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Someone asked me:
"Where are the references in the Bible about rapture before the tribulation?"
I just wrote an article on the pretrib rapture to which I direct the person asking the question. I plan soon to post all the references in the Bible to the rapture.
Actually, so far as I know, there is no verse in the Bible which must be interpreted as directly stating that the rapture precedes the so-called tribulation (Daniel's 70th Week). However, there is scripture which teaches that the rapture is to be expected at any time and that the Church will not go through the "tribulation." If the Church will not go through the "tribulation," then what other conclusion can one have except a pretribulational rapture?
I intend to post more on this later, and present the verses that refer to the rapture (catching up of believers to meet the Lord in the air, which BTW is not found in Matthew 24).
"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 the Lord is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departure first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; "
This passage teaches that the Day of the Lord is not imminent, that is, the Day of the Lord is not likely to come at any time. But what is the "Day of the Lord"? A search of this expression in the Bible shows that it refers to a time of judgment. In this context "the Day of the Lord" refers to a period that starts with the "tribulation."
This passage tells us then that "the tribulation" cannot come until the "departure" comes. If departure here means the departure of the saints from the earth at the rapture, then this passage would directly teach a pre-trib rapture. However, the term "departure" here is often interpreted to mean a figurative departure instead of a literal departure. That is, this departure is often taken to be a "falling away" from the faith.
The word "departure" above is in Greek apostasia. I am unaware of any collection anywhere of all the references in Greek literature to this term from the period 200 BC - 100 AD in koine Greek. A study of all those references is needed to settle this interpretive issue.
1 John 3:2
Beloved,now are we the sons of God, and it does 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.
In Hebrews 11:5-7
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death"
It is interesting that shortly after Enoch was taken devastating judment came (the flood).
Elijah (see start of 2 Kings) was similarly taken up.
Behold, I come quickly, hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
In Revelation 2-3 seven churches are addressed. These seven churches show characteristics remarkably parallel to the progress of church history. Because the characteristics of those 7 churches are so parallel to church history, they are interpreted to by typical of church history. (A type is a prophecy by illustration instead of by word, as when Ezekiel made a model city and cut off his hair in a way to illustrate the coming destruction of Jerusalem.)
At the end of Revelation 2-3 the statement is made "after these things." In Revelation 4-5 we find 24 elders crowned at the throne of God. After this throne scene, the "tribulation" events follow in Relelation 6-18.
In Revelation 22 Christ says that His reward is with Him at His coming. Rewards are symbolized in scripture with "crowns." In Revelation 4, right after the seven churches of Rev. 2-3, a group of 24 elders is seen crowned at God's throne. The "tribulation" follows.
If the 24 crowned elders are a symbolic representation of the Church, then it appears that Christ has already given them their crowns before the "tribulation," and thus the "coming" in Revelation 22 is the coming of Christ into the air to rapture His Church. Thus we have (1) coming, (2) crowns, (3) "tribulation."
3:11 The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
ἡ νὺξ προέκοψεν, ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν. ἀποθώμεθα οὖν τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκότους, ἐνδυσώμεθα δὲ τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτός.
In context, "day" appears to refer to the day of our salvation, in this context a transforming event that accompanies the Rapture, since it is the vision of Christ which transforms us to be like Him.
This then is a verse on the imminence of the Rapture. If we had to wait for a 7 year time of trouble before the Rapture, how could the rapture be said to be "at hand"?
IT IS A BASIC ERROR TO THINK THAT THE RAPTURE IS THE DAY OF THE LORD. Neither the Rapture nor the 2nd Coming of Christ is called "The Day of the Lord."
Check out this phrase in the Bible & you see that it refers to a time of the Lord taking charge particularly w/ punishing judgment. Zeph is the book on the Day of the Lord.
End of 1 Th 4 = Rapture
Start of 1 Th 5 = Day of the Lord, time of trouble.
The Rapture is not a time of trouble or judgment, but the taking of the Church to be w/ Christ; it is a comfort. John 14 refers to the same event w/out using "rapture."
THE DAY OF YHWH [THE LORD] EMPHASIZES DESTRUCTIVE JUDGMENT
The Rapture is about going-home, about comfort.
Thunkful2 16 hours ago
"sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of YHWH cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.. a great people & a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and none hath escaped them.
1 And Jehovah uttereth his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps; and I will punish the men that are settled on their lees, that say in their heart, Jehovah will not do good, neither will he do evil. 13 And their wealth shall become a spoil, and their houses a desolation: yea, they shall build houses, but shall not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but shall not drink the wine thereof. 14 The great day of Jehovah is near,
13 And their wealth shall become a spoil, and their houses a desolation: .. 14 The great day of Jehovah is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of Jehovah; the mighty man crieth there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 a day of the trumpet and alarm, against the fortified cities, and against the high battlements.
Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord Jehovah; for the day of Jehovah is at hand: for Jehovah hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath consecrated his guests. 8 And it shall come to pass in the day of Jehovah’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s sons, and all such as are clothed with foreign apparel. 9 And in that day I will punish all those that leap over the threshold, that fill their master’s house with violence and deceit.
Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. 14 And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress. 15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations:
15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been.
Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the Lord: Wailing shall be in all the broad ways; and they shall say in all the streets, Alas! Alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful in lamentation to wailing. 17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing; for I will pass through the midst of thee, saith Jehovah. 18 Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! Wherefore would ye have the day of Jehovah?
18 Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! Wherefore would ye have the day of Jehovah? It is darkness, and not light. 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 Jehovah be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
12 Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about. 13 Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision.
DotL I 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. 16 And Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but Jehovah will be a refuge unto his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel.
Go up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men go forth: Cush and Put, that handle the shield; and the Ludim, that handle and bend the bow. 10 For that day is a day of the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour and be satiate, and shall drink its fill of their blood; for the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
DotL K And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief:
The Lord when He comes for the Church is not said to come as a thief.
THE DotL is NOT AT HAND,
THE RAPTURE IS AT HAND
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him; 2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the Day of the Lord is just at hand; 3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the APOSTASIA come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition"
THE RAPTURE IS AT HAND
THE DotL is NOT AT HAND
to the end that u be not quickly shaken from ur mind, nor yet be troubled..as that THE DAY OF THE LORD is just at hand; let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the APOSTASIA come 1ST, & the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he who opposes & exalts himself vs. all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.
DotL is NOT AT HAND "THE DAY OF THE LORD . it will not be, except 1) the APOSTASIA come 1ST, & [ 2) THE TEMPLE BE REBUILT ] 3) the man of sin be revealed..he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God." Step 2 is logically required for step 3 3 Things have to happen before the DotL 1) The apostasia = departure (literal = Rapture; figurative = departing from the truth?) 2) Temple has to be rebuilt 3) Man of Sin sits in the Temple. But the Rapture is at hand.
THE RAPTURE IS AT HAND Jas 5
"8 Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Murmur not, brethren, one against another, that ye be not judged: behold, the judge standeth before the doors."
While Jas 5 does not say "rapture," it speaks of the coming of the Lord for the brethren, which we know from 1 Th 4 has the Rapture.
The Rapture is the Christian's blessed hope, an event which we are to live in expectation -- the judge is at the doors. Not so the DotL
3 Things precede the DotL (2 Th 2)
1) The apostasia = "departure." Probably most who read 2 Th 2 think this means a religious departure from the faith & give it a figurative meaning. But it is possible that in fact apostasia means a literal departure here, namely the Rapture. Evidence for literal departure can be found in the large Liddell & Scott lexicon where apostasia is declared to be a variant for apostasis. Also, the ancient document, The Dormition of Mary has apostasia used literally.
Thus Brethren, an imminent Rapture before Daniel's 70th week makes the best sense out of all scripture. In saying this I do not claim that it is a mathematical certainty. Neither do I despise my brothers who disagree with me on this. I do despise the arrogant position on eschatology that says, "Surely we are the people & wisdom will die with us" (Job allusion). I do despise the thot that one shud get all upset & charge others w/ heresy over this issue.
RAPTURE = GOING HOME, NOT DESTRUCTION Jn 14
"Let not your heart be troubled: u believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many dwellings; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again & will receive you to myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Nothing about coming to the earth to reign w/ the saints. My Father's House in not the earth.
RAPTURE = COMFORT, BEING WITH THE LORD 1 Th 4
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 that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up 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.
DAY OF THE LORD IS ABOUT DESTRUCTION, NOT COMFORT
"THE DAY OF THE LORD" is not the Rapture or the 2nd coming. I will quote from ASV which uses Jehovah where KJV has THE LORD.
6 Wail ye; for the day of Jehovah is at hand; as destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
7 Therefore shall all hands be feeble, and every heart of man shall melt: 8 and they shall be dismayed; pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman in travail: they shall look in amazement one at another; their faces shall be faces of flame. 9 Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger; to make the land a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RAPTURE. & IT IS NOT THE 2ND COMING
DotL Ezek 13
Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither built up the wall for the house of Israel, to stand in the battle in the day of Jehovah.
"Wail ye, Alas for the day! 3 For the day is near, even the day of Jehovah is near; it shall be a day of clouds, a time of the nations. 4 And a sword shall come upon Egypt, and anguish shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt; and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. 5 Ethiopia, and Put, and Lud, and all the mingled people, and Cub, and the children of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.:
5 Alas for the day! for the day of Jehovah is at hand, and as destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
skydiver asks ~"what is stopping the Rapt from..occurring on the DotL"
"Insisting" Well, my bro, we are trying to put together scripture the best we know how.
The point is that it makes more sense for the Rapture to precede the Day of the Lord. If the Rapture came at 6 AM & the DotL started at noon, that wud still be preTrib. But we know that DotL cannot come before the Temple is rebuilt & the MoS sits in the Temple. Thus how cud I expect C's coming for me today?
If I have it figured out right, the MoS sits in the Temple causing the abom of desol in the middle of Dan's 70th week (Dan 9). This I take as parallel to the 5th seal, martyrs. Technically "trib" in the Bible only = 2nd half of Dan's 70th wk. Popularly "trib" is used for the whole wk. So those we call "mid-tribbers" from their POV are pre-tribbers. The ekklesia is never mentioned in 1st 1/2 of Dan's 70th wk either. f we had to wait 3 1/2 yrs, the Rapt cud not be imminent (as it is)
We have to "cram in" 1) the apostasia, 2) the rebuild of Temple, & 3) MoS sitting in Temple before the DOTL. But I see nothing about any cramming. Actually, so far as I know, we are never told the time between the Rapture & the start of Dan's 70th week. But we know that the Rapt concerns the Church, while Dan's 70th week concerns Israel & the nations (no ekklesia). If it makes sense to u better another way, OK; I say, expect C to come now however else u figure things.
I am familiar with these subjects, Allis in wonderland, George Eldon Ladd, etc.
You basis thesis is wrong. The Day of the Lord is neither the rapture nor the 2nd coming. Simply consult a concordance. And go & read the comments on pre-trib at BibleAndTheology . com, a open forum.
Intricately woven? There is only 1 passage in all the Bible that specifically speaks of the Rapture (catching up of the Church). That is 1 Th 4:17. Other passages speak of Christ's coming for the Church without harpazometha (we shall be caught up). I read my entire Bible & marked in different colors topics of eschatology. I found no such weaving, only a great distinction. But "woven" is too vague a term. The term is "equation," which never occurs.
For about 1900 years Christians have been escaping the Great Tribulation, particularly by dying. Most generations of the Church cannot go thru the Trib, unless the Lord raised them from the dead to put them in it. Thus there is no theological necessity for the Church to go thru the Trib; in fact, it is impossible that most generations of the Church could go thru the trib.
The pre-trib rapture is consistent with seeing in Enoch a type of the rapture before the time of destruction with Noah's flood.
The pre-trib rapture is consistent with the rule of interpretation that the literal sense is to be preferred whenever it is possible. Without a pre-trib rapture, you will probably have to use allegorical interpretation, explain away the tribulation as something past in the Roman empire, make it nebulous so that you could be in it & not know it.
The pre-Trib Rapture also explains why Church is never mentioned in any tribulation passage; in those passages it is always Israel & the nations. Rev 6-18 has no references to the ekklesia at all; it is saints, Israel, nations.
The Rapture, Christ's coming for the Church, is presented as imminent; to be expected at any time. If the Rapture must be 7 years or more from now, we could not expect Him to come today. Thus the Pre-trib rapture solves the problem of the imminency of Christ's return, tho it is clearly revealed that His return to earth to sort out things follows a predicted time of trouble in Daniel's 70th week.
"The Rapture is signless, and will be unannounced and largely unexpected. It is next on the revealed program of God, and is so presented in the Scripture that every generation may enjoy the hope, challenge and other blessings of His appearing. We are all exhorted to watch but no one can know the day nor the hour when the Bridegroom will come (Matt. 25:13)"
Honey Bee is basically correct. However, the Rapture & the Church are not found in the Olivet Discourse at all (Mat 24-25). The Olivet Discourse is about Israel & the Church.