|Go to Part 2|
The subject of the Rapture is a controversial topic in Christian circles. There are five main Rapture views: Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Post-Tribulation, Pre-Wrath, and Multiple Raptures. The Rapture involves the concepts of “changed bodies,” as well as being “caught up” in the air to be with Jesus, from that point forward. Before you continue, you may want to read Corrie ten Boom on the Tribulation and the Rapture and Ruth B. Graham on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Both of them warned believers not to expect to be exempt from tribulation and persecution.
Although there are numerous biblical passages describing or referring to the Rapture event, probably the two most descriptive passages are
A widely-accepted theory is that of the Pre-Tribulation or “Pre-Trib” Rapture. This is based on the belief that the Rapture event (that is, the catching up of all those who maintain a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) will take place just prior to the final seven years of this age (also referred to as the 70th Week, and often called the “tribulation” period). See “Pre-Trib”: My Prior View.
To help determine the point during the 70th Week at which the initial, primary Rapture event will occur, it first is helpful to determine the points at which other events are known or presumed to occur. Then, this collection of scripturally-sound information becomes a solid foundation on which to build the Pre-Wrath theory—which, I feel, demonstrates the proper timing of the main Rapture event. My detailed chart, The 70th Week and Extensions, at the bottom of Part 2, shows my placement of the Pre-Wrath Rapture during the 70th Week.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him and asked Him what would be the sign of His Second Coming and of the “end of the age.” Jesus responded with a lengthy series of answers
In the midst of Jesus’ response to His disciples is a very significant statement: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel...”
Most have considered this “holy place” to be in a third temple to be built in Jerusalem before Jesus returns. In most Bible translations, a “temple” is mentioned by Paul in
Although the Dome of the Rock certainly would not be considered by the true God to be a holy building, the location where it stands on the Temple Mount, where the first two Jewish temples stood, still would be a holy place to God. Since the time of Solomon’s temple, this is the place where God’s Name, eyes and heart always have been and always will be
There has been a great deal of speculation as to what will constitute the “abomination that causes desolation.” Some have suggested that this abomination of desolation could be something taking place in the temple, should one be built, which is revolting to orthodox Jews, such as the setting up of an idol and/or the sacrificing of a pig. However, in case another temple is not constructed, then this notion would not be likely.
Furthermore, there is a past precedent of performing sacrifice and offering with no temple standing. Even before the foundation of the Second Temple had been laid in Jerusalem, burnt offerings were sacrificed on an altar built for this purpose
Now, Daniel pointed out that rebellion, presumably against God and His commands, can cause desolation
So according to
Here is Daniel 9:27 from the Orthodox Jewish Bible:
And he shall confirm brit [covenant] with rabbim [the many] for one heptad [week of seven years]; and in the midst of the heptad he shall cause the zevach [sacrifice] and the minchah [gift offering] to cease, and on the kenaf [wing or overspreading] of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the Shomem [Desolator, Destroyer]. (Daniel 9:27—OJB).Taken altogether, these three verses may indicate that the Antichrist, himself, is the “abomination” who will “set himself up,” who will be “standing in the holy place,” and who will be the “one making desolate.” That is, this “man of lawlessness”—the “Desolator” or “Destroyer”—may himself be the one who “causes desolation” or “makes desolate” and for whom complete destruction, ultimately, has been decreed (at the Battle of Armageddon). Thus, it may be that Jesus warned those who are in Judea in the middle of the 70th Week, when they see this man standing in the “holy place,” to flee as soon as possible
The “abominations” (Daniel 9:27—OJB) might include a public proclamation by the Antichrist (“the first beast”), at the “holy place,” that he is “God,” as well as his blasphemy of the true God and the heavenly host
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also
(1 John 2:22,23).
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:2,3).
Perhaps there also will be an abominable idol erected, similar to the one that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; the idol honored the king, and a command was given to worship the idol
According to Luke, Jesus noted, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near”
Paul indicated that something or someone was restraining or holding back the “secret power of lawlessness,” the latter which will empower the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) when he ultimately is revealed
If the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, then the idea is that He is working through believers in the world; and after they are raptured (allegedly at the beginning of the 70th Week), the man of lawlessness will be revealed. Yet the Holy Spirit is everywhere. The idea that He could be “removed” from any location (for instance, the world) is an illogical, tenuous notion. Plus, if the Holy Spirit were gone, that would mean that nobody else could receive faith—which is a gift of the Holy Spirit—during the 70th Week. Therefore, no one else could be saved.
I hold a different view altogether about “the restrainer.” Jesus indicated that, following the abomination that causes desolation (in the midst or middle of the 70th Week), “there will be great distress [or great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again”
The archangel Michael always has been the special protective “prince” of Daniel’s people, Israel
Michael, in the midst or middle of the 70th Week, will oust Satan and his angels from heaven (where they now have access, accusing saints before God day and night), hurling them down to the earth
After mentioning the abomination that causes desolation, recall that Jesus added, “For then there will be great distress [or great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again”
I leave open the possibility, however, that all seven seals will be opened after the onset of the Great Tribulation, during the second half of the 70th Week. It may be that John’s vision of the rider on the white horse—“a conqueror bent on conquest”—who is seen after the First Seal is opened
In any case, just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation, Satan and his angels will be expelled permanently from heaven by the archangel Michael and his angels
Through the Antichrist, Satan will carry out his wrath upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. When the identity of the Antichrist is revealed
During the Great Tribulation, as much as a quarter of the world will be killed, or perhaps a quarter of the world’s area will be affected by death from several causes
In essence, the period of Great Tribulation on the earth will be a time of Satan’s wrath upon humankind, which is God’s greatest and most valuable creation and which Satan hates and despises. After being cast out of heaven
Jesus said that “if those days [of great tribulation] had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened”
If this Rapture event were not to take place, then presumably Satan’s goal of extinguishing all of humankind would be successful and no one would survive. Even King David understood that due to the mercy of God, His wrath for a short period of time would be better and less destructive than the wrath of human enemies (which would be instigated by Satan) for a longer period of time
There is only one other place in the New Testament where the term “great tribulation” is seen, and that is in
However, “Great Tribulation” is an applicable name for the period beginning at the onset of the final 3½ years of this age. Jesus indicated that those days of great distress (or great tribulation)—the worst time in human history—will be “cut short,” for the sake of the elect
Jesus referred to the “great distress” or “great tribulation,” which will begin in the “midst” or “middle” of the 70th Week. Then he described that at some point thereafter, there will be an extremely eerie time “immediately after the distress [or great tribulation] of those days” when the sun and moon will be darkened, the stars will seem to be falling from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken
Another Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, described these same cosmic disturbances and shaking of the earth
Another self-evident axiom is that Jesus’ description of the cosmic disturbances and the shaking of everything, as well as everyone’s perception of them—including their observation of Jesus in the clouds as the “Son of Man” and “the Lamb” followed by the redemption of believers via the Rapture event
There are those (such as many who embrace the “Pre-Tribulation” and “Post-Tribulation” Rapture views) who believe that the events following the opening of the Sixth Seal
Immediately after the distress [or tribulation] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shakenThe word “distress,” in some versions of the Bible, is translated “tribulation.” For many, “tribulation” is another name for the entire 70th Week (final 7-year period). Yet, by using the term “distress” or “tribulation,” Jesus simply was giving an abbreviated description of the “great tribulation” period.
But in those days, following that distress [or tribulation], the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken
Here is Jesus’ description of what will happen simultaneous with or immediately following the cosmic disturbances of the Sixth Seal (which Jesus foretold in
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the otherThat is a description of the Rapture event. The spirits/souls of believers who previously have left their bodies, in death, will be gathered from wherever they are in heaven to be united with their new glorified, resurrected bodies. “The elect” who still are alive will be changed into glorified forms, joining those who have been resurrected to be caught up in the air to meet the Lord in the clouds.
At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens
The Rapture is the first phase in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and it will not be a “silent, hushed” phenomenon, as many of those who believe in a “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture suppose. The people of the world will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30b; Mark 13:26a). John gives us added information, in the Book of Revelation, as to what will happen when the nations of the world see Jesus, the Lamb of God, coming in the clouds on His throne:
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”People in all of the nations of the world will see the “face of Him who sits on the throne” as He appears in the clouds. The unsaved will be terrified; they will cry out to the elements of God’s creation (mountains and rocks), rather than to God Himself, to shield them from the glorious, radiant face of Jesus. In essence, their “goddess” Mother Earth will not be able to protect them from the imminent wrath of the Lamb to come.
At about the same time, saved believers will be caught up to be with Jesus in the clouds. This same multitude of raptured believers will be seen standing in front of Jesus, seated on the same throne, soon thereafter in heaven
This is what Paul described, in quoting Hosea, about the victory associated with the Rapture:
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?The first part applies to the saved dead, over whom death has had a “victory”; but this victory will be destroyed when they are resurrected at the Rapture. The second part applies to the saved living at the Rapture, who never will experience the “sting” of death at all.
(1 Corinthians 15:55).
On the other hand, those who, up to that point, will have failed to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, will be “left behind” to be subjected to the wrath of God that soon will come upon the earth:
For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”The “great day of their wrath” is a direct reference to the initial segment (the “day of vengeance” described in the next section) of the “Day of the Lord” period.
The apostle Paul noted that the Day of the Lord would come as a “thief in the night”
Commonly, but I am convinced erroneously, the entire 70th Week is referred to as the Day of the Lord. Many will equate this entire period as a time of God’s wrath and vengeance. On the contrary, most of this 7-year period will consist of an increase in natural disasters and cataclysms, a surge in man’s inhumanity toward man and an escalation of Satan’s wrath upon mankind and his supreme and ultimate rebellion against God.
I have shown that, beginning in the midst of the 70th Week, the following events—as a sequence of five axioms used as foundational blocks in demonstrating the timing of the Pre-Wrath Rapture event—will occur in chronological order, as follows:
The initial “day of vengeance” portion of the Day of the Lord period—following the Pre-Wrath Rapture of believers—should last about a year
After Jesus the Bridegroom takes His soon-to-be Bride of betrothed believers to be with him at the Rapture, they all will spend a year of time together in heaven, and they will celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb
The apostle Peter, quoting the prophet Joel
A day, in Jewish tradition, begins with darkness (after sunset) and continues into light (after dawn). Likewise, the Day of the Lord will begin with a time of gloominess and despair and will be transformed, after Jesus returns, into an era of righteousness, illumination and enlightenment.
In Paul’s day, some of the Thessalonians had been given deceptive information, indicating that the “day of the Lord”—with which Paul associated “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered [raptured] to him”
It would seem that the man who will be the Antichrist initially will display a “face” to the world of honesty, integrity, and sincerity. However, it may be that this man’s traits and attributes will not be what people expect, and his outward disposition may be unpredictable.
Presumably, this man will be an advocate of peace, probably in favor of Israel making land-for-peace concessions to the Palestinians. He ultimately will rise to the zenith of world power, amidst great turmoil and disorder, probably including disasters and cataclysms, worldwide. He will become a well-known figure. At some point, though, his “beastly” qualities will be observed by the world.
Paul noted that this “man of lawlessness” will be “revealed”
This man will be influenced, motivated and directed by Satan. He will display his true character and temperament, will begin to behave as a “beast,” and will utter blasphemies against God and exercise his authority—over every tribe, people, language and nation—for 42 months
The latter half (3½ years) of the 70th Week will begin with the Great Tribulation period, which will be “cut short,” according to Jesus, “for the sake of the elect” because, otherwise, “no one would survive”
The “day of vengeance” will commence with the opening of the Seventh Seal, initiating God’s wrath during the seven Trumpet Judgments and being completed with the seven Bowl Judgments. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause”
Isaiah also wrote, “For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come” (Isaiah 63:4). Here, the “day of vengeance” is equated to “the year of my redemption”—that is, the year during which God will take vengeance on unbelievers and during which believers will be redeemed, via the Pre-wrath Rapture.
Similar to this is another passage by Isaiah: “...to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God...” (Isaiah 61:2). In effect, this equates to a year of God’s vengeance taken upon most of the world, while the Lord’s favor will been given to believers, just prior to its beginning, via the Rapture. The “day of vengeance” will be the initial brief period (a year) of the overall Day of the Lord, commencing with the opening of the Seventh Seal and the Lord’s vengeance on the world. The Day of the Lord will continue through the Millennium, consisting of the Lord’s blessings and favor upon the world. To the Lord, a thousand years are like a day
A typical Hebrew day, beginning at sunset, starts with darkness. After sunrise, the day becomes light. Likewise, the Day of the Lord will begin with the darkest, most terrifying time in human history: the “day of vengeance.” This will be followed by a bright, glorious epoch of time, the Millennium, which will commence after Jesus’ second advent (bodily descent) back to earth.
Jesus likened the time following His appearance in the clouds (a day and hour unknown), at the main Rapture event
Much of God’s vengeance and wrath, during the “day of vengeance,” will be in response to slain believers’ having cried out to God during the persecution of the Fourth and Fifth Seals. He will avenge their blood, which will have been shed upon the earth, by judging mankind:
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”It is soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal that God’s wrath, to avenge the blood of slain believers, will be imminent, and it will commence with the opening of the Seventh Seal. Countless numbers of terrified people will be hiding in all kinds of places, including in caves and under rocks. They will know that the great day of God’s wrath (or vengeance) is very near:
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer
They have given the dead bodies of your servants as food to the birds of the air, the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth. ... Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name ... Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes, make known among the nations that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath [God’s day of vengeance] has come, and who can stand?
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth
Jesus’ specific answer to His disciples’ inquiry about His future coming was that the nations would “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory,” at which time angels will gather His elect to be with Him
Many who embrace the idea of either a “Pre-Tribulation” or a “Post-Tribulation” Rapture event feel that the incidents described in
Jesus compared the first phase of His next (second) coming to the time of Noah and the ark
In the Greek translation of what Jesus said, the word airo indicates how the flood “took away” the lost people in Noah’s time
Thus, it seems evident that the multitude comprising the elect will be caught up at the initial appearance or coming of the Son of Man in the clouds
There are many who have embraced the idea of a “Mid-Tribulation” Rapture, believing that it will take place in the midst or middle of the 70th Week, just prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The idea is that the Great Tribulation is a period of supernatural wrath upon the earth, and that Christians will be protected from it.
Although I believe that God’s wrath will not be imminent until after the opening of the Sixth Seal, and will not begin until after the opening of the Seventh Seal (probably a year prior to the end of the 70th Week), it is true that Satan’s fury, rage, and wrath
In Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins
Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil [desire to obey] from beaten olives [tribulation] for the lamp [commandment], that a light [the law] may be kept burning regularly [go forth continually]Pertaining to the wise and foolish virgins, perhaps the following apply:
It may be that the five wise virgins, who have the “oil” of the Holy Spirit, are those who have recognized and acknowledged the importance of the five books of the Torah or God’s Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy)—in particular, the Book of the Covenant
Also, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”
Jesus said that He was the fulfillment of the Law (Torah) and the Prophets
If so, when the Bridegroom comes, maybe the foolish virgins will be left behind. They will be told to go buy their “oil”—that is, to go learn about and pay attention to the Torah, especially the Book of the Covenant
Maybe the “son” in
The Philadelphian Church
If there is a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, I would see it much like how a so-called “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture usually is described: as a silent event, with no signs preceding it, like a “thief in the night”
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to himWhether the changed, glorified “firstfruits” believers would be caught up immediately, or awhile later, is unknown. We know that Jesus remained on earth for forty days following His resurrection
(1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
Another possibility is that some believers who have seen a “firstfruits” rapture of a group of their peers—perhaps on the Feast of Firstfruits during Passover week—will be motivated to obtain the “oil” of the Law/Torah for themselves, in particular an observance and adherence to much of the Book of the Covenant
|Go to Part 2|
|Summary of Commentaries|
|Who Is God?|
| The Rapture
|The Final Battles||The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?|
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
Comments or questions? Email Me.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.