CHURCH saints, classical literature, harpazo, Homer, institutional church, manuscripts, Old Testament saints, opponents, Plato, Pre-Tribulation Rapture, proponents, Rapture Ready, rapturo, scoffers, Tribulation saints
The number of last-days scoffers who currently exist in the 21st century’s institutional church is astounding. The number of last-days scoffers who actually call themselves “Christians” is even more shocking, especially when that number includes several whole denominations of believers who enjoy ridiculing and attacking Pre-Tribulation Rapture believers! Indeed, the reasons why so many believers in God and Christ will not be raptured are because so many of them either do not believe in the Rapture, or they do not believe that the Rapture will happen before the start of the Tribulation Period. Furthermore, it is sad to say, but too many of these last days’ scoffing believers also think that the Tribulation Period ALREADY has started!
Be that as it may, the most common argument that most English speaking Christians make about the Rapture, no matter when they believe it is supposed to happen, is that the English word, Rapture, is not in the Holy Bible. Now, isn’t it funny how so many of these English speaking people do not seem to mind, or even know, that the English words “Trinity” and “Bible,” for example, are not mentioned in the Scriptures, either? It truly is funny how easily some people will believe in the idea of the “Trinity” and/or accept the word “Bible” as the name for the unadulterated Word of God, yet get their knickers twisted when anyone preaches, teaches, or writes about the Rapture.
Still, there is just no accounting for the spiritual ignorance that blinds the Rapture opponents who discount the idea of the Rapture just because that English word is not found in the Scriptures. It is amazing how these same opponents can know that the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic languages of the Old and New Testaments have been translated into many languages, of which English is just one, and yet these same opponents will continue to choose to disagree with Rapture believers, even though these opponents know of, or at least have heard people mention the scriptural accounts of Enoch’s translation, Elijah’s going up, Philip’s catching away, Paul’s catching up, and John’s in the Spirit. Without a doubt, these precursory disappearances point to the imminent Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Body of Christ (CHURCH Age saints).
The bottom line, then, is either the Rapture opponents just do not study the “Bible” for themselves, or they are more comfortable with just parroting what they have heard people say about the Rapture instead of letting the Holy Spirit teach them God’s Divine Truth. No matter what it is that keeps these English speaking Rapture opponents blind to the biblical truth, the point here is that they need to trust the Scriptures more than they trust, for example, The Apology, The Republic, Poetics, Iliad, Odyssey, The Oresteia trilogy, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and so forth. Certainly, if these Rapture scoffers want to disregard God’s inspired Word that deals with the Rapture, then these scoffers also must disregard classical literature, such as those ancient writings credited to Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aeschylus, and Sophocles. Here’s why.
Other than arguing that the word Rapture is not in English “Bibles,” one of the major premises that many English speaking Rapture opponents use when they are trying to discredit the idea of the Rapture is that there are NO Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic manuscripts in their original autographs. These English speaking Rapture opponents believe that, without having the ORIGINALLY written manuscripts, there is no way to prove or disprove whether the existing English translations of the “Bible” truly are accurate or inaccurate. Indeed, they argue that English speaking Rapture believers who are convinced that in its original autographs that the “Bible” is the divinely inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God would actually need to have the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic manuscripts, and then be able to read these manuscripts in their original languages, before they could know, beyond a shadow of doubt, if what they are reading today in their English-translated “Bible” is really what the ancient biblical authors wrote.
These opponents, however, have overlooked the fact that the same can be said about the aforementioned ancient philosophical, epic, and dramatic classical literatures. Thus, if these 21st century English speaking Rapture opponents’ objections are because they distrust the Holy Bible (a book they believe has been translated into English from copies, of copies, of copies, of copies in which there are too many manuscript changes and variations), then these same 21st century English speaking classical literature readers also must conclude that the majority of the English translations of texts credited to Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and other ancient Greek philosophers and writers also are from copies, of copies, of copies, of copies in which there are manuscripts changes and variations!
Additionally, just like many Rapture scoffers argue that the existing Old and New Testament canons are based on manuscripts that have been written years after the deaths of the accepted biblical authors, the same can be argued about the works of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, and so forth. For example, it is widely accepted that an Egyptian Greek collected, edited, and published all of Plato’s books/dialogues (both authentic and spurious), and that he did so some 400 years after Plato’s death! Like many biblical scholars who believed that their educated opinions about the authenticity of some manuscripts were correct, and then their educated opinions were later proven wrong, the same is true about Thrasyllus of Mendes, a Greek philosophy scholar. He believed that his edited collection of Plato’s complete works consisted of ONLY genuine manuscript copies. Over time, however, many scholars of ancient Greek philosophy have declared that several of the works Thrasyllus includes as “authentic” Platonic texts are spurious, or at the least “uncertain.”
Authenticity notwithstanding, without much protest, 21st century college and university professors who teach Philosophy classes, present the Tetralogies, and the philosophy, wisdom and principles found in these narratives, as though there is no doubt that these are Plato’s very own narratives, philosophy, wisdom, and principles. As a result, the majority of college and university students ACCEPT these works and their professors’ teachings, also without much protest. Yet, when it comes to accepting the narratives, philosophy, wisdom, and principles found in the Holy Bible, as well as when it comes to accepting the Holy Bible as being the inspired Word of God supernaturally put into the minds and spirits of the credited biblical authors, many academicians and their students immediately and vociferously convey their objections.
Concerning the trustworthiness and authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts, there are over 5,600 known Greek New Testamentmanuscript copies and fragments that have survived until today, over 10,000 New Testament manuscript copies in Latin, and over 9,300 New Testament manuscript copies written in Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic languages, which makes the total number of the known New Testament manuscript copies to be near 25,000. Thus, New Testament manuscripts not only rank first in the world in ancient manuscript evidence, but also there are only very small changes and variations in these thousands of manuscripts! Contrary to opinion, these changes and variations do NOT affect the central Christian doctrines, nor do they change the Gospel message!
In contrast, where classical literature is concerned, specifically the Greek writings of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Sophocles, and others, next to Greek New Testament manuscript evidence, Homer’s Iliad holds second placewith only 643 surviving ancient manuscript copies! Sophocles is in third place with 193 surviving ancient manuscript copies, and Aristotle is in fourth place with 49 surviving ancient manuscript copies. By the way, there are only 7 surviving ancient manuscript copies of Plato’s Tetralogies! Lastly, the time between the Greek New Testament’s original autographs and the earliest existing copy is remarkably a short 40-60 year timeframe, as opposed to a long 500 years between the time of the original Iliad and the first known copy.
Now, since the Greek New Testament manuscripts of the Holy Bible stand alone as the best-preserved literary works of all antiquity, and since the Authorized King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible continues to be one of the most popular English translations, then it is fitting to note here that the English-translated Holy Bible is more trustworthy than any other ancient literary work that has been translated into English. Even though scholars have found that there are 400,000 textual variant readings (differences) between all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts, they also have found that there are only 5,000 textual variant readings between the King James’ English New Testament text and the Greek New Testament manuscripts that are based on the best Greek witnesses (the best external evidence of each physical witness [physical document], its date, source, and relationship to the other known witnesses [physical documents]). Moreover, the majority of these variant readings have to do with untranslatable words. Then too, the majority of the variant readings between the Greek New Testament manuscripts used to create the KJV of the New Testament, and the majority of the variant readings between the Greek New Testament manuscripts used to create modern English translations, are very minor—such as the difference between the use of a “who” or “whom,” or the removal of the “thees and thous.”
With the exception of a few inconsequential discrepancies that have been introduced over time through copyist error, the 98% agreement between the KJV text, the best Greek New Testament witnesses, and the standard critical text (that which best resembles the original text) have made it clear that the KJV Holy Bible, in particular, the New Testament portion, is essentially the same as the ancient Greek New Testament manuscripts. For this reason, there is no truth in the argument made about the Rapture not being in the “Bible.” What is true is that the actual English word, Rapture, is what English speaking people cannot find in the Holy Bible, and rightly so since English is not the original language of the Old or the New Testament manuscripts.
Nevertheless, since this article is about helping its readers know if they are Rapture Ready, or not, then for the purpose of enlightening those who seek the truth about the Rapture, this article will now focus on highlighting those Scriptures that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Rapture not only is mentioned in the KJV of the Holy Bible but also that the Rapture is presented as a Pre-Tribulation ONLY event. Hopefully, the readers of this article will use this information to govern themselves accordingly, or suffer the consequences.
For the record, even though the actual English word, Rapture, is not in the King James Version of the Greek New Testament, the descriptions and explanations of this event are found in many “Bible” passages. Furthermore, according to Strong’s New Testament Greek Lexicon, the Greek word aJrpavzw, which is found in the Greek New Testament manuscripts, is transliterated as harpazo.
As mentioned earlier, the Holy Bible has been translated into many languages, with English being only one of those languages. Latin is another language, and, where the word Rapture is concerned, the early Latin translators of the Greek New Testament portion of the Holy Bible translated the Greek word harpazo into the Latin word rapturo. Certainly, modern-day English speakers can see that the root of their English word Rapture is from the Latin word rapturo.
What’s more, in the Strong’s Greek Lexicon, the Greek verb harpazo is defined as: 1. to seize, carry off by force; 2. to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly; and 3. to snatch out or away, and these definitions are why the King James English translators use the words “caught up” to mean the same thing as the Greek word harpazo. Moreover, the way in which harpazo is used in the major English Rapture Scriptures makes it clear that from those Scriptures the Greek harpazo (Latin’s rapturo, English’s rapture) refers to the catching away of those who have a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ, those who call themselves by His name, which is Christians. This catching away (Rapture) is a future event that will allow the true CHURCH saints to meet their Lord in the air. Thus, the Rapture event is Christian believers’ blessed hope, but only if these believers truly have accepted Christ as their personal Savior.
It should be interesting to know that true Christians don’t just accept Christ, but they repent (have a change of mind) and turn toward God with the deepest desire to obey God’s Word. At this point in their salvation experience, they would have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who enables them to have communion with the Lord. However, they also would need the infilling of the Holy Spirit, because it is the infilling that anoints born again and saved believers so that they can receive whatever the Holy Spirit reveals to them about the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit’s oil (anointing) is what not only brings believers out of darkness (sin) but also what keeps them in the Light so they can become Rapture Ready and, thus, not be left behind when Jesus returns to take them with Him to Heaven. Therefore, an additional reason why so many professed believers will be left behind is because they will not be prepared for Him (cf. the Ten Virgin Parable)! Unreadiness and inattentiveness are two reasons why, at the end of the Ten Virgin parable, Christ warns His believers against being like the foolish virgins who were left behind. He says His believers are to: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13, KJV).
Because believers are warned that they must be watchful (observant, alert), as well as prepared (holy, righteous, sanctified, and productive), for they do NOT know when Christ will come to get them, then the Rapture cannot happen during Mid-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation, because the people who know the Word of God will be able to calculate the time of Christ’s return. There would of course be two choices: 3½ years after the Tribulation Period starts, which would be Mid-Tribulation, or, 3½ years later, which would be Post-Tribulation. Either way, when people can calculate when to EXPECT Christ to show up, then the imminency of the Rapture (the immediate, at any time, ready to happen appearance of Christ) loses its sobering effect (the pressing need to be watchful and prepared). When they know when Christ is coming for them, there would be no hurry for them to get right with God, and then begin to do the kinds of “godly” works that will make them spiritually prepared and productive. Moreover, knowing that Christ would be coming back either at Mid- or Post-Tribulation could cause people to make a very serious error in judgment, like choosing to wait until the time of Christ’s return grows nearer, and after postponing getting right with God until a later date they then die before those Mid- or Post-Tribulation points in time happen. Indeed, putting off getting right with God is never a good decision to make, because no one knows for sure when he or she will die. This fact is why getting right with God is a Pre-Tribulation Rapture MUST.
For sure, the biggest danger in knowing the time of Christ’s return (i.e., Mid- or Post-Tribulation) is that people will NOT be looking for Christ to come back until the time grows closer to the middle or end of the Tribulation Period. Instead, they will be focusing on the appearance of the Antichrist and the beginning of the Great Sorrows. Thus, should the Pre-Tribulation Rapture happen, as the Scriptures say it will, then ALL of the people who are NOT looking for Christ will be caught off guard, surprised that He showed up so early! They will be even that more shocked when Christ closes the door to Heaven in their faces and they end up being the left behind individuals who will suffer God’s wrath (Tribulation Period).
From this writer’s point of view, the evidence that supports the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is more abundant than the evidence people use to support the NO Rapture opinion, or the Mid- or Post-Tribulation Rapture belief. Of course, the reason why so many people do not hold the same views on the Rapture really has to do with how they are interpreting the Scriptures!
Nevertheless, the Scriptures are unequivocal about the concept of the Rapture. The Apostle Paul writes: “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: Then we which are alive and remain shall becaught up[Greek, harpazo] together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD”(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV).
Other New Testament Rapture Scriptures are:
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” –(Matthew 24:36-42, KJV).
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 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. 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. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But heanswered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” –(Matthew 25:1-13, KJV).
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, KJV).
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” –(1 Corinthians 15:51-53, KJV).
“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” –(1 Thessalonians 1:10, KJV).
“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?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, KJV).
Notice in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 that the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the true CHURCH saints’ hope. They look forward to being rescued from the wrath of God that will be poured out during the Tribulation Period, and being “rescued” means being raptured and then given glorified bodies that make it possible for them to travel to Heaven where they can commune with Christ face-to-face. The Apostle Paul makes it equally clear that this Rapture hope also is why true CHURCH saints’ look forward to returning with Christ, in their glorified bodies, at the end of the Tribulation Period.
The New Testament Rapture Scriptures continue:
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” –(1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, KJV)
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” –(1 Thessalonians 5:9, KJV).
“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, KJV; cf. Jeremiah 30:7-11).
Notice that, in Revelation 3:10, of the seven churches in Asia Minor, all of which are symbolic representations of the kinds of Christians there will be in the world from the beginning of the CHURCH until the Rapture of the CHURCH, ONLY the Philadelphian believers are promised that they will be “rescued” from the Tribulation Period. Christ promises that He will rescue them from the Tribulation Period, because they put God first and didn’t compromise His Word by yielding to temptation, like accepting this world’s sinful ways as “satisfactory” conduct for true believers to copy. Therefore, Jesus is coming back to rapture ONLY the Philadelphian-like Christians, because these believers will be His true CHURCH (Body of Christ members who also are known as His Bride)!
Now, it stands to reason that Christ would not want His Bride to suffer the horrors of the Tribulation Period. In fact, the New Testament Scriptures assure those who are the born again and saved Bride of Christ that they not only are redeemed by God’s Grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the Blood of Jesus the Christ, but also they will be rescued from the wrath of God by the sacrificial work of Christ and the sanctification process of the Holy Spirit. For sure, Christ is the Bride’s perfect husband (cf. Ephesians 5:25-33), because He loves His Bride with an unfailing love. Christ’s unfailing love for His Bride also means that He is more than willing to protect Her, and His protection would include taking His Bride away from any wrath that Father God is going to bring upon the world.The only way that this kind of protection can be accomplished is by Christ totally removing His Bride from the Earth—in other words, this kind of protection is accomplished through the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
In case someone doesn’t know it yet, the Rapture is for the true CHURCH saints. For this reason, having enough knowledge about and an in-depth understanding of the RAPTURE are the gifts that Christ provides for His genuine believers so that they can find COMFORT in knowing that they will escape the Great Tribulation and be with Christ and God in Heaven (cf. Revelation 3:10)! However, for the ones who will become the left behind unbelievers, the gifts of knowledge and understanding, as they pertain to the Rapture, are presented as a strong warning! Why? Well first, the ones who do not believe in either the Rapture or the Pre-Tribulation Rapture will be the ones who will not be looking for Christ to return before the Tribulation Period begins. Secondly, Christ wants these Pre-Tribulation Rapture unbelievers to know that they will be the ones who become the left behinders. Thirdly, Christ wants these left behinders to know that shortly after the Rapture happens the Tribulation’s seven years will begin, and these years will be filled with the kinds of sorrows and horrors that this Earth, and the people living on Her, never have seen before (cf. Matthew 24:21; Revelation 6:17).
Fourth, although, there will be people who are born again and saved during the Tribulation Period (cf. Revelation 7:14), the Scriptures indicate that if a left behinder has heard the Gospel prior to the Rapture and rejected the Gospel’s Truth, which includes the truth about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, then during the Tribulation Period this person will receive a STRONG delusion. The delusion that will fall upon this left behind individual will be a heavy spiritual blindness that prevents this left behinder from accepting the preached and taught Gospel truth that will be coming from primarily the Jewish evangelists, two witnesses, and three angels (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 7:3-8, 11:3-12, and 14:1-20).
What’s more, although many Rapture and Pre-Tribulation Rapture opponents argue that Apostle Paul doesn’t believe in the Rapture, let alone the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, it is very clear that the Thessalonians already knew and understood that the Tribulation Period, or wrath to come, would not come until after the Rapture. In the language of 2 Thessalonians 2:1, which is “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him” KJV, the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that Christ’s Rapture of the CHURCH (the “gathering together unto him”) will happen before the lawless one, the Antichrist, is revealed to the world, and that his revealing only will happen during the Tribulation Period (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:3-12). Moreover, in the language of 2 Thessalonians 2:2, which is “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” KJV, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that true believers are not to be troubled by those last days’ Pre-Tribulation Rapture scoffers who will claim that the Tribulation Period (the day of the Lord) already has begun!
For clarification, the day of the Lord is a clear prophetic timeframe that begins with the Rapture of the CHURCH and continues through the entire seven year Tribulation Period (the seven years of God’s imminent judgment/wrath). The day of the Lord, thus, is a time of overwhelming blessing OR unprecedented destruction, and the determining factor has to do with each individual’s obedience to God! That’s why the Apostle Paul tells the born again, saved, watchful, prepared, and productive Thessalonians that they should not be frustrated or troubled by the last days’ Pre-Tribulation Rapture scoffers who intentionally seek to deceive them with every kind of EVIDENCE that they can use to prove that the Tribulation Period started before any Rapture has taken place.
Now, these Thessalonians knew the signs of the times, which the apostle confirms when he writes that “…of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, KJV). Even though these young in the faith Thessalonians knew the signs of the times, they still misunderstood the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. That the Apostle Paul clearly had taught them that Jesus would be coming within the lifetimes of those alive during the first century A.D. is not the issue. The issues involving Thessalonians’ GREAT misunderstanding had to do with how soon, and with whether or not their deceased friends would miss the glorious experience of witnessing the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Indeed, some Thessalonians were so confused about Christ’s Second Coming that they were expecting Christ to come back literally at any moment, which is why they actually had stopped working and literally were looking for Christ’s any-second return.
To their credit, even though the Thessalonians were a heavily persecuted group of believers, as a body of believers, they still excelled in their “…work of faith, …labour of love, and patience of hope…” (1 Thessalonians 1:3a, KJV). These three very noticeable spiritual works are what the Apostle Paul uses to comfort the Thessalonians, using their spiritual works to encourage all of the Christians in Thessalonica to continue doing more and more of what they have been doing for the Lord—to live in such a way that their lives pleased God—because, even though the day of the Lord had not started, it was soon to come.
The apostle wanted the Thessalonians to be convinced that there neither had been any Rapture nor had the Tribulation Period started, for he wanted them to continue to comfort and edify each other until the time of the actual Pre-Tribulation Rapture. That’s why the apostle assures them that they would know if they were in the Tribulation Period, because, once again, the Tribulation Period would be the time when the Antichrist’s identity would be revealed. Their task, then, was to be vigilant and composed. If they remained armed with faith, love, and the hope of their salvation, when the day of the Lord did come it would not take them by surprise (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).
Now, since no one could know who the Antichrist was until the Tribulation Period started, it should be evident that the Apostle Paul’s comforting and encouraging words to the Thessalonians also squash, once and for all, any Mid- and Post-Tribulation views! Contrary to some opposing Pre-Tribulation Rapture opinions, as stated earlier, the Apostle Paul does not indicate in his epistles that he believed the Tribulation Period already had begun. Additionally, he does not indicate in his epistles that he held either the Mid- or Post-Tribulation opinion. What the apostle does admit is that he knows that the day of the Lord (the timeframe that includes the Rapture and the Tribulation Period) would come like a thief in the night. This belief is why he also repeatedly expresses the need for believers to be watchful, sober, and prepared!
In support of what the Apostle Paul teaches about when the Antichrist will be revealed, in Revelation, the Apostle John indicates that it is the two prophesying and evangelizing Jewish witnesses who will reveal the Antichrist to the world (cf. Revelation 11:3-12). These two Jewish witness have been sent ONLY to the unsaved Jewish people, and they are prophesying and evangelizing primarily in Jerusalem! Thus, the Mid-Tribulation followers are wrong in using Revelation 11:12 (the time when the two witnesses are raptured, which is right at Mid-Tribulation) to prove that the CHURCH’s Rapture also will happen after the first three and a half Tribulation years. The Apostle John writes: “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them” (Revelation 11:12, KJV).
This last Scripture ONLY pertains to the Rapture of the two Jewish witnesses who have been martyred by the Tribulation’s Antichrist. This Scripture in no way proves that the “mystery” CHURCH, which is made up of Jewish and Gentile believers (cf. Ephesians 3:3-6), also will be raptured during the middle of the Tribulation Period. In fact, nowhere in the Scriptures is it even suggested that these two Jewish witnesses are members of the Body of Christ (the CHURCH), or members of any institutional church. Thus, the two witnesses’ Rapture is a separate event—an event that occurs at a time that is totally different than the time when Christ raptures His Bride! For sure, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture comes first, and then comes the Mid-Tribulation Rapture of the two witnesses.
As it has been stated earlier, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is for the CHURCH’s saints, and ONLY the CHURCH’s saints. However, there have been some precursory disappearances (Rapture sneak previews), and some of them pertain to Old Testament saints, while others pertain to New Testament saints. Still, it is enough to be able to say that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture line of reasoning is strengthened the most by the fact that three CHURCH saints, Evangelist Philip, Apostle Paul, and Apostle John, each had a sneak preview of the Rapture. The Scriptures that pertain to the true saints who experienced a precursory disappearance are:
“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” –Hebrews 11:5. This Scripture confirms that Enoch was the first human to be raptured (translated, snatched up) during a secret appearance of God.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried…” –(2 Kings 2:11-12a, KJV). This Scripture confirms that Elijah was the second human to be raptured (go up) during the chariot of fire, horses of fire, and whirlwind (storm cloud) appearance of God, and that this time there were onlookers who witnessed his disappearance!
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up… –(Acts 1:9-10a, KJV; cf. Mark 16:19, Luke 24:49-53) . Here, the Scriptures use the Greek word ejpaivrw, which is transliterated as epairo, which means to “take up,” from which the King James’ English translators get the phrase “went up.” Like Christ, true saints will be taken up (go up) in a similar manner, and they forever will be with Christ, whether in Heaven or on Earth.
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” –(Acts 8:39, KJV). This Scripture shows how raptured (caught away) people can be in one place, one minute, and then supernaturally appear somewhere else. Certainly, this is the Rapture experience that both apostles Paul and John later have when they find themselves one minute on Earth, and in the next minute, in the Spirit and in Heaven.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” –(2 Corinthians 2:2-4, KJV). These Scriptures describe the Apostle Paul’s Rapture experience, which, no doubt, helped him to preach and teach about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture with great conviction.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne” –(Revelation 4:1-2, KJV). As with evangelist Philip and the Apostle Paul, these Scriptures describe Apostle John’s preview of the future Rapture event that the CHURCH saints will experience.
Perhaps King Solomon’s words best explain what these precursory disappearances signify. Wise Solomon says that “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). These old sayings about what has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again also support the Pre-Tribulation Rapture line of reasoning, which is that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, like these precursory disappearances, is a future event that will happen without any signs, just promises. It is a future event that is just for the CHURCH’s saints, and it is a future event that will bring a message of hope and comfort to these saints.
Interconnected with the Rapture is the glorification—the final stage to the sanctification process in which human bodies are changed into the image of Christ’s transfigured body. This glorification is a future event that happens when both the dead in Christ and those who are alive when Christ, the Bridegroom, comes to rapture His Bride (true CHURCH/Body of Christ/saints). This is the time when the Pre-Tribulation raptured CHURCH saints will be changed in a twinkling of an eye.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John witness a precursory glorification that is similar to what the Apostle Paul later describes as putting on immortality—changing into another form, transforming, experiencing a metamorphosis. The way that the writer of The Gospel According to St. Matthew explains Christ’s transformation is by saying that He “…was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matthew 17:2, KJV). This example of a sudden change in appearance that happens to Jesus is the same kind of sudden bodily change that the Apostle Paul says will happen to every true CHURCH saint, and it will happen while the CHURCH saints are in the process of being “caught up” (raptured) to meet Christ in the air (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:17b).
Thus, when the true CHURCH saints are changed in the twinkling of an eye, and they put on immortality, they will have glorified bodies that resemble what Christ’s body looked like to His three disciples who witnessed His transfiguration. The Apostle Paul states this last point this way: “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:47-49, KJV). In essence, just as humans initially resemble a fallen Adam, eventually born again and saved humans will resemble Christ.
What is important to note here is that NOT all of Christ’s disciples got to witness His transfiguration—His glorification. Likewise, everyone living at the time of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture neither will witness the glorification nor the Rapture of the CHURCH’s saints, which is probably why many left behinders will refuse to believe that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the reason why they cannot locate their missing relatives and friends.
As stated earlier, the “Bible” mentions that, because many left behinders will refuse to believe the Divine Truth, God will send a strong delusion. This strong delusion, then, explains why apostasy will abound during the Tribulation Period. Indeed, many of these deluded left behinders will be those people who were once members of the institutional church who never experienced being born again. Many of these deluded left behinders will be people who once accepted Christ but then turned back to the world. Whatever are the reasons for why the deluded individuals got to be in the Tribulation, the bottom line is that their delusion will cause them to become the Tribulation Period’s apostate ones who would rather believe the Antichrist’s lies than accept the Gospel’s Divine Truth (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
Another problem with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture opponents’ arguments is that they also believe that the CHURCH’s true saints will have to go through the Tribulation Period. Scriptures do not support this opinion. In fact, the Scriptures record many instances in which God preserves (saves, rescues, delivers) His faithful people from impending destruction. The biblical authors mention that Enoch in Genesis 5:21-24 and Elijah in 2 Kings 2:1-12 both are rescued from a natural death. In the Scriptures, there are the narratives about Noah and his family, in Genesis 6:1-9:1; about Lot and his family, in Genesis 18:16-19:30; about Jonah, in Jonah 1:1-2:10; and about Nineveh’s residents, in Jonah 3:1-10, who are rescued from God’s imminent wrath.
The “Bible” also records many instances in which God’s chosen Jewish men and women are rescued from the wraths of mankind and Satan, as in the case of the Israelites’ exodus in Exodus 7:1-12:42; the Israelites’ crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus 14:1-31; the deliverance of the Jewish people living in the Persian Provinces, as documented in the entire Book of Esther; the three Hebrew young men’s deliverance from the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:1-30; and Daniel’s deliverance from the Lion’s Den in Daniel 6:1-28. Each one of these examples of God rescuing and/or preserving His faithful saints (chosen people) from hurt, harm, or danger supports the “ e scapism” belief.
Believe it or not, some last days’ Christian scoffers often ridicule proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture for their “escapism” belief—for being confident that they will escape the Tribulation Period in its entirety. The truth of the matter is that Jesus teaches an escapism Divine Truth, so there is no doubt that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is all about “escapism,” or why else would Christ tell His believers to “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” (Luke 21:36, KJV)? Unequivocally, Christ, in this Scripture, is warning His believers about being prepared, prayerful, and watchful saints so that they will not be caught off guard. He is warning them, because He wants them to be Rapture Ready—to be able to escape ALL of the last days and end-time atrocities He mentions in vv. 10-35, which are found in chapter 21 of The Gospel According to St. Luke.
That some people will be able to escape the last days and end-times’ mayhem is the main point that Christ is making, and this escape or rescue opportunity ONLY will be provided for those individuals Christ deems to be “worthy.” Their worthiness is determined by their faithfulness, watchfulness, and readiness!
Along those lines, without a doubt, for centuries, the anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming has inspired fervent evangelism and steadfastness in trials and tribulations—spiritual fruitfulness. So that believers from every century would obtain and maintain that same passion for evangelism and that same steadfastness in trials and tribulations that first century believers demonstrated, Jesus warns His believers against becoming so preoccupied with the cares of this life that they become unfruitful. Once again, in several “Bible” passages, Jesus makes it emphatically clear that ONLY the watchful, sober, faithful, and productive saints will be counted worthy to ESCAPE the terrible things that will come upon the Earth in the last days and the end times. Still, even though the idea of CHURCH saints being removed to a safe haven comes from Christ’s own teachings, there still are far too many people who scoff at this belief.
Christ is not the only one who speaks about escapism. Even the Prophet Jeremiah speaks about those who are counted worthy to escape. Prophet Jeremiah tells God’s chosen people that God “…will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:10-11, KJV). There can be no doubt that in these cited Scriptures God is alluding to the fact that many Messianic Jews will “escape” the Tribulation Period, completely. However, God also makes it clear that He specifically will protect His chosen people from the one who makes war against His Tribulation saints.
Even though God’s chosen nation of Israel will enter into the Tribulation Period (time of Jacob’s Trouble cf. Jeremiah 30:7), God promises that, in the end, though the nation will be disciplined/punished during God’s Great Tribulation (His wrath that is poured out on planet Earth and the people alive and living on the Earth at that time) the nation of Israel, His chosen people, will be saved (rescued, delivered; not destroyed). God will protect the nation of Israel who, at Mid-Tribulation, is fleeing from the Antichrist. Apostle John writes, saying “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:6, KJV). Undoubtedly, Jordan’s Petra could be the wilderness mentioned in this Scripture, because Jordan’s Petra is one of the best natural fortresses and places of refuge on Earth where someone could find protection from the outside world for at least 3½ years, because the Siq, a narrow valley, is the only entrance into Petra. This last statement means that this Siq entrance could be easily guarded. However, the important point is that no matter where the Tribulation’s nation of Israel flees, God will protect them!
According to Revelation chapter 12, when the Antichrist’s attempt to capture the fleeing Israel is thwarted, he then is forced to turn his attention to making war “…with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17; cf. Revelation 12:14-16). Some prophecy scholars believe that this latter group will be Gentile converts from every nation.
Be that as it may, it is very clear from the Scriptures that during the Tribulation Period God Himself will provide the necessary supernatural, angelic protection for Israel. Thus, throughout the most unspeakable time the world will ever know, God will keep His Word about saving (rescuing, delivering)—providing a way to escape—for His chosen people. Likewise, God also will save (rescue, deliver)—provide a way to escape—for Christ’s faithful, watchful, and prepared CHURCH. The CHURCH’s escape is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture!
Bottom line, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is God’s Evacuation or Rescue Plan for true “Bible”-believing Christians. Moreover, this plan guarantees that Christ’s Bride (true CHURCH of Hebrews and Gentiles) will be removed from the Earth and taken by Christ to a safe place, which is in Heaven.
To refute the belief about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture being ONLY for the CHURCH’s saints, opponents make this last key argument, which is that the Tribulation saints are saints, too. This is a weak argument because the opponents’ premise is faulty. While Tribulation saints are saints, too, opponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture have seemed to have overlooked the Scriptures that inform them about the Tribulation saints becoming “saints” after the CHURCH has been removed from the Earth! These opponents also have seemed to have forgotten that there is a brief interval between the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period, and that this is believed to be the time when the Jewish Temple is rebuilt.
Then, just before God unleashes His wrath, as mentioned in Apostle John’s Revelation chapter 7 flashback, the Holy Spirit seals 144,000 Jewish evangelists, marking them as saints of God. However, this seal of God that is on their forehead doesn’t protect these 144,000 from hurt, harm, and danger. The “Bible” clearly defines sealing as merely giving the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee (earnest, KJV) of believers’ inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, which is why in Revelation chapter 14, these initial 144,000 Jewish evangelists have been martyred and then raptured.
These Jewish 144,000 have been redeemed, just like the CHURCH’s Jewish and Gentile saints. God promises that His chosen, though spiritually blind and cutoff, would one day be redeemed, and so He keeps His Word. However, the Jewish 144,000, especially since they are living during the Tribulation Period, and not the CHURCH Age, represent the firstfruits of the Old Covenant, for the Prophet Jeremiah says that “Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 2:3, KJV).
Thus, when James, the brother of Jesus, and Apostle John speak of the 144,000 as being a kind of firstfruits (spiritually undefiled, pure virgins) who are presented “…unto God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4b; cf. James 1:18), the reference here goes all the back to the Exodus 22:29-31a, when God commanded that His chosen people would “…not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. And ye shall be holy men unto me….” The 144,000 redeemed, martyred, and raptured Tribulation saints, then, are symbolic of the firstfruits’ offerings (the firstfruits’ offerings the Old Testament Israelites were commanded to give to the Lord) that God knew His chosen people literally would become. All other Tribulation saints are just that—Tribulation saints.
Once more, one salient point that opponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture seem to overlook is that most of the Jewish and Gentile left behinders are left behind because they are UNBELIEVERS—people who NEVER have confessed that Christ is their Lord and personal Savior. Another salient point that opponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture seem to overlook is that many of the left behinders who had confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior during the CHURCH Age were NOT true saints. These so-called saints are UNBELIEVERS too, because they NEVER have had a born-again experience. As a result, they only could display an outward religiosity that was void of any inward conviction (like the nation of Israel, as She is symbolized in the cursing and withering of the fig tree, for they [the fig tree and Israel] both were not producing any fruit when Jesus passed their ways looking for fruit; cf. Matthew 21:18-20; Luke 13:6-9:). Therefore, if the Tribulation Period’s left behinders had been truly born again and, thus, truly saved, then they would have been prepared during the CHURCH Age for Christ’s Pre-Tribulation Rapture phase of His Second Coming!
For example, in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, these symbolic five foolish virgins are the representatives of many left behinders who have had the door of opportunity—the chance to be raptured—shut in their faces. Christ shuts the door on these foolish virgins because He cannot take up to Heaven any person who is as these foolish virgins are—unprepared, careless, spiritually unproductive “believers” in God and Christ. In essence, the five left behind virgins are representatives of the countless number of institutional church members who confess Jesus with their mouths yet never undergo a genuine born again experience.
A vast number of these Gentile and Jewish left behinders, as well as a great many of the never professed Christ at all unbelievers, will have a true born again experience that will lead to their acceptance of Christ as their personal Savior, but their rebirth and the appropriate sanctified lifestyle that must be manifested will happen after the Tribulation Period has started! While it is true that their born again and saved status is why they also are called saints, the fact still remains that they are Tribulation saints who come to a deeper spiritual understanding of who they are in Christ. Still, just as Old Testament saints cannot be CHURCH Age saints, Tribulation saints also cannot be CHURCH Age saints! For this reason, all of these saints will be resurrected and/or Raptured in their own lot or order (cf. Daniel 12:13 and 1 Corinthians 15:23), which means that the Tribulation Saints will be in a separate lot/order from the lot/order of the CHURCH’s dead and alive in Christ Pre-Tribulation Rapture saints.
Just like the Old Testament saints, CHURCH Age saints, and Tribulations saints are NOT resurrected together, the dead and alive in Christ Pre-Tribulation Rapture CHURCH saints and the Tribulation saints will NOT be raptured together, either. As previously indicated, the Prophet Daniel confirms the notion of distinct lots when he says that after the Tribulation Period is over, after Jacob’s Trouble is complete, God’s chosen Jewish people “…shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book…many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt…go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:1b-2 and 12:13, KJV). The Apostle Paul makes a similar statement in 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. He also implies that ALL people, believers and unbelievers, Hebrews and Gentiles, Old Testament, CHURCH Age and Tribulation saints, not only will be raptured in accordance with their assigned order (their categorization, classification), but also they will be resurrected either to eternal life or to eternal damnation. Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 KJV that since “…in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
Now, this “coming” or parousia that the Apostle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:23 is defined, according to the Strong’s Greek New Testament Lexicon, as the future visible return from Heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead (which happens at different times or in several stages, depending on individuals’ lot/order), to hold the last judgment, and to set up formally and gloriously the Kingdom of God. However, these “coming” events do not happen ALL at the same time, as many Pre-Tribulation Rapture opponents would have people to believe. For sure, especially since the dead in Christ are raised at a different time than the eternally damned, Christ’s Second Coming is going to be in phases, with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture being the first phase. Christ Himself says to “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 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. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:28-30, KJV).
Thus, it is God who assigns every person to his or her lot/order, and it is God who decides not only when a particular lot/order will be resurrected, raptured and judged, but also God decides when Christ will return to Earth to raise the dead, to hold the last judgment, and to set up formally and gloriously the Kingdom of God. Indeed, it is God who decides whether or not Christ’s “coming” will be a one-time occurrence, or if it will be in phases. That’s why the opponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture should seek God about their opposition rather than attack those who hold a different point of view from theirs!
In reference to Christ raising the dead according to their lot/order, there are many Pre-Tribulation Rapture opponents who also try to refute the Pre-Tribulation Rapture belief by attacking the sound of the trump of God or the last trump (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52). The Scripture clearly says that the dead in Christ bodies will arise from their graves after hearing three voices: the sound of Christ’s voice, the sound of the archangel’s voice, and the sound of the trump of God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Pre-Tribulation Rapture opponents, however, claim that the trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is NOT God’s voice but the sound of a judgment trumpet that is mentioned in Revelation, and therefore this means that the Rapture, if it happens, will happen during Mid-Tribulation.
Their claim is way off base, because Apostle John makes it clear that the last trumpet in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is NOT a Tribulation trumpet. Apostle John writes, saying “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne” (Revelation 4:1-2, KJV). Now, not only is the Apostle John describing his own Rapture experience, after which he (a CHURCH saint) gets a glimpse of what is going to happen to the rest of the CHURCH’s saints, but also Apostle John is confirming that the Apostle Paul’s “last trump” that is sounded before the Pre-Tribulation Rapture begins, in fact, will be the voice of God sounding like a trumpet.
Furthermore, contrary to what the opponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture say, the Rapture will be a surprise, in that it will be an unannounced event that will catch many people off guard! Jesus says, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:38-39, KJV).
In the above Scriptures, Christ mentions two destructive events, the Flood and the annihilation of the Sodom and Gomorrah residents, and then He mentions that God removes His true believers just before those destructive events take place. Without dispute, people accept the fact that the Flood happens after Noah and his family are safe inside the Ark. Likewise, people accept the fact that Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed after Lot departs from Sodom. Thus, since Jesus mentions these two destructive events and the removal of the faithful ones before the events happen, the obvious conclusion should be that the Tribulation Period will start after God raptures the CHURCH’s saints, because immediately after Christ speaks about the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah’s before and after events He makes several Rapture references (cf. Matthew 24:40-51). As mentioned earlier, those old sayings from Ecclesiastes that express the ideas that what has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again also apply to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture . Prior to God’s wrath being poured out on this Earth, He surely will remove His faithful and true CHURCH Age saints!
As previously mentioned several times, there will be many left behinders who will receive the Good News Gospel that is preached and taught during the Tribulation Period. These individuals will become born again and saved Tribulation saints, and many of them will be martyred (beheaded by the Antichrist and False Prophet who are angry with them for not receiving the Mark of the Beast) [cf. Revelation 20:4]. However, it is not clear as to what role the Holy Spirit will play in the lives of these Tribulation saints.
God’s Word does say that His Holy Spirit only can dwell in those who believe Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, which means that the indwelling Holy Spirit is for born again and saved believers. Secondly, the infilling of the Holy Spirit or Baptism of the Holy Spirit only can come to those who are the temple of the Holy Spirit, which means that the infilling Holy Spirit is for born again and saved believers. Therefore, based on the Scriptures, the left behinders who are without a doubt both Holy Spirit indwelt and infilled are the two witnesses. They not only are highly favored by God but also supernaturally empowered by Him, perhaps more so than the first century A.D. apostles. These two witnesses are so full of the Holy Spirit that they perform some awesome miracles, signs and wonders—like flashing fire from their mouths that is meant for their enemies, and then incinerating their enemies with this fire! Concerning the 144,000 and all of the other Tribulation saints, the Scriptures do not mention whether any of them have the same power and authority as the two witnesses, which is why many prophecy and end-times scholars believe that most of the Tribulation saints will NOT be filled with the Holy Spirit, but rather that He (the Holy Spirit) will come upon those individuals who operate with supernatural power and authority during the Tribulation Period.
What then is the conclusion of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture argument? The conclusion is that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is coming much sooner than people think, and it will be for the rescuing of the CHURCH’s saints so that they will NOT have to face the Time of Jacob’s (nation of Israel’s) Trouble.
For sure, Satan and his imps have been working overtime trying to get people to believe any lie that would cause them to end up in eternity, in a place that specifically was designed for the Devil and his demons. That’s why Satan and his many imps also have gone out of their way to form different explanations for those people who would want to discount any Rapture belief, for those people who would want to claim that the Rapture is not a Pre-Tribulation event, but rather a Mid- or Post-Tribulation event, and for those people who would want to justify why they were left behind. Satan and his helpers also have gone out of their way to form explanations that will satisfy the multitudes of the left behind Hebrews and Gentiles who, after God’s CHURCH saints are gone, will want answers about what specifically will happen to them.
Because Satan is all about taking as many people with Him into eternity’s Lake of Fire, and because that time is swiftly approaching when Satan, his imps, Antichrist, and False Prophet will be thrown into this Lake of Fire, it is essential that every believer knows RIGHT NOW if he or she is Rapture Ready. There is no doubt that many Christians believe that humanity is certainly in the final generation of life on Earth. No doubt, this is why the subjects pertaining to the last days and the end times come up so frequently. Even though there still are too many Christians and too many non-Christians who don’t want to talk about whether or not they are ready for the prophetic events that are scheduled to happen in the very near future, the truth of the matter is believers really need to know if they are Rapture Ready.
Therefore, if some people are reading this article before the sudden disappearance of true Christians happens, then, hopefully, these individuals will realize that they only have a little more time to get right with God, if they are not living the kind of godly life that God expects His sons and daughters to live. Getting right with God by changing their mind (repenting; turning away from a life of sin and turning to a life in Christ) is the only way that unbelievers and/or carnal Christians can begin to Rapture-Ready their lives.
Additionally, if some people are reading this article after many people have disappeared, then, hopefully these individuals will know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they have been left behind. As left behinders, they most assuredly must get right with God, or suffer His ultimate wrath—an eternal separation from God, which is an eternity in the Lake of Fire.