Recently, I have been accused of heresy because I believe Scripture teaches the rapture of believers will take place at the end of the Tribulation. Normally, I let these kinds of things go but that’s a serious charge and never one to be made lightly. Since I stand on the words of Christ alone in Matthew 24, I’m compelled to offer a response because it is ultimately an attack on Christ. I hope to do so in humility.
In the past, a question I have asked those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture is this:
In 1 Corinthians 15, is Paul teaching about the resurrection or the rapture?
I have a couple of very good reasons for asking this question in this way. One reason is because I like for people to discover answers for themselves. It’s how we learn and it’s our responsibility to study the Word for ourselves [Acts 17:11]. The other reason is because Paul is teaching about both. They are part of the same event. No matter what answer a person gives they are correct. If they say “resurrection” you can also point out the rapture. If they do find the rapture you can also show them the entire chapter teaches about the resurrection. They will hopefully come to realize that the resurrection and the rapture are not two events independent of each other. I will explain below.
I would like to rephrase the above question, slightly, to this:
Can you find the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15?
(If you want to take a few moments and read through the chapter now, please do.)
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is teaching about the resurrection of Christ and all believers.
Near the end of the chapter, in verses 51-52, he says this:
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. [1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NASB]
Paul says we will all be changed, as in resurrected, and some of us will be alive when it happens. This is why he says “we will not all sleep”. This is the rapture or, as Scripture better describes it, the gathering of those who will be alive at the time of Christ’s return to Him.
Let’s break it down a little.
In verses 51-52, Paul is describing the rapture – the gathering – within the context of the resurrection of believers which he has just spent the whole chapter teaching. So, Paul is teaching about the rapture within the context of the resurrection. Since we know there is only one resurrection of believers and that it takes place at the end of the Tribulation [Revelation 20:4-6], then so does the rapture since it is a part of the resurrection – the part for those who will be alive.
The gathering of the believers to Christ
Thank you to all of the people who have reminded me that the word “rapture” is nowhere to be found in Scripture because the best way to illustrate the above is to call the rapture what Scripture calls it – the gathering. In getting at the truth, it is of great benefit for us to do so.
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, [2 Thessalonians 2:1 NASB]
Considering this, let’s think through these questions.
Why is it called a gathering?
This implies there will be believers who will need to be gathered.
Who is Christ gathering?
In order to know this, we must first establish that Scripture says those who are dead in Christ are already with Him.
And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:43 NASB]
we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. [2 Corinthians 5:8 NASB]
But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; [Philippians 1:23 NASB]
In fact, this is what Paul is reassuring the Thessalonians about.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. [1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NASB]
See also John 17:24 & Acts 7:55-59
Does Christ need to gather those who are already with Him?
No. So, it stands to reason that the only believers who will not be with Him are those who will be alive at the time of His coming.
So, who’s the gathering for?
The gathering is for those who will be alive at the time of His coming because they will not be with Him.
Inversely, those who will not be with Him are those who will be alive at the time of His Coming.
So, indeed, it is properly called the gathering. When we give it a different name, some of us are inclined to think of it as a different event.
A biblical definition for the gathering (rapture)
The rapture is the part of the resurrection for those who will be alive at the time of Christ’s return to be gathered to Him. Those who are dead in Him are already with Him [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18].
This, of course, reveals what few of us ever think about. If we die before He returns, we will not participate in the rapture because we will already be with Him. You need to understand that.
On Christ I stand
As I said above, ultimately, I stand on Christ’s words alone on the matter and I don’t think it is even necessary to look anywhere else. So, why did I write all of this about 1 Corinthians 15? I wrote it to show it is in line with Jesus’ words in Matthew 24. It has to be because His words are the standard by which we judge the rest of Scripture. In other words, all of the other passages concerning the gathering necessarily support Christ’s teaching and so we must interpret the other passages in light of Christ’s own words. They can’t be in disagreement. For us, practically, this means Christ always has the last word.
Let’s go to Matthew 24 and read Christ’s own words.
“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. [Matthew 24:29-31 NASB]
He restates it again here:
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. [Matthew 24:37-42 NASB]
Jesus places the gathering (rapture) within the context of His Coming after the Tribulation [Matthew 24:29-31, 37-42].
Matthew 24 is a sequential timeline of events. Who of us ever tells a story out of order? Why do you want to pull out the verses that begin with “But immediately after the tribulation of those days” and place them before the Tribulation starts?
May we never overlook Christ’s own words!
“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” [John 6:39-40 NASB]
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. [John 6:44 NASB]
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. [John 6:54 NASB]
See also John 11:24
The day of Christ’s return is a literal day
How do we know? Zechariah tells us it has an evening.
In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. [Zechariah 14:6-7 NASB]
Jesus returns here between the 6th and 7th bowl judgments.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” [Revelation 16:12-17 NASB]
The bowl judgments take place in one literal day.
“For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. [Revelation 18:8 NASB]
It’s the same day.
So, I would ask my accusers what, exactly, is heretical about Christ’s own words?
I’ve written a supplemental to accompany this article entitled “On Paul & The Thessalonians”. I encourage you to read it.
43 responses to “Is teaching the post-tribulation rapture heretical? [1 Corinthians 15; Matthew 24]”
PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !
Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this.
Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).
[the preceding article was uncovered on the amazing web.]
There are several “raptures” described in the New Testament, and this is why I can agree that there will be a post-trib “rapture,” as the last “rapture” of Tribulation believers and NOT the first and only “rapture.” Now, it would take me too long to explain ALL of the “raptures,” so all I want to point out here are the following two things.
The first thing is that the Scriptures tell us that much of what would happen in the end times would become clearer to those individuals living in the end times, which is why the first-century believers didn’t always have it 100% right about the “rapture” of the Bride of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ. These are two separate and, while somewhat similar, very DIFFERENT events. For the record, many Thessalonians thought that they had missed the “rapture” of the Bride of Christ and were experiencing the Great Tribulation. That they feared they had missed the “rapture” of the Bride of Christ implies that this “rapture” comes before the Great Tribulation begins!
Secondly, and in my mind more important, is that in God’s Word, He gives us a specific pattern that shouldn’t be overlooked. Christ makes it clear that Noah’s generation and our generation (the end-times generation) are going to be similar. What will be similar about these generations is something that many overlook. Both generations will have in common the specific pattern of the disappearance, the sign, the warning, and the judgment/destruction. This pattern is first seen in Genesis.
The disappearance (Enoch is translated/raptured way before the Flood begins). The sign (In the Latin Life of Adam and Eve “The Two Stelae Legend,” chapter 50.1-50.2, Adam is promised a sign that would let him know when the water destruction or Flood Judgment of the world was about to happen. Methuselah was that sign, for his name means “when he dies it will come”). Indeed, as soon as Methuselah died, the Flood came! The warning (God ALWAYS gives fair warning before He sends His wrath. In Noah’s day, God’s fair warning is Noah’s righteousness preaching. According to Jewish traditions, Noah takes on the role of a righteousness preacher and preaches to the masses about living a righteous and sanctified life. His repentance message is God’s fair warning that soon a Flood, which is God’s wrath/judgment, will come and destroy everyone who continues with life as usual). Lastly, the global destruction (God ALWAYS pours out His wrath/judgment when He is finished dealing with or testing mankind. God’s GLOBAL destruction (wrath/judgment) is the seven-year Tribulation Period, which is full of different forms of Fire. Noah preached his repentance message before the Flood destruction, and the 144,000 will preach their repentance message before the Fire destruction).
Shalom . . . .
i appreciate your thoughts, Reverend, as always but i can’t agree for this reason.
Christ said He has told us everything in advance [Mark 13:23] and He taught one second coming and one rapture as taking place at that time:
there’s another clue embedded within this passage as to when the above will take place as well. Christ says,
Revelation says this will take place a the battle of Armageddon:
the reason why i can’t agree with you about Paul and the Thessalonians is this:
the Thessalonians thought they missed the rapture (gathering) but Paul reassured them and told them not to worry by saying,
i think Paul’s response is more important than the Thessalonians believing they missed the rapture because they were being persecuted (as you said, the early believers could have been wrong about their understanding of when these things take place). Paul was clarifying. He told them not to worry, they didn’t miss it because it will not happen until “the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,”. the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, won’t be revealed to the world until the middle of the tribulation [Daniel 9:27].
in the above passage, Paul links the gathering of believers to Christ (the rapture) with His second coming because he uses the terms interchangeably throughout the passage and then calls the entire event “the day of the Lord” – a singular event [verse 2]. he reassures them that they did not miss Christ’s coming (“the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”) and the rapture (“our gathering together to Him”) by telling them what would happen first, that the Antichrist would be revealed.
this is also why Paul mentions the rapture (gathering) in the middle of his teaching on the resurrection in 1 Co 15:51-52. they are the same event. it is one continuous action. Christ returns. those who are dead in him return with Him [1 Thessalonians 4:13-14; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23]. those who are alive in Him are gathered to Him [2 Thessalonians 2:1-3]. it’s basically a rally cry to Him since He then goes on to do battle with the Antichrist and defeats Him [Revelation 19:11-19]. the exciting thing is, we will be with Him!
Christ and Paul speak of these things in the singular. i’m of the opinion that believing first that there is a pre-trib rapture or that there are multiple raptures, etc. forces people to make things into separate events that really aren’t. all i’m saying is to try this: assume there is only one of each event and see where that takes you. i find Scripture to line up quite nicely in this way. if we start out this way (simple) and it turns out that two or more separate events are being described (complex), Scripture will surely let us know. please don’t be offended, i’m talking to myself when i say this, but i’m reminded of the KISS method all the time when it comes to prophecy: Keep It Simple Saint.
it would be the same mindset as assuming the Bible is the infallible Word of God before we read it or assuming there are no European nations mentioned in prophecy before we study it. i hope you understand what i mean. i found this exercise to be incredibly helpful.
blessings, Reverend 🙂
I wrote a really long response, but it doesn’t look like it was saved. Well, the Reverend is correct about the ancient Jewish Wedding, ancient traditions and Feasts of the Lord etc. …..almost. The Wedding Feast was seven DAYS long NOT seven years. The Days of Awe between Trumpets and Atonement are seven DAYS long, NOT seven years (when you consider the ancient Jewish tradition that says that Trumpets is a two day long Festival.
Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the exact DAY, between the tenth day of the first month until Pentecost. It follows then, that He must fulfill the Fall Feasts to the exact DAY, between the first day of the first month and the 21st day of the first month…a 21 day period, not a seven year period. I’ll try to redo my previous failed post which explains this in detail.
The supposed different raptures occur all at the same time. They are the same event, each from a different point of view or perspective. One rapture/resurrection…ALL will be changed at the last trumpet. On a timeline, place all of these raptures at one point and everything else falls easily into place. God is a God of simplicity. He is also a God who reveals the end from the beginning, through types and patterns. Paul tells us that those things which happened to Israel are types, or examples for us,
on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. They are types for the Church (believing Jew and Gentile), not for Israel. It is necessary that the Church, be on earth at the end of the Great Tribulation in order for Jacob (who was called the “deceiver” until he wrestled with God and overcame) to be saved out of his trouble and be grafted into the Olive Tree, the Church. Then the Capstone will crown the Temple and the Bride will be ready.
Patterns of fulfillment:
After the oppression and persecution by Pharaoh (Seals), God poured out His judgement (Trumpets) on Pharaoh and Egypt. This judgemnt was not His wrath. The purpose of this judgment (which begins at the house of God) was to bring Pharaoh to repentance. Israel remained on earth (Egypt) during this time and was protected through them. When God’s mercy and patience had been spent, God called His children out of Egypt and brought them through the Red Sea (Bowls). The rapture/resurrection occurs immediately prior to God’s wrath.
1) After the ten plagues, Moses and Aaron escorted Israel through the Red Sea as the wrath of God destroyed Pharaoh and his armies.
2) After the persecution by the men of Sodom the two angels escort Lot and his family out of Sodom as the wrath of God fell. Lot’s wife (a foolish virgin) looked back.
3) After seven trumpets are blown, two spies rescue Rahab and place her outside the camp of Israel as the walls of Jericho fall.
4) After Abel is persecuted and martyred by Cain, and Lamch arrogantly boasts and blasphemes God, Enoch (the “seventh from Adam”) is raptured just prior to the wrath of God being poured out in the flood. (Peter tells us that the flood represents baptism that saves us. The waters, like the waters of the Red Sea symbolize the wrath of God poured out on the Cross on Jesus. We are baptized into His death. His death is our death, His resurrection our resurrection. The Ark therefore represents Christ, and those who are in Christ. Noah, whose name means “rest” also represents Christ, and his family, those of the seven churches who overcome).
5) After the seven trumpet judgements, the Two Witnesses escort the Church out of “Babylon” as the Bowls of wrath are poured out, destroying antichrist and his followers.
According to Zechariah, the survivors from the nations that attacked Israel, will enter the Millennium in mortal bodies, as nations ruled over by Christ and His Church (Jew and Gentile.) There will be no mortal Jew during the Millenium, for the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants are only fulfilled in Christ through the Church.
With all due respect, the Jews kept a simple literal understanding of God’s Word, and as a result they MISSED the Divine Truth in God’s Word about Christ coming first as a Lamb ready for slaughter, and then coming a second time as a victorious King. I am not telling you what you should believe. I just was saying that from what the Holy Spirit has shown me the New Testament Scriptures do describe multiple “raptures,” as well as explain that there is a difference between THE Rapture, primarily the initial Rapture of Christ’s Bride, which is when Christ comes on a cloud and His feet never touch the ground, and His Second Coming, which indeed coincides with the Battle of Armageddon and the closing out of the Age!
Christ in Mark 13:24-27 is talking about His Second Coming (when His feet touch down on the Mount of Olives) and the end of the Age, one of which happens near the end of the Great Tribulation, and the other happens after He ends the Battle of Armageddon.Thus, the Lord is neither saying in these Mark 13 verses and your quoted Matthew 24 verses that His Second Coming is the time of nor the same event as THE Rapture!
I wasn’t saying that the Thessalonians believing that they had missed the Rapture was more important than Paul’s reasons for why they had not missed it. My point was that the Thessalonians, and other first century believers, got much about the end times’ events wrong.Then too, while I agree that Paul speaks in a singular sense about THE Rapture of the Bride of Christ, and rightly so, John’s prophetic writings do describe more than one “rapture”! These multiple “raptures” have nothing to do with the Bride of Christ, as the Bride of Christ does not go through the Tribulation!
Furthermore, my initial comment focused on the pattern of the disappearance, the sign, the warning, and the global destruction, because, as I said, it would take too long, adding here, like a blog-length entry, to explain the different “raptures,” which by the way more than one “rapture” also happened in the Old Testament! Maybe that is why the New Testament Scriptures describe the resurrection of the dead happening in multiple stages, and why they describe the “rapture” of alive individuals also happening in multiple stages.
Lastly, I’m just adding/sharing my 2 cents here based on what I understand and believe. I’m in no way judging or trying to change what anybody else understands or believes.
Ok. I’m trying to understand your reasoning. Why do you say that Christ will only return to the clouds?
The apostle Paul writes “then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air;…” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:17, CJB
The Rapture refers to what happens to Christ’s alive Bride in Christ–those faithful and true believers who never will experience a physical death. They are the ones He snatches up off this Earth. They are those believers who are caught up to meet Him in the air. Since the dead in Christ rose first and are the ones in the clouds with Christ, whom Paul says the alive in Christ believers meet in the clouds, it is obvious to me that this verse has nothing to do with Christ’s bodily Second Coming, when He splits the Mount of Olives with His feet. He’s in the air in the clouds, when He gathers His Bride together.
Thus, in Matthew 24, Christ’s descriptions of a man in the field being taken while the other is left behind, and the woman grinding flour at the mill being taken, while the other is left behind, clearly are descriptions of the Rapture, and not descriptions of His Second Coming, as at His Second Coming those who were caught up to meet Him in the air in the clouds are the ones who come back with Him, after they spent time with Him in the Bridal Chambers Christ built for them in Heaven. Consider Isaiah 26:20:
Come, my people, enter your rooms,
and shut your doors behind you.
Hide yourselves for a little while
until the wrath is past. (CJB)
The prophet clearly is describing the Hebrew’s prophesied Natzal, and Natzal is the Hebrew word that is equivalent to Rapture. Thus, Isaiah is prophesying the time when the Bride of Christ will be hidden away in Her heavenly Bridal Chambers from the end-times Tribulation. These chambers (rooms) are those very rooms the Lord told His disciples He needed to go away to prepare.
In ancient Jewish wedding traditions, the bride and groom stay in their bridal chambers for 7 days, a time period which also can represent/symbolize the 7 years of the Tribulation, since a day with Lord can equal more than just our 24-hours. After that, the Jewish bride and groom came out to have their wedding feast, which in the end times would be the Lord’s Marriage Supper. But I digress.
To me, the Scriptures do not show that Lord makes His bodily Second Coming immediately after He has raptured His Bride. Thus, the Rapture of His Bride does not happen when He comes back as Lord and King, near the end of the Tribulation. Again, when He raptures His Bride, He snatches them up off of this Earth, and She meets Him in the air in the clouds!
i’m not trying to dismiss Jewish traditions. i wish i understood them better. but i am in favor of a simple reading of the text. otherwise, it makes God somewhat inaccessible to me.
consider this: In Acts chapter 1, the disciples are speaking with Jesus just before He ascends to Heaven after His Resurrection.
The disciples asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel at that time. This is referring to Christ’s Millennial Reign when He reigns on the earth from Jerusalem [Revelation 20:4-6]. Christ says it is not for anyone to know at what time He will return to set up His Kingdom.
As they are watching him ascend into Heaven on a cloud, two angels appear and tell them that when He returns it will be in the same way. What does that mean? Let’s simplify the action.
1. Jesus’ feet are on the ground
2. He ascends to Heaven to a cloud
This means that when He returns, He will descend from Heaven from a cloud until His feet once again touch the ground.
Christ descends to the Mount of Olives. 1 Thessalonians says he will descend from a cloud and Zechariah [14:4] says His feet will touch the Mount of Olives. Simply speaking, Christ has to pass through clouds to reach the earth. While He is still in the clouds, on His way to the earth, He gathers His elect for the final battle and then continues to the earth to fight.
These verses in 1 Thessalonians and Zechariah are referring to the Coming of the Lord, His Second Coming.
Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
[1 Thessalonians 4:17 NASB]
Those who are alive at that time will meet Jesus in the clouds.
Let’s walk through the entire passage in 1 Thessalonians in context.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 NASB For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
The Lord descends from Heaven from a cloud while He meets all believers in the air. The Rapture begins with the resurrection of those who are dead in Christ. The Rapture ends with the resurrection of those who are alive in Christ. It is all within the twinkling of an eye [1 Corinthians 15:52]. We will all meet Christ in the clouds upon His return as He is descending to the earth. There’s no reason to think that His feet will not touch down upon the earth at this time when we are told, as we have seen, that He will return in the same manner in which He left. Where will His feet touch the ground?
In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
[Zechariah 14:4 NASB]
His feet will once again touch the ground at the very place he ascended from, the Mount of Olives [Acts 1:12].
Christ will descend from Heaven from a cloud. We will meet Him in the air. His feet will touch the earth at the Mount of Olives. He will go to wage war with the Antichrist [Revelation 19:11-21]. This is the end of the tribulation.
Just like above when:
1. Jesus’ feet are on the ground
2. He ascends to Heaven to a cloud
We can reverse the order when He returns:
1. Jesus descends from Heaven from a cloud
2. His feet, again, touch the ground
i do think there is some time yet between this event above and the actual final battle against the Antichrist. and, also, Zechariah does tell us that the Day of the Lord is a literal day because it has en evening [Zechariah 14:7].
i also agree with you that there are raptures of individuals in Scripture but since the individual is actually named, i don’t think it is symbolic of the Church. it is simply what happened to that individual at that time.
Hi, about the ancient Jewish traditions… It is the Reverend who is dismissing them, as well as the biblical Feasts of the Lord. Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the very DAY. He was “chosen” on the 10th of Nissan, He died on Passover on the 14th, was raised on Firstfruits on the Seventeenth, sent his Spirit on Pentecost fifty days later.
It follows then that he Fall Feasts will be fulfilled to the very day also. He will gather His elect of the Feast of Trumpets on Tishri 1-2. (The Feast of Trumpets was celebrated for 2 days, but was considered to be “one long day” in ancient Jewish tradition. Because of this it was known as “the Day That no man Knows.” Revelation also says on the Seventh Trumpet, “In the DAYS of the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet…” And of course you already mentioned Zechariah 14:6-7, the “unique day” that has light when evening comes.)
So the Raptrue will occur on Tishri 1-2. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. The Jews will look on him whom they pierced. The 7 Bowls of wrath will each be poured out during the 7 Days of Awe on tishri 3-9. Babylon will be destroyed during this time, but during the Sixth Bowl, the kings of the earth will be gathered for Armageddon. On the 10th of Tishri, the Day of Atonement, He will return on a white horse with his Bride, his feet will touch the Mount of Olives and it will cleave in two (an earthquake, as in the days of Uzziah) providing an escape for the Jews. They will flee to Bozrah in Jordan (Moab, Edom, Ammon, which Daniel says escapes from the Antichrists conquests). Jesus will then trod the winepress of Armageddon alone, destroying a final harvest of the unrighteous, then return to Bozrah to gather the Jews (Isaiah 63:1-6), and invite then to the Wedding Feast. The Feast of Tabernacles was known as the “Wedding” in ancient jewish tradition. It is a seven day feast. Meanwhile, outside the birds are invited to another feast with the dead of Armageddon as the main course.
Then those left over from the nations that attacked Jerusalem will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, to the sheep and goat judgement. The Sheep will be gathered to the Kingdom, the goats to the Lake of Fire, where the Beast and False Prophet are.
Christ and His immortal Bride will then rule over the nations of the mortal world, replacing Satan and the evil principalities and powers that rule over the world now.
Just a possible scenario that fits Scripture, as well as the Feasts and traditions.
Again, since Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the day, He must also fulfill the Fall Feasts to the day…during a 21 DAY period from Tishri 1 to Tishri 21…NOT a seven years period!
So my view is Post Tribulation Pre Wrath. The Seals are NOT God’s wrath( as Pre Tribbers teach) and cover the entire Seventieth Week. I see the Trumpets as beginning Mid Trib after the 144,000 are sealed, which coincides with the fifth Seal. I see the seventh Seal and seventh Trumpet occurring on the last day of the Great Tribulation (the Feast of Trumpets) and the Bowls being poured out immediately afterward.
I disagree with the Pre Trib position because not one Scripture verse supports it. I disagree with the Pre Wrath view because the Beast will persecute the saints for 1260 days. That time is not cut short for the sake of the elect. The time has already been cut short TO 1260 days.
i realize you said the bride and groom stay in their bridal chambers for seven days before the wedding which can symbolize the tribulation. is that separate or together?
the other tension i have is that everywhere Paul describes the rapture, it follows the resurrection and we know there is only one resurrection of the living happening at the end of Revelation [Rev 20:4-6]. the second resurrection is that of the dead.
resurrection > rapture of the living
resurrection > rapture of the living
if the resurrection of the living takes place before everyone is saved during the tribulation, how will those people, including the remnant of Israel, enter into the Kingdom? we know that we cannot enter into the Kingdom in our mortal bodies [1 Corinthians 15:50]
also, you mentioned somewhere those who will live on and procreate in their mortal bodies during Christ’s reign are the survivors of Armageddon who will have taken up arms against Christ. these are those found here:
Egypt and Assyria are two of the nations who will live on:
so these people are not saved people, at least as of this time, since they went to war against Christ.
i am glad we can all talk about this. it is entirely interesting!
The reason the Jews missed the “divine truth” is because God purposely hid the truth. He blinded their eyes and closed their eyes in order that blessing could be given also to Gentiles through the Cross. It was a “mystery” which would only be revealed through the Church.
As for the Bride of Christ… the Bride of Christ is made up of all in whom Christ, the Bridegroom has place His Seed, the Holy Spirit. Just as a husband places his seed into his wife and she bears fruit, so also Christ places His Seed into His Bride and she bears fruit. In other words, the Bride IS the faithful Church, all those who are in Christ, all those in whom God lives by His Spirit, if they persevere to the end.
And all the raptures in the Old Testament? They were ALL types of the ONE rapture/resurrection of the Church.
Enoch was raptured after Cain (the seed of the serpent) slew his brother Abel (the Seed of the Woman clothed with the Sun…) and received a mark.
Noah remained on earth and was saved through the wrath of the flood.
Israel went through the judgements and was saved out of the wrath which destroyed Pharaoh.
Elijah was raptured after he had dealings with Ahab (Antichrist) and Jezebel (Mystery Babylon the Harlot). He also fed the Woman and her son (Israel) during a time of (spiritual) famine, the Great Tribulation.
Rahab was saved through the judgement on Jericho.
Jesus was raptured after John (Elijah) was killed by Herod (Antichrist) at the urging of Salomon (The Harlot, Mystery Babylon).
As the boat (the Ark) crossed the stormy Sea of Galilee (the Great Tribulation), Jesus pulled Peter (the Church) out of the waters just as Peter was about the sink. (He is faithful even when we aren’t). They were immediately on the opposite shore (the Kingdom).
All the types and shadows show that the Church will indeed enter the Great Tribulation, and will pass safely through God’s wrath as it destroys unbelievers. The great harvest happens immediatley prior to the crushing of the graped in the great winepress of God.
In Matthew 24 Jesus reveals the exact sequence of events. Deceptions from false christs and false messiahs. Wars and rumors of wars. Persecutions. More persecutions. The Abomination. The darkening of the sun, moon and stars after the time of unequaled tribulation. The sign of the Son of Man. The rapture/resurrection, immediately followed by the wrath of God, which comes on the world unexpecedly, as in the days of Noah. (For the Church it will not be unexpected, for we are not in darkness). The foolish virgins will also be caught off guard because they haven’t kept the Word as a Lamp and a Light unto their path. The man in the field and the woman grinding are taken away to judgement, just as unbelievers were taken by the flood. Not a rapture, but a judgement. Where the vultures gather, there will be the body. This happens at Armageddon, when the birds feast on the bodies of the day, while the Church celebrates the Wedding Feast (The Feast of Tabernacles which begins 5 days after the Second Coming.
Focusing in on Matthew 24 as a precise chronology is so fully helpful for understanding the rapture/resurrection events. I’m almost 70 years old, and only recently have I been able to read that passage with comfortable clarity, because I’m no longer wrestling with how to fit into Mt. 24, the secret rapture. I was deeply instructed by the Scripture-filled detailed treatise by Alexander Reese. Written about 1936, this scholarly defense of post-tribulation, pre-millennial rapture/resurrection is available in full on the internet: http://www.pbministries.org/Eschatology/a_reese/the_approaching_advent_of_Christ/ _ (if link doesn’t work, google Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ). Reese points out that for 1800 years the Church always believed she would face the antichrist, and expounded no such thing as a secret rapture. He saw the pre-trib rapture as “the new view.” It would be sad, when the prophesied world-wide hatred and persecution of the elect floods the world, for any believer to fear they’ve been ‘left behind’!
I’m so pleased You’ve addressed this critical subject by your excellent article. Jesus is LORD, and He’s coming soon!
well bless you, young one! 🙂
thanks for the link. i agree with you. since i began studying this,i have always believed that there’s a clear difference between the wrath of Satan and man on man vs. the wrath of God which believers will never experience. people who are alive will be raptured before the wrath of God is unleashed on the earth but it’s not the rapture that saves, per se, because they can’t participate in the rapture unless they are already saved. so, it’s Christ’s work on the Cross [John 3:36; Romans 5:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9] that keeps them from God’s wrath and so enabling those who are alive to participate in the rapture at that time.
i just came across this video last night. it is the best explanation of the timing of things in Revelation i have seen to date. it will cause me to change some of ways i read Revelation (for the better, i think) but it shows by an exegetical study of Revelation and other Scripture that there is no pre-tribulation rapture. i don’t want to just post a video as a rebuttal, but it’s good.
I just finished listening to the above video, re solving the rapture puzzle. I find that the pre-wrath position seems a bit like the pre-trib. Though the Church is removed after Antichrist’s world-wide persecution and slaughter, still, in the pre-wrath view, are there not so many judgments that must transpire on earth before Christ comes at Armageddon? Meanwhile, where is the Church? Is this not the same question one would ask about the pre-trib view?
If I recall correctly, the video describes the multitude that no man can number as the elect of all ages, but the passage clearly says this vast throng of people “are they which came out of great tribulation.” If this is the resurrection of the just, then one must allegorize “great tribulation” as the earthly lifetimes of all believers of all ages, rather than the specific time period spoken of in Matthew 24. This great throng of martyrs is indeed in a place where they will never hunger nor thirst again, and where God will wipe away all tears. But this passage does not say the resurrection has occurred. It seems to me that one must read into these verses what is actually not there, in order to hold a pre-wrath view.
Also, the multitude that no man can number, of Rev. 7, precedes all 7 trumpets. Does not the Scripture say that Christ comes at the last trumpet, which, in Revelation, is trumpet #7?
If the Church is raptured sometime after the mid-point of Daniel’s week, does this mean no one else can be saved (and, what about the 144,000)? Because, If others are being saved on earth, then there has to be yet another resurrection of the just — TWO resurrections of the just –, to include all the rest of the saved.
When Christ gloriously appears, the dead rise, the wicked are destroyed, rewards are given to the righteous, and the glorious Millennial reign commences. Revelation 11:18 clearly links the wrath of God, resurrection, and judgment of the righteous dead together:
“”Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and wast, and is to come, because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. 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 shouldst destroy them that destroy the earth.”
Revelation 19 announces that “the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready” (19:7). AFTER this, comes Christ on a white horse, with the armies of heaven. This prophetic vision parallels with Zechariah 14, where Christ, the nations having been gathered at Jerusalem, comes WITH His saints (Zech. 14:5), standing upon the Mt. of Olives. After fighting the mighty battle, “…the LORD shall be king over all the earth.”
Now, Paul declares triumphantly that death must be swallowed up in victory. He tells us WHEN this will happen by quoting Isaiah 25:8:
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, THEN SHALL BE BROUGHT TO PASS THE SAYING THAT IS WRITTEN, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (I Cor. 15:54).
What is the context of this saying in the Old Testament Scriptures, that Paul is quoting? If one looks closely at
Isaiah 24 and 25, he discovers that the earth is utterly broken down, clean dissolved, moved exceedingly, reeling to and fro like a drunkard. The LORD punishes the high ones and the kings, gathers together the prisoners in the pit, the moon and sun are confounded, the LORD reigns in Zion. Here the LORD makes a feast, and death is no more:
“And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. HE WILL SWALLOW UP DEATH IN VICTORY; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isa. 25:6-10).
Revelation 20 announces the resurrection, as God’s wrath is finishing and Christ has appeared as conquering LORD. Before that glorious appearing, whatever woes fall upon earth –as in all other earthly calamities, plagues, wars, and disasters, God will see His people through. Yea, even the horrendous events that Revelation has described. When all the nations are gathered about Jerusalem, He will come with a conquering shout, at the last trumpet. The dead will rise, and we who are alive shall meet Him, to be forever with Him, and to admire His stupendous millennial reign.
you touch on many of the concerns i have about the pre-wrath view as well after thinking about it for some time especially about how it makes a second resurrection necessary. i just ordered a book about it so i can study it and see if these questions are somehow resolved. i think these things can be resolved if we just take Christ at His word in Revelation 16:15 where He announces His return. it’s the same event as revelation 19:11.
i don’t think we can definitively say that the Church will be raptured before the 7th trumpet as the pre-wrath view has it 1 – because, as you said, Paul says at the last trumpet and 2 – Revelation 6:11 says,
it says “who were to be killed, so, conceivably, there will be some who are still living and that’s who the rapture is for anyway.
my other tension is that the pre-wrath view has the day of the lord as much longer than a day. however, Zechariah says it has an evening. so, to me, it is a literal day.
obviously, the Lord is going to return in an actual hour within an actual day, just like He says,
these are just a few of the tensions i have with it after i thought about it. i’m going to do an in depth study of it. i can’t believe that it’s proponents would not have discovered these things (except maybe about the verse in Zechariah) so when i get the book i’ll see if they address them.
what i do like about the video is that it shows the clear cohesion of the verses in Thessalonians and the Olivet Discourse with those charts. i need to get copies of those for study.
i’ve already published my own study. i believe Christ announces His return in Revelation 16:15 (which is another telling of Revelation 19:11) because He uses the same analogy of the thief as He used previously in [Mat 24:43, Luke 12:39] and that Peter and Paul also used when teaching about it.
please feel free to pick it apart, both of you, it will be helpful in getting at the truth.
One of the major problems most believers have with understanding when The Rapture of Christ’s Bride will take place is that they forget the Bible is basically about what happens to God’s chosen Jewish people—most believers forget that salvation is to the Jew first and then the Gentile (Romans 1:16). As a result, most Gentile believers do not seek to understand Jewish customs, culture, feasts, etc., before they try to understand both the literal and figurative (images, metaphors, symbols, hyperboles, allegories, and so forth) meanings of biblical passages.
Food for thought:
According to Jewish traditions, there are three shofar (trumpet) sounds/blasts that indicate three specific days on the Jewish calendar. These three shofar sounds/blasts are called the First Trump, the Last Trump, and the Great Trump.
1. The First Trump is blown on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) (Exodus 19:18-19). It proclaims that God has betrothed Himself to Israel.
2. The Last Trump is synonymous with Rosh HaShanah, as The Last Trump is a Jewish idiom for Rosh HaShanah, which originally was called Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast/the Day of Shouting/Crying Voice/Loud Noise/Feast of Trumpets), so called because the “Teruah” sound of the Shofar is based on the sound of a cry/shout. Moreover, the last trumpet blast on Rosh HaShanah, which actually is the last of the blasts made during the weeks of Teshuvah in the preceding month of Elul, yet the first blast on Rosh HaShanah (the first day of the month of Tishri), also symbolizes the time when the resurrection of the dead will take place. This Shofar blast on Rosh HaShanah, therefore, is meant to jolt Jewish people from their sleep—to awaken them to spiritual maturity.
Additionally, according to Jewish traditions, Genesis 22 is part of the Torah reading on Rosh HaShanah. This chapter deals with the Akedah, when Abraham bound Isaac and the ram caught in the thicket. This ram is important because its two horns have come to be called the Shofar’s “first trump” (left horn), and the Shofar’s “last trump” (right horn). Moreover, it is the ram’s horn that becomes the shofar blown on the Feast of Trumpets, which also is why Akedah is associated with Rosh HaShanah.
3. The Great Trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, and it will herald the coming of the Messiah Yeshua to Earth (cf. Matthew 24:29-31). In Jewish traditions, this literal coming of the Messiah, which we now know is His bodily return or Second Coming, is shown by Christ Jesus to be associated with the Jewish idiom for Yom Kippur. This time in the end times is the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Judgment—the day when judgment was sealed! Important to note here is that the wheat/sheep gathered from the four corners of the world are those Tribulation survivors who will enter into the 1,000 years of Christ’s reign on Earth as those people who re-populate the Earth. They are able to have children, because they do not have glorified bodies!
Now, many Jewish and Gentile scholars have concluded that the last trump or the Trumpet of God is only mentioned twice in the Bible: 1. at Mount Sinai during the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:13, 19), when God called Moses UP to meet Him on top of the mountain. The Voice in v. 19 means God’s VOICE, which in Hebrew is qowl, a word that means “sound,” and, “like an instrument”; here a trumpet is understood, based on context); and 2. for the Rapture (in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, as the Last Trump and the Trumpet of God are seen as being the same, since they both are blown right before the dead in Christ rise and receive their glorified bodies. After which the alive in Christ are caught up, and they receive their glorified bodies).
For the above reasons, many Jewish and Gentile scholars do not believe this last trump that apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the same as the 7th Trumpet of judgment in Revelation, as this 7th Trumpet brings death, and not life! This 7th Trumpet actually is seen as the Great Trumpet! For sure, if the Rapture’s last trump were the 7th trumpet of Revelation, then that would be a rather peculiar situation for the Bride of Christ, as there would be no way that She can be seen as being delivered, saved, or rescued from the wrath of God at this point, no matter how His wrath is defined. Remember, in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, the apostle says that God did not appoint Christians to suffer through the “wrath” of God, which primarily is the Great Tribulation or the second half of the seven-year Tribulation. Then too, the 7th trumpet in Revelation is not even the last trumpet to be blown, as throughout the Lord’s reign for 1,000 years, many trumpets will be blown during the celebration of the Feast of Trumpets in the Millennial Temple.
Lastly, notice, too, if you will, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, there are three loud sounds. In Jewish traditions, this Rapture’s three sounds the apostle Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 are: 1. Symbolic of the herald who cries out that the Bridegroom is coming, which is confirmed by Jesus the Christ in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (cf. Matthew 25:1-13). This loud cry awakes the sleeping virgins and lets them know it is time for them to get up and get dressed so they’ll be ready to go, when the Bridegroom gets to their house. Now the apostle says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that the Lord comes with a loud command, or a rousing cry, but he never says that it is the Lord Himself who makes the cry. Perhaps this is why, in Jewish traditions, this cry is the equivalent of the awakening Shofar blast blown on the Feasts of Trumpets, which is the First Trumpet sound heard on that day, of 100 blasts. Again, the first cry/shout in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is to get those alive members of the Bride of Christ who have been sleeping to awake, get up, and be ready for the Groom’s return.
The shout from the ruling angel, or Archangel, is symbolic of the voice that resurrects the dead, which is similar to the same loud voice Christ Jesus uses in John 11:43-44 to call Lazarus from the grave. The second voice/shout is to resurrect the dead in Christ—those believers who are sleeping in their graves, like Christ said Lazarus was doing in his grave (cf. John 11:11). In essence, the voice of the Archangel will be shouting: Live! Arise! Ascend!
The Trumpet of God or The Last Trump is the Feast of Trumpets’ first blast that calls the Jewish people to the Feasts of Trumpets. This Trumpet of God or Last Trump blows after the first sliver of the New Moon is seen, which signifies the Feast of Trumpets has begun. Furthermore, the Feast of Trumpets is the only one of the Jewish moedim (holidays) that begins on a New Moon, and it’s the only holiday that doesn’t have a specific reason for its observance.
In Jewish tradition, on the Feast of Trumpets is when the 6 days of Creation were completed, when Adam and Eve were created, when Sarah conceived Isaac, and so forth. More important, according to Jewish traditions, it was on Rosh HaShanah that Enoch was raptured, and it is on this feast day that the Jews believe the day of the resurrection of the dead happens. Perhaps these last two reasons are why God doesn’t give any specific reason for celebrating this Feast of Trumpets, as the Rapture is supposed to happen on a day and at an hour that no man knows, and since this feast happens on the New Moon, it is a day no man knows—no man knows when the day of Rosh HaShanah actually begins (Jews had to wait until someone saw the first sliver of the New Moon, before the Sanhedrin would declare the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets).
Lastly, according to rabbinical tradition, Rosh HaShanah is the day that the destiny of the righteous is written in the Book of Life, while the destiny of the wicked is written in the Book of Death. However, most people’s names aren’t written in either book until Yom Kippur, which is 10 days later. Thus, the Trumpet of God or Last Trump also is heralding the soon to begin Tribulation Period, which leads to the Day of the Lord—God’s Judgment on this entire world, when everyone’s judgment has been sealed.
P.S. I’ve also done a study of the “thief in the night” phrase.
By the way, I would like to read your study about the thief if you have written on it. And I was also wondering if you could recommend a good book about the trumpets and the traditions you’re talking about and how they relate to end times?
I’d like to comment on Nadine’s thoughts, if I may. Unfortunately, the recurring words throughout her assessment are “Jewish tradition” and “rabbinical tradition.” I believe Matthew 24 is definitive, in Scripture — not tradition (and I’m sure Nadine loves and honors Scripture; I’m not implying otherwise).
I think one of the most serious violations to Scripture by pre-tribulationists (and I was one — for most of my life!) is how they mishandle Matthew 24. Our LORD lays out a clear chronology for His coming: AFTER the Tribulation of those days, the world shall see the sign of His coming in the heavens, and He will come with power and great glory. The only way to force in a ‘secret rapture’ into Matthew 24 is to deny that Christ was talking about His Church at all! Pre-tribs claim He was only talking about the Jews! Though “the elect’ is consistently used throughout Scripture to mean the Redeemed, and Christ’s Body (and this is ESPECIALLY SO IN THE NEW TESTAMENT), the pre-tribulationist view insists ‘elect’ here means only Jews.
I recall reading Matthew 24 as a teen, so very eager to understand His coming again. I was frustrated, puzzled, why Christ’s teaching gave no hint whatsoever of a separate rapture (which, if He had done so, would make for TWO comings, TWO resurrections of the Just, TWO final trumpets !!!). At that time, as an affronted teen, the only way I could avoid the obvious teaching of Matthew 24’s teaching was to cling to Scofield’s notes and believe them. But early on, I was left with a feeling that Christians had to put some kind of fuzzy puzzle together about the rapture, because what Christ said didn’t really explain His second coming to US CHRISTIANS. And, clinging to the belief of a separate rapture for Christians — a rapture apart from Jews who will be redeemed at His coming — with that assumption, (a priori) in what I read in Mathew 24, Christ did not really answer the disciples’ question: What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age. At least not for me, a Christian, the intended recipient of a separate, secret whisking away for 7 years, where most (?) of the just have been resurrected, but a whole lot more haven’t!
Speaking of a whole lot more — have you noticed that the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” standing before the throne in Revelation 7:9, is NOT the redeemed of all ages? “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” I’ve recently learned through the ministry of Mystery of Israel that this particular passage has DOUBLE ARTICLES — i.e., THE tribulation, THE great one. (Someone might want to check out this observation, for accuracy). These are a throng too amazingly vast to be counted, who DIED IN CHRIST SINCE THE SUPPOSED RESURRECTION OF THE SECRET RAPTURE! When will this stupendous crowd be resurrected, and rewarded at the resurrection of the Just, as Scripture declares?
Nadine mentioned the children of the Millennium. I think that is truly a mystery. My pet thought is that perhaps they include the children who died prematurely on earth — and they have died by the millions. Personally, I think of a pastor’s wife I know who lost both of her children, and remains childless now. Perhaps God allows parents the glorious restoration of these children; perhaps bereaved parents will have the joy of seeing them grow to a certain eternal maturity during the Millennial time. But, of course, my idea is no more Scriptural than is Jewish tradition.
My heart leaps with the study of His Coming. Isn’t it wonderful? !!!
Jon, you spoke of some planned reading. Please suffer me to add info about a reading recommendation from me that you earlier posted on P2ALM.
I cannot say enough about the meticulous, scholarly, Biblical study of Alexander Reese, “The Approaching Advent of Christ,” published on the internet for free, by pbministries.org (I gave the link in an earlier comment on your website). The writer of the “Forward” to this wonderful post-tribulationist apologetic says:
“….After ransacking and pillaging used theological bookstores on both sides of the Atlantic…I concluded that it was virtually impossible to find a copy of this most valuable book //written in 1937//. It is with great personal delight that I now write this Foreword, commending the book without hesitation or reservation to the entire Christian world as one that should be read and studied by every student of Bible prophecy….
“It is the opinion of the writer //Forword writer, i.e.// that NO GREATER BOOK HAS EVER BEEN WRITTEN WHICH SETS FORTH AND DEFENDS SO CONVINCINGLY THE ‘HISTORICAL’ PREMILLENNIAL POSITION….” //emphases mine –” ‘historical’ premillennial” means POST-tribulation rapture, and before (or pre-) to the Millennium. “Premillennial” as Reese uses it, is not to be confused with Pre-Trib. As Reese exlains it, Historical Premillennialism is that Christ comes to destroy the Antichrist, and at that time, the Just are resurrected BEFORE the Millennium. Reese includes substantial documentation that the Church has believed through the centuries that it would one day face the wrath of Antichrist//
The Forword continues:
“Concisely and simply stated, here is a ‘classic’. It is remarkable that almost any book the writer has read on prophetic subjects, printed since 1938, has either referred to or quoted from this book….”
Note that Chapter 1 gives a lengthy, detailed — even ponderous– summary of the tenets of “the new view” (as Reese termed it) of PRE-tribulationism. Don’t be discouraged, or bogged down if you decide to read this free on-line book. The thoroughly captivating, exhaustive, scholarly, worshipful study of the case for post-tribulationism begins at Chapter 2, ff. (At the end of each section or chapter, click on “Back to Index” to find the next chapter.)
i will certainly be reading this book! thank you for reminding me. i’ve got so many things stuffed in my head it’s easy for me to forget things lol.
It is apparent that we disagree about the significance of the Jewish traditions established by God (i.e, Jews’ customs, culture, mandated biblical feasts, etc.). I have been shown by the Holy Spirit that these Jewish traditions are very important, as even Christ Jesus, a Jew, kept them. Thus, to me, nothing is in the Holy Bible just to take up space. The entire Holy Bible has been given so that the Holy Spirit could teach us, correct our errors (including any misunderstandings we might have about biblical passages), convict us, and instruct us about righteousness, including all of those Scriptures that deal with Jewish traditions that God Himself established.
The entire Holy Bible helps every believer in Christ Jesus understand the “mysteries” God has inspired the writers of the Holy Bible to record–Jewish writers mostly, I might add. There is no doubt, at least not for me, that one of the many reasons why God gave every saved and being sanctified believer His Holy Spirit was so that He could illuminate the entire Word of God to the Lord’s followers, if they let Him!
While I have read and viewed plenty extra-biblical sources, my primary source is the Holy Bible, and my primary teacher is the Holy Spirit (of course, I’m not saying that the same is not true for you). Still, it is very apparent that we also disagree about the end-time events in Matthew 24 being chronological. I also disagree with your statement about pre-tribulation proponents having “mishandled” Matthew 24. You indeed are entitled to your opinions, but I pray that you not assume that every one who has a different understanding than yours must have obtained that opposing opinion by “mishandling” God’s Word.
Shalom . . .
I’m sorry, but you can’t use Jewish tradition as the basis for doctrine, but only the Word of God. “Do not go beyond what is written.”
The supposed Jewish wedding traditiin is not biblical, nor can it be found in any written traditions (If it can, show me where.) This tradition was created by well-meaning people who took bits and pieces from various Jewish writing and glue them together into a scenario that seems to fit what the Bible teaches. As time went on it became more and more embellished. Now we have PreTrib teachers telling us that the Bridegroom would speak these words to his future Bride: “Now I go to prepare a place, and if I go I will return and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you will be also.” It shows the lengths that PreTrib teachers will go to prove a doctrine that isn’t in the Bible.
When a person has wrong theology, it will follow that their eschatology will be wrong. PreTribbers teach that the Church is a parenthesis in God’s dealings with man, and that when the “parenthesis” is complete, God will go back to dealing with Israel under the Old Covenant. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church, the New Covenenat is the fulfillment of the Ages. The Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, was put in place until the coming of the Seed, the Holy Spirit. There is not going back. In order for the remnant of Israel to be saved, she must be grafted back into the Olive Tree. This is ONLY through the New Covenant. The Church Age continues until the Second Coming when Jacob, after wrestling with God through the night (the Great Tribulation) is saved and grafted back into Israel (the Church, made up of Jew and Gentile, one new man in Christ). God does not have two covenant people, but one. Unbelieving Jews are not the people of God. As Paul says: Not all of Israel are truly Israel, but only those who are of the faith of Abraham. Unbelieving Jews are not God’s people, but God has a future plan for the salvation of a remnant. They will be saved by faith in Christ and will be grafted into the Body of Christ.
The Seventieth week is the last seven years of the Church Age. Peter tells us the “Pentecost,” the Church age, begings with the pouring out of the spirit on all flesh, and ends with the apostasy and the darkening of the sun, moon and stars, which Jesus tells us is after the Great Tribulation, a time of unequaled distress.
Paul also tells us that the coming of the Lord and our gathering to Him will not occur until this apostasy and the revealing of the Man of Son at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Very plain and simple.
If PreTribbers insist on a coming “for the saints” and a coming “with the saints,” well then it is possible that the Rapture occurs on the Feast of Trumpets and the Second Coming happens ten days later (not seven years) after the Bowls of wrath are poured out. Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the very day. He most likely fulfills the Fall Feasts in the same way, ALL within a period between Tishri 1 and Tishri 22 (or 23 depending on whether you consider the Eight Day a part of Tabernacles.
I just came by another fascinating “rapture” piece on Google entitled “Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event” (seen on Joe Ortiz’s “End Times Passover” blog). Some of us may want to take a tranquilizer first!
interesting read but the man has a link on his site entitled “The Rapture is False!” which leads to a video that takes a handful of unrelated verses out of context as its argument. anyone who says there is no rapture – or gathering of believers to Christ at His return – does not understand what the rapture is. if that’s his position then i have to be skeptical about his other research.
i don’t want to completely dismiss Jewish wedding traditions as having nothing to do with the time that is coming without studying them first but i can’t shake the fact that Paul was writing to gentiles – the Thessalonians – who would have had no idea about these traditions and he says this:
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
[1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 NASB]
he does not go into an explanation of wedding traditions in either of his letters.
Regarding our discussion about Matthew 24 — the signs, and the chronology of His Second Coming, as outlined by our LORD — may I tackle here another aspect? I refer to the issue of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, that Christ addressed.
There are many videos about “strange weather” and the like on the internet. In mere minutes the viewers may see shocking storms, hail, floods, volcanoes, etc., Visually experiencing this messy heap of world-wide events, can easily lead one to think at any second Christ must come, because nature has gotten so out of whack. Undoubtedly, the calamities of Matthew 24 are NOTABLY ESCALATING (especially in the realm of multiplying earthquakes). Still – CAUTION is the watchword, even though everything points to a VERY soon return of Christ. I believe, in observing these things, it is wise to know what Christians and people have endured throughout history, since the time Christ spoke of such calamities in Matthew 24.
However arresting the sight of all these things, I was recently reminded of some historical facts, in an 1890 post-trib article (by an Adventist writer, I believe; Pacific Press Publishing Co., pp. 17-19): “An Exposition of Matthew Twenty-Four on the Second Coming of Christ”. This internet article makes the point that the warning about coming wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, was our LORD’s way of discouraging an imminent view of His return; He spoke of “events of common occurrence all the way through the Christian age.”
“The prophets,” continues the anonymous author, “had so uniformly associated such judgment as war, famine, pestilence, and earthquakes with the last judgment, that the disciples were in danger of concluding that the end would immediately follow the least appearance of these calamities; hence the caution given: ‘These things must come to pass, but the end is not yet’. Here the disciples were really taught that they should not expect the end in their day…. But when he //He// comes near our time, the Lord gives signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars, and adds, ‘When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors’ “.
Noting that the calamities first given in Matthew 24 have occurred over the last 17 centuries, this article cites the following statistics of severe earthly catastrophes, as given by Noah Webster, LL.D., published in 1799:
“By famine and sword, 580,000 Jews were destroyed between A.D. 96 and A.D. 180.
“In Antioch, from A.D. 96 to A.D.180, earthquakes destroyed 13 cities and over 100,000 lives.
“In Rome, A.D. 169 pestilence destroyed 10,000 daily.
“In Rome, A.D. 187, pestilence appeared and continued three years.
“In London, A.D. 310, by famines, 40,000 died.
“In A.D. 446, September 17th, an earthquake shook down the walls of Constantinople, and 57 towers fell.
“In Rome, A.D. 539, in one district 50,000 died.
“In Antioch A.D. 588, an earthquake killed 60,000.
“In A.D. 542, the plague killed 10,000 daily in Turkey.
“In A.D. 679, a severe famine in England, three years.
“In A.D. 717, in Constantinople, 300,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1005, earthquakes three months, followed by pestilence, by which it is said one-third of the human race died.
“In A.D. 1077, in Constantinople, so many died by plague and famine the living could not bury them.
“In A.D. 124, in Italy, there was such famine that the dead lay in the streets not buried; and in England one-third of the people died of plague.
“In A.D. 1294, in England, thousands died of famine.
“In A.D. 1346, in London, 50,00o //sic// died of plague and famine, and were buried in one grave-yard; in Norwich, 50,000; in Venice, 100,000; in Florence, 100,000; in Eastern nations, 20,000,000 It was called the black death.
“In A.D. 1450, in Milan, 60,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1572, in Lyons, 50,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1625, in London, 35,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1656, in Naples, 300,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1665, in London, 68,000 died of plague.
“In A.D. 1755, an earthquake destroyed the city of Lisbon, killing 50,000. In Mitylene, and the Archipelago, it shook down 2,000 houses. It shook all the Spanish coast. The plague followed, which destroyed 150,000 persons in Constantinople.”
And, of course, this ghastly list does not include the millions who died in two world wars, the world-wide plague of WWI, recent devasting tsunamis, nor the escalating earthquakes, where our globe seems to be shaking continually in varied places. (Just recently, FOUR formerly inactive volcanoes in Russia, hundreds of miles apart, erupted virtually simultaneously!)
All of these “beginning of sorrows” certainly make believers look up, for their Redemption is closer at hand than ever before. The caution I see as necessary, is that, while looking expectantly and longingly for our Savior’s Parousia (Coming), we avoid dogmatism, date-setting, and conclusions drawn too quickly. The article herein cited, e.g., focuses exclusively (and I think, erroneously) on the Papacy as fulfilling Antichrist prophecies. In 1890, when the article was written, there was no nation of Israel back in the land as the result of two world wars and a Holocaust; and no global conquests going on in the name of Islam!
I’m sure many Christians experiencing the above cited calamities must have thought Christ’s coming was at the doors. How must the 60,000 Christians in North Korea’s devilish concentration camps feel their own tribulation at this hour?
I speak this caution as a “patience of the saints” — and NOT to discourage the eager expectation of His Coming. Christ gave us warnings, to PREPARE us for the time coming, when, if God would not shorten the days, no flesh would survive. But for the elect’s sake — for all His redeemed people throughout our earth — He will shorten the days.
God has been every whit faithful in all the sufferings of past calamities. Not yet has the mystery of sin, and the mystery of suffering, been explained to us.
One thing is exhilaratingly clear: His coming is nearer today, than it was when you began to read this posting on P2ALM !!!
@p2alm This is good. I recently have questioned my dispensational, pretrib.background that I’ve had for years. I am not welcome at the church I’ve belonged to for 20 years. I don’t attend anywhere now…so sad. But, this is definitely fascinating stuff…i keep asking the Lord to confirm His truth with me….as sometimes you feel like a fish out of water.
i’m glad to be able to help you in this way and i’m sorry to hear you would no longer be welcome at your church for that reason. that’s very sad.
God, in His mercy, has designed it so that when Satan persecutes the Church the Church grows [Acts 8:1-4]. i have a hard time believing that He would withhold the Church from the greatest time of persecution to ever exist on the face of the earth. it is my opinion that the Church will experience the greatest amount of growth since its founding during this time. in fact, i expect that, as times become darker, people will actually seek us out to learn about God because there won’t be anywhere else to go. it’s already happening in other parts of the world.
it has been my experience that, sometimes, we become so ingrained with a belief (particularly in regard to the rapture) that we no longer see the very words on the page we are reading. what i mean is, read these verses about the Antichrist and consider what he is doing in them:
in all of these verses it specifically says the Antichrist (and Satan) will wage war against the saints. who are saints? they are believers – the Church.
and again, here, the saints are present:
now, when you already believe the Church will be raptured before this time and you come across these verses, then you are forced to invent a second rapture, or a secret rapture, or a second resurrection instead of thinking that perhaps you placed the rapture in the wrong place to begin with. and sometimes it becomes a logical fallacy in that you are assuming what you are trying to prove.
here’s a simple exercise i did with three of my friends. it was part of our pastoral training. it might help you, too. you are also welcome to browse The Rapture category and hit me up with questions at any time.
Reblogged this on shasblog's Blog.
Is the post-tribulation view heretical?
This view has a number of flaws and it is also promoted by some very questionable sources …. those who are aggressive on the issue and state that the pre-tribulation view is a “lie of the devil”
These say that the tribulation is Satan’s wrath rather than the Lord’s …. not true
They also claim that the gatherings after the days of the tribulation are resurrections …. not true
And they debunk the truth about believing mortal survivors of the tribulation entering and populating the Lord’s coming millennial kingdom …. as mortals … this is a biblical fact
One can see why they must skew these things in order to support their false theology …. “on” the last day is not scriptural …. it is either “in” the last day, or “at” the last day …. these connotations indicate a time frame … not just one 24 hour day
Is there a hidden danger in the teaching?
There may very well be
First I would say that the “lie” of the devil is their position …. his ambition will be to get as many to enter the tribulation since he will be on the earth deceiving and or killing those who will not submit to him
I believe that the majority of professing Christianity today are not saved, but think they are, and if they are relying upon a tribulation experience for evidence of biblical truth before they get serious about seeking a relationship with the Lord this could be a problem for these fence sitters [Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 3:9-15]
Once in the tribulation they will face much upheaval, confusion, deceptions, and even their own death
….. and the same will not repent as the Lord has warned …. in this case they will be killed and lost forever
1) Many PreTribbers say the same thing about those of other views.
2) Revelation 12 says the devil goes down to the earth having great wrath. Just as God allowed Satan to have his way with Job, in order to test him and purify him, so God will allow Satan to have his way with the Church. It is not God’s wrath, but it is God’s judgement which begins with the house of God. Just as Israel remained in Egypt while the plagues fell, so the Church will remain on earth during the Trumpet judgements. And as Israel was escort out of Egypt by Moses and Aaron as wrath was poured out on Pharaoh and his armies so the Church will be escorted out of “Babylon” by the Two Witness as Antichrist and his followers are destroyed. The pattern can also be seen in the two spies escorting Rahab out of Jericho as the walls fell, and Lot being escort out of Sodom as the fire fell.
The trumpets are partial judgements (1/3 of the earth and those with the mark) meant to bring repentance. They are God’s judgement mixed with mercy. But when His patience has reach an end because “they refused to repent,” He will pour out His bowls of wrath full strength, without mercy. it will be swift and full and complete.
The Seals are the wrath of Satan, which God allows to purify His people so that their faith comes out as gold tried in the fire. The Trumpets are judgements meant to bring repentance of unbelievers, just as the plagues of Egypt were meant to bring Pharaoh and Egypt to repentance. The Bowls are the wrath of God poured out on those whp refuse to repent.
3) The gathering (singular) after the Tribulation ARE the rapture/resurrection. Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 24. “After the tribulation of those days, He will gather His elect from the ends of the earth (rapture) to the ends of the heaven (the dead in Christ).
4) Zechariah states that all of the survivors from the nations that attacked Jerusalem will go up each year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. These are mortals.
5) A time frame? Isaiah tells us that it will be a 24 hour day, a day like no other, because at evening it will be as the light of day. That “DAY” according to Jesus is the Day of Atonement. “At His first coming He closed the Book and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” His first coming was the acceptable year of the Lord. His second coming will be a day of vengeance.
6) Is there a hidden danger to the PreTrib rapture theory. Just said there is. He said that, because of persecution, Satan would steal the Word from the hearts of some. Because many have not “counted the cost” and are expecting to be raptured out before things get bad, many will not be ready and will fall away. However, those who believe they will experience the Great Tribulation have counted the cost, will not be caught unaware. The Great Tribulation is going to strip away everthing that we trust and depend on…money, entertainment, technology, etc. Only those who have built their house of the Rock will stand. And only those who have kept the Word as a Lamp unto their feet and a Light unto their path will be able to see through the darkness of the Great Tribulation. Those who have lost the Light, like the foolish virgins, will not understand. “The wise will understand, but the wicked will continue to be wicked.”
7) The lie of the devil is in the PreTrib teaching. Like a prowling lion, he is standing ready to snatch the Word from many. There will be anger and disappointment and fear for those who realize they are in the middle of the Trumpet judgements.
8) The majority of Christians believe they are saved, but they have no root, and their house is built on sand. Their foundation and trust is in the things of this word, on hay, wood, and stubble. Soon, they will be forced to make a choice and only some will be save as “barely escaping the flames.” It will be one or the other, and as Lot’s wife found out, you can’t have it both ways.
9) Yes, all believers will face much upheaval, confusion, deception, and even their own deaths. But those who guarded the word of Christ’s perseverance wil be guarded from the “hour of trial” that is coming on the whole earth to test them. Peter once told Jesus that he would never deny Him, that even if these other do, he would die with Jesus. During the “hour of trial” in Gethsemane, Jesus told the three to watch and pray, lest their faith fail. They fell asleep, and as Peter was denying his Lord, the others were hiding in fear. This story is a type and pattern of what will happen to the Church during her hour of trial. Satan will ask the Lord to sift us as wheat. And many will fall. But Jesus is praying that our faith not fail, and many will stumble and be purified, as Peter was. And like Peter many will be led to a place they do not want to go.
10) The salvation of a believer does not depend on their view of eschatology. Although it will affect how they respond to future events, none will be killed or lost because of their belief about the timing of the rapture. What matters is that we endure to the end, that we overcome by the blood and the word of our testimony, and love not our live, but be willing to “follow the Lamb wherver He goes.”
I will not argue and try to convince you that there is no PreTrib rapture. If the plain words of Scripture have not convinced you, neither will I. Only know this. If I am wrong, I have lost nothing, but gained everything. If you are wrong, however, and have convince others that they will not face the Antichrist, then you will be responsible for the falling away of those who were not prepared.
Very well said. To put it plainly there is truth here. Reading his word and seeking wisdom through prayer will lead many to it. 1 Corinthians 15:51 clearly coincide with the final trumpet of our Rvelation. It is indeed wicked to befall such a lie in pre-tribulation. I only pray the fire does not consume me and my family before then. Stand fast and God speed.
[Just discovered your good site. Here’s a creative little something seen on the net that may be of interest. Lord bless.]
SECOND COMING ITEMS FOR SALE !
by Dave MacPherson
In a recent dream of mine I saw things that even John Bunyan didn’t dream about in his “Pilgrim’s Progress.”
I was walking down a remote dirt road and came by an old store with a sign that said “Second Coming Store – Established in 1830.”
I opened the door and spotted the elderly owner standing next to shelves covered with many bottles filled with liquids.
“What are you selling?” I asked.
“Second Coming perfume,” he said.
He quickly explained: “Our first and most popular perfume is called ‘Rapture.’ It doesn’t have much substance but smells better than our other perfumes.”
“How was ‘Rapture’ invented?,” I asked.
He responded: “Well, the ‘gather’ in Matt. 24:31 was ‘borrowed’ in 1830 and when it was quietly transferred to a pretrib setting it became much more fragrant and ‘Rapture’ became its new name.”
I also noticed the other bottled perfumes.
Evidently reading my mind, he explained that after “Rapture” came out in 1830, other perfumers realized they’d have to stretch forward other ingredients found in other parts of the Olivet Discourse in order to make “Rapture” even more acceptable.
His other “Rapture”-supporting perfumes were in bottles labeled “Unknown Day & Hour,” “One Taken & the Other Left,” “Thief in the Night,” and “His Elect” (Olivet Discourse “elect” was originally “Church” but later changed to “Israel”).
I wondered why the store owner didn’t have some other Olivet Discourse perfumes like “Sun & Moon Darkening,” “Falling Heavenly Stars,” “Sudden Destruction,” and “Jerusalem Touchdown” which could also be placed in a pretrib setting.
He said: “I could never sell the four perfumes you just mentioned!”
I asked: “Why not? They’re in the same Discourse.”
He blushed and said: “Folks would smell a rat!”
Well, I finally woke up from my dream. If you think my dream was just a dream, then you are dreaming!
The 12th chapter of Revelation has two distinct seed of the woman that it mentions. First, one should realize who the woman is.
Galatians 4:22-26 KJVS
 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Now in the 12th chapter of Revelation we have the man child being birthed who will rule with a rod of iron, Re 12:5. Most all agree that the man child is the body of Christ. There are two verses from that chapter that are most interesting.
Revelation 12:6,17 KJVS
 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
So it is important to realize that not all of the promise seed are going to be raptured/caught up/resurrected at the same time. It is also interesting to note that the 3 1/2 years mentioned, with various terminology, 5 times in the book of revelation, Re 11:2, 11:3,12:6, 12:14, 13:5, May in fact all take place at the same time. Another interesting fact that has come to my attention is that the wonder or sign in the heavens described in Re 12:1&2 is to appear for the first time in history involving the constellations of Virgo and Leo, the planet Jupiter and the three wandering stars Mercury, Mars and Venus on September 23, 2017. See more information regarding this matter in the first article at http://www.justifiedfreely.com
No, “most all” do not agree that the manchild is the body of Christ. The manchild IS Christ. The woman (Israel) did not give birth to the body of Christ. Israel gave birth to Christ. The remnant of her seed are the elect, a remnant chosen by grace…i.e., the Church.
Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Just as it is said the man child will rule with a rod of iron, Re 12:5, it is also those who overcome who will rule the nations with a rod of iron, Re 2:26&27
The man child is the Union of Jesus Christ and his body the ecclesia. The woman is Jerusalem above or heavenly Zion. If Israel of the promise is counted for the seed, Ro 9:6-8, then how can Israel birth itself?
Isaiah 66:7-8 KJVS
 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Just going by what the prophets and Apostle Paul said by the influence of the Holy Spirit, not by what men say.
Jesus is the Seed of the Woman who will rule the nations with a rod of iron. We, the Church, His Body, are the remnant of her seed, those who have the Testimony of Jesus and obey the commandments. Isaiah 66:7 refers to the birth of Christ. BEFORE Zion travailed, she gave birth to a Son, Christ the Man Child. THEN, AS SOON AS Zion travailed she gave birth to her CHILDREN, the Body of the Manchild, the Church. It says that nation is born in a DAY. ONE DAY. This is referring to the resurrection.
There are several resurrections mentioned in Revelation. They are all the same event, from different points of view in relation to different events, and using different terminology for the Body of Christ.
The wonder or sign of the woman as described in Re 12:1-5 takes place only one time in history on Sept. 23,2017. See first article at http://www.justifiedfreely.com. The Revelation given to John covers what he hast seen, the things that are and the things which shall be hereafter.
Revelation 1:19 KJVS
 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Since the exact astrological sign given in Re 12:1&2 appears to only take place one time, at one specific future date. I would think the man child is the corporate body of Christ, the Deliverer who comes out of Sion, Ro 11:26. You can use the Stellarium software, which is a free computer download, and see if the birth of Jesus matches the sign of Re 12:1&2 in the heavens historically on that date, and it don’t. There are two times the word remnant is used in connection with the word seed in the NT, Ro 9:27, 11:5 and Re 12:17. Three different Greek words were used in these three verses and were translated into the English word remnant in the King James Version. The point being made is there are several different remnant seeds and resurrection as you point out, but scripture indicates to me that the man child is the corporate Christ.
Are you ready for the fiery trial. I have been in one for some time.
1 Peter 4:1-2,12-13 KJVS
 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Sept 23. 2017? Stellarium software, eh? Ok, whatever you say.
I believe that it is the devil who tells that the pre-tribulation call of the Lord’s to immortalize His true ecclesia is the lie
This reprobate angel hates the idea of human immortality and wants to deceive as many as he can into the coming tribulation
Those like David McPherson spread the Darby/ MacDonald ruse as a basis for promoting this lie …. MacDonald’s vision actually has her “church” going through the tribulation …. the vision is on the Internet
Also, Matthew 24; and Luke 21:20-36 is all about Israel in the tribulation and not the NT church
And even then, there will be those who become believers during the tribulation who will survive the same and these will enter and populate the Lord’s millennial kingdom as mortals just after the days of the tribulation
If all of the Lord’s true ecclesia are called to immortality at the ending of the tribulation, there will be no saved mortals to enter and populate the Lord’s millennial kingdom …. but there will be [Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46]
These gatherings are not resurrections of any one
Here is the proof of the Lord’s pre-tribulation call …. those that dwell in heaven just before and during the coming tribulation [Revelation 4:4; 5:1-10; 7:9-17; 11:1; 13;6; 17:14; 19:1-9; 19:14; 20:4 [those already on thrones]]
A scripture that definitively places the time of the resurrection is this one.
Revelation 10:7 KJVS
 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:26&27. The definition for the word sound in Re 10:7, is the sounding of a trumpet. There are several other NT scriptures that mention trump and trumpet sounding as when the rapture occurs. In Re 7:3 the slaves or servants of God are sealed so the locust that come out of the bottomless pit, Re 9:3, do no harm to God’s servants on the earth, Re 9:4. There are two seed of the woman mentioned in the 12th chapter of Revelation. The man child, and the remnant seed mentioned in the last verse in that chapter.
Revelation 12:17 KJVS
 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. I
I determined a decade or so ago that if I wanted to learn sound doctrine I would study the Word to show myself approved and studiously avoid the various doctrines of man that often are designed to deceive and confuse.
Ephesians 4:14 KJVS
 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Sound doctrine is of course encapsulated in the scriptures and scriptures support and define themselves.
The 7th judgment trumpet of Revelation will begin to sound toward the ending of the coming tribulation priod
This is not a resurrection trumpet, but one that will trigger the 7 vials of the Lord’s judgment upon the kingdom of the beast, the little horn, and his followers at the battle of Armageddon [Ezekiel 38; 39; Joel 3:9-21; Micah 5; Zechariah 12; 14:2; Revelation 10:7; 11:15; 14:14-20; 15:6; 16:12-16; 19:11-21]
The final and next trumpet of Revelation will involve the Lord’s gathering of the mortal survivors of the tribulation period just after the days of the tribulation
First of Israel [Isaiah 11; 27:12-13; Matthew 24:29-31]
And then of the Gentiles of the nations [Matthew 25:31-46]
Neither is this trumpet a resurrection trumpet, but the gathering of believing mortals who will enter and populate the Lord’s millennial kingdom upon the earth …. those found in unbelief will be rejected
There are two types of resurrections, the resurrection to eternal life, and the resurrection to eternal damnation
There are 3 of the first:
The last trumpet of the Lord’s call for His pre-tribulation ecclesia [1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18] …. [the first trumpet for the same is found here [Revelation 1:10]]
The resurrection of those who become believers during the tribulation and are beheaded including the Lord’s two prophets will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation period [Revelation 6:9-11; 11:12; 15:2-3; 20:1-4]
The pre-tribulation ecclesia are seen already on thrones in 20:1-4, the tribulation ecclesia in the same verse are the ones beheaded
There is only 1 of the second type of resurrection, the resurrection to the second death of the unbeliever [Revelation 20:11-15]
Steve, Re 12:17 indicates that a remnant of the woman’s seed is going to be warred upon by the dragon. The man child that is caught up to the throne of heaven is also the seed of the woman. Are that remnant seed, mentioned in Re 12:17, part of the promise seed, are they members of the body of Christ? They certainly are the woman’s seed because the verse states that. I necessarily do not ascribe to the 70th week of Daniel, prophetic gap theory. The now desceased Bryan Huie wrote a interesting article on that. http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=70-Weeks-Daniel If what he states in that article is true, mid tribulation anything has no meaning and the various references to 3 1/2 years, 42 months and the like in Revelation are talking about the same period of time. The time period mentioned in Re 12, Re 12:6&14. It would seem to me that the fulfillment of the mystery of God, man child, the Christ mentioned in the following verses, are resurrected by the sound of the trumpet of the seventh angel. Revelation 10:7 KJVS  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. Revelation 11:15 KJVS  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. Revelation 12:5 KJVS  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
Steve, you can split as many hairs as you like and quote as many OT scriptures as you like but the NT verse clearly defines the point in time that the body of Christ meets the Lord in the air, at the last, seventh trumpet. 1 Corinthians 15:52 KJVS  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJVS  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:
Steve, I have a spinal cord injury. My left side is compromised with nerve damage and the left hand lacked the dexterity to type. So I am writing on a iPad with my index finger, basically one letter at a time, coving ground I have already covered on my website. If you are not familiar with the likely fulfillment of the wonders or signs in the heaven prophecies of Re 12:1-3 on 9/12/2017, then see the first article on my website http://www.justifiedfreely.com In regards to the mystery of God being finished at the last or seventh trumpet of Revelation see this article. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=576 Thanks for corresponding with me Steve. As you pointed out there are different points in time where people take part in the first resurrection. Resurrection of the just and unjust. Resurrection of the body of Christ. Dry bones resurrection presumably when all Israel will be saved, when the Deliverer comes out of Sion, Ro 11:26. I can not tell you who or what the remnant seed of the woman are in Re 12:17. If they are in the body of Christ, they obviously are not a part of the man child. I can not tell you if the birth of the man child is the body of Christ meeting the Lord in the air, but most theologies think so. There are gray areas in scripture and I try not to speculate beyond what is written. I just a do hope to be a part of the man child and caught up to God’s throne. And I hope it takes place next year on or near September 23rd. I found out when my mother died, that her mother’s maiden name was Rosenthal. Perhaps I am Jewish. I don’t know if that has any bearing on the matter or not. Check my website out and hope to see you Steve, in the clouds with our Lord. Luke