Pre-trib. rapture

The pre-tribulation rapture

This essay is an explanation of what the pre-tribulation rapture is, and why you should believe it.  I mean why should a person believe in the pre-trib. rapture, or any rapture for that matter? I believe there are multitudes of reasons to believe in it, but will only give the more important (to me at least) and simpler ones in this article for brevity’s sake.

To begin, an introduction to the word “rapture” is necessary. The word “rapture” comes from Paul’s mention of being “caught up” in 1 Thes 4:17. This remark of being  “caught up” was translated from the Greek word “harpazo,” which is the same as the Latin word “raptus,” and from thence came the word “rapture” in English.

“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.” -1 Thessalonians 4:17

Now, I would like to give a good reason to believe the rapture (or being “caught up”) is not the same as the resurrection found throughout the gospels and mentioned in Rev. 20. Paul in 1Cor. 15:51-54-a parallel to 1 Thes. 4:13-17-says he is shewing the Corinthians a mystery. Interesting! Paul many times in his epistles talks of mysteries, and is always referring to a something unexplained in the past(examples Rom. 11:25, Rom. 16:25, and 1Cor. 2:7). Though, the resurrection found in the gospels was so well acknowledged(John 5:29, 11:24-25) it is only barely mentioned in Revelation during it’s fulfillment. This resurrection could hardly be called a mystery. Another reason to believe in a difference is the fact the Paul says we’ll be “caught up,” and during the resurrection found in Rev. 20 there is no catching to anywhere! I could go on and on, but this will suffice.

I believe the main and clearest verse pointing to a pre-tribulational rapture is Luke 12:36.

“And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”  -Luke 12:36

The Jews (elect) are to wait for the Lord’s return from a wedding. In 2 Cor. 11:2 the church is called a future bride for Christ (most studied christians agree with this point). With all this in mind a look at Rev. 19:7-8 is all it should take to realize the church must be in heaven before Christ’s second coming.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” -Revelation 19:7

Here the scripture tells us that wedding has already taken place, before the second advent. With this knowledge a post tribulation rapture of the church is out of the question, leaving room for only a pre-trib. rapture. This single verse is, I believe, the greatest supporter of the pre-trib. rapture position.

The promise in Revelation 3:10 guarantees a rapture before the “hour of temptation” (tribulation). Does the phrase “keep thee from” mean rapture? Lets see.

“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.”  -Revelation 3:10

The phrase “which shall come upon all the world” answers that question. The only way to keep us from temptation, that will come “upon ALL the world,” is to keep us OUT of the world. The next phrase reinforces this by saying “to try them that dwell upon the earth,” like we are already gone (because we will be). We have already received Christ and need no extra testing. When the “hour of temptation” comes we will be gone. The “hour of temptation” is certainly the 7 year tribulation. When else will there be temptation on “all” the world?

The 24 elders found in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is a great pre-tribulation rapture supporter and also a post-trib. stumper. Why are there people in heaven before the rapture? (if you’re a post tribber) Pre-tribbers can rest in the fact that they will be there, with the 24 elders, during the tribulation while a post-tribber can only be baffled at this fact. The 24 elders are not angels, they are humans washed in Jesus blood. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” -Revelation 5:9

There are many more reasons and proofs for this position, but wanting to remain brief I will stop here. An answer to some common post-trib. rapture arguments will be my focus in the next few paragraphs.

The first thing a post-tribber will do to convince a pre-tribber is try to connect the rapture to the “day of the Lord.” I’ve read someone try to do this in 1 Thes. 4-5: Claiming that the conjunction “but” always carries over the context of the previous passage to the next. This would mean that since 1 Thes. 4:13-18 is about the rapture, and the very next chapter begins with the conjunction “but” and is about the “day of the Lord” that they are the same event. (The verses are posted below for reference)

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. -1 Thessalonians 4:17

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. -1 Thessalonians 5:1

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. -1 Thessalonians 5:2

This claim is built upon a false assumption, and can be disproven biblically. In 1Thes. 4:13 a change of subject from brotherly love to the rapture is made by using the word “but,” So this attempt at making the rapture the same event as the “day of the Lord” is unfounded.

I have heard post-tribbers claim that there are only 2 resurrections, and the first is found in Rev. 20. It is true that the resurrection in Rev. 20:5-6 is called the “first resurrection,” but it is called that simply because the next event mentioned is called the “second death.” It could not possibly be the very first resurrection because countless people in the O.T. and N.T. were resurrected. Again, the evidence disagrees with this view.

None of the post-trib. rapture arguments satisfyingly line up with scripture. When the evidence is viewed this belief falls apart. Some people may realize I missed some strong points for the pre-trib. rapture; such as the doctrine of imminency, dispensations, or the fact that the tribulation is called the time of “Jacobs trouble” (by the way, it is -Jer. 30:7, Daniel 9:24). The reason I skipped these points is because it would take many pages to explain and defend them, and at the moment I am not prepared to take the time to write such a long paper. This is just meant as a short explanation of why you should be pre-trib. and not post-trib.

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8 responses to “Pre-trib. rapture”

  1. Irv Spielberg says :

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” and “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun).”
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

    • timorganmk says :

      Thank you for viewing and commenting on this site. I have a few things to say about your comment.

      I have heard of Thomas Ice, but really have not idea who he is. I don’t see how bringing him up has any bearing on this issue. What this person or that person believes, or whether so-and-so has a “PH. D.” has nothing to do with whether the Bible teaches a Pre-trib. rapture or not. When someone relies on such evidences to determine his belief system there is a problem. This type of thought process is completely unbiblical. 1 Timothy 2:15 and 1 Cor. 2:13 both deal with this. The Bible is to be the sole authority. We are to study the Bible, not men or anything else, to shew ourselves approved unto God.

      Appealing to history is another pointless gesture. Whether one can prove his doctrine historically or not should never be the determining factor as to whether it is true. You would find that many of our supposed “forebears” believed many strange doctrines, unfounded in scripture. Calvinism, Armenianism, Preterism, and many other foolish doctrines can be found among the “first christians” or the old time christians. History was not divinely inspired by God. However, the holy Bible is. I recommend people leave off the foolish bickering over who believed what way back when, and start believing the Bible.

      For more information concerning the rapture read this article:

  2. boldncourageous says :

    I reread portions of your post trying to make sense of it. I must admit it is very difficult. The word ‘but’ in 1 Thess. 5:1 is clearly speaking of the times and seasons… I’m not sure if you are stating that the “day of the Lord” mentioned in verse 2 is what you are referring to as the second coming with no connection to the rapture? Many pre-trib believers believe that this verse refers to the rapture… with the element of surprise, “as a thief in the night.”

    The thing is, that if the rapture happens seven year prior to the second coming then the element of surprise is lost, because the “goodman of the house” would know at what watch (period of time) to keep watch so that his house couldn’t be broken into… Matt. 24:41,42.

    Am I right in assuming that you are stating that 1 Thess. 5:2 is speaking of the second coming, rather than the rapture, therefore all verses pertaining to Jesus coming “like a thief” refer to the second coming rather than the rapture. If that is the case, wouldn’t that make Jesus out to be a liar in the nature in which he stated how he would come, “as a thief?” Because the rapture would declare the timing of the second coming? Jesus would have to have stated something like he was “coming as a politician in the daytime,” to have a truthful analogy.

    Also you use Rev. 3:10 as to make a blanket promise to all Christians that He will keep us from the hour that is to come on the whole earth. However, it is very clear that the church of Sardis, kept the contingency necessary to escape it. Because you have done this… I will do that… This is not a blanket promise to everybody. Especially to those who haven’t fulfilled their side of the contingency.

    Luke also makes reference to this same contingency in Luke 21:26. Jesus tells us to pray always that we may be counted worthy to escape all that is coming on the earth. If escape means rapture, and you must be saved to get raptured, then why are we supposed to be praying always to get saved? And what does works / worthiness have to do with salvation?

    Here we see the same contingency. There is a worthiness necessary, just like in the church of Sardis to be kept for that hour.

    If you see the word escape in Luke 21:36, how is it going concerning praying always? Or is that command something that you’ve blown off? It makes sense to blow it off, because to continually praying this prayer is to pray a faithless prayer. However if you know that the trials of tribulation are ahead, it is an earnest prayer, knowing the necessity to counted worthy to escape what is coming.

  3. boldncourageous says :

    I got your email, but the response doesn’t appear to have showed up on the comments yet.

    I can see where there can be a lot of confusion. Much of your view is founded on dubious assumptions, as you mentioned the time of Jacob’s trouble, and Matt. 24.

    The time of Jacob’s trouble is in a two chapter prophesy Jer. 30,31, and it is mentioned once in the entirety of Scripture. This isolated period of time is defined by two events:, 1) it is the worse case scenario ever for Israel (Jer. 30:7), and 2) it scatters them (Jer. 30:10,11) to the ends of the Earth (Jer. 31:8). Isaiah tells us that once she is gathered she will never be scattered again.

    It is true that Israel was taken into captivity into Babylon, but she was only scattered ONCE. From 70 AD to 1948 AD. This truly was the worse case scenario for Israel. In 162 AD Jerusalem was eradicated of Jews. When the Messiah returns Jerusalem will be occupied by Jews Zech. 12:4. The time of Jacob’s trouble is NOT about the great tribulation, but the scattering of Jews throughout the world. Israel’s future is brighter than her past. She will never be scattered again, and therefore the time of Jacob’s trouble is fulfilled and cannot be futuristic.

    Matt. 24 ALSO mentions the worse case scenario for Israel. It is important to understand the Context of the chapter. The disciples asked Jesus 2/3 questions concerning His comment about the temple being destroyed and not one stone being left upon another. We know that this was fulfilled in 70 AD by the conquest of Titus fulfilling it. However, the disciples question pinpoints this timing of the destruction of the temple…”When will these things be?” (Matt. 24:3) According to the pretrib doctrine, Jesus NEVER address this part of the question. That simply is not the case. Jesus didn’t blow off their question, He answered it from Matt. 24:15-23.

    Joel also address this time of Roman occupation as the worse case scenario.
    Daniel 12:1 also address this exact time…”At that time…” what time? The time described in the preceding verses. Edom, Ammon and Moab escape the Roman Empire and rule (Daniel 11:41)…check you history its about the Roman Empire and occupation.

    The time of Jacob’s trouble does not describe the great Tribulation and cannot. It is a passage that is highly excepted as something it is not because of its obscurity. The wickedness surrounding it is to attempt to make the great tribulation exclusive for the Jews and pick and choose which scriptures to apply to the gentiles or the church. Hitler would be proud! The Gentiles have been graphed in and the walls of separation have come down.. Eph 2:11+

    • timorganmk says :

      It seems you failed to read my full article. You are bringing things up that have been dealt with already. The time of Jacob’s trouble is defined as being the worst Israel will ever face. A time like no other. That is also the description given to the 7 year tribulation period. They are both the worst ever. That requires them to be the same.

      My understanding is different from yours. The events described in Mat. 24 are all concerning the same time period. I don’t know how you can separate them. So, if part is past, then Jesus should be back by now.

      Also, the Jews will be scattered during the tribulation time period. So, your argument that is based on their scattering is void. The prophecies you are referring to teach that once Israel is regathered it will never be scattered again. Well, if that is past already, then the future described in Revelation is wrong, since it teaches that Israel will be scattered.

      Mat. 24:15 is a direct reference to Daniel 9, and you claim it is fulfilled. The problem is that after the abomination that maketh desolate occurs there is only 3 1/2 years till the 70 weeks are fulfilled. That would require all the prophecies in Dan. 9:24 to have already taken place.

      Dan 9:24 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.

      • boldncourageous says :

        Do you have any scripture to back your dubious assumption? Zech 12 tells us that they will be in captivity… not scattered as you state. Isaiah tells us they will not be scattered.

        My view or opinion has absolutely no bearing on the truth, and I know that yours does not either. Are you truly interested in truth or continuing to build a doctrine upon assumptions?

  4. timorganmk says :

    A study in the four winds and four corners of the earth clearly reveals that Israel gets regathered after the tribulation.

    Isa 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

    Mat_24:31 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.

    Mar_13:27 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.

    Rev_7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

    And again. all those passages you claim are past talk about Israel being at peace forever. It hasn’t happened. Zechariah 12-13 clearly describes the end of the world when God destroys all the enemies of Israel.

    Zec 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

    Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

    Zec 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

    This has not happened.

    The book of Joel is similar. Nothing in history fits the description given in Joel concerning the day of the Lord.

    • boldncourageous says :

      Also Jer. 31:8 is a parallel scripture that specifically states that Jacob (Israel) will be gathered from the four winds. This is in the same prophesy (Jer. 30,31) that gives us the time of Jacob’s trouble.

      There is an assumption in your writings that the “elect” and the Jews are one in the same concerning the olivet discourse. Furthering your assumption that the gathering of the Jews is AFTER the tribulation. (God’s own (elect) were not called by the name of Christian until Acts 19). God tells us that we have not chosen Him, but “I have chosen you.” We have been grafted in… and the walls of separation have come down… Eph 2:11+

      FACT: Jerusalem will be occupied by Jews (at least by half, the other half are in captivity.. not scattered, but captive) at the return of Christ… Zech. 12:4

      FACT: The time of Jacob’s trouble is the worst ever for Jacob (Israel).

      FACT: in 162 AD Jerusalem was eradicated of Jacob (Jews) and was considered Jew free. At this time Jews were scattered to the four winds.

      FACT: Israel was gathered in 1948 and became a nation once again after being scattered to the ends of the earth.

      FACT: The time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) ASSUMED by many to be the tribulation causes Israel to be scattered (Jer. 30:10,11) to the four winds… Jer. 31:8

      The BIG question (I say big, because Mark does not record the 2nd/3rd question as Matt. does) that the disciples asked that brings about the topic of the Olivet discourse is, “When will these things be?” Mark 13:4, Matt. 24:3 What thing are they referring to? The destruction of the temple buildings where not one stone is left upon another. Note that the buildings are what is at issue and not the retaining wall… now known as the “wailing wall.”

      FACT: the temple was destroyed and not one stone was left upon another of the BUILDINGS from the conquest of Titus in 70 AD.

      It is possible to study the FACTS and the conclusion will always be the same, if all the FACTS are what is being considered. However, if opinion, assumption and conjecture is part of the equation, all you have is a doctrine of man. The pretrib doctrine is built ENTIRELY upon opinion, assumption, and conjecture. It is widely excepted because it paints a picture that people want to hear. If you remove opinion, assumption, and conjecture from your view, the pretrib doctrine will cease to exist.

      We are one body in Christ… unless, of course, you believe in the pretrib view, because the pretrib view sees at least 3 bodies. One, the Jews, two the church (or bride of Christ), and three the tribulation saints. The unity of the rapture and the second coming as one event, unifies the body of Christ. We have been grafted in and the walls of separation have been removed. However, the separation of the rapture from the second coming also separates the Jews from the bride, and creates tribulation saints who then cannot be the bride of Christ. The pretrib doctrine then must create doctrine to include these extra bodies. The doctrine teaches that tribulation saints cannot be the bride of Christ, and therefore have a different role in eternity. One view of the doctrine teaches that they are servants to the bride. Hmm… that’s a nice thought especially if you like being served. They then must be greater than the bride, because he who wants to be greatest in God’s kingdom must be a servant of all. The Scripture unifies ALL of God’s elect into one body in Christ Jesus. The work of the cross defines God’s chosen ones as believers. Many Jews will never see heaven, and many will. This depends upon what they do about the cross, not there nationality.

      To believe in the pretrib doctrine one must again rebuild the walls of separation that God Himself has torn down through the work of the cross. This, of course, cannot be accomplished by man. So the doctrine must only exist in the minds of man and not in reality.

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