If the end of the world is near, are you going to trust Christ no matter what?

July 26, 2007

Everyone will soon be hearing more and more about a 12th-century monk, St. Malachy, to whom prophecies have been attributed that foreshadow the events leading to the end of the world. According to these prophecies, which Malachy allegedly received in 1139, there would be 112 more popes, beginning with the reign of Celestine II in 1143, and at the end of this line of popes would come the destruction of Rome and the end of the world. Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th pope since Celestine II, leading some people to believe that after Benedict’s reign, the end of the world–in whatever way it comes–will be right around the corner.

Trust God, not prophecies
Let’s assume God gave these prophecies to Malachy as an early-warning sign that they had better give their allegiance to Jesus before it’s too late. Just as God had Noah warn the people of his time of the coming flood, they ignored his message, but they couldn’t say they weren’t warned. If Malachy’s prophecies are indeed from God–the test of a true prophet of God is whether or not all of his prophecies come true–what matters isn’t Malachy or any other prophet, but only God, from Whom those prophecies come. If God gave Malachy these prophecies to give the world a warning that the Great Tribulation would soon occur, so that they may prepare themselves spiritually by establishing and strengthening a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then we would be wise to get right with Him while we still have the chance. What concerns me is that people will start thinking about the end of the world being at hand and fall into a downward spiral emotionally and spiritually. If the end is at hand, and if God is giving us this warning, we would be utterly foolish to not start preparing ourselves now by nurturing our relationship with God through Christ. Start now so that you won’t be unprepared later.

What about the Rapture?
I’m not going to get into debates over the timing of the Rapture, nor will anyone change my mind that the Rapture will not occur until after the Great Tribulation. I think far too many Christians have been putting their hope that they will be raptured before the Tribulation, and so they are not preparing for the possibility that they could be wrong. Our focus should not at all be on the timing of the Rapture–our focus should be on seeking God’s strength for us in Christ so that we can endure no matter what happens.

I imagine that there will be far too many people who’ve been hoping for a pre-Tribulation Rapture and who would be absolutely unprepared spiritually if they are wrong about the timing of the Rapture. If you’re putting off spiritual preparation because you’re gambling that Christians will escape the Tribulation, you’d better hope you’re right.

But what if you’re wrong?

Let me go back to my main point: Don’t put your trust in the timing of the rapture; put your trust in Christ. Those of us who claim to follow Christ are not to put our trust in anything or anyone except Him. If the Lord does not take us home to be with Him until after the Tribulation and we have been betting otherwise, we will be decimated and destroyed unless we put our trust in Him. Now is the time to start bolstering our faith in Him and Him alone, not in the hope that we will escape the Tribulation to come. I address many more points regarding the Tribulation and the timing of the Rapture at PostTribRapture.com. I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

Prepare yourself spiritually now so you can stand with Christ later
It doesn’t matter what has happened in your life up to this point, nor how strong–or how weak–your walk with the Lord has been. He gives us right now to come to Him no matter what we’ve done, no matter how far we’ve strayed from Him in the past. (Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:1-32; John 6:37)

Demons can give prophecies and do miracles
Some people believe these prophecies were not from Malachy but from Nostradamus–maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Refer first back to the link above regarding the the test of a true prophet. But second, and more importantly, realize that any involvement in the occult, no matter how minor, is dangerous, deadly and forbidden by God. (Deuteronomy 4:19, 8:9-12, 18:10-12; Jeremiah 8: 1-2, 10:2, 27:9-10; Daniel 2:1-4, 4:7, 5:7-9; 2 Kings 21:1-6; Zephaniah 1:4-6; Job 31:26-28; Isaiah 47:10-14; Micah 5:12; Ezekiel 13:18,20; Acts 8:9-24, 16:16-19; Revelation 9:21, 22:14-15) God condemns sorcery, magic, witchcraft and all other such occultic practices not merely because He hates them–and the Bible is clear that He does–but because they are dangerous. Even Satan can disguise himself as a benevolent “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)–so if we’re trusting in Nostradamus or any other seer, astrologer or fortune-teller, God will give Satan free rein to deceive us, because we will have blatantly disobeyed Him and disregarded what He told us. And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves. (Romans 1:18-32) If you have been involved in the occult, magick, psychic activities or any such thing that God has forbidden, renounce those things, repent from them, rejecting every last bit of influence they have in your life, and turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction to Christ. And never let go of Him.

Don’t bash Catholicism; proclaim the truth in love
I’m willing to bet that in the midst of probably a lot of hype and hysteria concerning these prophecies, a lot of people will feel compelled to bash Catholics, Catholicism, the pope and ever other person or doctrine connected with the Roman Catholic Church. And they will be so busy ranting about what they believe is wrong that they will do absolutely nothing to proclaim the truth of Christ in love. It is not God’s will that ANYONE should be condemned (2 Peter 3:9), even though most will ultimately reject Him and seal their eternal fate. (Matthew 7:13-14) Those of us who claim to be Christ’s followers are commanded to tell others about Him as the only way to get to God, by grace alone through faith in Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:8-9) It is our job to proclaim the truth in love to Catholics and to anyone else, so that they may receive the same salvation offered freely by grace to anyone who will receive it. Proclaim the truth in love, and God will take care of the rest.

Persevere in your obedience to God through Christ
I won’t repost this article here for the sake of space, but I strongly urge you to read it and take it to heart to persevere in your obedience to Christ no matter what happens. We are not His followers if we do not obey Him. But He has promised eternal life to those who persevere in following Him. To keep grounded in Him, especially as we will one day be called to account for obeying Him or not obeying Him, we must do what He tells us to do and follow Him no matter what He calls us to do. I hope that this article will encourage and challenge you to pursue Him no matter what it takes or what it costs you. And to trust that He will see you through no matter what happens as you obey Him.

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Don’t put your trust in the timing of the end of the world. Put your trust in Christ.

July 25, 2007

Below is the content from one of my other sites, PostTribRapture.com. Regardless of your position on the timing of the rapture, please don’t miss the point I am trying to make: It’s imperative that we be prepared spiritually if we go through the tribulation no matter when Christ comes back for us. If we’re not willing to do that, then we’d better re-examine whether we are truly His followers in the first place.

I am convinced from studying Scripture that the notion of Christians being raptured before the tribulation is not only very weak Biblically, but that it’s also very dangerous. The purpose of this page is not to argue whether or not the rapture will occur before the tribulation. The purpose of this page is to get Christians to prepare themselves spiritually in case the pre-trib rapture doctrine is wrong and we end up going through the tribulation. Better to be prepared and not have to worry than to not prepare spiritually and end up getting crushed.

I’ve gotten e-mail from a number of people who have cited 1 Thessalonians 5:9 as “proof” that Christ’s followers will not go through the Tribulation. This verse reads, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” But we should NEVER confuse Satan’s final attempt to stamp out Christ’s followers during the tribulation with the wrath of God–the two are absolutely not the same thing. Satan’s fury will be unleashed against Christ’s followers during the tribulation, but the wrath spoken of in this verse refers to God’s wrath poured out on unbelievers after the rapture of the saints.

My big concern is that too many Christians will be holding onto this idea that they will be taken to heaven before the final persecution and that since they are expecting an early exit, they will not prepare themselves spiritually for when they will need it most.

Let me start by citing Jesus’ parable of the 10 virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13:

1″At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6″At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7″Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9″ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10″But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11″Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12″But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ 13″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Jesus calls each of us to be ready for His return. In this parable, the five wise virgins have made provisions for what they will need to be able to meet their master when he comes. Likewise, we are called to be ready and to endure until Christ returns, not to look for an easy exit. (See Matthew 10:17-22; Matthew 24:1-14, especially verse 13; Matthew 10:17-22; and Mark 13, especially verse 13.)

I’ve had more than a couple rather lively conversations with other Christians who were absolutely adamant that the rapture will occur before the Tribulation, and they were mad at me for insisting otherwise. But my point is this: Are you trusting in the timing of the rapture to deliver you from the Tribulation, or are you trusting in God’s grace no matter the circumstances? (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) Are you going to endure with Christ and trust Him, or are you going to sell out and miss eternity with Him? My concern is that so many people will think they’ll have an easy exit before the Tribulation and that they won’t be preparing themselves spiritually for the hardest thing they will ever face. Just as students don’t prepare for a test if they don’t think they’ll be required to take it, there are far too many Christians today who think that because God loves us, He will save us from the Tribulation. But they’re missing the point. The point isn’t that He will deliver us from such things, but that His grace will be sufficient for us no matter what we face. I’m writing these things to anyone who will listen so that they will not be unprepared but will be ready to trust the Lord to carry them through anything.

The article below on the post-tribulation, pre-wrath rapture of the Church was written by a brother in the Lord named Brian O’Connell. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at his Web site, Crossbearer.net. Please feel free to e-mail me as well.


THE RAPTURE

AFTER THE TRIBULATION, BEFORE THE WRATH OF GOD!

by Brian O’Connell

http://www.crossbearer.net

The following summary is given without scripture references to keep it simple. I will then follow with a detailed study to explain and confirm my understanding of the scriptures for this summary! In beginning this study, I would like to say that, if you are a Christian brother or sister of the pre-trib school, I love you and have no desire to divide myself from fellowship with you! I am convinced that the pre-trib doctrine is false, but it is not a “damnable” doctrine, which is a doctrine that will cause a soul to be lost! A correct understanding of the timing of the rapture, is intended to prepare the church to endure the Tribulation, which the pre-trib doctrine is failing to ensure! Since my study below is NOT from any other Post-Trib source other than from what I personally have found in scripture, please do not assume you know what this study is about without first reviewing it. As you read, if you feel I am wrong, please write me and we can discuss our differences!

Summary

The church (the Saints) shall remain upon the earth until the 7th (or Last) Trumpet. There will NOT be a secret rapture of the church nor will the rapture of the church occur prior to the 7th trumpet of the tribulation! When the last trumpet sounds, the dead saints are resurrected first and the saints who are still alive, will ascend to meet Jesus in the clouds of the air. Every human being on the face of earth will see Jesus in the air when the saints meet Him. The rapture will be as plain as day, as visible as lightning, of which no one will wonder what happened to the Christians. The Tribulation is NOT the Wrath of God! These are shown in scripture as two separate events. The saints are raptured at the END of the Tribulation, and then God pours out the 7 plagues of His wrath upon the earth as the resurrected saints are with Jesus in heaven. I personally believe that the plaques of Gods wrath are a one day event which takes place while the saints are in heaven at the wedding supper of the Lamb, preparing to return with Christ at the end of the Wrath of God. Those who are not ready for the rapture, and are left behind, are subjects of Gods wrath and do NOT have a “second chance” as some teach. The scripture declares 3 times that they blaspheme God during the plagues and not a single person will repent. Knowing they shall be destroyed when Jesus returns, they will then gather at Armageddon to “fight for their lives” against Jesus Christ and his army of angels and saints. Armageddon is not a war of nation against nation as some teach, but a war of the nations of the earth gathering to fight Jesus and his army! They are fully aware that Jesus is immediately returning to do war against them. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns with his army at the completion of 7 plagues of Gods Wrath, he will consume the wicked with the breath of his mouth and His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives. He enters the Temple in Jerusalem and destroys the Antichrist. He will then begin his 1,000 year reign on earth with the saints who now are Kings and Priests with Christ. Contrary to some teachers doctrine, the “Tribulation saints” are clearly shown in scripture to be included as those who will rule with Christ! A remnant of those who came against the Lord will survive the Lords wrath and will then father the future generations that will one day be inspired by Satan to come against the city of the saints. These are NOT, as some teach, “tribulation saints”, but rather they are the children of the wicked who survived the brightness of the coming of Christ. Many of these descendents will one day be deceived by Satan to attempt a rebellion against Christ after the 1,000 year reign, but the Lord will consume them with fire and bring an end to the Old Earth. The Lord will then raise the wicked dead from hell and judge them and cast them into the Lake of Fire. He will then create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which the Father and the Son of God will dwell with the saints, on the New Earth, forever!

Origins of the Pretribulation Doctrine

The Pretribulation Doctrine was originated in the nineteenth century by John Nelson Darby, a member of the Plymouth Brethren movement. Samuel P. Tregelles, also of the Plymouth Brethren, charges that the view originated during a charismatic service conducted by Edward Irving in 1832. Others maintain that it was the product of a prophetic vision given to a young Scottish girl, Margaret MacDonald, in 1830. Impressed by the accounts of a new Pentecost, Darby visited the scene of the revival and met Margaret MacDonald. Darby rejected her claims of a new outpouring of the Spirit, but he accepted her view of the rapture (Pre-Tribulation) and worked it into his own system.

This view has had worldwide influence ever since. In the 1960’s Hal Lindsey’s books popularized this doctrine.

From �Evangelical Dictionary of Theology� Pages 908-910

Edited by Walter A. Elwell

Baker Book House

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506

If you will note the following web page, 100-300 years ago, several very notable scholars agreed that Rev. 14:14-16 and Matthew 24:31, Post-Tribulation, was the point of Rapture! Scholars view on the Rapture

If you still have questions after reviewing this page, I have a page that deals with the many false teachings of the pre-trib school “point by point” as I contend with Tim LaHayes book “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy

Study

While I have not found a single verse of scripture that clearly depicts the rapture of the saints prior to the tribulation, I have, contrariwise, found several that clearly shows the rapture taking place AFTER the tribulation!

SCRIPTURE VERSE Matthew 24:27-31 Mark 13:24-27 Luke 17:24-30 1 Thess. 4:16-17 2 Thess. 2:1-4 1 Cor. 15:52-53 Rev. 1:7 Rev. 14:14-20
Visible as lightning

X

X

AFTER the tribulation

X

X

X

X

Jesus appears on the clouds of heaven

X

X

X

X

X

Every eye will see Him

X

X

X

X

At the sound of a trumpet

X

X

X

With the voice of an angel

X

X

To gather his elect – harvest – rapture

X

X

X

X

X

X

Then comes the wrath of God

X

Please note the items marked in red in the chart above. 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 are both recognized by pre-tribbers to be the rapture of the church. Yet, they disqualify the other scriptures to be the same event but rather claim they are another, seperate event. You will note that the red X‘s show the harmony of these “disqualified” scriptures with the scriptures which pre-tribbers acknowledge belong to the rapture of the church. The most important note, is the one where Jesus appears on the clouds, an event which pre-tribbers know and confess to be the “First” coming of Christ! Every scripture that shows Jesus gathering or harvesting the earth while on the clouds, is the “First” coming, the rapture of the church. On His second coming, he will stand upon the earth! The green X‘s, are the scriptures that clearly show the rapture as being AFTER the tribulation at his “First” coming on the clouds. If you can show me a scripture that, without question, tells of the rapture BEFORE the tribulation as clearly as these scriptures that declare the rapture AFTER the tribulation, it would be much appreciated!

Matt. 24:21-22, 29,31For then there will be great tribulation (v22) but for the elects sake those days will be shortened…

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: [30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:24-27 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, [25] And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. [26] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. [27] And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Rev. 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

1 Thes. 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] 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 Cor. 15:52 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.

Although the pre-tribbers recognize 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15, to be the rapture of the church, they have failed to see the harmony of the scriptures and disqualify Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Rev. 14 to be the same rapture of the church! Please note above, harmonizing the scriptures, that the rapture will take place Immediately AFTER the tribulation at the sound of a trumpet with a loud voice, a shout as every tribe on earth sees Jesus coming on the clouds as the saints are reaped to meet Jesus in the air! The ONLY RAPTURE scripture in the book of Revelations, is shown in Chapter 14, which is either the 7th Trumpet or a trumpet that follows the 7th trumpet, “the last trumpet” which follows the tribulation, not the “secret” rapture of manipulating a non-existant rapture in Revelation chapter 4!

What amazes me, is how the pre-tribbers can define the LAST trumpet as a trumpet that blows before the 7 trumpets of the tribulation! Anyone care to research the word “last” in the dictionary? If 1 Cor. 15 had indicated that it was the last trumpet of a certain series of trumpets, we might be able to catagorize it to belong to a certain string of trumpet blasts. Some pre-trib teachers have taken the liberty of forcing the scripture to such a limitation! But since there is NO mention of any limited string of blasts, a faithful scholar of God’s word, would have to interpret the word last, to mean exactly what it means, that there will be no other trumpet blasts to follow!

Pre-tribbers recognize 1 Cor. 15:52 as the bodily resurrection and rapture of the saints “at the last trumpet!” However, they fail to recognize that “the last trumpet” is the same trumpet of Matthew 24:31 were the timing places the rapture “immediately after the tribulation.” Pre-tribbers refuse to consider the “elect” who are raptured in this verse to be the saints, even though Col. 1:2 – 3:12 clearly identifies the saints to also be called “the elect” whereby they have reasoned that Matthew 24 is a “second” rapture of another group! Although Matt 24 shows Jesus on the clouds, known by pre-tribbers to be the first coming of Christ, they forcibly redefine this trumpet to be a different trumpet than “the last trumpet!”

This “2nd rapture,” by pre-trib doctrine, in Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 17, are at the sound of another trumpet blast that follows the last trumpet, and the “elect” are redefined to be another group of people (whom some claim are the Jews) while the first rapture sequence of the church is conspicuously silent in these scriptural texts as well as the whole Bible! According to the pre-trib doctrine, Jesus was more interested in telling the details of a non-biblical “second rapture” of the Jewish “elect”, than he was in sharing the details of the “first rapture” of the faithful, Christian church!

So pre-tribbers have created “2 raptures!”

1. The invisible rapture of the Christian church with a silent blast of a very silent trumpet with the invisible coming of Christ which is invisibly written in scripture.

And 7 years later:

2. The visible rapture (of the “Jewish” elect) with a loud sound of a trumpet which is heard by every person on earth, and as lightning is visible from the east to the west, the awesome and great appearing of Jesus Christ in the fullness of his glory!

This “two” rapture sequence is non-biblical as is the “invisible, silent, secret rapture!” Nor does the scripture define the “elect” in Matt. 24 as “Jews,” which is the only reasoning the pre-tribbers can come up with since they have assumed that “the Christians were already raptured,” therefore, it cannot be the Christians! But then, ask them where the Christians are shown to be raptured before the tribulation which negates them as being the “elect” and they cannot show a single verse of scripture that details such a pre-trib. rapture of the Christian church as their proof without resorting to heretical, unbiblical reasoning!

Jesus negated the “two rapture” theory when he declared that the resurrection of the saints would take place on the LAST DAY! May I ask you, will there be a 7 year tribulation (which is 2,555 days) AFTER the LAST DAY?

John 6:39, 40, 44 , 54 Four times Jesus said �and I will raise him up at the LAST DAY.� (again in John 11:24)

Tribulation Saints

There appears to be a SPECIAL honor given to those whom have remained faithful through the tribulation, and were willing to lose their lives for the sake of the gospel. The pre-trib teachers would have you to believe that these saints were the rebellious unbelievers, who finally turn to Christ after finding that their loved ones have “vanished” in the secret rapture. After watching a strategically placed Jack Van Impe video on the rapture, they realize their “vanished” loved one was actually raptured. Now convinced of their error, they now believe and turn to Christ, becoming one of the “tribulation saints” who must suffer the adversities of the Great Tribulation! But I wish to show you the error of this doctrine!

Rev. 7:13-15

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? [14] And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [15] Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

Please note below, that the tribulation saints who refuse the mark, will be part of the FIRST, not the SECOND resurrection!

Rev. 20:4-5

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Rev. 20:6

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Pre-tribbers teach that the “First Resurrection” is a series of resurrections at different times! Once again, as in defining the word “Last” trumpet, I’m not sure what they use as a dictionary for words, but there is only ONE, “First” resurrection! They note that Jesus was raised from the dead, Lazarus, and the saints that came out of their graves in Mat. 27:52 as their proof. With the exception of Jesus, I contend that every person whom has came back to life, is not part of the the first resurrection or you would have to include the sinners that have died on the operating table for any period of time and were brought back to life! All of these people noted, retained their old corruptable bodies and died again! Note that those who are part of the First Resurrection in Rev. 20:6, can never die! There is only one “First Resurrection” which is the “Rapture” by which ALL the saints, including tribulation saints, will be changed and clothed with an immortal body that can never die! This leaves only one exception, Jesus!

I contend that, although only Jesus meets the qualification of being clothed with a new, immortal and incorruptible body, that Jesus cannot be included in the “First” resurrection equation, even as he is not included as a sinner in Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Obviously, Jesus never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21)! Furthermore, Jesus is already noted by the scriptures to have been the firstborn from the dead, which is NOT identified to be part of the First resurrection: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Col. 1:18

Another argument are the two witnesses of Rev. 11:3-13. Please note that the 7th trumpet sounds in verse 15, which places the 7th trumpet near, if not exactly at the same time as the 2 witnesses rise to heaven.

Rev. 11:12-15

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. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. [14] The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

You might note that these two witnesses ascend in a cloud, which is where all the saints will meet Christ in the rapture. Their enemies see them ascend (it is no secret) and the 7th trumpet sounds by which Jesus now becomes the Lord of all the kingdoms of the earth, beginning his millennial raign!

And in verse 18, his wrath has come as he now rewards the saints!

Rev. 11:18

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Chapters 12-13 takes a detour with a look into the past and describes Satan’s persecution of Israel (the woman) from the beginning and his progression to persecute the Christian’s who are the offspring of Israel and finally his last effort to destroy the saints through the anti-christ which brings us back to the rapture event in chapter 14. In chapter 14, the scripture returns to the 7th trumpet rapture account of Rev. chapter 11 and gives a clearer look at the rapture which is immediately followed by the wrath of God which is explained in detail in chapters 15-16. Chapters 17-18 again take a detour into the past to define the Whore of Babylon leading up to her destruction as the Chronology of events again return to real time events in chapter 19 where the saints are at the wedding banquet as the wrath of God is being poured out on the earth, which is completed with the return of Christ and the saints to establish the reign of Christ on the earth in chapter 20!

I challenge the pre-tribbers to show me ONE scripture in the book of Revelations that shows the rapture of the church as clearly as Rev. 14:14-16 where Jesus reaps the harvest as he stands on the clouds at his first coming! I must also ask them why they have totally avoided this scripture in Rev. 14, which so very clearly details the rapture of the church!

Returning to the “First Resurrection” and its implications, the First Resurrection takes place at ONE time, at a moment which is as brief as a twinkling of an eye! I seriously question any reasoning that the First Resurrection is a series of resurrections over an extended period of time any longer than a twinkle of an eye which the pre-tribbers are forced to teach in order to maintain their error and make their teaching workable!

1 Cor. 15:51-52

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] 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.

Unless the pre-tribbers wish to redefine the word “ALL,” (as they have with “Last” trumpet and “First” resurrection), “ALL” the saints will be changed at the rapture at the one and same Trumpet call “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” at the same Resurrection.

According to scripture, there are only 2 resurrections. The “First resurrection” is the rapture as the saints meet Jesus on the clouds, the “Second resurrection” is after the 1,000 year reign of Christ as these resurrected souls stand before the “white throne judgment seat” of Christ in Rev. 20:11-15. Many of these will be cast into the lake of fire.

The “Tribulation” saints, however, are clearly incuded to be with the “First” resurrection and are spoken of in Rev. 20:4-6 as having been killed during the tribulation, and they shall reign with Christ during the 1,000 year reign!

These “honored” saints of Rev. 20:4-6 are the seasoned, faithful saints that have persevered before, and into the tribulation, and finally lose their lives when they refuse the mark of the beast.

Rev. 13:7-8, 15 During the great tribulation it says �It was granted to him (the beast) to make war with the saints and to overcome them…All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.. and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.� (also in Daniel 7:21-22, 25-27)

I would like you to notice, that these saints are being persecuted during the mark of the beast of the tribulation. By definition, wherever you have two or more saints gathered together in Jesus’ name, you still have the “church” (the assembly of the Saints)! If 2 or more saints gather together, then the “church” is STILL here during the tribulation. Pre-trib teachers claim the church was raptured in Rev. chapter 4, because the word “church” is no longer mentioned after chapter 3. Does that mean that when “saints” gather together during the tribulation, they are no longer a “Church”? So now, the pre-trib school has redefined the words “Last” (trumpet), “First” (resurrection), “all” (will be changed), and now “Saints”! The words Elect, Saints and Church, are ALL one and the same entity but defined as different entities by the pre-trib school in order to force the various scriptures to lose their harmony as being one and the same rapture event!

You will also note, that in Rev. 6, the saints who were killed for the word of God and their testimony, are still dead! They have not yet been resurrected in the supposed pre-trib. rapture of Rev. 4! The Pre-trib. school might claim, without any scriptural support, that these are the “tribulation saints” and do not include the pre-trib. saints of the past 6,000 years who were secretly and invisably raptured! Their only proof is that the word “church” is not mentioned after Rev. chapter 4 which proves nothing! I contend that these dead saints, as well as those who “shall be killed as they were” (being the persecuted saints of Rev. 13 noted above), are the saints from Adam’s day onward all the way to Rev. chapter 6 as the saints that are “under the alter“! These dead saints will be resurrected in the “First resurrection” rapture of Rev. 14:14-16 and described in more detail in 1 Thess. 4:17!

Rev. 6:9-11

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: [10] And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

After the rapture on Rev. 14:14-16, we then find the “Tribulation saints”, in heaven, singing the song of Moses as the wrath of God is being poured out upon the earth! The Pre-trib school places these tribulation saints on the earth during the wrath of God!

Rev. 15:2-3

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. [3] And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

These saints of Rev. 15, are the “First” Resurrection saints that are spoken about in Rev. 20:4-6!

Rev. 20:4-6

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Once again, it is interesting that these “tribulation saints” have such an honored place in God’s word and his kingdom, while pre-tribbers make them out to be the rebellious unbelievers who finally come to Jesus after their loved ones have secretly vanished! It doesn’t take much faith to be convinced of the gospel when a large portion of the earth’s population simply “vanishes!”

Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas…

SAME DAY

Finally, you will note that the same day Noah went into the Ark, the floods came! The same day Lot left Sodom, the fire fell! The SAME day, Jesus gathers his elect, the saints, the wrath of God will consume the wicked, not 7 years later!

Luke 17:26-30 �and as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank…until the DAY that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank… but the same DAY that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone… Even so will it be in the DAY when the Son of Man is revealed.�

The Rapture of the saints will be �Immediately AFTER the tribulation�; �at the LAST trumpet; on the LAST DAY.�

The FIRST Resurrection Saints � are the ones who COME OUT of the great tribulation.� and “had not worshipped the beast”

The same day that Noah entered the ark, the flood came and killed them all.

The same day that Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone destroyed them all.

The same day the church is Raptured, ON THAT DAY, THE WICKED WILL BE DESTROYED!

WE WILL KNOW the time of His coming!

The SAINTS will KNOW when the time is near. Jesus is NOT coming until we see the Antichrist sitting in the Temple of God (in Jerusalem) claiming to BE God!

(1 Th 5:4 KJV) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (read 4:15 – 5:4)

Please note, that Jesus can NOT come at any moment as pre-tribers teach. Paul warned the Thessalonian church, that they will NOT be raptured until these two events take place:

1. Many Christians have fallen away from the faith

2. The man of sin is revealed, sitting in the temple of God, showing himself to be God!

(2 Thes. 2:1-3)

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Note that Paul writes that the coming of Jesus Christ, and the rapture as the saints meet Jesus in the clouds, will NOT take place until the 2 events listed have occurred FIRST! Until the temple is built in Jerusalem with the antichrist sitting in the Temple showing himself to be God, and many Christians deny the faith as they are threatened to be beheaded for their faith, Jesus is NOT returning! Paul warned us not to be deceived by these pre-trib teachers doctrine, and yet, the mainstream church has been so deceived!

So then, how can we teach that Jesus can come any day now, when Paul warned the Thessalonian church “not to be deceived”, that day “will NOT come” until these two events occur first!

(Mat 24:33 KJV) So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Order of events

7 SEALS

1st White horse, conquering (Rev. 6:1-2)

2nd Red horse, No Peace on the earth (6:3-4)

3rd Black horse, Inflation (6:5-6)

4th Pale horse, Death & Hades – 1/4 earth killed by famine, sword, death and beasts. (6:7-8)

5th Souls of saints in heaven ask for vengeance, but more saints to be killed as they were yet to come. (6:9-11)

(The saints have not yet been resurrected, no rapture yet as the dead saints are still dead, with more to die)

6th Great earthquake, stars fall, men hide for the day of the Lamb’s wrath has come. 144,000 Jews sealed. (6:12-17, 7:1-8)

7th Silence in heaven, earthquakes, noise, thunderings, lightning’s. 7 TRUMPETS prepare to sound. (8:1-6)

7 TRUMPETS

1st 1/3 trees and grass burned (8:7)

2nd 1/3 of fish die (8:8)

3rd 1/3 of rivers and springs become Wormwood (bitter) and many men die (8:10)

4th 1/3 of sun, moon and stars were darkened. 1/3 of day was dark. The 3 Woes begin. (8:12)

5th Bottomless pit opened, scorpions to torment for 5 months all who do not have God’s seal on forehead . (9:1-5)

(The saints have been sealed by the Holy Spirit Eph. 1:13, the 144,000 Jews are sealed Rev. 7:3-8)

3 Woes Woe (9:1-11)

1st Woe is past (9:12)

6th 1/3 of mankind killed by 3 Plagues. Other 2/3 will not repent. (9:12-21)

2 witnesses prophesy and strike the earth with plagues. (11:3-6)

7,000 killed in earthquake. The rest gave glory to God (saved?). (11:13)

2nd Woe is past. (11:14)

7th (11:15) Woe #3 has come! The hour of God’s Judgment has come (11:18)

From here to Rev. chapter 14, we see an Historical account of Satans persecution

upon Israel and her offspring, which is the Christian nation:

(12:12) The woman clothed with the sun (Israel, 12:1, Gen 37:9)

Is persecuted by the devil, but she finds rest from the devil in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years (12:14).

Then, the devil turns and makes war with the Saints, the Christian nation (12:17).

The Beast is revealed (13:1-6, 2 Thess. 2:1-4)

The Beast makes war with the SAINTS and overcomes them and kills them (13:7, 15)

All not written in Book of Life worship the beast. (13:8)

God’s wrath on all who took the mark of the beast. (14:6-11)

RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

The 7th Trumpet blows (11:15) Jesus returns on the clouds and thrusts in the sickle to harvest the saints (Rev. 14:14-16, Matt. 24:29-31, Mark 13:26-27, 1Cor. 15:51-52, 1Thess. 4:16-17) The dead saints are resurrected to life and, together with the saints who are still alive, they are both raptured! These saints are all glorified with new, incorruptable, immortal bodies as they meet Jesus in the couds!

Rev. 14:14

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

The saints who were harvested in Rev. 14:14-16 include the tribulation saints whom have gained the victory over the beast, his image and over his mark and the number of his name, and they are now singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb on a sea of glass with the harps of God. (Rev. 15:1-3) All of these together are the 1st Resurrection saints of Rev. 20:4-6.

Rev. 15:2-3

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. [3] And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

The ONLY Rapture of the book of Revelations is in 14:14-16, 15:1-3! This is the FIRST Resurrection of the Saints (20:4-6)

The victorious “tribulation” saints are shown, in scripture, to be included in the “first” and “only” rapture which is not possible in the Pre-Tribulation rapture doctrine which excludes these “tribulation” saints from being part of this first resurrection!

The saints (church) are here during the 7 Seals & 7 Trumpets of the great tribulation, then, at the FIRST resurrection, they are raptured at the inception of the 7 Plagues of Gods Wrath. The gathering at Armageddon (which is during the 6th plague of Gods Wrath) is the place where those who are left behind after the rapture prepare to do warfare against Jesus Christ and the saints when they return. They know they will be destroyed and have gathered an army with hopes to destroy Christ and the saints in defense of their lives. Of those “left behind” there will be NO converts to Christ (16:8-11)!

I am not alone in believing that Rev. 14:14-16 is the Rapture of the church. Please go to the following page to read some scholars who were also teaching the Rapture at this point of scripture! Scholars view on the Rapture!

WRATH OF GOD

Sickle of God’s Wrath is thrust (14:18-20) Smoke fills the Temple of God and NO one can enter the Temple until His wrath of 7 plaques are complete. (15:7-8)

7 LAST PLAGUES (VIALS) OF GOD’S WRATH (15:1, 6-8)

(It is possible this all happens in ONE DAY (18:8), the LAST DAY, the same day as the rapture)

1st Loathsome sores upon those who took the Mark of the Beast and worshiped his image. (16:2)

2nd Sea becomes blood. All sea creatures die. (16:3)

3rd All rivers and springs become blood. (16:4)

4th Sun scorches men with fire. They do not repent! (16:8-9)

5th The throne and kingdom of the Beast are filled with pain and darkness.

They blaspheme God and do not repent. (16:10-11)

6th Euphrates dried up.

Unclean spirits gather the whole world for the battle of that GREAT DAY of God Almighty, Armageddon. (16:12-16)

They knowingly intend to do battle with the Lord Jesus Christ and His army (19:19)

The whole world SAW the saints resurrected at the FIRST and ONLY Rapture of the church (Rev. 1:7, 14:14-16)

and ascend to be with Jesus on the clouds of heaven (Matt. 24:30, Mark 13:26)

and now they prepare to fight them when they return.

7th �It is done!� Great earthquake like never before and great hail. Men blaspheme God. (16:17-21)

The Plagues (plural) come upon Babylon in One Day, and she is utterly burned with fire in One Hour.

(14:7; 18:8,10,17,19) The LAST DAY!

My personal note: The Sun scorches men (4th plague), then the kingdom goes into complete darkness (5th plague) and the river dries up (6th plague). Is it possible the sun flares up and burns out, by which the scorching sun evaporates the Euphrates river?

�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: (Mat 24:29 KJV) I believe this happens THE DAY the saints meet the Lord in the clouds, which is the Last Day.

WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMB

On the day of the resurrection and rapture, while the plagues of God’s wrath are being poured out upon the wicked, the saints are in heaven feasting at the Lambs wedding banquet. (Rev. 19:1-9)

JESUS COMES WITH THE SAINTS – Remnant survive his wrath

Jesus returns with the armies of heaven, captures the beast and kills the rest (19:14-21) (see also Zech. 14:1-16 �the DAYof the LORD!”) He stands on the Mount of Olives (Zech.14:3) and the wicked are dissolved! (Zech. 14:12; 2 Thess. 1:6-10 & 2:8)

A remnant of unbelievers (I personally believe these are children) survive to parent future nations whom Satan will deceive in the future at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth. (Zech. 14:16-19, Rev. 20:6-9)

Zech. 14:12, 16-19

And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. [17] And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. [18] And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. [19] This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

This remnant of people who survive the coming of Christ, are the nations over whom the FIRST resurrection saints will reign as Kings and Priests.

Rev. 20:6

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

MILLENNIAL REIGN

The 1,000 year reign of Christ and the saints �who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had Not Worshipped the beast, and had not received his MARK on their foreheads or on their hands.� (20:4-6) (also Zech. 14:16-21)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.� (20:4-6)

The FIRST RESURRECTION includes those who went THROUGH the tribulation! These are the ones who rule for 1,000 yrs with Christ.

At the end of the 1,000 year reign Satan is loosed to deceive the nations who survived Armageddon (Zech. 14:16-19) and gather them to battle against the Saints. They are consumed by fire from heaven and Satan is thrown into the lake of Fire (20:7-10).

GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT

The great white throne judgment is the SECOND resurrection! In this resurrection, all whom have ever died, that failed to be included in the FIRST resurrection, are now judged. I trust this would include all the wicked whom have died from Adam until the return of Christ, and every person who lives during the millennial reign of Christ, (the remnant that survived) which will include both righteous and wicked who WILL live during that time.

All of the saints from Adam until the rapture, will be exempt from this judgment!

Rev. 20:6

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Every dead man raised to life to stand at the judgment seat of Christ, thrown into the lake of Fire if their name is not written in the Book of Life. This is the second death. (20:11-15)

NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH.

Heaven and earth are destroyed and a new heaven and a new earth is seen by John. The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven and God dwells with man. No more pain, nor death, nor sorrow, nor crying… all things are made new. We shall live with God and He with us on Earth. (21:1-8)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Chronological order of Revelations

Some claim that the Seals, Trumpets and Plagues are the same occurrence explained differently. This is NOT true!

Please note that the events ARE chronological! In the 7th Seal, the 7 Trumpets PREPARE to sound (8:1-2, 6), clearly indicating that the Trumpets follow the seals.

Also note that in the 2nd trumpet, 1/3 of the fish die (8:8)

Yet, in the 2nd plague, ALL sea creatures die (16:3) NOT 1/3rd as during the 2nd trumpet.

During the 3rd Trumpet, 1/3 of rivers and springs become wormwood (8:10) and in the 3rd Plague, ALL rivers and springs become blood (16:4).

Also note that the 4th Trumpet, again only 1/3 of the day was dark, (8:12) yet during the 5th plague, it was totally dark (16:10). There is a difference between the 4th trumpet and the 5th plague in that they are not both 4th or 5th, and the difference between 1/3rd and total darkness.

You will also note, that the mark of the beast does NOT occur until the 7th Trumpet in Rev. 13, but then the 1st Plague says:

(Rev 16:1-2 KJV) And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Since the mark of the beast was not introduced until the 7th trumpet, then how could it be punishable at the 1st Plaque, unless they are chronological?

Immediately following the rapture of Rev. 14:14-16, we chronologically see another angel come out with the sickle of the wrath of God (Rev. 14:17 thru chapter 16.)

You will also note the saints who gained victory over the beast, his image, his name and mark, have been redeemed (raptured) BEFORE the plaques of the wrath begin. (Rev. 15:1-3) This is NOT possible if the the 7th trumpet where the mark is introduced is equated with the 7th Plaque.

John is NOT the church!

I have heard it said that in Rev. 4:1, that the church is raptured here. Please note in verse 2 that he is speaking to John. Not the church! If you would say that John prophetically represents the church, then you would have to agree with the Catholic church that Mary is the mother of the church (John 19:26-27). Nowhere in the scriptures is John identified as prophetically representing the whole church. The scriptures only point to ONE Rapture, and that is the same day that God destroys the wicked!

The absence of the word �Church� after Revelations chapter 3 has some theologians speculating that the church has been raptured. Since when do we make assumptions with the scriptures? I am amazed at such an assumption since we all know that the �Saints� ARE the �Church�, wherever 2 or more are gathered together in the name of Jesus. And the saints are still spoken of through Revelations (ie: 13:7 during the mark of the beast). It would appear that the Pre-tribulation teachers have redefined the word “Church” for their purpose as if the “Saints” following Revelations chapter 4 are NO longer “the Church”.

The ONLY clear scripture in Revelations that speaks of a rapture of any type, is Revelations 14:14-16, following the mark of the beast of Chapter 13. Rev. 14:14-16 is rarely ever mentioned in pre-Tribulation studies. It disappears! Yet NO OTHER SCRIPTURE IN REVELATIONS SO CLEARLY SPEAKS OF A RAPTURE! NOT ONE!

I would think that every student of the scriptures on the rapture would see Revelations 14:14-16 as our hope, the point of our resurrection and rapture. This follows the tribulation but preceeds the wrath, which begins the day we are raptured. Any other scriptural reference to the rapture of the church prior to Chapter 14, since there is none, is wishful thinking and damaging God’s Word.

Furthermore, you will note that in the 5th seal in Rev. 6:9-11, the souls of the saints have not yet been resurrected. They are still dead saints! If the church had been raptured, and the dead saints, which is the church, resurrected in Rev. 4, these saints would not be dead! More saints are being killed as these saints were in Rev. 13:7. The Only place were these saints are shown to be resurrected is in Rev. 14:14-16, and these resurrected “tribulation” saints are now singing the song of Moses in Rev. 15:2-4 as the Lord’s vengeance is now being mobilized!

First comes the falling away and the Antichrist sitting in the Temple

We shall NOT be raptured until we first SEE the antichrist in the Temple, and many Christians leave the faith!

2 Thes. 2:1-4

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

A proper reading of 2 Thess. 2:1-8 clearly tells us that the coming of Christ and our gathering together with Him (the rapture) will not happen until the �falling away comes first (possibly due to the mark of the beast and the slaughter of believers) and the man of sin is revealed� whom Jesus, when he comes and gathers us to himself, will destroy.

Some say that Verse 8 “he who now letteth” is speaking of the rapture of the church. Notice the contradiction, which I shall clear up in a moment, between the verses 1-4 above where the church will NOT be raptured until FIRST, the antichrist is revealed, and the following verses 7-8 which declare that the antichrist will not be revealed until AFTER the church is raptured!

2 Thes. 2:7-8

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. [8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The purpose of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was to define what the church should look for to prepare them for time of the rapture! The church feared the resurrection had already taken place, possibly told them by some false teachers, and they throught they had missed the rapture. They thought that the day of the Lord was at hand (imminent or could happen at any moment) and Paul said that it was NOT!

2 Thes. 2:2

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2 Thes. 2:3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Then Paul gives them some guidelines to look for to prepare them for the time of our resurrection.

Although there is much dispute about who the one �who now letteth� may be (* see note), I believe that it is a vain argument to dispute over. Verses 1-4 clearly say that the coming of Jesus and our gathering to Him will NOT take place UNTIL the great falling away AND the Antichrist is revealed.

In clearing up the contradiction between verses 3 and 8, the antichrist is revealed twice. First to the saints prior to the rapture in verse 3 “that day (rapture) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition“.

Then there is a Second revealing of the antichrist in verse 8 to those whom he deceived, those left behind after the rapture. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed,” I believe the unbelievers who are left behind will then realize who this man is, when they have seen the Lord coming on the clouds and the saints go to be with the Lord and the DAY of God’s wrath has begun. Although the saints will have tried to tell them that he is the antichrist, they will not believe it until the day they see Jesus rapture the church!

Seems strange to me that verses 1-4 tells us the we will NOT be gathered to the Lord UNTIL the man of sin is revealed, and then conclude that verses 5-8 tells us that we will be gathered to the Lord first and THEN the lawless one is revealed as some pre-trib teachers say. Does this not raise questions with you too?

* note While some pre-tribers say that the “one who now letteth” is the Holy Spirit, they would have to stretch to convince us that the Holy Spirit could be taken away and still have “tribulation saints” who turn to Christ after the church is raptured and the Holy Spirit is gone. We know that NO one can come to Jesus Christ without being drawn by the Holy Spirit. But, if the church is raptured AFTER the tribulation, this could work! During the wrath of God, the scriptures say 3 times, they would not repent! NO one gets saved during the wrath of God. So if the “one who now letteth” is the Holy Spirit, it could only work with a Post-tribulation rapture view!

Which Trumpet?

Some say that the �Last Trumpet� (1 Cor. 15:52), �The Trumpet of God� (1Thess. 4:16), and �The Seventh Trumpet� (Rev. 11:15) are different Trumpets. Conclusion… they say that the �Seventh Trumpet� is AFTER the �Last Trumpet.� Any kindergarten child can figure this one out! Just ask the child �Child, how many trumpets are AFTER the �Last� Trumpet?

Matthew 24:31

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

1 Thes. 4:16

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:

1 Cor. 15:52

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.

For the pre-tribbers, they have no problem defining “the trump of God” and “the LAST trumpet” to equate being the same trumpet, since it fits their doctrine. But because Matthew 24:30-31 shows it to be AFTER the tribulation, they are forced to declare that the “great sound of a trumpet” in Matt. 24, is “another” trumpet that comes after the Last trumpet!

I contend that these are ALL one and the SAME trumpet and that only a deceitful teacher would try to separate these trumpets as being separate events! They have only one purpose in dividing these trumpets, to deceive the saints! They create unbiblical trumpet scinarios, such as a non-biblical Jewish tradition of using trumpets in a wedding! Rather than securing true doctrine using the Biblical trumpets, they have created another gospel message! Where are these other trumpets in the book of Revelations or anywhere in scripture? If you wish to be so deceived by these teachers, that is your option! But my question to you is, what does it profit you to believe this error?

Jesus is coming at his visible appearing, on the clouds, at the sound of the LAST trumpet, to rapture the church, after the antichrist has been revealed!

2 Thes. 2:3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There is NOT a 7 year Tribulation

By taking the following scripture OUT of context, although this prophecy has already been fulfilled, pre-trib teachers have trained their students into believeing there is a “7 Year Tribulation”.

(Dan. 9:27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

I cover this study in detail on another page called 7 Year Tribulation?

Clear Scriptures

The ONLY clear passages of scripture pointing to the rapture, say it will be;

Visible as lighting, (Matthew 24:27, Luke 17:24)

AFTER the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24, 2 Thess. 2:1-4)

Jesus appears on the clouds of heaven (Matt. 24:30, Mark 13:26, 1 Thess. 4:17, Rev. 1:7 and 14:14-16)

Every eye will see Him (Matt. 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 17:30, Rev. 1:7)

At the sound of a trumpet (Matt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16)

With the voice of an angel (1 Thess. 4:16, Rev. 14:15)

To gather His elect (Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27, 1 Thess. 4:17, 2 Thess. 2:1, Rev. 14:16)

Then comes the wrath of God (Rev. 14:17-15:1)

There is NOT one clear scripture reference of those who will be raptured BEFORE the tribulation? The secret pre-tribulation rapture is a secret in the scriptures! Any wise student of the scriptures can see that the Pre-Tribulation doctrine is wishful thinking and full of unbiblical assumptions, making questionable scriptural verses moldable into thier camp of doctrine. Anyone who would simply look at the scriptures noted above, can see that they all harmonize into the one and the same event!

At the coming of Christ (Matthew Chapt 24):

(v36-44) as in days of Noah, unexpectedly, Christ will return and one will be taken, the other is �Left Behind

(v45-51) the wise servant made ruler and the evil servant gets portion with the hypocrites

(25:1-13) the 5 wise virgins enter in and the 5 foolish virgins were shut out

(25:14-30) the 2 faithful servants rewarded and the wicked, slothful servant cast into hell

(25:31-46) the blessed sheep rewarded and the cursed goats punished forever.

When Christ returns to rapture the church:

Those who are �Left Behind,� the foolish, wicked, slothful and hypocrates will be shut out, cast into hell and punished. There will NOT be a second chance for those �LEFT BEHIND

This pre-tribulation rapture teaching is false giving false hope to those who trust in a second chance after the rapture of the church. Teachers of this doctrine are selling and storing up documentation to reach the lost after the church has �disappeared� for those who are �left behind�. Come now, Church, arise and preach the truth. If they are left behind, they will be cast into the fire. We need to save them NOW!

If you still have questions after reviewing this page, I have a page that deals with the many false teachings of the pre-trib school “point by point” as I contend with Tim LaHayes book “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy