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The Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of the Church


By ICA

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

And there it is.  Two of the — if not the — most popular “rapture” passages in the entire Bible.  Yet when many Christians read about the timing of the “rapture” at the “last trump” they are either unaware, or because of an already preconceived assumption on this very subject, refuse to even consider if the “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is a direct reference to the 7th and last trumpet that John describes in the 10th chapter of Revelation. But why? Admittedly, even I was not aware of the significance of Revelation 10 for many years, but am now more than convinced that we can corroborate through the context of text that this is indeed the last trumpet that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the church in Corinth.

For a moment, if you will, toss aside any preconceptions you may have on the timing of the rapture and approach the text as if it were for the first time.  Approach it with the heart of a Berean so that together we may search the Scriptures. In this way, let us now begin to pay particularly close attention to the details surrounding the mighty angel as he begins to sound the 7th and last trumpet in Revelation 10:

Revelation 10:1,3a,7, “And I saw another mighty angel COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow [was] upon his head, and his face [was] as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire … And cried with a LOUD VOICE, as [when] a lion roareth … in the days of the voice of the SEVENTH angel, when he shall begin to SOUND, the MYSTERY of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

Notice the words I have emphasized above and tell me:  Does it not stand to reason that John is describing a direct parallel with what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, two of the most popular passages in the entire Bible?

1 Thess 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall DESCEND FROM HEAVEN with a SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and with the TRUMP of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” *and* 1 Cor 15:51-52 reads, “Behold, I shew you a MYSTERY; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMP: for the TRUMPET shall SOUND, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

In Revelation 10 we have:

  1. A “mighty angel” coming down from heaven
  2. Crying out with a loud voice
  3. The seventh and last trumpet begins to sound
  4. And the “mystery” of God is finished once the last trumpet begins to sound

In 1 Thess 4:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:51-52 we have:

  1. The Lord coming down from heaven with the voice of the Archangel
  2. With a shout
  3. Comes with the ‘last trump’ of God
  4. The Mystery: The dead are raised and we are changed in the twinkling of an eye

I do not believe that this is just some mere, yet astounding, coincidence.  In fact, if we examine the text even more closely we’ll begin to discover something very significant regarding the identity of the “mighty angel” of Revelation 10 that many of us will easily miss the first time we read the text.

In Revelation 10:1 notice how this “mighty angel” comes down from heaven “clothed with a cloud.”  Why is this important?  In the whole of Scripture the only One in the eschaton of time described in this manner is Jesus Christ during the Second Coming.   He is said to be “coming on the clouds” or “coming in a cloud” (Matt. 24:30, 26:64, Mark 13:26, 14:62, Luke 12:27, Rev. 1:7, Dan 7:13). Even when Jesus ascended to Heaven “he was taken up; and a cloud received him” (Acts 1:9).  Additionally, in 10:1 we also read that “his face was like the sun,” which should remind us immediately of Revelation 1:16-17 where the One who calls Himself “the first and the last” is described by John as having a face “like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”  Who could this be?

In Revelation 10:2 we find another significant clue, and this is one that I myself missed the first time I looked at Revelation 10 more closely.  In verse 2 John tells us that this mighty angelwas holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand.”  This is extremely interesting for two reasons.  First, the only other mention of a scroll being opened in Revelation before this is in chapter 5 where a scroll with 7 seals could not be opened by anyone — presumably anyone created given the context — because “no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it” (5:3).  Considering the Semitic styling of Revelation, John was Jewish and would have understood what this meant and it upset him a great deal, causing him to weep.  But then one of the elders says to John, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (5:5).  There is no question here regarding the identity of the One who is worthy to open the book, the One described in the very next verse appearing as “a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” (5:6).  Obviously, this is Messiah, Jesus.   Second, we gain an extremely important insight into this picture when we consider what it means from a Hebraic perspective and why it would have caused John to weep:

Usually scrolls were made of sheep skin from the underbelly or later on papyrus. But this scroll is not just any scroll. It has writing on BOTH sides. The ONLY other scroll ever mentioned in the scriptures to have writing on both sides (scrolls were only written on one side, always) was the stone tablets that Moses brought downfrom Mt Sinai that Yahweh had written by His Own Hand! Exodus 32:15. Therefore it is a fact that this scroll Yahweh is holding in his right Hand IS the Torah! The marriage contract, the Ketubah! Now, according to the ancient Hebrew marriage ritual, who was the only person that had authority to open and read the ketubah?  Yes, the Groom. [1]

If this scroll is in fact the Ketubah, why is this significant?  Find out the meaning of the 144,000 and the great multitude here.  Jesus even alluded to the marriage union in John 14:1-3 when stating that He would receive us unto Himself.  See here.

Next, in Revelation 10:3 we read that “he gave a loud shout like the ROAR OF A LION.”  This is yet again another significant clue in my opinion, for we know that Christ is the One who roars at His coming. Jeremiah 25:30 says that, “‘The LORD will roar from on high, And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, Against all the inhabitants of the earth.” In Hosea 11:10 we read, “They shall walk after the LORD: he shall ROAR LIKE A LION: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.” Joel 3:16 says, “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Amos 1:2 says that “The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” 1 Thess 4:16 says that “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”

Now, although this next clue is found in 10:1 I wanted to save it for last.  It is the “rainbow upon his head.”  The only other reference to a rainbow in Revelation is in 4:3 when John describes the throne of God.  Significantly, aside from the very last book of the Bible, the only other time a rainbow appears in Scripture is in the first book of the Bible in Genesis 9:13-14. In the Genesis account, the rainbow is seen in the aftermath of the global flood sent forth by God in order to remove sinful and evil-minded man from the earth. [2]. As the rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to never again destroy the earth through a flood, we are reminded by Peter that the next time judgment comes it will not come by a flood, but by fire. In 2 Peter 3:3-7, we read:

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

“Where is this coming he promised?”   There is their answer.

Judging from what we have learned from above we can ascertain both exegetically and hermeneutically that the “mighty messenger” that John sees coming down from Heaven (often translated as “angel”) in Rev 10:1 is in fact a direct reference to Jesus Christ.  But make no mistake about it, this is not just some regular, ordinary, created ‘angel’.  It is very important to first be aware that the word “angel” simply means “messenger” and although this term normally refers to a created being, this is NOT always the case.  The Angel of the LORD, for example, (i.e. the Messenger of YHWH in the Old Testament) often speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and claims the prerogatives of God [3] because He is God.  When the Lord appeared to others in “human” form in the Old Testament this was called a Theophany (though I personally prefer the term Christophany, even if prior to the incarnation). Thus, just as we see the Christophanic/Theophanic angel in Old Testament Scriptures, and the terminology used throughout Revelation by John is redolent of the prophetic texts of the Old Testament, the “mighty messenger” of Revelation 10 is an appearance of the Christophanic/Theophanic angel as well.

When we contextualize and compare Scripture with Scripture we can often re-examine the text and discover from the text additional insights or details we hadn’t considered before, and Revelation 10 is a prime example.  It’s like watching one of your favorite films a second or third time and seeing something you hadn’t the first time around.  Only better.  As 2 Timothy 3:16 declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” and since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, the Bible is therefore ultimately written by God alone, although through the pens of men. As such, when the Spirit of God inspired Paul to write about the “last trump” (1 Cor 15:52) and the “trump of God” (1 Thess 4:16), the Holy Spirit of God who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) also knew full well that John would later be given the Revelation of Jesus Christ which would identify precisely what it was that Paul referred to in his epistles to the churches in Thessalonica and Corinth.  And as we can see from above, John’s description of the seventh and last trumpet of Revelation reveals Christ descending from Heaven.  It reveals the gathering of His elect.  It reveals the rapture of the Church.

  1. Bart
    10/26/2013 at 11:47 AM

    14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

    If all is at this stage raptured, who are the remnant and what are the two prohets trying to achieve? Logic says to me if all is raptured that the Lord want’s to be the elect, why bother with the remains?

    The Bible is filled with earthly interventions and places of safety, furthering the question, out of my non comprehension of all the above in Biblical context and historic fact, making no sense. Why would the dead be meeting Jesus in the air if they are supposedly in Heaven already?

    The Exegis used here is not reconcilable, my opinion that is based on my understanding of the whole Bible, with all scripture and is out of place with the way of Noah, the Exodus or with Elijah in the desert, to name a few.

    Like

  2. ICA
    10/30/2013 at 11:32 AM

    Hi Bart, thank you for your comment. If I understand you correctly, then yes, the pre-trib view is a very tenuous position to take that is at odds with numerous portions of Scripture time and time again. For instance:

    * The “Blessed Hope” is eternal life that is actualized at Christ’s post-trib appearance. It is not a pre-trib rapture (cf. Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7).

    * The “First Resurrection” of the dead in Christ only happens after tribulation, not before. If there is no resurrection before the tribulation then a pre-trib rapture is impossible (cf. Rev 20:4-5; 1 Thess 4:16).

    * The “wrath” that we are not appointed unto is the “orge” wrath only, which is itself only found in a post-trib context in Revelation (cf. 1 Thess 5:9; Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15).

    * We are explicitly told we may experience tribulation right up until Christ’s glory is revealed. He does not reveal His glory until “immediately after the tribulation” (cf. 1 Pet 4:12-13; Matt 24:29-31).

    * The “rapture” is clearly outlined in Revelation 10 at the seventh and last trumpet, which is post-tribulational (cf. 1 Cor 15:52; Rev 10:7).

    * The marriage supper of the Lamb only takes place after the Lord judges the “great whore” and avenges “the blood of his servants at her hand.” This is post-tribulational only (cf. Rev 19:2).

    * We are told by Christ to even watch for the post-trib “cosmic signs” and to be ready in Him so that we can escape all these things in “that Day” — which is the Day of the Lord, His post-trib return and judgment of the wicked (cf. Luke 21:25-36; Matt 24:29).

    I could go on, but I’ll digress. God bless! :)

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    • Bart
      10/31/2013 at 3:07 PM

      Hello,

      Thank you for your reply it is appreciated, yes you understood the point i was trying to make correctly.

      It is sad that we do not read the bible, I myself only started 18 months ago, it when we do not know what it says, and does not say that we diverge and believe the non scriptural interpretations.

      Our Lord Jesus himself gave us the “TRUTH” when he prayed for his disciples and all of us to our Father in heaven:

      Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is Truth.
      Joh 17:18 As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world,
      Joh 17:19 and I sanctify Myself for them, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.
      Joh 17:20 And I do not pray concerning these only, but also concerning those who will believe in Me through their word;

      Thus we are to know the Word and become like the Bereans, searching the scriptures daily to see if we are in the Truth, to quote

      2Ti_3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

      Eph_4:14 so that we may no longer be infants, being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the sleight of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error,

      2Ti_4:3 For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up to themselves teachers tickling the ear;

      I pray that we may have more opened eyes and willing minds to fulfill the will of God.

      Alas I am very passionate about the subject and do not wish to digress either.

      God bless you and your readers and all those who he calls in this age.

      Rev_20:6 Blessed and holy is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

      I hope we may discover how to be counted worthy for this honor……

      Like

  3. henry
    11/04/2013 at 9:29 PM

    Rapture is real

    Like

    • Bart
      11/05/2013 at 12:11 PM

      “Jesus will protect the Philadelphia portion of His Church in the wilderness on the earth. That is what the Bible plainly teaches. Do you wish to be part of it?”

      Investigate the following and judge for yourself if this is scriptural or not.
      http://www.cogwriter.com/rapture.htm

      Like

  4. Anonymous
    11/07/2013 at 2:17 PM

    Peter Hartgerink :
    I was already persuaded of the post-trib rapture (actually always believed this, never having grown up being taught pre-trib rapture, and so I just read Scripture at face value and post-trib rapture is pretty clear)

    Grant Jeffery proved that the pretrib rapture is not a new doctrine, it was taught in an ancient sermon by Pseud-Ephraem: “All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins. -Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627)”

    The only reason why all other pretrib writings cant be found is beacause the Roman Catholics destroyed them all in the Reformation.

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  5. ICA
    11/07/2013 at 2:42 PM

    Anonymous, “Grant Jeffery proved that the pretrib rapture is not a new doctrine, it was taught in an ancient sermon by Pseud-Ephraem: ‘All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins. -Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627)'”

    Hello Anonymous, thank you for your comment. I had a discussion about this recently with another brother over on his blog (you can read his posting and our discussion here), so I’ll simply respond by reiterating much of what I shared with him. Notwithstanding the fact that the Pseudo-Ephraem document is believed to be a pseudepigraphal forgery by many (hence “Pseudo-Ephraem”), it should be noted that the Latin and Syriac documents differ. You quoted the Latin translation above. In the Syriac document, however, is the following revealing statement:

    “Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity [of tribulation]: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions!’”

    If the Syriac version teaches that Christians escape tribulation through death, and not through a pre-trib rapture, then does it not stand to reason that this is also the intent of the Latin version as well, especially given the fact that Pseudo-Ephraem obviously believe he was to see the revealing of the Antichrist? Certainly.

    According to the full document that Grant Jeffery selectively quoted, it is quite apparent that Pseudo-Ephraem understood the tribulation to refer to 3.5 years only, not a 7-year tribulation as traditional dispensationalism today teaches. Pseudo-Ephraem wrote that:

    “Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated), and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom.”

    Given the fact that Pseudo-Ephraem obviously believed many of the signs predicted by Christ were already then fulfilled and all that remained was the revealing of Antichrist, as a pre-tribulationist you must therefore believe that Pseudo-Ephraem understood he was already well within Daniel’s 70th week. Knowing that Pseudo-Ephraem believed he would see the Antichrist before the Lord’s return obviously puts Pseudo-Ephraem well outside of the pre-trib school of thought. At best, he was pre-wrath. In all likelihood, however, he would have been post-trib like the rest of the Church was during his time until the mid 19th century when pre-trib teachings started being introduced.

    Anonymous, “The only reason why all other pretrib writings cant be found is beacause the Roman Catholics destroyed them all in the Reformation.”

    How can anyone claim that ancient pre-trib writings were destroyed by Catholics when there isn’t a single shred of evidence that any pre-trib writings ever existed? Given the fact that at the time of the Reformation it was universally believed by all Protestants that the Roman Catholic church was the Harlot of Revelation 17 and that the Pope was the Antichrist, the suggestion that Catholics destroyed pre-trib writings is an argumentum ad ignorantiam. How could Catholics have been destroying pre-trib writings when everyone they were killing because of their beliefs saw themselves suffering at the hand of the Antichrist in the tribulation? The argument that any Protestants during the Reformation were pre-trib rests solely upon an assumed premiss, not upon facts. Moreover, consider the following. There are numerous writings that survived the reach of the Catholic church that described Roman Catholicism as the Whore of Babylon and the Pope as the Antichrist. Since so many of these managed to survived, does it not then stand to reason that if any pre-trib writings existed they would have also managed to survived as well? The fact of the matter is that absolutely no pre-trib writing has ever been found, because every indication suggests that none ever existed.

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  6. 01/14/2014 at 12:32 PM

    In Chapters 1-3 of Revelation, the word “church” is mentioned 19 times. After that it is never mentioned again.

    Why? Because by then God has already removed The Elect from this world (between Chapters 3 and 4), in order to bring about the beginning of Daniel’s 70th “week”, and begin the 3 1/2 year peaceful rule of AntiChrist, which of course will then end at the Abomination of Desolation, which ushers in the final 3 1/2 year period which is called the Great Tribulation.

    The idea that the Rapture and Christ’s second coming are one in the same does not make sense. God clearly states Believers will not suffer the wrath of the Great Tribulation. Put another way, are we to believe that Christ comes and gets us, then as soon as we get to Heaven, we all turn right around and come back?

    Jack Kelley of http://www.gracethrufaith.com does an amazing job answering this and other questions concerning Christian eschatology. (Enjoy.)

    Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and certainly Believers can all agree to disagree, but by the time the AntiChrist begins his rule, I plan to already be in heaven.

    Praise God.

    Like

  7. ICA
    01/14/2014 at 1:34 PM

    mparsons22, “In Chapters 1-3 of Revelation, the word ‘church’ is mentioned 19 times. After that it is never mentioned again. Why? Because by then God has already removed The Elect from this world (between Chapters 3 and 4)”

    Hi mparsons22, thank you for your comment. Here are a few things, for your consideration.

    We need to remember that the Book of Revelation is an epistle that was written for the church. Though the word “church” itself is not used after Revelation 3, keep in mind that the word “church” isn’t used in Mark, Luke, John, Galatians, Ephesians, 2 Peter, 1 John and 2 John, and not until the 16th chapter of Romans, either. If the events described by John in Revelation doesn’t apply to the church simply because the word “church” isn’t used after 3:22, then according to that logic a large portion of the entire New Testament doesn’t apply to the church either.

    If we search the Scriptures we’ll find the words “saints” and “tribulation” throughout the text, but nowhere do we ever read about “tribulation saints.” These two words are never found side by side. The word “saint” or “saints”, however, is used 59 times in the New Testament, referring to believers in Christ (ie, the Church). This term is used repeatedly throughout the various books of the New Testament, including Revelation. For instance, Christians are directly mentioned in Revelation 14:12, saying “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the FAITH OF JESUS”, and Revelation 20:4-5 says in no uncertain terms that those who do not worship the beast or receive the mark and are killed for “the witness of JESUS” and will rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years. According to Scripture, the Church is therefore definitely present during “great tribulation”, not absent.

    mparsons22, “Daniel’s 70th ‘week’, and begin the 3 1/2 year peaceful rule of AntiChrist, which of course will then end at the Abomination of Desolation, which ushers in the final 3 1/2 year period which is called the Great Tribulation.”

    The idea of a “7 year tribulation” is found nowhere in Scripture. We read about 3.5 years of great tribulation, but that is it. To read more about this, please see the article titled “Daniel 9:27 And The Confirmation Of The Covenant – A Peace Treaty?” for your consideration.

    mparsons22, “The idea that the Rapture and Christ’s second coming are one in the same does not make sense. God clearly states Believers will not suffer the wrath of the Great Tribulation.”

    The verse that you are referring to is 1 Thessalonians 5:9, which says that “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. Other verses that say we are saved from God’s wrath are 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Romans 5:9 and Ephesians 5:6. If we take a quick moment to look at the Greek word for “wrath” in each of these verses, however, we learn that it is the word “orge” (G3709). The original text of Scripture is therefore quite simple and straightforward. We are not appointed to suffer, and are saved from, the “orge” wrath of God.

    But here is what you may not have been told. The word “wrath” itself is found 13 times in English translations of Revelation, yet what many teachers of Biblical prophecy fail to delineate is the fact that in the original Greek the word translated as “wrath” is not just simply from the Greek word “orge”. It is from two separate words — “orge” and “thymos.” Since many Christian teachers fail to identify this significant distinction they also then fail to realize that the “orge” wrath of God that we are promised to be saved from according to the verses above is itself only found six times in Revelation. And here’s the kicker: Each time “orge” is found it is always used in a post-trib context only.

    Scripture is therefore telling us that the “orge” wrath that we are saved from is not the same type of wrath that we find during Great Tribulation. The “orge” wrath that we are saved from is only found immediately after the tribulation at the Second Coming of Christ. As such, even if the rapture does not happen until immediately after the tribulation we are still saved from the “orge” of God as promised, yet still present to witness the “thymos” wrath of the first six trumpets and vials/bowls upon Antichrist, Antichrist’s kingdom, and Antichrist’s people. In the “orge” wrath the anger will not subside. It will not abate. It is not a punishment to chasten and invoke the wicked to repentance like the “thymos” of God that we see during tribulation — because when the “orge” of God comes it is then too late. Please see the article titled “Lost In Translation: ‘Not Appointed Unto Wrath’ – What Scripture Is Really Saying” for more information.

    Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”

    mparsons22, “Put another way, are we to believe that Christ comes and gets us, then as soon as we get to Heaven, we all turn right around and come back?”

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Paul says that when Christ descends, the dead in Christ are resurrected and then we will be caught up to meet Christ and the resurrected saints in the air. The word “meet” is the Greek word “apantesis”, a very special word that only occurs here and in three other places in Scripture. In Vocabulary of the Greek Testament by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, “The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage.” In Matthew 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of “apantesis”, the escort back is virtually immediate. We don’t have them going out to meet the subject, then going to where the subject came from for years, and then escorting the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are — earth. When Christ comes back to Earth, we will go out to meet Him, we will remain in the air temporarily until the indignation/wrath is complete, and where ever He goes, we go, and He is going to Jerusalem to set His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

    Zechariah 14:4-5, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.

    In Greek culture the word “apantesis” had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming. For instance, when a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the “apantesis.”

    Apantesis from apantáo from apó = from + antáo = to come opposite to, to meet especially to meet face to face describes a meeting especially a meeting of two who are coming from different directions.

    What is Scripture saying? It is saying that we are not removed from the Earth to conveniently go to Heaven while all hell breaks loose down below. Those of us who are alive and remain (the Greek word means those who survive) are transformed from corruptible to incorruptible, and we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air per the “apantesis”, which means that we escort Christ back to earth — ie. Jerusalem — which is consistent with its usage in each of the other verses of Scripture. The pre-trib position, however, suddenly changes the intended meaning of the word (again). Instead of us escorting Jesus back to Earth for His Second Coming, pre-tribism has us conveniently going to Heaven instead, which the text does not say anywhere, at any place, at any time.

    mparsons22, “Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and certainly Believers can all agree to disagree, but by the time the AntiChrist begins his rule, I plan to already be in heaven.”

    It’s a good plan, but how do you plan on doing so? Let’s consider the following:

    * The “Blessed Hope” is eternal life that is actualized at Christ’s post-trib appearance. It is not a pre-trib rapture (cf. Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7) as many claim.

    * The “First Resurrection” of the dead in Christ only happens after tribulation, not before. If there is no resurrection before the tribulation then a pre-trib rapture is impossible (cf. Rev 20:4-5; 1 Thess 4:16).

    * The “wrath” that we are not appointed unto is the “orge” wrath only, which is itself only found in a post-trib context in Revelation (cf. 1 Thess 5:9; Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15).

    * We are explicitly told we may experience tribulation right up until Christ’s glory is revealed. He does not reveal His glory until “immediately after the tribulation” (cf. 1 Pet 4:12-13; Matt 24:29-31).

    * The “rapture” is clearly outlined in Revelation 10 at the seventh and last trumpet, which is post-tribulational (cf. 1 Cor 15:52; Rev 10:7).

    * The marriage supper of the Lamb only takes place after the Lord judges the “great whore” and avenges “the blood of his servants at her hand.” This is post-tribulational only (cf. Rev 19:2).

    * We are told by Christ to even watch for the post-trib “cosmic signs” and to be ready in Him so that we can escape all these things in “that Day” — which is the Day of the Lord, His post-trib return and judgment (the “orge” wrath) of the wicked (cf. Luke 21:25-36; Matt 24:29).

    Planning on being in heaven is a great plan, but it would be wise to prepare for persecution if the doctrine of a pre-trib rapture turns out to be woefully wrong.

    God bless …

    Like

  8. 07/27/2014 at 12:13 AM

    Paul clearly tells us that the Day will not come until the “Man of Lawlessness” (i.e. the Anti-Christ) first comes (2 Thessalonians 2). Jesus clearly tells us that the rapture does not come until after the Tribulation and that were it not for the elect, no one would survive the Tribulation, but for the sake of the elect, those days are shortened.(Matthew 24:22) People can believe what they want, but the bible just doesn’t support their beliefs of a pre-Trib rapture. The Church isn’t going to be raptured out of the Tribulation until the very end…so a lot of people are in for a VERY BIG surprise. Expect persecution. In fact, expect very soon to make a choice: Islam or death. Expect to be asked to take the mark of Islam in some way–through conversion or the tax, and if you pay that tax so you can buy and sell, you’re accepting the system of Islam. That’s the mark of the Beast. Don’t do it. We are IN the end times. This isn’t a game.

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  9. 07/27/2014 at 12:19 AM

    But there’s one good thing. Even though the Tribulation is going to be bad, and it IS bad, it’s not going to be THAT bad. How do I know? Because Christ tells us that just as in the days of Noah, people will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, when He finally comes at the end of the Tribulation. Now, this is in Matthew 24, right after He’s told us that if those days had not been shortened for the sake of the Elect, no one would survive. So we know the Tribulation is going on, and it’s going to be terrible. But apparently God is gracious enough to allow life to still go on; people still get married and live their lives–they probably just complain a lot more. (Kind of like today.) That’s why so many people are still “surprised” when Jesus finally comes and gathers His elect from the four corners of the earth. They weren’t expecting it, though they sure should have been!

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  10. 09/18/2014 at 9:48 PM

    Anyone who has studied the book of Revelation knows this, there is a warning from the 4th angel to blow his trumpet. At the end of chapter 8 verse 13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the other voices of the trumpets of the three other angels, which are yet to sound!”

    The Other 3 angels, which includes the 7th trumpet! Does WOE WOE WOE sound like the rapture to you? Also Joel fails to show that the 7th trump is an angel standing on the earth and NOT Christ our Lord. If you really want to learn about the rapture of the church ask this question: Who in scripture are called the redeemed and kings and priests? because they are listed in the NT also in Rev 5. also who is the Church? Jesus answered that in the last verse of Rev chapter 1. There are many other references I could show you but you need to find them for yourself, I can’t do all your work for you!

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  11. ICA
    09/19/2014 at 2:54 PM

    Jim Garrison, “The Other 3 angels, which includes the 7th trumpet! Does WOE WOE WOE sound like the rapture to you?”

    Hi Jim, absolutely, the rapture is at the last trump of Revelation 10.

    Jim Garrison, “the 7th trump is an angel standing on the earth and NOT Christ our Lord.”

    The 7th trump “mighty angel” is the Lord Himself according to Scripture. John gives us clues to know beyond a shadow of a doubt who he is referring to when writing about Him:

    1. He is “clothed with a cloud.” This refers to Jesus (Matt. 24:30, 26:64, Mark 13:26, 14:62, Luke 12:27, Rev. 1:7, Dan 7:13).

    2. His “his face was like the sun.” This refers to Jesus (Rev 1:16-17).

    3. He was “holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand.” This is referring to Jesus (Rev 5:5).

    4. He “gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion.” This refers to Jesus (Jer 25:30, Hos 11:10, Joel 3:16, Amos 1:2, 1 Thess 4:16).

    5. He has a “rainbow upon his head.” This refers to Jesus (Rev 4:3).

    If all of Scripture refers to Jesus as coming in a cloud during the Second Coming, would John have described a mere angel this way? If Scripture describes the face of God as shining like a brilliant sun, would John have described a mere angel this way? If Scripture says that only the Lamb of God can open the scroll of Revelation, would John have inferred that a mere angel opened it? If Scripture always refers to Jesus as roaring like a lion during the Second Coming, would John have described a mere angel this way? If Scripture describes the One sitting on the throne of God as having a rainbow around Him, would John have described a mere angel this way?

    Jim Garrision, “Who in scripture are called the redeemed and kings and priests?”

    The Church.

    Jim Garrision, “also who is the Church?”

    Believing Israel and New Testament gentiles who have been grafted in through Christ. There is a common misconception that the Church was a New Testament creation. It was not. The Church began in the Old Testament:

    Acts 7:36-38, “He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”

    1 Corinthians 10:2-4, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

    Remember, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua:

    Ephesians 2:12-13, 19-22, “… you were at that time separate from Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Yisra’el [Israel], and strangers from the covenants of the promise … But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Messiah … you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones, and of the household of God, being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Yeshua himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.” (HNV).

    According to the Word of God, the Church therefore did not begin at Pentecost. It was increased at Pentecost.

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  12. Anonymous
    10/09/2014 at 10:54 AM

    I will ask (as I’ve often asked myself when I read arguments for or against pre-tribulation rapture), what does it matter??? We should all be ready for the hereafter, regardless…

    Like

  13. Anonymous
    10/09/2014 at 11:31 AM

    Good taste or poor taste, some of you may get a kick out of this rapture discussion.

    Like

  14. mike d
    04/16/2015 at 8:29 PM

    Okay question if you please, post tribe,prewrath! Are you saying we (the world) will feel the birth pains of the tribulation, once this happens after the 6 trumpet. We are taken away hang out in the clouds with Christ?say for two months until the 7 bowls are despensed or is it longer then 2 months? That also would mean many believers must come to faith within those two months to populate the 1000 year reign of Christ?thanks for your thoughts.

    Like

    • ICA
      04/19/2015 at 2:26 PM

      Hi Mike D, from what I read in Scripture, the world is already beginning to feel the birth pains leading up to the revealing of Christ. As far as us being in the air with Christ, I think it will simply be a matter of days at most, not months. At this point, Yom Teruah (Day of the Awakening Blast) seems the most likely day of the gathering with Christ in the air and Yom Kippur being the physical “coming down” to escort Him into Jerusalem (apantesis) where He touches His feet upon the Mount of Olives. As of right now I see the “orge” wrath of God that we are shielded from being somewhere in between these two (Days of Awe).

      As for who repopulates the earth, there will be many Gentile survivors after His Second Coming. Remember, the Millennial Kingdom is not the eternal state. This is simply the earthly reign of Christ, and the sheep and goat judgement of nations is a separation of peoples, not of one national country from the other in the sense that we often think of when referring to nations in our modern vernacular. The word for “nations” is “ethnos” and refers to multitudes or groups of peoples, and is often translated as “Gentiles” or “heathens”.

      There are portions of Scripture that without a doubt tell us there will be Gentile nations entering into the Millennial Kingdom:

      Isaiah 2:2-4, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE NATIONS, AND SHALL REBUKE MANY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNINGHOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE.”

      Isaiah is obviously talking about nations of the Earth that are not destroyed either during the Great Tribulation or after the Second Coming of Christ.

      Isaiah 14:1-2, “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. AND THE PEOPLE SHALL TAKE THEM, AND BRING THEM TO THEIR PLACE: AND THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL SHALL POSSESS THEM IN THE LAND OF THE LORD FOR SERVANTS AND HANDMAIDS: AND THEY SHALL TAKE THEM CAPTIVE, WHOSE CAPTIVES THEY WERE; AND THEY SHALL RULE OVER THEIR OPPRESSORS”

      Again, these verses wouldn’t make any sense unless it referred specifically to surviving Gentile nations.

      Zechariah 14:9,16-19, “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one … AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT EVERY ONE THAT IS LEFT OF ALL THE NATIONS WHICH CAME UP 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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of ALL NATIONS that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

      Ezekiel 36:24-28,36, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God…. THEN THE HEATHEN THAT ARE LEFT ROUND ABOUT YOU shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”

      Why are there so many Gentile survivors after the wrath of God on the Day of the Lord? God could destroy literally every last non-believer on the planet if He wanted to. But I think the last portion of this verse is why many will live …

      Habakkuk 3:2, “O LORD, I have heard Your speech [and] was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make [it] known; In wrath remember mercy.”

      After the post-trib rapture, there are many who will be alive after the Second Coming to repopulate the Earth, and these are they who did not worship Antichrist but are permitted to enter the Millennial Kingdom after the Sheep and Goat judgment. Scripture leaves no doubt about it.

      When you have time, please feel free to read through the article titled “Antichrist: Leader of a One-World Government?” for details outlining the scope of Antichrist’s power. Hope this helps!

      Like

  15. mike d
    04/20/2015 at 11:13 AM

    Yes thank you for taking time to answer these questions.I am beginning to see the inconsistency of the pre trib,position.Dovetailing on the repopulation of the 1000 reign,The standard pretribe position is only believers can enter into kingdom?but you see no inconsistences that after the wrath is despenced via the great earthquake, that unbelievers enter into the kingdom? Or is it at the time Jew’s see Christ and morn for him and are saved left over gentiles will also see and believe? Thanks

    Like

    • ICA
      04/20/2015 at 1:42 PM

      The Sheep and Goat judgment of nations is evidence in and of itself that there will be non-believers who are spared during the “orge” wrath of God against the kingdom of Antichrist. Some of those who are spared will be called “sheep” and receive the blessing of entry into His kingdom — and I’m sure they will no longer continue in any unbelief at this point — while others will be cursed as “goats” and be separated forever. So, yes, while the standard pre-trib view that only believers enter the Millennial Reign is correct in a sense, it is not correct in the way that it is taught.

      For your consideration, End Time Pilgrim has a nice article on this exact topic. You can read it at: http://endtimepilgrim.org/sheepgoat.htm

      Like

  16. 07/10/2015 at 11:13 PM

    I’ve been a post-tribber for 40 years now. Two verses that show exactly the timing of the rapture are Rev. 16:15 and 16. 15 talks about Jesus coming like a thief, and we are to stay alert so as not to be found naked and ashamed. That is the Rapture. Verse 16 says that the kings are then gathered in the Hebrew place called Armageddon. I thought there were supposed to be 7 years between those 2 events yet they are in back to back verses. How can that be except that they happen at the same time. We are going through the Tribulation and people need to get ready for it cause it’s upon us. Matt 24 says the love of many Christians will wax cold, I believe part of the will be caused by confusion about end times prophesies. Wake up, get your heads out of the American “it can’t happen to us” dreamworld and get ready. This is a Shemitah year and the 13th of September, Elul 29 could bring great calamity on us. Look up the Shemitah on youtube and see what Rabbi Johnathan Cahn is saying, it will amaze you. One last thing. 1 Thess. 4 and 5 put the Day of the Lord and the Rapture together. So does 2 Thess. 2.
    The Day of the Lord is a time of Wrath, not us flying to heaven for a 7 year party. WE are going to meet Him as HE comes to destroy the wicked at the battle of Armageddon.
    BTW the Greek word for “meet” means to greet a RETURNING VIP. The Virgins went out to meet the Bridegroom and He stayed where they were. They didn’t go back to His house, think about it.
    Pastor John Auler

    Like

    • Thomas
      07/11/2015 at 12:09 AM

      Pastor Aulur, I wonder if you are familiar with the signpost theory, introduced by Mark Davidson?
      foursignposts.com

      Like

  17. 07/11/2015 at 4:06 PM

    I’m not familiar with Him but I believe that Islam is the beast of Rev. I also feel that much of Rev. has been fulfilled as John wrote ” write these things down which are soon to come to pass. False Prophet Mohamed? Abomination that causes desolation Dome of the Rock. Interesting thing about the Dome is that it was built beginning in 688. The Jews were pretty much kicked out of Jerusalem then, to return in 1948. if you add the 1260 days of Rev. 12 where the Woman is hidden away to 688 you get 1948. Also Dan. speaks of 1290 days from 583 when the last of the Temple Priests were moved to Babylon and the sacrifices were stopped. From there to 688 is exactly 1290 prophetic years(360 days) to 688. Interesting.
    I do believe that some prophesies can be fulfilled 2 times such as the 70th week of Daniel. Jesus fulfilled all of the thing the Jews were to do Dan. 9:24. I’ve always wondered why the Jews needed another 7 years to do something that Jesus already did? Why also would God need the Jews to build another Temple and start the sacrifices of sin over again if Jesus was truly the final sacrifice Heb 10:8-18. There are some of the questions that continually seem to make me wonder about some of the End times things I read about.

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  18. 06/12/2020 at 7:48 AM

    Was This scroll a divorce decree for those who did not receive salvation https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G975&t=KJV

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