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The Rapture

‘In time, throughout that land,’ says Adonai, ‘two-thirds of those in it will be destroyed — they will die, but one-third will remain. That third part I will bring through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined, I will test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is my people’ and they will say, ‘Adonai is my God.’ ~ Zechariah 13:8-9, CJB

For God has not intended that we should experience his fury, but that we should gain deliverance through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who died on our behalf so that whether we are alive or dead, we may live along with him. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, CJB

Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. ~ Revelation 3:10-11, CJB 

It boggles the mind how so many people who say they are born again, saved, and being sanctified believers in Christ Jesus also could say that the alive Bride of Christ members will be in the Tribulation Period. It is hard to understand how they could believe that God doesn’t say in His Word that the Lord’s Bride will ESCAPE the Tribulation Period.

These non-pre-Trib Rapture believers argue that if the early Christians suffered persecution, and if Christians today in various places on this Earth also are suffering persecution, just because they are Christians, then that proves that God will NOT remove the Bride of Christ off this Earth so that these believers won’t have to experience the Tribulation Period. Then too, even though the Scriptures are very clear that the genuine Bride of Christ ALREADY has been purified solely by the complete work Christ Jesus did on the Cross, there are so many non-pre-Trib Rapture believers who still think that the Tribulation Period is for purifying Jesus Christ’s Bride—they still believe that His Bride has to endure the Antichrist’s wrath and the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl judgments before She can become holy and righteous enough to enter Heaven. Say what?

If any of the above claim concerning the Bride of Christ being purified in the Tribulation Period were true, then that would mean that Christ Jesus died for NOTHING, especially if believers’ own shed blood, as a result of their persecution, could purify them and make them holy and righteous enough to enter Heaven! For sure, the Scriptures are very clear. Only the blood of Christ Jesus can purify/cleanse sinners and present them before God as justified, holy, and righteous men and women.  

Furthermore, many non-pre-Trib Rapture believers think that pre-Trib Rapture individuals are escapists who are just trying to avoid persecution and/or any kind of trouble. This appeal to the flesh or the desire to feel comforted, thus, supposedly is the reason why the pre-Trib Rapture lie originally started. Nonsense, because even if pre-Trib believers don’t want to go through the Tribulation Period, globally many of them still are experiencing plenty of persecution or tribulation (great trouble or substantial suffering), and some of them more frequently and profoundly than others.

Now, one of the reasons why non-pre-Trib believers’ arguments are fallacious is that most of the people who either are making one, or two, or all of the above claims are American Christians, the majority of which, to date, have not and are not suffering any physical persecution. Secondly, Christ Jesus prophesies that there would be much persecution in this world, especially in the last days and end times, which is why this world’s current rising tide of persecution eventually will affect ALL believers worldwide, to some extent. Thirdly, what Christ Jesus also prophesies is that the persecution mankind and demonic forces commit on this Earth IN NO WAY will measure up to God’s Wrath or Fury, which He will pour out on this entire Earth. In other words, the Lord is saying that ALL of the persecution Christians have suffered from the first century A.D., and forward, down to this present century, will not compare to the suffering that happens during the seven year Tribulation Period—during Jacob’s Trouble. That suffering will be unprecedented, so much so that the Lord says:

Indeed, if the length of this time had not been limited, no one would survive; but for the sake of those who have been chosen, its length will be limited. ~ Matthew 24:22, CJB

For this last reason, believers must keep in mind that during the Tribulation Period (Jacob’s Trouble), two-thirds of the Jewish people living in Israel will perish (cf. Zechariah 13:8-9), leaving only that Jewish remnant the Antichrist/Dragon follows to the mountains/hills to kill (cf. Matthew 24:15-16Revelation 12:17). Additionally, believers also should keep in mind that the Scriptures declare that, between the 4th Seal judgment and the 6th Trumpet judgment, over one-half of the world’s total population will have died during the Tribulation Period (see Revelation 6:8 [1/4 dies] and Revelation 9:13-18 [1/3 dies]). These two amounts of human deaths equal 58.33% of the world’s total population, and the Bowl judgments haven’t even begun yet!

If so many people (the Bride of Christ members, disbelievers, and unbelievers) will be dying throughout the Tribulation Period, then how is Christ Jesus keeping His promise to deliver/save/keep His true Bride from God’s Wrath (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:101 Thessalonians 5:9-10; Revelation 3:10-11), if they aren’t Raptured until mid-Trib or, even worse, post-Trib? Isn’t it Christ Jesus Himself who sends the angelic messenger to the “church” in Philadelphia of Asia Minor (the Asian part of Turkey) to let the believers in that “church” know that because they have patiently and steadily been faithful and obedient disciples, He (Christ Jesus) would save them from the future mandatory testing that would expose the kinds of persons the people dwelling on the Earth really are? Thus, it should be clear that these Tribulation Earth dwellers the Lord speaks about are not His true Christians—they are not members of the Bride of Christ—but rather they are individuals who have rebelled (sinned) against God and refused to accept the Divine Truth in His Word.

Most important, EXCEPT for the holy and righteous Christ Jesus, upon whom God poured out ALL of His Wrath against sin, where in the Scriptures can it be found that God ever poured out even just an ounce of His Wrath on His righteous people? Again, even if the Rapture of the Bride of Christ happens at mid-Trib, that would mean that the righteous would experience some of God’s Wrath, both from the Antichrist’s persecution and from God’s Seal and Trumpet judgments!

Right here, it is necessary to note the difference between tribulation and wrath. Tribulation is the unrighteous persecution of believers by unbelievers. Put differently, tribulation is persecution directed at believers. In contrast, wrath is the righteous punishment of God poured out on those who reject Him.  In other words, the Wrath of God is His judgment directed at the unrighteous!

By the way, one of the methods Father God uses during the Tribulation Period, when He is pouring out His Fury upon His chosen unbelieving Jewish people and the disbelieving and unbelieving Gentiles, is the Antichrist’s persecution. Although the individuals who become first-time Christians, and those who become truer Christians, during the Tribulation Period, to some degree, will all experience the Antichrist’s persecution, his persecution chiefly will be only part of God’s Wrath, which is meant for Israel and everyone else who rejected God’s preferred Salvation Plan—rejected Jesus the Christ. In a nutshell, the Antichrist and his persecution will be an instrument of God’s Wrath! Furthermore, using the Antichrist to judge and punish Israel is not the first time, in Israel’s long history, that God has decided to use the enemies of Israel to examine and correct His chosen Jewish people!

Back to the mid-Trib Rapture beliefs, wouldn’t those believers who are snatched off the Earth at mid-Trib also be ESCAPING—aren’t they avoiding the most horrific parts of God’s Wrath, since the Word of God describes His Wrath as increasing in intensity and frequency throughout the Tribulation Period, and since the Bowl judgments, which begin during the second half of the Tribulation Period, are the worst of God’s Wrath? So how would believers in a mid-Trib Rapture of the Bride of Christ not be escapists, as well?

Then too, if only those alive believers at the end of the Tribulation Period are snatched off the Earth at post-Trib, right before or at the Lord’s bodily return (His Second Coming), then when do the dead in Christ Jesus get caught up? The apostle Paul clearly says that the Rapture of the Bride of Christ consists of the dead in Christ Jesus, who would rise first, and then those believers who are alive in Christ Jesus would be caught up (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Additionally, since the angels also don’t resurrect the dead in Christ Jesus before gathering the people from all of the Earth for judgment, at least the Word of God doesn’t say that the angels resurrect the dead in Christ Jesus at this time, how could the Rapture of the Bride of Christ happen at post-Trib, if the dead in Christ aren’t even mentioned in any of the so-called post-Trib Rapture Scriptures?

Lastly, why would Christ Jesus Rapture His Bride at post-Trib and then immediately bring them back to the Earth so that they could be gathered again from the four corners of the Earth, once the Great Tribulation has ended? Aren’t His saints (the Bride who is wearing white linen—see Revelation 19:6-8, 11-16Zechariah 14:5b)—returning from Heaven with Him? So why would His Bride, the armies of heaven clothed in white linen, need to be gathered again for judgment? Doesn’t the Bride of Christ stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ Jesus, which is in Heaven? Also, why would the Bride of Christ need to be separated from the goats and tares? Would not the Bride already be separated from them, by virtue of the Rapture?

The Bride of Christ, thus, is not coming back with the Lord, during His bodily return or Second Coming, which also is believed to be The Day of Judgment (see Zechariah 14:1-5) , just to be gathered, separated, and judged all over again. Obviously the post-Trib Rapture belief is the reason why there is no way that the end of the Tribulation Period gathering, which by the way is done by the angels and NOT by Christ Jesus, refers to the gathering of anyone who is NOT a Tribulation survivor, as the Tribulation’s survivors ONLY are those individuals who were never Raptured (the surviving Tribulation sheep and goats/wheat and tares).  

In contrast, the gathering of the saints (the Rapture of the Bride of Christ), or the snatching out of harm’s way (the catching up of the Bride of Christ), which Christ Jesus does Himself, means that this harpazo must happen before the seven year Tribulation Period ever begins, since the Tribulation Period absolutely classifies as the worst kind of “harm’s way”! Once again, it is the apostle Paul who declares not only to the Thessalonians but also to the Romans and Ephesians that the Bride of Christ (every genuinely born again, saved, being sanctified, prepared, faithful, and obedient believer) IS NOT going to experience God’s Wrath (Jacob’s Trouble; the Tribulation Period; see Romans 5:9Ephesians 5:61 Thessalonians 1:10;  1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Honestly, if the purpose of “the hour of trial/temptation” (see Revelation 3:10) is to expose the kinds of persons the people dwelling on the Earth are, what would God be exposing about the true Bride of Christ, whose spirit or heart already has been born again from above and already has received its new nature, and whose whole spirit, soul, and body are being transformed into the image of Christ? The Bride of Christ already is in the Household of Faith. Each believer already is a child of God. In other words, the Bride of Christ has been made righteous by Grace through Faith in the work Christ Jesus finished while on the Cross. So, again, what is there to expose about Christ Jesus’ Bride? Absolutely nothing!!!

The problem then with far too many believers’ thinking, where the Rapture is concerned, is that they have not understood the difference between God’s Plan of Salvation (deliverance, preservation, safety) for the Bride of Christ—the Raptured saints—and His Plan of Salvation for Israel—the Tribulation saints, which primarily will be the saved Jewish people living in the Promised Land or Israel, at that time. In other words, these saved Jewish people will be the individuals who are experiencing the prophesied Jacob’s Trouble (the Tribulation Period). However, these Tribulation saints also will include the left-behind Jews and Gentiles out of every nation on the Earth. Furthermore, these surviving saved left behinders will be the “elect” people who become purified, sifted like wheat Tribulation believers. More important, they also will be the people who either never accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, prior to the beginning of the Tribulation Period, or, because of their disbelief, disobedience, unfaithfulness, and/or carelessness, they didn’t prepare themselves for the Lord’s Rapture of His alive Bride (cf. Matthew 25:1-13).

The bottom line is that instead of believers in Christ Jesus being divided about when the Rapture of the Bride of Christ will take place, they should spend more time preparing themselves and looking for Christ Jesus’ appearance in the clouds (the Rapture), while leading as many unbelieving Jewish people and unbelieving and/or disbelieving Gentiles to the Lord, as they possibly can. Furthermore, all believers in Christ Jesus should understand that the prophesied Tribulation Period is not going to be anything anyone can plan to survive. In fact, the only way the people in Noah’s day could have prepared for the Flood was to accept what Noah was preaching: It’s going to rain; the rain will flood the Earth, so repent and walk with God!

For sure, just like God, via His Wrath, which manifested as the Flood, destroyed ALL the wicked, unfaithful, disobedient, unbelieving individuals living on the Earth, but spared the righteous, obedient, and faithful Noah and his family, God, via His Wrath, which will manifest as the Tribulation Period, will destroy the wicked, unfaithful, disobedient, unbelieving individuals who are living on the Earth, but  will spare the holy, righteous, obedient, and faithful Bride of Christ! There can be doubt that God is NOT going to destroy, via His Wrath, His sons and daughters—not after He has given them the gift of Salvation! This Divine Truth is why it just boggles the mind that any believer could think God would do something like that!

Finally, the spiritual stakes are extremely high! That’s why it is important that everyone who is born again, saved, and being sanctified, who also loves God and the Lord, should do his or her best to share the Gospel with the world’s lost souls NOW, and why each believer in Christ should live a bonafide Christlike life, for the entire world to see so that hopefully countless lost souls will long for Salvation and long to achieve the same kind of Christlike lifestyle.

Please view the below videos on the Rapture, Tribulation and the Great Debate. In these two videos, Andre Hendricks makes the case that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is indeed not only biblical but also the only possible time the Bride of Christ will be removed from the Earth. Be blessed!

The Rapture, Tribulation and the Great Debate, Part 1

The Rapture, Tribulation and the Great Debate, Part 2