The Rapture Happens Pretribulation – Part 4

Is the Rapture a Pretribulation Event?

The timing of the rapture (or Resurrection) of the church is a hotly debated question, yet one that can be easily resolved from scripture. The source of our confusion is taking verses and words of the Bible out of context while ignoring the whole counsel of scripture.

Meanwhile, the wrath Paul is talking about in 1 Thessalonians is not a specific reference to the Bowl Judgments. Rather, Paul is talking about the wrath of all Tribulation. In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul is comforting the church that they did not miss the resurrection, as some false teachers had been claiming. Though the church was suffering great persecution at the hands of the Jews and Romans, nevertheless their experience was not the Tribulation as some feared.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NKJV)

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

11 Therefore comfort (encourage) each other and edify one another (build one another up), just as you also are doing.

Paul says that the Church is not appointed to experience God’s wrath. He meant that the Church need not fear they had missed the resurrection and were therefore  experiencing the Tribulation. Paul had taught the Church earlier that the Rapture must precede the Tribulation, yet other false teachers had convinced them that they were presently enduring the Tribulation. Therefore, the church was concerned that the arrival of Tribulation meant they had missed the resurrection.

Paul responds by reassuring the Church that they are not appointed or destined to wrath, meaning the wrath of Tribulation. Therefore, they could be comforted knowing that their resurrection was still to happen.

The key to interpreting this passage properly is in understanding that the entire seven years of Tribulation is considered the “wrath of God.” The Bowl Judgment are just the final and greatest outpouring of wrath during those seven years, but the wrath of God is evident in all the judgments of Tribulation, as Revelation teaches us:

Revelation 15:1 (NKJV)

Prelude to the Bowl Judgments

15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete (finished).

Notice, the Bowl Judgments are the called “the last” because they “finish” the wrath of God in Tribulation. They are not the entirety of God’s wrath. They are the finishing of God’s wrath. Similarly, we find even the first judgments of Tribulation, the Seal Judgments, called judgments of wrath in Revelation:

Revelation 6:17 (NKJV)

17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

After the sixth Seal Judgment, the people of earth declare that the great day of “wrath” has come upon them. Clearly, God’s wrath comes to earth long before the Bowl Judgments appear. The Bowl Judgments are just the final outpouring of His wrath.

So, if Paul says the Church is not destined (or appointed) to experience wrath at all, then this means we cannot experience any of the judgments of Tribulation. That’s why Paul teaches that the coming of the Lord for the Church (i.e., the Rapture) rescues us from this coming wrath:

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV)

10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

This Is one of many places we find the scriptures teaching that the Church has nothing to fear regarding the Tribulation. It is not appointed for the Church, since it is appointed for entirely different reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”

 

Rosh Hashanah Final trumpet the Rapture? – Part 3

Is the final trumpet of Rosh Hashanah Our sign for the Rapture?

Paul says when the last trumpet is blown we (believers in Christ) shall be raised and changed to be with Christ. What we refer to as the Rapture. Is this the final trumpet of Rosh Hashanah? If this is true, can the Rapture only happen at one time a year. Is this true or can the Rapture happen anytime?

This is a very interesting question to ponder. To answer it, let’s begin by learning some background on the Jewish practice of blowing trumpets during their festivals. The type of trumpet used in Rosh Hashanah is a ram’s horn (a shofar) that is blown during the feast, but the horn can also be called a trumpet. In fact, Jews commonly called the event the Feast of the Trumpets for that reason.

During the feast, the trumpet is blown a total of 100 times, with the final horn blast lasting much longer than the first 99 blasts. This final blast pictures the trumpet sound which will announce the Rapture of the Church, which Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15. By the way, the trumpet blast associated with the Rapture is not to be confused with the trumpet judgments of Tribulation. Rather, it is associated with the final horn of the Feast of Trumpets.

1 Corinthians 15:50-52 (NKJV)

Our Final Victory

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The feast of Rosh Hashanah is a shadow or picture of the Rapture, but we error if we try to mix too many elements of the picture God has given us with the reality it represents. Specifically, all seven of the Jewish feasts were given to the nation of Israel to picture various aspects of God’s redemptive plan. These pictures taught men about the reality of God’s plan of redemption and illustrated many if its details, but this does not mean that the festivals perfectly reflect every detail of God’s plan. Not every detail in the festivals find an obvious parallel in some historical reality.

For example, one day each year Jews celebrate the Day of Atonement, which is also a picture of Tribulation. However, the actual Tribulation we know will last seven years when it comes, but the Day of Atonement is only a single day on the calendar. The picture points to the reality but it does not substitute for the reality.

Obviously, it would be a mistake to assume that Tribulation will last only a single day simply because the feast that pictures the event lasts just one day. Likewise, it would be wrong to assume that the Rapture must occur on the very same calendar day as the Feast of Trumpets simple because the feast pictures the reality of the Rapture. Having said that, it is certainly possible that the Rapture will occur on the same calendar day as the Feast of Trumpets, but it is no more likely than any other day of the calendar.

Interestingly, in modern times the Jewish nation has taken to observing the Feast over a two-day period rather than on a single day as originally given in the Bible. In centuries past, the Jews could not always be sure when one day ended and another began, since it was based on the visibility of three stars by eyewitnesses in Judea. Jews living outside Palestine were required to estimate when the day began in Israel and not based on where they lived (e.g., Babylonia or the Diaspora).

In order to be sure that they did not observe the wrong day, the Jews made Rosh Hashanah a two-day festival, thus leaving room for error in determining the start date. Technically, in Judaism today it is known as Yom Arichtaor (the long day), because the two days are counted as one rather than as two singular days. Consequently, even if the day of Rosh Hashanah was the actual calendar day God has appointed for the Rapture, we still can’t say for certain which specific day it will occur, since the feast is currently observed over two days.

 

 

“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”

 

Rapture During Tribulation – The Final Trumpet- Part 2

final trumpetThe Final Trumpet – Rapture or Judgment During Tribulation?

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is explaining the manner of our resurrection, sometimes called the “rapture:”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV)

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Paul says the moment of our transformation into our new physical bodies will happen instantaneously at “the last trumpet.” Since Paul calls this trumpet the “last” trumpet, there must have been earlier trumpet sound that preceded the last trumpet. Continue reading