Is there a pre-tribulation rapture?

When is the rapture? First of all, I have to say that nobody knows; but that’s not what I’m really asking. We have to talk in terms of, pre, mid, and post-tribulation; I think the Bible tells us which one it is. There is scripture that seems to point to all three, but like so many things in the Bible, there seems to be several different answers. This is where “Conspiracy of Judgment” comes in – the Bible tells us to rightly divide the Word of truth. I think our understanding of the Bible is directly related to our degree of contact with the Holy Spirit. If we have one foot in the world and one in the kingdom of God, our understanding will not be as great as the person that has both feet in the kingdom of God. I realize this is kind of a bad example because there are many degrees of carnality, worldliness and apostasy that can interfere with our finding Biblical truth and understanding.

There are three different views on when the rapture will take place in relation to the tribulation: pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation. It is my hope that the following scriptures will point to the truth, and give all who read them understanding.

Some of these scriptures (which are in Biblical order) and will seem be out of place in the text, and will seem to be obscure, but bear with me because they fit into the equation, especially if the rapture is at the end of the great tribulation.

This is going to be a compilation of scriptures that mention His return to the earth with seemingly different groups of people. A lot of this scripture speaking of the return, appearance, coming, etc., of Christ, is speaking in the NOW. The NOW is from then (A. D. 30-50) through the NOW (2000) and the NOW that extends to His return. If there is a pre-tribulation rapture, the last NOW would not exist because the people that it was written to would be raptured and would not therefore need to be exhorted to keep the faith, etc.

I hope that what I can’t put into words, the Holy Spirit will, when you read over these scriptures.

Genesis 6:21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

Genesis 7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Concerning comments on these two scriptures see: Isaiah 26:20-21. It is in relation to stocking up supplies.

Job 14:13-14
13. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14. If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Vs. 13 reflects into Rev. 6:15-17, “…hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,…” and also Isaiah’s admonishment to: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past.” Isa 26:20 Vs. 14 speaks of the latter day resurrection. There will be more to say about Isa. 26:20 when we get there and in the Matt. 25:1-13 reference.

Job 19:25-27 25. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

I believe knowledge of the resurrection was common knowledge for those of “faith.” The resurrection would be after the latter days and the latter days will include the tribulation (Jacob’s troubles).

Job 38:22-23 22. Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, 23. Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

I wonder if any of the hailstones weigh a “talent?” (See: Rev. 16:21)

Psalms 9:9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

I think this is true in general, but it really applies in the tribulation which will be “times of trouble” indeed. Whether we are protected or not depends on our walk with the Lord. Salvation gets us to heaven, but our walk determines the obstacles that are put in the path. (Also see Isa 26:20-21)

Psalms 17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.

Notice the Hebrew word “trust”; it means among other things, to flee for protection. Compare it to “escape” in Luke 21:36 – it also means to flee.

Psalms 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Hebrew – to be full.

These scriptures are not meant to discourage, but to encourage. Those that walk with God will be protected. Short of manna – how will they be satisfied if they don’t bring in their own supplies?

Psalms 91:5-12
5. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6. Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

If God can get someone through this, which sounds a lot like the tribulation; He can get anyone through “the” tribulation.

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

I wonder how many Christians will fit into this scripture when those days come? Millions are expecting to be raptured off the earth before the tribulation comes. If there is no pre-tribulation rapture, there will be millions of Christians that will be ill prepared to survive in those days. They will be forced to follow the anti-christ or die for their faith. Why would an over comer want to be in that position?

Proverbs 29:16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

What better way to see their fall than inside the tribulation and of course, at judgment day.

Ecclesiastes 9:12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

This is a perfect tie-in to Matthew 24:36: (but of that day and hour no man knoweth).

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

I hate to say it, but there are a lot of Christians that fit this category. I can think of a couple of TV Bible preachers off the top of my head that look more like the world than they do the kingdom of God. They don’t deserve hell because they have named the name of Christ, but they do need the dross burned off.

Isaiah 7:21-22
21. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep; 22. And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.

Through planning and God’s blessing, people going through the tribulation can have plenty of good food.

Isaiah 24:16-23
16. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. 17. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. 18. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. 19. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. 20. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. 23. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

This passage has to be tied to Isa. 2:12 (above). The tribulation is coming and will include all the disobedient, no matter what they call themselves. Notice in vs. 17-18, that the ungodly that “flee” will not be successful getting away from that which they deserve to come upon them. You can run but you can’t hide, unless God is with you.

Isaiah 26:20-21
20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past. 21. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

I feel this ties into Luke 21:36 quite well. It also goes to show that God’s people will be there but will be protected. This is something a person is going to have to prepare for. You just can’t go inside and not have provisions for the stay for a short or extended period of time. I think this speaks of austere living as well as not being seen in public, especially in the tribulation era because of the need to hide from the mark of the beast. (See: Mat. 25:1-13) As taught in Genesis 41, if the Egyptians would have followed Joseph’s lead in storing up grain in the good years, they could have survived the lean years without selling their cattle, land and themselves to Pharaoh.

Noah’s ark was a type of refuge also. Noah, his family and the animals were all shut up in the ark through the period of the wrath of God. See: Genesis 6:21 and 7:16. They had to lay in plenty of supplies. This would have been a good place for God to send in manna from heaven, but He didn’t.

In reference to Isaiah 26:20-21: If we go through the tribulation, and get to that part where the sun is seven times hotter than normal, it would be a good thing to live under ground as we go into our chambers and shut the doors. Our chambers become Noah’s ark in effect. We will need to lay up supplies – just like Noah and his family did.

Isaiah 33:15-16
15. He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; 16. He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
This is Goshen for the right kind of person.

Isaiah 40:5,10
5. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 10. Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

This is similar to Rev. 22:12. All flesh means Jews and Gentiles.

Isaiah 44:7-8
7. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 8. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

I think this is looking to tribulations in general but it also looks ahead to the Great Tribulation. His people will declare these events before and as they are happening. All this judgment is meant to prove that He is the only and true GOD. If the idol producing Israelites are warned about judgment, why should carnal Christians not have the same. I realize that “carnal” may be in the eye of the beholder, but the Word of God can let us see what His version is.

Isaiah 66:15-16
15. For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Both J. Vernon McGee and Matthew Henry pretty much ignore verse 16. “And the slain of the Lord shall be many.” I believe that when God’s people turn away from God and practice sin in general and look just like the rest of the world; God will judge them like the rest of the world. Remember His words to His people in Revelation 18:4, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

Jeremiah 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.

I think this is what is happening to a lot of church doctrines today, especially as pertains to the pre-tribulation rapture. The churches have pet doctrines, dogmas and traditions that are man made and promoted as holy, when they are in fact profane. The people promoting and teaching these doctrines are just as false a disciple as Hananiah was a false prophet. I don’t think they mean to be, but they will answer for their error.

Ezekiel 13:6 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.

This is the theme of the pre-tribulation bunch. Scofield and other promoters of the pre-tribulation rapture have caused countless Christians to believe in something that isn’t going to happen. This is one place where I could truly say that I hope I’m wrong. A pre-tribulation rapture would be great, but the scriptures and examples in scripture don’t support it.

Ezekiel 14:14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.

Although this is talking about the judgment on Jerusalem, it should give us an idea just how serious God is about faithfulness. This has first to do with each individual’s faith and then the works that follow faith. We will stand on our own (with Christ), especially in the tribulation.

Ezekiel 32:7-8 7. And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. 8. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.

Joel, Matthew, Luke and Revelation also speak to this issue. We have to remember that God was speaking to His people who would see the tribulation.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Saints of the most High means just what it says. Why do we paganizing Christians exclude our selves from this cleansing process? “…and they shall be given into his hand;” by whom? God. Why? Because of our sin.

Daniel 9:24,27
24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 12:1-2 1. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

I think it should be pointed out that this “book” is probably the same one that contains all of our names.

This is a little vague compared to Rev. 20:4-6 but it fits with it pretty well. What it does without doubt is ties the Old Testament with the New Testament together and should shut the mouths of those that say the Old Testament is not for our day and age, or this O.T. is talking to the nation of Israel. I know some will still say that it is talking to the early church saints and not to us elite of today. Your name is either in the “book” or it’s not. I believe the total years of the Great tribulation will be seven years. The first three-and-one-half will be the build-up for the last three-and-one-half. God is telling us what is going to happen so we can be prepared. Those with the “blood tipped” ear will hear.

Daniel 12:10-13
10. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

To me, “tried” denotes something different from destroying. The wicked will be destroyed but the repentant will be purified and be made white and tried. The righteous will be protected. McGee and others say that Daniel’s prophecy is to the Jews and not to the church, because the rapture will have removed it (the church) from the earth. But when you look around at Christians today, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference from them and the world at large. If we are not “worthy” (Lk. 21:36) we will not escape that which is to purify, and what “we” (Christians) were warned about, “and to stand before the Son of man.”

In connection with that, Zephaniah 2:2-3 fits in with this as well. Especially the word, “hid” (5641) cathar (saw-thar’); a primitive root; to hide (by covering), literally or figuratively: be absent, keep close, conceal, hide (self), (keep) secret, X surely.

(12.) Blessed is he that waiteth (2442 from 2707) 2442 chakah (khaw-kaw’);a primitive root [apparently akin to 2707 through the idea of piercing]; properly, to adhere to; hence, to await: KJV– long, tarry, wait. 2707 chaqah (khaw-kaw’); a primitive root; to carve; by implication, to delineate; also *to entrench: . (* English dictionary definition: Entrench; to surround with a trench.) KJV– carved work, portrayed, set a print. and cometh (5060 naga` (naw-gah’)); a primitive root; properly, to touch, i.e. lay the hand upon (for any purpose; euphem., to lie with a woman); by implication, to reach (figuratively, to arrive, acquire); violently, to strike (punish, defeat, destroy, etc.): KJV– beat, (X be able to) bring (down), cast, come (nigh), draw near (nigh), get up, happen, join, near, plague, reach (up), smite, strike, touch). to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

These definitions seem to be consistent with Isiaha’s admonition to: (Isa 26:20-21) 20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, (2315 cheder (kheh’-der); from 2314; an apartment (usually literal): KJV– ([bed] inner) chamber, innermost (-ward) part, parlour, + south, X within.) and shut thy doors about thee: hide (2247 chabah (khaw-bah’); a primitive root [compare 2245]; to secrete: KJV– hide (self) 2245 chabab (khaw-bab’); a primitive root [compare 2244, 2247]; properly, to hide (as in the bosom), i.e. to cherish (with affection):). thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

If the LORD is going to send trouble and advises you to lay low, it would probably be a good idea to do just that. Looking ahead to Luke 21:36; Watch (69 keep awake) ye therefore, and pray always,(you pray once for salvation) that ye may (2480 from 2729 to overpower) be accounted worthy (2661,to deem entirely deserving) to escape (1628, to flee out) all these things (the upcoming tribulation) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. The bold and underlined is my emphasis on the above scriptures and definitions. McGee says, if you are worthy you are saved and if you are saved you are worthy. That is clearly not what it is saying. You pray once for salvation. This is more along the lines of 1John 1:9. It is an admonition to humble yourself before God and keep Him in the forefront of your thoughts daily as well as to keep you from sinning.

Amos 5:18-20
19. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.

If there is no such thing as the pre-tribulation rapture, there is going to be a lot of sad and dismayed people when the end-time comes. I would dare say, even to the overthrowing of their faith in some cases much like we find in 2 Timothy 2:18, concerning the teaching that the resurrection was already past (as well as 2 Thess. 2:1-3). It’s a very similar topic and the reaction of people that think they have missed the rapture will be profound. What will be the reward for the teachers of the pre-tribulation rapture if there isn’t one? I think that some of these will be the ones that will wear the mark of the beast and say that they did it so they could work on the inside to save souls. Wrong answer.

A lot of Christians are guilty of vs. 18. A lot of them think they won’t be here, so it doesn’t matter to them how bad it is. For those of us that believe we are going through the tribulation, our attitude should be more like its stated in Rev. 22:20, He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. If we have been practicing, Luke 21:36 we can have confidence in that day.

There is “some” scriptural innuendo for the secret rapture. Scofield, in his 1917 edition, brings out most of these because (no doubt) he thinks it is true. Let me quote him in reference to Genesis 5:22. “Enoch, “translated that he should not see death” (Heb.11.5) before the judgment of the flood, is a type of those saints who are to be translated before the apocalyptic judgments (1 Thess. 4.14-17). Noah, left on earth, but preserved through the judgment of the flood, is a type of the Jewish people, who will be kept through the apocalyptic judgments (Jer. 30;5-9; Rev. 12.13-16) and brought as an earthly people to the new heaven and new earth (Isa. 65.17-19; 66.20-22; Rev. 21.1).” This all really seems to fit but there are a couple of problems. One of them is 1 Thess. 4:14-17 which simply describes the rapture and does not say when it is. The only other problem is that Heb 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” This puts us in very good company and thereby takes away from Enoch’s testimony and that special relationship between he and God. I realize that our ability to get to heaven is not based on our righteousness, but Christ’s.

If there is a pre-tribulation rapture, Scofield makes a good point and his examples are right on target. I just don’t see a strong scriptural basis for this doctrine. I see this as God’s Conspiracy of Judgment. He feeds us just enough “truth” for us to make a cornerstone of our faith. When that cornerstone crumbles, so may our faith.

Zephaniah 1:6 And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.

Notice the two classes. Those that are turned back and those that never came to the Lord in the first place. We have the same thing today. A lot more people are going through the tribulation than they think, because God’s version of apostasy and ours is quite different.

Zechariah 13:8-9
8. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

This has already happened but if this can be correlated to the tribulation, you can see that it is going to be a bloody time and a time of extreme hardship for the survivors that have called on the name of the Lord. No one can make it through that time without calling on God.

Zechariah 14:4-5
4. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Matthew 16:27-28
27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

NOTE: Mat. 16:27 ties into Rev. 22:12 concerning rewards and it is obvious that this is going to happen in the “final return.” In Mat. 16:28, which I believe is looking ahead, I find myself wondering why those that “shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” did not make it in the rapture, unless of course there is no pre-tribulation rapture. I know that there are those who say this was written to the Jews and those in that day. I think we are looking at a mystery because those to which this was written have long-since died.

I cut these two out for two different reasons, yet pointing to the same truth. Verse 27 falls right in line with all the other second coming scriptures and vs. 28 is very profound because it is the main reason that the Apostles, disciples and believers in general, thought that the kingdom was just around the corner. In Rev. 22:12 when it says, “Behold I come quickly,” must seem like a bad joke to those living but especially to those believers if they could see the year now and the fact that we Christians today are still waiting for His return.

I find myself wondering if this delay in His return is about like the nation of Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. We Christians have been wandering for 2000 years because when we (the church in Jerusalem) denied the work of the Holy Spirit in the beginning of the church mission, we in effect smote the rock just like Moses did. We have yet to enter the kingdom after 2000 years of waiting (wondering). If you don’t think we are wondering today, just look around at all the Christian religions and sects.

Mat 24:16 When admonished to flee from Judaea to the mountains and not to return for anything (vs. 17-18), It seems to me that people running into the mountains without anything are going to starve to death and freeze. They had to have stuff stored in the mountains that would sustain life. If they tried to carry all the items they would need for three and a half to seven years-they couldn’t do it. Especially on the Sabbath and in winter.

If this applies to us today or in the future, it would be the same situation. You couldn’t carry enough to meet your needs. It also proves that everyone is going through the tribulation and that Saturday Sabbath is observed – Jesus knew that it wouldn’t happen for a while.

Matthew 24:29-31,44
29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 44.Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

These passages are repeated in Mark 13 and Luke 21. I know they say that these passages are for the Jews. If you read them carefully, like in Lk. 18:1 (And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;) you can see that it is an exhortation to all who would come to the invitation at the least, and at most, is talking to Christians. These passages sure sound to me like the rapture that everyone is expecting, but it is “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” This is the rapture that we are waiting for, and you can see that it happens after the great tribulation.

Matthew 25:1-13
1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

A lot of people say that the oil speaks of the spirit. That cannot be true in this case. You can’t go out and buy the spirit or the spirit’s power as proven by Acts 8:9-25; when Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the power of “laying on of hands.” Oil is used for anointing, cooking, light and has also been a symbol of wealth and survival in some cases. 2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of the widow that owed money to creditors so the Lord arranged for Elisha to cover the debt with oil. I think this speaks of having your stores in hand when the worthy of Lk. 21:36, (“escape” (Greek) flee out) go into their hideaway for the tribulation. See: Isaiah 26:20-21. We have to remember, before the kingdom is set up there is the tribulation and the tying of this passage and Isaiah 26 is only meant to show a pattern of being prepared both physically and spiritually.

Matthew 25:31-33.
31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Verse 31 does not sound too war like, but it was, upon His arrival in other scriptures.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

This sounds like the people he is speaking to (the disciples) are going through the Great Tribulation, of which he speaks in vs. 1-37.

Mark 13:24-27
24. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
See Joel 2:28-32.

Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

It sure sounds like all people good and bad are going to see it just as Acts 1:10-11 says it will happen.

Luke 17:22-37
22. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32. Remember Lot’s wife. 33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 37. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

This is the first scripture that I found that taught me that the church could go through the thick of the tribulation and survive. I subsequently found Isaiah 26:20-21, Matthew 25:1-13 and Zephaniah 2:2-3. You can see that there is a pattern throughout the Bible pertaining to God’s faithful remnant.

The following seems to be one of the main pre-tribulation scriptures: John 5:25-29 25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

This sounds to me like the two groups being discussed here are resurrected at the same time. The pre-, mid-, and post-tribulation rapture would only include the righteous, with the unrighteous to be resurrected after the thousand-year reign. There is more here than meets the eye. (See: Second Chance).

This ties into 1 Thess. 4:16-17. One shouting and one return. See Rev. 20:4-6 for the mention of two resurrections.

John 6:39-40,44
39. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

There is just too much talk about us being here in the last day to say that we won’t be here in that last day. If the pre-tribulationist is right, we won’t be here in seven years or even three and a half years before the last day.

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

I think this speaks of the fact that there is no real difference between Israel and the Gentiles as they relate to the last days. A lot of conservative Christians realize that Israel is going through the tribulation but think there is a secret rapture that will allow them to escape that which the Bible seems to indicate we (the church) will go through along with the rest of the world.

There is no mention of a secret rapture. We have the promise of His protection in Lk.21:36 and Rev. 3:10, if we “Christians” qualify. If our feet are in the world too much, we may have to be cleansed with the world, Rev. 18:4, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. How is this possible if we have been raptured?

Acts 1:6-7,9-11
6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 9. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

First of all, please notice that the writer was talking to Christians that would be taken in a rapture if anyone would. From the very content (of Acts 1:6-11) it appears that they never heard of nor were expecting a secret rapture. Why would they ask about the setting up of the Lord’s kingdom (vs. 6), which they would not have asked, if they knew there was a pre-tribulation rapture? The obvious answer to the question would be that the kingdom would come after the rapture, which would have been followed by 3_ to 7 years of tribulation and then the physical return of the Lord described in vs. 9. Why would Christians – moreover the disciples – be told, as they had seen Him going into heaven, so shall He be seen in like manner returning, that is, in view of Christian eyes, (according to the words, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”) if it would not be happening? How could they see Him coming, if they were coming to earth with Him. We are told nothing about a “secret rapture.” Rev. 1:7 will tell us the same thing.

Acts 2:15-21
15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19. And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Verse 21 makes it sound like these are what we term, tribulation saints. I have no doubt there will be many of them, but also we have to remember that there are a lot of carnal Christians that need to be brought to the furnace of affliction.

In Matt. 24:29, It says; “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened,” etc. In Acts 2:20, it says, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” I think, that the “great and notable day of the Lord come,” is different than the Day of the Lord, because the day of the Lord preceeded (in its bulk of days) the darkened sun in Matt. 24:29. And then in verse 30, we see the appearance of the Son of man which correlates with Acts 2:20. I think that the, “great and notable day of the Lord come,” is His return to earth to set up the kingdom. When you look at Acts 1:9-11, (9. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.) they (in white apparel) were telling the observers that as He left, in like manner He (Jesus) would return. I don’t think that leaves much room for the “secret rapture” which most conservatives preach across their pulpit.

I think there a division between vs. 18 and 19? Verse 18 and above, seemed to be going on at Pentecost and verse 19 on, seems to be pretty earth shaking as in days of the Lord. See Joel 2:28-32.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

This does not mean the tribulation specifically, but there are others that do, and the key words here are: “and exhorting them to continue in the faith.”

1 Corinthians 1:7-9
7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

How can you be confirmed unto the end while waiting for the coming of Jesus if you have already been raptured. This future coming is as of Acts 1:10-11 and not a secret rapture.
I believe this one ties into Mat.16:28 and Rev. 22:12 also. It should be noted once again, that those scriptures are of the visible end time return to the earth of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There seems to be no secret rapture here. His return and the revelation of hidden things seems to be the return of Revelation 22:12.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52
51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

This is one of the main scriptures used in support of the pre-tribulation theory. This last trump is not supposed to be the same as in 1Thess. 4:16 and Matt. 24:31. Compare Matt. 24:30 with Acts 1:10-11. Not a pre-tribulation event. See Dispensational Truth, page 131.

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

I think the “dispensation of the fullness of times,” has also to do with the second advent which is the same as the second coming.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Doesn’t seem to teach that the church was taught the pre-tribulation.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ;

I would dare say Paul was addressing Christians re: until the day of Jesus Christ. See Scofield, note 1 on 1 Cor. 1:8; (deals with the three different meanings of coming re: 1. Parousia, 2. Apokalupsis and 3. Epiphaneia.

Why would Christians be warned, if they couldn’t miss the rapture or step away from their salvation?

Philippians 2:16. Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

How can you rejoice if you are already with Christ when the day of Christ comes?

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

If He was close then, what must He be now?

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I think this has to be speaking to the whole body of believers; dead and alive. This verse was written to the living and quite naturally carries over to the dead in the time of the resurrection. It should be noted again, that this return in glory, will be quite visible.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
9. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

That is “IF” we continue in he Lord – Col.1:23. (See: Once Saved)

1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

This (and others) is one of the scriptures that have been called pre-tribulation. It does not give a time frame. It only states that we will be with Him at His coming. There is no mention of a “secret” return to pick them up beforehand. The Bible only mentions the first and second coming. I think the first and second resurrections are different. See Rev. 20:6.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

This is speaking to the living with their feet on the earth and is at the Lord’s actual return to the earth. He does not return (in the air) with His saints and in the company of His angels (2 Th. 1:7) to collect the “dead in Christ” and “we which are alive and remain,” and then go back into heaven to wait out the tribulation. The saints he is speaking of are the ones that have gone on in death previously and are resurrected at His coming, with all His saints. We are to be ready and righteous when He comes. And this all still ties into Lk. 21:36. See the next verses.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

All pretty much agree that this is the “rapture.” I believe this is the post-tribulation rapture and all the scripture contained in this chapter will point to it. Any king is worthy of being announced. The King (Jesus) is more than worthy of being announced by the archangel. I doubt, as some have said; He announced Himself.

Please notice once again that this says nothing about the pre-tribulation rapture. I read somewhere, that the pre-tribulation theory wasn’t invented or taught until sometime in the 17th or 18th century. The thief in the night is confused with the rapture, instead of the arrival of the “day of the Lord,” which is a “time and a season.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, 23
1. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 23. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe this is the same “coming” (vs. 23) as mentioned in 1 Th. 3:13, and not the supposed “first part” of the two part return of Christ.

To say, “that day should not overtake you as a thief,” (vs.4) couldn’t happen because the Christians won’t be there, is really reaching out beyond the exhortation in vs. (1-4). Verse (4) is a warning to Christians not to be of the world precisely so they won’t have to suffer while in the tribulation.

If we would not be here to suffer in the tribulation, there would be no need of the warning that it (the tribulation) was coming as a thief in the night. It sounds to me like Paul was writing to Christians – which he was. As I said, some speak of the rapture as coming as a thief in the night – when it really speaks of the “day of the Lord” – meaning the tribulation. The day of Christ, on the other hand, is His return to earth.

2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

How can this be if the church was already in heaven. Who, on the ground, is he talking to if he is not talking to the Thessalonian saints that thought they missed the rapture by the way. He was not talking to them as people saved in the tribulation. He is talking to them as a people waiting to see the Lord – after the tribulation. You have to remember; they were expecting the return of the Lord and His setting up the kingdom. Paul wrote to assure them that the tribulation they were suffering was not the great tribulation. Paul is telling them that the gathering will not come until after the “apostasy” and the revelation of the “man of sin.”

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
1. 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;

Once again, vs. 1 sounds like the rapture, and it is, but not the secret rapture that some people seem to believe in. The word gathering, means a complete collection. As previously mentioned, there are some that say the pre-tribulation rapture would be in two parts. The worthy Christians first, and the ones that died for the witness of Christ in the tribulation would have to be the second. You think the Lord would have warned that there would be two raptures so us guys afraid of blood could have gotten in on the first one. These rapture scriptures should be studied very closely. If there is a pre-tribulation rapture, judging by the language used concerning His return, it would seem that the second group would also be raptured and then immediately come back to earth after they received their resurrection bodies. If there is no pre-tribulation rapture, you already know the bad news. The good news is, we have been warned in the “Once Saved” scriptures that those who walk with Christ and are “worthy” will escape, (Lk.21:36). The word escape in the Greek means to flee out. I believe we will have the protection like the children of Israel had in the land of Goshen in the days of judgment on Pharaoh. The Christian world more than needs to be run through the furnace of affliction to burn off the dross and bring forth pure gold and silver.

In vs. 2 the question is – does it say “the day of Christ”, or is it as some say, “the day of the Lord?” Who are those scholars and where do they get their authority for saying that the “day of Christ” is a mistake? Why would Paul start talking about the “day of Christ” in vs. 1 and jump to the “day of the Lord” in vs. 2, especially when he says (1 Th. 5:1-6) it (the day of the Lord) will come as a thief in the night? The day of Christ will come with fanfare, trumpet, shout, etc. It seems that someone had tried to deceive the Thessalonians into believing that “this day” was at hand, or as Scofield’s note says, is “now present.” If that day was the “day of the Lord” where was the moon turned to blood, etc? The main sign (of whatever-day Paul was talking about) would be the apostasy and the revealing of the antichrist. The word revealed in the Greek means to take off the cover. Christians knowing their Bibles could very well know who the antichrist is before he takes his throne. Paul says, “that day” will not come “except there come a falling away first” and that the man of sin be revealed. 1 Th. 5:1-6 says, that the “day of the Lord” will come as a thief in the night. Why would he say, in 2 Th. that “that day” would have the apostasy and the revealing of the antichrist as proof that the “day of the Lord” was already at hand or as Scofield says, is now present, when in fact it reveals the coming of Christ, which is what the subject of 2 Th. 2:1-12 is all about in the first place? How can you have the coming of “the day of the Lord” be both known and unknown?

It seems that if the “day of the Lord” comes as a thief in the night, and if in fact the “day of Christ” comes sometime after the apostasy and the revelation of the antichrist, then the churches and the teachers are guilty of false teaching, and is the reason that Paul’s letter was written in the first place. It sounds like, if this is the case, the rapture will be post-tribulation. It also goes to prove that if there is no pre-tribulation rapture, as stated before, then our blessing and protection will come from God like it did to Israel in the land of Goshen. 2 Th. 2:2 definitely goes against the pre-tribulation thought if the day of Christ is truly the day of Christ, and not the day of the Lord. Many scholars say it was a mistranslation, but I think they changed it to fit their pre-tribulation beliefs.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

This could be either pre-tribulation or post-tribulation, but keep reading.

1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

When Paul says, “until the appearing;” does that mean the person standing there has missed the secret rapture earlier, and is awaiting the visible return of the Lord? This scripture is telling of the actual return of the Lord to the earth, where every eye shall see Him. This was written to Timothy for the exhortation of the church. The language of this verse speaks directly to and against a pre-tribulation rapture.

2 Timothy 1:12,18
12. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 18. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

The Lord is able but are we? Do we have our eyes on Him or the things of the world? Verse 18, Was Onesiphorus saved or not? What does he mean, “The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day?” Does that mean he will miss the rapture and have to go through the tribulation? I don’t mean to leave open-ended questions, but for someone that treated Paul so well not to be a Christian would be hard to imagine. We also have to look to the possibility that he may not have been worthy to escape the tribulation. He may have been worldly and needed the dross burned off.

2 Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

This is also what Paul was talking to the Thessalonians about.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

All the scripture with “appearing” in them, tells me that there has to be someone standing there watching like in Acts 1:9-11.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

The Greek word for glorious is doxa (dox’-ah); from the base word that means; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective): dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship.

This scripture is taught by most scholars to be the Second Advent, yet most conservative Christians refer to the Pre-tribulation rapture as the blessed hope. The blessed hope is the setting up of His kingdom. 2 Tim. 4:8, is another example of the Second Advent, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me in that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” This says nothing about a “secret rapture.” We were taught to look for it (the appearing), but at the same time, we are warned about how we are to live in this world. On one hand we are taught to look for it (day of the Lord) and on the other we are taught that it will come like a thief in the night. Preachers are using both sets of scripture to prove the pre-tribulation rapture.

Hebrews 9:28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

If there is a secret rapture, this scripture is its flagship. When you look at all the other references to “His appearing,” they too are referring to the “second time,” or, the Second Coming. There is no third time mentioned. Looking at all the scriptures that allow speculation concerning the secret rapture, I find myself wondering; why would God make it a secret in the first place? No one could possibly go in the rapture that wasn’t worthy. It’s not like boarding a plane, where anyone could come aboard. When all the scriptures are considered, the “secret rapture” comes up wanting. In all reality, this verse is speaking more of salvation and His return to rule, than the rapture. Without salvation there will be no rapture.

If we are busy beating our servants and getting drunk we won’t be looking for Him.

Hebrews 10:36-39
36. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Vs. 37 is a small scripture but it says a lot. It doesn’t say He will tarry twice. Once, from His death to the secret rapture, and secondly, from the secret rapture to His visible return. Three and a half to seven years is not keeping the promise to not tarry if in fact part of the church has already been raptured. This has to be connected to his “appearance.”

James 5:7-8
7. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Once again, I believe this refers to the Advent of our Lord, and vs. 8 proves it. How can we stablish our hearts for the Lord’s return if we (the church) are already in heaven? If there is a pre-tribulation rapture, why were most of the scriptures written to those going through the tribulation? Why are we told to be patient, “for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” if we have already been raptured?

I think Heb 10:36-39 and James 5:7-8 both are telling us to wait for Acts 1:10-11, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The “trial of your faith” and “fire” doesn’t sound like something that could happen to someone who had been raptured. I realize that between the time of Christ and His return there will be a lot of persecution, but as mentioned before, there are a lot of carnal Christians that need to be cleansed.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

A funny thing to say to someone that is suppose to have been raptured. See Lk.21:36

1 Peter 4:12-13
12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13. 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.

These verses are mainly speaking of the over all trials of Christians, but they have their application to the last days also. Why do we think “fiery trials” are for the Jews of that day and not for ourselves today? His glory can only be revealed in the Second Advent not a “secret rapture.”

It should be noted that this could not be written to those involved in a pre-tribulation rapture because they will see His glory, up close and personal, before the rest of the ones that were left behind, to whom this letter would have been written. It should also be noted that those scriptures stretch from then, until His return in the future.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, (5319 to render apparent ) ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

This verse ties in with Mat. 16:27 and Rev. 22:12, speaking of our rewards when He returns, and I think this return is not the rapture of the church but the Revelation of Christ.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

This cannot be said of the “secret rapture” and moreover, “eyewitnesses of his majesty,” has to include those in Acts 1:9-11, “Ye men of Galilee…” Let’s remember that those men of Galilee were Christians and were told to expect His visible return. If they were to be raptured it would have been a waste of time to say that.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

This must be at the end of the span of the day of the Lord, however many days it may be. See Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. This is a warning for believers.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

My question once again is, how could we be ashamed at His coming if we had already been raptured? I’m sure we wouldn’t sin in heaven, in His presence, just to turn around and be ashamed when we all return to the earth when He comes to set up His kingdom. I think we can make no mistake about who this is talking to. It is Christians. I know that there are some that are going to say that these were the ones saved in the great tribulation. This scripture, and the “fiery trials” of 1 Peter 4:12-13, show me that our faith in Christ and our walk with him may not be parallel, and require the “dross” to be burnt off. To suppose that all these references (to His return) were written to those that get saved during the tribulation is a real stretch.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

I’m sure he is speaking of the rapture. We will see Him as He is, when He appears, and as we shall be, once we are raptured. (See: Acts 1:10-11). I’m not sure at what point of Christ’s decent we will be changed, but we shall be changed indeed.

Return, revelation, coming, day of Christ, appearance, gather. Ehp. 1:10. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Does “heaven” indicate space travel or is it talking about the dead in heaven?

Jude 1:14,15
14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

I don’t think anybody is really sure what this means, unless it is when we are changed in the air and immediately return to rule with Christ. According to scripture He will return also with His angles. Concerning the Lord’s return with ten thousands of His saints, I think He will return with the spirits of all previously dead saints (as well as the angles??). When Jesus is in the clouds (according to the promise in Acts 1:9-11) with those accompanying spirits, whose dead bodies are here on earth in their graves, they will be the first to be resurrected, and reunited and then we, which are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord (and the others) in the air.

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

The mystery of this verse, I have to tie in with that of Mat. 16:28. “Shall not taste of death” and “they which pierced him?” What is the meaning of this? Will there be a resurrection before the rapture or during the rapture when the saved are going up and the unsaved are on the earth? I am sorry I don’t have all the answers, I wish I did. We are looking at a mystery.

Someone may ask, what about Jude 14-15? It states the fact of the return with people, but does not say that they were raptured 3_ to 7 years previous as some people say.
“And every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him:” Forgive me, because I really don’t mean to complicate this, but; “and every eye shall see him” is us (awaiting the rapture), and; and they also which pierced him:” are the ones that had (deserved) to go through the tribulation.

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

These are not very pretty words for His church to be hearing. There will be plenty of rebuke coming, and if they are worthy of having their candlestick removed, they are worthy of going through the tribulation to burn off the dross, because only those that are pure will enter into the kingdom of God. We also have to remember, if while going through the tribulation, we deny Him, He will deny us.

Revelation 2:22-23 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

How can the “churches know of a judgment that they are supposed to be “raptured” away from? This is a warning to all those Christians who are wrapped up in this present world. How can a non-Christian repent of the deeds that the church is guilty of in this case? Verse 23 is a warning to the churches so we don’t step back into the world; because He is going to kill “her” children with death.

Verses 24-25 should also be considered. In verse 25, how is it possible to hold fast till He comes, if He had already raptured them? “We” will receive according to our works. (See: Once Saved Always Saved?)

Revelation 3:10-12
10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

I think this clearly shows that the church of Philadelphia will not be lifted up from the tribulation, but escape (to flee out). The word “kept” means to guard, not lift up. How can anyone take our crown, or how does one have to overcome if he is lifted up into heaven before the tribulation has started?

Revelation 7:13-17
13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

I used to think these were the ones that died for the witness of Jesus, mentioned in Revelation 20:4. I dismissed that because John saw (20:4) the souls of the ones that died for the witness of Jesus. I now think they could be the “worthy” of Luke 21:36. Because of the pre-tribulation thinking there are those who think if you are saved you are worthy and if you are worthy you are saved and will be carried away in the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation. But that is not what Luke 21:36 is saying. (See: Once Saved Always Saved?) I think the worthy will be the church of Philadelphia – that will be saved from the “hour of temptation which will come upon all the world…” The robes being washed in the “blood of the Lamb” denotes the worthiness that caused them (Philadelphia) to be saved from the tribulation as was promised by God. The heat and sparse living conditions that they had to suffer through (Isa. 26:20-21) in the tribulation will be compensated by God, as we read in verse 15.

I think another possibility is that they (out of the great tribulation) could also be the members of the churches that needed the dross removed through the fiery furnace and did not die at the hands of the anti-christ, and really had to rough it. They responded to the judgment that God put upon them and repented thereby washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.

Why would Christians be told the number of the antichrist, if there were no chance they would need that information. I realize that there are those who will be saved in the tribulation, but I see that scripture given to all Christians as a warning, especially for those who have to go through the tribulation. Probably a bigger part of that warning is, there is no return from wearing the mark of the beast, which is proof that a Christian can, not so much lose their salvation, but forsake it. Why else the warning?

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Here is another reference to Him coming as a thief. In Rev. 3:3 they were kept from the hour of temptation and being overtaken as by a thief. In this reference we are told to watch, and keep our garments lest we walk naked and be in shame. As we also find in Mat. 22:11, non-Christians don’t have garments in the first place. Without belaboring the point, this is talking to Christians.

Revelation 19:11-16.
11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

This reference is very war like. It does not read like Acts 1:10-11, and many of the others. Are all these references to His return, coming, coming in glory, etc. with ten thousands of His saints, angles, army, to reward and judge, all the same return, at the same time? I don’t think so.

Revelation 20:4-6
4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

I would have thought that this would have been done while we were all in heaven awaiting our return with Him. It doesn’t say anything about our return. Behold, I come quickly, not we come quickly. A minor point but a point indeed.

I believe the above scriptures say that there is going to be a post-tribulation rapture and moreover the blessed hope is not the rapture but the return of Christ to set up His kingdom, where we will have true justice.

At His return, He will return with the spirits of all the dead saints to fulfill 1 Thess. 4:13-18. When He is in the clouds (as He was in Acts 1:10-11) those accompanying spirits, bodies (on earth in the ground) will first be raised to be reunited with their spirits and then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thess. 4:14)