Christian Apologetics Study

THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY

Nov
17

The Rapture event is a Christian term used to describe the coming ascension of Christians at the time of Messiah’s second coming. This is the noun corresponding to the verb used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where those believers who are still alive at the coming of Messiah are described as being “caught up” together with their resurrected fellow Christians to meet him “in the air.” This same verb used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is used in 2 Corinthians 12:2-3 to denote Paul’s mysterious experience of being “caught up” into the third heaven, or paradise. There are differences of interpretation about the timing of the Rapture at the time of Messiah’s second coming in relation to other end-time events. This has led to the emergence of distinct schools of eschatological thought . Today more believers are teaching that the Church will be in the Tribulation. However, This author believes the pre-Tribulation rapture theory is the best explanation for the destiny of God’s Church for several reasons.

First, the Tribulation comes after the great rebellion or falling away.  According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, “For that day will not come,unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” The words that day refers to the Seven Year Tribulation when the Anti-Messiah rules the world just after the rapture of believers in Messiah Yeshua. Furthermore, a few prophecy scholars point out that  the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) comes after the GREAT DEPARTURE, which has been incorrectly translated as falling away in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. At least seven early English translations of this Greek rapture passage always used DEPARTURE AWAY rather than FALLING AWAY. For example 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says:  “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling (DEPARTURE) away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This rapture passage demonstrates that the rapture must occur before the Anti-Messiah is revealed at the beginning of the seven year tribulation, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.

Second, the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15 comes from the trumpet of an Angel and not the trumpet of God. During the rapture event, God’s voice will sound like a majestic Trumpet, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and Revelation 4:1.  For example St Paul says: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with THE TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” The voice of God will sound like a trumpet during the rapture, according to Dr. Gary Stearman.

Third, Messiah Yeshua says the tribulation will be like the days of Noah. For example Matthew 24:37-40 says: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-40). The PROPHET ENOCH WAS RAPTURED to Heaven before the great flood of Noah arrived (Genesis 5:20-21). Enoch represents a type of Church Saint, while Noah represents a type of tribulation Saint.  Enoch was pre-flood, bur Noah was preserved through the flood. Therefore, this type shows the rapture must be a pre-tribulation event, according to Dr. Chuck Missler.

Fourth, Messiah’s Church is not mentioned as existing on Earth after Revelation 4:1 because the Church has been raptured to Heaven by Yeshua. For example Revelation 4:1 says: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was LIKE A TRUMPET SPEAKING WITH ME, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” We only see the Church again in Revelation 19 when Messiah Yeshua descends down to conquer the enemies of Israel. For example Revelation 19:11-16 says: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had  a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” This passage reveals that the Church was taken out of Earth and it returns with Messiah during the war of Armageddon, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

Fifth, all 21 judgments originate from the Throne Room of God in Heaven. The seven seals judgments described in Revelation 6, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. The seven trumpets are described in Revelation chapters 8 to 15.  The seven bowls are described in Revelation 16.   This means that all 21 judgments are part of the wrath of God because they originate from the Throne Room of God, according to Dr. David Reagan.

Sixth, the teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture is not new because it was taught by St. Paul in the first century AD (1-thessalonians 4:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and 1-Corinthians 15:50-55) and by Ephraim the Syrian in 373 AD. For example Ephraim says: “For all the saints and the elect of God are gathered prior to the Tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sin.”

Finally, as we approach the last years of human history and we come near the seven year tribulation days, many believers and non-believers will attack the pre-tribulation rapture teaching because it is too supernatural. Many believers fail to understand that it will take some time before the anti-Messiah arrives on the scene. The global government needs to form (Daniel 2 and 7; Revelation 18) and the global religious system needs to form (revelation 17). The Obadiah 1:15-21, Psalm 83, and Isaiah 17:1 wars needs to be fulfilled and later the Gog and Magog war (Ezekiel 38 and 39). After the rapture event, the fallen ones will reveal themselves to humanity and the days of Noah will return to Earth when hybrid humans and animals occupy the land. It will probably take another 10 to 20 years for all these things to happen. Therefore, the rapture can occur at any moment, but there are s

igns leading up to the Seven Year Tribulation period.

RELATED SOURCES

Bible Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, PhD; 2000. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Last Days; Richard H. Perry; 2006. The Book of Revelation; Larry R. Helyer, PhD and Richard Wagner; 2008. Article by Dr. Thomas Ice. Bible Prophecy Revealed  by Dr. Grant Jeffrey. Article by Dr. David Reagan. Learn the by in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler. Comments by Dr. Gary Stearman.

 

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