One of the most talked about subjects in the Bible is the rapture. People have many opinions on the topic, to be sure. From myth to reality, from literal to allegorical – and everything in between. However, when believed to be literal, it is then placed all over the eschatological spectrum. Did it already happen? Will it happen before the tribulation? During the tribulation? After? In other words…there are more views about the rapture than we can shake a stick at. I don’t intend to write another article defending the pre-tribulation and pre-millennial rapture, but here we go. I will state my position from the start and assert that the rapture will occur before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (the Great Tribulation) begins.
Incidentally, there is more than one Rapture mentioned in the Bible. Including the Rapture of the Believers, there are possibly eight different Raptures. Enoch was raptured in Genesis 5:24, Elijah was taken up in 2 Kings 2:11-12, and Yeshua was caught up in Revelation 12:5. Philip (Acts 8:39-40) and Paul (2 Corinthians 123:1-4) were temporarily raptured. John was possibly raptured in Revelation 4:1-2, the believers will be raptured according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and finally, the two witnesses in Revelation 11:11-12. So, the future Rapture of the believers is one of several, but definitely the most important in the history of mankind.
Taking a pre-tribulational and pre-millennial position, when we read 1 Corinthians 15:52, “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,” we are told of a “last trumpet.” Many will argue that this is a reference to the last trumpet in God’s prophetic program as in Revelation 11:15. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the subject is the Church being caught up in the sky to be with Yeshua. The trumpet of God’s grace sounds to announce that event. It also connects to the Tekiah Gedolah or last trumpet of the Feast of Rosh Hashanah (this doesn’t necessitate for the Rapture to happen on Rosh Hashanah. It could, but it doesn’t have to). On the other hand, the trumpet in Revelation 11:15 is within a different context. It relates to a fallen, rebellious world and the judgment of sinners and is part of a progressive series of judgments during the Great Tribulation. There is no thematic connection between 1 Corinthians 15:52 and Revelation 11:15.
Two more pressing questions must be answered:
What happens one second BEFORE the Rapture? Since the Rapture is imminent (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 John 3:2-3), anything can be happening one second before the Rapture. There is absolutely no exact sign that we can expect before the Rapture. Some people call it “signless. It could happen at any moment. In his book Kept from the Hour, Gerald Stanton defines the imminence of the Rapture as follows: “The certainty that He may come at any moment, the uncertainty of the time of that arrival, and the fact that no prophesied event stands between the believer and that hour.” Other events may happen before the Rapture, but certainly not because they must happen. Too often, those who believe in the pre-millennial rapture of the church try to pinpoint exactly when that is expected. However, they probably have the rapture and second coming confused. It is easy to identify the timing of the Second Coming since it will happen at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation. At the Rapture, Yeshua gets the believers and takes us to Heaven, and He never touches the ground. At the Second Coming, He touches the ground and splits the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) as He returns with the believers.
In other words, nobody knows the moment of the Rapture, so we’d better be ready. Live like it could happen any second, but plan like it won’t. Those of us who believe in an imminent pre-tribulational Rapture should not adopt an attitude of escapism, but we should double up our efforts to speak the Gospel truth to those who don’t yet have a personal relationship with Yeshua.
What happens one second AFTER the Rapture? This is the real question to focus on because Yeshua Airlines consists of only one flight up, and that’s it. Once we fly away, whoever is left behind will have to deal with the consequences triggered by the Great Tribulation one way or another. The Great Tribulation, also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), will last seven years (Daniel 9:26-27). It is a time when God will refocus His program on Israel and the Jewish people. Sadly, the result of that period is that two-thirds of the Jewish people will perish (Zechariah 13:8-9). The most intense trouble doesn’t start until the Tribulation’s mid-point when the Antichrist reveals His true nature and demands to be worshipped. That is also when people will take the mark of the beast or refuse it. The sad truth about that time is that one second after the Rapture, it is too late for people to escape the upcoming wrath of God. It is not too late to refuse the mark of the beast and not worship the Antichrist, but that will almost certainly result in people suffering great harm and dying as Tribulation martyrs. It could all have been avoided if they had been Raptured.
Ultimately the choice is ours. We are not coerced into anything; we are just invited to trust that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and the Savior of the world. One second before or one second after seems like nothing, yet it makes all the difference in the world. Will you be on the flight, or will you go through the fight? This is a flight you shouldn’t miss, but this will be a gruesome fight you might not win.
James Anderson says
Wonderful analysis of the Scriptures. I too have found the truth of the Pre-Trib Rapture and wrote several different papers on the subject.
I prayed one time to the Lord concerning the belief of many that the Rapture must occur in the Feast of Trumpets. I believe, in my heart, that He answered me, saying that it can happen at any moment. He pointed me to the parable of the unjust servant.
Unfortunately, this talk of rapture is very gnostic. We believe as Christians in a bodily resurrection which many have confused with “rapture.” The events spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 will come to pass. Through many trials and tribulations we will enter the kingdom of God. God calls us to suffer with Him and put our collective hope in Him rather than a hope in escaping the suffering. Rapture thinking is escapist gnostic theology. This warped eschatology is a recent development from the 1800s. It does not align with the eschatology of Paul or the Church Fathers.
Ed Ferguson says
Tribulation years are the wrath of God, and the Born Again are not appointed to wrath. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 does indeed address the Rapture of the Church.
peter wild says
Ed, you are right on, how much clearer than it be? Knowing we are not appointed to wrath we are to comfort each other of this knowledge. Where is the blessed hope if someone believes they are going to go through the unspeakable horror of the Trib?
Natalie Klostermann says
Marty Orcutt says
There are indeed verses that are referring to a bodily resurrection that many teachers use as reference to the rapture. It has to do with the box of thinking that comes from years of exposure to inaccurate scripture interpretation.
James Bohinc says
He who speaks does not know. There are more than a dozen church fathers that taught pre Trib rapture including the apostles .The church in 4th century sold its soul to the state and alagorized scripture. Claimed all promises to the Jew for the church.
Your statment about John Darby in
1850 as start of PT teaching is been
Fully proven false. He comes soon
peter wild says
Carl Cooper says
I have to correct one “myth” you have mentioned, one that seems to be a favorite among the “Rapture deniers”. As he stated in the article, there have been several “rapture” events in the Bible. The most prevalent being the “rapture” event of the ‘catching away’ or Ascension of Jesus Himself, right in front of the disciples.
The “Rapture thinking” you mention did NOT begin in the 1800’s….there are numerous writings from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Century Church Fathers who fully expected the “Rapture” could occur in their lifetimes, including Paul who clearly stated his sure belief in the Rapture in 1Thessalonians 4 and 1Corrinthians 15. This only began to change with the teachings of St. Augustine’s “Amillennial beliefs.”
One cannot fully understand God’s true intent and deep LOVE for His Bride, The Church, until one studies the Galilean Wedding….an analogy Jesus Himself used and one that would have been completely understood by His Jewish disciples. Jesus makes it clear that His Bride will NOT be forced to endure the “Wrath to Come” (i.e. Jacob’s Trouble or Tribulation) but rather will be “gathered to the Bridegroom BEFORE that great and terrible day of the Lord….” Go on believing your own “warped eschatology at your own peril.
Lawrence Schau says
I hope and pray that all is well with you and that’s always in the Name of Our Wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.
Just finished reading your comments regarding The Rapture: One Second Before And Second After! written by Olivier Melnick. Let me get right to the point. Olivier states that Enoch was raptured. I’m truly bewildered. Olivier is wrongly dividing The Word of God. Take time and read Hebrews 11:1-13. Hebrews 11:13 says
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen
them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them, and
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth”
The words “These all died in faith” refers back to the names of the people who died in faith in the previous scriptures like Sara, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Noah and even Enoch. Yes, even Enoch is dead today and is waiting for Jesus to utter those three little words from the clouds, “Come up here”.
I am truly blessed to be part of “The Body of Christ” and it appears from your personal comments that we do share similar Biblical values. Drop me a reply if you agree. Ttys
With Kind Regards,
Dennis Schilling says
Hebrews 11:5, By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
peter wild says
Totally agree. It’s as if some people would have a guilt complex if they didn’t have to go through the Trib. Some think we have had this easy, free ride through life when others in different parts of the world and throughout history have been persecuted and we need to pay our dues. The fact is there are more Christians being slaughtered around the world on a daily basis than at any time in history and, also, we are not out of here yet so we don’t know how rough it will get before we are out of here. There is no way God will make His loved ones, His bride, the reason He sent His Son to die for our sins and make a way to heaven to be lumped together with all those who hate and have rejected Him
Peter, just a couple of days ago, the Queensland Police did a big media conference where they announced that Pre-millennials and those who believe in a rapture and tribulation are possibly violent extremists. We also believe the world is growing increasingly evil and that the global catastrophes are a sign. A different network interviewed an academic who basically gaslighted everyone making out the government was not overly controlling and coercive in recent years. He also described the rapture as horribly violent. He did qualify his statement and said that not all Pre-millennials are violent but at the end they called for people to report anyone who might be a threat.
If the rapture doesn’t come soon, I feel we may see persecution of Bible believers in Australia. The mainstream denominations are amillennial so won’t come to our aid.
My understanding is that my salvation is based on my belief in what Scripture teaches of Jesus of Nazareth, not what I believe about the timing of the Rapture. I happen to believe that The Church will be removed prior to the beginning of The Great Tribulation as written of by Paul of Tarsus. I will not break fellowship with if you hold to a differing view.
As Wendy Wippel has said, I’ll be happy to explain it to you on the way up.
Blessings and peace on your house.
So Jesus is a wife beater? Ok.
That’s one way to look at it.
James Anderson says
You are in grave error. All the early Church Fathers all believed in the Rapture, as described in this article. Ken Johnson, a Christian researcher and theologian has written books on it, with 1st Century proof.
Rob C. says
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Your comments, unfortunately are inaccurate. Gnostic teaching is about “special knowledge” but the teaching on the Rapture is not new. My suggestion is for you to look up a couple of verses (two witnesses) in the Old Testament: Isaiah 26:20 and Zeph 2:3 and read those verses in context, meaning read the verses before and after. I think you will see, if you are honest about God’s Word, that there is a group who will escape the coming wrath. We are not appointed to wrath, we are the Bride of Christ! He suffered for us, and yet, while we do suffer in this world and experience pain, death and tribulation, we are not appointed to the Wrath that is to come upon the whole world. You also need to study the Jewish wedding, especially the Galilean wedding to see what Jesus meant in John 14:3. Blessings to you my friend!
Diana Kennedy says
Rapture thinking is believing that the Wrath (Judgement) of God will not be poured out on His Children. That would be like thinking we should be in the lake of fire so that we could suffer more. We do not have to suffer to go to heaven. We must have faith in Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross. We grow in compassion by the things we suffer but we do not grow in faith by suffering. I will, therefore “enter the kingdom of God” by my appropriate faith and His shed blood and not by works, suffering, or fleshly pursuits. God does allow us trials to test our faith but that is not the same thing as growing it.
Eve Steinberg says
WHY Would JESUS or His Father BEAT HIS BRIDE ??! SCRIPTURE IS FILLED WITH THE RAPTURE BEFORE THE TRIBULATION.
There is an awesome movie called “Before the Wrath” which is a documentary which shows a “Galalian (sp?) wedding. The parts of this 1 year long betrothal and the coming of the groom for his bride is amazing. The Jews, as in the Passover, did not realize their traditions so clearly represent Jesus, the Messiah and how He will deal with His bride (the church). DEFINITELY WORTH THE TIME TO WATCH. You can purchase it at OliveTreeViews.org or on ChristianBooks.com
Ricardo Bolivar says
Great documentary that explains the rapture using the Hebrew marriage SOP for Galilee residents.
The word rapture is caught up as he just mentioned the civil people caught up to heaven, translated etc. from the Bible!
Several people caught up, so to deny that happened is to be anti-biblical!
Lucille Gaither says
Yes in the Greek and Latin, IMHO, is rapturo and harpazo.
Correct me if I am wrong.
DeAnne Hatcher says
What Bible are you reading? There are many scriptures that support a pre-Tribulation rapture. The 7-year tribulation according to God’s word is the time God will deal with Israel and reveal himself as their true Messiah and His wrath will be poured out on an unbelieving world. He also says that He will keep us from “the hour of trial”. “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” Revelation 3:10
1 Thessalonians 1:10
…and to await His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead–Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.
There are numerous verses in the Bible regarding “the snatching away” in the Old and New Testaments. Prophesy is given to us not to scare us, but to prepare us. Thank you Jesus!!
Dale W Wohlgemuth says
Where did you assume the notion of a rapture is a concept from the 1800’s? The idea of a pre-millenial rapture was well established during the first four centuries after Christ? Even 400 years ago, Johann Sebastian Bach is writting contatas regarding the notion of a rapture. Further more, if one reads carefully the accounts of Jesus before he is arrested in Jerusalem, he tells the religious readers that he is taking the ”Kingdom” away from them and giving it to another who will faithful carry out the work the Jews failed to do. That ‘other’ is none other than the Church. The Church did not have the law or the Prophets, but was built on the the saving grace of Christ’s atoning death. Pauls goes on to say that the church is to be ‘spared’ the wrath to come …. I can spend a long time on this discussion.
I love my pre-trib brothers and sisters but when we read Matt24, Mark13, Luke21 and 2Thess2:1-5 there is no way anyone can come up with a pre-trib silent rapture. Before Christ gathers up His saints in the rapture, there will be the abomination of desolation and a short great tribulation. This is what straight Bible verses say. To come up with a pre-trib silent rapture is not being biblically honest.
Anti-Christ shows up before Jesus Christ and will fool people that are lukewarm to Jesus’s return! Second Thessalonians 2:1–3 2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The son of perdition has to be revealed to the faithful church therefore when he breaks the covenant in the middle with Israel according to Daniel 9:24-27; the start of the covenant, signify the beginning of the tribulation! I’m A Street Evangelist, & Hardly anyone is getting saved! If you too are doing the great commission, not the great omission , You would know that people are not all the sudden Gonna wake up jn these deceitful dark days that we live in and get saved during the tribulation! Isaiah 45:19 “do not look for God in times of chaos” !
Go to the streets and find out for yourself! I believe, the rapture is revelation 7 “ A great see if people coming out of the Great tribulation!”
The rapture will be revelation seven; but don’t set your hopes on and put all your cards on the pre-TRIB rapture because you yourself could lose your soul in hell cause When anyone takes the mark of the beast, there is no forgiveness of sins says so revelation 14 and 19 or 20; Twice there is no forgiveness for taking the mark of the beast!
False teachers that say this, that you can get forgiveness of sins; you need to be aware of.
eschatology, end times, is not simple, like the justification by faith doctrine! God is more into writing about religion (see James one), then he is about becoming a lawyer or doctor! he’s more into spiritual things obviously and so it is a deep subject that needs to be looked at closely!
You mention the great tribulation as lasting 7 years. I have been taught as the bible teaches that the tribulation lasts 7 years and the “great” tribulation lasts for the last 3 1/2 years of the total 7 year period. So, which is correct concerning the “pre-tribulation” rapture?
it’s so hard to talk to people about this subject they only seem concerned about sports and having fun adults seem like they have become children you can’t talk about religion politics or finances and i’m talking about people my age over 60 the signs are evident spoke to a old guy yesterday he doesn’t watch the news i pray that the holy spirt wakes these people up before the rapture people have become weak
Rena Groot says
What a blessing those who love and trust God are not appointed to wrath. We will see our beloved Savior soon. What a day that will be!!!! Maranatha!
Tim Cohen says
The rapture will ONLY be POSTtribulational. See my teaching titled “The REAL Rapture.” Also, King Charles III is THE foretold AntiChrist who is to be possessed by Satan and and control a global government throughout the coming Great Tribulation, per the hard evidence in my book, “The AntiChrist and a Cup of Tea.” Get the 2nd edition now, from Prophecy, and be sure to see the recent interviews and presentations on it, which are available through my YouTube channel “AuthorTimCohen”.
peter wild says
I will stay with the BOOK with the 100% record of accuracy and the unchanging message of the past, present , and future from our Father God. No other book can or will ever replace it.
Ted Bates says
In Ephesians Paul told husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. What kind of example to husbands as to how to love their wives is it if Jesus first beats up and bloodies His bride and then takes her to the Marriage of the Lamb?
I agree with Ted. I also agree with Jane on this…It is not a salvation issue! We should love and pray for each other. Although, God tells us to hide His words in our hearts and be able to “give an answer for the faith that is in you”. We should all seek the truth of God’s word and test everything from His word. Always read and study the Bible in context. Pray for wisdom as you read/study and God promises to give you wisdom. As a believer, Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit who will give us discernment regarding God’s truth… God also warned us that there would be many false prophets in the last days. He tells us not to be deceived…Maranatha
Jane Stilgoe says
I have been reading all the comments and frankly am very disturbed that argumentation over the differing eschatological views can be so aggressive, in some cases. We may all have differing views but shouldn’t we all, as the body of Christ, the church of Jesus Christ be loving towards one another?
At the end of the day, pre, post, or mid tribulation views are not a salvation issue!
As far as I am concerned the ONLY thing that matters is, are we right with Jesus Christ?
To become angry, aggressive and dogmatic about doctrine is not of God! It brings division and there is only one I know of that brings division in the church!
For me, I choose Christ and am definitely looking up for “my redemption draws nigh”.
Hi Jane. I 100% agree with your comments. We should not get nasty with each other over the timing of the rapture which is not a salvation issue but is a secondary issue. My concerns over the pre-trib view is that if believers do indeed go through the “short great tribulation” that Jesus spoke of in Matt24, Mark13 and Luke21, then will many of my pre-trib brothers and sisters lose their faith? As a follower of Jesus who believes that He taught a post-trib rapture, that is what I am preparing for. Some pre-trib believers are even comparing God to a wife beater if He allows us to go through the tribulation. This kind of attitude does not glorify God and is in fact dangerous. Seems very similar to the attitude of the prosperity gospel folks. God bless.
Hi Tim, my belief is if you are truly saved, born again, you will not ‘lose your faith’ because you can’t be ‘unborn’ again.
Paul says in Romans 8:38 that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Harry Gattey says
Hey brothers and sisters, wonderful joyous news here. We’re soon taken out of this sinful world to reign with Christ for eternity. We’ll have glorified bodies, we’ll know and be known, and we’ll praise our Savior all the day long. Pray I’ll see you all at the feast of Zion. Love you all.
Lucille Gaither says
I won’t get into arguments, but one verse has already taken place and that is Revelation 8:5 which reads “…And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake…”
Joy Dunstan says
Thank you for your great article..Well explained with Scriptural references…
I was shocked to hear a well known female speaker from America speaking on our Australian TV today, saying she believes Jesus is coming back again..But she didn’t know if it was mid trib, pre trib or post trib….Goodness if this well versed bible teacher/speaker doesn’t know…what hope have those listening!!!…Talk about end times….& the Remnant saved!.
Sandy S says
I attend a reformed Baptist church in Texas. Unfortunately, it is pastored and led by men who are firmly amillenialists. They believe in the basics of the faith – grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone according to the Holy Bible alone for God’s glory alone, etc. But they also believe that we are currently in the millennial reign of Christ and that there will be no rapture.
I am afraid that I am doubting that if the pastor interprets certain parts of the Bible figuratively, than he cannot interpret the rest correctly.
My area is bereft of churches that believe in Scripture and also believe in the Rapture, or at least believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth.
And, nearly all of the churches nearby have either become woke, drifted from Biblical teaching on current moral societal issues, or have become nauseatingly lukewarm seeker sensitive.
Please pray for me that the Lord will guide me to either stay in this church or keep searching for another one.
Bob Jones says
I agree fully with the pre-tribulation rapture and the reason is this – God tells us in His word that the end days in the world will be as the days of Noah and Lot in Matthew 24 and Luke 17:26-30 – The coming tribulation period is a time when God pours out His wrath on an unbelieving world – In Noah and Lot’s day, God first removed them before bringing judgment – Genesis 19:22 – The same with the church, the body of Christ can take comfort that we will be in the Father’s house during this time – John 14:1-3 – God doesn’t pour out His wrath on His own! That was done on the cross, which is why we have salvation – We were purchased by His blood and don’t belong to the world – John 15:19 – He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world – I John 4:4 – The rapture takes place before the tribulation period and this is why it takes place – to remove His own – The tribulation will be the worst this world has ever seen or will see – Matthew 24:21-22; Jeremiah 30:7; Isaiah 26:21; Daniel 12:1 – After the church is raptured it’s back to Israel and the 7 year peace treaty – 2/3 of Israel are destroyed – 1/3 call on God and bring about the second coming and so all of Israel will be saved – Zechariah 13:8-9; Romans 11:25-26 – All 1/3 that are left – That’s why we can take comfort in this truth – No one knows the time of the rapture – I believe we are that generation – Matthew 24:32-35; Luke 21:28-33 – Also I might mention that Israel has been a nation for the past 75 years – God has protected her against insurmountable odds! A miraculous event – She was dispersed for nearly 2000 years and was made a nation in one day – Isaiah 66:8 – May 14th, 1948 and retained her national identity! Never before in the history of the world had this happened – A generation is between 70-80 years – Psalm 90:10 – Are we that generation? At the rapture Christ is in the air and we leave the earth to meet Him and go to the Father’s house – I Thessalonians 4:13-18 – At the second coming which is after the tribulation period – Matthew 24:29-30 – We return from heaven to earth with Christ to reign on the earth – Revelation 19:11-20:6 – Zechariah 14:4, 9 –