Why We Believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture

April 12, 2018   |   Category: Blog   |   Tags: ,

19 Proofs we are Living in the End Time

We are asked quite often why we believe in a post-tribulation rapture. The 19 points below explain our position.

 

  1. Matthew 24:29-31 clearly says that the rapture happens after the Great Tribulation. Some will say that “the elect” in this passage applies to the Jews, but there is no scriptural proof of this. Furthermore, a study of the word elect or election in the New Testament reveals that every time the word is used, it refers to the church, not to the Jews. The most poignant case is Romans 11:7. Even in Matthew 24, Jesus uses the word elect (verses 22 and 24) to refer to the church, not the unbelieving Jewish people. Further support of verse 31 as the rapture of the church are the verses that follow it, which describe, among other things, two being in the field – one is taken, the other left. This is the rapture.
  2. II Thessalonians 2:1-4 clearly says that the Antichrist will be revealed before the rapture. Verse 6 clearly says that what is holding back the revelation of the Antichrist is that it’s not time yet.
  3. Revelation 20:4-6 says that saints who were killed during the mark of the beast period – the Great Tribulation – would be part of the “first” resurrection. This conflicts with the pre-tribulation rapture theory, which states that the first resurrection happens before the mark of the beast. The pre-tribulation rapture theory converts the resurrection in Revelation 20:4-6 into the “second” resurrection, while John takes great pains to tell us that it’s the first. In an attempt to avoid scripture breakdown, those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture have said in the past, “There have been many first resurrections.” This of course is absurd and wholly unnecessary. Also, it has been said that a rapture and a resurrection are not the same. But the rapture is when the dead in Christ rise. This is the very definition of resurrection.
  4. Matthew 13’s parable of the wheat and the tares (verses 24-30 and 36-43) describes the harvest of the wicked and good as one simultaneous event, not two events separated by seven years. Those who say it does allow for a seven year gap cannot explain away verse 30, which says, “Gather ye together first the tares (the wicked).” According to Jesus, the wheat is not harvested before the tares.
  5. I Thessalonians 4:15-18 talks about the rapture of those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. The Greek word for remain is “perileipo.” According to Strong’s, it can also be translated as “survive.” This is not surprising, because the word “peril” is at the root of “perileipo.” Remain means “remain as in surviving the peril.” This does not seem to support a pre-tribulation rapture theory.
  6. In Revelation 13:7, the Antichrist makes war against saints who are from all kindreds, tongues, and nations. That does not describe Jews-only.
  7. I Corinthians 15:51-54 speaks of the last trump. Revelation 11:15-19 speaks of the last trump. The description of what happens at the last trump in each of these passages is the same.
  8. Every prophecy student would agree that the rapture is when the Lord comes as a thief. Many warnings are given of this in the New Testament, among them Matthew 24:42-43, I Thessalonians 5:2, and II Peter 3:10. One such warning is given in Revelation 16:15. It’s the final, last minute warning: “Behold, I come as a thief.” But notice the context. The following verse is the Battle of Armageddon – the 7th Vial. Why would God be issuing a warning that He will be coming as a thief right up until Armageddon, if He came as a thief seven years prior to this? The answer is, of course, He wouldn’t.
  9. It has been theorized that when the Lord comes as a thief in the night, this speaks of a Secret Coming. I Thessalonians 5:1-8 clearly teaches, however, that the church will know when He is coming. The Church will not be taken by surprise. Only the unsaved will be taken by surprise. It is hard to understand where the Secret Coming theory was even conceived.
  10. It has been commonly taught that the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of God. The Bible teaches the opposite. When the Great Tribulation ends, this is when the God’s Wrath begins. Proof: One of the events that takes place during the Wrath of God is that the sun, moon, and stars will go dark. It is described in the 6th Seal – Revelation 6:12-17. It specifically calls it the Wrath of God. The sun, moon, and stars going dark is also spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:29, only Jesus gives us the timing. He says that it occurs after the Great Tribulation. According to Jesus, the Wrath of God is not the Great Tribulation, but rather, the Wrath of God occurs after the Great Tribulation. To operate under the wrong assumption that God’s Wrath is the Tribulation results in nothing but confusion.
  11. Revelation 12:7-17 describes the events of the Great Tribulation. This can be proven by comparing it with all other passages in the Bible that speak of a three and one-half year period of time (1,260 days, 42 months, “time, times, and half a time”). Verse 12 calls the Great Tribulation the time of Satan’s Wrath. After all, God does not persecute His own people. Satan does.
  12. I Thessalonians 5:9 teaches that God’s people are not appointed unto God’s Wrath. The post-tribulation rapture teaching agrees with this. As stated above, the Great Tribulation is not God’s Wrath. It is Satan’s Wrath. History records that 11 of the 12 apostles were martyred. Saints today are not immune from the trials, temptations, and persecutions of Satan. It has been said that God wouldn’t beat up His bride before marrying her. That is certainly true. He wouldn’t. But Satan would.
  13. The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that there is one Second Coming, but that it happens in two phases. (We find this premise to be a stretch.) It is said that the first phase is for His church. It’s the rapture, also called the Secret Coming. The second phase is Matthew 24:31’s gathering of the Jews, which they call the Glorious Appearing. It occurs at the end of the final seven years. There are some scriptures which are in conflict with this theory. Here are two: Titus 2:11-13 instructs the church to live righteously in this present world right up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing. I Peter 1:5-7 teaches that trials and temptations will continue for the church all the way up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing.
  14. In order to know the timing of the rapture, you must of course understand how the book of Revelation is structured. The pre-tribulation rapture theory is based on the assumption that Revelation was written in a chronological sequence. This means, it is assumed that the events of the endtime are recorded in Revelation in the order they will happen: First the Seals, then the Trumpets, and then the Vials. If it can be proven, however, that Revelation was not written in chronological order, then the house of cards falls. And it does. A simple comparison between the 7th Trumpet (Chapter 11) and 7th Vial (Chapter 16) reveals that they are the same, singular event. Add to this comparison the 6th Seal (Chapter 6), Ezekiel 38:18-22, and Matthew 24:29 and we find that all five of these passages describe the exact same event. The 6th Seal, 7th Trumpet, and 7th Vial is one event that is described in Chapter 6, again in Chapter 11, and again in 16. Obviously, Revelation is not in the assumed chronological sequence. This is one of several proofs that Revelation is not sequential from front to back. And with this understanding, the underlying assumption upon which the pre-tribulation rapture is based collapses.
  15. It has been commonly accepted that in order for the Antichrist to rise to power, the Holy Ghost must be removed from the earth. The basis for this conclusion is II Thessalonians 2:7. There are a few problems with the theory. First and foremost, we already demonstrated above that the first 4 verses of this same chapter mandate the revelation of the Antichrist before the rapture, not after. Paul would not reverse his position so radically three verses later. Second, it is assumed that the “he” in verse 7 is the Holy Ghost, but there is no proof whatsoever for this. And finally, if there is no Holy Ghost on earth during the Great Tribulation, then what power is being used by the Two Witnesses to perform all of their miracles. Revelation 13:5-7 and other passages describe people on earth during the Tribulation who are born again. How can a person be born again without the Holy Ghost? The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that those who are left behind will have a second chance at salvation. The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) teaches that He comes once and there is no second chance to make the rapture.
  16. Some have taught a mid-tribulation rapture. However, this position is impossible since it assumes that the Tribulation lasts for seven years. Yet, there is not one scripture in the entire Bible that describes a seven-year tribulation. Every description of the Tribulation in the Bible teaches that it lasts for three and one-half years. Daniel 7:25, 12:1-7, Revelation 11:3-12, 12:6, 12:7-12, 12:13-17, and 13:5-7. The misunderstanding about a seven-year tribulation comes from Daniel 9:27, which speaks of a covenant that will be confirmed for seven years. This verse teaches that the abomination of desolation will occur halfway through the seven-year period. Jesus said that the abomination of desolation would mark the beginning of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21). From this we know that the great tribulation only lasts for three and one-half years.
  17. Many have taught that the rapture is described in Revelation 4:1. John is told to “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” This passage has nothing to do with the rapture. It simply means what it says: “I will show you things that must be hereafter.” This is simply the point in John’s writings when he begins recording the events of the future.
    In Revelation 1:19, John is told to write three things: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” Chapters 1-3 contain “…the things thou hast seen, and the things which are.” Chapter 4, verse 1 simply moves into “… the things which shall be hereafter.”
  18. Revelation 3:10 is cited by some as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture. The passage says: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Some contend that as God protected the church of Philadelphia from temptations that would come upon the world, so shall He protect us from the Great Tribulation. This passage was simply a message to the Philadelphian church that John had oversight of after he was released from the exile on the Isle of Patmos. A similar message was written to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2:10: “…the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days…” Does this mean that the great tribulation will only last ten days? Of course not. Again, this is a message to one of the seven churches of Asia Minor, which John would overseer after his release from exile.
  19. Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were so shall the coming of the Son of man be,” is offered as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture by some. It is explained that God helped His chosen escape the great tribulation of the flood, and so likewise shall He rapture His church from the coming tribulation. However, it should be noticed that God protected Noah through the flood. He did not bring Noah into heaven to avoid the flood. Furthermore, the coming of the Son of man to which the days of Noah were being compared was the coming just described in verses 29-31, which the passage specifically says will take place immediately after the tribulation.

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36 Responses to “Why We Believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture”

  1. Hi, I’d like to ask a question if you don’t mind. I am trying to harmonize two teachings, namely:

    1. The seventh trumpet will sound at the end of the great tribulation (i.e., on the final day of the tribulation).

    2. The seventh trumpet contains and introduces the seven vials (bowls) of wrath.

    It seems to me that the above two teachings are incompatible and seem impossible to harmonize. The 7th trumpet cannot contain all 7 vials and, at the same time, sound on the last day of the tribulation — the same day that Jesus returns to earth in glory. If that were to be the case, there will be no time for all 7 vials (bowls) judgments to play out before Jesus returns to earth that same day. Considering the nature of some of the bowl judgments, it’s clear that they all cannot occur on a single day. For example, the judgment of the fifth bowl alone might take at least a week if not more. We’re told in Revelation 16:12-16 that when the sixth bowl is poured out, the river Euphrates dried up in order to prepare the way for the armies of the antichrist (from the East) to pass through as they gather at Armageddon for the battle that will take place at Christ’s second advent. This clearly shows that the sixth bowl is poured out before the final day of the tribulation (i.e, before the day that Christ returns to earth). Furthermore, it shows that the bowl (vial) judgments cannot all occur on a single day since the 6th bowl alone could take at least a week to be accomplished — it would take some time to mobilize troops and to gather them together at Armageddon following the drying up of the river Euphrates on pouring out the sixth bowl. It is noteworthy that the bowl judgments in the book of Revelation bear a striking resemblance to the plagues of Egypt in the book of Exodus. Like the plagues of Egypt which lasted four weeks, it seems likely that the bowl judgments in the book of Revelation could last a few weeks rather than a single day.

    If it is true that the seventh trumpet contains the seven vial (bowl) of wrath, it means the bowl judgments cannot begin until the 7th trumpet has sounded. Thus, if the seventh trumpet contains the seven bowls of wrath, it is unlikely that this trumpet will sound on the last day of the tribulation, the same day that Jesus will return to earth in glory. It will have to sound maybe a few weeks before the end of the tribulation in order to allow enough time for the 7 bowls of wrath judgments to play out. By the very nature of the bowl judgments, it is clear that all seven bowls judgments cannot occur on a single day.

    Therefore, I don’t see how the seventh trumpet can sound on the last day of the tribulation if indeed it contains the seven bowls of wrath. I’d like to know what you think.

    Thanks.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Austano,
      The book of Revelation is not in chronological order. The seals are the long story, the trumpets are the short story, and the vials are the real short story. They are three vantage points of the end time. You can view them in comparison with the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We know this is true because the 6th and 7th seal, the 7th trumpet, and the 7th vial all record the same event, the second coming of Jesus Christ. Also if the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ in Revelation 11:15, it would not make sense for the Antichrist to begin his rule in Revelation 13.

  2. Hi Mac Adams, it seems to me that your understanding of 2 Thessalonians 2:1 is in error. An excerpt from your comment says:

    “So if the falling away is the rapture, then this would make Paul a very uneducated speaker… this is how his sentence would go as per what you say. 2nd Thes. 2: 3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. That day (Jesus gathering us to himself… the rapture) will not come unless there come a falling away (you call it rapture) first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition. See how this just doesn’t make any sense? Paul would be saying, “Don’t let anyone deceive you, the rapture will not come until the rapture happens first. ”

    Many people misunderstand the language of verse one by erroneously thinking that the subject or topic of Paul’s message is the rapture. Even though Paul beseeches the Thessalonian believers “by the coming of our Lord and our gathering together unto Him [the rapture]”, Paul’s message is not primarily about the rapture. Let’s look at it more closely:

    In verse 1 of 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul says, “We beseech you brethren by the coming of Christ and our gathering together unto him. . .”. Obviously, “the coming of Christ and our gathering together unto Him” refers to the rapture, but this is NOT the title of Paul’s message to the Thessalonians. Paul is only beseeching the Thessalonians in the name of the rapture. He is appealing to the Thessalonians in the name of the rapture. The rapture is not the topic of his discussion. Usually, we beseech someone/people in the name of something about something else. In this passage, Paul is beseeching the Thessalonians in the name of the rapture about something else. We find a similar language in Romans 12:1 where Paul says, “I beseech you by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. .”. In this scripture, we see Paul beseeching the Roman brethren by one thing while addressing them about something different. He beseeches them (makes a passionate appeal to them) by “the mercies of God” but he is not speaking to them about the mercies of God. The “mercies of God” is not the topic he is about to discuss with the Romans. Rather, he is discussing the importance of living a holy life and presenting one’s body as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” This is a perfect illustration of the fact that we usually beseech people by something about a different thing.

    So let’s return to 2 Thessalonians 2. In verse 1, that Paul is only beseeching or appealing to the Thessalonians in the name of “the coming of Christ and our gathering together unto Him [the rapture]”. He is not speaking to them about the rapture. The rapture is not the subject of his discussion. So, what is the subject of his discussion? The subject of discussion is “the day of the Lord.” We see this in verses 2-3. Having appeals to the Thessalonian believers in the name of the rapture, and tells them not to be “soon shaken in mind or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by a letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is at hand.”

    So, Paul is here talking about “the day of the Lord”. He is not talking about the “rapture”. The rapture is not the primary topic of discussion here. Apparently, the Thessalonians believers had received a false letter purportedly sent by Paul (an impostor had forged Paul’s signature) claiming that the “day of the Lord” had already come. At that time, the Thessalonians were experiencing untold suffering from severe persecution. As a result of the false message they received, they thought they were already in the day of the Lord and attributed their suffering to the fact that they were alreadyvin the day of the Lord. As a result, they became very troubled and shaken in mind. Paul then wrote 2 Thessalonians 2 to them in order to allay their fears and correct the erroneous teaching they had received.

    In verse 2, Paul tells the Thessalonian believers not to be troubled or shaken in mind as if the day of the Lord had come. In verse 3, he tells them that that day [the day of the Lord] will not come except the “apostasia” comes first and the man of sin [the antichrist] is revealed.

    The first question we need to ask ourselves is: why would the Thessalonians be troubled or shaken in mind on hearing the false message that the day of the Lord had arrived? If Paul had previously taught them a post-tribulation rapture, they would not have been troubled on hearing that the day of the Lord had begun. If Paul had taught them a post-tribulation rapture, they would have rejoiced on hearing that they were now in the day of the Lord because being in the day of the Lord meant Jesus Christ would soon return to earth to deliver them out of their troubles and destroy their enemies. The fact that the Thessalonians were troubled on hearing that they were in the day of the Lord means Paul likely taught them a pre-tribulation rapture. Only if Paul taught them a pre-tribulation rapture would they have been troubled because being in the day of the Lord meant they had missed the rapture. They had every reason to be troubled and shaken in mind because they thought they had missed the rapture. So, Paul writes 2 Thess. 2 to reassure them that they were not in the day of the Lord which begins with the Tribulation.

    The next question we need to ask is: what is “the apostasia” in verse 3. The KJV translates “the apostasia” as “the falling away”. I prefer to use the original Greek phrase “the apostasia” because the translation of this phrase as “the falling away” by the KJV translators is contentious. The term apostasia simply means a “departure”. This departure could be a departure from anything such as departure from the faith or a physical departure from a location. It is the context that determines the type of departure.

    It is noteworthy that the earliest and first seven translations of the English Bible, including the Wycliffe Bible (1384), Tyndale’s New Testament (1526), the Coverdale Bible (1535), the Cranmer Bible (1539), Breeches Bible (1576), Beza Bible (1586), and Geneva Bible (1608) all rendered the word “apostasia” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as “departure”. This supports the notion that the word truly means “departure”. In fact, Jerome’s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of AD 400 renders the word apostasia as “discessio” meaning “departure”. Scholars say it is not clear why the King James version (1611) was the first to move away from the established translation of “departure” by translating it as ‘a falling away’. It has been pointed out that the ‘falling away’ used in the KJV is “an interpretation and not a translation”. Further light has been shed on this discrepancy by the observation that the root verb of ‘apostasia’ is “aphistemi”, which occurs fifteen times in the New Testament and is translated ‘depart’ eleven times in the King James version.

    So, it is likely that when Paul talks about “the apostasia” in 2 Thess. 2:3, he was referring to the physical departure of the Church. The definite article “the” in “the apostasia” means Paul was referring to a very specific event which he had previously told the Thessalonians about. This specific event was one which the Thessalonians could identify when it happened. It is unlikely to be a falling away from the faith (a defection or apostasy) because a defection from the faith is not specific and there is no way the Thessalonians could know exactly which defection Paul was referring to since there have been many defections and there was one at the time Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians.

    Furthermore, there is another clue from the passage that the “apostasia” is likely a reference to the physical departure of believers (the rapture). Notice that in verse 3, Paul says, “except the apostasia occurs FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed. . .”. In other words, Paul means that the apostasia must occur first, before the man of sin [the antichrist] can be revealed. So, in verse 3, Paul is saying that there is one condition that will need to be fulfilled before the man of sin [the antichrist] can be revealed. He called this condition is “the apostasia”.

    Again, in verses 7-8, Paul says there is one condition that must be fulfilled before the man of sin [the antichrist] can be revealed. He calls this condition “the removal of the restrainer”.

    So we see in verse 3 that “the apostasia” is one condition that must first be fulfilled before the antichrist can be revealed. Then again, we see from verses 7-8 that “the removal of the restrainer” is one condition that must be fulfilled before the antichrist can be revealed. Thus, the conclusion is unmistakable: “the apostasia” in verse 3 is the exact same thing as “the removal of the restrainer” in verses 7. Therefore, whatever is the meaning of “the removal of the restrainer” in verse 7 will be the meaning of “the apostasia” in verse 3.

    It is widely believed by Bible scholars the Holy Spirit resident in believers (the Church) is what is restraining satan and evil in the world today; the removal of the restrainer will occur once the Church is removed from the earth through the rapture. Then the antichrist will be revealed and evil will become full-blown on earth. So, the rapture of the Church will remove the restrainer.

    So, if the “removal of the restrainer” refers to the rapture of the Church, it means the apostasia in verse 3 is a reference to the rapture as well.

    It should now make sense why Paul would beseech the Thessalonians by the rapture in verse 1. He appealed to the Thessalonian believers not to be troubled or worried about being in the day of the Lord. He made this appeal on the basis of “the coming of our Lord and our gathering together unto Him [the rapture] because the Thessalonian believers would not experience the day of the Lord because they would be raptured before the day of the Lord begins. “The apostasia” or “the removal of the Restrainer” would occur before the day of the Lord could begin. So it was appropriate for Paul to beseech or appeal to the Thessalonian believers, on the basis of the rapture, regarding the day of the Lord.

  3. Jim Black

    Great site.

    Two passages destroy pretrib:

    WHEN DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP

    “He will SWALLOW UP DEATH FOR ALL TIME, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces (Rev. 21:4), And He will remove the rebuke of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. It will be said in that day: Behold, this is our God. We have waited for Him and He will save us.” (Isa. 25:8,9)

    “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY? O death, where is your sting? O hades, where is your victory? (1 Cor. 15:54,55)

    Obviously, tears, death and the rebuke of God’s people will exist in the tribulation period. So 1 Cor. 15:54, along with John 14: 3, 1 Thes. 4:17 and Titus 2:13, have to be post trib passages.

    This is not about I’m right, others are wrong, nor am I trying to be argumentative or divisive. If the rapture is post trib, then the church must begin preparing for the tribula-tion, which isn’t that far away. Much of the church is lukewarm, backslidden, falling away, etc. Jesus is not coming for a bride-to-be in this condition, rather one that is “without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27). This is why the rapture can’t be imminent at this time. All the spots, wrinkles and blemishes have to be purged. That will continue to happen right up to the end (Dan. 11:35, 12:10). Christians must never think that Jesus will instantly make His bride pure at a pretrib rapture or seven year stay in heaven. The church must first make herself ready before clothed in fine linen (Rev. 19:7,8).

    • Mac Adams

      Marc, you say that the Great Falling Away “is” the rapture. Let’s look at that scripture where Paul talks about #1. “rapture” or Jesus gathering us to himself, and #2. the great falling away as being the rapture too. So if the falling away is the rapture, then this would make Paul a very uneducated speaker… this is how his sentence would go as per what you say. 2nd Thes. 2: 3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. That day (Jesus gathering us to himself… the rapture) will not come unless there come a falling away (you call it rapture) first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition. See how this just doesn’t make any sense? Paul would be saying, “Don’t let anyone deceive you, the rapture will not come until the rapture happens first. Now Marc, if you look at many other translations, you will see that most of them say, “a final rebellion against God,” “a revolt,” “a turning away from God,” and “a falling away.” Marc, the falling away is not Harpazio, it is Apostasia in the Creek concordance #646: a defection from the truth; apostasy; forsake.

      • benny1941

        Shalom!
        You are right, whether the bible nor the Greek allow “harpazo” to be the Rapture. Itis true that 7 bibles translate it as departure. But I looked into the commentaries of the translators. They all say, departure means falling away or apostasy.

  4. Marc Molyneux

    How can the words “last trumpet” in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians be the same trumpet as spoken of in the book of Revelations as “last trumpet”? Paul and the church did not know of any trumpets other than the “Feast of Trumpets” (Rosh hashanah). The book of Revelations was not written until 40 years later. It seems clear that the last trumpet is referring to the last trumpet of Rosh hashanah in reference to the Rapture.

    You mention that the man of sin must be revealed and the falling away must happen before the rapture can take place; the falling away (or departure) is the Rapture. Please explain why my position is in error. Best Regards.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Marc,

      Jesus himself said there would be a trumpet, Paul probably understood that would be the last one.
      Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

      30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

      31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

      Or maybe it was because of Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.

      and V.10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
      11 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

      Notice these same events are in Matthew 24:29-31 and in Revelation 6:12-17.

      Notice these are the day of the Lord or the Second coming. Look at what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.

      Sounds like Paul knew that the day of the Lord would be at the Last Trump, the Trump of God at His coming and His gathering of His Bride…

  5. Dennis

    hello,

    Thanks. I have examined this post-Tribulation rapture in detail but there remains some very important questions which need to be answered. For example:

    We know that all unbelievers (unsaved people) who survive the Great Tribulation will not enter the Millennial Kingdom because they will all be killed when Jesus returns to earth. The fate of all unsaved people who survive the Great Tribulation is clearly stated in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10: ” . . since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD, AND ON THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. These shall be punished with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”

    Notice that verses 8-10 in the above passage says those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” And when will this punishment be meted out to these unsaved people? The passage says the punishment will be dished out “when He [Jesus] comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe”. This clearly confirms that all unsaved people who survive the Great Tribulation will be destroyed when Jesus Christ returns to earth at the end of the Great Tribulation. No unsaved person will enter the Millennial Kingdom.

    The fate of all unsaved persons at the end of the Great Tribulation is further confirmed by Jesus Christ in the Sheep and Goats Judgment in Matthew 25:31-46. At this judgment, Jesus will say to the Goats on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41). This again confirms that the unsaved who survive the Great Tribulation will be destroyed; they will not enter the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus said the Sheep and Goats judgment will take place when He returns to earth in glory, so this judgment is the exact same judgment that Paul speaks about in 2 Thessalonians 1.

    According to the post-Tribulation rapture view, all believers in Christ who survive the Great Tribulation will be raptured when Jesus returns to earth on the final day of the Great Tribulation. If all believers in Christ who survive the Great Tribulation are raptured in the post-Tribulational rapture, it means all believers will be in their glorified bodies rather than physical human bodies at the start of the Millennial Kingdom. Since people in glorified bodies are incapable of human reproduction, there will be nobody to reproduce and populate the millennial kingdom if a post-tribulation rapture occurs. Yet we know that there will be human reproduction and children will be born during the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ on earth. Isaiah 56:20 and Revelation 20:7-10 indicate that there will be human reproduction during the Millennial Kingdom. When satan is released from the bottomless pit at the end of the 1,000 years, he will go out and deceive the nations on earth [the humans who are born during the millennial period] and gather them together in rebellion against God.

    HERE IS MY QUESTION: As we have already established, all unsaved people will be killed when Jesus returns to earth at the end of the great Tribulation. According to the post-Tribulation rapture view, believers in Christ who survive the Great Tribulation and who are alive at the time Jesus returns to earth will receive glorified bodies and be raptured. If all the unsaved who survive the Great Tribulation are destroyed and all the believers who survive the Great Tribulation are transformed, glorified and raptured in a post-tribulation rapture, who will be left in physical human body to reproduce and populate the Millennial Kingdom? It is not possible to answer this question if one holds a post-Tribulation rapture view. But if one is using a pre-Tribulation rapture view, it becomes very easy to answer this question because according to the pre-Tribulation rapture theology, the believers who survive the Great Tribulation will enter the Millennial Kingdom in their physical human bodies, without undergoing any post-tribulation rapture and glorification of their bodies. But the post-Tribulation rapture theology cannot provide any answer to this question. The inability of the post-tribulational rapture theology to answer this question is a strong indication that post-tribulation rapture is flawed and invalid.

    Be blessed.

    Dennis.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Dennis,

      The scripture that you use in 2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

      Notice the timing that this is happening in and what is taking place. It happens at the return of Jesus, the second coming. It says He shall be glorified in His Saints. That is the rapture, when the people watching will see the dead in Christ rise first and we who are left, will be changed.
      1 Corinthians 15 tells us that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection and then those who belong to Christ at His coming.
      1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

      2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 tells us that Jesus second coming and our being gathered together unto Him, will not happen until after the antichrist is revealed.

      2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
      2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
      3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
      4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

      Jesus Himself says the revealing of the Antichrist starts the great Tribulation Matthew 24:15-21 and then Jesus says Immediately after the tribulation, He will return and gather us together in the air. Matthew 24:29-3129 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
      30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

      Those who live into the Millennial reign: We know from scripture that mortal people will populate the earth during the Millennium; however, we are not told who will make it into the Millennium. Apparently, some people who did not take the mark of the beast and who did not have salvation will survive through it all and live on into the Millennium. In light of this, there may be some sort of qualification in order for people to live on into the Millennium. For example, the children of Israel inherited the Promise Land but only those who were 20 and younger at the time Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness. All of the others had to die off before they could inherit the land. Something like that may apply at the time of the Millennium. Daniel 7:12 shows us nations will continue on into the Millennium and Isaiah 65:20 shows us people will live and die during that time. So we know mortal people will live on into the Millennium, we just don’t know who will exactly.

  6. In point 12 you state that the Great Tribulation is Satan’s wrath, not God’s. Yes in Rev 15:1 it clearly states that the bowl judgments are the wrath of God. Also in Rev 7:2 it is angels (agents of God) that are harming the earth during the seals. And it is Jesus opening the seals Rev 6:1. Again the trumpets are sounded by angels not agents of Satan. It’s clear that it’s God’s wrath at the end, not Satan’s.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Tracy,

      Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

      Notice that this scripture specifically says that the devil has come down with great wrath, because his time is short. Verse 14 says how short his wrath will be, time, times and a half a time.
      This is the exact timing of the Great Tribulation.

      Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

      We can understand that the time, times and a half a time will be 3 1/2 years, because Revelation 13:5-7 describe the same event as 42 months.

      Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
      6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

      The Wrath of God doesn’t start until the vials are poured out and notice that the first vial is upon those who have taken the Mark of the Beast. That will not be given out until during the final 3 1/2 years, because the Antichrist will not be revealed until the 3 1/2 years mark of the final 7 year period from Daniel 9:27.

      Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
      2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

  7. Hello,

    I have a question and a comment.

    Post-Tribulation rapture teaches that when Jesus returns to earth at the end of the Great Tribulation, all believers on earth will be raptured; this implies that all believers will receive a glorified body different from the ordinary physical human body. So, from that point on, there will be no believer on earth with a physical human body, which means human reproduction will be impossible. At the same time that believers receive a glorified body at the Second Coming of Christ, all the living unbelievers on earth will be judged and removed from the earth (Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 25:41), which means there will be no unbelievers living on earth from that point on.

    Then there will be a millennial reign of 1,000 years on earth during which time Christ will reign with believers on earth and satan will be bound and cast into a bottomless pit where he will remain until the 1,000 years are over at which time he will be released from his prison for a little season (Rev. 20:3, 7).

    There are indications in scriptures that human reproduction will continue during the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ on earth (see Isaiah 56:20 and Revelation 20:7-10). The Bible also tells us in Revelation 20:7-10 that when satan is released from his prison at the end of the 1,000 years, he will go out to deceive the nations on earth and to gather them together in rebellion against God. Then fire came down from God out of heaven to devour all of them (Revelation 20:9) and, finally, the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimestone where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).

    MY QUESTION: If all the believers on earth are transformed and receive their glorified bodies at the post-Tribulation rapture and, at the same time, all unbelievers on earth are destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ, who will be left to reproduce, populate and propagate the Kingdom on earth during the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth? Clearly, we know that there will be human reproduction on earth during the Millennial reign and children will be born during the 1,000 year-reign of Christ on earth. It is these children (or some of these children) that will be deceived by the devil to rebel against God at the end of the 1,000-year reign. The post-Tribulation rapture teaching runs into a very serious problem here as it cannot explain the origin of the people in physical bodies who will be on earth during the Millennial reign. Going by the post-Tribulation rapture theology, nobody capable of physical human reproduction will be left on earth after the Second Coming of Christ. On the other hand, a pre-Tribulation rapture easily explains the origin of the children who will be born during the Millennial reign, since those people who missed the Pre-Tribulation rapture and subsequently got saved during the Great Tribulation will be the ones who will reproduce during the Millennial Kingdom; these believers who got saved during the Tribulation will be in their physical human bodies at the time Jesus return to earth at the end of the Tribulation; they will not be transformed and will not receive glorified bodies and will be the ones to reproduce during the Millennial reign.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Kathy,

      Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

      If you are familiar with our teachings on Daniel 7, you understand that the Beast in this chapter are modern day Nations. Notice that in the passage above Jesus is setting up His Kingdom and the beast/Antichrist is thrown in the lake of fire.
      This lines up with Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

      Notice Daniel 7:12 as concerning the rest of the beast/nations their dominion/power was taken away but their lives were prolonged for time and a season. This means there will be survivors who live into the Millennium. We also see this in
      Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

      This scripture specifically tells us that survivors from the nations that come against Jerusalem for the Battle of Armageddon, will go up and worship Jesus every year at the feast of Tabernacles. The scripture goes on to say the nations that refuse to go up will not receive rain on their land. These are the mortal people, who will live into the Millennium and repopulate. Why will they survive? Apparently, some people who did not take the mark of the beast and who did not have salvation will survive through it all and live on into the Millennium. In light of this, there may be some sort of qualification in order for people to live on into the Millennium. For example, the children of Israel inherited the Promise Land but only those who were 20 and younger at the time Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness. All of the others had to die off before they could inherit the land. Something like that may apply at the time of the Millennium. Daniel 7:12 shows us nations will continue on into the Millennium and Isaiah 65:20 shows us people will live and die during that time. So we know mortal people will live on into the Millennium, we just don’t know who will exactly.

      I hope this information is helpful, have a blessed day.

  8. Steven Bell

    The reason is simple. Paul, who pre tribbers use to confirm their belief, clearly says that the ‘rapture’ is right at the end at Jesus’ Second Coming. 1 Corinthians 15:23&24. – ‘ 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 After that comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power.’ – There is no arguing with that. The only rapture is Matthew 24:31.

  9. Howard Norvelle

    Excellent article, Pastor Baxter. As to the theory of a secret rapture – point #9 – I think it may have come from Matthew 25:1-13, wise and foolish virgins.
    As to the Tribulation, – would it be wrong to call the first 3 1/2 years, “SATAN;S One World Government, and tribulation of God’s church”. The 3 1/2 year’s following, would be called, ” God’s Judgement of those with the mark of the beast”? Certainly, those with the mark of the beast, would be experiencing great tribulation. That would go along with Daniel’s 70 weeks – too.

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello Howard,

      Concerning the final 7 years. The tribulation will not happen until the final 3 1/2 years. We can understand this by looking at the scriptures of Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15-21.
      Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

      Notice the “he/Antichrist” confirms the covenant for 1 week/7 year period, in the middle of that 7 years, he stops animal sacrifices and sets up the Abomination of Desolation. So that will be 3 1/2 years when the abomination of desolation takes place.

      Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

      Jesus says when you see the Abomination of Desolation, that would start the great tribulation. Meaning the tribulation will be in the final 3 1/2 years.

  10. Aleah

    This was really helpful thank you for writing this! One question I have though is you said in point 9 that the church will know when Jesus will return, but in these passages (Luke 12:35-40, Mark 13:32-35, Revelation 16:15) it states pretty clearly that no one will know the day or the hour of Jesus’s second coming. Just wondering what you think,
    thank you again!

    • Doug Norvell

      Jesus specifically told His disciples, concerning the Second Coming and the rapture in Mark 12:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” As a result of this verse, many people have concluded a post-tribulation rapture is not possible because we would be able to know the day of Jesus’ return if it, in fact, occurs after the tribulation. In spite of this, this argument does not affect a post-tribulation rapture.

      First, we understand Jesus was speaking directly to His disciples, which means this could have been specifically for His disciples at that time. Jesus said the Son, Himself, did not know the day of His own return. Does that still apply today? Does Jesus, the all-knowing God, still question when He will return and gather His church? Of course not, which gives us reason to believe this verse was applying only to the disciples. There are other examples of prophecies being kept from those it was told to in Daniel 12:9 and Acts 1:7.

      Secondly, Paul spoke germanely to this subject in 1Thessalonians 5. In the fourth verse Paul tells the church of Thessalonica, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” This was in reference to the day of the Lord which pertains to the Second Coming of Jesus and the rapture. Paul stated, those in the light will not be caught off guard by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

      Finally, Daniel 12:11-12 gives us additional days spanning beyond the 1,260 days of the tribulation. These expansion of days, the 1,290 and the 1,335, are accompanied with no details which leaves us handicapped. What exactly happens during that time? We can only speculate since we are not given a concrete answer in the Scriptures. This may prevent us from knowing the exact day of the Second Coming and the rapture but we will definitely be aware of a close approximate time because we are not in the darkness.

  11. J.C. Warren

    #15 has a incorrect reference, … Rev. 13:5-7 People alive & born again during trib. Need to revise scripture reference ?? Just letting the writer know. I am a post trib pre wrath believer also, just wanted to point out that mistake. Great write-up by the way!!

    • Doug Norvell

      Hello J.C. Warren,
      Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
      6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

      This scripture refers to the “Saints” these are “Born Again” Christians and they are alive during the great tribulation.

    • J.C. Warren

      Oh ok, Thanks for clearing that up. I was assuming born again, like people being born during the tribulation & you were making the point they will be SAVED or “saints” during that time period. Gotcha! Now it makes sense. Also I’ve heard pre-Trib belivers say that Great Tribulation is just for the Jews. But once again in those verses, it says and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. That right there proves its not “just the Jews” going through tribulation, but everyone. Great writeup btw, thanks for the reply Doug! Bless you brother

  12. How can sheep and goat or wheat and tares occur at 2nd coming? Who would be left for the day of the Lord, battle of Armageddon, etc. Makes more sense if this is after millennium. My take. Church is raised before Armageddon. God destroys all those he needs to destroy which includes 2/3 of Israel, time of Jacobs trouble. The Jewish remnant are forgiven and turn to worship God. The remainder are not believers but go into the millennial kingdom to serve the Lord. Foreigners, I think these are those who accept Jesus as savior, are allowed to join the Jews and live in Jerusalem with Gods people. From the first covenant of circumcision Genesis 17:12 to Covenant in Isaiah 56 to this last the Gentiles/Foreigners have always been offered the same promises as the Jews. God is the God of all first to the Jew and then to the Gentile, no difference. 1 Thes 4 and 5 go together as one subject so it is obvious the resurrection of the church is just prior to God’s wrath/ Armageddon as in Mathew. Please explain why you think wheat and tares is before millennium? I have some other comments on how to make post-tribulation argument stronger but it seems those who are deceived twist whatever truth is shown them. Scofield/Darby, etc. have had a major negative impact on the Church but God allowed it.

  13. Of a certainty, all Christians will go through the tribulation. The Church or Body of Christ will be scattered. As genuine Christians will flee from place to place and from country to country, they (especially the wise virgins among them) will continue to preach the Gospel, encouraging other Christians (the foolish virgins) not to take the Mark of the Beast and worship him. As this is taking place among the Gentile Christians so also it will be taken place among the end time Jews who would have been converted to Christianity. The tribulation against Christians will be worldwide. Nevertheless, many professed Christians will deny Jesus Christ and take the Mark of the Beast and worship him so as to save their own lives; but the foolish virgins – (these are genuine Christians too but were considered to be foolish for lacking the extra oil needed to do great exploits as will be exhibited by the wise virgins during this time) – they will rather die than deny Jesus Christ; and indeed they were killed. Exactly, when all the foolish virgins have been killed in the tribulation, and just only the wise virgins are left physically standing; then Jesus Christ will come from heaven and stand on Mount Olive and the trumpet will sound. Then, the dead in Christ, including the foolish virgins that had just been killed in the tribulation, will resurrect. Instantly too, all the wise virgins (both Jew and Gentile Christians) who are still left physically alive but scattered everywhere will change in a twinkle of eye and be caught up with the resurrected Saints who are now gathered with Jesus Christ on Mount Olive. To be caught up in the clouds does not mean to be taken to heaven as in rapture – there is nothing in the Bible like rapture or the secrete catching away of Christians to go and hide in heaven so as to escape persecution on account of the Gospel. Now, in Rev. 7: 4 – 14 the Bible told us about those that survived the tribulation on the sides of both Jews and Gentiles Christians. As a Christian, you will face the tribulation but if you don’t want die in the tribulation, then you have to be among the wise.

  14. Christine

    God is in control of all events at the end times, all the timings, what will happen and when he will allow Satan to take over. You say that God would not beat up his bride, but Satan would. This is the same as saying that God would beat up his bride, after all God is in control of everything. The end times is a test that God wants as many people to pass as possible. Why would God allow his bride, that he loves and sacrificed his son for, to be beaten up. If he allows this, what exactly is he saving us from? The promise of eternal life he offers us is already been given to us when we are born again. The tribulation and wrath of God are truly terrifying times. Why would not God protect his bride from these events.
    Best wishes.

    • Doug Norvell

      Christine,

      The Apostles are part of the Bride of Christ and yet 11 of the 12 suffered through tribulation and died because of their testimony of Jesus Christ. Why would we be any different? Today many Christians have been brutally murdered in third world countries and the Middle East. We in America have this freedom and liberty, that we take for granted, others have to hide the fact that they are Christians.

    • To many, Your blog is no longer interesting. There is no balance. You only post views that are in direct agreement with your teachings. Answering skeptics and those who may be uniformed in their beliefs is important.

      How do you win souls if you don’t speak to those who disagree with your ministerie’s positions?

      Thanks
      Marc

      • James

        You know what’s interesting Marc?
        The Love of Jesus Christ.

        You know what’s not? Rubbish lustful speculation about the end times.
        Maybe you all are young. But all this obsession is not about Christ its about lust. It’s gnosticism. People actually are craving the apocalypse. They want to be the Revealers of Secrets.

        It’s like, I appointed myself interpreter of secrets. Yeah… That’s my self appointed gift. I’ll sit around all day and do that while you all feed the poor.

        When you all shed this spell you’re under, you going to see how pointless and fruitless it has been. Then you can get on to the business of doing your Father’s work because I can guarantee you one thing… All this left behind garbage is gonna be burned up as useless.
        Sure the secret Rapture needs to be refuted as clear question begging, but being dogmatic about apocalyptic literature, beasts, and the like… And *Teaching synopsis about world events is not only dangerous to the point of blasphemy but it is unfruitful to our spirits. I just wish this current crop of believers would realize that this spell they’re under is about avoiding their true Christian duties in favor of essentially playing video games all day.

    • Victor

      The Rapture is rendered inconsequential if it is Posttribulational. First, if God miraculously preserves the church through the tribulation, why have a rapture? If it is to avoid the wrath of God at Armageddon, then why would God not continue to protect the saints on earth (as is postulated by posttribulationism) just as He protected Israel (see Exod 8:22; 9:4, 26; 10:23; 11:7) from His wrath poured out upon Pharaoh and Egypt. Further, if the purpose of the rapture is for
      living saints to avoid Armageddon, why also resurrect the saints who are already immune at the same time?

      Second, if the rapture will take place in connection with the Lord’s posttribulational coming, the subsequent separation of the sheep from the goats (see Matt. 25:31 ff.) will be redundant. Separation will have taken place in the very act of translation which occurs at the post-tribulation rapture.

      Third, if all tribulation believers are raptured and glorified just prior to the inauguration of the millennial Kingdom, who then will populate and propagate the Kingdom? The Scriptures indicate that the living unbelievers will be judged at the end of the tribulation and removed from the earth (see Matt 13:41-42; 25:41). Yet, they also teach that children will be born to believers during the millennium and that these children will be capable of sin (see Isa 65:20; Rev 20:7-10). This will not be possible if all believers on earth have been glorified through a posttribulational rapture. If all believers on earth receive a glorified body through a post-tribulational rapture, there will be nobody with a physical human body on earth and human reproduction will be impossible!

      Fourth, the post-tribulational paradigm of the church being raptured and then immediately brought back to earth leaves no time for the Bema, i.e., the Judgment Seat of Christ to occur (1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10), nor for the Marriage Supper (Rev 19:6-10).

      Thus, it can be concluded that a post-tribulational time of the rapture makes no logical sense, is incongruous with the sheep-goat nation judgment, and, in fact, eliminates two critical end-time events. A pretribulational rapture avoids all of these insurmountable difficulties.

      The Epistles Contain No Preparatory Warnings of an Impending Tribulation for Church-Age Believers. God’s instructions to the church through the epistles contain a variety of warnings, but never do they warn believers to prepare for entering and enduring the tribulation of Daniel’s seventieth week. They warn vigorously about coming error and false prophets (see Acts 20:29-30; 2 Pet 2:1; 1 John 4:1-3; Jude 4). They warn against ungodly living (see Eph. 4:25–5:7; 1 Thess 4:3-8; Heb 12:1). They even admonish believers to endure in the midst of present tribulation (see 1 Thess 2:13-14; 2 Thess 1:4; all of 1 Peter). However, there is absolute silence on preparing the church for any kind of tribulation like that found in Revelation 6–18. It is incongruous, then, that the Scriptures would be silent about such a traumatic change for the church. If any time of the rapture other than pretribulational were true, one would expect the epistles to teach the fact of the church in the tribulation, the purpose of the church in the tribulation, and the conduct of the church in the tribulation. However, there is no teaching whatsoever. Only a pretribulational rapture satisfactorily explains such obvious silence.

      Furthermore, 1 Thess 4:13-18 Demands a Pretribulational Rapture. For discussion’s sake, suppose hypothetically that some other rapture timing besides pretribulational is true. What would one expect to find in 1 Thessalonians 4? How does this compare with what is actually observed? First, one would expect the Thessalonians to be joyous over the fact that loved ones are home with the Lord and will not have to endure the horrors of the tribulation. But the Thessalonians are actually grieving because they fear their loved ones have missed the rapture. Only a pretribulational rapture accounts for this grief. Second, one would expect the Thessalonians to be grieving over their own impending trial rather than grieving over loved ones. Furthermore, they would be inquisitive about their own future doom. But the Thessalonians have no fears or questions about the coming tribulation. Third, one would expect Paul, even in the absence of interest or questions by the Thessalonians, to have provided instructions and exhortation for such a supreme test, which would make their present tribulation seem microscopic in comparison. But not one indication of any impending tribulation of this kind appears in the text. 1 Thessalonians 4 fits only the model of a pretribulational rapture. It is incompatible with any other time for the rapture.

      John 14:1-3 Parallels 1 Thess 4:13-18. John 14:1-3 refers to Christ’s coming again. It is not a promise to all believers that they shall go to Him at death. It does refer to the rapture of the church. Note the close parallel between the promises of John 14:1-3 and 1 Thess 4:13-18. First, the promise of a presence with Christ: “. . . that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3) and “. . . thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17). Second, the promise of comfort: “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1) and “Therefore com fort one another with these w ords” (1 Thess 4:18). Jesus instructed the disciples that He was going to His Father’s house
      (heaven) to prepare a place for them. He promised them that He would return and receive them so that they could be with Him wherever He was. The phrase “wherever I am,” while implying continued presence in general, here means presence in heaven in particular. The Lord told the Pharisees in John 7:34, “Where I am you cannot come.” He was not talking about His then-present abode on earth but rather His resurrected presence at the right hand of the Father.
      In John 14:3 “where I am” must mean “in heaven” or the intent of 14:1-3 would be wasted and worthless.

      A post-tribulational rapture demands that the saints meet Christ in the air and immediately descend to earth without experiencing what the Lord promised in John 14. Since John 14 refers to the rapture, only a pretribulational rapture satisfies the language of John 14:1-3 and allows raptured saints to dwell for a meaningful time with Christ in His Father’s house.

      The Nature of Events at Christ’s Posttribulational Coming Differs from That
      of the Rapture. If one compares what happens at the rapture in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 1 Cor. 15:50-58 with what happens in the final events of Christ’s second coming in Matthew 24–25, at least eight significant contrasts or differences are observable. These differences demand that the rapture occur at a time significantly different from that of the final event of Christ’s second coming.

      i) At the rapture, Christ comes in the air and returns to heaven (1 Thess 4:17), but at the final event of the second coming, Christ com es to the earth to dwell and reign (Matt 25:31-32).

      ii) At the rapture, Christ gathers His own (1 Thess 4:16-17), but at the final event of the second coming, angels gather the elect (Matt 24:31).

      iii) At the rapture, Christ com es to reward (1 Thess 4:17), but at the final event of the second coming, Christ com es to judge (Matt 25:31-46).

      iv) At the rapture, resurrection is prominent (1 Thess 4:15-16), but at the final event of the second coming, resurrection is not mentioned.

      v) At the rapture, believers depart the earth (1 Thess 4:15-17), but at the final event of the second coming, unbelievers are taken away from the earth (Matt 24:37-41).

      vi) At the rapture, unbelievers remain on earth, but at the final event of the second coming, believers remain on earth (Matt 25:34).

      vii) At the rapture, there is no mention of establishing Christ’s Kingdom on earth, but at the final event of the second coming, Christ has come to set up His Kingdom on earth (Matt 25:31, 34).

      viii) At the rapture, believers will receive glorified bodies (cf. 1 Cor 15:51-57), but at the final event of the second coming, no one will receive glorified bodies.

      Additionally, several of Christ’s parables in Matthew 13 confirm differences between the rapture and the final event of Christ’s second coming:

      a) In the parable of the wheat and tares, the tares (unbelievers) are taken out from among the wheat (believers) at the climax of the second coming (Matt 13:30, 40), but believers are removed from among unbelievers at the rapture (1 Thess 4:15-17).

      b) In the parable of the dragnet, the bad fish (unbelievers) are taken out from among the good fish (believers) at the culmination of Christ’s second coming (Matt 13:48-50), but believers are removed from among unbelievers at the rapture (1 Thess 4:15-17).

      Finally, the rapture is unmentioned in either of the most detailed second coming
      texts—Matthew 24 and Revelation 19. This is to be expected in light of the observations above, because the pretribulation al rapture will have occurred seven years earlier.

      Rev 3:10 Promises That the Church Will Be Removed Prior to Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The issue here is whether the phrase “keep you from the hour of testing” means “a continuing safe state outside of” or “safe emergence from within.”

      • Doug Norvell

        I have attached a document, “19 Proofs—Post-Tribulation Rapture” as well.

        “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

        I have a few questions… Throughout history, who was counted worthy enough “not” to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ? The Apostles? No. The New Testament church? No. Millions of Christians over the last 2,000 years? No. Then who does the Bible say is actually “worthy” to escape the Great Tribulation? Nobody!

        That is not what Luke 21:36 is saying.

        Answer: Some people do believe that it is speaking of a pre tribulation rapture–Christians will be caught away and will not be here on the earth during the great tribulation period. However, that’s a contradiction of scripture because other scriptures tell us that the first resurrection doesn’t happen until the end of the Great Tribulation period, so the question then is, what does this mean in Luke when it says that pray ye therefore that you would be counted worthy to escape these things and to stand before the Son of Man? If you go to Revelation 14:13, it tells us there what that means. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” So since we cannot take some scripture and disannul other scripture, and the scriptures clearly teach that the first resurrection happens immediately after the tribulation (Revelation 20:4-5), then we know there is not a pre tribulation rapture.

        Luke 21:36 are those saints that have died and will not suffer during the tribulation period.

        “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

        Answer: There are three categories of events in the Book of Revelation according to Revelation 1:19—the things which John had already seen; the things “which are” (situations already existing in John’s world); and future events–the things “which shall be hereafter.

        Revelation 1:7 reveals the entire theme of the Book of Revelation, the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…”

        Chapter 1 is an account of what John had already seen.

        Chapters 2 and 3 contain special messages written to the seven churches of Asia. After John was released from exile, he became the overseer of these churches and was able to personally deliver the messages from God to them.

        Therefore, we know that Revelation 3:10 is not written to us—the end time generation. It is specifically written to the Church of Philadelphia.

        Consider this: Revelation 2:10 says that the Church of Smyrna would have tribulation 10 days. However, the Bible says that the Great Tribulation will last 3 ½ years.

        Revelation 4:1 then begins the prophetic segment of the Book of Revelation.

        1. Matthew 24:29-31 clearly says that the rapture happens after the Great Tribulation. Some will say that “the elect” in this passage applies to the Jews, but there is no scriptural proof of this. Furthermore, a study of the word elect or election in the New Testament reveals that every time the word is used, it refers to the church, not to the Jews. The most poignant case is Romans 11:7. Even in Matthew 24, Jesus uses the word elect (verses 22 and 24) to refer to the church, not the unbelieving Jewish people. Further support of verse 31 as the rapture of the church are the verses that follow it, which describe, among other things, two being in the field – one is taken, the other left. This is the rapture.

        2. II Thessalonians 2:1-4 clearly says that the Antichrist will be revealed before the rapture. Verse 6 clearly says that what is holding back the revelation of the Antichrist is that it’s not time yet.

        3. Revelation 20:4-6 says that saints who were killed during the mark of the beast period – the Great Tribulation – would be part of the “first” resurrection. This conflicts with the pre-tribulation rapture theory, which states that the first resurrection happens before the mark of the beast. The pre-tribulation rapture theory converts the resurrection in Revelation 20:4-6 into the “second” resurrection, while John takes great pains to tell us that it’s the first. In an attempt to avoid scripture breakdown, those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture have said in the past, “There have been many first resurrections.” This of course is absurd and wholly unnecessary. Also, it has been said that a rapture and a resurrection are not the same. But the rapture is when the dead in Christ rise. This is the very definition of resurrection.

        4. Matthew 13’s parable of the wheat and the tares (verses 24-30 and 36-43) describes the harvest of the wicked and good as one simultaneous event, not two events separated by seven years. Those who say it does allow for a seven year gap cannot explain away verse 30, which says, “Gather ye together first the tares (the wicked).” According to Jesus, the wheat is not harvested before the tares.

        5. I Thessalonians 4:15-18 talks about the rapture of those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord. The Greek word for remain is “perileipo.” According to Strong’s, it can also be translated as “survive.” This is not surprising, because the word “peril” is at the root of “perileipo.” Remain means “remain as in surviving the peril.” This does not seem to support a pre-tribulation rapture theory.

        6. In Revelation 13:7, the Antichrist makes war against saints who are from all kindreds, tongues, and nations. That does not describe Jews-only.

        7. I Corinthians 15:51-54 speaks of the last trump. Revelation 11:15-19 speaks of the last trump. The description of what happens at the last trump in each of these passages is the same.

        8. Every prophecy student would agree that the rapture is when the Lord comes as a thief. Many warnings are given of this in the New Testament, among them Matthew 24:42-43, I Thessalonians 5:2, and II Peter 3:10. One such warning is given in Revelation 16:15. It’s the final, last minute warning: “Behold, I come as a thief.” But notice the context. The following verse is the Battle of Armageddon – the 7th Vial. Why would God be issuing a warning that He will be coming as a thief right up until Armageddon, if He came as a thief seven years prior to this? The answer is, of course, He wouldn’t.

        9. It has been theorized that when the Lord comes as a thief in the night, this speaks of a Secret Coming. I Thessalonians 5:1-8 clearly teaches, however, that the church will know when He is coming. The Church will not be taken by surprise. Only the unsaved will be taken by surprise. It is hard to understand where the Secret Coming theory was even conceived.

        10. It has been commonly taught that the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of God. The Bible teaches the opposite. When the Great Tribulation ends, this is when the God’s Wrath begins. Proof: One of the events that takes place during the Wrath of God is that the sun, moon, and stars will go dark. It is described in the 6th Seal – Revelation 6:12-17. It specifically calls it the Wrath of God. The sun, moon, and stars going dark is also spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:29, only Jesus gives us the timing. He says that it occurs after the Great Tribulation. According to Jesus, the Wrath of God is not the Great Tribulation, but rather, the Wrath of God occurs after the Great Tribulation. To operate under the wrong assumption that God’s Wrath is the Tribulation results in nothing but confusion.

        11. Revelation 12:7-17 describes the events of the Great Tribulation. This can be proven by comparing it with all other passages in the Bible that speak of a three and one-half year period of time (1,260 days, 42 months, “time, times, and half a time”). Verse 12 calls the Great Tribulation the time of Satan’s Wrath. After all, God does not persecute His own people. Satan does.

        12. I Thessalonians 5:9 teaches that God’s people are not appointed unto God’s Wrath. The post-tribulation rapture teaching agrees with this. As stated above, the Great Tribulation is not God’s Wrath. It is Satan’s Wrath. History records that 11 of the 12 apostles were martyred. Saints today are not immune from the trials, temptations, and persecutions of Satan. It has been said that God wouldn’t beat up His bride before marrying her. That is certainly true. He wouldn’t. But Satan would.

        13. The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that there is one Second Coming, but that it happens in two phases. (We find this premise to be a stretch.) It is said that the first phase is for His church. It’s the rapture, also called the Secret Coming. The second phase is Matthew 24:31’s gathering of the Jews, which they call the Glorious Appearing. It occurs at the end of the final seven years. There are some scriptures which are in conflict with this theory. Here are two: Titus 2:11-13 instructs the church to live righteously in this present world right up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing. I Peter 1:5-7 teaches that trials and temptations will continue for the church all the way up until, not the Secret Coming, but the Glorious Appearing.

        14. In order to know the timing of the rapture, you must of course understand how the book of Revelation is structured. The pre-tribulation rapture theory is based on the assumption that Revelation was written in a chronological sequence. This means, it is assumed that the events of the endtime are recorded in Revelation in the order they will happen: First the Seals, then the Trumpets, and then the Vials. If it can be proven, however, that Revelation was not written in chronological order, then the house of cards falls. And it does. A simple comparison between the 7th Trumpet (Chapter 11) and 7th Vial (Chapter 16) reveals that they are the same, singular event. Add to this comparison the 6th Seal (Chapter 6), Ezekiel 38:18-22, and Matthew 24:29 and we find that all five of these passages describe the exact same event. The 6th Seal, 7th Trumpet, and 7th Vial is one event that is described in Chapter 6, again in Chapter 11, and again in 16. Obviously, Revelation is not in the assumed chronological sequence. This is one of several proofs that Revelation is not sequential from front to back. And with this understanding, the underlying assumption upon which the pre-tribulation rapture is based collapses.

        15. It has been commonly accepted that in order for the Antichrist to rise to power, the Holy Ghost must be removed from the earth. The basis for this conclusion is II Thessalonians 2:7. There are a few problems with the theory. First and foremost, we already demonstrated above that the first 4 verses of this same chapter mandate the revelation of the Antichrist before the rapture, not after. Paul would not reverse his position so radically three verses later. Second, it is assumed that the “he” in verse 7 is the Holy Ghost, but there is no proof whatsoever for this. And finally, if there is no Holy Ghost on earth during the Great Tribulation, then what power is being used by the Two Witnesses to perform all of their miracles. Revelation 13:5-7 and other passages describe people on earth during the Tribulation who are born again. How can a person be born again without the Holy Ghost? The pre-tribulation rapture theory states that those who are left behind will have a second chance at salvation. The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) teaches that He comes once and there is no second chance to make the rapture.

        16. Some have taught a mid-tribulation rapture. However, this position is impossible since it assumes that the Tribulation lasts for seven years. Yet, there is not one scripture in the entire Bible that describes a seven-year tribulation. Every description of the Tribulation in the Bible teaches that it lasts for three and one-half years. Daniel 7:25, 12:1-7, Revelation 11:3-12, 12:6, 12:7-12, 12:13-17, and 13:5-7. The misunderstanding about a seven-year tribulation comes from Daniel 9:27, which speaks of a covenant that will be confirmed for seven years. This verse teaches that the abomination of desolation will occur halfway through the seven-year period. Jesus said that the abomination of desolation would mark the beginning of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21). From this we know that the great tribulation only lasts for three and one-half years.

        17. Many have taught that the rapture is described in Revelation 4:1. John is told to “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” This passage has nothing to do with the rapture. It simply means what it says: “I will show you things that must be hereafter.” This is simply the point in John’s writings when he begins recording the events of the future.
        In Revelation 1:19, John is told to write three things: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” Chapters 1-3 contain “…the things thou hast seen, and the things which are.” Chapter 4, verse 1 simply moves into “… the things which shall be hereafter.”

        18. Revelation 3:10 is cited by some as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture. The passage says: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Some contend that as God protected the church of Philadelphia from temptations that would come upon the world, so shall He protect us from the Great Tribulation. This passage was simply a message to the Philadelphian church that John had oversight of after he was released from the exile on the Isle of Patmos. A similar message was written to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2:10: “…the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days…” Does this mean that the great tribulation will only last ten days? Of course not. Again, this is a message to one of the seven churches of Asia Minor, which John would overseer after his release from exile.

        19. Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were so shall the coming of the Son of man be,” is offered as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture by some. It is explained that God helped His chosen escape the great tribulation of the flood, and so likewise shall He rapture His church from the coming tribulation. However, it should be noticed that God protected Noah through the flood. He did not bring Noah into heaven to avoid the flood.
        Furthermore, the coming of the Son of man to which the days of Noah were being compared was the coming just described in verses 29-31, which the passage specifically says will take place immediately after the tribulation.

        • Victor

          Hi, thanks for your response. I would have liked to respond to everything you said in your response but time will not permit me. So, I will respond to only a few things.

          You say “God protected Noah through the flood.” This statement is inaccurate. Did Noah even experience the flood at all? He did not. While he was in the ark, he had no idea what was going on outside the ark. He did not experience the flood. So, instead of saying “God protected Noah THROUGH the flood”, the correct thing to say is God KEPT him AWAY from the flood. Because Noah did not come into direct contact with the flood and because he did not go through the flood, it’s inaccurate to say he was “protected through” the flood. You can’t be protected through something you never experienced! Yes, Noah and his family did not need to be taken to heaven; their being in the ark was a ‘type’ of heaven, a shadow of the real thing to come in future, just as the Old Testament sacrifice of animals for sin was a shadow of the real sacrifice which Jesus Christ came from heaven to make for us on the cross. Just as Noah was kept away from the flood, so the Church will be kept away from the great tribulation.

          You said the pretribulation rapture is based on the premise that the book of Revelation is chronological. Who told you that? I have never heard that before. I believe in a pretribulation rapture but I do not believe that the book of Revelation is 100% chronological and there are pretribulation teachers who do not believe that the book of Revelation is chronological. The pretribulation rapture teaching does not require the book of Revelation to be chronological. Whether one believes that the book of Revelation is chronological or not has nothing to do with the pretribulational rapture theology. Most of the proofs of pretribulation rapture can be found outside the book of Revelation. Please tell me, how does the idea of the book of Revelation not being chronological contradict a pretribulation rapture?

          Post-tribulationists teach that the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are one and the same event. But is that what the Bible really teaches? Haven’t you ever noticed in your Bible that there is one aspect of Christ’s coming which the Bible says could happen at any moment such that nobody and no angel knows when it will happen, while there is a second aspect of Christ’s coming which the Bible categorically says will happen exactly 1260 days (42 months) after the Antichrist commits the abomination of desolation?

          Can you explain why the Bible says that one aspect of Christ’s coming is going to happen suddenly and at any moment at an unexpected time unknown to any man or angel (not even the Son knows that day) (Matthew 24:36), but at the same time the Bible also teaches that there is another aspect of the Coming of Christ that will occur at a specific time at the end of the 7-year tribulation, exactly 3 ½ Years or 1260 days after the Antichrist breaks his agreement with Israel and desecrates the temple in Jerusalem. It is obvious to any open-minded student of the Word of God that the two events are not the same.

          The rapture will occur suddenly, unexpectedly and at any moment. Jesus says no man or angel can know the day of the rapture. According to the Bible, not even the Son knows when that day will be. Only the Father knows that day. (See Matthew 24:36 and Matt. 24:44). Because the timing of the rapture is unknown to any man and can occur suddenly at any moment, the Bible likens it to the coming of “a thief at night”, because a thief would not normally give you any advance notice that he would be coming to your house at a specific time; he takes you completely by surprise and comes when you don’t expect it. That’s exactly how the rapture will be. The parable of the Ten Virgins illustrates this truth, This is also what Paul speaks about in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3: “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” This passage is speaking about the rapture, not the Second Coming. This is obvious from the wording of verse 3 because no one would be claiming to have peace and security in the months and weeks immediately prior to the Second Coming of Christ since they will be going through a Great Tribulation in the weeks and months leading up to Christ’s Second Coming which happens at the end of the Tribulation. The fact that the people in this passage are saying there is peace and security shows they are not in the Great Tribulation, which means this passage is not referring to the Second Coming of Christ. Rather, it is referring to the Rapture which will happen before the Great Tribulation.

          While the rapture is imminent and can happen at any moment like a thief in the night, the same cannot be said of the Second Coming of Christ which occurs on the last day of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:29). The exact day of Jesus’ return to earth (the Second Coming) can be calculated by simply counting 1260 days (42 months or 3 ½ Years) beginning from the day the Antichrist commits the abomination of desolation at mid-tribulation. (See Revelation 11:2,3; Rev. 12:6,14; Rev.13:5,7; and Daniel 12:11). Clearly, the post-Tribulation teaching runs into a big problem here and appears to contradict the Bible. Everyone would know beyond any shadow of a doubt that from the time the Antichrist claims to be god from Jerusalem’s temple (i.e. the abomination of desolation), there are exactly 3 ½ Years or 42 months or 1260 days remaining until the Second Coming of Christ. Revelation 13:5-7 and Daniel 12:11 makes this very plain. During the Great Tribulation, those who study their Bibles will know the exact day of the Second Coming of Christ. All they need to do is to count 3 ½ Years (1260 days) from the day the Antichrist commits the abomination of desolation, in order for them to know the day of the Second Coming of Christ to earth. Therefore, Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:36 and Matt. 24:44 about the fact that no man or angel knows the day of His coming does not apply to the Second Coming of Christ. Instead, it applies to a different event called the rapture which is imminent and will occur suddenly and unexpectedly. You can’t argue that Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:36 is talking about the Second Coming at the end of the Great Tribulation, because such an argument does not seem to make any sense. If the two events were one and the same thing, why would Jesus say that no man, no angel, and not even the Son Himself knows that day He would return while at the same time Jesus Himself clearly teaches that He would come back “immediately after the Tribulation” (Matthew 24:29) and the Bible gives us the exact duration of the Great Tribulation as 3 ½ Years (1260 days or 42 months). The only explanation here is that these passages are referring to different events: one is the Rapture which precedes the Tribulation and the other is the Second Coming which follows the Tribulation.

          Be blessed!

          • Doug Norvell

            A popular belief is that the rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are two separate events divided by the duration of the tribulation. On the contrary, the Bible shows us just the opposite. Jesus said in Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” According to Jesus, when He returns after the tribulation, He is also going to gather His elect, the church, at that time. The apostle Paul addressed this on several occasions in his epistles. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 he spoke of the rapture taking place as the Lord descended from heaven. Many argue Jesus simply returns to the sky and turns right around; however, the Bible does not support this. A belief like this would force us to believe in a two phase return of Christ, which is not Biblical. Paul again in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 addresses the church concerning the coming of our Lord and our gathering together unto Him. Paul continues to refer to these events as the day of Christ. Apparently Paul believed and understood the rapture took place at the Second Coming. Also when addressing the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul spoke of the resurrection of those that are Christ’s at His coming in 1 Corinthians 15:23. Knowing there is only one more coming of Christ, the Second Coming, we must agree the rapture will take place at that time.

            Jesus specifically told His disciples, concerning the Second Coming and the rapture in Mark 12:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” As a result of this verse, many people have concluded a post-tribulation rapture is not possible because we would be able to know the day of Jesus’ return if it, in fact, occurs after the tribulation. In spite of this, this argument does not affect a post-tribulation rapture.

            First, we understand Jesus was speaking directly to His disciples, which means this could have been specifically for His disciples at that time. Jesus said the Son, Himself, did not know the day of His own return. Does that still apply today? Does Jesus, the all-knowing God, still question when He will return and gather His church? Of course not, which gives us reason to believe this verse was applying only to the disciples. There are other examples of prophecies being kept from those it was told to in Daniel 12:9 and Acts 1:7.

            Secondly, Paul spoke germanely to this subject in 1Thessalonians 5. In the fourth verse Paul tells the church of Thessalonica, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” This was in reference to the day of the Lord which pertains to the Second Coming of Jesus and the rapture. Paul stated, those in the light will not be caught off guard by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

            Finally, Daniel 12:11-12 gives us additional days spanning beyond the 1,260 days of the tribulation. These expansion of days, the 1,290 and the 1,335, are accompanied with no details which leaves us handicapped. What exactly happens during that time? We can only speculate since we are not given a concrete answer in the Scriptures. This may prevent us from knowing the exact day of the Second Coming and the rapture but we will definitely be aware of a close approximate time because we are not in the darkness.