End-Time Prophecy

Pre-Tribulation Rapture Article

The Pre-Tribulational Rapture
Jesus is coming quickly! He told us we must always stay ready because His Coming is IMMINENT. That means He could come at any time, and take us home in the Rapture when we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and rise to meet Him in the air. I believe that this must means that the Rapture will come before the Tribulation If it happens at the end of the Tribulation, then we know it is at least 7 years away. Many times I hear Bible Teachers say there is no clear statements proving a PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE in the Bible. Well, they must be using a different Bible than mine! I find that Jesus, Paul, Peter and John all taught it and they made it very clear.

Let’s look first at the Teaching of Jesus.

*He said for us it will be like: the BRIDEGROOM (JESUS) coming for His BRIDE (the Church):
John 14:1-3 records His tender words as the Bridegroom to His Bride, who now He is betrothed to her, must go away and prepare their marital home. He promises to come again to fetch her to be with Him:

John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” The Bride did not know when the Bridegroom would return so she had to prepare herself and always stay ready. What Bridegroom would send His Bride through the horrors of the Tribulation. Surely He will rescue her from this terrible time of God’s outpoured Wrath!

Jesus also taught that: 1. To the world, His Coming to take the Church home would be like a THEIF IN THE NIGHT.

In the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:7-31, Jesus described the Tribulation (the End or Consummation of the Age) in great detail. Then He answered their Question asking Him to describe the time just before the Tribulation. He answered first of all by telling them the Parable of the Fig-Tree (v32-35), which represents Israel.
By this He was indicating that the main sign of living in the time just before the Tribulation is the Rebirth of Israel.

Then He described the final thing that would happen just before the Tribulation starts THE RAPTURE!

Matthew 24:36: “But (a phrase always used to introduce a new subject)
of that day and hour no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
*This language is always used of the IMMINENT Rapture.

Matthew 24:37-39: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away,
so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be.”

*He says the events around His Coming will be as in Noah’s day.
1. Noah's Flood was a time of world-wide Judgement that suddenly fell on an increasingly sinful world taking them by surprise. *Likewise, the Tribulation will be a world-wide Judgement that will suddenly fall on a sinful world and take them totally by surprise.

2. In the time before the Flood, life going on as normal. They had a warning from Noah of impending judgement, but most ignored it.
*Likewise, in the time before the Tribulation men will be blissfully unaware of what is about to suddenly happen on the earth.

3. Just before the Flood-Judgement fell, God removed the righteous, so that they would not come under it. The believers disappeared into the Ark, and were lifted above the Judgement to safety.
*Likewise, just before the Tribulation Jesus will come and remove the believers in the Rapture. We will disappear into Christ, and be lifted above the Judgement, because He has taken the Judgement for us, and so we do not belong to the time of Judgement.
He then describes this removal of believers in more detail:

Matthew 24:40-42: “Then 2 men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 2 women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is Coming (in the Rapture).”
*The word ‘taken’ here is not the same word used to describe unbelievers being taken away in Judgement. Rather it is used as when Joseph took Mary as His wife, for the Lord coming to take His Bride, saving her from the Tribulation so she can be with Him forever.

Matthew 24:43,44: “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the THIEF would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

*Jesus description of His Coming in the Rapture is as a Thief, who comes and goes unoticed in the middle of the Night. This signifies it will be: (1) unannounced, with warning, sudden and quick, and (2) He comes to take the precious things (believers) from the earth

This is a perfect description of the Rapture. The world is asleep in the dark, thinking everything is carrying on as normal. Then the Thief comes suddenly and silently taking the precious things (us). The world will suddenly discovers a billion people missing (all believers). TO THE WORLD it will seem it is as if a Thief has come in the night, but actually He is just taking what belongs to Him. This is totally different to His Appearing in power & glory, like the Sun rising on the world bringing the darkness to an end (the 2nd Coming). He gives the same teaching in Luke 17:26,27:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all.”

Then He adds a parallel example in Luke 17:28-30:
“Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot:
They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted,
they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained Fire and Brimstone from Heaven and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” *Again we have a Divine Judgement falling on a whole region, and again we see that just before Judgement falls, God removed all the believers from the scene of Judgement. He did not just protect them in the Judgement, but removed them from that whole region.
Jesus said it would be just like that in the time of His Coming.
He will send His angels and remove us in the Rapture from the very scene of Judgement, that is the earth. Then He reveal His Judgement!

If you want a plain statement of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture try: Luke 21:34-36: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day (of Judgement, the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation) come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on ALL those who dwell on the face of the whole earth (it will be a world-wide Judgement). Watch therefore (be ready), and pray always that you may be counted worthy to ESCAPE ALL these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

ALL these things that will come to pass are ALL the events of the Tribulation, which He said would affect ALL the people living on the earth. The only way to escape them is to be removed from the earth in the Rapture. This is not the language of promising protection from trouble for people living in the Tribulation, but of escaping from the whole thing. It is a change of location from dwelling on the earth to standing resurrected before the Son of Man in Heaven. And the only way to escape ALL of these things is a Pre-Tribulational Rapture, for if it were a Mid-Tribulational Rapture or a Postulational Rapture, then He would only have talked about escaping SOME of these things

He promises us that if we will be ready, we will escape.
We are not made worthy of the Rapture, by our own Righteousness,
but because we have received the Righteousness of Christ by faith.

So how can we be ready for the Rapture?
1. PRAY and Receive Christ into your heart.
2. Prove the genuineness of your faith by a changed life.

*Let us now go on to Paul’s teaching on the Pre-Tribulational Rapture
Paul's letters to the Thessalonians are full of Rapture teaching):
1Thessalonians 1:10: “(we are) to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the Wrath to come.” Now Jesus has already delivered us from the Wrath of eternal Hell-Fire by His Blood shed on the Cross. So the Wrath to come here is a different Wrath from this. It is the Wrath of the Tribulation. Jesus will come to deliver us from the Tribulation! Because it is a Time of Divine Wrath, He will save us from it, for believers have been delivered from all Judgement and Condemnation.

*Later in 1Thessalonians Paul describes how the Lord will do this:

1Thessalonians 4:16-18: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout (to raise the dead), with the voice of an Archangel, and with the Trumpet of God (to gather His people). And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
The teaching of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture is a great comfort to us.

Immediately, after these words, we go into the next Chapter: 1Thessalonians 5, where He continues to teach on the Rapture:

1Thessalonians 5:1: “But concerning the times and the seasons (the timing of the Rapture and the Tribulation) brethren, you have no need that I should write to you (for he had already taught them).”
1Thessalonians 5:2,3: “The Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) so comes as a THIEF in the Night (the Tribulation will start suddenly with the Rapture and it will be a total surprise to the world!)
For when they say, Peace and safety! (life will be going on as normal) then sudden Destruction comes upon them, as Labour Pains upon a pregnant woman (this is the very language Jesus used to describe the start of the Tribulation). And they shall not escape.”

But true Christians have a different destiny.

1Thessalonians 5:4: “But you, brethren, are not in darkness,
so that this Day (the Tribulation) should overtake you as a Thief.” Our experience of the Lord's Coming will be different from the world. For the world He is a unknown Thief who suprises them and removes the valuables from the earth, but for us, He is our Bridegroom coming for His Bride to take us home to Heaven. He goes on to say that we do not belong to the Darkness of the Tribulation, but to the Light of God’s Glory. Then he confirms this in his conclusion:

1Thessalonians 5:9: “For God did not appoint us to Wrath (to the Tribulation), but (instead) to obtain Salvation (in the Rapture) through (the Coming of) our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The next verse confirms this Salvation from Wrath is the Rapture: 1Thessalonians 5:10,11: “who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep (whether we are alive or dead at the Rapture), we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another just as you also are doing.” Again we see that the Teaching of the Pre-Tribulation Reapture is a comfort for believers and an inspiration to be found ready when He comes.

Another clear statement of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture is in the next book!

2Thessalonians 2:1: “Now, brethren, concerning the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Gathering together to Him (clearly, the Subject under discussion is the Rapture),

2Thessalonians 2:2: “we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) had come.”

They obviously were not troubled that the Rapture had come, but it had obviously not come. Nor were they troubled that the rapture was about to come, for they would be happy about that, not troubled. ‘The Day of the Lord’ here is a technical term for the Tribulation.
They were troubled by false teaching that said the Tribulation had come. Naturally they were troubled by this, especially since they had the blessed hope of being raptured before the Tribulation. But now this hope was disturbed by false reports of Paul saying that they were now in the Tribulation, without the Rapture happening first. In the next verses, Paul puts them right by affirming the Pre-Trib Rapture:
2Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (the Tribulation) will not come unless The Falling Away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”

Much confusion arises here from the translation of the Greek word: 'apostasia' as ‘falling away.’ This word simply means ‘a Departure’. Because years later in Timothy, Paul talks about a ‘Departure’ or a ‘Falling away from the Faith’, the translators assumed he was talking about the same thing here and so translated it 'falling away'. But this is unjustified. It does not say that! It simply says: “for that Day (the Tribulation) will not come unless THE DEPARTURE comes first.” Now it talks about a specific Departure, but it does not tell us what this Departure is and what it is from. Therefore, Paul thinks it should be obvious to the reader what Departure he is talking about. There is no basis for saying that it is a Departure from the Faith, as Timothy had not been written yet. The rules of grammer dictate that we should look in the context of the previous verses to see what the Departure is that Paul is talking about, and it is not hard to do. There is a Departure and Paul had clearly spelled it out as being the main subject he was talking about!

2Thessalonians 2:1: “Now, brethren, concerning the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Gathering together to Him.”
What Departure is he talking about?
THE RAPTURE the DEPARTURE of the Church from the earth!
Therefore we can translate 2Thessalonians 2:3,4 as follows: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for the Tribulation will not come unless the RAPTURE comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.?”

He taught them (1) the Rapture followed by (2) the Tribulation when antichrist would be revealed. So antichrist can't be revealed and the Tribulation begin, until the Church departs from the earth in the Rapture. Thus they should not worry about being in the Tribulation.

He now explains why the antichrist can't be revealed until the Church is removed. It is because the Holy-Spirit through the Church is a powerful restraining force against the spirit of antichrist:

2Thessalonians 2:6: “And now you know what is restraining (the antichrist), that he may be revealed in his own time.

2Thessalonians 2:7: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains (the Church) will do so until He is taken out of the way (by the Rapture).” Remember Paul specifically says the subject under discussion is the Rapture (v1)!

2Thessalonians 2:8: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His Coming (after the Tribulation).”
*Peter also taught a Pre-Tribulational Rapture.
2Peter 1:19: “We have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a LIGHT that shines in a dark place, until the DAY DAWNS dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.”

Right now we are living by the Light of God’s Word.
Christ’s Second Coming in Power and Glory will be like a SUNRISE and the Dawning of a New Day when His glory will fill the earth.
But before the Dawn, when it is still dark, those who are awake see the Light of the MORNING STAR, which appears before Sunrise.
This speaks of the glory of the Rapture for those who are ready. In
Revelation 21:16, Jesus says: “I am the Bright and Morning Star.” In Revelation 2:28 Jesus promises to give believers the Morning Star.

*Finally John teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture in the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 1:19 gives an Outline of the whole Book:
“(1) Write the things which you have seen (the vision of chapter 1),
(2) and the things which are (the Church-Age in chapters 2,3),
(3) and the things which will take place after this (chapters 4 on).
These are the things that will take place after the Church-Age.

*The 7 letters of Revelation 2 and 3 give Christ’s guidance, warnings and promises for the believers in the Church-Age. In particular, Revelation 3:10 clearly promisesus a Pre-Tribulational Rapture: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the Hour of Trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth (the Tribulation).”

Notice, He does not just keep us from the Trial in the sense of just protecting us in it. He says He will keep us from the Hour of Trial, from the very Time of the Trial. This Trial will come upon ALL those who dwell upon the earth, so the only way to be delivered from it is to be removed from the earth. Then in the next verse, Jesus teaches that He will do this by means of the Rapture:

Revelation 3:11: “Behold, I am coming quickly! (in the Rapture). Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

Then in Revelation 4, John experiences a Rapture into Heaven, symbolic of the Rapture of the Church:
Revelation 4:1: “After these things I looked, and behold, a Door standing open in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a Trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here,
and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
Using the very same words as in 1:19, John is told He will be shown things that will take place after the Church-Age.

First of all, John sees the Throne of God in Heaven (v2,3) and in
v4:“around the throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones I saw 24 elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.” In v10: “the 24 elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Then Revelation 5:8-10 says: “the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, and they sang a new song, saying:“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

Then in Revelation 5:12 they say with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom,and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

It is evident that these 24 elders are RESURRECTED redeemed MEN not angels, who have been through the Judgement Seat of Christ and have been rewarded with crowns and thrones.
They must represent the Church. Therefore the Church is Presence in Heaven at the start of the Tribulation (Revelation 4,5).

*Moreover in the description of the events of the Tribulation on earth in Revelation 6-18, the Church is not mentioned. She must be absent from the earth. Instead in Revelation 7, we see 144,000 Jewish evangelists anointed to spearhead the Gospel during the Tribulation.

*We only see the Church again in Revelation 19, just BEFORE the 2nd Coming and Christ’s Wife, the Church, is with Him in Heaven.

Revelation 19:7-9: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the Marriage of the Lamb has happened, and His Wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!'”

*Then in Revelation 19:11-16, we see the Church Return to earth from Heaven with Christ at His 2nd Coming:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (These have already been identified in v7-9 as the Church). Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

*Thus the Book of Revelation perfectly agrees with a Pre-Trib Rapture

*The opening of the 7 Seals in Revelation 5 reveals that the whole Tribulation is the Day of the Lord Wrath’s Wrath, when He is moving in Judgement to forcefully exert His dominion over the earth.
*The REPOPULATION of the earth for the Millennium requires a Pre-Trib Rapture, for if all the believers are raptured at the end of the Tribulation there will be no believers left to populate the Millennium. A Pre-Trib Rapture means that those who get saved in the Tribulation and endure alive until its end will be able to repopulate the earth.

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