:1-3, the Old Testament description of it in Isaiah 26:19-20, Paul’s teachings upon it in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, and in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8.
16. The ACTIONS shown in Revelation 4:1 is a TYPE of the Rapture, present in the DISPLAYED ACTION, and IN the SEQUENCE of events—(occurring AFTER the testimony of the SEVEN CHURCHES in Revelation 2:1-29 and Revelation 3:1-22). “After” is DECLARED TWICE in Revelation 4:1—“After these things” and “hereafter.” AFTER what things? AFTER the ministry of the SEVEN CHURCHES. When the “plain sense” makes “perfect sense” seek “no other sense.”
TWO COMINGS OF JESUS? THE SECOND COMING IN STAGES
[Again, this is BASIC info—but since people DO object to The Rapture on the false premise that there are “not” two comings of Jesus, I’ll offer a rebuttal.]
17. Israel, and the Jewish Pharisees, at the time of Jesus did NOT recognize their promised Messiah when Jesus presented Himself to them. Why? They didn’t differentiate between their own prophecies which show the TWO COMINGS OF JESUS.
18. In Jesus’ FIRST COMING, He arrived on earth as the SUFFERING Messiah. Isaiah 53:2-10. Psalms 22:6-8 and Psalms 11:1-18.
19. In Jesus’ SECOND COMING, He’ll arrive on earth as a CONQUERING and REIGNING King. Psalms 2:6-12. Zechariah 12:9 and Zechariah 9:16.
20. Jews, who studied the scripture (as if they had a microscope) missed this. When Jesus did not FIT THEIR IDEA of a KING, they rejected Him. How could that be? How could they have missed it? TWO REASONS: (a.) They had PRECONCEIVED IDEAS of what to expect. (b.) They “studied” scripture with NATURAL UNDERSTANDING (the corrupt mind of the flesh—which is AT ENMITY—and hostile to God. Romans 8:7-8 and 2 Corinthians 2:9-14). The religious leaders continually tried to TRAP Jesus, and He rebuked them often, which further infuriated them. (Matthew 12:1-50 is the classic example of their blindness.) The “religious” people could NOT see Who Jesus really was. When Jesus said “I AM” (the Hebrew equivalent of God’s name— Luke 22:70), and said that they would see Him sitting at the right hand of God, the Father (Matthew 26:64), they tore their clothes and accused Him of blasphemy! This led to His crucifixion, exactly as the scriptures prophesied. The “religious leaders” in Israel were “instrumental” in (helping) to fulfill their own prophecies.
21. Today, people also study the scriptures with their NATURAL UNDERSTANDING (without the Light of the Holy Spirit). They have PRECONCEIVED IDEAS of HOW the prophecies will be fulfilled. Many do NOT see the Second Coming of Jesus as happening in stages.
22. Stage ONE is The Rapture of the Church, when Jesus descends into the air to call His Church up to Himself. Stage TWO is the Second Coming, when the feet of Jesus actually touch the earth.
23. 1 Corinthians 15:22-25 CLARIFIES the STAGES, by showing us STAGES of the First Resurrection.
24. (a.) Christ is the FIRSTFRUITS of those who RISE from the dead. This happened on the Feast of Firstfruits, three days AFTER Jesus died. All who have died from the beginning of time, all the way up to the rapture point, are the first order of resurrection, then we who are alive and remain at the time of the rapture will, by no means precede all who have died up until the rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
25. (b.) “Afterward, they that are Christ’s at His Coming.” This is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
26. (c.) THEN COMES THE END—in which the Kingdom of God will be established at the start of the Millennium. “For He (Jesus) MUST REIGN—till He has put ALL ENEMIES under His feet”—(during the Millennium). According to the structure of 1 Corinthians 15:22-25, AFTER “the tribulation” is DONE, a THIRD STAGE of the First Resurrection will occur so that some saints can enter the Millennium in their glorified flesh. These are the tribulation saints— Revelation 20:4. And the Old Testament saints— Job 19:25-26.
27. The SEQUENCE of 1 Corinthians 15:22-25 clearly SHOW a Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church! When the “plain sense” makes “perfect sense” seek “no other sense.”
28. DETAILS of The Rapture and the Second Coming are VERY DIFFERENT and CANNOT be the same event! We must RIGHTLY DIVIDE the Word of God! 2 Timothy 2:15.
DON’T CONFUSE ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH!
29. There’s a DISTINCTION between the Church and Israel. Acts 15:14-15. Romans 11:25-27.
30. To suggest that the Church will remain on earth for the tribulation CONFUSES the message of Daniel’s 70th week, and causes the Church TO RECEIVE what was APPOINTED to Israel and their Holy City.
31. The UNITY of Daniel’s 70th week is MAINTAINED by the Pre-Trib view. By contrast, the Mid-Trib and Pre-Wrath views DESTROY that unity and CONFUSES God’s PROGRAM for Israel with that of the Church.
32. The Post-Trib view denies the clear teaching of the 70th week by subjecting the literal prophecy to one form or another of allegory. It gives Israel’s destiny to the Church!
33. In the 70th week (during the “tribulation”) as prophesied in Zechariah 13:8-9—TWO-THIRDS of Israel will NOT SURVIVE, but will PERISH. A THIRD part of them will come through THE FIRE of that time, REFINED like silver and gold, and will SAY that the Lord is their God. It’s NOT the Church who will be refined by that terrible judgment!
34. The PROPHECY for ISRAEL clearly says, “Seventy weeks are DETERMINED upon your people (Daniel’s people—Israel) and upon your Holy City (Jerusalem).” Daniel 9:24. There is NO MENTION of the Church.
35. The Church Age fits into a PARENTHESIS that happens between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week.
36. God STOPPED Israel’s CLOCK in order for the Church Age to happen. God won’t RESTART Israel’s CLOCK until the after Church Age is finished.
37. The dispensation of Israel (under the law) was INTERRUPTED by the dispensation of God’s Grace through the Church. When the dispensation of GRACE in the Church is complete, then God will RESUME and FINISH the INTERRUPTED dispensation of His law in Israel. Clearly shown by the GAP between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel 9:24-27.
38. Yes, there are DISPENSATIONS in God’s dealing with mankind during the millennia. (I mention this because many people OBJECT to the idea of God having separate programs, especially for the Church and Israel.) A “dispensation” is defined as God’s MANNER OF WORKING as He performs His ADMINISTRATION, overseeing various groups of people throughout the scripture. He has dealt with VARIOUS groups in DIFFERING means of ADMINISTRATION. We can SEE it by paying CAREFUL attention to what’s recorded in the whole Bible. Dispensations are CLEARLY mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2 and Colossians 1:25-26.
39. The tribulation (all 7 years of it) is distinctly JEWISH in nature.
40. In the Church, there is NEITHER Jew or Gentile, but ALL are ONE in Christ’s BODY. Ephesians 2:11-22. Galatians 3:28.
41. Yet in the tribulation, there IS a distinction. Revelation 7:1-17—144,000 sealed servants from the twelve tribes of Israel. Jeremiah 30:7—which speaks of the tribulation as “Jacob’s trouble.”
42. During the chapters of Revelation which gives DETAILS about the tribulation, the Church is not mentioned—not even ONCE. From Revelation 6 through Revelation 18.
43. The Church is the KEY player (sharing the Gospel) from Acts to Jude.
44. The Church is KEY player in Revelation 1 to 5, AND is seen again in Revelation 19 to 22.
45. There’s an ABSENCE of TEACHING about the TRIBULATION in KEY “Church-related” Bible passages. That’s why there is NO INSTRUCTION given to the Church on how to LIVE THROUGH the tribulation. BECAUSE the Church will NOT need to know HOW TO SURVIVE the tribulation. The Church will NOT be in it!
46. When ISRAEL was CENTRAL in the Old Testament, the Church was a MYSTERY.
47. When Israel was the CENTRAL FOCUS in the Gospels, the Church is virtually unmentioned.
48. When the CHURCH is the FOCUS in Acts through Jude, ISRAEL is NOT mentioned (EXCEPT when the Apostles told THE CHURCH to NOT to deem themselves better—ISRAEL will be grafted back in. PLUS there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile) in the CHURCH, but ALL are the BODY OF CHRIST).
49. The Church is CENTRAL in Revelation 1 to 3 (mentioned 19 times), and is also seen in Revelation 4 and 5 in the description of the 24 elders. Israel is NOT mentioned in those first chapters.
50. When Israel is in FOCUS IN Revelation 6 to 18, the Church is NOT mentioned.
51. Only when God’s PURPOSE for BOTH the Church and Israel is finished—then God SPEAKS of them TOGETHER. Revelation 19 to 22.
52. There are NO passages in either the Old or New Testament which SPECIFICALLY SAYS that the Church will go through the tribulation. (Try to find where it SPECIFICALLY SAYS that the Church will be IN the tribulation—it can’t be found!)
53. The tribulation is called THE TIME of “Jacob’s Trouble” Jeremiah 30:7. The tribulation is NEVER called the time of “The Church’s Trouble.”
54. The Church has NO PART in the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy, and it will have NO PART in the final 70th week either!
55. The GODLY REMNANT of the tribulation have descriptions and attributes upon them—THE SAME as seen upon Old Testament ISRAEL. The Church is NOT present during that time—there are NO “Church-related descriptions” upon tribulation saints.
56. THE Pre-Trib view (UNLIKE Mid-Trib, Post-Trib and Pre-Wrath), does NOT CONFUSE terms like “elect” and “saints” OF THE TRIBULATION with the Church. Terms like CHURCH and IN CHRIST apply ONLY to those who are IN the BODY OF CHRIST in THIS AGE, and these terms are NEVER found in passages which relate to the tribulation.
57. Israel is NOT cut-off from the COVENANTS that God gave them. But blindness (in part) will be their destiny UNTIL the Church is complete. Acts 15:14-16. Romans 11:1 and Romans 11:25-27.
PARTIAL AND DUAL FULFILLMENT'S IN PROPHECY
58. Many prophecies have the characteristic of showing a LOCAL fulfillment (AT or NEAR the time when it was given), then they JUMP AHEAD to the TIME OF THE END—when they are COMPLETELY fulfilled.
59. These are known as PARTIAL FULFILLMENT'S or DUAL FULFILLMENT'S—which are NOTHING UNUSUAL in the scripture.
60. EXAMPLE ONE: In Daniel 11:1-45, the prophecy discusses IN DETAIL the Greek Empire, Alexander the Great, the breaking of the Greek Empire into four parts, wars between kings of the south (Egypt, the Ptolemies) and kings of the north (Syria, the Seleucids), and the arrival of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (a powerful TYPE of the Antichrist). In the middle of showing THE WORK of Antiochus Epiphanes, the prophecy SKIPS to THE END, to focus upon the “ultimate antichrist” (from verses Daniel 11:36-45).
61. EXAMPLE TWO: When Jesus BEGAN His ministry, He read from the prophecy of Isaiah, quoting UP TO the phrase “the acceptable year of the Lord.” And he closed the book. Jesus stopped reading in the middle of a sentence, because THE REMAINDER of that passage will be fulfilled at the time of THE END, in the tribulation—beginning with “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Luke 4:18-19. Isaiah 61:1-3.
62. EXAMPLE THREE: In Daniel 9:24, the prophet starts showing 70 weeks which are determined upon Israel. It’s fulfilled right up to A SPECIFIC DAY—when Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, allowing the people to declare Him as King: “Blessed be the King Who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Luke 19:38, Palm Sunday). Then Messiah was CUT OFF (crucified), just like Daniel prophesied. Jesus KNEW what was DECREED to occur, because He lamented in Luke 19:42—“If you (Israel) had known, even you, at least in THIS YOUR DAY, the things which belong unto your peace! But NOW they are HID from your eyes.” (The fulfillment of Daniel 9:26 is AN EXACT amount of 173,880 days—that scholars in Israel should have KNOWN—from THE TIME of the DECREE to rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity until PALM SUNDAY! “THIS YOUR DAY” (for Israel) was Nisan 10—THE DAY when the nation CHOSE their LAMBS for Passover. The EXACT DAY in history was April 6, 33 A.D.—when Jesus, the TRUE LAMB OF GOD, entered Jerusalem on the donkey.) Then He was CUT OFF. The REMAINDER of Daniel’s prophecy, in verse Daniel 9:27, JUMPS to THE END (after the parenthetical AGE of THE CHURCH is inserted). After the Church is COMPLETE, and TAKEN to HEAVEN in the Pre-Trib Rapture, the LAST SEVEN YEARS of Israel’s prophecy will be fulfilled during the tribulation. (References: Sir Robert Anderson—“The Coming Prince.” Chuck Missler’s “The Precision of Prophecy—Daniel’s 70 Weeks” www.khouse.org/articles/2004/552/
DAYS AS USUAL—UNTIL THE CHURCH DISAPPEARS IN THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
63. In Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-27, we see the EVENTS (plural) of the Church’s Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus likened to the days of Noah. The KEY thing to see, is that, like in the “days of Noah,” people on earth will be doing BUSINESS AS USUAL—eating and drinking, marrying, giving in marriage—right up to THE DAY that Noah entered the ARK—his shelter from God’s judgment. Likewise, the Church is TAKEN to SAFETY in the Pre-Trib Rapture—then THE WORLD will suffer God’s judgment.
64. The world of Noah’s time was exceedingly wicked and violent, ripe for judgment. The world, at the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, will be exceedingly wicked and violent, ripe for judgment. 2 Timothy 1:1-3. 2 Timothy 3:1-9.
65. Noah’s ark was LIFTED ABOVE the JUDGMENT, and ALL within the ARK were KEPT SAFE and were NOT judged. So likewise, the Church will be LIFTED ABOVE the judgment, and take to heaven, in our ARK, Jesus, and will NOT suffer WRATH.
66. The ARK had only ONE DOOR. Jesus is the ONLY DOOR through which people may come to God and BE SAVED from the HIS WRATH. John 14:6.
67. Noah and the ark CAN be pictured as Israel kept safe THROUGH the JUDGMENT, but that interpretation does NOT take into account that TWO-THIRDS of Israel will PERISH in the tribulation’s judgment. Zechariah 13:9. NOBODY perished on Noah’s ark! NOBODY in the true Church will perish in the tribulation.
68. In Luke 17:28-30, we see the EVENTS (plural) of the Church’s Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus likened to the days of Lot. Again, the KEY thing to see, is that, like in the “days of Lot,” people in Sodom were conducting BUSINESS AS USUAL. They ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and built—right up to THE DAY that the FIRE hit Sodom. God—(in answer to Abraham, who asked in Genesis 18:1-33—“Will You destroy the righteous with the wicked?”)—made sure Lot, a righteous man, was removed from Sodom BEFORE the judgment. God’s PLAIN ANSWER—I will NOT cast the righteous into a time of judgment! Likewise, when the true Church is TAKEN to SAFETY in the Pre-Trib Rapture, THE WICKED WORLD will suffer God’s judgment.
69. The city of Lot was exceedingly wicked. Righteous Lot was VEXED by what occurred around him, which is described in Genesis 19:1-38 as blatant, “in your face,” homosexuality. 2 Peter 2:6-9 says that the Lord KNOWS HOW to DELIVER the RIGHTEOUS, and RESERVE THE UNRIGHTEOUS for His day of judgment. The world, prior to the Pre-Trib Rapture, will also show the increase of homosexuality, and like Sodom, will be sorely judged. The true Church, like righteous Lot, will be REMOVED BEFORE the judgment hits (Pre-Trib).
70. In Genesis 19:16, we see how Lot lingered. The angels, who were sent to REMOVE Lot from Sodom, LAID HOLD upon Lot’s hand, and also LAID HOLD of Lot’s wife and daughters. The angels BROUGHT them FORTH and SET them outside the city BEFORE the fire could fall. In the ACTION of LAID HOLD, we see that the angels SEIZED Lot and his family BY FORCE to REMOVED them—the EXACT DEFINITION for “Rapture.” Likewise, BEFORE the tribulation, the true Church will be “seized by force and removed”—THEN the tribulation will come.
71. In Genesis 19:22, we see the angel tell Lot to “Haste you, ESCAPE”—(to the small town of Zoar). The angel added (and this is important)—“I CANNOT do anything”—(in judgment) UNTIL you are OUT OF THIS PLACE! Likewise, when God’s WRATH of the tribulation approaches, the judgment CANNOT come UNTIL the true Church is TAKEN out of the earth in the Pre-Trib Rapture.
72. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, we see that the tribulation (the day of the Lord) will come like a thief in the night, when people are saying, “Peace and safety,” and, to the world’s surprise (and horror) “sudden destruction” will befall them. But the true Church will NOT be caught in it.
73. The world will think “peace and safety” is coming. They think by man’s wisdom, society will grow better and better. Do we hear this today? You bet!
74. The tribulation judgment will HIT, bringing “sudden destruction.” The unrighteous world will NOT ESCAPE. The true Church, however, will NOT be overtaken in that time. We true Christians (BORN-AGAIN, REGENERATED, INDWELLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, MADE NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST), will obtain SALVATION (the deliverance) from that time of WRATH, and we (whether having died in Jesus—or are alive at the time) will LIVE TOGETHER with Jesus (in heaven in the MANSIONS He’s prepared for us). The pattern of being TAKEN to SAFETY is the SAME throughout scripture—BEFORE God’s judgments come! The Church is promised a Pre-Trib Rapture. Do you believe it?
CHURCH’S “COMFORT” IN THE RAPTURE MESSAGE
75. The Apostle Paul’s exhortation for the Church to be COMFORTED by “the coming of the Lord” (in 1 Thessalonians 4:18) can ONLY BE TRUE in the CONTEXT of a Pre-Trib Rapture. In the Post-Tribulation view, the Lord’s coming is a FEARSOME thing to be dreaded, because of EXPECTING years of horrendous judgments. There’s NO COMFORT in teaching that the Church will go through the tribulation.
76. We, the true Church are told to LOOK FOR the “glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13. IF other prophetic events MUST happen BEFORE Jesus can appear, that verse is foolish and doesn’t make sense.
77. We are to PURIFY OURSELVES in view of Jesus’ soon appearing (1 John 3:2-3). IF His coming is NOT IMMINENT, then that passage is meaningless, too. (People can think, “If He’s NOT going to appear soon, then why bother with being pure?—let’s do what we want for a while.”) Our BLESSED HOPE in the PRE-TRIB RAPTURE, and it’s IMMINENCE, keeps us on our toes, spiritually.
78. The Church is told to LOOK ONLY for “the coming of Christ” in the Rapture (often called “His appearing”): IF we must LOOK for other prophecies FIRST, that DOESN’T make sense either. Titus 2:13
79. The Church is told TO ONLY LOOK for the coming of Jesus in the Rapture: It is ISRAEL and the tribulation saints who must LOOK for SIGNS of the Second Coming, and who must ENDURE until the end of the tribulation.
NATURE OF THE CHURCH AND THE PROMISED RAPTURE
80. People will be CONFUSED about Jesus’ coming FOR His Church, if they do NOT understand the TRUE NATURE of the Church as a UNIQUE BODY of God’s people, A BRIDE for Jesus.
81. In the Revelation, WRATH is seen 10 times. Revelation 6:16, Revelation 6:17, Revelation 11:18, Revelation 14:10, Revelation 14:19, Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:7, Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:19, and Revelation 19:15. The Church is “not appointed to wrath.” Romans 5:1 and Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, and Revelation 3:10. The Church, therefore, CANNOT enter into the “great day of God’s wrath.”
82. In Revelation 3:10, a FAITHFUL and TRUE Church is promised to be KEPT OUT OF the TIME of TEMPTATION which shall COME UPON the WHOLE WORLD to TRY them who DWELL UPON THE EARTH. This TEMPTATION is the EXPERIENCE of EVIL, ADVERSITY, and EXTREME TROUBLE. Jesus TOLD us to PRAY, “and lead us NOT into TEMPTATION, but DELIVER us from EVIL.” While this is correctly interpreted to mean protection from “ordinary everyday troubles” we face on this earth, it can also have an extended meaning. “TEMPTATION” is the VERY SAME GREEK WORD as seen in Revelation 3:10—defined as that TIME of THE WORST EVIL which has ever happened on the earth (Matthew 24:21-22). Why would Jesus ask us to PRAY to be DELIVERED from that EVIL, if there were NO ESCAPE possible? Compare to Luke 21:36. There is INDEED a DELIVERANCE available FROM the tribulation (the MOST AWFUL TEMPTATION EVER)—and it’s called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church!
83. In 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 we see that God will REPAY TRIBULATION upon the ones who have TROUBLED the Church. WHILE that RECOMPENSE occurs, the Church will BE AT REST. The Church will receive a Pre-Tribulation rapture!
84. The Church will NOT be “overtaken by the Day of the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9. The “day of the Lord” is another phrase which defines the tribulation. The Church will NOT be caught in it.
85. The believer in Jesus, who has prayed to accept Him, WILL be found WORTHY to ESCAPE the tribulation. Luke 21:36.
86. In Zepaniah 2:1-3, we see an exhortation from God to His people, which parallels THE ATTITUDE we’re to have BEFORE the tribulation arrives. BEFORE the decree comes forth (the “peace covenant” with the antichrist which STARTS the “tribulation”), BEFORE the FIERCE ANGER of the Lord comes—DO THIS! Seek the Lord in righteousness and meekness. WHY? So that we will BE HID in THE DAY of the Lord’s anger—another reference to a Pre-Trib Rapture.
87. It’s God’s character to DELIVER His own (righteous ones) from His judgments. Enoch, Noah, Lot, and Rahab are a few. The judgment could NOT happen to Sodom until Lot was TAKEN OUT OF THERE. So also, the tribulation CANNOT happen UNTIL the Church is TAKEN OUT OF THE WORLD in the Pre-Trib Rapture. Compare Luke 17:28-30to Genesis 19:15-22—paying special attention the verses 16 and 22.
88. It’s clear from scripture that there’s an INTERVAL OF TIME between the translation of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus. John 14:3. Isaiah 26:20.
89. ONLY the Pre-Trib Rapture does NOT DIVIDE the Church (Christ’s Body) on a WORKS BASED PRINCIPLE, as does the Partial Rapture. The Pre-Trib Rapture is the GRAND FINALE to our great SALVATION—by GRACE ALONE!
90. The scriptures are FIRM that the Church is UNDIVIDED—we are ALL members of ONE BODY in Jesus. (It’s in this PRESENT world that the Church is indeed divided by the CONTINUING OLD FLESH NATURE of believers—which results in dissensions and splits. When the Church is GLORIFIED at the Rapture, there will be no more fleshly divisions.)
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
91. The Holy Spirit is RESTRAINER of evil in this world. He CANNOT be taken out as prophesied UNLESS THE CHURCH (which is INDWELLED by Him), is taken out, too. The RESTRAINER is the Spirit-filled Church. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8.
92. The Holy Spirit’s RESTRAINING work MUST be removed BEFORE the “lawless one” is revealed. (The tribulation BEGINS with the SIGNING OF A COVENANT with ISRAEL—which STARTS the 7 years of tribulation. That act REVEALS the antichrist. So therefore, the Church must be Raptured BEFORE the tribulation begins.) The true Church will NOT see the antichrist revealed.
93. While the tribulation occurs on earth, the antichrist will overcome (and PREVAIL AGAINST) the tribulation saints. Revelation 13:7. But for the Church, the gates of hell will NEVER prevail against us, which PROVES that “the saints” of the tribulation CANNOT be the Church. The Church OVERCOMES by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 16:18. Romans 12:21. 1 John 2:13-14. 1 John 5:4-5. Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:26, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 3:12, and Revelation 3:21. That’s LOTS of OVERCOMING for the Church! This PROVES the Rapture MUST be Pre-Trib.
94. In Daniel 7:21 and Daniel 7:25, the little horn (antichrist) made war with the saints and PREVAILED AGAINST them, plus the antichrist will speak great words against the most high and shall WEAR OUT the saints. Again, for the Church, the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against us (or overcome us). Again, the Church CANNOT be the saints in the tribulation who are PREVAILED AGAINST, and OVERCOME! Again, this PROVES the Rapture MUST be Pre-Trib.
THE BRIDE OF JESUS
95. The Church is called THE BRIDE of Christ. The comparison to marriage and Christ and His Church is made in Ephesians 5:22-33, and especially seen in verses Ephesians 5:29-32.
96. The WEDDING of Jesus and His Church follows the Jewish model. Remember, Jesus CAME to the Jews, God in the flesh of a man through a JEWISH LINEAGE.
97. In John 14:1-3 (where the Rapture of the Church is PROMISED), the structure of the Jewish wedding ceremony is HEAVILY IMPLIED. “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” “I GO and PREPARE a place for you.” “I will come again and receive you unto Myself…”
98. In the Jewish wedding, the groom INITIATES an AGREEMENT to marry a woman with the bride’s father. The groom PAYS A PRICE for his bride (the mohar). Jesus PAID THE PRICE for His Church with His own precious blood.
99. Once the agreement for the marriage is made and the price is paid, the marriage covenant is established. The young man and woman are considered as husband and wife, even though they have not yet lived together. From the payment of the mohar the bride is DECLARED to be CONSECRATED or SANCTIFIED—(“set apart” for her groom). As a SYMBOL of that CONSECRATION, the groom and bride drink a cup of wine over which the betrothal is announced. The Church is SET APART and SANCTIFIED unto Jesus. IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE PRICE that Jesus paid, the Church drinks the cup of communion wine.
100. After the marriage covenant is established, the groom leaves his bride at her home. He RETURNS to the HOME of his FATHER, where he will remain for about 12 months. After Jesus paid the price with His blood, HE RETURNED TO HIS FATHER’S HOUSE IN HEAVEN. The Church is LEFT AT HER HOME (a temporary place) upon the earth.
101. The bride has time to PREPARE her wedding trousseau, GETTING READY for married life. The Church remains true to Jesus, PREPARING TO MEET HIM SOMEDAY.
102. At the home of his father, the groom PREPARES A DWELLING PLACE for himself and his bride. Jesus returned to His Father’s house in heaven at the time of His ascension. He promised His followers that while He’s there, He PREPARES MANSIONS for us to dwell in.
103. At THE END of the period of separation, the bridegroom WILL RETURN—usually at night—to TAKE his bride TO COME LIVE WITH HIM. The groom, his best man, and other male escorts will leave the father’s house and do a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. The bride DOES NOT KNOW THE TIME of her bridegroom’s coming. As a result, the groom’s arrival is preceded by a shout. The TIME when Jesus will DESCEND into the air, to catch His Bride up to Himself is UNKNOWN. Therefore, the Church is exhorted to BE READY. Someday, the SHOUT which precedes Him will reach our ears and we’ll RISE UP TO MEET HIM.
104. After the groom receives his bride (together with her bridesmaids), the enlarged group RETURNS to the HOUSE of the GROOM’S FATHER. Jesus and His Church will be united in HEAVEN after the Rapture, at the HOUSE of GOD, THE FATHER.
105. The bride and groom, shortly after their arrival at the house of the groom’s father, are escorted by other members of the wedding party to THE BRIDAL CHAMBER. The bride wears a veil so her face is not seen. The marriage is consummated. A little later, it’s ANNOUNCED to the wedding guests, AT WHICH TIME the guests have a party for SEVEN DAYS. Once in heaven, Jesus and His Church will have our marriage sealed, and it’s ANNOUNCED in heaven. Then SEVEN DAYS of celebration (corresponding to the SEVEN YEARS of the tribulation) ensues.
106. While the SEVEN days of the celebration takes place, the bride and groom remain HIDDEN in the bridal chamber, called the “huppah.” AFTER the SEVEN DAYS are finished, the groom comes OUT OF HIDING, bringing his wife with him, and her veil is removed so all can see her. At that time, the marriage is ANNOUNCED TO THE WORLD AT LARGE. When the SEVEN YEARS of the tribulation is finished, Christ and His Bride will LEAVE THEIR CHAMBERS. Jesus will RETURN to the earth in His Second Coming to set His feet on the Mt. of Olives, and His Bride (the Church) will ACCOMPANY Him! At that time, the marriage is ANNOUNCED TO THE WORLD AT LARGE, and people will see the face of the Bride, as she RULES and REIGNS with Jesus.
107. The MARRIAGE of Christ and the Church is seen in Romans 7:4. “…that you should be married to another—even to Him Who is raised from the dead.”
108. In 2 Corinthians 11:2, we, the Church, are “espoused to one husband,” that we may be presented as “a chaste virgin to Christ.”
109. In James 4:4, the Church is warned about the lusts of the flesh and love of the world which makes us “adulterers and adulteresses”—a people who turn against their wedding vows (by refusing to keep themselves separate from such things).
110. The Apostle Paul continually reminds the Church of THE HIGH COST of our PURCHASE PRICE, the BLOOD of Jesus. Paul continually teaches of our COVENANT WITH CHRIST, by which we, His Bride, are SET APART and SANCTIFIED.
111. There is clearly a “coming of Jesus” FOR His “Bride” BEFORE His Second Coming to earth. During the tribulation, His Bride is ALREADY in heaven, and WILL RETURN to earth WITH Him at the Second Coming. Revelation 19:7-10 and Revelation 19:14. Jude 1:14-15.
GOSPEL PREACHED TO THE WHOLE WORLD—THEN COMES THE END
112. A surprising FACT—the Church will NOT be the vehicle through which the Gospel reaches the entire world!
113. The Church INDEED preaches the GOSPEL of Christ’s FINISHED WORK in His death and resurrection (inviting people to ACCEPT Jesus into their hearts and lives—to become members of the LIVING and TRUE Church). However, the LAST age of the Church is pictured as one of weakness and complacency—falling away from true doctrine. The spirit of Laodecia. Revelation 3:14-22. 2 Thessalonians 2:3. (This disproves what the “Kingdom Now” and “Dominion” groups teach.)
114. Scripture declares that Elijah will come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Malachi 4:5-6. Elijah is ONE of the TWO special prophets who will minister to Israel in the near future.
115. Elijah will be joined by a SECOND special prophet, who will minister in Israel with the same miracles that Moses performed—under God’s guidance and power. These are the TWO WITNESSES seen in Zechariah 4:1-14 and in Revelation 11:3-13. They will declare God’s testimony during the dark days of the tribulation, and antichrist will be furious with them.
116. “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. Jesus spoke these words, but WERE they MEANT for the Church? NO! These words were spoken in THE MIDDLE of a teaching where Jesus described THE TRIBULATION and ISRAEL’S place in it.
117. Revelation 7:3-8 shows 144,000 sealed SERVANTS of God. These young men will preach the Gospel during the tribulation. They number 12,000 from specific TRIBES OF ISRAEL—and are ministers who will PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL during the awful time when judgments fall from God’s throne. Nothing can harm these servants, because God’s protection is upon them (they are sealed). The RESULT of their PREACHING is A GREAT MULTITUDE seen in Revelation 7:9-12 and Revelation 15:2-4, a group of martyred souls who sing THE SONG OF MOSES. An Israeli TESTIMONY is in sight here—NOT a Church testimony.
118. Further EVIDENCE of the Gospel reaching EVERY NATION in the world is shown in Revelation 14:6. AN ANGEL flies through the midst of heaven (the sky) to PREACH to all those who dwell on the earth. Again, this is NOT the Church.
119. The Everlasting Gospel and the Gospel of the Kingdom WILL be preached in the tribulation—which is God bringing HIS MERCY in the MIDST OF JUDGMENT (but the Church is NOT the ministers). Furthermore, the MESSAGE of the Gospel of the Kingdom is that Jesus will soon RETURN to earth (after the tribulation) to set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem for the Millennium—so the SERVANTS will say, “Prepare to meet your King.” Jesus’ return to THE EARTH will also answer the petition, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING
120. The Rapture relates to the Church. The Second Coming relates to Israel.
121. The Rapture occurs for Jesus’ heavenly people, the Church (Philippians 3:20-21, Hebrews 12:22-24). The Second Coming is for God’s earthly people, Israel.
122. At the Rapture, Jesus comes FOR His people, the Church (John 14:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:1) At the Second Coming, Jesus comes WITH His people, the Church. Jude 1:14-15. Revelation 19:14. Zechariah 14:5.
123. The Rapture OPENS the door for the “man of sin” to rise to power. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8. The Second Coming DOOMS the “man of sin.” Revelation 19:20.
124. The Rapture is IMMINENT; it can occur at ANY moment. The Second Coming MUST be PRECEDED by very many DAYS and SIGNS and EVENTS.
125. No one knows the EXACT DAY of the Rapture (it is UNKNOWN)— Matthew 24:38-39, Matthew 25:13, Luke 17:26-30, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Hebrews 10:24-25. We are exhorted to be WAITING and WATCHING. BUT anyone who enters the “tribulation” will be able to COUNT SPECIFIC NUMBERS of DAYS, and KNOW the DAY when Jesus will come to earth in His Second Coming. Daniel 9:27 (seven years, 84 months, 3520 days). Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14. Revelation 13:5 (three and a half years, 42 months, 1260 days). There’s also added days in Daniel 12:11-12 (1290 and 1335 days), which probably relates to THE TIMING of a CELEBRATION of the Feast of Tabernacles, plus the JUDGMENT of the Sheep and Goat nations (this might not be fully understood until THE TIME arrives, as Daniel 12:9 indicates).
126. After the Rapture, the Church will proceed to the Judgment Seat (the Bema) of Christ to receive REWARDS. 2 Corinthians 5:10. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. 2 Timothy 4:8. 1 Peter 5:4. Revelation 2:10 b. Revelation 3:11. At the Second Coming there will be a Judgment of the Sheep and Goats. Matthew 24:31-46.
127. The Rapture pertains to God’s mercy and grace. The Second Coming pertains to God’s wrath.
128. At the Rapture, Jesus is the Morning Star— 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 2:28 and Revelation 22:16—(which PRECEDES the sunrise of the New Day). At the Second Coming, Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness— Malachi 4:1-2—(which shines IN the New Day).
129. The Rapture is the HOPE of Jesus’ people, the Church, at THE END of the New Testament— 2 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 22:16. The Second Coming is the HOPE of Jesus’ people, Israel, at THE END of the Old Testament— Malachi 4:1-2.
130. At the Rapture, the Church MEETS Jesus in the air in the clouds. At the Second Coming, Jesus sets His feet on the earth at the Mount of Olives.
131. At the time of the Rapture, the Mount of Olives will REMAIN UNCHANGED. At the Second Coming, the Mount of Olives IS DIVIDED, forming a valley east of Jerusalem.
132. At the time of the Rapture, Church saints are TRANSLATED (bodies instantly changed to immortal without passing through a route called death). NO saints are translated at the Second Coming when Jesus places His feet back on earth.
133. At the time of the Rapture, the world is NOT JUDGED for sin—but instead SINKS DEEPER into sin. At the Second Coming, the world IS JUDGED at the return of Jesus when He deals with the Armageddon scene.
134. The Rapture of the Church is a deliverance FROM the DAY OF WRATH. The Second Coming of Jesus is a deliverance FOR those who suffered under severe tribulation.
135. The Rapture is always IMMINENT (meaning NO prophecy must be fulfilled BEFORE it can occur). There are VERY SPECIFIC SIGNS AND PROPHECIES (which MUST HAPPEN) before the Second Coming!
136. The Rapture is ONLY for the SAVED. The tribulation and the Second Coming deals with the ENTIRE WORLD.
137. In the Rapture, Jesus calls His Church UP TO HEAVEN—He comes FOR His Church. In the Second Coming, Jesus returns to earth WITH His Church. Revelation 19:7-8. Revelation 19:14. Jude 1:14-15.
138. The gathering of “saints” AFTER the tribulation is done by ANGELS. The gathering of the Church to Jesus in the Pre-Trib Rapture is done by THE LORD HIMSELF.
139. BOTH the righteous and the wicked CANNOT be taken FIRST. In the Rapture, the RIGHTEOUS are TAKEN—the WICKED and UNREADY are LEFT BEHIND. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. In the “tribulation” and at the Second Coming, the WICKED are TAKEN/DESTROYED in the JUDGMENT, and the RIGHTEOUS are LEFT BEHIND to enter the Millennial Kingdom. Matthew 13:30 and Matthew 13:49-50.
140. In the Rapture, Jesus RECEIVES us to Himself. It will NOT be US “receiving” Him when He returns in the Second Coming. John 14:2-3. If the Rapture occurred in Revelation 19, we’d go up TO MEET (or RECEIVE) Him and IMMEDIATELY RETURN to earth with Him.
141. If we rose to meet Him and immediately returned to earth with Him in Revelation 19, WHERE is the Judgment Seat of Christ (the Bema) and the wedding ceremony for the Bride? The NEXT THING that happens AFTER the Second Coming is the Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats.
142. The Judgment of Gentile nations follows the Second Coming (Matthew 25:31-46). This scripture shows that BOTH the SAVED and the LOST are in NATURAL bodies (which would be IMPOSSIBLE if there were a translation, or Rapture, at the Second Coming).
143. IF the TRANSLATION (Rapture) took place at the same time as the Second Coming, there would be NO NEED to separate the sheep from the goats. The act of TRANSLATION would provide that separation.
144. IF believers were TRANSLATED (Raptured) at the Second Coming, and unbelievers were DESTROYED by the final tribulation judgment, there would be NO ONE LEFT IN THEIR FLESH TO POPULATE THE WORLD in the Millennium.
145. Surviving tribulation saints are NOT translated (into immortal bodies) at the Second Coming of Christ, but carry on with ordinary activities, like farming, construction, and giving birth. Isaiah 65:20-25.
BIBLE HERMENEUTICS (INTERPRETATION)—SCRIPTURES MUST AGREE
146. ONLY the Pre-Trib Rapture view allows for a TRULY LITERAL INTERPRETATION of the Old and New Testament passages regarding the tribulation. The SYMBOLS (which are used) are DEFINED throughout the Bible and are APPLIED in a LITERAL WAY.
147. ONLY the Pre-Tribulation view clearly DISTINGUISHES between Israel and the Church (and HOW God deals with each)—making it NECESSARY for an interval of time between the Rapture and the Second Coming.
148. In the seven letters to the Churches in Revelation, Jesus says SEVEN TIMES “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” When we get to the tribulation passage of Revelation 13:9, Jesus says “If any man have an ear, let him hear.” He LEFT OUT the words “what the Spirit says unto the Churches”—and did so BECAUSE there are NO CHURCHES on earth in the tribulation.
149. In the tribulation passage of Revelation 13:6, the antichrist is given a mouth to blaspheme God, His name, His tabernacle and THEM THAT DWELL IN HEAVEN. Who are those who DWELL in heaven? The Raptured Church.
150. The Holy Ones (“saints” in the Church) are ALREADY with Jesus in heaven and will return to earth with Him. Zechariah 14:5. Revelation 19:14. Jude 1:14-15.
151. The Holy Ones who return with Jesus are NOT angels. The Holy Ones are arrayed in FINE WHITE LINEN which is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SAINTS (which is the Church). Revelation 19:8. Revelation 3:5. Revelation 3:18.
152. Jesus opened His ministry in his first coming in Luke 4:18-19, quoting from the prophet Isaiah. He stopped reading AFTER saying THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD in the MIDDLE of a sentence, and SHUT the book. Jesus’ ministry in His first coming opened a time of God’s GRACE through the Church.
153. In Isaiah 61:1-2, the prophecy of Isaiah FINISHES where Jesus LEFT OFF. After “the acceptable year of the Lord” (GRACE—THE AGE of the Church) is the DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD. AFTER the Church age the tribulation will come—“the day of vengeance of our God.” We understand HOW the Church will be Raptured, then THAT DAY will come—and it’s Pre-Tribulation.
154. Revelation 4:1-11 opens with “AFTER THIS I looked, and behold a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a TRUMPET talking with me (the trumpet voice of Jesus—see Revelation 1:10); which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must come HEREAFTER.” “After this” and “hereafter” are the same Greek word “meta tauta” which means AFTER THESE THINGS. After WHAT things? AFTER the THINGS of the SEVEN CHURCHES (the complete “Church Age”) in Revelation 2 and 3. Jesus will call “Come up hither” with His TRUMPET VOICE—the trump of God—and the Church, like John, will go through an OPEN DOOR in heaven in a PRE-TRIB Rapture! The structure is HIGHLY EVIDENT! Plus, the Holy Spirit REPEATED “hereafter” TWO TIMES to make this ABUNDANTLY CLEAR! Pre-Trib!
155. A door is SHUT BEHIND some believers in Isaiah 26:19-20. Isaiah 26:19 shows the resurrection from the dead. Isaiah 26:20 shows the TRANSLATION (Rapture) of those who are alive. “Come, My people, enter you into your chambers (mansions), and SHUT your DOOR about you; HIDE yourself as it were for A LITTLE MOMENT (7 years) until THE INDIGNATION be overpast.” The Church will enter heaven for 7 years, a little moment, until the INDIGNATION (God’s wrath upon the rebellious world) is done. The Rapture of the Church is Pre-Trib. How can people miss this?
156. All believers in the Church must APPEAR before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) This event is NEVER mentioned in the events of the Second Coming, when Jesus sets His feet on the earth.
BIBLE HERMENEUTICS (INTERPRETATION)—24 ELDERS DEFINED
157. The 24 Elders in Revelation 4 and 5 are REPRESENTATIVE of a raptured and glorified Church.
158. The 24 Elders CANNOT be angels. Angels DON’T WEAR crowns. Angels DON’T sit with God to rule and reign. We MUST define the 24 ELDERS by their SPECIFIC descriptions.
159. Elders—a term used for Church leadership.
160. Elders, the Greek “presbuteros.” Church terminology—the “Presbytery.”
161. The number 24. In 1 Chronicles 24:1-31, King David divided the Priesthood into 24 COURSES because they’d grown so large. When 24 LEADERS of the COURSES met BEFORE David’s throne, the WHOLE PRIESTHOOD was REPRESENTED. The 24 ELDERS represent the ENTIRE CHURCH before God’s throne. This is a picture of the Church as PRIESTS.
162. The number 24 (part 2). The Church is composed of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. 12 tribes of Israel. 12 apostles of the Church. A total of 24.
163. The Elders SIT. The work of the Church on earth in “the age of God’s Grace” is done.
164. The Elders sit on THRONES—the Church is seated on THRONES as KINGS.
165. The Elders wear “SPECIFIC” WHITE RAIMENT. The Church is promised white garments. Revelation 3:4-5. Revelation 3:18. That our garments (and ourselves) are to be washed and spotless are seen in Ephesians 5:26-27, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:14. Jude 1:23 and Revelation 1:5.
166. The Elders wear CROWNS, which are STEPHANOS, given for OVERCOMING and GAINING A VICTORY (for finishing the race). The same kind of CROWNS are given to the Church. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. 2 Timothy 4:8. James 1:12. 1 Peter 5:4. Revelation 2:10 b. Revelation 3:11.
167. The Elders wear crowns OF GOLD. Gold shows KINGSHIP. This shows the Church as KINGS.
168. In Revelation 5:1-14, the Elders sing a NEW SONG of THEIR REDEMPTION (as seen in the King James Version—which is translated from a MORE RELIABLE old manuscript). The Elders sing of being SAVED by the blood of Jesus.
169. The Elders are saved “out of” (“called-out of”) every kindred, tongue, people and nation on earth. The Church is predominantly Gentile, “called-out of” the world.
170. In Ezekiel and Daniel we find SIMILAR DESCRIPTIONS of heaven as shown in the Revelation. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. The Old Testament prophets did NOT see 24 Elders! Why? The Church is a MYSTERY which was NOT clearly revealed in the Old Testament.
BIBLE HERMENEUTICS (INTERPRETATION)—GREAT MULTITUDE DEFINED
171. The Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9-10 are NOT the Church. WHY? Their descriptions are DIFFERENT.
172. The Great Multitude STANDS before God’s throne. The 24 ELDERS of the Church SIT on thrones.
173. The Great Multitude wear white robes (the Greek “stole”). The 24 ELDERS wear white raiment (the Greek “himation”). There IS a DIFFERENCE!
174. The Great Multitude hold PALM BRANCHES in their hands (like Israel did when they celebrated Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey). The 24 ELDERS have “stephonos” CROWNS (given for “winning a race” and “obtaining a victory”) upon their heads.
175. The Great Multitude CRY WITH A LOUD VOICE. The 24 ELDERS of the Church SING A NEW SONG.
176. The Great Multitude come OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION (the LAST half of Daniel’s 70th week). The 24 ELDERS come out of the AGE OF THE CHURCH.
177. The Great Multitude SERVE GOD day and night in His TEMPLE. The 24 ELDERS of the Church RULE and REIGN with Jesus.
178. God will spread HIS TABERNACLE over the Great Multitude—another Israeli and Old Testament reference.
179. God wipes the tears out of the eyes of the Great Multitude. WHY? To console them after they have died a martyr’s death in the tribulation. The Church will rejoice with joy unspeakable at the time of the Pre-Trib rapture. 1 Thessalonians 2:19.
BIBLE HERMENEUTICS (INTERPRETATION)—A GROUP IN REVELATION 15
180. The group pictured on the sea of glass mingled with fire before God’s throne in Revelation 15:2-4 are NOT the Church.
181. These people stand on a sea of glass MINGLED WITH FIRE. FIRE is a Biblical symbol which shows they stand at God’s throne after having died in the time of His judgment. The 24 ELDERS are present in heaven on a sea of glass LIKE UNTO FINE CRYSTAL. Pure—no spot, wrinkle or blemish. No fire. The 24 ELDERS have NOT come out of a time of God’s judgment.
182. The group before the throne in Revelation 15:1-8 obtained victory over the beast when they died and went to heaven. The Church will NEVER MEET the beast.
183. The group before the throne in Revelation 15:1-8 have the HARPS OF GOD. The 24 ELDERS have NO HARPS, but they DO wear “stephanos” CROWNS as a REWARD for OVERCOMING.
184. The group before the throne, in Revelation 15:1-8, SING THE SONG OF MOSES—which again shows the Israeli and Old Testament emphasis. The 24 ELDERS of the Church SING A NEW SONG of their REDEMPTION through the blood of Jesus(obtained during the age of God’s GRACE in the Church).
NATURE OF THE TRIBULATION
[Although the Church is promised to be caught up to Jesus BEFORE the tribulation, so much misunderstanding exists about the TRUE NATURE of this HORRENDOUS time that I offer a brief BIBLICAL glimpse of it.]
185. ONLY the Pre-Trib Rapture position shows a DISTINCTION between the “the coming SEVEN YEAR tribulation” and “tribulation in general”—a “general” trouble which PLAGUES the world RIGHT NOW, and which EVERYONE experiences. Daniel 9:27—the 70th week, DEFINES the “tribulation period.” Romans 8:18, defines the “general” suffering and tribulation of this PRESENT TIME in the Church Age; Jesus also mentions it in John 16:33. There’s a HUGE DIFFERENCE between what happens now—and what WILL happen in the seven year tribulation!
186. The “time of tribulation” is properly understood in the Pre-Tribulation view as a PREPARATION for the restoration of Israel. Deuteronomy 4:29-30. Jeremiah 30:4-11. Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel 12:1-2.
187. The “tribulation” is separated into categories—“the beginnings of sorrows”—first three and a half years; “the Abomination of Desolation”—Mid-Trib; “the great tribulation”—last three and a half years, and the SECOND COMING itself. Daniel 9:27. Matthew 24:4-14. Matthew 24:15-20. Matthew 24:21-28. Matthew 24:29-31.
188. The SEVEN-SEALED SCROLL in Revelation parallels what Jesus described as “the beginning of sorrows.” False Christs— Matthew 24:4 and antichrist— Revelation 6:1-2. Wars and rumors of wars— Matthew 24:6-7 and Revelation 6:3-4. Famines— Matthew 24:7 and Revelation 6:5-6. Pestilences— Matthew 24:7 and Revelation 6:7-8. Martyrdom of saints— Matthew 24:9-14 and Revelation 6:9-11. Earthquakes in diverse places— Matthew 24:7 and Revelation 6:12-17.
189. Understanding the “birth pangs” symbol. The START of the “tribulation” brings the earth into ACTUAL LABOR. Then WHY do we see “birth pang” SIGNS right now, Pre-Trib? Remember that a pregnant woman KNOWS her labor is “near” WELL BEFORE the ACTUAL ONSET of it. The world of today is exceedingly swollen in pregnancy—ready to give birth the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Like a woman may have Braxton Hicks pains, contractions that are NOT ACTUAL LABOR—so also, we see the world doing the same thing (as the ACTUAL LABOR of the “tribulation” draws VERY NEAR). Every time an earthquake hits, which had been DAILY here lately, I think, “Oh, here’s another Braxton Hicks, and my bags are packed—I’m ready to move out of here.”
190. The “Abomination of Desolation” in Matthew 24:15-20 parallels Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 12:6 and verses Revelation 12:13-17.
191. The “great tribulation” of Matthew 24:20-28 parallels Daniel 12:1, plus Revelation 8 and 9 and 16 (omitting some details from Revelation 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18—it’s too confusing, for the purpose of this list, to offer a possible chronology.)
192. The “Second Coming” in Matthew 24:29-31 parallels Isaiah 63:1-6, Zechariah 14:1-7 and Zechariah 14:12-15, and Revelation 19:1-21.
193. What is the purpose of “the tribulation? 2 Thessalonians 1:6 informs the Church that those who have TROUBLED us, who have PERSECUTED us, MARTYRED some of us, and have PLAGUED us with all manner of ill will, are to receive from God RECOMPENSE (repay)—and vengeance—for what they do. The enemies will be recompensed with “tribulation” (in the time of God’s WRATH) for having given the Church severe trouble while she (Jesus’ Bride) was on the earth. The enemies also receive judgment for standing against Israel.
194. The tribulation is called a DAY OF WRATH in the Bible (Zephaniah 1:15), but the Bible also says “God has NOT APPOINTED us (the Church) to wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
195. The tribulation is called a DAY OF WRATH, but the Bible says Jesus “has DELIVERED us FROM the wrath to come”—(delivering the Church FROM the tribulation period). 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
196. In scripture, the seven year tribulation is called THE DAY OF THE LORD, THAT DAY, THE INDIGNATION, THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD. And the Bible also clearly teaches that the tribulation will FALL upon UNBELIEVERS, while the Church ESCAPES “that day.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-10.
197. Contrary to the Mid-Trib and Pre-Wrath interpretations, the Pre-Trib POSITION offers an ADEQUATE EXPLANATION for the BEGINNING of the tribulation in Revelation 6. Mid-Trib and Pre-Wrath POSITIONS are clearly REFUTED by the PLAIN TEACHINGS of scripture, which SHOW that THE WRATH of God begins LONG BEFORE the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11!
NATURE OF THE TRIBULATION—THE SEVEN-SEALED SCROLL
198. THE WRATH of God BEGINS with the FIRST SEAL on the SCROLL (opened AT THE THRONE OF GOD in His series of JUDGMENTS). The scroll reveals calamitous events that will transpire on the earth. (1. The antichrist. 2. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED, in quick succession, by wars, famines, pestilences, death and hell, martyrdom of tribulation saints, a huge earthquake—plus fearful sights and signs in heaven.)
199. The tribulation is NOT “days as usual.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 clearly SHOWS “the day of the Lord” as SUDDEN DESTRUCTION. Revelation 6:1-8 clearly shows that even as the antichrist promises “peace,” he will be unable do as he says.
200. In the opening of the 4th SEAL of Revelation 6:8, it’s revealed that ONE-FOURTH of the earth’s population WILL DIE. At today’s count of nearly 7 billion people—ONE-QUARTER is a DEATH TALLY of 1.75 BILLION! That’s a HUGE amount of death—much LARGER than the worst catastrophe we can name in our current hour. It’s definitely NOT “business as usual” for the tribulation world.
201. So there’s definitely NO PEACE on earth during the first 3½ years of the tribulation (like “Pre-Wrathers” say)! The JUDGMENTS FALL from God’s THRONE (showing it’s FROM God and THE LAMB (Jesus) from the BEGINNING of OPENING THE SCROLL). The opening of the scroll STARTS a series of catastrophes which are SENT onto the earth. This is NOT the “wrath of man” or “the wrath of Satan” (even though God uses them as AGENTS of His judgments). THE ORIGIN of the WRATH is from the VERY PRESENCE of God—and is JUDGMENT FROM HIM (HIS WRATH)!
202. The SCROLL defined. It’s a TITLE DEED (a legal document) to the earth (which rightfully belongs to Jesus), Yet THE SCROLL is also a parchment of JUDGMENTS, by which Jesus will TAKE POSSESSION of what’s rightfully His. In order for Jesus to GAIN BACK that which BELONGS to Him, enemies MUST be destroyed. Psalms 2:1-12. Revelation 5:1-14.
203. The SCROLL is written on both sides, containing lamentations, mournings and woe. It’s “the CURSE” which goes out OVER THE WHOLE EARTH. The dimensions of the SCROLL are the same as THE HOLY OF HOLIES which shows that the JUDGMENTS are sent from the THRONE OF GOD. Ezekiel 2:9-10. Ezekiel 3:1-9. Zechariah 5:1-4. Revelation 6:1-17. Revelation 10:8-11—(in chapter 10, the scroll IS OPEN, showing that Jesus had ALREADY ripped the seals OFF in chapter 6. Revelation 10 is a picture of Jesus LAYING CLAIM to the earth, by the LEGAL means of the OPEN SCROLL, yet more JUDGMENT must occur to COMPLETE the transaction.).
204. The FIRST SEAL reveals the antichrist, who is indeed a JUDGMENT (wrath) from God UPON ISRAEL for their sin of REJECTING Jesus at His first coming. Jesus came unto His OWN (Israel) and they received Him NOT—if one comes in HIS OWN NAME (the antichrist), they WILL receive him. John 1:11. John 5:43.
205. Isaiah 28:15-18 calls the “peace” COVENANT between Israel and the antichrist, revealed by the FIRST SEAL, “a covenant with death” and “an agreement with hell.” If that’s not WRATH and JUDGMENT, then WHAT is it?
206. The SEAL JUDGMENTS are clearly the WRATH OF THE LAMB (Jesus), who performs the JUDGMENTS of God in the “tribulation.” Revelation 6:16. 2 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Timothy 4:8.
207. At the opening of the 6th SEAL, kings and great men and people on the earth FINALLY REALIZE that God’s WRATH is upon them. It took MAJOR EVENTS in the heavens, and an earthquake, to AWAKEN these blinded people—so they can RECOGNIZE what’s been going on. The people SAY they must hide from THE WRATH OF THE LAMB (in this, we see the judgment IS from JESUS, as He removes the SEALS—so it IS His WRATH. The people add, “For the great day of His WRATH is come (is present).” Therefore, the SEALS contain the WRATH OF GOD. Revelation 6:16-17.
208. The 7th SEAL on the SCROLL brings ominous silence in heaven. Also proceeding from the 7th SEAL are the TRUMPET JUDGMENTS. The harsher judgments of God are unleashed WHEN the 7th seal is opened. The trumpets COME FORTH FROM the 7th seal—bringing increased WRATH. Revelation 8:1-2.
209. Likewise, the “bowl judgments” PROCEED from THE BLOWING of the 7th TRUMPET (MAKE NOTE—with so much PARENTHETICAL information from chapter 11 to 16, it’s DIFFICULT to SEE that progression, but it’s there if you pay CLOSE ATTENTION to detail).
210. ALL of God’s WRATH is contained in the SCROLL, and will be SET LOOSE in it’s proper order, issuing from THE OPENING of the 7th SEAL, which brings the TRUMPETS, which bring the BOWLS. (For a clearer picture for this concept, think of a “telescoped” eyeglass with segments that slide out for greater vision—as EACH PORTION of the judgments PROCEED from the opening of the 7th SEAL, a harsher element of God’s WRATH emerges.)
NATURE OF THE TRIBULATION—THE ENDING JUDGMENTS
211. The BOWL JUDGMENTS “fill-up” (and COMPLETE) the WRATH of God. The BOWLS are NOT the BEGINNING of God’s wrath, but the COMPLETION of it. Revelation 15:1.
212. Many people do NOT fully understand HOW BAD the “tribulation” will TRULY be. It will be WORSE than the flood of Noah’s day—NO other time like it since the creation of the world! Matthew 24:21-22.
213. At THE END of the “tribulation,” when Jesus ARRIVES at the Armageddon scene, there’s NO mention of A RESURRECTION. The Rapture (which INCLUDES a resurrection) CANNOT happen at that time, as Post-Tribbers insist. Isaiah 63:1-6, Zechariah 14:1-15, Revelation 19:11-21.
214. If there were a Rapture at THE END of the “tribulation,” ALL the believers who SURVIVED would be CHANGED into IMMORTAL GLORIFIED bodies. ALL the ENEMIES will be destroyed. There would be NO ONE LEFT IN NATURAL FLESH BODIES to POPULATE the Millennium! The Rapture CANNOT happen at the end of the “tribulation.”
215. Some say the “gathering of the elect” in Matthew 24:31 is “the Rapture” at THE END of the “tribulation.” But, in the Rapture, JESUS calls His own UP to Himself. ANGELS gather the “elect” at THE END of the “tribulation.”
216. The “elect” of Israel and SURVIVORS of the “tribulation” will be gathered from wherever the antichrist has scattered them—to the four winds—directions of the earth. Israel will be found mostly in Bozrah (in modern day Jordan— Isaiah 63:1).
217. The ANGELS also gather “the elect” from ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER—the gathering of Old Testament saints and martyred “tribulation” saints for THE RESURRECTION of their bodies as seen in Revelation 20:4, so they’ll be able to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles, which will take place 5 days after Jesus returns, according to the timing of the Jewish feasts that will be fulfilled when Jesus returns.
218. There’s also the Judgment of the Sheep and Goat nations after Jesus returns to the earth, and it must take place BEFORE the Millennium is officially started. People are “gathered” FOR these things.
219. The tribulation period is DESCRIBED in extensive prophecies throughout the scripture. Here’s is a LENGTHY LIST of the words that DEFINE it—Wasteness, desolation, darkness, gloominess, clouds, thick darkness, blood, vengeance, destruction, fierce anger, fire, jealousy, cruel, trouble, great distress, revenge, furious, arrow drunk with blood, sword, terrible, men’s hearts failing them for fear, the powers of heaven shall be shaken, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, fearful signs, great tribulation—such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, the earth utterly broken down, the earth clean dissolved, the moon shall be confounded, the sun ashamed, to punish leviathan, to slay the dragon that is in the sea, a covenant with death, an overflowing scourge, hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, your agreement with hell, you shall be trodden down by it, the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, the stars of heaven shall not give their light, I will shake the heavens, the earth shall remove out of her place (her orbit and axis?), to punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity, lamentations, mournings, woe, sound an alarm, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, they shall run like mighty men, they shall climb the wall like men of war, the people shall be much pained, howl ye, the moon became as blood, stars of heaven fell to the earth, the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth, death and hell followed with him, thundering, lightnings, the smoke of the pit, men shall seek death—and shall not find it, the torment of a scorpion, it (the sea) became the blood of a dead man, men were scorched with great heat, they gnawed their tongues for pain, every island fled and the mountains were not found, except those days be shortened—there should be no flesh saved, and then the end shall come. (This is not a complete list.)
THIS is the WRATH from which the Church is promised to be delivered!
TRUMPS OF GOD AND THE “LAST” TRUMPET
[ Since Pre-Wrath Rapture proponents make a big issue about the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11, I’ll offer what the Bible describes, concerning trumpets.]
220. There is no proper PROOF that the 7th trumpet of Revelation is the “last” trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52. THAT EXPLANATION IS ACCEPTED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF PRECONCEIVED IDEAS and ASSUMPTION. The Pre-Trib view maintains the PROPER distinction between the PROPHETIC TRUMPS of the Church, and the JUDGMENT TRUMPETS of the tribulation.
221. The Apostle Paul wrote about the “last” trumpet DECADES BEFORE John saw the SEVEN “judgment trumpets” of the Revelation. The Apostle Paul’s “last trump” was written in 60 A.D. John’s vision came 30+ years later—around 96 A.D. The Apostle Paul could NOT have known about the 7th and “last trumpet” of Revelation—BEFORE it was revealed to John on the isle of Patmos!
222. The TRUMP OF GOD brings in blessing, eternal life, glorified bodies. 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The seven trumpets of the Revelation brings destruction upon the enemies and God’s WRATH.
223. The TRUMP OF GOD is DISTINCTLY for the Church. Since God deals with Israel and a rebellious world in the tribulation, the 7th trumpet CANNOT refer to the Church without losing THE DISTINCTIONS between Israel and the Church.
224. The LAST TRUMP for the Church in the Pre-Trib Rapture—is the TRUMP OF GOD. The Revelation trumpets are blown by ANGELS.
225. The LAST TRUMP for the Church is to “call an assembly” to rise and meet Jesus in the air. The Revelation trumpets SEND God’s JUDGMENTS onto a rebellious world.
226. The LAST TRUMP for the Church is A CALL to come WORSHIP at Gods’ throne. The Revelation judgment trumpets cause people to HARDEN THEIR HEARTS and they do NOT REPENT— Revelation 9:20-21.
227. The LAST TRUMP for the Church is FOR BELIEVERS. The 7th trumpet judgment in Revelation is FOR UNBELIEVERS.
228. The LAST TRUMP for the Church is an act of God’s GRACE. The 7th trumpet judgment in Revelation is an act of God’s WRATH.
229. In the TRUMP OF GOD passage, for the Church, we are exhorted to “Comfort one another with these words.” At the 7th trumpet in Revelation, “the nations will be angry.”
230. When the LAST TRUMP blows for the Church at the Rapture, Jesus will NOT be in heaven (like He is at the sounding of the 7th Revelation trumpet). Instead, Jesus descends into the air to call the Church to Himself. In the Revelation passage of the 7th trumpet, there’s NO MENTION of Jesus descending, shouting or being in the clouds.
231. The “last trump” for the Church in the Rapture and the 7th trumpet of the Revelation CANNOT be the same.
THERE’S MORE! USES OF TRUMPETS DEFINED
232. In Numbers 10:1-10, the uses of trumpets are defined. Two silver trumpets were constructed for the purpose of “calling the assembly together to worship” and for “the journeying of the camps.” When the camp was called to move, ONE trumpet would blow and the east part of the camp went forward. A SECOND trumpet would sound and the south part of the camp would move. Numbers 10:1-10 doesn’t mention the north and west sides, or the tribe of Levi and the tabernacle (as seen in Numbers 2:1-34)—but a THIRD, FOURTH and FIFTH trumpet MUST have sounded for the moving of the camps. At the LAST TRUMPET, the WHOLE camp would be MOVING OUT.
233. The Apostle Paul, being a well-taught Jew, had to KNOW the MEANING of the LAST TRUMPET (by the Israeli definition). At the LAST TRUMP for the Church, which is A SIGNAL that our work is done, the WHOLE assembly will MOVE “camp” to heaven.
234. Some people think the ascension of the “two witnesses” in Revelation 11:12 is the Rapture of the Church. (a.) The “two witnesses” are RAISED from the dead BEFORE THE BLOWING of the 7th trumpet in Revelation! But at the VERY INSTANT the TRUMP is BLOWN for THE CHURCH, the resurrection/ rapture will happen.
235. Some people think the ascension of the “two witnesses” in Revelation 11:12 is the Rapture of the Church. (b.) The Church will be Raptured in the TWINKLING OF AN EYE. The TWINKLING OF THE EYE is INSTANTANEOUS—split-fractions of a second! For the Church, it’s “Now you see them—now you don’t!” BUT the “two witnesses” will have TIME to stand on their feet and THE WHOLE WORLD will WATCH them on satellite TV. The resurrection of the “two witnesses” CANNOT be the Rapture of the Church.
INTERESTING COMPARISONS OF THE TRUMP OF GOD AT MT. SINAI-AND TRUMP OF GOD AT THE RAPTURE!
236. In Exodus 19:16-20, there’s a TRUMP OF GOD as God DESCENDED upon Mt. Sinai—NO angels or people blew this trumpet—but God Himself. At the second occurrence of the TRUMP OF GOD, at the rapture of the Church, NO angels or people will blow it.
237. At Mt. Sinai and in the Rapture, BOTH the TRUMP OF GOD and an AUDIBLE VOICE are heard. Exodus 19:19—(God answered Moses by voice) and 1 Thessalonians 4:16—(the SHOUT of Jesus).
238. At Mt. Sinai, Israel was redeemed from slavery to Egypt. At the Rapture, the Church is REDEEMED from our sinful flesh (which CAN INDEED hold a Christian in slavery—IF we DON’T reckon ourselves DEAD to sin through Jesus).
239. At Mt. Sinai, God DWELLED with Israel. At the pentecost Jesus dwells within the Church. At the rapture, The Church will then be with God again.
240. The TRUMP OF GOD sounded on Mt. Sinai for Israel on the FEAST OF PENTECOST. The SECOND, and LAST TRUMP OF GOD, relates to a Church that BEGAN on PENTECOST, possibly only being the "type' at Mt. Sinai, and the Anti-type fulfilled at Pentecost.
241. Whether at Pentecost, or The Feast of Trumpets, THE TRUMP OF GOD is a DIFFERENT TRUMPET than the ones used in the judgments of the tribulation. The 7th trumpet CANNOT be the LAST TRUMP of the Church’s rapture!
THE FEASTS OF THE LORD
242. The SEVEN FEASTS of THE LORD, given to Israel in Leviticus 23:1-44 is God’s TIMETABLE. They show PROPHETIC FULFILLMENT'S of the crucifixion of Jesus, the birth of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus.
243. Four of the FEASTS are FULFILLED on the EXACT DAY when Israel observed them! (a.) PASSOVER, the 14th of Nisan, the FIRST MONTH of Israel’s RELIGIOUS YEAR. Jesus was CRUCIFIED on the VERY SAME DAY—the LAMB OF GOD, Who TAKES AWAY the sins of the world. (b.) UNLEAVENED BREAD, the 15th of Nisan. Jesus was BURIED by sundown, the START of that feast—Jesus’ burial on that EXACT DATE represents and FULFILLS the middle loaf which was HIDDEN or BURIED in the feast of Unleavened Bread. (c.) FIRSTFRUITS, the Sunday after Unleavened Bread (in 33 A.D., that EXACT DAY occurred THREE DAYS after Jesus was buried). On the THIRD DAY, Jesus ROSE from the DEAD and became THE FIRSTFRUITS of them that died. Fulfilled exactly! (d.) PENTECOST—also called the “Feast of Weeks,” 50th day after Firstfruits. The Holy Spirit descended upon the FIRST believers of THE CHURCH. When PENTECOST (Shavuot) was FULFILLED on the EXACT DAY of its CELEBRATION, the FIRST MEMBERS of the NEW CHURCH were JEWS, so the FEAST was FULFILLED in ISRAEL—even though the Church became predominantly Gentile throughout its history.
244. Since the FIRST FOUR feasts were FULFILLED on EXACT DAYS that Israel observed them, so also, we can safely assume that the LAST THREE feasts will be FULFILLED on the EXACT DAY of their observance, too. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE.
245. The LAST THREE feasts PROPHESY the events of Jesus’ Second Coming. (a.) The FEAST OF TRUMPETS (Rosh Hashanah), first day of the 7th month of Tishri (which is also the FIRST DAY of the FIRST MONTH of Israel’s CIVIL YEAR)! This is when Israel celebrates their NEW YEAR! Maybe the rapture will occur on that day? Or maybe A NEW SEVEN YEARS will BEGIN for Israel, as antichrist confirms a COVENANT with them, which STARTS the tribulation. [The Church will be Raptured BEFORE the signing occurs, but may also happen on Feast of .] (b.) Yom Kippur, the FEAST OF ATONEMENT, the 10th day of the 7th month. This will be THE DAY when Jesus ATONES the sins of Israel (they will be forgiven and restored)—and He will set His feet on the Mt. of Olives on THIS DAY of His Second Coming. The Second Coming will SIMULTANEOUSLY fulfill A JUBILEE (Leviticus 25:9-15) in Israel on the DAY OF ATONEMENT. The land will return to its RIGHTFUL OWNERS, and THE EARTH will return to THE LORD’S POSSESSION. Captives will be set free and all debts will be forgiven. All these DETAILS are a part of what Jesus will do as His feet touch the earth on THAT DAY OF ATONMENT. (c.) THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES (Sukkot), the 15th day of the 7th month. Five days after Jesus has returned to the earth, the celebration of God living with His people (dwelling with, tabernacling with them) will be celebrated. Zechariah 14:16. Fulfilled on the EXACT DAY of its celebration!
246. These FEASTS are for Israel. The Church has NOT been instructed to keep them. Colossians 2:16-17.
247. Some teach that the Rapture of the Church will happen on Pentecost to END the Church age on the SAME DAY the Church was born. The idea is INCORRRECT for THREE reasons. (a.) Although the Church was born on Pentecost, it fulfilled a FEAST DAY for Israel, because the FIRST who were born into the Church were Jews. (b.) If we needed to wait for the Lord to Rapture His Church on Pentecost (from year to year), it DESTROYS IMMINENCE. (c.) We’ll NOT know the day or the hour when the Church will be Raptured, so we’re exhorted to be WATCHING for Jesus.
248. Some teach that the Rapture of the Church will happen on the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. That is possible, but that doesn't mean it must happen when the signing occurs. There’s NOTHING in prophecy to suggest that AT THE INSTANT the Church is removed, the tribulation begins. It’s logical that SOME TIME must pass—between the Rapture, and WHEN the antichrist gains enough power to make that covenant. (b.) We are told to wait because we don't know when the owner of the house will come back, but the Lord did fulfill the first four feasts on the day. In addition to that if you have come to believe that the Revelation 12 sign just happened, and verse 5 represents the rapture of "The one who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron", who is Christ who lives in us, then there is still one more sign to occur. This doesn't destroy imminence, no one can say when the lord will return for sure, so we remain ready, but Christ does say "That we are not in darkness so that this day should overtake us like a thief." The fact remains (c.) We still DO NOT know for sure the day or the hour when the Church will be Raptured, so we’re exhorted to be WATCHING for Jesus.
TO SUM IT UP!
249. Where’s the SOUND Biblical doctrine SHOWING that the Rapture occurs SOMETIME WITHIN the tribulation. THERE’S NONE!
250. There is indeed SOUND Biblical doctrine SHOWING that the Rapture is PRE-TRIBULATION. IN MANY PLACES!
ENDING NOTE: There might be MORE reasons for the Pre-Trib Rapture than I’ve listed here. For me to arrive at 250 REASONS is SOLID PROOF for the Pre-Trib position!
To Jesus be all the glory—now and forever. Amen and amen!