Rapture Timing Pt. 2

This series is written as a defense of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Timing

SEE PART 1 HERE

In this series, we’re hoping to build a deeper understanding of the timing of the rapture. My position is pre-tribulation, so I’ll be covering the purpose of the tribulation, and a general understanding of end times events seen in Revelation and other prophetic Scriptures. Anybody can have something wrong, so take your time in searching the Scriptures yourself, part of why I try to link all of them. Look them up in context and pray about it as you go.

In Part 1 of Rapture Timing Tidbits, we covered the order and amount of the Resurrections, all within the first resurrection to help build some foundation of understanding. Some that I have had discussions with don’t seem to quite see multiple resurrections within the first resurrection, so it’s one argument I have seen used for the rapture not being before the tribulation (citing Revelation 20:5-6).

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Pr 25:2

Before we start, I want to be sure you know where you would go if you died today. There is no guarantee that you would survive the events of the rapture (regardless of timing) — it’s not worth playing Russian Roulette with eternity. Eternal life for you

Pre-wrath Rapture Timing

Marvin Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen are the main teachers of the Pre-wrath position. Since Rosenthal’s writings in 1990, this teaching has picked up in popularity. 

FOREWARNING: I do not plan to get in an argument with anyone. It seems that some get very angry discussing this, and I don’t intend to strive with anyone. Others will call you heretics or allude to the teaching being heresy (i.e. ‘pastor’ Steven Anderson or Jacob Prasch). When you pose any Scriptural questions of their position, instead of answering back with Scripture in a calm and kind manner, some will just ask another question in response and/or ignore the Scripture altogether. You can’t have a Biblical discussion that way. Any of us could be wrong in our understanding of timing, so it’s good to discuss with Scripture, humbled under His mighty hand.

But, this blog will not be the place for argument or displays of anger, ridicule or mocking. Orderly sincere questions will be answered as long as the person is willing to hear Scriptural responses in return. A back and forth friendly discussion with His Word will be always welcome. Not looking for links to teachers of different positions. This also won’t be a forum for another to teach a different position, you can do always do that on your own page or group.

Is the Rapture a new idea?

Here are some Scriptures and thoughts to consider. People talk about the rapture being ‘new’, and not taught until the 1800s. I do not lean on writings of those before us, these are used solely to make a point regarding the argument that no one ever taught it before the 1800s.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Dan 12:4

In Joseph Mede’s commentary on Revelation, called “Key of the Revelation”, written in 1627, he wrote,  “Therefore, it is not needful that the Resurrection of those which slept in Christ, and the Rapture of those which shall be left alive together with them in the air”.  (Mede was not pre-trib, but obviously the word RAPTURE is there – again for those who say it is a new word/thought).

In searching on the internet, I found also that in the fourth century, a Christian author named Ephraim the Syrian wrote a small book titled ‘Anti-Christ and the End of the World’, published in 376 AD.  His books remained in relative obscurity until they were translated into English just a few decades ago. In his book, Ephraim wrote–

“We ought to understand thoroughly, therefore my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging.  Already there have been hungers and plagues, violent movement of nations and sins, which have been predicted by the Lord.

Let us prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ so that He may draw us from the confusion which overwhelms the world.  Believe you me, dearest brothers, because the coming of the Lord is nigh.  Believe you me, because the end of the world is at end.  Believe me because it is the very last time. 

Because all Saints and the elect of the Lord are gathered together BEFORE the Tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord in order that they may not see at any time the confusion that overwhelms the world because of our sins.1

Paul N. Benware, from the Moody Bible Institute: (I saw him in person about 2010 here in Scottsdale). In his book, “Understanding End Times Prophecy”, Benware notes that many writers in the 17th and 18th Centuries began to speak of a Rapture separate and apart from the final Second Coming:

  • “Peter Jurieu in his book, Approaching Deliverance of the Church (1687) taught that Christ would come in the air to rapture the saints and return to Heaven before the battle of Armageddon… (Holly: here we see the word “rapture” that they say was not taught until the 1800s)
  • Philip Doddridge’s commentary on the New Testament (1738) and John Gill’s commentary on the New Testament (1748) both use the term rapture and speak of it as imminent. It is clear these men believed that this coming will precede Christ’s descent to the earth and the time of judgment. The purpose was to preserve believers from the time of judgment. (Holly: Rapture and immanency both mentioned by these men).
  • James Macknight (1763) and Thomas Scott (1792) taught that the righteous (that’s US!) will be carried to heaven, where they will be secure until the time of judgment is over.” (Holly: While this doesn’t explain their timing, clearly they thought it was a rapture before judgment/wrath).

Brief Glossary of End time terms

  1. Rapture – This is the gathering of the church in the clouds by Jesus Christ when He comes to bring us with Him. The words with which we are to comfort one another.
  2. Church – The entity consisting of believing Gentile and Jew, baptized into that body (one new man) by the Spirit 
  3. Israel – Consisting of Physical Descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Includes both Believers and Unbelieving Israel. Israel was chosen for the Service of God (Rom 9:3-5). They were promised a House, a Kingdom, and a Throne (2 Sam 7; 1 Chr 17), and further filtered down through David and His physical descendants. (For example, the Messiah would be a physical son/descendant of David). The promises of those three things would go to physical, believing descendants.
  4. Saints – Believers from all time periods. OT Saints, the Church, and also those who will come to believe in the Tribulation, and likely the Millennial period. There are differences between all the other saints and the Church itself. 
  5. Feasts of Israel – There are seven outlined in Lev. 23, and it is believed the four Spring Feasts were fulfilled in the First Coming of Christ, and the 3 Fall Feasts will be fulfilled in the Second Coming. Some believe the Feast of Trumpets is the Rapture, the Day of Atonement is Israel in the Tribulation and the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled in the Millennial (1000 yr kingdom) where God tabernacles among men. I am very open on the feast of trumpets being the rapture — the last Trump equated with the Great Trump (Israel’s significance for that is the resurrection from the dead). So with the meaning of the feast, it could be a strong possibility, especially in light of 1 Thess 5:1 (knowing the times and the seasons, but not the day). If the order of the feasts being fulfilled are a hint, and the Rapture is tied into the Feast of Trumpets, then the next Feast to be fulfilled is the resurrection of the dead (and the living) or the rapture. However, the feasts are also tied to Israel, so that could be for their resurrection from the dead just as well (which happens at the end, and is an argument for those who are post-trib).
  6. Pre-Tribulation Rapture – The position that the rapture can take place at any time without any signs, and before the last seven years of Tribulation upon the earth.
  7. Pre-Wrath Rapture – The position that the rapture happens some place close to the end of the seven years of Tribulation (approximate 22 months before).
  8. First Resurrection – Includes all the different timing of resurrections of the righteous from Jesus, the rapture, the two Witnesses, and to the Tribulation and OT Saints (see part 1).
  9. Daniel’s 70th Week – The last seven years of a prophecy seen in Daniel 9:24-27 and referenced by Christ in Matt 24. Also Known as the Tribulation. I will cover this more in part 3.
  10. Daniel’s 70 week prophecy – A 490 year prophecy given to Daniel mainly in chapter 9. Each week was a period of 7 years. Daniel’s Prophecy is divided up into specific periods of time with 483 years already fulfilled in history. In brief this judgment is upon Israel for their sin. Seven years are still left unfulfilled for them and were described more fully by Jesus in Matthew 24. Specifically the first part (3-1/2 years) is called birth pangs or beginning of sorrows and the last 3-1/2 years of the 7 year Tribulation is called the ‘Great’ Tribulation, which starts midway with the Antichrist setting himself up to be worshipped as God (Rev 13).
  11. The Day of the Lord – A time of judgment which may encompass a certain period of time, but not just one event. It may be spread out over time periods according to Scripture. Specifically in these articles, we are speaking to the rapture and then the seven year Tribulation which includes the man of sin revealing Himself at the beginning, a great apostasy and halfway through him setting himself up in the temple. It also includes His Judgment at His Second Coming to the earth, at the start of the Millennium and at the end of the Millennium. There is also what some define as the ‘broad’ sense or the ‘narrow’ sense of the Day of the Lord. The reason for that is the Day of the Lord includes a lot of events, and was some of the signs were shown at His first coming (Acts 2, Joel 2) and still more will occur after the Millennium (2 Pet 3:10) when the heavens and the earth dissolve and are burned up and a new heavens and earth are made. Its meaning is judgment of some kind whether temporal or eternal. That is why the church is not appointed to wrath (or His judgment – John 5:24).
  12. Eschatology – The study of End Times.
  13. The Great Tribulation – the last 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation or Daniel’s 70th week (the last 7 years left to his prophecy in Dan 9:24-27)
  14. The Millennium – a 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth which will include all believers, both those who have physical bodies (because they endured until the end — they didn’t die, and will be able to procreate in the Millennium). Then there are those who were martyred and have resurrection bodies living in the Millennium. We, the church who were raptured before the Tribulation, will also have resurrection bodies, so will the two witnesses, and at the end of the 7 years, the Tribulation and OT Saints.
  15. The Second Coming – I don’t want to confuse anyone. Just like His first coming, His second coming encompasses a period of time and phases. Some distinguish this as separate from the rapture. Of course, when we are speaking of His coming to the earth, indeed, it is different than Him coming FOR us in the clouds to gather us to Him where He is (Jn 14:1-3). I believe the second coming is like the first, covering several aspects — i.e., His first coming included His birth, His life, His Ministry, His death and resurrection, and His ascension, etc. If I am correct, the Second coming is an event which transpires over a period of time, kicking off with the rapture of the church TO Him in the clouds, and ending when He comes TO the actual earth. Some call this ‘several phases’ of His second coming. Either way, there are big distinctives Him coming in the clouds for us, or His coming which I believe to be at least 7 years later.

Common Ground Pre-tribulation rapture may have with Pre-wrath

Pre-trib believers do at times find agreement with others on the timing of the ‘Great’ Tribulation, which is the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. Pre-wrath teachers believe the Day of the Lord starts after the rapture, (which they say comes sometime after the sixth seal seen in Revelation 6:17). They see the rapture represented by the multitude in heaven in Revelation 7, vs. understanding them as those left behind, who became believers and were martyred, coming from out of the tribulation (still awaiting their resurrected bodies). That is a key point. When we are raptured, we are given incorruptible bodies at that point (1 Cor 15:50-54). When we die before that time, we are present with the Lord, but not yet with our incorruptible bodies (2 Cor 5:8), so I cannot see that as the rapture.

Scripture seems to differentiate the rapture of the church as those who were gathered to Him in the clouds (Jn 14:1-3), given new bodies, ever to be with Him, vs. those who came out of the great tribulation (the second half). It says they washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). That poses a problem since the church has already been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 1:5). The church’s expiation was permanent, we have no need to go back and wash our linens in His blood to make them white. 

Prewrath and the Seals of Judgment

There will be more on the seals to come in future installments. So I’ll just touch on it briefly here. There are many varying views within the seals in the pre-wrath camp, so it may be more helpful to ask the individual where they stand if you have a discussion with one of them. The main argument they (PreWrath) use for their timing, is that the actual word ‘wrath’ isn’t used until vs. 17 of chapter six. They do believe the Day of the Lord is His judgment. But their understanding is that all that has transpired in the first six seals is not God’s wrath or judgment but Satan’s wrath instead. They also see the rapture being defined in Matt 24:29-31. If it were so, the rapture would be at the second coming of Christ and have to be immediately AFTER the Great Tribulation (which are the last 3.5 years of the 7 years). Part of this is because pre-wrathers see the cosmic signs spoken of in the sixth seal as only happening once and don’t seem to see the ones still coming as separate events. 

Also, to be sure, some who believe in pre-trib see the rapture in Matt 24:39-42, because of “no one knowing the day and hour”. (And it’s true, they would know once the ‘man of peace’, or the AC, has come on the scene and arranged the peace treaty, (unless that exact timing is kept secret).

Early on, I thought that was the rapture also, partly because of that old movie about the rapture. But I believe context shows those taken are the wicked ones. So I think the ‘day and the hour‘ and no one knowing that time, refers to the whole time period of the Day of the Lord. When He comes, I believe the Day of the Lord will commence with the rapture (the shutting of the door of the ark), the 7 years, and end with Him setting His feet down on this earth. Some only see the Second coming as the physical coming to earth. As a point of interest, some believe He first comes to the Mount of Olives, yet others understand Him going to Edom/Bozrah first (Judah before Israel) and then setting His feet down on the Mount of Olives. Just a mention, not going to get into that. Here are passages for deliverance of Judah first (Edom/Bozrah), then Jerusalem (Mount of Olives).

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Matt 24:36-42

PEACE AND SAFETY

But if the sixth seal was the commencement of the Day of the Lord, WHO would be saying ‘Peace and Safety’ at that point? (1 Thess 5:1-3) After all the death, killing, famine, pestilence, martyrdom, earthquakes and cosmic signs (seen in seal 1-5), really think on this seriously. Who would be saying peace and safety by then? With a ¼ of the earth dead so quickly, I don’t believe anyone would be thinking peace or safety, let alone both. Wouldn’t that rather be at the beginning before any of this happens, when the Anti-Christ (the man of peace) makes a peace treaty for seven years with many? 

The Day of the Lord vs. the Rapture

The Day of the Lord is not the rapture, instead what we are still expecting is a time period which encompasses more than just one day and starts again at or after the rapture. I firmly believe part of the Day of the Lord (His judgment), includes the entire seven years of judgment for Israel’s iniquity. It is seen in the last week of Daniel’s 70 x 7 prophecy, (portions of which are also spoken of by multiple other prophets). And of course we see a finale at the end of the seven years and at the end of the Millennium.

We see a partial fulfillment of the Day of the Lord (or judgment) in Christ’s first coming (Acts 2:16-21). Peter said this was referencing the prophecy in Joel 2. The Day of the Lord is a term for the Lord’s judgment which has transpired throughout history. We are in a parentheses (or a pause) right now with a time period called the fullness of the Gentiles. This is the inclusion of Gentiles into the commonwealth of believing Israel, also known as ‘the Church’. The church is made up of all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and His work alone, apart from any works of their own. 

But sometime after the Rapture, the seventieth week of Daniel (seven years) will commence. And it will start with the confirmation or signing (or coercion) of some sort of Peace Treaty in the Middle East. It will ramp up in intensity until His Second Coming to earth (just as the birth pains of a woman ramp up in intensity and conclude in the birth of the child). We believe all of this, after the rapture, is the time of the Day of the Lord (or His judgment) that the Old and New Testament writers spoke of. The new heavens and the new earth are included in the Day of the Lord. This will not come until after the Millennium. So the Day of the Lord can reference different events in different times.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the nightFor when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1 Thess 5:2-5

Please also understand the Day of the Lord will have yet a further fulfillment after the Millennial Kingdom — see how 2 Peter 3:10 is divided up in a partial and future fulfillment.

Right before the commencement of Daniel’s 70th week

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; (see also 1 Thess 5)

The day of the Lord is still addressed after the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom

…in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Some other examples of Partial Fulfillment’s of Prophecy

See how Isaiah 61:1-2 is divided up between His First and Second Coming

Another example of the Law of Double Reference is Zech 9:9-10, vs. 9 is First Coming, vs. 10 references the Second Coming.

First Coming of Christ (confirmed by Jesus in Luke 4:18-21)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, (vs 1-2a)

Day of the Lord (future events to come)

and the day of vengeance of our God; (vs 2b-keep reading in Isaiah 61)

IMPORTANT TO NOTE HERE:

PreWrath doctrine states the entire seven years of Tribulation is not God’s wrath. We generally call the entire 7-year period, the Tribulation, (also known as Daniel’s 70th week – seen in Dan 9:24-27). Furthermore, even the entire Great Tribulation (the last 3-1/2 years, is not God’s wrath according to pre-wrath doctrine, only a portion. They think the 7-year prophecy is somehow cut short (making Daniel’s prophecy unreliable if so). They make their argument based on this:


And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Matt 24:22

So somewhere around 1-1/2 years into the second half, they think the rapture cuts the time short and finally we see God’s wrath. Two problems with that. Again, that would negate Daniel’s prophecy which has been exact in time period. Scripture does not conflict with other Scripture. I believe we can know that this is only shortened in advance, to the seven-year period.

Birth Pangs

Please note throughout the Word, birth pangs, a woman’s travail and the other things we see mentioned in the seals (i.e. death by sword, death by beast, killing, famine, pestilence) are all part of His wrath, anger, or fury upon UNBELIEVERS or those who dwell upon the earth. And specifically upon non-believing Israel in this instance, to purify and refine the rebels. And as in the passage above in Isaiah 61:2, this day is noted as His vengeance. And in the Luke 21 Olivet discourse account, we see again that the Great Tribulation is definitely identified as His vengeance as well.

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her (midpoint of the Tribulation-Dan 9:27). For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke 21:20-21

Prewrath can’t have it right

All what things (that were written regarding the days of Vengeance)? Prewrath doesn’t answer this (that I have seen), as they don’t seem to have understanding of this 7 years as being judgment FROM God. Jesus was just speaking of Daniel’s prophecy in the Olivet Discourse. We know it is the entire seven years that are included as this time period, and God is the one judging and fulfilling this prophecy upon His people, and upon all that dwell on the earth. At the very least, we know that the rapture could NOT happen after the midpoint (prewrath teaching), if one misunderstood that only the Great Tribulation is vengeance (which belongs to the Lord). So that would have to instantly knock out prewrath and post-trib. But I believe a correct understanding of Daniel’s prophecy shows the entire period of judgment is seven years.

In prophecies, we look for different things. There can be dual references (such as Israel/Christ, David/Christ, Solomon/Messiah, several Antichrists throughout history, etc.). Or we can view more than one fulfillment of a passage in different time periods, such as a near and a far/future fulfillment. Or as you see above in the passages, there can be a partial fulfillment of a prophecy with a final fulfillment to come. This may also include another fulfillment in between. One example might be Antiochus Epiphanes as an antichrist setting up an abomination in the temple, and then we later have Titus in A.D. 70 committing another abomination in the temple, and yet we have an ultimate fulfillment in the final Antichrist. 

There is no time to go into the entire explanation of the many types of prophecies, but I suggest you start by looking to see in passages if an ultimate fulfillment has already transpired or if we are still expecting a future event. Follow up with the cross references on the particular passage and study it out.

The Church is not appointed to Wrath

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.   I Thess 5:9-11

And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.  I Thess 1:10

In this chapter of 1 Thessalonians 5, verses 1-8 addresses the Day of the Lord, (His judgment upon unbelievers both His people, and those who live on the earth at that time). It contrasts the saved, and the unsaved. And caps that passage off, letting us know that believers will not be present for His wrath during The Day of the Lord. So again, how long is the ‘Day of the Lord’? Some Post-tribbers think it is a literal day. Prewrath teachers do not have a period of time, it’s subjective. And indeed the Bible spaces out the Day of the Lord till the end of the Millennium. But The Day of the Lord is judgment, and the SEVEN YEARS of Daniel’s prophecy, IS God’s judgment. 

Both positions do agree that wrath is not for the church, but disagree on the time the wrath starts. Some explain it as just deliverance on earth, but do not see it as our gathering to Him in the clouds (rapture).

Some of their beliefs have to do with the cosmic signs at the end of Revelation 6 and also in Matt 24. So they state those are the final days. Yet the vials/bowls or trumpets follow (even if they believe some overlap, not all do. There are several other fulfillments of the cosmic signs seen throughout Revelation. We also saw cosmic signs in the first coming of Christ (the earthquakes and stars falling and moon not giving light). Remember, the OT Prophets didn’t understand that His coming would be in several parts.

I agree that this passage below happens at the end of the seven years of tribulation, but I do not see this event as the rapture. Again, the cosmic signs are spoken of throughout the OT, and have more than one fulfillment throughout time, (please also see Joel 2:28-31, also referenced as having some fulfillment in Acts 2:19-20. Revelation also has several places with cosmic signs and several with earthquakes, then we see a final fulfillment at the end of the Millennium (2 Pet 3:10).

Is the gathering of His elect the Rapture?

Who are the elect gathered in the Olivet Discourse. Is it the church in the rapture or something else? 

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 otherMatt 24:29-31

Although they see the elect as the church, I believe the gathering of the elect (above) addresses the promised second gathering of Israel/Judah to her land and to her Messiah by God Himself. It may include believing Gentiles, but I don’t believe this particular gathering has anything to do with the rapture. Firstly in the rapture we are not gathered by His angels, but He Himself gathers us to Him.

Since the timing of this passage below speaks to the time of the end of Daniel’s 7 years and the beginning of the Millennium, I understand that gathering of the ‘elect‘ to be believing Israel. His people from the four corners of the earth.

It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.  Isaiah 11:11-12

Pre-tribulation Rapture Foundations

Before we get to the seals and whether they are also the wrath or vengeance of God (or not), let’s look at some of differences between the rapture and the second coming. Then we will discuss those who are already in heaven before the Tribulation even begins.

Differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming

Consider the differences between the rapture of the church (our gathering to Him in the clouds) and the second Coming of Christ. There is also a difference between the coming of the Lord for His Saints (those who have believed during the tribulation and are still alive) and the Second Coming of the Lord with His saints (1 Thess 2:19; 1 Thess 3:13; Rev 19:7-14; Jude 14). Several scholars through time have compiled comparison charts, so I’m going to include some Scriptures for you to consider. Lord willing I’ll be able to lay an orderly foundation over time for those who wish to consider whether the Pre-tribulation Rapture Position is a sound one.

At the rapture all believers shall be changed (given resurrection bodies).  If this happens at the end of the seven years, then who is it who will procreate in the Millennial Kingdom? 

The Mystery of the Rapture

The rapture is also a mystery.  The Second coming is not a mystery, but was prophesied in the OT.  Please check the chart I made of the differences below, let me know if you need the references, (kind of hard to read)

What is the Last Trump?

WE shall all be changed at this last Trump of God.

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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thess 4:16

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. 1 Cor 15:51-52

Many (I believe) mistake the Last Trump as the Last (7th) Trumpet judgment seen in Revelation. I can honestly understand to a degree how they could come up with this timing, since the Trumpets start with the 7th Seal. However, the ‘last trump’ would have to be preceded by more judgment of the first 6 trumpets — more of God’s obvious wrath. I don’t think you could miss that it is the angels that sound the 1st trumpet and hail and fire burn up a 1/3 part of the trees. The 2nd trumpet destroys 1/3 of the sea, the life and the ships in them destroyed. The third trumpet, the great star from heaven, destroys the rivers and the waters are poisoned (this is not Satan’s wrath, but God’s). Then 1/3 less sun, moon, stars. Followed by five months of torment for those who don’t have the seal of God on their foreheads. And 1/3 of mankind killed and that’s all before the last trumpet which then contain the seven bowls/vials of again — His wrath. How could we have to wait until that last trump when we are not appointed to His wrath?

In the chapter before 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses the same word in vs. 8, discussing Military trumpets. Revelation had not been written, so how would his audience understand the terminology John had not shared? WE, the church, are not going to be living through Trumpet Judgments. The Trumpet that sounds for the church is not a trumpet of judgment or wrath. It is a shout for us to come to Jesus in the clouds. And I believe it is the sound of His voice.

For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8)

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 (1 Corinthians 15:52).

As one commentator put it, “The first trumpet bade the armies to arise and be ready; the last trumpet commanded them to depart, it was the signal to march.”

A Different Trumpet

I just can’t reconcile the Trump of God as the same as the angels blowing the trumpets of Judgment in Revelation. WE believe that shout, that Trump of God is the voice of Christ the Judge, standing at the door (James 5:9), calling ‘Come up Hither’. As shown in John’s snatching up in Revelation 4:1, it happens immediately — as in the twinkling of an eye seen in 1 Cor 15. I believe Revelation 4:1 is a picture of the rapture of the church seen through the eyes of John, as he was immediately captured up to heaven by Christ’s voice — the voice of a trumpet.

The Lord Jesus Christ’s voice is like a Trumpet

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.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Come up Hither

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven.(Remember He is the Judge standing at the door James 5:8-9.  I believe there is obvious symbolism in the door being open to heaven).

…and the first voice which I heard was ⇒ as it were ⇒ OF A TRUMPET talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER(I believe this is the SHOUT, the last TRUMP calling us up into heaven)

And I will shew thee things which must be hereafter: (Remember, the ‘hereafter’was yet future for John and all of us).

And IMMEDIATELY I was in the spirit (rapture).

And, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne (Revelation 4:1-2a, see also  Revelation 1:10-11a).

For a point of interest, please also see another picture of the rapture or gathering together TO Christ of the two witnesses in Revelation 11 who died and rose again (just as we have in Christ). They are part of the first resurrection. Please also note the phrase ‘Come up Hither’ basically means to ‘ascend’ to ‘this place’. That place being to Christ in Heaven. This is the only other place the phrase ‘come up hither’ is used in Revelation besides Revelation 4:1. Jesus ascended up into heaven, we too shall ascend the same way. We see the two witnesses being gathered to Him in the clouds with the same exact wording and in the same manner we will be raptured, gathered up to heaven to the clouds (1 Thess 4:17; Acts 1:9; Rev 11:12).

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they >>>ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  Rev 11:12

Thanks for taking the time to read.  If you have questions, or feel like something wasn’t covered, please let me know. Regardless of your timing position and who is right or not, do you know for sure if you will see Him as one of His one day? Most especially if you are unsure of where you would go if you died today.  We are not promised tomorrow.  Want to know more?

PART 3 – CLICK HERE

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Citations are not recommendations:

1Quoted from “Christ and His Millennial Kingdom by David Chagall.  (I have no idea of the reliability of the author, again please prove all things, it was found in other sources too). The only point of quoting these historical books and their thoughts is strictly for the refutation of those who say a Pre-Trib rapture is a teaching that is only a couple of hundred years old. 

 

9 Responses to “Rapture Timing Pt. 2

  • Jeffrey Barouch
    3 years ago

    This is an excellent piece. I have one minor point to suggest: according to the position of progressive revelation ( as time progresses the people have a greater understanding. of the outworking of God’s plan for mankind) a “mystery” is something previously hidden, which is now revealed. Example: O.T. saints had only a partial understanding of their Messiah (Meshiach), who appeared during the period of the Gospels, giving N.T. saints greater understanding of his character.

    • Thanks Jeffrey, that’s in there somewhere in my future writings, I have multiple parts pre-written, but not perfected yet. I bring the thinking of only one coming, and the possibility of the mystery being foretold (even though a lot of pre-tribbers don’t think so) in Is 26:19-21 which timing doesn’t line up with Daniel 12 (resurrection first then the Lord comes out of His place in Is 26). Anyways, so much to cover, hard to know where to stop, but thank you for commenting and let me know as you go along what you think might be shared. Part 3 will be out as soon as I decide where to cut it off 🙂

  • Many in the church do not understand that Rev is mostly about Israel (as well as the Gentile (heathen) nations. Sadly, many mix Israel with the Church (body of Christ). The tribulation is the time when God will deal with the Jews and a one third remnant will be saved and go into the Millennial kingdom. We cannot leave Israel out of the equation. God is not done with them and His promises to them are still binding. So many now preach replacement theology and wrongly teach that the Church has replaced Israel and that all of God’s promises to Israel were transferred to the Church. Wrong!

    • I agree with you. Prewrath is fairly new (even if the teachers of it try to say differently). I know people try to say the same with pre-trib, or the rapture in general, I think when we study Revelation, as His Word says, we will be blessed.

      I also agree there are many replacement theology churches, especially within a lot in the reformed religion. Voddie Baucham is one who is blatant about it.

      Thanks again for dropping by.

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