I believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture.
There will be a Rapture without question. John 11:25-26 is the resurrection of the dead believer, and it is the resurrection of the living believer who will then never die. 1 Thess 4:16-18 is the perfect picture of this.
I believe the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation. There are a few good illustrations of this. When God saved Noah and his family before the flood. When God rescues Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before He destroyed the cities. And the Jewish wedding tradition (Jesus is the groom and we are the bride). Zola Levitt has some great information on the wedding tradition.
Isaiah 26:20-21 is one of the most powerful texts. God calls His people to enter into their chambers and close the door for a short time while He judges the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. This text goes right along with the Jewish wedding tradition. Also, Jesus talks about entering and shutting the door with the bride (Matthew 25:10). Especially too because Isaiah 26:19 speaks about resurrection of God’s people.
Luke 21:36, Jesus talks about being able to escape all the things He describes previously that we might stand “before the Son of Man.”
We have to go to be with Jesus where He is. John 14:1-3 He says that He will go and prepare a place for us. Then He will come and take us to be with Him. At the 2nd coming Jesus comes to the earth and stays here. He doesn’t go back to where He is currently. So this text in John has to be a time when believers are taken to where Jesus is currently at. Many mansions in God’s house. I believe that is the New Jerusalem.
Then in Revelation 3:10, Jesus says to the faithful church represented by Philadelphia, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” This trial that will come upon the whole world has to be the Tribulation. After all that is what Revelation is about with the Second Coming of Christ.
This is similar to what Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:9. In this section he is referring to the 2nd coming when he writes that we should always be awake and watch. Then he writes, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Back in Luke 21:28, Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” He specifically says to be looking when these things “begin” to occur. He draws our attention to watch for our redemption when it begins for a reason in my opinion.
I’m watching just as He commanded us to (Matthew 24:42). We might not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13), but we will know the season and when its right at the door (Matthew 24:33).
2 Thess 2:1-8 is another interesting text. The Antichrist is currently restrained. “…but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way” (v7b). I think this is referencing the church. We are the body of Christ on the earth. Jesus opens the first seal (Rev 6:2), which released the Antichrist. So if that is correct, the Church (body of Christ) will be taken out of the way before Antichrist appears.
The above is a vid from Steve Ben-DeNoon. He is a jewish believer in Jesus, and he is starting a series on the subject of the Rapture. I watched this particular video last night and I was excited! My heart was lifted. I wanted to record what I learned from it.
Revelation 7:9-17 is the foundational text in this section.
“9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
Verse 9 is an accurate depiction of the Church (those called out [in the greek], jew and gentile) in heaven. Revelation 5:9-10 the elders before the throne echo this truth in their song. We know that the Church would come from the entire world (John 3:16, 11:52). The Church would also be so vast that no man could number it, which goes directly back to God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:5, 17:5-7; Acts 3:25, Galatians 3:8-29). Notice also they stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36). They are clothed in white speaking of their trust in Christ being washed by His blood, and they have palm branches in their hands.
The palm branches are interesting. We know that the people laid palm branches down before Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem on the donkey (Zechariah 9:9, John 12:13). They have been known as symbols of peace. Jesus entered into Jerusalem in peace. He was the Lamb during the first part of His ministry. The Church was to be peaceful living on the earth, and we are to make peace (Matthew 5:9). Being the Body of Christ, we are lambs (Matthew 10:16; Luke 10:3) during this age of grace as we witness and make disciples for Jesus of all nations.
“10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb… 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
So if these were the ones who came out of great tribulation, which tribulation is John talking about? Steve points out that the Church as lambs on the earth for the last two thousand years have been extremely persecuted and killed. The fullness of suffering has been poured out on the Church by the world and false religions over the centuries. Steve points out in Mark 13:9-13 that the Church will suffer. Some other texts on this are John 16:33, Acts 14:22, 2 Corinthians 1:5, Philippians 1:29, 3:8-10, Colossians 1:24, 1 Thess 3:4, 2 Thess 1:5, and 1 Peter 2:21. There is no doubt that the Church has gone through tribulation for 2000 years. Not to mention the 1000s of years of those who called on the name of the Lord and looked forward to the first coming of Christ.
“15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
This is a beautiful description of exactly what Jesus does for His church. As the Bride of Christ we will serve Him day and night, and He will dwell with us. Steve points out Luke 6 and what Jesus says. His people will no longer hunger, they will be filled (Luke 6:21). His people will no longer thirst (Matthew 5:6). Jesus is the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), He feeds us, leads us to living fountains of water (John 4:10, 7:38), and God wipes away our tears (Isaiah 25:8, Luke 6:21, Revelation 21:4).
I believe I am convinced that the Church is pictured in Revelation 7:9-17, and that this is evidence for a pre-tribulation Rapture. We can’t forget what is sung in Revelation 5:9. Also, in Revelation 4:1, John sees a door open in heaven, and the voice is like a trumpet saying “Come up here.” Which mirrors what Paul writes in 1 Thess 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven (remember a door is opened in Matthew 25:10 for the bride and groom. And again in Revelation 19:11, John saw heaven open) with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Watched part 2 of Steve Ben-DeNoon’s discussion of the Rapture in the Torah. He taught on another really good scripture concerning a pre-tribulation Rapture in Isaiah 57:1.
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come” (KJV).
Steve translates this text direct from the Hebrew and the big difference is the first part of the verse. The translation was, “The righteous can’t be found (instead of perish) and no man is taking this matter to heart.” A powerful text that speaks directly to the point.
Here is another text that I feel is relevant to this topic.
“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Revelation 17:14).
This text shows there will be a rapture prior to the 2nd coming because when the armies of the world and Antichrist war against Jesus at His appearing, we see that those who are with Him are His called, chosen, and faithful followers. The raptured Church who are called, chosen, and faithful. Where did Jesus come from? He came from Heaven with his Church.