TOO LATE FOR SOME, SOME ARE TAKEN, SOME ARE LEFT
1-The Rapture: Warning
Mt 25:1-13-THEN SHALL THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO (or comparable to) TEN VIRGINS, WHICH TOOK THEIR LAMPS, AND WENT FORTH TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM.
Mt 25:2-AND FIVE OF THEM WERE WISE, AND FIVE WERE FOOLISH.
Mt 25:3-THEY THAT WERE FOOLISH TOOK THEIR LAMPS, AND TOOK NO OIL WITH THEM:
Mt 25:4-BUT THE WISE TOOK OIL IN THEIR VESSELS (or jars, or flasks along) WITH THEIR LAMPS.
Mt 25:5-WHILE THE BRIDEGROOM TARRIED (or was a long time in coming-NIV) (or was delaying, or was late), THEY ALL SLUMBERED (or got drowsy) AND SLEPT (or began to sleep).
Mt 25:6-AND AT MIDNIGHT THERE WAS A CRY (or shout) MADE, BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH; GO (come) YE OUT TO MEET HIM.
Mt 25:7-THEN ALL THOSE VIRGINS (woke up) AROSE, AND TRIMMED (or prepared) THEIR LAMPS.
Mt 25:8-AND THE FOOLISH (ones) SAID UNTO THE WISE, GIVE US (some) OF YOUR OIL; FOR OUR LAMPS ARE GONE OUT.
Mt 25:9-BUT THE WISE ANSWERED, SAYING, NOT SO (no); LEST THERE BE NOT ENOUGH FOR (both) US AND YOU: BUT GO YE RATHER TO THEM THAT SELL (the dealers), AND BUY (some) FOR YOURSELVES.
Mt 25:10-AND WHILE THEY WENT (on their way) TO BUY (to make the purchase), THE BRIDEGROOM CAME (or arrived); AND THEY THAT WERE READY WENT IN WITH HIM TO THE MARRIAGE (or wedding, or wedding banquet, or feast): AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT.
Mt 25:11-AFTERWARD (or later) CAME ALSO THE OTHER VIRGINS, SAYING, LORD, LORD, OPEN (the door) TO US (let us in).
Mt 25:12-BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, VERILY (or indeed) I SAY UNTO YOU (I tell you the truth-NIV), I KNOW YOU NOT (I do not know you-NASB).
Mt 25:13-WATCH THEREFORE (keep watch) (be on the alert), FOR YE KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR WHEREIN THE SON OF MAN COMETH.
Mt 25:1-THEN SHALL THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BE LIKENED UNTO (or comparable to) TEN VIRGINS, WHICH TOOK THEIR LAMPS, AND WENT FORTH TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM. Note the beginning words, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Then it continues BE LIKENED UNTO. The ten virgins represent ten Christians. These are ten people that believe in Jesus. They had lamps, and their lamps were burning. They went forth to meet the Bridegroom. All ten were waiting for the return of Jesus Christ to come for them.
Mt 25:2-AND FIVE OF THEM WERE WISE, AND FIVE WERE FOOLISH. The next verse defines the difference between being wise and foolish.
Mt 25:3-THEY THAT WERE FOOLISH TOOK THEIR LAMPS, AND TOOK NO OIL WITH THEM. These had oil in their lamps, but they failed to take extra oil in their jars. The oil represents the Holy Spirit, which can be illustrated in the lamps that burn in the tabernacle and in the temple. These were not prepared to wait a long, long time for their Bridegroom to come and take them.
Mt 25:4-BUT THE WISE TOOK OIL IN THEIR VESSELS (or jars, or flasks along) WITH THEIR LAMPS. The wise had oil in their lamps and also took additional oil in their jars. These were prepared to wait as long as it would take, till the Bridegroom would come and take them away. They knew what to expect. They made the needed preparations. They were prepared to replenish their lamps as needed. The foolish did not prepare. They did not know what to expect. They were not prepared for the long wait and all that might go along with it. Their root withered away.
Mt 25:5-WHILE THE BRIDEGROOM TARRIED, THEY ALL SLUMBERED AND SLEPT. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep-NIV. The Bridegroom was a long time in coming, and, indeed, the church has now been waiting for the Bridegroom for nearly 2000 years. We see pictured here the church age that will see the return of Jesus to take His bride away. All ten virgins became tired and fell asleep.
Mt 25:6-AND AT MIDNIGHT THERE WAS A CRY (or shout) MADE, BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH (or here’s the bridegroom); GO (come) YE OUT TO MEET HIM. Here is the warning that the Bridegroom is about to arrive. Here is the warning that the Rapture is about to happen. From this warning, we may note, that just prior to the Rapture actually happening, there will be some kind of a cry, or a warning, so that all the virgins will know the time, for the Bridegroom to carry His bride away, is at hand. The cry was made at midnight. Some might consider this indicates the cry just before the Rapture may happen at midnight, Israeli time.
When the bridegroom (in the Jewish marriage of olden times) was returning for his bride, a shout would let her know that he was arriving. He had made a contract for her some time before. He had then gone away to prepare a place for her. Once his father approved the bridal chamber, he would then give permission to go and fetch his bride, who had been patiently waiting for him. Now the bridegroom anxiously returns for her. She has made herself ready. She always kept oil in her lamp, for she was never quite sure when her bridegroom would return. It might be at night, so she had to be ready. There would be a “shout” or warning that the bridegroom was coming, just before he would enter to take her away to the dwelling place he had prepared for her.
In this last generation of time, true born-again Christians should be anxiously awaiting for the “shout,” which signals that the Bridegroom is arriving to “snatch” us away. Through all the signs and prophecies that God’s Word has given, we “know” that it is near, even at the door.
Mt 25:7-THEN ALL THOSE VIRGINS (woke up) AROSE, AND TRIMMED (or prepared) THEIR LAMPS.
Mt 25:8-AND THE FOOLISH SAID UNTO THE WISE, GIVE US (some) OF YOUR OIL; FOR OUR LAMPS ARE GONE OUT. It appears up to this time that either the foolish virgins did not realize their lamps had gone out, or they just did not care, as the bridegroom tarried.
Here is a picture of five foolish Christians. They believed in Jesus. Their lamp was burning. They had oil. They were a light for Jesus, but, as time passed, they ran out of oil. As time passed, their lamps faded and then went out. We might say that in the time of testing, they fell away. Perhaps, they became lukewarm as a result of all the deceptive, lukewarm preaching.
The foolish virgins, or foolish Christians, now realize that their lamp went out. The foolish virgins still believed in Jesus, but their flame had become cold. Their love for Jesus had become cold. Though they did believe in the Rapture, it caught them by surprise. They realized they were not ready to meet Jesus. He had come as a thief in the night to them. They were not truly expecting in their heart that He would come when He did. They were unprepared.
The wise virgins, even though they had fallen asleep, still had oil in reserve. Their lamps, or light for Jesus, did not go out.
But now, the foolish Christians turn to them for oil.
Mt 25:9-BUT THE WISE ANSWERED, SAYING, NOT SO (no); LEST THERE BE NOT ENOUGH FOR (both) US AND YOU: BUT GO YE RATHER TO THEM THAT SELL (the dealers), AND BUY (some) FOR YOURSELVES. It is interesting to note, the wise virgins thought that they did not have enough oil for both themselves and the foolish virgins. They told the foolish virgins to go to them that sell. Was the supply of oil that the wise virgins had running low in this lukewarm age of falling away?
Did the foolish virgins go to their preacher to get oil? Note the words, BUY FOR YOURSELVES. It might be difficult to buy oil at midnight. The Holy Spirit cannot be shared. The Holy Spirit regenerates each person individually. These Christians were not ready. They didn’t understand that once the shout had gone out, it was too late. They couldn’t be saved and taken in the Rapture. Yet, in this short span, from the time of the “shout” to the time Jesus will return, they will try in vain to get ready; however, it is too late. (Note, there is no indication in this parable of a great revival waking up the church before the Rapture.)
Mt 25:10-AND WHILE THEY WENT (on their way) TO BUY (to make the purchase), THE BRIDEGROOM CAME (or arrived); AND THEY (the virgins) THAT WERE READY WENT IN WITH HIM TO THE MARRIAGE (or wedding, or wedding banquet, or feast): AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT.
The foolish virgins depart to go buy more oil. It appears, as we will see, that they went to the blind leaders of the blind, or a “different Jesus.” They did not know how to get saved. They were blind.
And while they were gone, Jesus came. All those wise Christians that were ready, whose lamps had not gone out, were raptured and went to the marriage.
Mt 25:11-AFTERWARD (or later) CAME ALSO THE OTHER VIRGINS, SAYING, LORD, LORD, OPEN (the door) TO US (let us in). Now the foolish virgins return. To whom had they gone? They could not have gone to born-again preachers, as the born-again preachers would have been raptured. They seemingly went to the blind leaders of the blind. Apparently, they could not recognize the difference. It appears, they now think they got saved. They think they now have oil, as they say, LORD, LORD, OPEN TO US. They seem to say, “Jesus, we have accepted You as our Savior.” There is a difference between accepting Jesus and “receiving” Him, as the KJV states. Seldom do ministers preach “will Jesus accept us?” in this Laodicean age. We appear to have a picture of five foolish Christians that are terrified. They recognized that the Rapture had happened. They recognized that they had been left behind. They are pleading, OPEN TO US—but it is too late. We might also conclude from this that once the cry is made, just before the Rapture occurs, from that point on, no one will get saved. None of the foolish virgins were able to get saved, even though they tried.
Mt 25:12-BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, VERILY (or indeed) I SAY UNTO YOU (I tell you the truth-NIV), I KNOW YOU NOT (I do not know you-NASB). The terrifying message comes forth, I KNOW YOU NOT. They now face the Tribulation, but will they survive?
There are many foolish virgins in this last generation that will be left behind when the Rapture comes. They may be screaming, “No, Jesus, don’t leave me!” We may note, only those that were “ready” were taken.
Mt 25:13-WATCH THEREFORE (keep watch) (be on the alert), FOR YE KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR WHEREIN THE SON OF MAN COMETH. Jesus continues in His message to the five foolish virgins whose lamps went out. He tells them and all the foolish virgins, WATCH THEREFORE. These did not watch. Then the second message to the foolish, YE KNOW NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR WHEREIN THE SON OF MAN COMETH. The foolish are not watching. They do not understand. They are not ready. They do not know the day or hour. Clearly, this message is to all the foolish virgins to watch and be ready; then they should understand.
There is a clear message here. A person can believe on Jesus. They can believe that the Rapture will come. Their light can be burning, but it can go out. If Jesus comes and finds them not ready, they will be left behind. (Note, there are some that relate this parable to the second coming of Jesus at Armageddon.)
The Rapture will be a great joy for the saved, but a “horror” for the unsaved. For the unsaved, death and the lake of fire lies ahead for most. However, some will get saved during the Tribulation, but they will go through such a horrible time that words cannot adequately describe it. Death by decapitation lies ahead for most that do.
Lk 13:23-27-THEN SAID ONE UNTO HIM, LORD, ARE THERE (just a) FEW (people) THAT (are…going to) BE SAVED? AND HE SAID UNTO THEM,
Lk 13:24-STRIVE (or struggle) TO ENTER (make every effort to enter) IN AT THE STRAIT GATE (or narrow door): FOR MANY, I SAY UNTO YOU, WILL SEEK (or try, or will be demanding) TO ENTER IN, AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE (to).
Lk 13:25-WHEN ONCE THE MASTER (or owner) OF THE HOUSE IS RISEN UP, AND HATH SHUT TO (or closes) THE DOOR, AND YE BEGIN TO STAND WITHOUT (outside), AND TO KNOCK AT THE DOOR, SAYING (or pleading), LORD, LORD, OPEN (up) UNTO US (the door); AND HE SHALL ANSWER AND SAY UNTO YOU, I KNOW YOU NOT WHENCE YE ARE (from) (I don’t know you):
Lk 13:26-THEN SHALL YE BEGIN TO SAY, WE HAVE EATEN AND DRUNK IN THY PRESENCE (with You), AND THOU HAST TAUGHT IN OUR STREETS.
Lk 13:27-BUT HE SHALL SAY, I TELL YOU, I KNOW YOU NOT WHENCE YE ARE (from) (I don’t know you); DEPART (get away) FROM ME, ALL YE WORKERS OF INIQUITY (or wickedness, or evildoers).
2-The Rapture: In Brief By Scripture
BUT NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD, AND BECOME THE FIRSTFRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT. FOR SINCE BY MAN CAME DEATH, BY MAN CAME ALSO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. BUT EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER: CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS; AFTERWARD THEY THAT ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING-1 Cor 15:20-23.
So the saints are to be LOOKING (or watching) FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST-Titus 2:13. They are to look, in other words, for the Rapture. In looking for the blessed hope, the saints are to COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS-1 Thes 4:18.
And the saints are to be patient, as it is written, BE PATIENT THEREFORE, BRETHREN, UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD. BEHOLD, THE HUSBANDMAN (which is Jesus) WAITETH FOR THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE EARTH (which is the saints), AND HATH LONG PATIENCE FOR IT, UNTIL HE RECEIVE THE EARLY AND LATTER (or autumn and spring) RAIN. BE YE ALSO PATIENT; STABLISH YOUR HEARTS (stand firm): FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWETH NIGH (or is near)-Ja 5:7,8.
The saints are to WATCH…AND PRAY ALWAYS, THAT YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS (the things of the Tribulation)-Lk 21:36. (The saints are not to) SLEEP, AS DO OTHERS; BUT LET US WATCH-1 Thes 5:6. The Bible warns, IF…THOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I WILL COME ON THEE AS A THIEF, AND THOU SHALT NOT KNOW WHAT HOUR I WILL COME UPON THEE-Rev 3:3. But BLESSED ARE THOSE SERVANTS, WHOM THE LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND WATCHING-Lk 12:37; because UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME-Heb 9:28. For the saints are to BE…READY-Lk 12:40.
And when certain signs and prophecies BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, the saints are to LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION (or your being caught up) DRAWETH NIGH-Lk 21:28. And when the Lord does come to take His people, BLESSED IS THAT SERVANT, WHOM HIS LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND SO DOING (which is denoting working for or serving God)-Lk 12:43. For there is a day coming when NO MAN CAN WORK-Jn 9:4. For those saints that have kept God’s Word, the Lord promises, I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (which is the Tribulation), WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH-Rev 3:10. For God cannot allow the Tribulation to come forth until He removes “His” people. As it is written, HASTE THEE, ESCAPE THITHER; FOR I CANNOT DO ANY THING TILL THOU BE COME THITHER-Gen 19:22.
(For) BEHOLD, I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY-1 Cor 15:51. AT MIDNIGHT-Mt 25:6; IN THE DAY OF CHRIST-Phili 1:10, 2:16; 2 Thes 2:2; IN THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST-Phili 1:6; IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS-1 Cor 5:5; 2 Cor 1:14; IN THE DAY OF REDEMPTION-Eph 4:30; THERE WAS A CRY MADE-Mt 25:6; (There was) A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL-1 Thes 4:16; BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH; GO (come) YE OUT TO MEET HIM-Mt 25:6.
THEN ALL THOSE VIRGINS AROSE (or woke up), AND TRIMMED (or prepared) THEIR LAMPS. AND THE FOOLISH SAID UNTO THE WISE, GIVE US (some) OF YOUR OIL; FOR OUR LAMPS ARE GONE OUT. BUT THE WISE ANSWERED, SAYING, NOT SO (no); LEST THERE BE NOT ENOUGH FOR (both) US AND YOU: BUT GO YE RATHER TO THEM THAT SELL (the dealers), AND BUY (some) FOR YOURSELVES. AND WHILE THEY WENT (on their way) TO BUY (to make the purchase), THE BRIDEGROOM CAME (or arrived)-Mt 25:7-10. FOR THIS WE SAY UNTO YOU…THAT WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD SHALL NOT PREVENT THEM WHICH ARE ASLEEP-1 Thes 4:15.
(Listen), WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (or die)-ref 1 Cor 15:51; FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH…THE TRUMP OF GOD-1 Thes 4:16; (and) IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, AT THE LAST TRUMP-1 Cor 15:52; (ref Num 10); FOR THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND-1 Cor 15:52; and THE LORD…WILL…RAISE UP US BY HIS OWN POWER-1 Cor 6:14; God SHALL RAISE UP US ALSO BY JESUS-2 Cor 4:14. AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST-1 Thes 4:16; AND THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE-1 Cor 15:52; (for) GOD WILL REDEEM MY SOUL FROM THE POWER OF THE GRAVE: FOR HE SHALL RECEIVE ME-Ps 49:15. VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU (the truth), THE HOUR IS COMING, AND NOW IS, WHEN THE DEAD SHALL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD: AND THEY THAT HEAR SHALL LIVE. MARVEL NOT (or do not be amazed) AT THIS: FOR THE HOUR IS COMING, IN THE WHICH ALL THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES SHALL HEAR HIS VOICE, AND SHALL COME FORTH (or come out); THEY THAT HAVE DONE GOOD, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE (or will rise to live)-Jn 5:25,28,29.
As it is written, THY DEAD MEN SHALL LIVE…THEY ARISE…THE EARTH SHALL CAST OUT THE DEAD-Isa 26:19; and WE SHALL…LIVE WITH HIM-2 Tim 2:11.
NOW THAT THE DEAD ARE RAISED, EVEN MOSES SHEWED AT THE BUSH, WHEN HE CALLETH THE LORD THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB-Lk 20:37. COME, MY PEOPLE…UNTIL THE INDIGNATION (which is the Tribulation) BE OVERPAST. FOR, BEHOLD, THE LORD COMETH OUT OF HIS PLACE TO PUNISH THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH FOR THEIR INIQUITY-Isa 26:20,21.
Then, of the saints which are alive, it is written, AND THE FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING WITH ME; WHICH SAID, COME UP HITHER-Rev 4:1. THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP-1 Thes 4:17; (then we shall be caught up) TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR-1 Thes 4:17; (we shall be gathered) TOGETHER UNTO HIM-2 Thes 2:1; the saints will be raised up AT THE LAST DAY-Jn 6:40; ref 6:39,44,54. And the Lord will receive the saints, so that WHERE Jesus is, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO-Jn 14:3; AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD-1 Thes 4:17; (and) I LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN-Rev 4:1.
(And this know, that they which) WERE READY WENT IN WITH HIM TO THE MARRIAGE (or wedding, or wedding banquet, or feast): AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT-Mt 25:10.
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-Mt 24:40,41.
I TELL YOU, IN THAT NIGHT THERE SHALL BE TWO MEN IN ONE BED; THE ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER SHALL BE LEFT. TWO WOMEN SHALL BE GRINDING TOGETHER; THE ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT. TWO MEN SHALL BE IN THE FIELD; THE ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT-Lk 17:34-36. THEY ASKED HIM, “WHERE, LORD?” HE ANSWERED, “WHEREVER THERE’S A DEAD BODY, THAT’S WHERE THE VULTURES GATHER.”-Lk 17:37 JNT.31
BELOVED, NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD, AND IT DOTH NOT YET APPEAR WHAT WE SHALL BE-1 Jn 3:2. At the time of the Rapture (in the twinkling of an eye), WE SHALL BE CHANGED. FOR THIS CORRUPTIBLE MUST PUT ON INCORRUPTION, AND THIS MORTAL MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY-1 Cor 15:52,53; (because) FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD; NEITHER DOTH CORRUPTION INHERIT INCORRUPTION-1 Cor 15:50. (For we groan) AS WITH THE PAINS OF CHILDBIRTH…TO HAVE OUR WHOLE BODIES REDEEMED AND SET FREE-Ro 8:22,23 JNT.32 FOR WE KNOW THAT IF OUR EARTHLY HOUSE OF THIS TABERNACLE WERE DISSOLVED, WE HAVE A BUILDING OF GOD, AN HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS. FOR IN THIS WE GROAN, EARNESTLY DESIRING TO BE CLOTHED UPON WITH OUR HOUSE WHICH IS FROM HEAVEN-2 Cor 5:1,2.
For THERE IS ONE GLORY OF THE SUN, AND ANOTHER GLORY OF THE MOON, AND ANOTHER GLORY OF THE STARS: FOR ONE STAR DIFFERETH FROM ANOTHER STAR IN GLORY. SO ALSO IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. IT IS SOWN IN CORRUPTION; IT IS RAISED IN INCORRUPTION: IT IS SOWN IN DISHONOUR; IT IS RAISED IN GLORY: IT IS SOWN IN WEAKNESS; IT IS RAISED IN POWER: IT IS SOWN A NATURAL BODY; IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY. THERE IS A NATURAL BODY, AND THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY. AND SO IT IS WRITTEN, THE FIRST MAN ADAM WAS MADE A LIVING SOUL; THE LAST ADAM WAS MADE A QUICKENING SPIRIT. THE SPIRITUAL DID NOT COME FIRST, BUT THE NATURAL, AND AFTER THAT THE SPIRITUAL-NIV. THE FIRST MAN IS OF THE EARTH, EARTHY: THE SECOND MAN IS THE LORD FROM HEAVEN. AS IS THE EARTHY, SUCH ARE THEY ALSO THAT ARE EARTHY: AND AS IS THE HEAVENLY, SUCH ARE THEY ALSO THAT ARE HEAVENLY. AND AS WE HAVE BORNE THE IMAGE OF THE EARTHY, WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY-1 Cor 15:41-49. (And) WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS-1 Jn 3:2.
For those left back on the earth that were not taken in the Rapture, WOE UNTO THEM…IN THOSE DAYS! FOR THERE SHALL BE GREAT DISTRESS IN THE LAND-Lk 21:23. For they were left behind, because they would not repent. It is written, BEHOLD, I WILL CAST HER…AND THEM…INTO GREAT TRIBULATION, EXCEPT THEY REPENT-Rev 2:22.
The saints that were watching and trusting in Jesus were raptured. It is written, EVEN JESUS, WHICH DELIVERED US FROM THE WRATH TO COME (or the Tribulation)-1 Thes 1:10; AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD-1 Thes 4:17.
The word “rapture” does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible. However, it is a word that symbolizes such biblical terms as the translation, caught up, our gathering together unto Him, and some other terms which are used in God’s Word. The words, “translate” or “translation” mean to carry away, remove, transport, change sides, transferral; thus, translation or rapture.
It is a term used to describe the removal from the earth of all living people that have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The Scriptures show us that in the twinkling of an eye, all over the earth, all people whom Jesus “knows” will be removed from the earth to be with Him.
It will be as in the days of Noah, when all those that trusted in God were removed before the flood came. The raptured people will never know death (or sleep). In the twinkling of an eye, they will be changed and will be with Jesus in a new incorruptible body.
5-Has There Ever Been A Rapture Before?
The answer is yes. It is written, AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD: AND HE WAS NOT; FOR GOD TOOK HIM-Gen 5:24. It is also written, BY FAITH ENOCH WAS TRANSLATED THAT HE SHOULD NOT SEE DEATH-Heb 11:5. The Bible also tells us in 2 Ki 2:1-12, how Elijah was translated. We also see John in the Spirit on the Lord’s day-ref Rev 4:1. Jesus was taken up-ref Acts 1:9.
6-The Two Questions
1. At what point in the last generation does the Rapture come?
2. What happens to a person’s body when he is raptured?
7-Question One: When Will The Rapture Come In Relation To The Other Events? (The Most Renowned Scholars)
Among the ten best known, born-again Bible prophecy scholars in the world, at the time this was written, beginning with Hal Lindsey, all without exception (to our knowledge) are convinced by God’s Word that the Rapture will come before the Antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation begins.
Of the ten best known, born-again evangelists in the world, at this time, all without exception (to our knowledge) are convinced by God’s Word that the Rapture will come before the Antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation begins.
8-Confusion And Making God’s Word Of No Effect
Why then does there seem to be confusion among some people on this subject? The answer is clear. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION-1 Cor 14:33. Satan is the author of confusion.
Some people hold the incorrect position that the Rapture will take place in the midst of the Tribulation. Some hold the misguided position that the Rapture will come at the end of the Tribulation. Others hold the mistaken position that the Rapture will come after the Tribulation, and there are others who hold yet a different position. There are some misguided people who do not believe there will be a Rapture. They do not believe that Jesus will actually return as the King of kings and the Lord of lords, as the Scriptures clearly point out. They do not believe there will be a period called the Tribulation. Others believe that Jesus returned about 1800 years ago, and still others about 100 years ago.
No matter how famous a Bible teacher is, or how anointed he appears to be, or how much he proclaims the Gospel, when there is confusion on a major Bible subject, such as the Rapture, which is clearly and unmistakably stated in the Bible, something is wrong.
A person that believes the Rapture will come during or after the Tribulation, also may not “even begin” to understand what the Tribulation will really be like. There has never been in the history of the earth a time, either before the flood or after, that will be as bad as what is soon to come. It is written, FOR THEN SHALL BE GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THIS TIME, NO, NOR EVER SHALL BE. AND EXCEPT THOSE DAYS SHOULD BE SHORTENED, THERE SHOULD NO FLESH BE SAVED: BUT FOR THE ELECT’S SAKE THOSE DAYS SHALL BE SHORTENED-Mt 24:21,22.
These people usually do not understand the trumpet judgments and when they will occur. Some mistakenly try to associate the Rapture with the seventh trumpet of Rev 11:15. They may not consider the blowing of the trumpets in Numbers chapter ten. The words “trump” or “trumpet” or “trumpets” appear in the Bible app. 114 times. Several different Hebrew and Greek words are used.
They may not understand the seven feasts of Israel and their significance. They may not understand the biblical reasons for the Rapture. They may not understand the Jewish marriage customs. Neither do they usually understand that there will be very few people left alive after the Battle of Armageddon. For some reason, many Scriptures are not understood correctly by these people.
The Scriptures clearly show that the born-again saints are to understand the Bible regarding the times which would precede the Tribulation. Then, knowing and understanding the times, they are to watch and be ready for the Rapture. As it is written, LOOKING (which can also mean watching) FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST-Titus 2:13. Regarding the Rapture, it is written, WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS-1 Thes 4:18. We are not to watch for the Tribulation, but for the blessed hope. In watching for the blessed hope, we are comforted. God forbid, there would not be comfort, if we had to go into the Tribulation.
By watching for the Tribulation, instead of the blessed hope, we nullify the Word of God. To watch for the Tribulation, is to watch for the most horrible time in the history of the world. To think that one would enter this utterly terrifying period, when many will be killed, would mean the Christian would live a life of fear. During the Tribulation, those who receive Jesus Christ will not have power to stand against the Antichrist.
The saints will be given into the hand of the Antichrist. As it is written, I BEHELD, AND THE SAME HORN (the Antichrist) MADE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM-Dan 7:21. AND HE…SHALL WEAR OUT THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH…THEY SHALL BE GIVEN INTO HIS HAND UNTIL A TIME AND TIMES AND THE DIVIDING OF TIME-Dan 7:25.
Most saints that get saved, during the Tribulation, can expect to be horribly persecuted, beaten, and then killed by being beheaded.
Those that teach the Rapture will not come prior to the Tribulation, as already mentioned, are making certain Scriptures of no effect. They are not teaching the people to watch for the “blessed hope,” that is, the return of Jesus to take “His” people. They are not teaching others to watch as God commands.
Those that teach the Rapture will not come prior to the Tribulation are making God’s Word of no effect (null and void). This is exactly what Satan wants to do.
The Scriptures show that we are to watch. Those who do not teach that the Rapture will soon come are, in effect, teaching a form of rebellion against God’s commands.
9-Commands To Watch
The watchman is to warn the people. Teachers of the Bible are watchmen. Ministers are watchmen. The saints are watchmen. A person watches for things they believe will happen. They believe these things will happen, because there is evidence of some kind. We watch, because the Bible tells us of certain events that will come to pass. It gives us certain things to watch for. We watch, because God commands us to do so. When certain events come to pass, we are to warn others of what is yet to come. We warn them to prepare themselves. We warn the people, so they may not perish. If they choose not to believe and heed the warning, their blood is upon themselves. But if we are unfaithful and do not warn the people, their blood is upon us as watchmen.
Ezek 3:17-I HAVE MADE THEE A WATCHMAN.
Ezek 33:7-I HAVE SET THEE A WATCHMAN…WARN THEM.
Mt 24:42-WATCH THEREFORE.
Mt 25:13-WATCH THEREFORE.
Mt 26:41-WATCH AND PRAY, THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
Mk 13:33-WATCH AND PRAY.
Mk 13:34-A MAN…COMMANDED THE PORTER TO WATCH.
Mk 13:35-WATCH YE THEREFORE.
Mk 13:37-AND WHAT I SAY UNTO YOU I SAY UNTO ALL, WATCH.
Mk 14:38-WATCH YE AND PRAY, LEST YE ENTER INTO TEMPTATION.
Lk 21:36-WATCH YE THEREFORE, AND PRAY ALWAYS, THAT YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS.
1 Thes 5:6-LET US NOT SLEEP, AS DO OTHERS; BUT LET US WATCH.
Rev 3:3-IF…THOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I WILL COME ON THEE AS A THIEF, AND THOU SHALT NOT KNOW WHAT HOUR I WILL COME UPON THEE.
Mt 24:43-IF THE GOODMAN…HAD KNOWN…HE WOULD HAVE WATCHED.
Lk 12:39-IF THE GOODMAN…HAD KNOWN…HE WOULD HAVE WATCHED.
Lk 12:37-BLESSED ARE THOSE SERVANTS, WHOM THE LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND WATCHING.
Lk 12:40-BE YE THEREFORE READY.
Heb 9:28-SO CHRIST WAS ONCE OFFERED TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY; AND UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME.
Regarding the Rapture, it is written, 1 Thes 4:18-WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS.
How can a person watch, if they cannot read and their minister does not tell them these things? Many fulfilled prophecies indicate the Tribulation is very close. The Tribulation is preceded by the Rapture.
WHEN I BRING THE SWORD UPON A LAND, IF THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND TAKE A MAN OF THEIR COASTS, AND SET HIM FOR THEIR WATCHMAN: IF WHEN HE SEETH THE SWORD COME UPON THE LAND, HE BLOW THE TRUMPET, AND WARN THE PEOPLE; THEN WHOSOEVER HEARETH THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET, AND TAKETH NOT WARNING; IF THE SWORD COME, AND TAKE HIM AWAY, HIS BLOOD SHALL BE UPON HIS OWN HEAD. HE HEARD THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET, AND TOOK NOT WARNING; HIS BLOOD SHALL BE UPON HIM. BUT HE THAT TAKETH WARNING SHALL DELIVER HIS SOUL.
BUT IF THE WATCHMAN SEE THE SWORD COME, AND BLOW NOT THE TRUMPET, AND THE PEOPLE BE NOT WARNED; IF THE SWORD COME, AND TAKE ANY PERSON FROM AMONG THEM, HE IS TAKEN AWAY IN HIS INIQUITY; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THE WATCHMAN’S HAND-Ezek 33:2-6. We are in the latter day generation (or period of time) that will see the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the return of Jesus to this earth with power and great glory.
The sword shall come during the Tribulation. Nevertheless, God has made a way for His people to escape. It is called the Rapture. The people that God has called to be watchmen are themselves being warned by God to warn others of what is coming. They are being admonished to tell the people to watch and be ready. They need to tell the people what to watch for. They are being exhorted not to let their house be broken up. If they are faithful and obey God, then they are pure from the blood of all men-ref Acts 20:26,27.
However, when the Rapture comes, and the Tribulation follows, and Jesus returns, if the watchman did not warn the people, then the blood of those whom he should have warned that perished, God will require at the watchman’s hand.
To that teacher of the Bible or saint that God has called to be a watchman, woe to him, if he does not warn the people.
Some will not warn the people, because they fear what others will say about them. They fear certain people in their church, or denomination, or others. They do not want to be ridiculed and persecuted, or even fired from their position. Woe to the fearful and unbelieving, as they do not believe they will perish, even though, it is written, BUT THE FEARFUL, AND UNBELIEVING…SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE-Rev 21:8.
Few people, in this latter day generation, are watching. Many know nothing about such events as the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the second coming of Jesus. Many others deny there will be a Rapture. Many deny there will be a Tribulation. Many deny Jesus Christ will physically return to this earth. Others believe in these events, but make an excuse, such as, “No man knows.” They make light of it and convince themselves that it is a long way off. Only a very few believe these things will come to pass shortly. Only a very few are watching and ready.
11-Sound Biblical Reasons Showing The Rapture Is During Or After The Tribulation
1. There are none.
12-SOUND BIBLICAL REASONS SHOWING THE RAPTURE IS PRIOR TO THE TRIBULATION
1. The saints are commanded to watch. They are not commanded to watch for the Tribulation, but for the blessed hope, which is the Rapture. Scriptures proving this have already been covered in the previous text. If the saints were to go through the Tribulation, it would contradict and nullify God’s Word.
2. Of the saints that get saved during the Tribulation, most will be greatly persecuted and killed. The few that survive will go into the Millennium to repopulate the earth. If the Rapture came after the Tribulation, there would be no saints to go into the Millennium. This would make the fulfillment of God’s Word on this subject, impossible.
3. The judgment of the nations, mentioned in Matthew chapter twenty-five, is held immediately after the Tribulation and Armageddon. If the Rapture had just happened, there would be no “sheep” at this judgment. As it is written, AND HE SHALL SET THE SHEEP ON HIS RIGHT HAND, BUT THE GOATS ON THE LEFT-Mt 25:33. The sheep are those that are saved. The goats are the unsaved. Again, God’s Word could not be fulfilled, if the Rapture came after the Tribulation.
4. If the church were to go through the Tribulation, it would contradict many verses in the Bible. Most of the saints will be beheaded. The Bible clearly shows, the Antichrist will prevail against the saints. Anyone that claims the church will go through the Tribulation does not appear to understand what the Tribulation will really be like. Very few people will be left alive afterward. If Jesus did not come back exactly when He does, there should no flesh be left alive. The Scriptures on this were covered in the preceding text.
5. It is written, WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS-1 Thes 4:18. If we were watching for the horrible Tribulation period, we would not be comforted. We would be terrified. This Scripture could not be fulfilled, if the saints were to go into the Tribulation period.
6. It is written, AND WHEN THESE THINGS BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION (or your being caught up) DRAWETH NIGH-Lk 21:28. In Luke chapter 21, events of the Tribulation are described. Verse 28 shows that when these events begin to happen, after Israel’s rebirth, then we are to know that the Rapture is about to happen. Note, it did not say, when they “have” happened, but when they “begin” to happen. They begin to happen as birth pangs of a woman about to have a child. Again, if a person was going to go through the Tribulation, the wording of this verse would be inaccurate.
7. It is written, BLESSED IS THAT SERVANT, WHOM HIS LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND SO DOING (which denotes working for, or serving God)-Lk 12:43. The Scriptures clearly show that during the Tribulation a time will come when the saints will not be able to work. As it is written, I MUST WORK THE WORKS OF HIM THAT SENT ME, WHILE IT IS DAY: THE NIGHT COMETH (which represents the Tribulation), WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK-Jn 9:4. This Scripture of the Lord appearing at the Rapture very clearly shows that it happens before the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, especially the second part, it will be nearly impossible to work; before the Rapture comes, the saints can be working. Verse 45 confirms it is the period prior to the Rapture when people are saying, MY LORD DELAYETH HIS COMING. This same message is confirmed in Mt 24:45-48.
8. The seven feasts of Israel give us God’s timetable. These are covered in Lev chapter 23. In the Bible, the number seven is used to mean “total” or “completeness.” It seems evident that all Bible doctrine and prophecy are founded in these feasts. They reveal the time for the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, His coming again, and the millennial Kingdom.
The following chart gives a brief example of what is being said. These events occurred on the exact dates that God had set over 1400 years before Jesus was born. Keep in mind that the Jewish day begins in the evening (near dusk), on the previous day. Feasts appear in the order that God gave them (Lev 23).
Fourteenth day of the first month. Jesus was crucified. Jesus became our Passover (fulfilled).
2. Unleavened Bread
Fifteenth day of the first month. Jesus buried. The middle loaf of bread is hidden or buried (fulfilled).
Sunday following Unleavened Bread. Jesus resurrected. He became the Firstfruits of them that died (fulfilled).
Also called Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament. Fiftieth day after Firstfruits. The Holy Spirit came in His fullness (fulfilled).
First day of the seventh month. The Rapture (not yet fulfilled). Next major event.
Tenth day of the seventh month. Repentance of Israel. When they shall look upon Him, Whom they have pierced (not yet fulfilled).
Fifteenth day of the seventh month. The coming state of rest. Jesus reigns on earth for one thousand years (not yet fulfilled).
It should be noted that these seven feasts were observed on specific days. When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled the first three feasts on the precise days and in the same order that God had given them. The fourth feast was also fulfilled ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, when He sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The last three feasts are awaiting fulfillment and are associated with events surrounding His second coming. Please note that when Jesus returns the second time, there are actually two phases to His coming: 1) before the Tribulation, He comes in the clouds to rapture the saints-ref 1 Thes 4:16,17; and 2) after the Tribulation, He physically returns to the earth, and every eye shall see Him-ref Mt 24:29,30; Zech 12:10. The next feast to be fulfilled is Trumpets; the next event to be fulfilled on God’s prophetic timetable is the Rapture. In the wilderness account, there were two trumpets blown, the first one and the last one. The first trumpet was for the gathering or calling of the people; the second (or last) was for the people to move out. AND THE LORD SPAKE UNTO MOSES, SAYING, MAKE THEE TWO TRUMPETS OF SILVER; OF A WHOLE PIECE SHALT THOU MAKE THEM: THAT THOU MAYEST USE THEM FOR THE CALLING OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND FOR THE JOURNEYING OF THE CAMPS-Num 10:1,2. Note, there are two.
There are two events in the Rapture. It is written, FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD. The first event is, AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST. The second event is, 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 Thes 4:16,17.
It should also be noted that there is a cry made (a notification or to call aloud), alerting the virgins that the Bridegroom is coming; afterward, they “move out” or are taken-ref Mt 25:6.
Did God give us the day of the year, when the Rapture will happen, as He did for Jesus to be crucified, to be buried, to rise from the dead, and the coming of the fullness of the Holy Spirit? The answer is, clearly, yes. This shows clearly that the Rapture does not happen after the Tribulation.
The name of each feast gives us a clue to what the fulfillment of that feast would be.
The Feast of Passover was fulfilled on God’s exact date, when Jesus became our Passover Lamb. As it is written, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD-Jn 1:29.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled, when Jesus (representing the middle loaf that is hidden) was buried on this exact date. Unleavened bread represents no sin. Jesus was called the Bread of life and was without sin.
The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled on God’s exact date, when Jesus became the Firstfruits out of the grave. He rose from the dead.
The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled on God’s exact date, when the Holy Spirit came in His fullness upon the chosen disciples. This marked the beginning of the summer wheat harvest; the firstfruits of the second harvest are offered at this feast.
The next feast is the Feast of Trumpets. The next major event to look for is the Rapture, which involves the blowing of trumpets. God has set specific dates for certain events to happen to fulfill His Word.
9. In the Revelation, the church is mentioned many times. However, after Rev 3:22, the words “church and churches” do not appear again as referring to a church present on the earth. The seven churches previous to chapter four represent “completeness.” They are described as candlesticks. It is written, AND THE SEVEN CANDLESTICKS WHICH THOU SAWEST ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES-Rev 1:20. A bit further on in the Revelation, the events of the Tribulation begin to unfold, which clearly denote the church is gone.
10. The seven churches (which represent the entire church age) are covered in Rev chapter 2 through Rev chapter 3:22. The very next verses indicate the Rapture. As it is written, AFTER THIS (or after the seventh church) I LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: AND THE FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING WITH ME; WHICH SAID, COME UP HITHER, AND I WILL SHOW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER-Rev 4:1. (Hereafter, what?) What was the Bible just talking about? “the seven churches.” After the seven churches comes the Rapture of the church. From this point on, no church is ever mentioned as being present on the earth during the Tribulation. The only thing mentioned is the “great harlot,” which is an abomination before God and shall be destroyed sometime during the Tribulation.
11. The evangelizing of the earth during the Tribulation is clearly given to the 144,000 male, virgin Jewish saints from the twelve tribes of Israel-ref Rev 7 and 14. These come forth during the first part of the Tribulation. They will preach the EVERLASTING GOSPEL and the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM-ref Rev 14:6 and Mt 24:14. It is written, AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS; AND THEN SHALL THE END COME. There is absolutely no mention of the church evangelizing the earth at all during the Tribulation. If the church were present, the Scriptures concerning the 144,000 would undoubtedly be incorrect.
12. Ten times in the Revelation the word “wrath” is mentioned as pertaining to the Tribulation. It is written, WRATH OF THE LAMB-Rev 6:16; THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME-Rev 6:17; AND THY WRATH IS COME-Rev 11:18; THE SAME SHALL DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD-Rev 14:10; OF THE WRATH OF GOD-Rev 14:19; IN THEM IS FILLED UP THE WRATH OF GOD-Rev 15:1; WRATH OF GOD-Rev 15:7; POUR OUT THE VIALS OF THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE EARTH-Rev 16:1; FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH-Rev 16:19; FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD-Rev 19:15.
Now, we read, FOR GOD HATH NOT APPOINTED US (the saints) TO WRATH-1 Thes 5:9. The verse concludes by saying, BUT TO OBTAIN SALVATION BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. These verses are unmistakably clear. If a person belongs to Jesus, they will not see the wrath of God. Many times in the Scriptures the term, “the wrath of God,” is applied to the Tribulation.
It is written, EVEN JESUS, WHICH DELIVERED US FROM THE WRATH TO COME (which is the Tribulation)-1 Thes 1:10. What is the “wrath to come?” The Bible has just told us ten times about the wrath of God in the Tribulation. It is also written, THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. MUCH MORE THEN, BEING NOW JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, WE SHALL BE SAVED FROM WRATH THROUGH HIM-Ro 5:1,9. Further, it is written, AND HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON SHALL NOT SEE LIFE; BUT THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDETH ON HIM-Jn 3:36. The Scriptures are very clear. The Tribulation is a time of God’s wrath. The saints will be delivered from the wrath to come. Even a little child should be able to understand this clearly.
Other biblical words that are associated with the Tribulation or Armageddon are: cruel, trouble, distress, wasteness, desolation, darkness, gloominess, clouds, thick darkness, blood, vengeance, destruction, fierce anger, fire, jealousy, revengeth, furious, arrows drunk with blood, sword, devour flesh, terrible, great distress, men’s hearts failing them for fear, powers of heaven shall be shaken, wars, great earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and fearful signs. This is only a partial list.
13. In Lk 21:8-26, many of the verses are dealing with the Tribulation. Then Jesus gives us a command: PRAY ALWAYS, THAT YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS-Lk 21:36. We may ask, “Escape all what things?” The answer is, all those things that have been described, which includes the Tribulation. In other words, the saints are to pray that they are accounted worthy to escape the Tribulation by being raptured. The Rapture is covered in verse 28.
14. What a temptation it will be as the people come face to face with death or worshipping the image of the beast! What a temptation it will be to have a newborn baby starving in your arms, as you cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast! Will a mother watch her baby slowly starve to death, or take the mark? Will a person stand by and watch as their loved ones are beheaded, and then themselves, or will they give in and worship the image? Most people will do nearly anything when their life is at stake. What a day of temptation it will be! The Bible calls the Tribulation, THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION-Rev 3:10.
Once Noah was safe, then the flood came. God waited until Noah and his family were able to escape the terrible judgment that was about to come upon the earth. It is written, GOD WAITED IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, WHILE THE ARK WAS A PREPARING-1 Pe 3:20; FOR IF GOD…SPARED NOT THE OLD WORLD, BUT SAVED NOAH THE EIGHTH PERSON-2 Pe 2:4,5; THE LORD KNOWETH HOW TO DELIVER THE GODLY OUT OF TEMPTATIONS-2 Pe 2:9. We may say, the Lord knows how to deliver the saints out of the Tribulation and its temptations.
15. The Tribulation is a great time of temptation. When a person prays the Lord’s prayer, do they not pray the following?
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL-Mt 6:13.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL-Lk 11:4.
WATCH AND PRAY, THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION-Mt 26:41.
WATCH YE AND PRAY, LEST YE ENTER INTO TEMPTATION-Mk 14:38.
HE SAID UNTO THEM, PRAY THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION-Lk 22:40.
16. Again, the next verse is unmistakably clear. The saints that keep God’s Word will absolutely, beyond any doubt, not go into the Tribulation. It is written, BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD. That bears repeating: BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD OF MY PATIENCE (note the next words) I ALSO WILL. God is giving a promise that He will do something for those that have kept “His” Word. I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (which is the Tribulation), WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH-Rev 3:10. Again, even a little child can understand this.
17. The next verse also is extremely clear. If a person repents, they will not go into the Great Tribulation. If they do not repent, they will go into the Great Tribulation. It is written, BEHOLD, I WILL CAST HER…AND THEM…INTO GREAT TRIBULATION, EXCEPT THEY REPENT-Rev 2:22.
18. It is written, HASTE THEE, ESCAPE THITHER; FOR I CANNOT DO ANY THING TILL THOU BE COME THITHER-Gen 19:22. The Lord is saying, I cannot do anything till the righteous are taken out of the way. Then the judgments shall come. THEN THE LORD RAINED UPON SODOM AND UPON GOMORRAH BRIMSTONE AND FIRE FROM THE LORD OUT OF HEAVEN-Gen 19:24. In the same manner, the Lord will rain His wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth during the Tribulation, after the righteous are removed by the Rapture.
19. It is written, NOW WE BESEECH YOU, BRETHREN, BY THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND BY OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM (which is the Rapture). 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. AND NOW YE KNOW WHAT WITHHOLDETH THAT HE MIGHT BE REVEALED IN HIS TIME-2 Thes 2:1,3,6.
AND NOW YE KNOW. The people are being told that they know something. That something is, WHAT WITHHOLDETH (or what is restraining, or holding the Antichrist back). Paul had apparently clearly explained what it was that was withholding the Antichrist from coming forth. Paul is assuring the people that the Antichrist is still being held back from being revealed until something happens. That something is very clearly stated. Verses one through three have shown us an order of events. First, there had to come a falling away. Religious deception was also alluded to. Second, the saints had to be gathered unto Jesus in the Rapture. Third, the Antichrist could then be revealed. From these words of God, the people could know what was holding back the Antichrist from coming forth. The falling away had to occur. Then the Rapture had to take place. Until the “catching away” of God’s people comes, the Antichrist shall not be revealed, which is “seal one.” Once the Antichrist is revealed, then the signing of the covenant with Israel can occur-ref Dan 9:27. This begins the Tribulation.
THAT HE (the Antichrist) MIGHT BE REVEALED IN HIS (proper) TIME. There is a specific time for the Antichrist to be revealed. There is a specific time for the Rapture to happen.
These Scriptures show very clearly that the Rapture must come first, and only then will the Antichrist be allowed to come forth and the Tribulation begin.
20. FOR THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY (or secret power of lawlessness) DOTH ALREADY WORK (or is already at work): ONLY HE WHO NOW LETTETH (or is restraining) WILL LET, UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way-NIV). AND THEN SHALL THAT WICKED (or lawless one) BE REVEALED-2 Thes 2:7,8. FOR THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY (or secret power of lawlessness) DOTH ALREADY WORK (or is already at work). The mysterious, hidden power that is behind wickedness or sin, and the planned coming forth of the Antichrist is already working to accomplish its purpose. Satan and his kingdom are already at work.
ONLY “HE” WHO NOW LETTETH (or is restraining) WILL LET (or will continue to do so-NIV), UNTIL “HE” BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY.
To paraphrase this verse, it is saying that someone (“he”) is holding back, or restraining the Antichrist from being revealed, or from being let loose, or coming forth until that someone (“he”) is taken out of the way or is removed.
The “he” in this verse is much debated among Bible scholars. God’s Word has shown the Rapture of the saints must occur and then the Antichrist can be let loose or come forth and be revealed. Some may say the “he” represents the church. Others may say the “he” represents the Holy Spirit. Others may say the “he” represents the restraining power of the Holy Spirit that is in the believers. There are other opinions as well. There is no question that the Holy Spirit will not leave the earth, because people cannot be saved apart from the Holy Spirit. Multitudes of people will be saved during the Tribulation, which follows the Antichrist coming forth. So it would appear that the “he” would represent the restraining power of the Holy Spirit that is in the believers. The Holy Spirit does appear to be holding back the Antichrist from being revealed; however, there is a day coming when it appears that He will let the Antichrist come forth. “He will be taken out of the way,” perhaps, means that His restraining power will be taken out of the way. Thus, the Scriptures can be fulfilled. As a result, when the church is raptured, immediately the Antichrist should come forth and be revealed, in order to initiate his plan to dominate the world. AND THEN, once the saints have been raptured, SHALL THAT WICKED (or lawless one), which is the Antichrist, BE REVEALED. The Antichrist will be allowed to come forth, be revealed, and confirm a covenant with Israel which begins the Tribulation-2 Thes 2:7,8; ref Dan 9:27.
Again, the Scriptures are showing us clearly, the Rapture comes before the Antichrist is revealed and before the Tribulation.
21. As we have noted, the dead in Christ rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall join them in the air. Since the Scriptures show us that the resurrection happens prior to the Tribulation, then we have absolute proof that the Rapture, which immediately follows, also has to happen before the Tribulation.
Isa 26:19-21 shows very clearly, the dead (in Christ) shall live “before” the Lord comes to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, which is the Tribulation. It is written, THY DEAD MEN SHALL LIVE, TOGETHER WITH MY DEAD BODY SHALL THEY ARISE. AWAKE AND SING, YE THAT DWELL IN DUST: FOR THY DEW IS AS THE DEW OF HERBS, AND THE EARTH SHALL CAST OUT THE DEAD. COME, MY PEOPLE, ENTER THOU INTO THY CHAMBERS, AND SHUT THY DOORS ABOUT THEE: HIDE THYSELF AS IT WERE FOR A LITTLE MOMENT, UNTIL THE INDIGNATION (which is the Tribulation) BE OVERPAST. FOR, BEHOLD, THE LORD COMETH OUT OF HIS PLACE TO PUNISH THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH FOR THEIR INIQUITY.
Twenty-one reasons have come forth that scripturally show the Rapture will come prior to the Tribulation. Some of these have also shown that the Rapture must come before the Antichrist can be revealed.
22. The following Scriptures portray the raptured saints before the throne of God prior to the first seal of the Revelation being opened. This, again, clearly shows the Rapture comes before the Tribulation. It is written, AND THEY SUNG A NEW SONG, SAYING, THOU ART WORTHY TO TAKE THE BOOK (or scroll), AND TO OPEN (or break) THE SEALS THEREOF: FOR THOU WAST SLAIN (or slaughtered), AND HAST REDEEMED (or ransomed, or purchased) US TO (or for) GOD BY THY BLOOD OUT OF EVERY KINDRED (or tribe), AND TONGUE (or language), AND PEOPLE, AND NATION; AND HAST MADE US UNTO OUR GOD KINGS (or a kingdom) AND PRIESTS (to serve our God): AND WE SHALL REIGN ON (or rule over) THE EARTH. AND I BEHELD, AND I HEARD THE VOICE OF MANY ANGELS ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE (or they encircled the throne) AND THE BEASTS (or living beings) AND THE ELDERS: AND THE NUMBER OF THEM WAS TEN THOUSAND TIMES TEN THOUSAND, AND THOUSANDS OF THOUSANDS-Rev 5:9-11.
AND THEY SUNG A NEW SONG. The four living beings and the elders appear to be singing. SAYING, THOU ART WORTHY TO TAKE THE BOOK (or scroll), AND TO OPEN (or break) THE SEALS THEREOF. In this passage, taking the scroll and breaking the seals is mentioned. Opening the scroll is not mentioned at this point. FOR THOU WAST SLAIN (or slaughtered). Jesus was worthy, because He was slain and has redeemed (or purchased, or ransomed) us (the saints). As it is written, AND HAST REDEEMED (or ransomed, or purchased) US. Here are the saints (US) pictured before the throne of God BEFORE the first seal is ever opened. Here are the saints that have just been raptured (US). We are redeemed TO (or for) GOD BY THY BLOOD. Angels are not ransomed by the blood of the Lamb. We (the saints) are. Where do we (the saints) come from? We come OUT OF EVERY KINDRED (or tribe), AND TONGUE (or language), AND PEOPLE, AND NATION. It is impossible for these to be angels, as the angels do not come from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. John heard the voice, COME UP HITHER-Rev 4:1, which is symbolic of the Rapture. The church age is over. Now, John is relating what he is seeing. John sees “us.” As it is written,
Rev 5:10-AND HAST MADE US. Here is the second time this word is used. That word means exactly what it says, “US.”
Now combine this with the words of Rev 3:10-BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD OF MY PATIENCE, I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (which is the Tribulation), WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH. Here is clear, unmistakable proof that the saints will not go into the Tribulation. They shall be raptured and shall be before the throne of God prior to the first seal being opened. Thus, it is written, and thus, it shall be. The question is, how many are really ready? If Jesus came today, would “you” be taken?
The verse continues, and has made US UNTO OUR GOD KINGS AND PRIESTS (to serve our God). We are a kingdom unto God and shall be kings and priests AND WE SHALL REIGN ON (or rule over) THE EARTH. There are those that may say, this verse does not mean exactly what it says. The singing in the verse now turns to the future and shows that we (the saints) shall reign on the earth. This is describing the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, as we shall reign and rule with Jesus for one thousand years. Here the word “we” is used as referring to the “saints.” Here again, “we” (the saints) are pictured before the throne of God prior to the first seal ever being opened.
Rev 5:11-AND I BEHELD, AND I HEARD THE VOICE OF MANY ANGELS. The voices now include the angels, which were ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE (they encircled the throne) AND THE BEASTS (or living beings) AND THE ELDERS.
The question arises, are these angels, or are they the saints that are now called angels? The singing that has just been going on used such words as, “redeemed us, made us, and we shall.” If these words were correctly translated by the direction of the Holy Spirit, then the angels before the throne appear to be the saints. Consider the following: I JOHN…FELL DOWN TO WORSHIP BEFORE THE FEET OF THE ANGEL WHICH SHEWED ME THESE THINGS. THEN SAITH HE UNTO ME, SEE THOU DO IT NOT: FOR I AM THY FELLOWSERVANT, AND OF THY BRETHREN THE PROPHETS-Rev 22:8,9. This same John, that used the word “angels” in Rev 5:11, thought this person was also an angel, yet he was not. He was a saint that had been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We might ask, how can this be? Note the words of Jesus. FOR IN THE RESURRECTION THEY NEITHER MARRY, NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE, BUT ARE AS THE ANGELS OF GOD IN HEAVEN-Mt 22:30. The saints become as the angels.
John FELL AT HIS FEET TO WORSHIP what seemingly appeared to be an angel. AND HE SAID UNTO ME, SEE THOU DO IT NOT: I AM THY FELLOWSERVANT, AND OF THY BRETHREN THAT HAVE THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS-Rev 19:10. Again, we note that once we are in heaven, Jesus said we are AS THE ANGELS OF GOD. However, the true angels of God are not redeemed.
Considering the Scriptures and what was being said, it appears the multitude of angels before the throne are the saints that were redeemed.
AND THE NUMBER OF THEM WAS TEN THOUSAND TIMES TEN THOUSAND, AND THOUSANDS OF THOUSANDS. This totals to one hundred million, and thousands of thousands. While this seems like a very large number, “if” this represents the resurrected and raptured saints for all times, then the percentage of people that are redeemed, throughout all of history, is extremely small. Jesus did say, FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT-Mt 7:14. Some might say that this number simply represents an infinite number which no man can know. Nevertheless, if the number is taken as it is written in the KJV, then it appears to be as previously stated.
17-What Happens To A Person’s Body When He Is Raptured?
There is no Scripture that clearly tells us what will happen to the bodies of the raptured people. The Scriptures have shown us clearly that we will be changed. It is written, WE SHALL BE CHANGED. FOR THIS CORRUPTIBLE MUST PUT ON INCORRUPTION, AND THIS MORTAL MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY-1 Cor 15:52,53; (because) FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD; NEITHER DOTH CORRUPTION INHERIT INCORRUPTION-1 Cor 15:50. FOR WE KNOW THAT IF OUR EARTHLY HOUSE OF THIS TABERNACLE WERE DISSOLVED, WE HAVE A BUILDING OF GOD, AN HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS-2 Cor 5:1.
THERE IS A NATURAL BODY, AND THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY-1 Cor 15:44. The Scriptures show us that there are two bodies. Our earthly body is of flesh, blood, and bone. Our heavenly body is of flesh and bone-ref Lk 24:39. AND THAT WHICH THOU SOWEST, THOU SOWEST NOT THAT BODY THAT SHALL BE, BUT BARE GRAIN, IT MAY CHANCE OF WHEAT, OR OF SOME OTHER GRAIN: BUT GOD GIVETH IT A BODY AS IT HATH PLEASED HIM, AND TO EVERY SEED HIS OWN BODY-1 Cor 15:37,38. Again, two bodies are mentioned.
Most people and prophecy scholars alike believe that when the Rapture comes, our old body will simply be changed into our new body. Thus, there will be no bodies left. In other words, when the Rapture comes, the people that are raptured will simply disappear.
There is a second opinion also. The second idea is, when the Rapture comes our old body will be put off and we will put on our new heavenly body. Our old body will be left lying wherever we are when the Rapture comes, as if we had just died. It is written, TWO MEN SHALL BE IN THE FIELD; THE ONE SHALL BE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT. AND THEY ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHERE, LORD? AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, WHERESOEVER THE BODY IS, THITHER WILL THE EAGLES (or vultures) BE GATHERED TOGETHER-Lk 17:36,37. The Lord seems to be showing that following the Rapture, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather” (NIV). There are also other opinions on the meaning of these verses.
It is written, MY BRETHREN, BE NOT MANY MASTERS, KNOWING THAT WE SHALL RECEIVE THE GREATER CONDEMNATION-Ja 3:1. This is a warning. Be not many “teachers,” knowing that the teachers of the Bible shall receive the greater condemnation.
There are some teachers of the Bible in this lukewarm generation that are falsely teaching that the Rapture will come during, at the end, or after the Tribulation. The Scriptures have shown, beyond any doubt, that this teaching is false. It nullifies God’s Word. It throws people into confusion. It teaches a form of rebellion against some of God’s commands, e.g., we are to watch, to look for the blessed hope, to be ready, and many others. It makes the fulfillment of many Bible verses impossible, such as, who will repopulate the earth during the Millennium, and the return of the saints with Jesus at Armageddon, just to mention two. It would seem to nullify the Jewish marriage customs and the seven feasts. It teaches a theory totally out of context with many prophetic Scriptures. Those who teach something other than the Rapture occurring prior to the Tribulation are teaching doctrine that is inconsistent with sound biblical truth.
Since the days of Paul, the Rapture has always been viewed as an event that could happen at any time. The saints were admonished to watch and be ready, for the imminent return of Jesus Christ could happen at any time. No event was to precede it, such as the Tribulation.
However, certain parts of the book of Daniel that were closed, until the time of the end, have been opened and are now understood. Other prophecies are also understood. These include Israel’s rebirth, a great military power existing in the land of Magog, and the European Economic Community (also called the revived Roman Empire). These and other prophecies that have been fulfilled all indicate the Tribulation is very close. The Tribulation is preceded by the Rapture.
19-A Final Note: How The Saints Would React To The Tribulation, If They Knew What It Would Be Like
In 2 Thes 2:2, it is written, BE NOT SOON SHAKEN (or unsettled) IN MIND (or in your thinking), OR BE TROUBLED (or alarmed)…AS THAT THE DAY OF CHRIST IS AT HAND (or has already come). The saints were alarmed and troubled in their minds. Because of false teaching, they may have thought they were in the Tribulation. Perhaps from Paul’s teaching, the Old Testament, and Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s writings, they understood how awful the Tribulation would be.
It is hoped that people might be able to understand that the Tribulation will be the most horrifying, the most terrifying time that has ever been on this earth since the Creation. There will be earthquakes, famines, diseases, sores, pain, fear, droughts, wars, panic, death, and other things of a magnitude that is beyond description. Billions of people will die. Multitudes of people that get saved during the Tribulation can expect to be severely persecuted, brutally beaten, and killed. It will be so bad, that had Jesus not returned at the time He does, no flesh on earth would be left alive.
As has already been stated, any person that has the deceived notion that the church will go through the Tribulation appears to be ignorant of what the Tribulation will be like.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, the true saints will be raptured prior to the Tribulation.
Beware. Let no man deceive you. This is the age of lukewarmness and religious deception. It is written, HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED-Mk 16:16. Know that Jesus BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM-Heb 5:9.
It is unmistakably clear that the church will be taken in the Rapture prior to the Tribulation, as proven by the numerous Scriptures that have already been presented. WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS-1 Thes 4:18.
20-Jesus Is Announced To The Humble
It is lastly noted that the birth of Christ was not first announced to the great men of the earth or to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, but to humble shepherds-ref Lk 2:8-12. It is much the same today. The coming of Jesus to remove His people from the earth, before the Antichrist comes forth and the Tribulation begins, is not understood by what the world considers to be the great men or the so- called religious leaders of the earth, but to the humble people, the servants of God that have placed their faith and trust in the Jesus of the Bible as their only hope.